What is Red Light Therapy Guide
Red Light Devices are becoming increasingly popular as more and more research and awareness continue to sprout up from around the world. Despite all the positives, there are quite a few issues that come with this, and that is mainly the quality of the red light devices themselves due to popular demand, whether counterfeit, poor execution or just overpriced in general. In this guide, we are going to focus on which red light devices you should opt for and why we think red light devices should be a staple, or rather a foundational health tool used within your home, whether for recovery, energy, hydration, or simply as an ambient light source.
Red Light therapy has been researched for more than 50 years and has a few different names. In the past, it was known as low-level light therapy (LLLT). Nowadays, it is known as photobiomodulation. The red and near-infrared (NIR) lights found within photobiomodulation are just a band of light frequencies within the broad spectrum of light that the sun emits. All living things require energy to survive. In the human body, this form of energy is known as adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is used to fuel every bodily function. It also creates hormesis, which is a low-dose temporary metabolic stress that causes both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant responses in our cells.
Hormesis creates the same body response as exercise. It is produced within the mitochondria; the more mitochondria we have, the more energy we can produce, and the more cell regeneration we will experience coupled with reduced overall inflammation. We can stimulate more mitochondria production via physical movement/exercise and shining red light directly on our skin and as passive/ambient lighting. In fact, it is highly beneficial that we utilize red light as a source of ambient lighting because as much as 40-60% of the glass indoors will block the red light from the sun coming in. Sunlight is 42% infrared. One of our favorite things we do when we work is to point the red light device towards us to “filter” some of the artificial blue light emitting from our screens.
Red Light Therapy and the Gut-Brain Axis:
Light is the one part of the sun’s spectrum that penetrates through the skin all the way. Dr. Jack Kruse, Ph.D. states, “The Microbiome is the backup for your skin when you don’t have your skin in the game (light therapy/light exposure).” Several studies suggest that red and NIR light can help restore a healthy gut microbiome. The gut-brain axis links the emotional and cognitive centers of the brain with peripheral intestinal functions. Red Light therapy applied to the stomach area can reduce bowel inflammation, stimulate neurotransmitters and hormones in the gut, such as leptin and ghrelin, and optimize the microbiome as it is sensitive and responds very well to light. The vagus nerve (which influences everything) also gets positively stimulated by red light therapy. Red light around this region also increases the availability of neurotransmitters, which ultimately power the brain’s immune system. Dr. Kruse believes light is king when it comes to optimal biological function; everyone focuses on the gut/brain connection, which is fine, but light influences both, but even more, and technically, both your microbiomes are dependent on light exposure (Skin + Eyes) to quite an extent. Some red-light studies suggest that exposure to light at night can alter neurotrophin and neurotransmitter systems. Similar to sun rays, red light can activate the hypothalamus, the part of the brain that regulates our circadian rhythm. Red light exposure increases these neurotransmitters in the brain, such as dopamine, which in turn make us more positive and energized.
It is interesting that something as simple as shining a red light on your body can shift the composition of your gut microbiome in a positive way. One study showed beneficial effects, even after just one application. Another study (mentioned earlier) showed a boost in the Akkermansia type of bacteria, which are known for their health benefits. Red Light exposure also directed the microbiome towards bacteria producing SCFA’s like butyrate. They used different kinds of wavelengths, from red to far-infrared light, but they all seem to be beneficial for the gut. A new study, originally published by NCBI, reveals how color vision may be improved with exposure to red light. For thousands of years, every human had risen with the sunlight in the morning and went to bed after sunset. We like to use red light before bed and typically before our day starts, as well as while doing other tasks or simply as we rest.
The other huge, important health aspect that red light yields is simply a massive increase in overall blood circulation. This suggests that our tissues will uptake more oxygen and other nutrients that are essential for cellular regeneration. Light helps the body and circulatory system rid themselves of toxic byproducts. How this works is through the release of nitric oxide, which creates space within the blood vessels and capillaries themselves, thus enhancing our overall circulation. Nitric oxide is also a messenger molecule that stimulates the body’s natural healing process. Because of this, nerves start to fire more regularly, and they become healthier/stronger.
How do Photons Work?
There are only 3 fundamental choices a photon (light) must make when it encounters a molecule. It can be reflected, absorbed, or transmitted through. Naturally, light that is reflected or passed through a molecule will not have any effect. Only absorbed light can have an effect. “The beneficial effects of photobiomodulation (PBM) are thought to occur primarily by inducing a photochemical reaction in the cell, instead of generating a thermal effect (https://doi.org/10.25289/ML.2020.9.2.89).”
