If you walked into my office right now, you might think I'm trying to cook a pizza on my desk, based on the big red-lights I've got all over the place.
However, what I'm actually doing is:
- Lowering inflammation
- Improving skin tone & texture
- Lowering Stress hormones
- Stimulating my thyroid gland and youth hormones
- Increase cellular energy (and therefore overall energy)
And......just generally basking in the nice warm glow. :)
Sounds pretty great, huh?
Well......IT IS! :)
I routinely use red lights as part of my healthy lifestyle, but If you would've told me years ago, that I'd be using light as a health supplement, I would've thought you were crazy.
I mean, light isn't nearly as powerful a factor for health as food, or supplements, right?
Well, turns out it CAN be that and much more!
The reason light is so powerful, is because it's biochemically active in our body.
If this seems a strange concept to grasp, remember one of the most well known effects of light; which is sunlight producing vitamin D in our body.
Vitamin D is a powerful immunomodulater, has hormone-like effects on the body and is essential for health and healing.
And all that can come from just 15 minutes of light exposure.
But what we often don't realize is that ALL light affects our health, not just sunlight.
Some good, some bad (like florescent lighting which has been linked to breast cancer; ick..... not good).
I've never really liked the harsh blue/white fluorescent lighting in many public places, but wasn't really sure why.
That is, until I learned more about the effects of the light spectrum on cellular energy and health.
Examples of the Blue light spectrum include:
- Industrial/public lighting
- Common LED lightbulbs
And of the red light spectrum:
- Incandescent lightbulbs
So, if you're like me and prefer the warm yellow glow of incandescent lighting.......there's likely a physiological reason for that.
We intuitively know that harsh blue light is not calming or pleasant.......and the truth is, constant exposure to it is actually harmful.
Fortunately there's an anti-dote to it: RED-LIGHT :)
If you've never heard of red light therapy, here's a quick synopsis:
Red light therapy, and infrared light therapy is the exposure of the skin and tissues to specific red-light wavelengths.
Red light is visible, but infrared light is invisible to the eye and also tends to penetrate deeper into the tissues, then visible red-light.
With red light or infrared light, the wavelengths easily penetrate through the skin, and into tissues.
It's then absorbed by our cells and naturally kick-starts the process of tissue recovery.
This helps rejuvenate us by increasing blood flow, collagen stimulation, and most importantly cellular respiration & energy.
Low temperatures in the body cause inflammation, but light (especially red light) raises the temperature, activates the formation and differentiation of new cells, (by increasing energy production), and stimulates the creation of mitochondria, and activity of DNA enzymes.
Obviously, this is relevant because one of the 1st and most constant symptoms (and I believe in-part the cause) of arthritis, and autoimmunity is lowered cellular energy.
Fatigue, poor digestion, poor sleep, allergies, hormonal imbalances and more are greatly improved (or worsened) by the amount of cellular energy available for structure and function.
Studies on red light treatment have proven it effective on countless health issues and symptoms, including yeast infections, skin ailments, muscle & joint pain and specifically; rheumatoid arthritis!
And although not well-known (perhaps because it can't be patented), red light has been used clinically for the treatment of arthritis since the 1980's.
By the year 2000, enough scientific evidence was available to recommend it for any type of arthritis, even for severe rheumatoid symptoms.
I think it should be an important part of anyone's health regimen because it's:
- Thoroughly researched
- Effective for pain relief & inflammation
- Easy to use
- Readily available
- And extremely safe
So how does it work exactly?
Red light is absorbed through the skin to a depth of about 8 to 10 mm and is able to penetrate tissues because the rays are not blocked by blood or water like other wavelengths.
Red light passes the skin barrier (so no concerns about burning) and directly stimulates regenerative processes in the skin through increased cellular proliferation, adhesion and migration.
Once absorbed, it activates cellular respiration (stimulates cellular energy and function), which subsequently energizes multiple nervous systems, and metabolic processes.
This is because when you create and support energy production, you basically help EVERYTHING in your body work better.
This increase of energy by red light is termed ‘photobiomodulation’ by researchers in the field.
Healthy cellular metabolism and respiration are based on good mitochondrial function, and with the application of red light there's an increase in mitochondrial products such as ATP, NADH, and Co2.
