There is a really good reason why we love the sunsets and dawns, and it’s more than just them being gorgeous.
Humanity has always adored the sun. In some periods of our history – we have even worshipped it. We live according to its cycle and measure our days and our years based on it.
We can get gloomy on a cloudy day and we associate sunshine with happiness. That’s how amazing the power of light is.
There’s even more to it. Scientists have noticed that we react differently to different types of light and they started looking into the effect of different wavelengths.
We know that we are more alert when exposed to light in the blue spectrum, and that the red spectrum has different effects on us.
Wavelengths from the blue spectrum correspond to the bright daylight, while red remind our bodies of dusk, dawn, rest and recuperation. That’s why red and near-red wavelengths between 600-1100 nanometers have amazing healing properties.
This is, in short, the basis of red light therapy.
How can it help you? In many ways. Even if you don’t suffer from any chronic or acute conditions, you can still use red light of certain wavelengths to boost your wellness – as a way of self-care.
Here are just some of the things red light can do for you:
#1 Helps with Your Mental Health
Sometimes, it’s just a bad mood, but, sometimes, it’s a symptom of depression, anxiety, or even seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
One of the causes of bad moods can be a hormonal disbalance. When this happens, among the usual suspects are low levels of ghrelin, leptin, and serotonin (cytokines and hormones).
The latest research shows that your gut flora can influence levels of your cytokines and hormones. This happens due to the strong gut-brain axis. A healthy gut plays an important part in your cytokine and hormone levels. Red light therapy has amazing effects with maintaining a healthy gut flora.
That being said, not all depression, anxiety, and SAD symptoms can result from your gut health. Persistent symptoms require help from a professional and red light therapy can be considered as an additional aid.
#2 Boosts Your Immunity
The key to building a strong immunity is in “coaching” it to respond to different pathogens. Red light can do this for your immune system. Near-infrared and red light can cause tiny metabolic stress that keeps your immunity alert and triggers all your natural defenses. In that way, your anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory barriers are always up and it’s much harder for you to fall ill.
#3 Gives You More Energy
Light consists of photons. They are tiny portions of electromagnetic charge. Your red and near-infrared light device sends a rain of these little energy bites to your body. When photons reach your mitochondria, they transfer their energy to your cells.
Mitochondria receives that energy and uses it for all sorts of necessary cellular processes. This starts on a cellular level, but soon goes beyond that and energizes tissues, organs, systems of organs and the body as a whole.
#4 Allows You to Regulate Your Sleep
Sunrise and sunset are your natural sources of red and near-infrared light. In the early morning, when exposed to dawn light, your body starts a series of hormonal changes. One of them is the production of melatonin, the sleep hormone. By the time night falls, your body has enough melatonin to put you into a nice, deep, restorative sleep.
#5 Promotes Wound Healing
The first step in healing an injury is for your blood to reach the injury site and trigger the healing process. The second step is for your body to produce collagen which will create new tissue.
So, where does the red light therapy come in here? In both of these processes! Red light therapy boosts the blood flow and the collagen production. In addition to that, it also boosts anti-inflammatory processes and provides pain relief. All of these factors combined help wounds heal more quickly and more successfully.
#6 Eliminates Pain
There are two mechanisms that red light therapy uses to eliminate pain. The first is fighting off inflammation. Much of the pain coming from arthritic conditions, fibromyalgia and the like, stem from inflammation. When red light therapy tames that flare-up, pain eases as a result.
Another mechanism is the regulation of serotonin and dopamine. These two hormones are responsible for the way we experience pain. When their production is spot on – pain relief is a given.
#7 Makes Your Exercise More Effective
When you exercise hard, small tears are created in your muscle tissue. Those torn muscle fibers then merge and grow, creating stronger and denser muscle tissue. That’s how you grow your muscles.
Red light helps you grow your muscles in two ways. First, it helps you rest by ensuring you have that deep sleep necessary for muscle recovery, healing and rebuilding. Secondly, it increases blood flow, which speeds up repairing those muscle tears and transforms them into stronger muscles.
There’s much more to red light therapy than these 7 points. New uses and healing properties are discovered daily – helping with chronic diseases, wellness boosting and even cosmetic purposes, red light therapy is an old technology that is making a huge comeback into our lives. We need it today more than ever, and it is finally available to everybody.