PBMT Light Therapy for WHOLE BODY

The Complete Guide to Photobiomodulation for Your Whole Body

Photobiomodulaiton has a wide variety of applications for the entire body, from treating skin abrasions to resolving inflammation deep in the body. There’s a lot photobiomodulation can do, so we’ve compiled a list of some of the most common and emerging ways to utilize red and near-infrared light therapies.

Photobiomodulation At A Glance

Photobiomodulation, also referred to as photobiomodulation therapy (PBMT), is a type of light therapy that utilizes red light to target chromophores in cellular mitochondria. As the “powerhouse of the cell,” mitochondria are cellular organelles responsible for energy production. These structures break down nutrients and turn them into the organic compound used to provide cellular energy, adenosine triphosphate (ATP).

When photobiomodulation is applied, red and near-infrared light is absorbed by the mitochondria, they’re able to increase the production of ATP, boosting energy transport within our cells and causing increased cellular proliferation, whereby new cells device and replace damaged or dead cells. So when used on damaged tissues, photobiomodulation helps increase the body’s natural healing process.

How Photobiomodulation Benefits Your Whole Body

At TheraLight, we’ve developed photobiomodulation devices with advanced LED technology for the whole body. There’s a lot of ways PBMT can help you feel and look your best, inside and out. We’ve broken down some of the ways PBMT helps the different parts of your body:

Skin Care & Beauty

PBMT helps with a variety of skin concerns, like sun damage, wrinkles, and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (dark spots). The main way PBMT helps repair and regenerate youthful skin is through an increased production of collagen, which is the hemi protein that makes up the majority of our extracellular matrix (the substance our cells float in). Collagen provides structure and bounce to our skin, and many skin concerns happen when collagen has been compromised. For example, as collagen production drops off when we age, our skin gradually loses elasticity, causing wrinkles.

PBMT can reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by naturally boosting collagen production in the body. When it comes to sun damage, PBMT can be used as part of a targeted photodynamic therapy to remove actinic keratosis patches, rough scaly patches of skin caused by too much sun exposure.

For dark spots, often left behind by scratches, scrapes, stretch marks, and even cystic acne, PBMT helps resolve these temporary blemishes by increasing the supply of inflammatory mediators to resolve inflammation more quickly. Additionally, boosted collagen production helps rebuild the extracellular matrix and prevent the formation of a scar. Beyond resolving dark spots, PBMT can be used to reduce the appearance of existing scars through repairing the extracellular matrix.

Additionally, photobiomodulation has been shown to promote hair growth in the early stages of hair loss. Boosted circulation from PBMT improves blood flow to the scalp and assists in repairing damaged cells and supplying nutrients to encourage hair growth.

The Brain: Self-Care, Sleep & Mood, TBI Research

Our brains are complex organs, and they can be affected by our environment, our habits and experiences, and trauma from sports or accidents. PBMT has been studied for its effects on the brain in a variety of cases, including correcting circadian rhythms, effects on mood, and its effects on patients with traumatic brain injuries (TBI).

Because PBMT uses red light, having treatments later in the day can help with improving the sleep cycle. We spend much of our time under artificial light, and specifically blue light, which closely mimics sunlight and can trick our bodies into staying awake longer. The red hue of light from PBMT, similar to the dimming light at sunset, helps the brain wind down and get ready for rest.

Prolonged stress is a major factor in the development of many health concerns, from mental health concerns to the development of serious conditions like hypertension and even cancer. So managing stress through effective self care is important for our overall health. PBMT can be a part of self care, as self care is ultimately making decisions to do good things for yourself and your body. PBMT has also been shown to help reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Traumatic brain injuries are serious injuries with lasting complications, even from minor concussions—remember that even a minor concussion is a serious medical injury. These complications include impacts on many of our brain’s functions, like cognitive capabilities, and many individuals develop depression following a TBI, as well as chronic headaches. PBMT has been studied for its effects on TBI patients because of its impact on the electron transport chain (ETC). Studies of PBMT with TBI patients showed reduction of headache frequency, improved sleep, and improved cognitive states.

Muscles & Joints: Exercise & Sports Performance

You may have seen red light therapy offered at your local gym—that’s because PBMT is great for helping athletes and beginner fitness enthusiasts alike with their workouts. PBMT used before a workout session can help warm up muscles through vasodilation, or temporarily increasing circulation. Properly warmed muscles and joints before getting into the high intensity of a workout is important to prevent injury.

