Recently, red light therapy has received much-deserved attention from scientists and self-proclaimed “bio-hackers.” Many benefits (which I’ve covered here) from red light therapy are being studied and proven in labs. Thus, people are beginning to wonder where to get red light therapy devices, how to use them, what to look for in a machine, etc.
Where to Go for Red Light Therapy
You don’t necessarily have to buy red light therapy devices to undergo red light therapy. Red light therapy devices can be pricey.
If one such device is not in your budget, ask your doctor about getting a referral to see a trained practitioner. Holistic and integrative medicine doctors in your area may also be able to provide red light therapy. Specific practitioners may use red light therapy devices in their practices, such as rheumatologists or dermatologists.
Also, you may consider going to medical spas to use a red light therapy device. Some health and wellness establishments offer memberships and daily-use fees, similar to a gym.
Getting Your Own Red Light Therapy Device
If you’re considering using red light therapy long-term, it may be more convenient and cost-effective to buy your own device for home use.
Health-optimization companies sell red light therapy devices with the intention of helping you with sleep optimization, muscle recovery, sexual libido, athletic performance, and more.
Some brands offer the option to buy small, “modular” devices that can be built on over time (to eventually become a full-body device, for example). Joovv offers a range of devices from small tabletop to whole-body machines, as does Platinum LED Therapy Lights.
Things to Look for ina Red Light Therapy Device
You want to make sure your red light therapy device contains clinically proven wavelengths between the mid-600 or mid-800 nanometer range. Aim to use a device that delivers 100 milliwatts per square centimeter (100 MW/CM²) of power. Do not buy a device until you’re confident the wavelengths are clinically proven and that the device isn’t “low in power.”
The Different Types of Red Light Therapy Devices
A small, “mini” red light therapy device is ideal for price efficiency and targeted treatment for specific areas of the body. For example, if you have a problematic knee or wrist, you may want to buy a smaller device to use specifically on that area rather than a much larger, more expensive device.
Red vs. Near-Infrared Light
Red light is a form of concentrated light that, when used therapeutically, is non-invasive, non-warming, and doesn’t expose the skin to harmful amounts of UV rays. Red light contains a wavelength on the visible light spectrum of approximately 660 nanometers. Red light contains smaller wavelengths than near-infrared light, doesn’t penetrate the body as deeply, and is thus mainly used to treat the skin. Red light can efficiently improve skin clarity, tone, texture, and fade scars and stretch marks.
On the other hand, near-infrared light contains a wavelength of approximately 850 nanometers, a much longer wavelength. Near-infrared light can penetrate deeper into the body, stimulate healing, lessen pain and positively affect internal organs. This provides many of the benefits people seek from light therapy, such as healthy hormonal function, joint and muscle function, and even reduced inflammation.
Some red light therapy devices can be switched between red light and near-infrared light for the most benefits.
Using a Red Light Therapy Device
It’s recommended that you visit a red light therapy practitioner for specific instructions on using a red light therapy device for your particular needs.
Here are some general guidelines:
Standing, sitting or lying 4 to 6 inches away from your device is best for optimal exposure. If you’re new to light therapy, you can expect the red light being emitted from the device to appear uncomfortably bright. Consider closing your eyes or wearing eye protection.
Treating your body for 10 to 15 minutes is optimal. Treating your body any longer would be in vain since your cells can only absorb a certain amount of red light at once. Consider beginning with 1 to 2-minute treatments and building your way up to the suggested 10 to 15-minute treatments. This will give your cells ample time to get used to absorbing so much beneficial light.
The benefits from red light is increased through consistency. Try using a red light therapy device every day if possible, but no less than 3 to 4 times a week. If you have an injury in a specific area of the body, you may benefit from treating that area multiple times per day with a red light therapy device. It’s best to wait 6 hours between sessions, however.
Finally, the more of your body you can cover, the better. Bigger devices, though more expensive, tend to render promising results much quicker. People report notable enhanced energy levels with these devices. Hence many tend to use red light therapy first thing in the morning. Also, however, red light can help with sleep and can be effectively used at night before bed to improve the quality of rest.
Include Red Light Therapy as a Part of Your Wellness Routine
Red light therapy provides many benefits and is worth considering for anything ranging from hormonal function to skin health.
As the science surrounding the devices is strengthening, finding a place to undergo red light therapy shouldn’t be difficult as the treatment is becoming increasingly popular. And more home devices are becoming available.
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