RED LIGHT THERAPY
A simple & uncomplicated 5 minute rundown on what Red Light Therapy can do for you.
Although it seems to be the latest biohacking trend, Red Light Therapy has been around for over 50 years.
What is Red Light Therapy?
Photobiomodulation a.k.a Red Light Therapy is a form of Light Therapy that utilizes red and near - infrared light to stimulate skin healing. Red Light Therapy utilizes low wavelengths of red light that directly target cellular function.
Red light therapy was first discovered in the late 1960s by Endre Mester, a physician from Hungary that was looking to test whether photobiomodulation in the form of red lasers could have an impact on the hair growth and wound healing of rats. His research also assessed the effects of light therapy on skin cancer, ulcers derived primarily due to diabetes, chronic venous insufficiency and infected wounds - all concluding that light therapy was a factor in faster healing.
How does it work?
Red and infrared red light penetrates the skin through to the dermis. Collagen, elastin and several other essential proteins are found in the dermis layer of your skin. Once the cells in your skin are exposed to these particular wavelengths, the cells stimulate the production of collagen and ATP. This process results in more energy for the cells to use. An increase in cellular energy means overall oxygenation of the skin and improvement in blood flow and circulation. As a result of this process, red light has also been linked to an overall decrease in inflammation and bacterial overgrowth.
The skin as the largest organ in the body, is constantly being exposed to toxic cosmetic products, endocrine disruptive body lotions and cologne, pollution, unfiltered water that contains enormous amounts of chlorine, among many other things that could be contributing to inflammation.
Conditions that are oftentimes deemed chronic skin conditions can be linked to inflammation that is being caused by either an overactive liver, a compromised immune system or the skin's normal inflammatory reaction to an irritating component that has been administered topically.
The Proven Benefits of Red Light Therapy
Healing wounds & scars
Treating Alopecia & stimulating hair growth
Alleviate joint pain
Aid in muscle recovery
Among others - results also vary from person to person. Some people have also found that it not only helps with skin conditions but also to regulate and enhance sleep and digestion.
And I know what you could be thinking - great, yet another "biohacking" therapy that promises to fix everything.
And although I am a firm believer and practitioner of a couple biohacking practices, I believe that Red Light is a way to go back to the basics. Sunlight exposure especially first thing in the morning has been found to not only regulate your circadian rhythm and provide vitamin D, but also being crucial to regulating hormonal imbalances. However, for those of us who don't live in climates where there is sunlight all year round, Red Light Therapy is a powerful replacement to treat not only Seasonal Affective Disorder but vitamin deficiencies and skin conditions like acne and eczema.
As a caveat, and a very important one - I would like to emphasize the importance of utilizing Red Light Therapy not only as an end all be all but rather as a complement to a change in diet. We oftentimes rush to acquire the newest and most expensive cosmetic procedure or moisturizer while neglecting the root cause for this conditions. As I mentioned before, acne, eczema, dermatitis, among many other skin conditions can be caused by overall inflammation, an overactive liver (the detoxifying powerhouse of your body) and/or a compromised immune system.
By reducing sugar, alcohol, processed foods and replacing it with more whole foods and proteins, not only will you be giving your liver and immune system a break but this will also be reflected on your skin.
As always, I encourage you to be your own advocate and conduct your own research as well as giving Red Light Therapy a try and test for yourself whether this is a biohacking practice for you.
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