Unexpected Red Light Therapy Pros and Cons

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By Katarina Mirkovic Arsic

What are the benefits of red light therapy?What are red light therapy downsides?
Boosts your cognitive performanceNot a main cure for illnesses
Relieves painToo much of it can render it useless
Improves your moodPossible hight cost
Boosts your immune system
Fights bowel inflammation
Reduces diabetes symptoms
Triggers rejuvenation processes

What do you expect from red light therapy? Does it make you think about spas and wellness treatments? It is true, but this is just one part of the story.

Red light therapy has become a focus of scientific research since it has shown promising results in assisting healing processes for a wide variety of conditions.

This approach to healing is in many ways holistic, as it doesn’t focus on only one system or organ at a time. It taps into the power of the interconnectivity of all bodily systems, their mutual feedback, and healing potentials.

Red light therapy is a way of improving your general state of being and energy levels, so that the body can be stronger, more resilient and better prepared to fight off illness and pain.

These are some of the reasons why you should consider red light therapy.

What Are the Benefits of Red Light Therapy?

1. Red Light Therapy Can Boost Your Cognitive Performance

The question is – what does red light do to the brain? This type of photobiomodulation will increase your blood circulation and boost your gut-brain axis.

Better blood circulation means that your brain will have a better blood supply and brain mitochondria will function better, generating more energy for your brain.

Consequently, this alleviates brain fog, constant fatigue and improves your thought clarity. The gut-brain axis has a special role in regulating anxiety and depression.

Both of these states heavily influence your focus, memory and the ability to process environmental stimuli. 

But, this is not all that RLT does for the brain. It is so much more than just blood flow. It also boosts brain energy metabolism, strengthens the antioxidant defenses, stimulates neurotrophic factors and much more.

2. Red Light Therapy Can Relieve Your Joint and Muscle Pain

When levels of cytokines, chemokines, and microglial rise, your body reacts by sending out signals for pain. One way red light therapy helps pain relief is by regulating the work of these elements.

Furthermore, it boosts the release of serotonin and endorphins that are pain soothing. On top of all that, red light therapy will also trigger the peripheral opioid release, to enhance the pain relief. 

3. Red Light Therapy Can Help Improve Your Mood

The gut-brain axis is extremely powerful and the scientists release more and more data showing how much it influences our mood and other emotional responses. 

Red light therapy influences the growth and life cycle of gut bacteria. These bacteria heavily influence the release of neurotransmitters and hormones that regulate your mood. 

4. Red Light Therapy Can Boost Your Immune System

In a way, red light coaches your immune system to be on high alert. Beaming red light and near-infrared light onto cells creates a short, low-dose metabolic stress that builds up the anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and natural defense systems of the cells, making the body stronger and more resilient to infections. 

5. Red Light Therapy Can Fights Your Bowel Inflammation

Whenever you have any kind of inflammation, you will get prescribed different NSAID drugs. When the inflammation is in your bowels, it is questionable whether NSAIDs are more useful or harmful in soothing your pain. Moreover, they disrupt natural healing processes and just cover up the symptoms. 

Red light doesn’t operate like that. Red light stunts the growth of inflammatory cells increases the development of cells that build collagen and stimulates the formation of new blood vessels. These processes combined create powerful anti-inflammatory systems.

6. Red Light Therapy Can Reduce Diabetes Symptoms

Diabetes can cause high levels of glucose which damages blood vessels. It can also cause the buildup of plaque and reduce blood circulation significantly.

Furthermore, diabetes can cause neuropathy, which is nerve damage. The consequences of such damage can be severe and they can extensively impact the life quality of the patient.

Red light therapy can help alleviate both of these harmful effects of diabetes. First of all, it triggers the body’s own process of ingesting degenerated cells for the purpose of clean-up. This means plaque buildup.

Another effect of red light therapy is angiogenesis – the creation of new blood vessels. 

As for nerve damage, red light therapy makes an amazing replacement for traditional NSAID therapies. Red light stimulates nerve repair and manages nerve damage significantly. 

7. Red Light Therapy Can Trigger Rejuvenating Processes

Among other cells, fibroblasts are the ones that are the most responsible for the skin repair process. What they do is – they replace the broken collagen and elastin structures and they manage the extracellular matrix. In other words, fibroblasts regulate most of the processes that stop the aging of the skin.

What Are Red Light Therapy Downsides?

1. This is Not a Cure for Illnesses

At this point, red light therapy and photobiomodulation are fairly new and emerging procedures.

There are still not enough human studies and research for it to be fully incorporated into treatments of Western medicine. 

Changes in treatments can be slow. But, in the case of photobiomodulation, using it as a go-to treatment is just a matter of time.

NASA sees the benefits and has already included red light therapy as a supplemental treatment for muscle atrophy with astronauts who have spent too much time in zero gravity.

2. Too Much of Red Light Therapy Doesn’t Work

You should always stick to the recommended dosages. If you expose your body to too much red light therapy, you will develop habituation.

In other words, your body will get used to it and no longer have a reaction. So, mind the daily limit for your sessions.

3. Cost

In the past, this was a very expensive treatment. The treatment cost is one thing, but there are additional costs of getting to the treatment center. Time is money, right? 

The future is about to change that, because a portable, at-home, easy-to-use red light therapy device is on its way! It will cost you just a fraction of the price you would pay for your yearly red light therapy treatments.

While this form of photobiomodulation has so many amazing effects, it is still not considered to be a treatment for individual illnesses. That is something that the future holds, as the science and research progress.

At this point, red light therapy is a question of life quality. It offers wellness and makes the most of your health and current situation.

In a way, it is a chance to nurture your body and your energy levels, helping you reach your full potential.

Read more about the amazing effects red light therapy has on your energy levels.

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