Additionally, PBMT can be used after a workout to help prevent delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), or the soreness you feel the next day after a challenging workout. New studies have shown that DOMS is caused by very small tears in muscle fibers instead of a build up of lactic acid, as previously thought. PBMT helps instigate our body’s natural healing cycle after a workout to start repairing this damage and reduce the pain and inflammation they cause.

Chronic Inflammation & Oxidative Stress

Inflammation is a natural part of the body’s immune response, and usually it’s not harmful. Redness around a healing cut, for example, is a type of inflammation. But what happens when a part of your body becomes inflamed? The inflammatory stage increases production of white blood cells and other materials, and they’re rushed to the damaged area to fight infection, remove waste products, and initiate repair. Most of the time, inflammation helps protect and repair the body and resolves on its own.

The problem with inflammation is when it’s initiated incorrectly, such as from an autoimmune disease, or inflammation is prolonged, such as from a chronic joint disease. In these cases, inflammation can attack healthy cells, or it can cause damage instead of repair it. PBMT can be used in many of these situations to help resolve inflammation and repair damage, like for those struggling with arthritis, tendonitis, or an acute joint or muscle injury.

Additionally, PBMT can be used to treat inflammation caused by oxidative stress, which is damage caused by environmental factors or lifestyles that results in an imbalance of antioxidants and damaging free radicals. PBMT can initiate the repair of tissue and even prevent programmed cellular death caused by oxidative stress. As many of the factors causing excess free radicals, like pollution, ozone, and certain chemicals and pesticides, can be out of our control, PBMT is helpful in controlling oxidative stress.

In addition to the wide range of applications, photobiomodulation therapy is also painless with minimal side effects. Treatments generally take between three and 15 minutes, making them a quick addition to workout or wellness visit. You can read more about what to expect from a photobiomodulation therapy treatment in our article here.

TheraLight’s innovative light beds offer complete whole body photobiomodulation with four wavelengths to customize treatment protocols uniquely to each individual. Our light beds are effective for every body, regardless of skin tone. To schedule your consult today, please call or text 816.561.7035.  

What Is LED Light Therapy?

Light therapy uses the power of light energy to stimulate healing and other natural health processes. This non-invasive treatment can be used alongside other therapies to provide a full spectrum of care. Also known as photobiomodulation therapy (PBMT), light therapy uses light to activate specific changes in your body. PBMT stimulates mitochondria, which you may remember are the “powerhouse” of cells. Mitochondria produce the ATP (adenosine triphosphate) that provides the energy cells need to function, repair themselves and reproduce.

The restorative powers of LED light therapy can help relieve chronic skin conditions, melt muscle aches and joint pain, and even erase visible signs of aging.

About the Light Used in LED Light Therapy

Light travels in waves, and some waves are longer than others. Scientists measure these wavelengths in nanometers (nm). Different wavelengths of light create different colors. Violet has the shortest wavelength at around 30 nm, while red has the longest at about 700 nm. Wavelengths of light measuring 600 nm to 1000 nm provide health benefits by penetrating the skin and triggering tissue changes.

Each wavelength, or color, penetrates the skin at different depths. Blue light affects only the topmost layer of skin, for example, while yellow
light penetrates a bit further. Red light travels deeper into your skin, and near-infrared penetrates the deepest. Red and near-infrared offer the
widest range of health benefits.

Different LED colors trigger specific responses. Blue light improves acne by slowing down oil production in the skin’s sebaceous glands. Red LED light therapy can reduce inflammation and stimulate the production of collagen, which is a type of protein that may improve symptoms of osteoarthritis and decrease joint pain. Collagen is also responsible for younger, healthier-looking skin.

How LEDs Work With Light Therapy

NASA developed light-emitting diodes (LED) for growing plants in space but found that these special lights could penetrate deep into the body to promote healing and human tissue growth. In the 1990s, the agency became interested in the benefits of using LED light therapy to promote the healing of wounds in their astronauts.

Today, LED light therapy is used by dermatologists, healthcare providers, and wellness specialists in doctor’s offices, healthcare centers, and spas.

Uses for LED Light Therapy

Healthcare professionals often use red light therapy to address skin conditions, such as:

  • Wrinkles and other signs of aging
  • Scars
  • Wounds
  • Sun damage
  • Psoriasis
  • Hair loss
  • Acne

While red light therapy is good for treating skin conditions, the red light wavelengths penetrate deep into the tissue to treat conditions such as:

  • Pain
  • Inflammation
  • Sore muscles
  • Injuries
  • Cold sores
  • Cellulite and excess weight
  • Cold sores
  • Symptoms associated with carpal tunnel syndrome, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis

Benefits of LED Light Therapy

LED light therapy provides many benefits. 

