Light therapy and Hypothyroidism

Thyroid issues are pervasive in modern society, affecting all genders and ages to varying degrees. Diagnoses are perhaps missed more often than any other condition and typical treatment/prescriptions for thyroid issues are decades behind the scientific understanding of the condition.

The question we are going to answer in this article is – Can light therapy play a role in prevention and treatment of thyroid/low metabolism problems? Looking through scientific literature we see that light therapy’s effect on thyroid function has been studied dozens of times, in humans (e.g. Höfling DB et al., 2013), mice (e.g. Azevedo LH et al., 2005), rabbits (e.g. Weber JB et al., 2014), among others. To understand why light therapy may, or may not, be of interest to these researchers, first we need to understand the basics.

Hypothyroidism (low thyroid, underactive thyroid) should be considered more of a spectrum that everybody falls onto, rather than a black or white condition that only older people suffer from. Barely anyone in modern society has truly ideal thyroid hormone levels (Klaus Kapelari et al., 2007. Hershman JM et al., 1993. J. M. Corcoran

Having a ‘slow metabolism’ is in essence the same thing as hypothyroidism, which is why it coincides with other problems in the body. It’s only diagnosed as clinical hypothyroidism once it reaches a low point.

In a nutshell, hypothyroidism is the state of low energy production in the entire body as a result of low thyroid hormone activity. The typical causes are complex, including various diet and lifestyle factors such as; stress, heredity, ageing, polyunsaturated fats, low carbohydrate intake, low calorie intake, sleep deprivation, alcoholism, and even excess endurance exercise. Other factors such as thyroid removal surgery, fluoride intake, various medical therapies, and so on also cause hypothyroidism.

Light therapy potentially of aid to low thyroid people?

Red & infrared light (600-1000nm) may potentially be of use to metabolism in the body on several different levels.

  1. Some studies conclude that applying red light appropriately may improve production of the hormones. (Höfling et al., 2010,2012,2013. Azevedo LH et al., 2005. Вера Александровна, 2010. Gopkalova, I. 2010.) Like any tissue in the body, the thyroid gland requires energy to perform all of its functions. As thyroid hormone is a key component in stimulating energy production, you can see how a lack of it in the gland’s cells decreases further thyroid hormone production – a classic vicious cycle. Low thyroid -> low energy -> low thyroid -> etc.
  2. Light therapy when applied appropriately on the neck may potentially break this vicious cycle, in theory by improving local energy availability, thus increasing natural thyroid hormone production by the gland again. With a healthy thyroid gland restored, a host of positive downstream effects occur, as the entire body finally gets the energy it needs (Mendis-Handagama SM, 2005. Rajender S, 2011). Steroid hormone (testosterone, progesterone, etc.) synthesis picks up again – mood, libido and vitality are enhanced, body temperature increases and basically all symptoms of a low metabolism are reversed (Amy Warner et al., 2013) – even physical appearance and sexual attractiveness increases.
  3. Alongside potential systemic benefits from thyroid exposure, applying light anywhere on the body may also give systemic effects, via the blood (Ihsan FR, 2005. Rodrigo SM et al., 2009. Leal Junior EC et al., 2010). Although red blood cells have no mitochondria; blood platelets, white blood cells and other types of cells present in the blood do contain mitochondria. This alone is being studied to see how and why it may lower inflammation and cortisol levels – a stress hormone that prevents T4 -> T3 activation (Albertini et al., 2007).
  4. If one were to apply red light to specific areas of the body (such as the brain, skin, testes, wounds, etc.), some researchers hypothesise that it could perhaps give a more intense local boost. This is best shown by studies of light therapy on skin disorders, wounds and infections, where in various studies the healing time is potentially reduced by red or infrared light (J. Ty Hopkins et al., 2004. Avci et al., 2013, Mao HS, 2012. Percival SL, 2015. da Silva JP, 2010. Gupta A, 2014. Güngörmüş M, 2009). The local effect of light would seem to potentially be different yet complementary to the natural function of thyroid hormone.

The mainstream and generally accepted theory of light therapy’s direct impact involves cellular energy production. The effects are supposedly exerted primarily by photodissociating nitric oxide (NO) from the mitochondrial enzymes (cytochrome c oxidase, etc.). You can think of NO as a harmful competitor to oxygen, much like carbon monoxide is. NO basically shuts down energy production in cells, forming an extremely wasteful environment energetically, which downstream raises cortisol/stress. Red light is theorised to prevent this nitric oxide poisoning, and resulting stress, by removing it from mitochondria. In this way red light can be thought of as ‘protective negation of stress’, rather than immediately increasing energy production. It’s simply allowing your cells’ mitochondria to work properly by alleviating the dampening effects of stress, in a way that thyroid hormone alone doesn’t necessarily do

So while thyroid hormone improves mitochondria counts and effectiveness, the hypothesis around light therapy is that it may enhance and ensure the effects of the thyroid by inhibiting the negative stress-related molecules. There may be several other indirect mechanisms by which both thyroid and red light reduce stress, but we won’t go into them here.


