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Is there any science behind red light therapy?

Red light therapy has become an increasingly popular natural health treatment, Touted by celebrities and health gurus alike, red light therapy seems almost too good to be true. Proponents claim it can increase energy, ease pain, stimulate hair growth, improve skin, enhance athletic performance, and even slow aging. But are these Red light therapy benefits backed up by scientific research?

red light therapy science

The answer is a resounding yes! Extensive science validates red light therapy as a legitimate, drug-free treatment that leverages natural light to provide real results. Keep reading as we highlight what the science behind red light therapy is.

What is Red Light Therapy?

Red light therapy involves exposure to light in the red and near-infrared spectrums (660-950 nanometers wavelength). These wavelengths of light penetrate through the skin and into the underlying cell tissue. The mitochondria inside the cells absorb these wavelengths like fuel. This causes increased ATP (adenosine triphosphate) production inside the mitochondria. Since ATP is the primary energy source for cells, higher levels boost cell energy and activity. Most red light therapy devices use targeted LEDs (light-emitting diodes), for optimal results. Sessions are non-invasive, convenient, and carry virtually no side effects [1].

What is Red Light Therapy?

A Brief History of Red Light Therapy

The concept of the use of light to boost restoration has origins in historic Egyptian, Indian, and Chinese cultures. But modern-day red light therapy first got here around the overdue Eighteen Nineties. A Danish medical doctor named Niels Finsen determined that exposure to purple wavelengths should heal smallpox lesions and skin tuberculosis.

Finsen received the Nobel Prize for Medicine and body structure in 1903 for this pioneering work. Inside the Fifties, Japanese ecu scientists multiplied on Finsen’s findings to increase present-day phototherapy gadgets’ usage of red light.

In the 1990s and 2000s, NASA studied how LEDs affected wound recovery and human cellular growth for the duration of spaceflight. Sizable studies from the beyond few decades continue to confirm red light’s healing price these days.

The Science Behind Red Light Therapy

Red light therapy has been proven in several scientific studies to offer the subsequent benefits:

Increased Energy and Improved Mood
Studies display red light publicity increases stream and oxygenation, boosting cell strength manufacturing. Only some minutes of exposure can offer hours of lasting power. Red light also similarly elevates mood and motivation with the aid of stimulating the brain [2].

Pain and Inflammation Reduction
Research reveals red light alleviates all types of pain using lowering irritation. This consists of joint pain from arthritis, again pain, chronic complications, neuropathic pain, sprains and strains, fibromyalgia, and more. Utilizing handing over photons that reduce inflammatory mediators and increase movement, red light provides natural ache alleviation[3].

Faster Wound and Injury Healing
By way of growing circulation and lowering infection to boost the recuperation of wounds, burns, fractures, and surgical procedure incisions [4]. Red light also helps repair muscle harm after severe workouts, making it a cross-to for pro athletes [5].

Healthier Skin and Hair
From pimples to wrinkles, red light improves all skin kinds. It encourages collagen manufacturing to lessen great traces and easy skin texture [6]. Red light additionally fades scars and stretch marks via dashing cell turnover[7]. For hair, it stimulates follicles and boom factors to prevent thinning and loss, while encouraging new growth [8].

Enhanced Athletic Performance
By improving muscle recuperation, red light therapy gives a verified performance enhancement, as validated in research on energy training, sprinting, cycling, and other sports activities. This enables you to ramp up your record and build muscle efficiently. Red light therapy reduces oxidative pressure from workouts at the same time as amping up your natural energy [9].

The Science Behind Red Light Therapy

How to Use Red Light Therapy?

Choosing Your Device
There is a spread of options in terms of red light therapy devices, from hand-held devices to complete-frame panels. While choosing a tool, remember your price range, the vicinity of your body you want to treat, and the device’s intensity and wavelength. It is first-class to look for products with each crimson (660nm) and near-infrared (850nm) LEDs to obtain a full spectrum of benefits. medical-grade devices offer the very best intensity of light.

