Science & the benefits of Red Light & near Infrared therapy

Red Light Therapy, also referred to as Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) or photobiomodulation  is the act of utilizing red light and/or near-infrared light for beneficial properties within the body.  Red Light Therapy is an FDA approved treatment for fat loss, acne, muscle and joint pain,  compromised blood circulation and even reversing hair loss.

With over 50,000 scientific and clinical studies conducted on Red Light Therapy it's easy to identify at least one item you could personally benefit from.  What is being discovered through this research is that red and near-infrared light therapy can benefit virtually every system of the body.  In addition to stimulating the lymphatic system, reducing pain and lowering inflammation, this light can also improve the way one looks by helping to shed inches of fat, reducing the signs of aging,  regrowing hair, increasing the results from workouts and speeding up healing.  The research into the power of red light to improve health and provide cosmetic benefits simultaneously continues to gain momentum.   Listed below are some of the key benefits of this therapy.

Increased Fat Loss and reduction of stubborn fat

In studies, near-infrared and Red Light Therapy have helped shave an entire 3.5 to 5.17 inches off waist and hip circumference by reducing the fat mass layer in just four weeks of use.

In another study of 86 individuals using Red Light Therapy at 635 nm for 20 minutes every other day for two weeks, study participants lost 2.99 inches across all body parts — yes, 3 inches — in just 14 days of Red Light Therapy.  When red/NIR light therapy is when combined with exercise, research shows that fat loss can dramatically be enhanced  as compared to people just sticking to an the exercise routine without  light therapy.

Reduction of Cellulite

One study found that when near-infrared and Red Light Therapy is combined with massage, it led to an astounding 71% reduction in cellulite!  Another study that assessed the use of near-infrared and Red-Light Therapy on skin health found that “91% of subjects reported improved skin tone, and 82% reported enhanced smoothness of skin in the treatment area.” 

Reversal of  Skin Damage

In addition to reducing the the signs of skin damage from UV rays, red/NIR  therapy has been shown to reduce wrinkles, reduce color patches, hyperpigmentation, and skin discoloration, enhance collagen synthesis and collagen density (research has shown it can enhance production of collagen by up to 31%), accelerate repair in the epithelial layer of skin, combat other skin conditions like acne, keloids, vitiligo, burns, herpes virus sores and psoriasis. 

Speed Up Wound Healing 

Red/infrared light accomplishes this in several ways:

  • Cleaning up dead and damaged cells in skin (phagocytosis)
  • Increasing ATP in skin cells, giving cells more energy to heal themselves
  • Increasing the production of fibroblasts
  • Increasing blood flow, supplying the wound more oxygen and nutrients needed for repair
  • Stimulating the production of collagen and the health of the extracellular matrix
  • Stimulating lymph activity
  • Stimulating the formation of new connective tissue and blood capillaries on the surface of the wound. 

Combat Inflammation 

Red and near-infrared light therapy is highly effective in treating chronic inflammation. Since chronic inflammation is now being recognized as a major contributor to most chronic diseases from heart disease, depression and cancer to Alzheimer’s and chronic fatigue syndrome, this effect of Red-Light Therapy on inflammation is a very big deal.  Many aging scientists now speak of “inflammaging” — the concept that the genes and pathways that control inflammation may very well be the key drivers of aging and disease. 

Improved Sleep Quality

Several studies have found that red/NIR light can increase melatonin and provide dramatic sleep benefits to people with insomnia. The first documented use of a similar Red-Light Therapy device to directly observe melatonin level was conducted by Xu C et al in 2001. They treated 38 subjects that had insomnia with intranasal low-level laser therapy once a day over 10 days. They found that serum melatonin had increased.  The same group of researchers further treated another group of 128 patients with insomnia and found that the polysomnogram (a sleep study that includes data on brain waves as electrical activity) data had improved.  In 2006, Wang F et al reported that they had treated 50 patients with insomnia. Each session was conducted once a day over between 10 to 14 days. They found that the condition had improved significantly in 41 (82%) of the cases, mild for 4 (8%) of the cases, and none for 5 (10%) of the cases.  

Decreased Pain

Several conditions where red/NIR light has proven effective include chronic neck, back and knee pain,  fibromyalgia, chronic pain in the elbow, wrist and fingers, sacroiliac joint pain, chronic tooth pain, osteoarthritic pain, tendinitis and myofascial pain.

Enhanced muscle gain, strength, endurance, and recovery 

Red/NIR light with exercise is a potent combination. Not only does red/NIR light help you recover faster, it seems to amplify everything that happens with exercise – increased muscle gain, fat loss, performance, strength, and endurance.   Working through several important mechanisms in the body, red/NIR helps promote the production of internal antioxidants by your cells, which prevents oxidative stress and damage to the muscle tissue when light is applied before exercise.  It also helps to  reduce inflammation that will lead to cellular damage and fatigue in the muscle tissue and enhances muscle growth.  Red and near-infrared light improves mitochondrial function during exercise and decreases lactic acid production by muscles.  Red and near-infrared light increase the production of specific types of heat shock proteins that protect cells from oxidative damage, stress, and apoptosis (early cell death).  

Additional notable benefits also include improved mood and decreased anxiety, improved cognitive performance, slowed hair loss / stimulated hair growth and increased energy levels.

The Science - Why Wavelengths Matter

When choosing the right near-infrared and red-light therapy look for wavelengths in the proven therapeutic ranges. The bulk of research indicates the following wavelength are the most effective:

  • 630-680 nm (optimal spectrum of red light)
  • 800 to 880 nm (optimal spectrum of near-infrared)
  • IDEALLY a combination of both

Why Power Density Matters

Power density is important because your cells need to receive a certain intensity of red light to benefit.  For maximum efficacy, a sizable light that has a power density of at least 100mW from close range is essential. This power density allows for one to get up to the therapeutic levels that are used in the studies – especially for the deeper tissues.  Slim Sculpt  delivers over 100mW!  This is a huge benefit.  Having a high-power light that is also large enough in size allows you to treat large areas of your body at once in just a few minutes.