  • Thyroid hormone is considered by some to be the body’s ‘master hormone’ and production relies mainly on the thyroid gland and liver.
  • Active thyroid hormone stimulates mitochondrial energy production, formation of more mitochondria, and steroid hormones.
    • Hypothyroidism is a state of low cellular energy with many symptoms.
  • Causes of low thyroid are complex, relating to diet and lifestyle.
    • Low carb diets and high PUFA content in the diet are prime offenders, along with stress.

PBMT 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.

What Do You Do After Red Light Therapy?

Aftercare is often a crucial part of therapeutic treatments, whether it’s a cosmetic chemical peel or a surgical correction for joint pain. But therapies like red light therapy fall into that rare category in which the benefits are real, but the recovery protocol is minimal.

Skincare Treatmen

Photobiomodulation (PBMT) is one of the least-invasive types of clinical skincare treatments out there, which means aftercare is fairly minimal. Going into a session free of sunscreen or makeup will help the healing rays penetrate more deeply. Yet you don’t need to avoid skincare products after your session. In fact, red light therapy is designed to make those products more effective!

Among the therapeutic products that PBMT helps amplify are serums or creams containing anti-aging ingredients such as vitamin C, retinol, and peptides. Unless your skincare professional advises against it, use them just after you finish your red light therapy for boosted results.

Perhaps you’re using PBMT to help fight acne and scarring because your skin is too sensitive for other treatments or chemicals. Red light therapy is valuable for reducing acne and repairing scarring by itself. But when sensitivity isn’t an issue, skincare products containing beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) and/or salicylic acids are great post-PBMT aftercare options.

In terms of the order of using products following a PBMT session, the lighter anti-aging or healing serums and light eye creams go first. Next, apply your moisturizing cream or ointment. A face roller is an effective tool for helping these products penetrate more deeply. If you are applying these products in the morning, put makeup, then sunscreen, on last.

Chronic Joint Pain & Injury Therapy

The good news is that PBMT can help with a range of health issues, including joint pain and muscle soreness. The even better news? If you’re recovering from an injury, you don’t have to alter your doctor-approved daily schedule to accommodate red light therapy.

In fact, red light therapy can even be used to aid warm up or cool down from your workout, depending on where both activities fall in your daily routine. For those days when PBMT falls before your exercise, you’ll likely notice that your muscles are gently warmed up. On the other hand, a post-workout PBMT can help repair those tiny muscle tears that are an important part of strength training.

But while you don’t need to do anything special after a PBMT session, you should be aware of not pushing past your own limits. Healing from injury or a chronic condition can take time. Your doctor or physical therapist can advise you when to halt strenuous or even moderate activity, as well as when to gradually begin to add those activities back into your lifestyle.

It’s also important to follow your doctor’s advice about home treatments such as icing, resting, and any over-the-counter or prescription medications that help with inflammation and soreness

General Wellness Appointments

Red light theory doesn’t interrupt your healthy routine—it complements it. Rather than stopping your fitness program to work PBMT into your life, you can make it an additional wellness component.

Along with working out and pursuing red light therapy, make sure to continue other elements of wellness, including eating healthier foods. Diet fads come and go, but the classic Mediterranean diet, which is based on lean proteins, healthy fats, whole grains, and plenty of produce, is always a smart choice. If your doctor feels you need extra nutrients, such as vitamin D and calcium, consider nutritional supplements.

You’ll also want to maintain all of your scheduled check-ups, from dental to eyesight to general physicals. They may be a more “boring” part of wellness, but they’re intrinsic to living longer, notes Harvard Medical School. That’s because any unnoticed illnesses can be caught before they become medical crises.

It probably goes without saying, but if you’ve got some unhealthy lifestyle habits, it’s never too late to give them up. The biggest culprits that undermine health are smoking, drinking, and consuming excessive fatty or sugary foods. Other bad habits to quit now include not getting enough sleep and sticking to your couch during your off hours.

Don’t forget that mental and emotional well-being is just as important as physical health when it comes to overall wellness. Non-screen time hobbies like reading, crafting, or doing crossword puzzles are invaluable. These help your mind engage with the world differently than watching TV and posting on social media do.

