1. Does Red Light therapy really work?

Sometimes it’s hard to believe the things that we can’t fully see, but red light therapy most certainly works. Red light therapy is an alternative health treatment that has been tested and researched for decades now. Take a look at this article here published by the US National Library of Medicine on the efficacy of red light therapy.

           What is Red Light therapy?
The name is a bit of a misnomer as red is but one group of wavelengths used. But as we typically see the red, this has become part of the name. Officially, it’s called photobiomodulation, which is specific wavelengths of light that science has proven to have a positive effect on our cells. This light is in the form of photons and wavelengths. Typical devices carry both red wavelengths and near infrared wavelengths. Near infrared is not visible to the naked eye and will look off. When we refer to light or red light, we are talking about both red and near infrared light.
How far does the light penetrate?
This is based on many variables, but for a simple answer, the red wavelengths will penetrate just below the deepest layer of the skin. Near infrared will penetrate deeper up to 4 centimeters. This is why it’s good to have a device with both red and near infrared.


2.How do I know which panel would work best for me?

Choosing the right panel that is best for you will primarily be dependent on the size of the area that you are focusing your therapy on, as well as your lifestyle. For instance, a large panel will cover more area for a full body treatment. Meanwhile, the tabletop, mini, or pad systems are perfect for localized or targeted treatment.


3. How long should one session be?

       When just starting out, you will want to start slow with just 2 minutes per area per day. You can add 1 minute per session as long as you’re feeling good, working to a max of 10-15 minute sessions. This gives your body time to adapt to the light. If you’re working on multiple body areas, you can do a 10 minute session for area number 1 and then move the panel to another area for a 2nd 10 minute session. You can do multiple body areas per day, but you want to avoid doing more than 15 minutes for a specific area.


4. How far away from the panel should I be?

       Ideally, you’ll be 6-12 inches away for 10 minutes per area. If you want to be 12-18 inches away,             you’ll add 5 minutes to the session for a total of 15 minutes. And for 18-24, a total of 20 minutes.           This is because energy is lost over distance so the further away you are, the more session time will         be needed to achieve the same amount of power.


5. What are possible side effects of red-light therapy?

Fortunately, light therapy has been proven to be extremely safe, but it’s important to follow safety guidelines to avoid potential issues. It’s not uncommon to feel a warm sensation at the area being treated. This isn’t necessarily due to heat from the lights. Instead, this warmth is caused by the increase in circulation to the area being treated by the light panels.
If you do too much light too quickly, it can cause headaches or an achy feeling. This is temporary lasting 1-2 days.
If you’re photosensitive or taking meds that cause photosensitivity, this can lead to red, itchy skin. Do not apply lotions/creams prior to use as they can cause irritation to the skin.
Due to the brightness of the bulbs, it’s best to avoid looking directly at them. If your eyes are sensitive, wear the goggles or keep eyes closed.


6. Should eye protection be used?

For individuals who have certain eye conditions such as diabetic retinopathy or who take medications that cause photosensitivity, precautions should be taken. These

same individuals should also consult their primary healthcare provider before using red light therapy. Otherwise, individuals who do not have eye conditions do not need to use eye protection. There are even some studies like this one here, that say that red light

waves can actually help to improve a person’s vision. Avoid looking directly into bulbs to reduce sensitivity. You can also wear the goggles or keep your eyes closed if your eyes are sensitive. If you suffer from photo induced headaches, nausea, seizures, discuss with your doctor first and avoid settings that include pulsing.


7. What does red light therapy feel like? Will it feel warm or uncomfortable?

Red light therapy is a safe and non-invasive treatment for several different ailments. The light panels and pads themselves do not get particularly warm, but your skin may begin to feel warm as your treatment session progresses. This is due to the increased circulation to the area that is exposed to the light. Most people find red light therapy to be comfortable and relaxing.


8. What should I do once I complete a session?

Drink some water! Hydration is important in general, but once you expose your body tissues and their cells to the red light, their energy levels will go up significantly. Just like when you hit the gym for a workout, your cells need to stay hydrated when they are “working out” too. Hydrating after a session gives your cells all the fuel they need, as the energizing effects of red light do not diminish the moment you step away from your light panel.


9. How will I know if my red-light therapy is effective?

You can consider your red light therapy sessions to be effective when you begin to notice an improvement in any of the symptoms you are treating, such as acne, chronic pain, or the texture of scars. Other ways you can tell that your time in front of the light panel is making a difference is that your energy levels may seem higher, or your quality of sleep may improve. All these things are definite signs that your light therapy is paying off. Light therapy begins on a cellular level, creating changes under the surface that later make a difference on the outside.


10. Is red light therapy safe for children?

There are various studies, like this one here, that show children with certain ailments can benefit from exposure to red light. However, it’s important to consult your child's healthcare provider before beginning any sort of red light regiment with them.


11. What type of clothing should I wear when using a light panel?

Preferably, less clothing is the best way to go. Clothes block the light waves from directly penetrating the skin, decreasing the effectiveness of the light. Having minimal clothing on, or none, allows the red light waves to cover the maximum amount of surface area.