When a photon is absorbed by a molecule, the energy is conserved via the 1st law of thermodynamics. The photon is destroyed, and the molecule enters a higher energy state. The higher energy state must be resolved to maintain some equilibrium. Achieving photochemical effects and avoiding photothermal (overheating of the skin) effects is the entire art of photobiomodulation. Proper wavelengths and low intensity is the best way to do so. In other words, avoid overheating the skin when utilizing red light therapy.
Speaking of mitochondria, your brain cells (per human cell) contain roughly 2 million mitochondria, egg cells contain ~ 600 thousand mitochondria, heart cells contain 5 or so thousand mitochondria, liver cells contain around 1-2 thousand mitochondria, an average cell contains roughly 100 mitochondria, sperm cells contain ~ 5 mitochondria. Cells with higher mitochondrial density typically are more responsive to red light therapy. Andrew (Gembared CEO) states, “Lower doses of red light therapy are effective in stimulating those cells, and conversely higher doses will have a higher risk of overdose (biphasic dose response).”
He also states that “Organs will have more color to them, showing the increased mitochondrial content and various chromophores and opsins that also make them highly absorbent to light. He goes on to speculate that, “Perhaps this is not a coincidence, the highly sensitive organs like the brain are deeper into the body and protected by hair, skin, bone, and adipose tissue. In that way, the sensitive organs are already naturally regulated to allow in just the right amount of light as long as we mimic intensity levels naturally found from the sun. It’s almost like they were already intelligently designed to allow in the perfect amount of light.”
The first incandescent bulb was created in 1879.
The first LED bulb was created in 1962.
Only since the invention of the electric light bulb by Thomas Edison in 1879 has it become possible to add massive amounts of new light to the human environment, even at times when that light was not naturally present. Sure, before the mid-19th century, oil lamps, fires, and candles were used as late-night lighting. But you can easily claim that those natural lighting sources do not break with the “pre-historical” context. Your ancestors used red and infrared light for a long time before 1879. At low intensities, these light sources do not affect your circadian rhythm the way modern lighting does. The circadian rhythm is an internal clock in your body, which I’ll explain in more detail later. If you do expose yourself to intense red and infrared lighting sources late at night, such as an infrared sauna or with red light therapy, your circadian rhythm will be influenced. The light environment has thus been subtly changing for the last millions of years but was dramatically altered with the invention of the light bulb. That 19th-century revolution continues till today.”
Red light and near Infrared Light (NIR) are longer wavelengths of light, whereas blue light tends to be a shorter wavelength. Red Light can pass through certain surfaces, including our skin, and with NIR, even through our bones and into our individual cells and access the organelles, whereas blue light only goes a few inches if that. As we mentioned several times, during this process, lightweight also activates our mitochondria, helping to produce ATP. Our skin has an epidermis, which is on the outside, and the dermis, which is in the deeper layers. Red light and infrared light can pass down into the deeper layers of our skin, where they can actually alter the metabolic function of particular cells. Let’s discuss acne as an example. Within the dermis, the deep layers of our skin, we have what are called sebaceous glands that actually make the oil that is present in our skin. Those sebaceous glands are often close to hair follicles, so if you have ever had an infected hair follicle, that is not a coincidence; the hair follicles tend to get infected. Part of this is because there is actually a pathway down and around the hair follicle, but the sebaceous gland is where the oil is created that is going to cause various issues, such as acne lesions. Also, in the deep layers (dermis) of the skin are the melanocytes. They are not just in the epidermis. They’re also in the deepest layers of the skin. We also have stem cells that can become activated if the top layer of skin (epidermis) is damaged. Stem cells help manufacture additional skin cells if the top layer of the skin (epidermis) is damaged.
Shining red light on a localized patch of skin, not too intense, but enough power that it causes just a very low level/mild burn that triggers the stem cells beneath to produce new cells, which go and rescue the lesion and clear it out and replace it with healthy new skin cells. This is the concept of the wound healing aspect that red light offers, the same with hyperpigmentation, scarring, lesions, acne, and other skin-related issues. One thing to also mention is something that Andrew (From Gembared) has contemplated. That is, apparently, it is a myth that skin products work better when applied prior to your red-light (LLLT) therapy session. Andrew disagrees and says it is best to use red light only on bare, clean, and dry skin. Any topical skin products should be used after your red-light treatment.