Just as importantly, make sure to socialize with family and friends. Even if you’re an introvert, meaningful time with others is spiritually and mentally fulfilling.

Finally, do make time for healing treatments such as red light therapy. The benefits are wide-ranging, from arthritis to nerve pain, and from rosacea and acne to seasonal affective disorder. Consult with your doctor to learn more about how soon red light therapy might begin to work for you.

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 Performanc

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, and there are over 100 locations offering TheraLight photobiomodulation services worldwide.

PBMT & Collagen

Collagen has come into the spotlight in recent years, particularly how it’s available in nutritional supplements. However, collagen is a protein your body makes naturally. So what is collagen, and how do our bodies use it?

Collagen is one of the most important proteins in our body. Keep reading to see why collagen is important, and how photobiomodulation therapy helps collagen production.

Collagen: Defined

Collagen is the main structural protein of connective tissues, such as bone, skin, tendons, ligaments, and muscles. Collagen is also found in our corneas, blood vessels, intervertebral discs, gut, and teeth. In fact, collagen makes up between 25-35% of the whole body protein content in mammals.

There’s three types of collage

Rigid, which is stiff and found in our bones
Compliant, which is flexible and found in tendons
Gradient, which has properties of both rigid and flexible collagen and is found in cartilage, such as in our ears and nose

The collagen protein is created by fibroblasts, which are a particular type of cell in our bodies that synthesize the extracellular matrix. The extracellular matrix is a network of molecules including collagen, enzymes, and glycoproteins that provide structure and biochemical support to the surrounding cells. Fibroblast cells are the most common cells in the connective tissue of mammals.

Why Collagen is Important

Collagen is the main structural protein of our bodies, but our bodies produce less collagen as we age, which leaves less support for our connective tissues. One sign of slowed collagen production is wrinkled skin. However, slowed collagen production and replacement can also impact the many other areas in our bodies where this protein is found

There are many diseases caused by a collagen deficiency; however, most of these diseases are developed and diagnosed in early childhood, such as brittle bone disease. In brittle bone disease, for example, the body isn’t producing enough collagen to support bone structures, which makes them brittle and easy to break. Collagen is not linked to osteoporosis, which is a disease common among older women where bones become more porous as a result of calcium deficiency.

Fibroblasts, the extracellular matrix, and collagen are major players in wound repair and scar formation. When there’s trauma to the body, fibroblasts initiate the inflammatory response to help begin repair and fight off infection. Scars form when the deep layer of the skin, the dermis, is damaged. The extracellular matrix of scarred skin does not have properly aligned collagen, which causes the skin to be firmer and discolored. Additionally, scarred skin is more sensitive to ultraviolet light and can become painful or more discolored with prolonged exposure.

Sun damage also negatively impacts collagen production in healthy skin, which can cause discoloration of the skin and worsen the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

How Photobiomodulation Therapy Can Help Collagen Production

Photobiomodulation therapy is a painless treatment that utilizes specific wavelengths of red light to boost the production of cellular energy. When it comes to collagen, increased circulation and production of extracellular materials helps repair connective tissues and realign collagen in the matrix. This has a variety of effects:

Improved skin elasticity and texture: reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
Increased wound healing: speed up the process of wound healing and naturally heal wounds
Reduce appearance of scar tissue: repair the extracellular matrix and realign collagen in scars

Photobiomodulation can also reduce the appearance of discoloration from sun damage and reduce minor joint pain from arthritis and other chronic joint concerns. This type of therapy is painless, while many other treatments for skin concerns and scars involve chemical peels to encourage exfoliation and injections of synthetic material to improve elasticity and skin firmness. Additionally, photobiomodulation has minimal side effects, and many people can feel effects after a few treatments.

Interested in getting started with photobiomodulation therapy? TheraLight full body photobiomodulation beds provide powerful, healing red light with customizable treatment options to the entire body.

Can I Combine Red Light Therapy with Other Treatments

Red light therapy is probably just one of many treatments offered at your favorite wellness clinic, spa, or fitness center. So, can you combine red light therapy with your other favorite treatments? Yes!

Also known as photobiomodulation therapy (PBMT), red light therapy is an advanced, non-invasive and pain-free treatment that uses the power of light energy to provide a wide variety of health benefits. PBMT can help reduce inflammation to reduce pain, for example, and it can promote healing. Perhaps one of its biggest advantages, though, is that PBMT works well with other therapies to optimize the effects of both treatments.

