Red Light Therapy: A Miracle Cure?

By Dr. Maria Maricich, D.C.

 

Red Light Therapy (RLT), also called Photobiomodulation, is being utilized in many areas of health, including weight loss, inflammation and pain reduction, hormone balancing, traumatic brain injury, skin conditions, arthritis, anti-aging, stopping Alzheimer’s and much more. It seems too good to be true, but accumulating research shows it can have a positive effect in all these areas.

RLT is a simple procedure that involves exposing your body to low-level red light or near infra-red light through a lamp, device, or laser. The light creates energy that you can both see and feel as heat. This natural red light can penetrate deep into the skin, where it stimulates and strengthens your cells’ mitochondria. Herein lies the magic!

Mitochondria are the powerhouse of a cell. They produce a molecule called ATP1, which is the energy to run all cell functions. You can think of ATP as the fuel that drives everything a body must do to stay alive. Mitochondria are most abundant in organs that require a lot of energy, such as your heart and brain, but are present in all our cells except red blood cells.

Light therapy in the red and near infra-red range has many health and biological benefits. Not to be confused with far infra-red, which is absorbed by the water in our body, near infra-red light strengthens our mitochondria, allowing them to function more efficiently, produce more energy for cellular acivities, and repair damage. At the same time, a molecule called nitric oxide is released, which increases circulation.

A Few of the Benefits of Red Light Therapy

Light therapy in the red and near infra-red range has many potential health and biological benefits:

Alzheimer’s and Neurodegeneration: One of the most exciting applications of Light Therapy is anti-aging, particularly of the brain. A research article in Frontiers of Science, published in 2015, states “Red to infrared light therapy (λ = 600–1070 nm), and in particular light in the near infrared range, is emerging as a safe and effective therapy that is capable of arresting neuronal death.” Another study published in 2019 showed gain in cognition and memory.

Fat Loss and Body Contouring: It was discovered that red light seems to cause the fat cells to drain their contents. One study conducted in 2015 found that after six treatments patients lost an average of 5.4 inches in combined torso, hips, and thigh measurements. Furthermore, the treatments seemed to be lasting.

Inflammation and Pain: In a 2017 study published in the journal AIMS Biophysics, researcher Michael R. Hamblin states, “One of the most reproducible effects of photobiomodulation is an overall reduction in inflammation, which is particularly important for disorders of the joints, traumatic injuries, lung disorders and in the brain.” Conditions such as arthritis, Achilles tendonitis, psoriasis, and many others are currently being treated with RLT, and it has the potential to help with others involving systemic inflammation, such as type II diabetes, obesity, Alzheimer’s disease, cardiovascular disease.

So much more: If there were a magic treatment that could do all of the above, plus improve mood, grow hair, improve athletic performance and recovery, make you look younger, prevent surgeries, improve sleep, promote wound healing and tissue repair, improve psoriasis, eczema and rosacea, reduce cellulite and firm tissues, repair scarring, alleviate acne, recover from traumatic brain injury, help teeth and gums, protect the heart, stop arthritis, you’d say, “No way!” Well, it really appears to be true. What’s more, it’s relatively inexpensive and there are no known negative side effects.

Unlike UV light, red light isn’t harmful to tissue and cells when applied in low doses—in fact, just the opposite! But it’s important to use an experienced practitioner to make sure it’s done safely.

Red Light Therapy is available locally at The Wellness Clinic in Ketchum. You can read more about it here.

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red light therapy bed

About the Author

Dr. Maria Maricich is a functional medicine doctor and a doctor of chiropractic. In her 29 years of practice in Ketchum, Dr. Maria’s passion has been to offer the most up-to-date approaches to optimal health and wellbeing. Photobiomodulation is now available in her Ketchum office. Functional medicine and functional neurology are new emerging fields of medicine. Their objective is to find dysfunction that leads to disease, rather than disease itself. Treating the dysfunction by natural means allows the body to heal itself. Dr. Maria can be reached at 208-726-6010 or visit www.DrMariaMaricich.com