As our cells age, especially metabolically active cells, they start to accumulate what are called ROS, reactive oxygen species. As reactive oxygen species go up, ATP energy production in those cells most often goes down. There is some context to take into consideration, specifically different cell types. For the most part, though, this is true. Red light passes into the deeper layers of the skin and activates mitochondria, which increases ATP and directly or indirectly reduces these reactive oxygen species. Reactive oxygen species are not good. We do not want them. They are destructive to the cells and cause cellular death. Light is literally influencing the cells to live “younger.”
Red light devices are incredibly versatile and functional and are one of the top health tools that we recommend investing in alongside filtering your water and your air. Make sure you have a shower filter and, if possible, a drinking water filter; we recommend them on our favs page.
A few supplements and their particular relation to both Blue Light and Red Light.
Supplements that protect from blue light damage? Blue light has been shown to produce high amounts of ROS (oxidative stress mentioned earlier) and mitochondrial damage. This is typically the opposite effect we want from Red Light Therapy. PMID: 15191057
As we mentioned earlier, red light therapy has been shown to counteract some of the damage caused by toxic man-made, artificial, man-made junk light, also known as blue light. PMID: 30825600
Andrew (Gembared) had an article where he found many supplements that are also photoprotective, specifically from Blue and UV. This is interesting as devices are incorporating blue LEDs without considering safety. Society is already saturated with artificial blue light from screens, smartphones, and LED bulbs. These might also be interesting supplements to synergistically combine with red light therapy in the future for stacked, physiological benefits.
There are several studies citing Carotenoids (beta-carotene, lutein, astaxanthin), curcumin, Vitamin E, and CoQ10 can be protective of eye health from Blue Light. PMID: 32722441 + PMID: 32478879
Now, if you have been following the Ray Peat community for quite some time, you will notice that we, and many others, are against such antioxidants that are basically pigments, as they can create negative reactions when consumed in excess. We would prefer you opt for a high-quality Vitamin E source that contains at least 4 of the tocopherols and 4 of the tocotrienols (8 total). Ideally, one that does not have hexane and other toxic industrial chemicals being utilized during the process. As we discussed, we know that blue light can stimulate hyperpigmentation and other skin issues. Studies find that Niacinamide (an affordable form of Vitamin B3) is photoprotective of the skin and from hyperpigmentation. Other photoprotective supplements include Vitamin C, NAC, Molecular Hydrogen, Green Tea, and even Chia Seeds. Many times, these are applied as topical skin treatments in the form of creams. However, many studies showcase oral ingestion, offering higher levels of photoprotection of the skin. PMID: 31661571 + PMID: 32478879
So, what supplements can you take with Red Light Therapy to enhance the treatment? Several studies showcase the use of methylene blue, coQ10, curcumin, or quercetin as a synergistic mitochondrial support. Basically, these supplements help the Electron Transport Chain in the mitochondria by being electron donors and receivers. So, while red light therapy up-regulates complex IV and V, these supplements support Complex 1-3 to support the entire process that produces ATP.
As we said, we appreciate a good chunk of these supplements, but antioxidants such as resveratrol and curcumin are somewhat controversial and perhaps should be swapped for better alternatives such as a high-quality form of Vitamin E, NAC, and Whole Food Vitamin C source. Too many antioxidants have been shown to reduce the effectiveness of Red Light by blunting the signaling ROS and Nitric Oxide production.
The Electron Transport Chain in the Mitochondria and How Both Copper and Iron Play an Important Role in Mitochondrial Health.
The mitochondria are interdependent on proper Iron and Copper levels, so how does Iron and Copper affect Red Light Therapy? We now understand that the primary light-absorbing molecules within the mitochondria are the Iron and copper-based molecules within the Cytochrome C Oxidase.
“Iron is the dominant metal in mitochondrial metabolism, but copper has important roles too. Fe-protoporphyrin (heme), Fe-S clusters and Cu are essential components of the mitochondrial inner membrane complexes constituting the electron transport chain.” PMCID: PMC3594794
One study actually observed wound healing in rats with two individual groups that were iron-deficient (anemic) or had healthy iron levels. While photobiomodulation showed a significant improvement in both groups, the group with the normal levels of iron responded better to Laser treatment, and the anemic group responded better only to LED treatment. PMID: 22714898 – One thing to mention is that we suggest looking deeper into both Ray Peat and Morley Robin’s work on iron/copper dysregulation to gain a better awareness of how biochemistry is not simply black and white. There is so much more depth and biochemistry to explore than what we are traditionally taught. In fact, Dr. Ray Peat makes the following connection to Red Light and copper/iron in CCO in one of his research articles:
Dr. Peat states, “Cytochrome oxidase is one of the enzymes damaged by stress and blue light, and activated or restored by red light, thyroid, and progesterone. It’s a copper enzyme, so it’s likely to be damaged by excess iron. It is most active when it is associated with a mitochondrial lipid, cardiolipin, that contains saturated palmitic acid; the substitution of polyunsaturated fats lowers its activity. Mitochondrial function, in general, is poisoned by the unsaturated fats, especially arachidonic acid and DHA.”