All of these are essential parts of a healthy, unstressed cell, and therefore a healthy overall metabolism.
This rise in metabolic rate also increases the formation of new capillaries, lymph system activity, production of fibroblasts, increased phagocytosis, (cellular clean-up), aids tissue granulation (wound healing) and REDUCES INFLAMMATION!
This amazing light therapy even positively impacts the modulation of immune cells.
One of the main things that affect tissue penetration is the wavelengths of the light that hits the skin.
There have been several hundred quality clinical studies trying to refine the parameters of therapeutic benefit.
Many of these studies show that wavelengths from 660 nanometer (nm) to 850 nm light are the most beneficial; specifically 660-670 and 830-850 nm.
This is because red light at those wavelengths helps remove nitric oxide from the cell's mitochondria, allowing the use of oxygen and therefore more energy production.
And as far as we know, this only happens in those parameters (660-850 nm).
But even aside from the benefits of specific wavelengths, there are also hormonal benefits from bright light in general, because when it's the right type of light (incandescent light) it replicates the positive hormonal affects of sunlight on our cells.
When our eyes absorb bright light, it stimulates our sex hormones (which are protective) and lowers inflammation.
Studies have even shown increased mating in animals, in line with increased light and limited darkness.
For instance, sparrows in New York City reproduce year round because of all the bright light.
And conversely, the more darkness an organism experiences, the higher the stress hormones, which produces inflammation and can even cause depression.
It has been shown that after 10 hours of darkness mitochondria enzymes get very low, and cellular function declines.
This is because our bodies and eyes were made to be exposed to sunlight and bright light during the day, but in our modern culture we are often inside, or in darkness way too often.
Combine fluorescent lighting, with limited sunlight exposure from working indoors, combined with living in a northern, cloudy or cold climate you've got a perfect recipe for hormonal ruin that even a perfect diet would have a hard time correcting.
We just aren't made for that.
So if you're indoors a lot, or live in a wintery cloudy climate, it's vital to combat the blue light and excess darkness with some bright light.
But NOT from florescent lighting, or regular blue-white LEDs...... that will just make things worse!
You'll want to use high-wattage incandescent lightbulbs. The brighter the better.
Just don't look directly at the light, because you'll hurt your eyes.
Kinda like looking at the sun; just not a good idea, m'kay?
The goal is simply to be exposed to it. As long as it's illuminating the general area around you, your eyes will get all the exposure they need to stimulate energy (just as if you were exposed to sunlight).
Aaaand the cherry on top:
there are NO negative side-effects to red light therapy, other than excess warmth, which is quickly remedied by taking a break. :)
There's only one problem with incandescent lights.........sadly, they've been banned in many places, or are just generally unavailable.
But we're smarter than the average bear and there is definitely a legal work-around for this!
Grab my red-light cheatsheet below, and I'll send you info on what mistakes to avoid, the lights I use, and where you can get them too!
If you've read any of my other posts or taken my course, you'll know that I'M BIG on increasing the metabolic rate for the sake of health and healing, which red light clearly does.
Something I often notice after using red light therapy is a feeling of calm, and most notably; an increased appetite because of the metabolic boosting effect.
Increased appetite is often a VERY good sign of increased metabolism, and can be vital for healing when you're not getting enough nutrition (which is most people, including "healthy eaters").
People with autoimmunity and inflammation are usually under-eating........not so much calories (although that can happen too) but usually nutrition.
But, as long as you make good choices, (lean protein, whole foods, fruit, etc) when you feel hungry, than increased hunger is a great thing!
Think about it.......if you're starving and you reach for an apple, are you going to binge eat 20 apples? Of course not.
Overeating only happens when you're eating processed foods which have been literally engineered to cause additive snacking.
But when we eat nutritionally-dense healthy foods, eating more will actually increase your metabolic rate, and help you shed excess fat.
And even better; increase energy! Energy comes from food, and you can't lose weight or be healthy without energy.
But that's a whole other blog post........so back to red lights!
Aside from all the scientific talk about red lights, lets talk day-to-day stuff we all can relate to.