Combining red light therapy with exercise routines helps prevent injury. Using PBMT in combination with facials and other skin care treatments helps reduce inflammation, promote healing, and adds more relaxation to your spa day.

PBMT Light Therapy & Self Care


Trainers, sports teams, and individual athletes are adding red light therapy to their regular training and exercise programs. The treatment reduces muscle fatigue and increases endurance to help improve athletic performance. Red light therapy can help prevent injuries during training or competition. Treatment with red light can also help speed recovery from injuries, before acute pain becomes persistent pain.

Combining red light therapy with diet and exercise can reduce cellulite and even firm your skin. Cellulite is a fat deposit beneath the skin, which causes the skin to appear dimpled. Fibrous connective tissue tethers the skin to muscles, with a layer of fat between the skin and muscles. Cellulitis develops when fat cells accumulate and push up the skin, while stretching the fibrous connective tissue; this creates the dimpled look of cellulitis. Poor blood circulation can contribute to the development of cellulite.

The fat deposits associated with cellulite are most common on thighs and the midsection, even on athletes and slimmer bodies. While cellulite is natural and not dangerous, it may make some individuals feel self conscious about their appearance.

Red light therapy helps diminish cellulite and firm the skin by boosting the production of fibroblasts, which synthesize collagen and other connective tissue that keeps skin firm, healthy, and smooth looking. The state-of-the-art treatment also promotes circulation and supports healthy blood vessels to help reduce the appearance of cellulite.

Photobiomodulation can be used by itself or in combination with exercise. In fact, exercise and red light therapy together can help improve the appearance of cellulite than either approach could do on its own.

Skin Care Treatments

Red light therapy can help repair sun damaged skin, and you can combine PBMT with other skin care treatments to reduce the signs of sun damaged skin, such as scarring, hyperpigmentation, and wrinkles. PBMT devices emit specific wavelengths of red and near-infrared to stimulate your body’s natural healing processes and increase production of collagen and elastin, which are fibers that support the skin. Boosting collagen production makes skin smoother and firmer while improving the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Red light therapy also boosts the immune response responsible for clearing away dead cells and repairing damaged ones.

You can use red light therapy along with other skin treatments, such as anti-aging eye cream, exfoliant products that remove dead skin cells, and electric massagers and rollers that stimulate circulation and relieve muscle tension in your face. Your skincare professional may also recommend combining PBMT with a photosensitizing medication to remove actinic keratosis, which is a condition in which scaly patches appear on the top layer of skin. To combine the two treatments, you will take an oral medication that increases your skin’s sensitivity to light prior to undergoing red light therapy.

Self-care treatments

Red light therapy can optimize the benefits you get from a wide variety of self-care treatments to improve your sleep, boost your mood, and fight harmful inflammation.

PBMT along with good sleep hygiene practices, such as creating a restful sleep environment and removing electronic devices, can help correct your circadian rhythm. A good night’s sleep helps you feel better when you are awake

Do you already take steps to combat inflammation from asthma, arthritis, or other conditions? Oxidative stress from prolonged inflammation can cause long lasting damage and can even contribute to the development of chronic diseases. Adding red light therapy to your existing treatments can optimize the anti-inflammatory benefits.

Red light therapy complements an anti-inflammatory diet. To combat inflammation, you may already be eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables that contain omega-3 fatty acids, a nutrient that helps stop oxidative stress. Inflammatory fighting foods include salmon, tuna and other cold-water fish, tofu, walnuts, flax seeds and soybeans.

Exercise plays an important role in self-care, as it helps you reach and maintain a healthy weight. Physical activity also helps boost your mood and helps you sleep. Red light therapy complements your exercise routine by easing pain and fatigue during physical activity, so you can work out longer without feeling tired or achy.

Photobiomodulation optimizes the benefits of many other treatments to help you get more out of the care you receive. Talk to your PBMT provider to find out if you can combine red light therapy with your existing treatments.

How Long Does it Take for Red Light Therapy to Work?

If you are considering red light therapy, you might wonder how long it takes to work – you might also wonder how often you can do red light therapy. Fortunately, red light therapy with TheraLight may provide meaningful results faster than you might realize. What’s more, red light therapy is so safe and gentle that you can benefit from it more frequently than with other types of therapy.

While red light therapy provides fast results, it is important to remember that getting outstanding, long-lasting results takes time. After all, many conditions develop slowly over time, so effective treatment for these conditions takes time too. In fact, massage therapy, physical therapy, and many other treatment approaches require multiple sessions to achieve long-lasting results. The same is true with red light therapy, also known as photobiomodulation (PBMT), which works over time to revitalize your body for the long term. The big difference is that red light therapy starts helping your body from the first session, and multiple sessions often provide long-lasting results.