Painless treatment 

Unlike corticosteroid injections and some other standard treatments for arthritis or tendonitis that can temporarily worsen pain, LED light therapy is comfortable and completely pain-free.

No side effects

Aspirin, acetaminophen, and ibuprofen can cause side effects, especially if you use them for a long time. Cortisone injections can worsen the
deterioration of your bones and joints. LED light therapy has no lasting or harmful side effects and zero recovery time following your treatment. May be used alongside other treatments

Since LED light therapy has no side effects, you can combine it with physical and occupational therapy, diet, and exercise.


LED light therapy effectively resolves pain and inflammation but also helps prevent injuries, heal wounds, treat acne and wrinkles, and even boosts your mood and sleep quality.

Device Quality & Dosage Are Key

Many LED light therapy devices are available today. Full-body red light therapy devices provide maximum exposure to the healing powers of LED light therapy, for example, while face masks and handheld units provide targeted treatment.

Not all LED light therapy devices are equal, though, and their differences can affect the quality of the treatment they provide. The highest quality devices combine several wavelengths to provide optimal effects, customizable treatments with Continuous Wave and Pulse Modes, and comfortable full-body light beds.

Dosage is also essential because everyone has different therapeutic needs and different responses to treatment. Most people enjoy optimal benefits from a 15-minute session three to five times a week for a few months, but a few individuals need longer or more frequent treatment sessions.

For more information about LED light therapy and its benefits, speak to a healthcare professional who is knowledgeable about red light therapy.

How to Use Red Light Therapy for Weight Loss With Your Exercise Program

Some of us might be looking to shed a little more than our sweaters as we emerge from cool weather months. Whether turning a couple of extra pounds into lean muscle or starting a journey to a complete lifestyle change, exercise, and diet programs can be a struggle to stick to, and results can be difficult to see.

Red light therapy, such as that from an LED light bed, can be added to an approved weight loss program to help burn fat, reduce the appearance of cellulite, and reduce muscle soreness and the risk of injury from exercise.

The Role of Red Light Therapy in Weight Loss

Red light therapy, harnessed through devices like LED light beds, can seamlessly integrate into an approved weight loss program, contributing to fat burn, cellulite reduction, and alleviation of muscle soreness, consequently minimizing the risk of exercise-related injuries.

How Red Light Therapy Facilitates Weight Loss

Red and near-infrared (NIR) light therapy profoundly impacts metabolic processes. Targeting the mitochondria of our cells triggers increased ATP production, enhancing energy transport in our bodies. Elevated metabolic rates from red light therapy make cells more efficient in burning glucose, resulting in effective fat loss. 


The TheraLight 360 and TheraLight FIT LED beds emerge as valuable adjuncts to obesity treatment within a comprehensive diet and exercise regimen. Combining red and near-infrared light therapy with diet and exercise optimizes the weight loss journey.

Reduce Cellulite & Firm Skin

Cellulite are fat deposits that cause a dimpled appearance of the skin in areas like the thighs and midsection. Red light therapy can help diminish the appearance of cellulite and firm the skin in these areas. Boosted collagen production from increased fibroblast development due to red light therapy helps firm the skin. Exercise and red light therapy combined improve the look of cellulite more than one or the other on their own.

*Getting back into exercise? Try these workouts for beginners*

Poor blood circulation in certain areas is another factor in cellulite formation, and red light therapy promotes circulation and blood vessel health, which helps reduce cellulite formation.

*Note:* Cellulite is just one-way fat cells are arranged on the body and is not harmful. Most people have some cellulite on their bodies (even
celebrities and athletes) because we all have fatty tissue. Reduced appearance of cellulite can be a confidence boost, but it’s important to recognize that cellulite may not disappear completely.

Red Light Therapy to Reduce Injury

Nothing stops a new workout routine like sustaining an injury. If it’s been a while since you hit the gym, ensure you get a proper warm-up before starting your workout. A warm-up gradually elevates your heart rate and gets your blood flowing so your muscles are ready to go. Red light therapy before a workout can help you with your warm-up. A full-body red light treatment can help increase circulation in your body because of the vasodilation effect or the temporary widening of the blood vessels that red light has on the body. 

After you’ve crushed that HIIT circuit (or any exercise you like), red light therapy can also help reduce pain from delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). You know that the following day after a workout, your body groans and protests at every movement when you wake up. DOMS can be a workout motivation killer, but red light therapy can help reduce the pain caused by DOMS.