By increasing metabolism, red light therapy helps:
- Decrease bloating
- Aid digestion
- Reduce anxiety & restlessness
- Improve sleep quality
- Increase thyroid activity and energy
- Improve mood and outlook
- Lower stress hormones
- Regulate temperature and pulse
Being under red lights reminds me a bit of the affect of sunlight. It gives that warm, calming feeling you get in your tummy when sunbathing.
I was able to totally reverse all of my rheumatoid arthritis pain naturally (by increasing cellular respiration) and red lights were an important part of my healing regimen.
So yeah......HIGHLY recommend. :)
There are also LED light versions which is what most studies used, but those tend to be much more pricey, and don't give off the added benefit of bright light. So for the sake of brevity and ease of implementation, I'm just focusing on the incandescent type bulbs right now.
How to use Red-lights:
Think of buying red-lights, like buying a supplement.
It will help you heal and be healthier, but it should be in addition to a overall healthy nutrient-dense diet if you want the best results.
The lights can be as close to the skin as is comfortable. I usually have mine as close as possible without making me too warm (which is usually 3-5 feet away).
If you're using LED lights, they don't emit heat so you can have them as close as is comfortable.
I often use red lights all day long in the winter, because of the lack of sunlight that time of year.
In the summer, I use them a little less, just because it gets hot, but I still try to use them for at least a couple hours per day.
And if you're someone who's often cold at room temp, even though everyone else feels fine, you'll find it especially beneficial.
Women in general tend to be more prone to feeling cold because of excess estrogen (which causes a low metabolic rate), so red light doesn't just heal at the cellular level, but also is a pleasant symptom treatment for cold fingers and toes, and general metabolic stress.
Red lights were (and are) instrumental to me for relieving stress & pain symptoms, and for overall health. I use them daily for wellness and anti-aging purposes.
They're safe, cheap, effective, with no negative side-effects (except maybe for being the weird bio-hacker girl with red lights in her room).
What's not to like? :-)
Now, if you're ready to start feeling better, grab the red-light cheatsheet below to learn what mistakes to avoid, and which lights to use!
#Rheumatoid #arthritis #natural #remedies #DoNoHarm #RedLight #healing #health #affordable #safe #effective #LightTherapy
Note: Red light therapy is also called low level laser, or low level light therapy, low intensity light therapy, photobiostimulation, biostimulation (BIOS), photobiomodulation, photonic stimulation or photorejuvenation. You'll see red light therapy called many of these various terms below.
Low level laser therapy for osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis: a metaanalysis. Brosseau et al. 2000.
IUBMB Life. 2010 Aug;62(8):607-10. Multiple roles of cytochrome c oxidase in mammalian cells under action of red and IR-A radiation.
Low level laser therapy (Classes I, II and III) for treating osteoarthritis. Brosseau et al. 2004.
Ann Biomed Eng. 2012 Feb;40(2):516-33. The nuts and bolts of low-level laser (light) therapy. Chung H, Dai T, Sharma SK, Huang YY, Carroll JD, Hamblin MR.
Effect of low-level laser therapy on the expression of inflammatory mediators and on neutrophils and macrophages in acute joint inflammation. Alves et al. 2013.
Can osteoarthritis be treated with light? Michael R Hamblin, 2013.
J Photochem Photobiol B. 1995 Mar;27(3):219-23. Irradiation with He-Ne laser increases ATP level in cells cultivated in vitro. Karu T, Pyatibrat L, Kalendo G.
Effect of low-level laser therapy (904 nm) and static stretching in patients with knee osteoarthritis: a protocol of randomised controlled trial. Ferreira de Meneses et al. 2015.
Does addition of low-level laser therapy (LLLT) in conservative care of knee arthritis successfully postpone the need for joint replacement? Ip et al. 2015.
Photomed Laser Surg. 2008 Oct;26(5):451-3. Intracellular ATP level increases in lymphocytes irradiated with infrared laser light of wavelength 904 nm
High-intensity versus low-level laser therapy in the treatment of patients with knee osteoarthritis: a randomized controlled trial. Kheshie et al. 2014
Short-term efficacy of physical interventions in osteoarthritic knee pain. A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised placebo-controlled trials. Bjordal et al. 2007.
Brain Res. 2010 Jan 8;1306:100-5. Transcranial near infrared laser treatment (NILT) increases cortical adenosine-5'-triphosphate (ATP) content following embolic strokes in rabbits
Efficacy of low-level laser therapy applied at acupuncture points in knee osteoarthritis: a randomised double-blind comparative trial. Al Rashoud et al. 2014.
