Seeing Red – The Healing Benefits of Red Light
© Sergio Rola
The wellbeing benefits of red light
We all know the feeling. We’ve spent a lot of time indoors and it is grey and glum outside. Just like plants we need light to function optimally. We know that we need sun exposure to synthesize vitamin D. However, the sun is essential to the human body in a number of other ways, both physically and emotionally.
Energy production for our bodies involves not only food intake, but also exposure to full spectrum light.
Light plays an important role in rebalancing hormone production and maintaining good health generally. Apart from ultra violet and the visible spectrum, natural light from the sun also provides infrared light, just outside of the visible spectrum. It is the heat that you feel when outside in the sun and it is not naturally present indoors. Although incandescent lightbulbs emit near infrared light because they heat up.
It was discovered over 50 years ago that specific wavelengths of red and near infrared light can alleviate a number of conditions. The list is nearly endless, but includes wound healing, reduction of pain and inflammation, alleviating chronic joint disorders, increasing metabolism, balancing hormones, stimulating hair re-growth, improving muscle performance and recovery after physical exercise or injury and addressing deeper tissues and nerves and neurological disorders. These wavelengths also boost collagen and elastin production, smoothing fine lines and wrinkles. The therapy also has a positive effect on concentration, sleep patterns, digestion and general mood.
How do these ranges of light waves impact our bodies?
An abundance of research shows that our body responds particularly well to certain bands of red and near-infrared wavelengths. These particular wavelengths of light, often referred to as being within the “therapeutic window”, are absorbed by the body to a depth of about 8 to 10 millimeters beneath the skin. Light receptors in our mitochondria (the powerhouses of our cells) absorb the light, increasing the mitochondria’s production of cellular energy (adenosine triphosphate or ATP) and oxygen consumption whilst releasing nitric oxide, thus increasing blood flow. This, in turn, activates a number of nervous system and metabolic processes. A simple way to think of this process is that photons (particles of light) essentially charge our cellular batteries.
The effect is photochemical, similar to photosynthesis in plants. When normal mitochondrial function and cell metabolism is restored, improved health and wellbeing ensues.
Red light is used to treat superficial tissue and has been shown to enhance the appearance of the skin, increasing blood flow and speeding up the regeneration process. Red light can reduce scarring and treat skin conditions like acne, eczema, and psoriasis.
Longer wavelengths in the near infrared range penetrate further and are used to treat deeper-seated tissues, helping reduce inflammation and alleviate joint problems like arthritis, rheumatism, and musculoskeletal disorders.
Validation of light therapy
Photobiomodulation, the technical term for light therapy.
Photobiomodulation, in which red and infrared light are key components, is now making significant progress in obtaining further recognition from the medical establishment, scientific literature and the media.
Our modern lifestyles often involve exposures to pollutants and toxins, less than optimal diets, stress, lack of restful sleep, very little time outdoors and excessive exposure to blue light emitting screens. These negative environmental and lifestyle factors are detrimental to the cells’ mitochondria.
To counteract these detrimental factors, we should embrace the latest technologies backed by scientific findings to provide therapeutic solutions more powerful than what nature itself can offer.
The benefits of photobiomodulation are so varied and almost immediate, that experts and the wider population are waking up to its amazing life enhancing qualities:
“If you could bottle it up, it would be considered a wonder drug”.
The fjorlight HiVE™ – What is it?
To harness the therapeutic effects of light, fjorlight has designed the fjorlight HiVE™, allowing hotel and spa guests to experience red and NIR light therapy enveloped in a luxurious and relaxing pod. Its futuristic design uses nature-inspired honeycomb shaped panels.
To achieve the best effects from the light therapy, people should remove as much clothing as they feel comfortable with to allow the light to penetrate the skin. The treatment time is relatively short at ten minutes and the pod can be used daily.
The user walks out feeling relaxed and energized. Continued use of the HiVE™ over a series of days kick-starts the body’s ability to heal itself, putting the user on a journey toward optimized health and wellbeing.
Fjorlight was established with a clear mission to raise awareness of how important light is to our health and wellbeing.
Fjorlight will be publishing a series of articles in Just Breathe Magazine highlighting the beneficial effects of light therapy on a range of specific conditions.