Determining Treatment Length
The duration of your remedy will depend upon the tool you’re the usage of and the region of your frame you’re treating. Maximum treatments close between 5 and 20 minutes, and you could want to repeat the remedy several times a week to peer the most effective results.

Positioning Yourself Correctly
To maximize effects, ensure to put yourself efficaciously. Relying on the device you’re the use of, you may want to put yourself a certain distance from the mild supply. Observe the device’s commands to make sure you’re getting the superior remedy. The secret is making sure thorough, constant mild insurance. At the same time, as nudity affords high-quality absorption, even light clothing will paint.


Red light therapy is more than just a passing fashion – it is sponsored with the aid of science and has established blessings for the diffusion of health concerns. Whether you’re trying to enhance your skin, lessen pain and infection, or boost your mental health, red light therapy could be the herbal solution you’ve been looking for.


Can too much red light therapy be bad?

Extended and immoderate exposure to red light can doubtlessly motivate skin inflammation, burns, or different unfavorable reactions. It is crucial to follow the recommended remedy instances and tips supplied with the aid of the producer of your red light therapy tool.

Who should avoid red light therapy?

Pregnant women
Individuals with skin cancer
People with implanted medical devices like pacemakers
Those with photosensitive conditions or on photosensitive medications

Are there any negative side effects from red light therapy?

There are no acknowledged side outcomes of red light therapy when used nicely. In contrast to UV light, it does not burn or damage skin.

How long should you do red light therapy?

That depends on your goals. For trendy well-being, five-10 minutes day by day is brilliant. For anti-growing older, 15-20 mins every other day works properly. For hair regrowth, skin enhancement, or pain relief, periods up to 30 minutes supply the most useful consequences.

How many times a day should you do red light therapy?

Once according to day is enough for the general public to enjoy blessings. A few humans revel in doing brief classes (five-15 minutes) two or even three instances day by day – morning, afternoon, and before bed – for an added boost. This added frequency is safe and powerful.


[1]Pinar Avci, Asheesh Gupta, et al. Low-level laser (light) therapy (LLLT) in skin: stimulating, healing, restoring. Semin Cutan Med Surg. 2013 Mar;32(1):41-52.

[2]Cassano P, Petrie SR, et al. Review of transcranial photobiomodulation for major depressive disorder: targeting brain metabolism, inflammation, oxidative stress, and neurogenesis. Neurophotonics 2016;3:031404.

[3]Cassano P, Petrie SR, et al. Transcranial Photobiomodulation for the Treatment of Major Depressive Disorder. The ELATED-2 Pilot Trial. Photomedicine and Laser Surgery. 2018 October.

[4]Ryan Spitler, Michael W Berns. Comparison of laser and diode sources for the acceleration of in vitro wound healing by low-level light therapy. Journal of Biomedical Optics 19(3), 038001. 2014, March.

[5]Bruno Manfredini Baroni, Ernesto Cesar Pinto Leal Junior, et al. Low-level laser therapy before eccentric exercise reduces muscle damage markers in humans. European Journal of Applied Physiology.2010 July.

[6]Wen-Hwa Li, InSeok Seo, et al.A low-level red plus near-infrared light combination induces expressions of collagen and elastin in human skin in vitro. Int J Cosmet Sci. 2021 Jun;43(3):311-320.

[7]Andrew Mamalis, Daniel Siegel, and Jared Jagdeo. Visible Red Light Emitting Diode Photobiomodulation for Skin Fibrosis: Key Molecular Pathways. Curr Dermatol Rep. 2016; 5: 121–128.

[8]Friedman S, Schnoor P. “Novel Approach to Treating Androgenetic Alopecia in Females With Photobiomodulation (Low-Level Laser Therapy).” Dermatologic Surgery. 2017 Jun.

[9]Alexander Wunschcorresponding, Karsten Matuschka. Controlled Trial to Determine the Efficacy of Red and Near-Infrared Light Treatment in Reduction of Intradermal Collagen Density Increase. Photomed Laser Surg. 2014 Feb.

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