Effect of low-level laser therapy in patients with chronic knee osteoarthritis: a single-blinded randomized clinical study. Alghadir et al. 2014.
Influence of various laser therapy methods on knee joint pain and function in patients with knee osteoarthritis. Gworys et al. 2012.
Efficacy of low level laser therapy associated with exercises in knee osteoarthritis: a randomized double-blind study. Alfredo et al. 2012.
J Alzheimers Dis. 2011;23(3):521-35. Transcranial laser therapy attenuates amyloid-β peptide neuropathology in amyloid-β protein precursor transgenic mice.
The effect of low-level laser in knee osteoarthritis: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Hegedus et al. 2009.
Synergic effects of ultrasound and laser on the pain relief in women with hand osteoarthritis. Paolillo et al. 2015.
A systematic review of low level laser therapy with location-specific doses for pain from chronic joint disorders. Bjordal et al. 2003.
Meta-Analysis of Pain Relief Effects by Laser Irradiation on Joint Areas. Ho Jang et al. 2012.
Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) for Neck Pain: A Systematic Review and Meta-Regression. Anita R Gross et al. 2013.
The influence of intravenous laser irradiation of the blood on the dynamics of leptin levels and the quality of life of the patients presenting with rheumatoid arthritis. Burduli et al. 2015.
Reduction of IL-20 Expression in Rheumatoid Arthritis by Linear Polarized Infrared Light Irradiation. Imaoka et al. 2014.
Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis with ATP. Birger Carlström and Olle Lövgren. 1949.
Low-level laser therapy in different stages of rheumatoid arthritis: a histological study. Alves et al. 2013.
Low-level laser therapy for zymosan-induced arthritis in rats: Importance of illumination time. Castano et al. 2007.
Effects of low-level laser therapy at wavelengths of 660 and 808 nm in experimental model of osteoarthritis. da Rosa et al. 2012.
Anti-inflammatory activities of light emitting diode irradiation on collagen-induced arthritis in mice (a secondary publication). Kuboyama et al. 2014.
Photobiomodulation of pain and inflammation in microcrystalline arthropathies: experimental and clinical results. Soriano et al. 2006.
Low-level laser therapy stimulates tissue repair and reduces the extracellular matrix degradation in rats with induced arthritis in the temporomandibular joint. Lemos et al. 2016.
Effect of low-level laser on healing of temporomandibular joint osteoarthritis in rats. Peimani et al. 2014.
Effect of light-emitting diode (LED) therapy on the development of osteoarthritis (OA) in a rabbit model. Oshima Y. 2011.
Efficacy of low-level laser therapy in the management of neck pain: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised placebo or active-treatment controlled trials. Chow et al. 2009.
Rheumatoid arthritis and thyroid abnormalities. Staykova. 2007.
Laser Ther. 2011; 20(3): 205–215. Is light-emitting diode (LED) phototherapy really effective? Won-Serk Kim and R Glen Calderhead
An Bras Dermatol. 2014 Jul-Aug;89(4):616-23. Effects of low-power light therapy on wound healing: LASER x LED. Chaves ME et al., 2014.
Improvement of pain and disability in elderly patients with degenerative osteoarthritis of the knee treated with narrow-band light therapy. Stelian et al. 1992.
In chronic low back pain, low level laser therapy combined with exercise is more beneficial than exercise alone in the long term: a randomised trial. Djavid et al. 2007.
Laser therapy: a randomized, controlled trial of the effects of low-intensity Nd:YAG laser irradiation on musculoskeletal back pain. Basford et al. 1999.
Evaluation of low-level laser therapy in the treatment of temporomandibular disorders. Cetiner et al. 2006.
Lasertherapy efficacy in temporomandibular disorders: control study. Santos Tde et al. 2010.
Low-power laser treatment in patients with frozen shoulder: preliminary results. Stergioulas. 2008.
Exact action spectra for cellular responses relevant to phototherapy. Karu et al. 2005.
Positive effects of low level laser therapy (LLLT) on Bouchard’s and Heberden’s osteoarthritis. Baltzer et al. 2016