How Long Does Red Light Therapy Take to Work?

Red light therapy is appropriate in the treatment of a variety of conditions because it works both quickly and over time. In other words, some patients see an improvement in their condition right after the first red light therapy session and continue to see improvements after sessions throughout the following weeks.

The type of condition being treated and the type of therapeutic action needed, such as reducing inflammation or rebuilding, plays a role in how long red light therapy takes to work.

Red light therapy reduces acute and chronic inflammation

Acute inflammation is an immune response that helps the body avoid infection and promotes healing. Chronic inflammation, which is inflammation that persists for months or years, can cause a number of health issues.

Red light therapy works immediately after the first treatment to reduce acute inflammation, and it eases chronic inflammation with every session.

Red light therapy boosts the production of collagen immediately and over time

Collagen is a major building block of muscles, skin, bones, tendons and ligaments. This abundant protein helps wounds heal quickly and prevents the formation of scar tissue, including acne scars. Collagen adds elasticity to the skin, so it also helps prevent fine lines and wrinkles.

Red light therapy stimulates the production of collagen right away to promote skin health. Repeat treatments over the course of a few weeks helps reduce the visible signs of scars and aging.

Red light therapy promotes healthy exercise

Red light therapy can also work over the long haul by increasing blood circulation and preventing injuries during intense exercise. The therapy also triggers the production of melatonin to improve the quality of your sleep night after night.

About Red Light Therapy

Photobiomodulation uses the power of light to activate changes in the body on a cellular level. In fact, “photobiomodulation” is a combination of three words:

  1. Photo – Light
  2. Bio – Life
  3. Modulation – Change

Photobiomodulation literally means using light to initiate a change in life. The amount of time it takes to initiate and maintain these changes depends on the device used, the condition, the individual settings, and the number of sessions. Many of these changes occur the moment the light hits the cells.

Red light therapy devices work at the speed of light

PBMT devices emit red light concentrated at specific wavelengths. The light excites the mitochondria, known as the “powerhouses” of body cells. Mitochondria convert nutrients into a basic type of energy, adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which all living cells use as fuel.

Exposure to these wavelengths of red light stimulates the mitochondrial production of ATP, and this boost of energy gives the treated cells and tissues the energy they need to function at their best. Increasing ATP production also helps cells and tissues heal from injuries and other health conditions.

There are a variety of photobiomodulation devices, such as PBMT beds, panels, and laser devices. Each device delivers red light therapy in a slightly different way. PBMT panels and laser devices provide red light therapy to smaller areas of the body, for example, while PBMT beds create a whole-body treatment. Each device works in about the same amount of time.

Advanced PBMT devices offer two light settings: continuous wave and pulsed wave. As its name suggests, continuous wave settings provide consistent, unbroken light at low powers to avoid heating tissue. Pulsed waves deliver short nanosecond-long bursts of high-powered light, which delivers more light energy deeper into your body without heating tissues.

Red Light Therapy Provides Immediate and Long-term Relief

Red light therapy has an immediate effect on the body, so you can expect to enjoy some of the benefits of PBMT right away. You might have less pain and swelling in an injured area, for example. You might also notice improvements in your mood after PBMT—you will probably sleep better too!

In addition to immediate relief from pain and inflammation, PBMT provides longer-term benefits. Undergoing red light therapy just before a workout can help delay muscle fatigue during exercise for immediate benefits, for example, and enhance athletic performance in the long run.

How often can I do red light therapy?

Red light therapy is like other treatments in that it is dose-dependent; in other words, the more you undergo PBMT, the more benefit the treatment provides. Your treatment provider will help you create a treatment plan personalized according to your needs, and shaped to provide fast and long-lasting benefits.

Typical red light therapy treatment plans look something like this:

Two to four sessions each week until you achieve your goals
One session weekly to maintain your results

The length of each red light therapy treatment session will vary depending on your goals, but each PBMT treatment usually takes between three and twenty minutes; most people are in and out of the office in under a half hour. Treatment protocols, such as the wavelength and the use of pulse or continuous, will also vary based on your goals.

Red light therapy is unlike many other approaches in that treatments are painless. Physical therapy often involves painful exercises and cortisol injections are downright painful, whereas photobiomodulation is comfortable and provides instant relief.

The amount of time it takes for red light therapy to work depends largely on the condition it is intended to treat, the type of photobiomodulation device, the individual settings, and the number of sessions you undergo.

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9:00 am - 6:00 pm
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