Red Light & Near InfraRed Therapy
What is Red and Near Infrared Light Therapy?
Red and near-infrared light are part of the electromagnetic spectrum, and more specifically, part of the spectrum of light emitted by the sun. These wavelengths of light are “bioactive” in humans.
Visible Light Spectrum Chart
At the highest end of the visible light spectrum is red light, which goes from a little over 600nm to approximately 700nm. Above the visible light spectrum is near-infrared (NIR) from about 700nm to a little over 1,100nm.
It is specifically these red and near-infrared wavelengths that have amazing effects on our bodies. Most research showing benefits of red light and near-infrared light have used wavelengths in the ranges of 620-680nm and 800-880nm.
There have now been literally thousands of studies done in both animals and humans. Overall, red and near infrared light has been repeatedly shown to have positive effects on cell function in animal and human studies and aid in improving a wide range of conditions.
It's all about PENETRATION.
Most wavelengths of light (UV, blue, green, yellow, etc.) are unable to penetrate into the body - instead they stay in the layers of the skin.
However as the picture below shows, red and near-infrared light are able to penetrate deeper into the human body and are able to reach the cells, tissues, blood, nerves, into the bones and even into the brain!
What are the benefits?
The benefits of red light: Red light between 600-700nm offers benefits for skin texture and tone, smoothing fine lines and wrinkles, promoting collagen production and generally
rejuvenating the appearance of skin and hair.
The benefits of near-infrared light: Near-infrared light (NIR) 700nm - 1100nm. penetrates deeper into the tissues to assist with wound healing, muscle recovery, nerve injury and joint
Red light boosts cellular energy production
The most well studied mechanism of action surrounding red and near infrared light therapy is increased MITOchondrial energy production in the cells. MITOchondria are tiny organelles
that are the energy power plants of all the cells in our body. Red and near infrared light therapy helps the MITOchondria create more of that energy.
The specific photons found in red and near infrared light interact with a photoreceptor within our cells called cytochrome c oxidase. This interaction stimulates the mitochondria in our cells to use oxygen more efficiently, which allows the mitochondria to produce more ATP
(adenosine triphosphate). Adenosine triphosphate is a complex organic chemical that provides energy to drive many processes in living cells, e.g. muscle contraction, nerve impulse propagation, and chemical synthesis. Found in all forms of life, ATP is often referred to as the "molecular unit of currency" of intracellular energy transfer. When our cells have more energy, they simply perform better and the body follows suit!
How does Photobiomodulation (PBM) and Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) work?
The most well studied mechanism of action surrounding red and near infrared light therapy is increased MITOchondrial energy production in the cells. MITOchondria are tiny organelles that are the energy power plants of all the cells in our body. Red and near infrared light therapy helps the MITOchondria create more of that energy.
The specific photons found in red and near infrared light interact with a photoreceptors within our cells called cytochrome c oxidase. This interaction stimulates the mitochondria in our cells to use oxygen more efficiently, which allows the mitochondria to produce more ATP (adenosine triphosphate). Adenosine triphosphate is a complex organic chemical that provides energy to drive many processes in living cells, e.g. muscle contraction, nerve impulse propagation, and chemical synthesis. Found in all forms of life, ATP is often referred to as the "molecular unit of currency" of intracellular energy transfer. When our cells have more energy, they simply perform better and the body follows suit!
Below is a link to a 3rd party compilation of over 4000 scientific studies on Photobiomodulation (PBM) / Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT).
What product do we use?
We use Mito Red Lights. They are general wellness devices and are not intended to cure or diagnose any medical conditions. Use of this device is designed to help promote overall health and wellness by supporting cellular function.
How long is a session?
For Standard Use
We recommend 10-minute treatments at 6-12 inches from your device. Additional 10-minute sessions for specific areas may be beneficial but beyond a certain point, the scientific evidence points to diminishing returns. More is not always better. For this reason, we recommend you allow at least 6 hours between treatments of the same area. We recommend no more than 15 minutes in any one session. We recommend using the device 4-10 times per week for maximum benefit.
Is red light therapy safe? Are there side effects?
Mito Red Light uses only the red and near infrared wavelengths that are clinically proven to be effective and safe. However, we always recommend consulting with your healthcare provider for specific questions about any concerns or health conditions.
Do I need safety glasses with this light?
While there is a growing body of scientific research suggesting that modest amounts of red and NIR LED light may benefit certain eye conditions, Mito Red's plug-in lights are very bright!
As such, goggles are available and should be worn when facing the lights, particularly when NIR is active. Alternatively you can keep your eyes closed or bring your own eyemask. When using, DO NOT stare directly into the light emitting diodes (LEDs).
Again, our Mito Red Lights are very bright and if you have any eye problems, or any other health conditions at all, please consult with a licensed healthcare professional before using a device like Mito Red.
Will light therapy treatments cause detox symptoms?
It is possible that a Mito Red Light treatment can cause some detox-related symptoms while your body acclimates. If you experience these types of issues, we recommended stopping treatments until the symptoms go away. Then start out at 2-3 minutes per treatment area and work your way slowly up to 10 minutes over the course of 2-3 weeks. This will help your body adapt. If you continue to experience detox-related symptoms and have any concerns regarding the use of red light therapy, we recommend stopping treatments and consulting with your healthcare provider.
What if my skin is burned or damaged?
Red light therapy has been clinically-proven to help damaged skin heal from cuts, burns, and other blemishes. We recommend consulting with your healthcare provider if you have any concerns.
As we are not licensed healthcare practitioners, we are not able to offer definitive clinical guidance. We recommend consulting with your trusted health care provider with specific questions.
What if I have a pre-existing health condition or take medications?
Mito Red Lights are classified as a general wellness devices. Out of an abundance of caution, we recommend you consult with your healthcare provider if you have any pre-existing conditions or if you take photosensitizing drugs. Steroids work to suppress the immune system while red light therapy may work to stimulate it. To the extent that the two therapies may work against each other, we do not recommend they be used together.
What is PBM and NIR good for?
Pain management - Arthritis, Chronic back pain, neck pain, Muscle strain, Wound pain, Carpal tunnel pain, Bursitis.
Hair Growth - PBM encourages promotion of hair growth. One study using red light treatment to stimulate hair growth showed a 39% hair increase in individuals who use red light when compared to a placebo group. Many people who are experiencing hair loss or thinning will use red light therapy to slow hair loss and to promote hair growth.
Skin Quality - rejuvenates the skin, improving how the skin repairs itself and stimulating the production of collagen
Wound Healing - Research continues to show that red light therapy improves wound healing, and it is used both to improve the speed at which wounds heal and how quickly and effectively scars resolve.
Workout Recovery -
Delaying the onset of muscle soreness
Reducing blood markers connected with muscle damage from exercise
Speeding muscle recovery after a workout
Improving the maximal exercise tolerance during exercise.
More research is also being conducted on the benefits to Eye Health & Cognitive Function following excellent initial results.