Red light therapy is one of the latest emerging trends in the world of health and wellness. Also known as infrared light, it is a type of phototherapy that uses red light to treat various ailments, including chronic pain, acne, eczema and psoriasis.
Red light therapy is also being used as a way to help with weight loss, by increasing energy expenditure and reducing food intake. But what exactly is red light therapy? And does it actually work for losing weight? Let’s take a deeper look!
How Red Light therapy works
Red light therapy is a treatment that uses low levels of special red light to help heal and improve the health of your body. It’s kind of like giving your body a little bit of sunlight, but with only the red part of the light.
The treatment uses specific wavelengths of red light that are gentle and not hot like sunlight. When this red light shines on your skin, it goes into your body and helps your cells work better. It’s like giving them a little boost of energy.
Red light can help your body heal faster from injuries, like cuts or bruises. It can also reduce pain and inflammation. It encourages the production of collagen, which helps keep your skin firm and smooth. Some people even say it can improve their mood and help with sleep.
Near-infrared Light vs Red Light
Red light and near-infrared light are both part of the electromagnetic spectrum, but they have different wavelengths and properties, which lead to different effects on the body and various applications.
Red light has wavelengths ranging from about 620 to 750 nanometers. It’s visible to the human eye and is the colour we perceive as red. However, Near Infrared Light has longer wavelengths, typically ranging from about 750 to 1400 nanometers. It’s just beyond the range of human vision and cannot be seen with the naked eye because it falls outside the spectrum of colours our eyes are sensitive to, so we need specialist equipment to detect it.
While both red light and near-infrared light have their own unique properties and benefits, near-infrared light is known for its deeper penetration and therapeutic effects on cellular processes, making it a popular choice for various medical and health-related treatments.
Can red light and near-infrared Light Help You Lose Weight?
When you include red light therapies to a healthy and active (exercising) lifestyle the results are profound. The fat-loss benefits of red light are limited to fat stored under the skin. Red light only penetrates the dermal layer where it activates cellular metabolism just below the surface of the skin. This is where most excess fat is stored, so it is possible to have great results with just red light treatments.
However, as near-infrared and infrared (IR) light penetrate deeper into the body than red light it can promote weight loss and improve body composition, because it stimulates the metabolism at a deeper level.
NIR can be applied prior to exercising to accelerate deep tissue muscle healing as well as muscle growth. The increase in muscle mass supports the number of calories burned whilst the body is resting, post exercising. This encourages the muscle mass to be warmer therefore ‘muscle-burning’ and contributes to a fat-mass loss.
Red light therapy & Insulin Sensitivity
Another factor as to why Red light therapy is good for what loss is because of its impacts on insulin sensitivity.
Glucose is a type of sugar that is used for energy, it’s stored in the liver and muscles as glycogen. The hormone insulin helps the body to store glucose after eating a meal, in the body’s cells, to use later on as energy. Some people have trouble with insulin levels, due to genetics or other factors like stress or dieting too much, which means the pancreas cannot create enough insulin to help the body store glucose, leading to insulin resistance – which means the cells in your body don’t take in he glucose and so your blood sugar levels are raised.
Red light is believed to support insulin sensitivity, which helps us better use glucose in the body. This was because, as a study showed, red light therapy improved the circadian rhythm which is hugely impactful on insulin regulation and sensitivity.
Red light therapy has been shown to suppress appetite and actually help you eat less food
It’s not just a matter of feeling full, but also reducing your overall caloric intake. This is likely due to the fact that red light therapy may help reduce inflammation in the body, increase insulin sensitivity (which can lead to reduced cravings), or both.
Red light therapy can help with inflammation in the body
Red light therapy is a promising treatment for inflammation and similar conditions. It’s not a replacement for other treatments, but it may be helpful in conjunction with them.
Red light therapy has been studied as a treatment for:
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
- Psoriasis, eczema, and acne
- Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)
- Osteoarthritis (OA)
Better Together: Cryostar® & Red Light Therapy
Combining the freezing power of the Cryostar® treatments with the benefits of light therapy treatment will super-charge your treatments! Cryostar® and red light therapy are similar in that they are both advanced technologies that work on a cellular level to provide a number of health benefits and promote healing.
Red light therapy is still a relatively new treatment, but there are promising results so far. It’s important to note that red light therapy isn’t going to miraculously melt away your fat or cure obesity overnight. However, as it works with your body naturally and non-invasively it could potentially be an effective tool in your weight loss arsenal. If used correctly by following the right protocol, staying consistent with treatment sessions and combining with a healthy lifestyle it could be just the thing to help you achieve your health and fitness goals.