12. How many sessions with my panel will I need?

This depends on your reason for using the panel. The number of sessions that it will take to resolve or at least improve an acute condition such as a sprain will be less than when treating a condition that is chronic and has been ongoing for quite some time. For acute conditions, 5-10 sessions can begin to show improvement, while 20 or more sessions may be necessary for treatment of a chronic condition.


13. What kind of contraindications are there to red light therapy?

Red light therapy is a safe and noninvasive therapy modality. However, there is a handful of medical conditions that fall under the category of “contraindication.” Meaning, if someone were to have a condition such as photo induced seizures, certain types of cancer, or eye conditions, red light therapy may not be the route to take. Consulting your primary health care provider before initiating red light therapy is highly recommended.


14. Can I wear makeup during a red light session?

It’s best to have clean, dry skin. Lotions, creams, makeup will reflect some of the light, decreasing its effectiveness.


15. Will my light panel interfere with any prescription medications that I take?

If you’re on prescription medications that fall into the category of tetracyclines, or if you take digoxin (An antiarrhythmic medication to treat heart arrhythmias) you should consult your health care provider before initiating red light therapy sessions at home. These and many other prescription drugs cause “photosensitivity”. Which means it makes that individual’s body more sensitive to light (they can sunburn more easily, or their eyes can be harmed by intense light). Therefore, it’s important to consult your health care provider if you are on any kind of prescription medication before beginning red light therapy at home.


16. Can I wear contact lenses while using my light panel?

There is no harm to wearing contact lenses during your light therapy session, as you will likely have your eyes closed while you relax and enjoy the light panel. Some users have reported experiencing dry eyes while wearing their contact lenses during their light panel sessions. Therefore, it is ultimately your choice on whether you’d like to keep your contacts in or not.


17. Can I use red light therapy if I’m pregnant?

Professionals state that it is a safe practice to use light therapy while pregnant, and may even be a safe alternative to antidepressant treatment, as outlined here in this study. Depression is a very common condition to occur during and after pregnancy in women. Before starting any red light therapy you should consult your primary health care provider and OBGYN that you are seeing during your pregnancy.


18. Can cancer patients use red light therapy?

It has been a controversial topic without a straight answer, but some studies are showing that red light therapy can be beneficial to individuals who have certain types of active cancer. Studies have shown that light can have a positive effect on certain cancerous tumors and does not show evidence of causing or worsening cancer either. As always, be sure to discuss the addition of red-light therapy treatment with your healthcare provider before beginning a regiment. Red light has been shown very beneficial following cancer treatment.


19. Can red light therapy be used to treat cancer?

According to the National Cancer Institute, infrared light is proving to be a potentially effective treatment for cancer patients who are dealing with certain forms of cancer. Research continues with hopes of creating ways for red light to better help patients with cancer diagnoses. Please discuss red light therapy treatment with your healthcare provider before beginning a regiment.


20. Is light therapy used to treat Seasonal Depression?

Seasonal depression is a condition that many individuals struggle with, especially in northern regions where wintertime means shorter, darker days for several months of the year. Our light panels produce light waves that hold similar properties to that of natural sunlight. Science and years of research are telling us that individuals are seeing improvement in the symptoms of their seasonal depression after just one session.


21. What red light panel can I use to get better sleep?

Any one of our panels would help to promote a better night’s rest overall. Exposure to any one of our red devices will help your body’s circadian rhythm shift into a healthier sleep schedule. Light will also help to treat any other causes of poor night’s sleep such as inflammation in the body causing pain and discomfort. When used first thing in the morning, light will help suppress melatonin and increase serotonin.


22. How does light therapy help with my athletic performance?

There are so many reasons why red light therapy is so beneficial for an individual who works out regularly. The increase in blood flow that red light promotes will allow your muscles to maintain optimal oxygen levels while you push them to become stronger. Not only will this enhance your ability to work out, but also help you recover from a workout faster than you ever have. Because light reduces inflammation, healing and recovery time will be decreased.


23. What if I miss one of my light therapy sessions because life gets busy?

We totally get it, sometimes life just happens, and we can’t always get a session in as planned. Just do it as soon as you have some free time. It’s not something you should stress yourself out over. You will not lose the positive effects you’ve gained after just one missed session. Optimal is 5-7 sessions per week.


24. Can I do too much light?

You can, in fact, do too much light. You know what they say about a good thing. Overexposing yourself to your light can ultimately negate the therapeutic effects that you worked so hard to achieve. It does however take a lot to reach this point. After 15 minutes of a panel or 30 minutes of a pad, you won’t gain extra benefits by doing more. You’ll just be wasting time. But after 40 minutes of a panel or 60 minutes of a pad, the benefits you just achieved will begin to decrease.


25. How do I know if I’m getting enough time in front of my light panel?

If you are following the guidelines provided with your panel, such as positioning yourself at the correct distance away and spending the right amount of time in front of your panel, you should be getting just the right amount of light exposure. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t see immediate results. It can take a few weeks to begin to see the profound effects that red light has on your body. It begins in the cells, remember. Your cells need time to work with all the new energy you are giving them and have a noticeable positive impact on your body.

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