Copper deficiency has been shown to decrease the activity of Complex 4 (CCO) in the mitochondria. PMID: 17182794 – Which, of course, is the important target of PBM. If the CCO is dysfunctional due to inadequate copper, we could assume a reduced response from red light therapy. Monitoring Iron or Copper status could play a role in overall mitochondrial health and red light therapy responsiveness.
Before going any further, let’s discuss the differences between red and near-infrared (NIR) light.
- || Red = Visible NIR = Invisible
- || Red = Superficial | NIR = Deeper Penetration Through the Bone
- || Red = Skincare + | NIR = Brain Health More Wound Recovery +
- || Red = Wake-Up Light & Night Light – Ambient Lighting | NIR = Less Eyestrain
- ATP +
- EZ Water + (Exclusion Zone Water) Modulate ion channels in the cells.
- Mitochondria +
- Eye Health
- Brain Health
- Mental Health
With a High-Quality Red Light Device, You Can:
1. Use it to greatly reduce signs of aging and greatly improve the overall quality of your skin, reducing redness, scarring, acne, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, and sunburn. Anchor Circadian Rhythms for sleep at night. PMID: 16687299
2. Better Glucose Regulation Before Meals (DOI:10.21203/rs.3.rs-3275287/v1)
3. Use it to reduce inflammation and improve circulation and drainage while also accelerating wound healing after an intense workout or injury, no matter how severe. Increase ATP for physical tasks and exercise performance. (PMID: 27874264)
4. Use it as an ambient light source, as a gentle wake-up light in the A.M. to help entrain your circadian rhythm, and also at night (low flicker + true red). You can also use it while you work or lounge around to offset and wash out the immense amount of toxic synthetic blue light from our screens + lighting at both work and home. It is more effective for eye health in the mornings. (https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-02311-1) as well as a Larger ATP boost when used in the mornings. PMID: 35860879
5. Using it on your shins and/or sternum helps to greatly increase stem cell production. Apparently, we’ve also heard if you place your feet on the panel while you work, it will yield the most systemic health benefits.
7. Use it on your torso, like your stomach, back, spine, and chest, for better organ and nervous system function as well as better digestion, circulation, and recovery.
8. Makes mental tasks take less strain. PMID: 34211101 May help reverse hair loss and enhance hair growth and hair quality, treat traumatic brain injuries and other brain-related disorders, and many more.
There is a Chronic Disease and Depression Epidemic, Especially in the US.
We have a huge suicide and opium problem. Dr. Jack Kruse believes this problem all links back to the very chemical made in your eye through your brain via sunlight. This chemical is called POMC and is made in the brain. It basically breaks down into 6 different chemicals; one of the chemicals that are in there is known as beta-endorphin. It works on the neuroreceptors. When you realize that A.M. sunlight makes this chemical naturally, what does that really functionally mean? It means nature has addicted us to sunlight. The sun is a powerful stimulus for all biology. A lot of our cognitive bias is towards the sun and its “dangers.” Other blogs discuss this a little bit more, but there is so much more to the picture when it comes to sunlight exposure. Context is everything. Ray Peat has written extensively on the antioxidant protective effects of Vitamin E, eating more Saturated Fats, and eliminating all Seed Oils. This combination significantly reduces the chances of burning and hyperphotosensitivity with UV light and possibly even red light.
Dr. Kruse, Ph.D., believes if you are not getting sunlight from sunrise to around 10 A.M., you are most definitely chronically deficient in sunlight/vitamin D. You have an alteration in melatonin and dopamine. Depression is very associated with dopamine. Dopamine is created from the aromatic amino acids tyrosine and phenylalanine in humans. Melatonin has to be programmed by A.M. light in order to be released after dark, AKA lights out. Melatonin takes 4 hours of darkness to properly release. Just a tiny bit of blue light will shut off your melatonin from releasing at night for around 4 hours. Firelight, lightning strikes, candlelight, and moonlight are all forms of light not technically from the sun that are found in nature. None of these lights inhibit the release of melatonin. Melatonin isn’t just a simple sleep hormone that is released in darkness. Melatonin is THE master hormone of apoptosis, mitophagy, and autophagy. Melatonin is the hormone of repair. This is why it’s so important to own a low-flicker, low EMF, high-quality red light emitting device (Gembared). Utilizing only red light at night is essential. Some people opt for chicken lights and/or just candlelight, which is perfectly fine, but it doesn’t hurt to own a multipurpose red-light device.
