What’s the deal with Red Light Therapy…. and is it real?
Over the course of the past 5 years, I’ve had the opportunity to reinvent myself. Through this time of self-reflection and reinvention, I’ve spent significant amounts of time in sunny climates.
In this article, I highlight the evolution, the science, the technology and how I integrate red light therapy into my daily regimen.
How Does Light heal?
At its most basic level, light is pure energy. Made up of packets of energy called photons. Light from sources like the sun powers almost all biological processes on our planet. Without light, all living things on the planet would perish..
Light is also instrumental in keeping us at peak health. UV light has long been recognized as essential for vitamin D production. At a molecular level, there are literally dozens of mechanisms that are triggered via specific wavelengths of light.
For example, Cytochrome C Oxidase is a photoreceptor on the mitochondria that are triggered by light photons.
In some cases, overtraining can take months or even years to recover from (1). Maximizing recovery efficiency is therefore critical for maximizing training efficiency. That is, if it takes less time for our muscles to recover after exercise, we can reach our goals faster. Red light therapy is an exciting approach to improving recovery time that has become popular over the last decade (1). Studies demonstrated red-lights ability to influence the structural and metabolic changes associated with muscle fatigue (2). For example, red light therapy has been shown to reduce post-exercise blood lactate concentration
Why is Red & Infrared Light Therapy Important?
At the molecular level, these pathways and channels are affected by these specific wavelengths, which in turn activates (or optimizes) cellular processes.
In other words, Red & Infrared Light Therapy triggers molecular events that then trigger cellular processes, which then affect our structural systems like muscles, brain, nerves, bones, hair, and skin. Basically, red and near-infrared light helps bulletproof YOU!.
Red & Infrared Light Therapy triggers molecular events that then triggers cellular processes, which then affects our structural systems like muscles, brain, nerves, bones, hair, and skin.
Don’t I get enough light from the Sun?
In 2015, I took the summer to ride my pedal bike across the country. I didn’t have a schedule and just took my time at my own pace. Needless to say, I was outdoors….A LOT. I spent an average of 6 hours a day in the sun and developed a savage tan. After 4 months of riding my bike, I decided to move to Costa Rica.
During the bike ride, any ailments or issues I previously had, went away. I had almost zero inflammation, even after 4000+ miles of pedaling.
Years later I started to piece the puzzle together. As I investigated the science behind Red Light Therapy, I had an epiphany about how light regulates our biological process. I received a lot of light exposure on the Cross American bike ride, and while living in Costa Rica.
The science behind the magic relates to the wavelengths and quantity of each wavelength that is absorbed into our cells. With sunlight being full-spectrum, its impossible to balance the dosage (getting the correct quantity of beneficial wavelengths) for optimized health. Technology now allows us to isolate all the positive wavelengths of light.
Incorporating Light Therapy Into Your Life
Over the course of my life, I’ve always been a healthy well-balanced soul. I’ve experimented with intermittent fasting, ketogenic diets, carnivore diets, long-term fasting, competitive cycling, meditation retreats, and nothing has had such a profound effect on my health and well-being as red & infrared light therapy.
I use my light 5 to 6 times a week.
I use my light 5 to 6 times a week.
I sometimes position the light next to my yoga mat and stretch and meditate in front of it. As you look online, you’ll see complicated formulas for distance and time, but due to the fact that there are ZERO negative side effects, I’ve found my approach of ‘any’ is better than ‘none’, and this keeps the positive effects front & center in my life.
Much has changed since incorporating light therapy into my life. My workouts have gotten better, I sleep deeper, and I get sick less. In addition, I believe my skin is more resilient and younger-looking (collagen production).
Consistency Is Key
Since incorporating red & near-infrared light into my life, I’ve been a ‘fanboy’ of the technology, and have sold lots of lights to friends and family. Every time I discuss the process, I’m careful to advise that it takes time and consistency. For me personally, I think it took about 2-3 weeks before I started noticing the impact.
Across all this variety, post-exercise treatment with red light reliably impacts structural and metabolic processes associated with muscle fatigue (6). By reducing the harmful cellular by-products of exercise, red light therapy can accelerate recovery time. The most common theory centers around the photosensitive nature of mitochondria. Because red light’s long wavelengths are able to penetrate through the skin and into the muscle tissue with minimal diffusion, it can interact directly with a cell’s light-reactive mitochondria
It’s an amazing time that we’re living in, and the ability for us to affect our physiology has never been greater. Like many reading about this technology (maybe for the first time), I suspect you may be skeptical. I would recommend that you take a look at some medical publications that walk through the technology, and the results/conclusions.