How Light Therapy Works?

Red Light Therapy helps to relieve several health issues. This technology doesn’t use harmful UV rays which damages skin and promote cells to mutate. Instead, light therapy uses electromagnetic spectrum and (sometimes) infrared light.

Our skin and body easily absorb light. This helps you reap the benefits of both these light rays. Following, we are going to explain how light therapy works including its benefits and side effects:

How Does it Work?

Light is important for our bodies, especially sunlight. It’s a great source of Vitamin D. Without light, our bodies will suffer terrible damage, and we will be left emotionally scarred.

The Sunlight is a unique combination of the visible light spectrum (400-700nm) with ultraviolet (300-400nm) and infrared (700-1000nm). The UV rays are not healthy for our bodies. Our body has a specific response to every light. Our body can react positively to light if the light nourishes us. The 600-900nm wavelength range is known as the healthiest light range and is called “Therapeutic Window.”

How it Affects Our Body?

This light easily passes through our tissue. According to studies, light in mid 600nm and mid 800mn stimulates a healthy biological response. The body absorbs this light, and it stimulates ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate).

This mode of chemical energy transportation at cellular level rejuvenates our body and boosts anti-aging properties. This light improves our bodies ability to perform its natural functions. Following, we are going to name the benefits of Light Therapy:

  • Improves Skin and Complexion
  • Stimulates the Production of Elastin and Collagen
  • Boosts Body Recovery and Athletic Performance
  • Fights of Joint Pain, and Inflammation
  • Improves Blood Circulation
  • Helps Heal Wounds and Injuries

Light therapy is safe and uses non-invasive chemicals. It has no severe side effects. It only uses natural healing and rejuvenating benefits of light without any harmful UV Rays.

How Long Should I Use Red Light Therapy to Reap Benefits?

It depends on the intensity of light and your symptoms. For example, pain and inflammation need only one session whereas fine lines and wrinkles can take somewhere between 8-12 sessions.

Does it Work?

An excellent question! It was raised decades before. The use of light for biological purposes was questioned in 1993. NASA commissioned a company named QDI to research light therapy. After the company proved light could help plant growth in space, NASA awarded contracts to investigate the medical applications of light-emitting diodes (LED) and focused on how to transfer LED energy to human cells.

The research showed health benefits of a specific wavelength of red light: 660nm (nanometers). It helped to limit bone and muscle loss in astronauts. A few years later, the FDA approved Red Light Therapy for treating arthritis and joint pain. Today, it is used to treat other severe medical conditions as well.

Today, light therapy is used to get rid of eczema, stretch marks, and other health issues. It is used to help our muscles recover after a stressful workout. Honestly, there are many health benefits of Red Light.

Do LEDs make a Difference?

Yes, it eventually comes down to the energy that different light sources emit, and how they do it. The light bulb (made famous by Thomas Anderson) in the late 19th century was remarkable at that time. However, if compared to today’s standards, it’s obsolete because these bulbs only use 5% of the energy to light up. The other 95% goes to waste as heat.

Bulb Output

The output of a traditional bulb is 10 lumens per watt (1000 lumens per 100w). The output of fluorescent bulb is 65 lumens per watt. Their 360-degree distribution of light makes it look more vibrant. However, the net output is only 20-30 lumens per watt. Moreover, these bulbs contain mercury, and it is a safety hazard.

LED Output

LED lights deliver 100 lumens per wall. These lights don’t have UV rays or mercury. Moreover, these bulbs are tough and the lifetime of these bulbs is 25 times more of an incandescent bulb, and 2.5 time a fluorescent bulb.

LEDs do a better job at delivering specific wavelength and intensity of light. It helps to achieve a better cellular response.

Any Side Effects

Red Light Therapy is effective. It helps against many health issues. This therapy has created a rift among the internet community. However, only a few people talk about the potential side effects of this light therapy. It’s possible the therapy has some side effects, but none reported so far.

However, it will be better if you perform a skin sensitivity test before undergoing any light therapy device. Yes, it’s important because you don’t know how your body will react to this therapy. Most patients don’t have any reaction.

But you may develop irritation or redness. If you experience irritation or itchiness in the affected area, then you need to stop using light therapy for a while.


Wait for the redness to disappear in a few days. Consult with your doctor If it doesn’t go away to keep it from getting worse. In case you are under medication, you better consult with your doctor before undergoing this therapy. Antibiotics and medicine can make you sensitive to red light. Therefore, seek professional advice.

Who Should Avoid It?

In case you have photosensitivity reactions, or are under any medication, or even expecting, you should avoid this therapy. Asks for your doctor’s approval if you get any bright ideas.

How Do These Side Effects Develop?

These side effects are a result of overheating of the muscles. Inappropriate use of infrared light can cause some of these effects. LED releases little heat where infrared produces high levels of thermal energy, some tissues are sensitive to an instant rise in temperature, and it puts you at risk of developing cataracts.

Overheating the skin cells disrupts their ability to repair DNA. This may lead to mutations. So, take care and make sure you don’t burn your skin. Stick with what your doctor said.

Last Word

Red Therapy is useful; it helps you against several health issues. But, speak to your doctor before undergoing any therapy. It may have short-long term side effects depending on your skin and health.

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