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The Benefits of Red Light Therapy: Nourishing the Body and Mind

Originally Published December 16, 2018

As research into red light therapy has progressed, it has become increasingly apparent that the treatment offers astonishing health benefits. Clinical studies are beginning to explore the diverse potential of red and near-infrared wavelengths for healing diverse physiological and mental conditions. Think of red light as food for your body; providing nutrient-dense nourishment that contributes to enhanced well-being.

During a red light therapy treatment, red and near-infrared light wavelengths are emitted and absorbed by chromophores within the cells. The various cells and tissue types within the body possess their own unique light absorption characteristics, responding best to different wavelengths. Red light wavelengths and near-infrared wavelengths therefore work best when delivered in tandem, delivering a greater range of benefits to the body’s cells and tissues.

The benefits of red light wavelengths: Red light wavelengths measure between 630-700 nm. These are an ideal length to penetrate skin cells and sebaceous glands, offering benefits for skin texture and tone, smoothing fine wrinkles, promoting collagen production and generally rejuvenating the appearance of skin.

The benefits of near-infrared light wavelengths: Near-infrared light (NIR) wavelengths are longer than red light wavelengths, and measure between 700 nm and 1,100 nm. They penetrate deeper into the tissue to deliver energy to the body’s cells and can pass through bone to assist with healing deep wounds, muscle aches, nerve injury or joint pain.

One recent study even demonstrated that when near-infrared light is delivered at the appropriate fluence or dose, the wavelengths can penetrate to a depth of 3cm to alleviate symptoms associated with traumatic brain injury, offering neuroregenerative benefits. Further clinical research found that NIR can help reduce headaches, anxiety, sleep disturbance and cognitive impairment.

In the diagram below, you can see that deep red and near-infrared light wavelengths between 650 and 950 nm penetrate deeper than any other wavelength on the spectrum.