Giant Mitochondria from LLLT/Red Light Therapy?
One interesting study to mention about red light is a 1993 study by some of the leading early researchers who found “gigantic” mitochondria after laser irradiation with He-Ne Laser (633 nm). They postulate it could be formed by the fusion of smaller mitochondria together. PMID: 8316242
Many subsequent studies have confirmed this finding and referred to this phenomenon as an explanation for the increased energy production and improved performance of the mitochondria and the cells.
“In addition, we believe that the exercise training combined with LLLT could have increased mitochondrial metabolism, as well as increased mitochondrial number and/or caused the fusion of smaller mitochondria to form giant mitochondria .” PMID: 23151893
“Furthermore it was observed that mitochondria changed to so-called “giant mitochondria” after laser-irradiation with activation of various metabolic pathways and increased production of ATP.” PMID: 25699161
Andrew states, “This is a very important finding and mechanism that helps confirm why Red Light Therapy is so effective in treating disorders related to mitochondrial dysfunction.”
There are thousands of benefits and reasons to own a red-light therapy device, which further down below we will most definitely dive into. The thing is, there are many red light companies from all over the world, yet the majority of them use misleading claims and even deceptive marketing tactics while containing poor quality bulbs/lenses, too much flicker rate, and, more often than not, too much non-native EMF exposure to be considered useable as a safe and effective health tool.
These are the issues that we have come across with several other leading red-light brands. On their smaller models, they will suggest a minimum of a 6-inch buffer between you and the panel, and on their larger, more powerful models, anywhere from 18-60 inches from the skin. What they do not tell you is that this buffer is suggested due to the high amounts of EMF being emitted when in close proximity to the device. Gembared, on the other hand, allows you to put their smaller devices directly on your skin for maximum light absorption and benefits without the negative consequences of long-term EMF exposure. On their larger models (due to the increase in power output/intensity), it is suggested to maintain at least a 6-inch buffer, still better than an 18-inch minimum buffer mentioned earlier because the further you move away, the more light bounces off and dissipates rather than absorbing into our skin and beyond.
Gembared has been our staple red light company for years now. We really enjoy speaking with Andrew (Gembared Owner).
We trust and appreciate his knowledge, experience, transparency, and insight. All of the Gembared devices are housed in a sturdy frame and emit almost zero flicker rate, with very low EMF being emitted from their devices. This generally means it is safe and effective to use Gembared Red Light Therapy devices directly on your skin, preferably no more than 15 minutes per spot and no more than 1 hour of total usage per day. We have noticed that Gembared devices are very well constructed, have very clear and powerful lenses (especially on their Beacon Model), and very high-quality red light bulbs. Be sure to read each product in detail as some products contain anywhere from 1-4 or even 5 forms of red light, including near-infrared light, all with varying combinations of light.
For example, their Groove model is the first panel we ever bought from Andrew. The Groove is a low-cost alternative when compared to leading competitors, yet a highly effective red light therapy device. It’s not going to break the bank, but nonetheless, it is a highly effective device to start with. It contains 3 beneficial wavelengths, which include:
1. 75 Red 630nm
2. 75 Deep Red 660nm
3. 75 Near Infrared 850nm.
The near Infrared (NIR) bulbs do not emit visible light. We had some issues with our first set of grooves, but thanks to Andrew and his customer service team, we had zero issues with him taking care of it and sending us full-functioning replacements. Definitely be aware of your environment, and most definitely avoid too much humidity.
So the Groove has 3 red light bulbs, right? Well, the Rex is a step up, slightly larger, and has 4 red light bulbs. The Rex model was designed to use a similar ratio of infrared to mimic the sun’s output ~43%, with the RexRex being 47%. It’s only $79 more dollars (Use Code MGS10 for a 10% Discount) and has 4 wavelengths (versus 3) of red and near-infrared light.
1. 60 Red 630nm
2. 60 Deep Red 660nm
3. 45 Near Infrared 830nm
4. 60 Near Infrared 850nm.
