What is it?
- Red and near-infrared light are part of the electromagnetic spectrum, and more specifically, part of the spectrum of light emitted by the sun. These wavelengths of light are “bioactive” in humans.
- Electromagnetic waves range from 0.0001 nanometers (gamma waves) all the way to over 1 million nm (radio waves).
When you pass white light through a prism, it separates out the different colors based upon their wavelengths (ROYGBIV). Only a tiny part of this spectrum (roughly 400nm to 700nm) is actually visible to the human eye.
At the highest end of the visible light spectrum is red light, which goes from a little over 600nm to approximately 700nm. Above the visible light spectrum is near-infrared (NIR) from about 700nm to a little over 1,100nm.
It is specifically these red and near-infrared wavelengths that have amazing effects on our bodies. Most research showing benefits of red light and near-infrared light have used wavelengths in the ranges of 620-680nm and 800-880nm.
Most wavelengths of light are unable to penetrate the body, but stay in the layer of the skin. Red, or near-infrared, are able to penetrate deeper into the body, getting down to the cells
Who is it for?
Anyone who is dealing with physical pain
Anyone dealing with skin issues
Those looking to lose weight
Those dealing with arthritis
Athletes looking for faster recovery and increased sports performance
What are the benefits?
Promotes wound healing and tissue repair
Supports collagen production / anti-aging
Reduces swelling and inflammation (pain)
Improves joint health
Improves physical performance, muscle recovery and energy levels
Increases melatonin / improves sleep
Boosting Cellular Energy Function
The most well-studied mechanism of action surrounding red and near-infrared light therapy is increased mitochondrial energy production in the cells. Mitochondria are tiny organelles that are the energy power plants of all the cells in our body. Red and near-infrared light therapy help the mitochondria create more of that energy.
The specific photons found in red and near-infrared light interact with a photoreceptor within our cells called cytochrome c oxidase. This interaction stimulates the mitochondria in our cells to use oxygen more efficiently, which allows the mitochondria to produce more ATP (adenosine triphosphate). Adenosine triphosphate is a complex organic chemical that provides energy to drive many processes in living cells, e.g. muscle contraction, nerve impulse propagation, and chemical synthesis. Found in all forms of life, ATP is often referred to as the "molecular unit of currency" of intracellular energy transfer. When our cells have more energy, they simply perform better and the body follows suit!
When is the best time to use this therapy?
Best to use morning/evening, as this mimics sunrise/sunset, helping to balance circadian rhythms; however, it can be used anytime
Can use virtually every day, no evidence of overdoing it
Sessions should last 10-20 minutes
Easily stackable with other therapies (PEMF, EWOT, sauna)
Recommended using eye protection
Hyperthyroidism (neck and upper chest)
Eye disease (eyes)
Fever or infection
Central Athlete is now offering red light therapy to all clients. Ask your coach about setting up a session!