While the exact cause of DOMS isn’t known, it’s likely caused in part by minor tears in the muscles from exercise, which causes swelling. Red light therapy after a workout helps inflammatory mediators (like white blood cells) get to your muscles faster to reduce inflammation and
repair damage.

*The right shoes make a difference in your workouts. Prevent injury with shoes fit for your body and your exercise routine.*

Getting Started With Red Light Therapy for Weight Loss

Red light therapy should be used as part of a weight loss program. Nutrition and exercise are other vital components to success with weight
loss. One aspect of weight loss that can’t be overlooked is maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle by forming new habits and breaking old ones. Remember, it can take 30 to 60 days to break or develop a new habit, so persistence is key.

*Pro-tip: Set goals beyond mere weight targets; consider achievements like running a 5k in under 30 minutes or increasing your one-rep max weight by 10 lbs to measure progress.*

For those initiating a weight loss or exercise program, consulting with a healthcare professional, especially if underlying health concerns like
diabetes or heart disease, is vital. Recognizing that there's no one-size-fits-all approach to weight loss, focus on building a holistic, healthy lifestyle.

*The Phases of Tissue Healing & How Red Light Therapy Helps*

When our bodies experience tissue damage through injury, illness, or other environmental factors, a healing process happens at the microscopic level. In this article, learn more about this process, including the different stages of tissue healing and how red light therapy (RLT) can supplement the healing process to speed it up and reduce pain.

What Happens During the Body’s Healing Process?

The healing process comprises regeneration and repair components. It includes four phases, which are as follows:

Step One: Hemostasis

During this survival stage, your body releases signals that tell your blood to clot and halt active bleeding. Your body makes a platelet and
inflammatory cell clump that goes to the injured spot to cause the bleeding to subside. The platelets, which are parts of cells, bind to the injured
tissue and support healing. They release substances that help create additional platelet function, which encourages clotting factors that generate a protein mesh to block blood flow at the injury. In addition, the platelets present release growth factor substances to promote healing further. Other cells come, more protein mesh forms, and collagen helps start tissue repair.

Step Two: Inflammation

This stage overlaps with the first and, if everything works correctly, should last for just a few days. It activates the complement system, the
name for a group of signaling molecules found in the bloodstream. This system manages blood vessels in the area and tells inflammatory cells and white blood cells to come. Blood vessels flow better and encourage healing and cell-building — inflammation results, presenting as swelling, redness, pain, and warmth. The inflammation process helps remove harmful waste materials, promotes healing factors, and supplies components for rebuilding.

Step Three: Proliferation

This process involves the building of tissue. The inflammatory phase helped create a foundation for this tissue to form. This process creates new blood vessels, tissue granulation, and skin while reducing the size of the wound. Blood flow brings oxygen, collagen, stem cells, and other substances to help develop smooth skin or needed tissue, such as muscle, tendon, ligament, or bone.

Step Four: Remodeling

Remodeling can be a long, ongoing process depending on the situation. The body uses stronger collagen to replace weaker parts, organizes tissue that needs it, and so on. This process remodels and repairs to create a fully and properly healed area.

How Can Red Light Support Healing?

While the body goes through the standard four phases of healing after an injury, various factors can affect the length of time of the healing
process. Some factors, such as age, may be out of your control, but you can take action to facilitate healing. For instance, physiotherapy encourages healing. Red light is another way you can support your body’s healing

How does red light help? It promotes increased cellular energy by impacting the part of our cells called the mitochondria, which plays a key role in energy synthesis and transportation. The increased cellular energy and temporarily widened blood vessels created through red light therapy help the inflammatory process involved in healing. These effects bring the needed substances to the site faster, so they can start getting rid of waste and work on damaged tissue as soon as possible. RLT also increases collagen production, which is part of the repair process.

Professionals now question the use of ice immediately following an injury because it reduces the inflammation process necessary for healing. Red light therapy provides an alternative to ice by working with the inflammatory response to promote efficient healing.

Red Light Therapy Sessions

While you can target specific body parts with red light therapy, you can also encourage full-body responses by using a red light therapy bed. Full-body RLT helps increase cellular energy and natural healing throughout the whole body.

Full-body therapy provides a painless method of healing that doesn’t require medication, injections, or surgery. Nonetheless, it’s also safe to use with other treatments and therapies for the best results in each situation.

Practitioners should customize red light therapy treatments to each person’s needs. RLT provides some immediate results, yet the results build
with each session to provide ideal improvement after consistent use for about eight to 12 weeks.