Again, both the Groove and the RexRex have an ultra-low-flicker rate and low-EMF output. Both also have a very similar intensity output of around 6.9 mW/cm² measured at 1 inch.
Both the Rex and the Groove are housed in a sturdy polymer construction and do not have any sort of lenses. The Next model, however, which is labeled The Beacon, is quite possibly our favorite model of any red light company. It features a solid metal construction that is both lightweight and sleek, a complimentary stand built in, as well as 30-degree lenses for each bulb. It’s around 80 more dollars than the Rex. We think both are stellar options, and we actually love and use both still. So you know how we said the Rex and the Groove have a similar power output of around 6.9 mW/cm² around 1 inch? Well, the Beacon is rated at 89 mW/cm² around 0 inches with almost zero EMF output. This is quite a power difference, but this does not automatically make it far superior. In fact, there are different uses, and you can only absorb so many joules (A joule is a unit of measurement of energy released over time) in a day from a light device. Too much creates diminishing returns (Andrew explains this to us).
The Beacon Contains 4 Types of Red Light Bulbs:
22% – Red 630nm
34% – Deep Red 660nm
22% – Near-Infrared 830nm*
22% – Near-Infrared 850nm*
We have tried a few of his other products, which we really like as well, but one of these days, we would not mind trying out the more powerful stand-up models that Gembared offers.
Those 3 mentioned above are all wonderful multi-use red-light devices that are extremely therapeutic and energizing but are also great to use as an ambient light source, as we already mentioned a few times.
The Beam LX Mini Red-Only Floodlight is a compact and affordable red-only 39w LED Light therapy device. It offers greater coverage and better ambient light than the original beam mini panel. We use both of these lights in our warehouse/facility. We highly recommend both. The regular beam is perfect for a powerful light source that is minimalist and very portable. The LX is more powerful and is more stationary, but can still be easily transported.
- Single wavelength 660 nm photobiomodulation.
- Focused 60-degree beam angle lens.
- Effective intensity is delivered at a distance.
So, finally, how do I use my Red Light device to ensure optimal biological function?
We are so glad you asked! In fact, this is huge. Without this, we believe this guide is just words, so let’s take some action!
First off, let’s start with time. If you have any red light device that has a LENSE, such as the vector, the Spazer, the Beacon, etc. These either have a 2-degree, 30-degree, 60-degree lens, whatever. They are awesome because you can stand further away with still an effective treatment; therefore, 99% of the time, it will be more focused and more powerful. Therefore, you will only want to keep it on each selected area for maybe 7-15 minutes max, preferably 2-3 inches away from the skin. Whereas the Rex, Groove, and Improve models you can place directly on your skin for 15-25 minutes each spot. We do not recommend doing more than 50 minutes per session. As we mentioned, this can create diminishing returns.
We suggest that your routine look similar to this:
1. Scalp/Head 10-15 Min. (Amazing for Hair Growth, Reverse Balding, + Incredible Brain Benefits)
2. Face/Thyroid 10-15 Min. (Great for Everything Brain Related + Metabolic Function)
3. Sternum/Upper Abdominals 10-15 Min. (Great for Heart & Stem Cell Production)
4. Abdominals/Stomach Region 10-15 Min. (Great for Neurotransmitter Production + Gut Function)
5. Legs + Shins 5-15 Min. (Great for Stem Cell Production and massive circulation)
6. Feet 5+ Minutes (Supposedly, we’ve been told the feet yield the most systemic results (total body)
7. Back + Lower Back (Kidneys) 5-15 Min. (Great for Drainage of Spinal Fluid and Kidney Regeneration)
Something like that, you can place it literally anywhere for 5-15+ minutes depending on the device you are using, but certain places reap different benefits. Either way, getting more red light in general on your skin more consistently will yield massive results.
Evidence-Based Results by Mitigating Blue Light & Utilizing Red Light Therapy: The Blue Light Antidote
Light therapy is powerful. In fact, we have evidence of legitimate studies showcasing the profound effects light therapy has on people experiencing debilitating diseases and reversing them. We understand light therapy can lift moods, boost our immune system, and even heal wounds, but Parkinson’s? Check this study out: The study mentioned here consisted of seven patients in France.
