What is Red Light Therapy or Photobiomodulation and the Benefits
Discover the many benefits of red light therapy ranging from increased energy, collagen production, hair growth, muscle recovery, etc.
Podcast: Wellness Mama
Title: How Red Light Therapy or Photobiomodulation Works and How to Get the Benefits with Joovv
Link to the full podcast at the end of my review!
What is Joovv red light therapy?
Co-Founder, Melissa, was looking for something to boost her cellular health and came across red light therapy. She noticed significant improvements in her health and her eczema was completely gone. But when she went to find something to purchase for herself she couldn’t find anything that was a full body treatment and high quality.
She got her engineering husband to attempt to design a full-body red light therapy product. Justin was hesitant at first, but after diving into the research and hundreds of studies he was shocked at the scientific support for the benefits of red light therapy. After several prototypes, they finally created the Joovv red light therapy
Two Key Factors in the Benefits of Red Light Therapy
- The wavelengths of the light
- The power output of the device (radiance)
What is Red Light Therapy or Photobiomodulation?
Originally referred to as Low-Level Laser Therapy it was used to reduce joint pain and inflammation. Science has since discovered that LEDs are just as effective as lasers and when delivered at the right wavelength and intensity they are able to provide benefits at a cellular level.
The intensity of the LED lights paired with the right wavelength of color directly affect the 4th phase of cellular respiration by boosting ATP production in mitochondria. Mitochondria are the powerhouses of cells from food and light and produce ATP (cellular energy AKA what makes everything happen in the body). Joovv uses two different wavelengths in their devices:
- Red Spectrum 630-670nnm: critically affects cellular respiration and restoring healthy cellular function in mitochondria.
- Invisible Wavelengths mid 800’s: penetrates deeper into the body and muscle tissue to reduce joint pain, inflammation, muscle recovery, etc.
This is turn can lead to a cascade of benefits:
- Reduces oxidative stress
- Reduces inflammation
- Reduces joint pain
- Increases muscle recovery
- Increases collagen production
- Tightens skin
- Reduces fine lines and wrinkles
- Increases hair growth
- Increases overall energy and vitality
- Increases wound healing
- Improves memory
- Improves resilience to light
- Improves some degenerative eye disorders
- Can improve vision quality
- Increases testosterone production
- Improves sleep
Red Light Therapy vs. Blue Light
Blue light can really affect the body’s natural circadian rhythm. The retina connects directly to the hypothalamus which controls hormone production, mood, sleep, etc. Getting a lot of blue light right before bed can affect the length and quality of sleep. Melissa notes that in nature, there is never blue light without a red light. Modern technological advances (e.g. cell phones and computer screens) give us an almost constant barrage of blue light without any red. The red light balances out the overdose of the blue we receive and for many provides instant relaxation.
What to Look for In a Red Light Therapy (Photobiomodulation) Device?
- The specific wavelengths used: 630-670 and mid 800’s
- The intensity or radiance: bright LED’s
- The treatment area: how much of the body does it cover?
P.S. This is the red light panel I use. I think Joovv is a great brand, but way overpriced. This model is the perfect size for anyone looking to just try it out, meets the specs above and is very reasonably priced.
What Are Most Customers Using This For?
- Beauty Benefits: Individuals and businesses in the beauty industry
- Muscle Recovery: Many professional athletes using for muscle recovery, inflammation reduction, increased energy, etc.
- Testosterone Benefits: many men use it for increased testosterone or women deficient in testosterone
- Overall Health: Many individuals just use it as part of their health and wellness regimen; many use it and find that they sleep better and have much more energy and they didn’t even realize their body wasn’t functioning at its highest level possible before.
- When to use it?
Red and near-infrared light mimic the sunlight of the early morning or evening.
Morning: Stimulates the change in circadian rhythm from sleeping to wakefulness. Allows you to start the day with a fresh dose of cellular energy.
Evening: Stimulates the change in the circadian rhythm to sleep. Helps heal/reduce any oxidative stress throughout the day.
- Is it safe to open your eyes when using it?
Yes. All Joovv devices are now FDA-approved for safety.
- What is the difference between infrared sauna use and red light therapy?
Saunas are great for reducing inflammation, increasing heat-shock proteins, cardiovascular health, and detoxification. Sauna’s benefits are delivered by providing stress (extreme heat) on the body and therefore triggering healing reactions throughout.
Red light therapy, rather than delivering stress to the body, is restorative and healing in nature by providing nutrients or food to the cells through cellular energy.
They usually recommend using the sauna first and then using the Joovv red light therapy after to help the body recover from the stress it has just been through.
- Is red light therapy safe for pregnant and nursing women?
They have discussed this topic at length with Dr. Michael Handlin, researcher and professor at Stanford University and an advisor on the Joovv Medical Board. He has published and/or be a part of over 400 studies on red light therapy and is of the opinion that it is a safe treatment for both the mother and the child.
In a growing fetus and newborn child, there is a huge concentration of stem cells, which in turn have a high concentration of mitochondria. Because red light therapy improves mitochondria function many believe that it could prove beneficial for the infant. They of course recommend discussing with your doctor before beginning any treatments.
Wellness Mama notes that these are wavelengths of sunlight that you would be getting from the sun anyways so she felt very comfortable using it while pregnant and breastfeeding.
- How often can you do it and for how long?
They recommend daily if possible, but if not every other day and 8-10 minutes per treatment area. You can do up to three treatments a day, but they recommend waiting 5-6 hours between treatments because the cells need time to take the light in and process it.
- Can children use it?
Yes! They recommend cutting the time in half for smaller children because they are physically smaller.
- Does anything increase the effectiveness of red light therapy?
- Reduce exposure to the negative impact of EMFs (turning off wifi at night, not holding a cell phone directly to your head, etc).
- Grounding: allowing the body to absorb impulses from the earth’s surface
- Hydration! The more hydrated you are the more light and energy your cells can absorb.
Click here to listen to the full episode!