What Is Red Light Therapy? A Beginner’s Guide

May 04, 2023
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Do you live with chronic pain? How about overuse injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome? Are you troubled by damaged skin? Red light therapy may help. Learn how this innovative treatment works to repair damage and rejuvenate the body.

Medical therapies often center around interventions like medication and surgery. But numerous advancements in treatments and technologies in recent years have resulted in therapies that don’t require any of these tools. Instead, they use specific wavelengths of light to stimulate the body’s ability to heal.

One of these approaches is red light therapy, an integrative technique offered by certified nurse practitioner Amy Bass, APRN, NP-C, at Desert Moon Wellness. Here’s what you should know about this cutting-edge technology and how she uses it at her practice in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Red light therapy basics

Unlike other types of medical treatments, red light therapy triggers changes in your body’s cells to activate the natural healing process. 

It all starts with low-intensity red and near-infrared light. When placed near the treatment area, the particles — or photons — pass seamlessly through the skin and enter tissues in the body. This activates specific parts of cells, including the mitochondria. 

Mitochondria play an important role in your cells because they make energy. Once produced, it gets housed in a specific molecule known as adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP helps your body use and store energy created by the mitochondria.

However, numerous factors can cause mitochondria to produce less ATP, including lifestyle, aging, and illness. Red light therapy works to reverse that decline in production, which prompts tissue repair, relieves pain, and reduces inflammation at the same time.

Conditions that respond to red light therapy

Red light therapy isn’t new. In fact, Hungarian physician and professor Endre Mester first used it in the early 1970s to treat people with non-healing skin ulcers. Today, it’s a popular option for numerous issues, from cosmetic treatments to medical ones.

The Desert Moon Wellness team could recommend red light therapy for a variety of reasons, such as:

  • Skin issues, like sun damage, aging, redness, scars, and acne
  • Hair growth
  • Wound healing
  • Building collagen and tightening skin, complementing weight loss efforts
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Tendinitis
  • Psoriasis
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome

Studies also show that undergoing red light therapy before chemotherapy or radiation could decrease the side effects of these cancer treatments.

Plus, red light therapy isn’t associated with any side effects and can be used safely in combination with other treatments.

What to expect during red light therapy

Red light therapy is quick, painless. Each treatment session takes less than 30 minutes. 

This type of therapy works best cumulatively, meaning you need a number of sessions to get the maximum benefits. In most cases, you should plan on at least three treatments spaced a week or two apart.

Find out if red light therapy is right for your needs. Contact Desert Moon Wellness in Las Vegas, Nevada, to schedule a consultation today.