Metabolism, Blood Sugar & Diabetes:
We also mentioned blood sugar, which is huge! Just like Dr. Jack Kruse, Dr. Ray Peat has written a lot on red and blue light and their huge effects on metabolism. This study below showcases that just 3 hours of exposure is enough to trigger a dysfunction in our metabolism. Now, picture how detrimental blue light is at night when the sun is down, and you are exposed to artificial light everywhere from outside, inside, wherever. The sad reality is most honest Americans are enduring countless hours, anywhere from 8-12 hours daily or, even worse, nightly working and stressing under office lights, which, mind you, contain mercury (fluorescent bulbs, aka blue lights). Check this study out here to learn how blue light alters metabolic function in Normal Weight Adults.
Dementia & Alzheimer’s:
This research listed below saw 14 healthy people, ranging from ages 45 and above, all from the UK. Each person received roughly six minutes of photobiomodulation therapy (PBM-T) twice daily at a wavelength of 1068 nanometers over a span of four weeks. Another control group was tested by utilizing a dummy PBM-T helmet (fake). The scientists showcased a series of tests involving memory, verbal, and motor skills both before and after the treatment. The scientists ended up finding huge improvements in performance for all the skills tested for the patients who received the PBM-T treatment compared to the placebo group. No adverse effects were reported during treatment. Check this study out here.
The next finding also follows recently published, separate pilot Alzheimer’s disease clinical studies (we do not have it listed here), which were conducted by both Dr. Chaz it and Dr. Dougal. This study was published in the journals Cureus and Aging and Disease and led by Dr. Jason Huang (Texas A&M University), which led them to believe that PBM-T1068 (AKA Transcranial near-infrared tNIR treatment) has very positive effects on this debilitating condition for both men and women alike with mild to moderate dementia.
Check out some of these interesting studies below:
1. “PBM significantly altered the diversity and abundance of intestinal flora. Specifically, PBM treatment reversed the typical increase of Helicobacter and uncultured Bacteroidales and the decrease of Rikenella seen in AD mice.”
2. “Five genera (Bacteroides, Escherichia, Parabacteroides, Allobaculum, and Faecalibaculum) were significantly enriched 1 week after the D-LED PBM. Bacteroides acidifaciens significantly increased, while Lachnospiraceae significantly decreased after 1 week.
Conclusion: A single session of D-LED PBM improved hyperglycemia and hepatic parameters through the change of serum insulin, insulin resistance, insulin expression in the pancreatic β-cells, and gut microbiome in T2DM animal models.”
3. “Specifically, we have observed changes in the microbiome of Parkinson’s patients after a 12-week treatment regimen with photobiomodulation to the abdomen, neck, head and nose. Noted were positive changes in the Firmicutes to Bacteroidetes (F:B) ratio, which is often interpreted as a proxy for gut health.”
4. “The microbiome of the participant showed significant changes in diversity after PBM treatment, but not after cancer therapy, with an increase in the number of known beneficial bacteria (Akkermansia, Faecalibacterium, and Roseburia) and decrease in the number of potentially pathogenic genera. “
5. “We propose that the use of PBM directed at the abdomen to down-regulate the local inflammatory response (either through the activation of the microbiome–gut–brain axis, the HPA axis, or a direct effect on mucosal neurons)…”
6. “We found that APP/PS1 mice treated with MIR light had enhanced learning and memory abilities and reduced amyloid-β (Aβ) plaque load in the brain. We also surprisingly found that the gut microbiota composition in APP/PS1 mice treated with MIR light returned to normal (wild-type mice) levels.
7. “Another interesting finding was the striking enhancement of the relative abundance of Clostridium clusters in the gut of FIR-irradiated mice (Fig. 3C). These clusters are known to produce SCFAs, especially for butyrate , , .”
There are dozens of Ray Peat quotes around the web showcasing his reasons for why red light is such an essential component when it comes to enhancing your health, recovery, and performance. Check out some of his quotes below:
“Penetrating red light is possibly the fundamental anti-stress factor for all organisms. The chronic deficiency of such light is, I think, the best explanation for the deterioration that occurs with aging. Enzyme changes, free radical changes, structural and respiratory changes are all involved as consequences of darkness stress.” – Ray Peat.
“It turns out that the meaning of “excess estrogen” has to be interpreted in relation to the balance of estrogen (and the multitude of factors which mimic estrogen’s effects) with all of the antiestrogen factors. I have concentrated on thyroid, progesterone, and red light as the most important factors that protect against estrogen, and these all turn out to be protective against stress, shock, ionizing radiation, free radicals, lipid peroxidation, thymic atrophy, osteoporosis, arthritis, scleroderma, apoptotic cell death, and other problems that are involved in tissue degeneration or aging.” –Ray Peat.