It’s good to begin with short 10-minute sessions every other day. In the second week, decrease if you notice symptoms like redness or tightness, or increase up to 20 minutes if everything is fine. Consult a photobiomodulation professional for personalized advice on the number of sessions, length of each session, length of RLT treatment plan, and wavelength settings recommended for your case.

*Red Light Therapy for Increased Sports Performance*

You’ve probably seen red light therapy beds or panels popping up in gyms and wellness centers, but what are they for? And—do they work? Red light therapy is a type of photobiomodulation therapy that uses panels of specific red LED lights, and they’re showing up in your gym because they help with injury prevention and increased athletic performance.

What is Light Therapy?

Light therapy, is a type of photobiomodulation therapy. A light therapy device emits light at a specific wavelength that is readily absorbed by
cytochrome c, a protein that is part of a cell’s mitochondria. Absorbing this light energy from light therapy devices boosts cellular energy through increased production of ATP from the mitochondria. Through this, photobiomodulation therapy helps to reduce pain, swelling, and stiffness in muscles and joints.

Why Light Therapy for sports performance?

Light therapy can be beneficial even if there is no injury or chronic issue present, which is why athletes and sports teams have started using
photobiomodulation therapy as part of their regular training and exercise. Photobiomodulation helps improve athletic performance by reducing muscle fatigue and increasing endurance as well as preventing or treating injury at the first signs before pain becomes persistent.

When using an FDA-registered light therapy device, there is minimal risk involved. Clinical evidence shows that light therapy photobiomodulation is a safe and effective treatment, with many individuals experiencing no adverse effects. Other devices used for sports performance, such as cryotherapy chambers, don’t have the same consistent clinical results and can be quite dangerous.

Prevent Injury With Light Therapy

One of the most popular applications of light therapy is to prevent injury. Of course, one of the most important ways to reduce the risk of injury is to have a proper warm-up. A warm-up gradually increases heart rate and circulation to loosen joints and increase blood flow to muscles. Light therapy helps with warm-up through a process called vasodilation, in which blood vessels widen and allow more blood flow throughout the body. 

A good warm-up prevents injury by ensuring that the body is ready for more intense movement. However, light therapy can be used at the first sign of injury as well to promote healing and prevent further damage as well as relieve pain and swelling.

Reduce Muscle Fatigue With Light Therapy

Muscle fatigue is the loss of the body’s ability to generate force—it’s why the tenth rep is harder than the first. Muscle fatigue affects every person in every sport. While training and regular exercise build up strength and endurance, there is still a point where muscles will fatigue, and performance will drop. Muscle fatigue has two causes, both of which can be affected by light therapy:

- Energy shortage in muscle fiber
- Build up of metabolites in muscle fiber

Energy Shortage

Molecules called substrates control muscle contraction, and muscle fatigue strikes when their supply runs low. As we mentioned previously, light therapy has a photochemical effect on the mitochondria, which are responsible for the production of the substrate, ATP. Light therapy
increases the production of ATP and gives athletes more energy supply to go further.

Build Up of Metabolites

Metabolites are generally waste products that result from muscle contraction, and they include substances like potassium, lactic acid,
and reactive oxygen species.

These metabolites cause that burning feeling in muscles during exercise and contribute to muscle fatigue. Light therapy reduces the buildup of lactic acid because it inhibits the activity of the enzyme that causes its production, LDH, which is responsible for reducing pyruvate into lactate.

So Should You Use Light Therapy Before or After Exercise?

One benefit of light therapy and other forms of photobiomodulation therapy is that there is no downtime, so you can use it before or after exercise. So far, we’ve discussed how using light therapy before exercise is beneficial to prevent injury, improve warmup, and reduce muscle fatigue. However, there are benefits of using light therapy after a workout, too.

Using light therapy after a workout can help reduce muscle soreness in the days following exercise. Muscle soreness is most likely caused by minor muscle damage that causes an inflammatory response. Increased cellular energy from photobiomodulation helps inflammatory mediators get to damaged muscle tissue faster, resolving soreness and repairing damage before it can become a bigger problem.

Looking to try light therapy for yourself? Find a TheraLight Light Pod provider near you through the link below and crush your next workout.

Call us to make an appointment today!


Find us on the map

Office Hours


9:00 am - 6:00 pm


9:00 am - 6:00 pm


9:00 am - 6:00 pm


9:00 am - 6:00 pm


9:00 am - 1:00 pm


9:00 am - 1:00 pm



9:00 am - 6:00 pm
9:00 am - 6:00 pm
9:00 am - 6:00 pm
9:00 am - 6:00 pm
9:00 am - 1:00 pm
9:00 am - 1:00 pm