“Subnormal temperatures cause a shift from phagocytosis to inflammation. Light, especially the red light which penetrates easily into tissues, activates the formation of new cells as well as their differentiation. It affects energy production, increasing the formation of mitochondria, and the activity of the DNA methyltransferase enzymes. Red light accelerates wound healing, and improves the quality of the scar, reducing the amount of fibrosis.” – Ray Peat.
“(Chemically, the meaning of “a pigment” is that it’s a chemical which selectively absorbs radiation. Old observations such as Warburg’s, that visible light can restore the activity of the “respiratory pigments,” showed without doubt that visible light is biochemically active. By the 1960s, several studies had been published showing the inhibition of respiratory enzymes by blue light, and their activation by red light. The problem to be explained is why the science culture simply couldn’t accept crucial facts of that sort.)”– Ray Peat
“Cytochrome oxidase is one of the enzymes damaged by stress and by blue light, and activated or restored by red light, thyroid, and progesterone. It’s a copper enzyme, so it’s likely to be damaged by excess iron. It is most active when it is associated with a mitochondrial lipid, cardiolipin, that contains saturated palmitic acid; the substitution of polyunsaturated fats lowers its activity. Mitochondrial function in general is poisoned by the unsaturated fats, especially arachidonic acid and DHA .” – Ray Peat (We Mentioned this Earlier)
“The pituitary hormones, especially prolactin and TSH, are pro-inflammatory, and darkness increases TSH along with prolactin, so to compensate for a light deficiency, the pituitary should be well-suppressed by adequate thyroid. Armour thyroid or Thyrolar or Cynoplus, Cytomel, would probably be helpful. (Eye-drops containing T3 might be a way to restore metabolic activity more quickly.) Limiting water intake (or using salt generously) helps to inhibit prolactin secretion. The saturated fats protect against the body’s stored PUFA, and keeping the blood sugar up keeps the stored fats from being mobilized. Aspirin (or indomethacin) is generally protective to the retina, analogously to its protection against sunburn. Adequate vitamin E is extremely important. There are several prescription drugs that protect against serotonin excess, but thyroid and gelatin (or glycine, as in magnesium glycinate) are protective against the serotonin and melatonin toxicities. Copper and magnesium deficiencies predispose to retinal damage. Red light is protective, blue light is harmful, so wearing orange lenses would be helpful. Progesterone and pregnenolone, by reducing the stress reactions, should be helpful–in the eye diseases of infancy and old age, as they are in the respiratory distress syndromes.”– Ray Peat.
“When the body temperature is very much below normal, mental functioning is seriously limited. I think the first question that should be asked about a demented person is “Is this the cold brain syndrome, or is something else involved?” When it is known that the brain has shrunk dramatically, and filled up with plaques and developed gliosis, we know that something more than a “cold brain” is involved, but we don’t know how much function could be regained if the hormones were normalized. Every moment of malfunction probably leaves its structural mark. Early or late, it is good to prevent the functional errors that lead to further damage, and to give the regenerative systems an opportunity to work. Before the final “calcium death” described (above) by Fujita, there are many opportunities for intervening to stop or reverse the process. The older the person is, the more emphasis should be put on protective inhibition, rather than immediately increasing energy production. Magnesium, carbon dioxide, sleep, red light, and naloxone might be appropriate at the beginning of therapy.”– Ray Peat.
“While treating the symptoms with cortisone for a short time, it is important to try to learn the basic cause of the problem, by checking for hypothyroidism, vitamin A deficiency, protein deficiency, a lack of sunlight, etc. (I suspect that light on the skin directly increases the skin’s production of steroids, without depending on other organs. Different steroids probably involve different frequencies of light, but orange and red light seem to be important frequencies.)” – Ray Peat
“Even ultraviolet light can produce electronic excitation and bystander effects that destabilize cells, but, unlike gamma rays and x-rays, ultraviolet light doesn’t penetrate deeply into the body. In visible light, it is only the red component that can pass deeply into the tissue, and it happens that red light is able to “quench” many excited electrons, restoring them to their normal resting or ground state. In a solid material,such as a seed or hair or bone, excited electrons will persist for a long time (hours in the seed and hair, years in bone), but with a brief exposure to red light, they will return to their normal state. This beneficial effect of the red component of sunlight helps to keep plants from being sunburned. If the red light is removed from sunlight, even the blue light by itself is quickly toxic to their mitochondria. During the night animals’ respiratory enzymes lose some of their effectiveness, possibly from the effects of random lipid peroxidation, and red light restores their activity.” – Ray Peat.
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