- What is red light therapy?
- Benefits of red light
- Do I need a TLR device?
- Uses of red light therapy
- Red light for recovery in CrossFit
- Which one to buy?
- Frequently Asked Questions
Do you want to recover faster from workouts?
Have a healthier skin?
Have more energy during the day?
An aid for synchronizing your circadian rhythms and sleep better?
In this post we talk about the benefits that red light brings to our health, the natural and free option, and the technological option to help us with the frenetic rhythms of our day to day life.
What is red light therapy?
Red light therapy (known by the acronym TLR) is a treatment that consists of exposing the body to red light to obtain a variety of benefits such as helping to heal the skin, muscle tissue recovery, inflammatory processes...
Red and infrared light lie in the electromagnetic spectrum between visible light and microwaves.
The red light emits in the wavelength corresponding to 625-740 nm in the visible spectrum of light.
The infrared correspond to the 850 nm spectrum and our eyes only capture the waves between 400-700 nanometers, hence we do not see the infrared. They are not visible to the naked eye, but can be seen by the human eye. feel how they radiate heat and are able to reach deeper tissues than red light..
The light spectrum is discussed in more detail in this post:
Benefits of red light
Red light therapy sends energy to the cells through both visible and invisible waves picked up by the natural receptors in our tissues. In this process:
- cells create more energy to function and repair themselves better.
- decreases inflammation
- promotes the elimination of toxins
As a whole, it helps to improve overall health, especially in the skin and muscle tissue.
Do I need a TLR device?
If you live like the majority of people in the 21st century and if you spend more time inside a building than outside, the red light will be a great help to provide that extra light. your cells are waiting for.
We live in an environment with a lot of blue light and little exposure to red and infrared light and this means that we are "poorly illuminated" although for most people we are still there is no awareness of this problem.
As always, it is enough to look back at the behavior of our ancestors.
We have gone from living outdoors practically all the time to it being normal to leave the house only to get in the car, go to work, go shopping and return home. And this radical change in behavior can only have negative consequences.
Lack of exposure to natural light causes all kinds of pathologies such as malfunctioning of: organs, immune system, energy production, hormonal...
We could say that red light therapy works as a supplement.
And it's certainly a step in the right direction, as it helps to raise awareness and increase exposure, but is not a substitute for natural light.
Free natural red light
The best way to take advantage of red light is in its natural state, plus it's free.
Lack of red light should not be a concern with sufficient outdoor exposure (wearing little clothing).
Since going out to sunbathe naked or half-naked on a daily basis is not the most common thing to do, red light equipment can help us make up for those shortcomings.
Uses of red light therapy
There are many cases in which the red light can help:
- Mitigate pain
- Decrease inflammatory processesarthritis, surgeries, acne, fibromyalgia...
- Improving brain health
- Regenerate eye health
- Optimizing our hormones
- Improve moodWhen the weather is gray, it is easy to feel down and it is because of the lack of red light. TLR improves mood even in cases of depression.
- Muscle recovery and improved physical performance
- Skin rejuvenation and beauty: this technique has long been used in beauty salons, as it gives very good results. It can reduce acne by reducing the inflammatory process, stimulates collagen production, and improves cellular hydration of the skin helping to improve its appearance.
- It promotes hair growth without pain, without being a cumbersome procedure as would be a transplant or with rebound as with other hormonal treatments.
- Improved sleep
- Wound healing: reduces inflammation and promotes the formation of new tissue.
- Weight loss: studies have shown positive effects of the use of TLR in burning fat and reducing cellulite (here you can read the studies). Paolillo FR, Borghi-Silva A, Parizotto NA, Kurachi C, Bagnato VS. New treatment of cellulite with infrared-LED illumination applied during high-intensity treadmill training. J Cosmet Laser Ther. 2011 Aug;13(4):166-71. doi: 10.3109/14764172.2011.594065. PMID: 21740089 - Roche GC, Shanks S, Jackson RF, Holsey LJ. Low-Level Laser Therapy for Reducing the Hip, Waist, and Upper Abdomen Circumference of Individuals with Obesity. Photomed Laser Surg. 2017 Mar;35(3):142-149. doi: 10.1089/pho.2016.4172. Epub 2016 Dec 9. PMID: 27935737)
It is important to emphasize that red light is not miraculous, but is just one more component in the complex formula for good health: lack of nutrients and sedentary lifestyle, exposure to toxins, alteration of the circadian rhythm... The application of red light therapy in a negative health environment will not produce optimal results..
Red light for recovery in CrossFit
In CrossFit we do very difficult things and many times the recovery protocols are also uncomfortable (cold water, myofascial massage...) but the red light is an exception.
By simply exposing our bare skin to light, our body's cells get an extra boost of energy that aids and optimizes the body's natural recovery process.
Which light to use?
Red + infrared to reach deeper tissues.
How to use it?
Position yourself at a distance of 5 - 10 cm from the light focusing on the area to be treated. You can even touch the light directly, but it is recommended to reduce the exposure time.
To maximize therapy, we recommend the pre-workout and post-workout session, with about 5 to 10 minutes per area.. If it is not possible to make it coincide with the training session, it can be used twice a day (morning and afternoon) independently of the training.
If you are recovering from an injury, dawn and dusk are the ideal times to perform the treatment, another good option is before and after rehabilitation work.
It is best to avoid red light exposure after sunset, as it may interfere with falling asleep.
Which one to buy?
There are all kinds of red light therapy devices on the market. At home we use the FULL STACK from The Red Light Therapy.
You can get your own machine at a discount by using the code ANABELPUMP.
You will see that there are other models on the web that are cheaper and also more expensive. We chose full stack, as it is ideal for muscle recovery.
Depending on the main use you are going to give it, there are more suitable devices.
Frequently Asked Questions
Red light therapy is a natural, safe, non-contact remedy that has no side effects compared to prescription drugs.
Does the red light burn?
It is best to follow the protocols specified for each target, but in any case, TLR uses very low levels of heat, so it does not damage or burn the skin.
The light may bother your eyes, and it is bright, but it is not harmful, in fact, it is good to look at it. It is recommended to keep your eyes open and divert the focus so that it does not dazzle, but in no case is it harmful.
Red light only or infrared?
Depending on the purpose for which you want to buy a TLR you will have to consider the wavelength.
If you want to treat deep tissue, your red light therapy device should have infrared LEDs. If you want to treat skin or improve your eye health, a red light only device is sufficient.
Are they all the same?
It is easy to "get cheated". If you look for something cheap on Amazon it can end up being expensive. Make sure the equipment you buy has the right wavelengths for your condition and enough power to be effective, if they are weak you won't notice their effects.
When The Red Light Therapy its devices are warranted for 3-5 years depending on the model.
In addition, on their website you can consult their guides in Spanish to use light in the best way according to the objective, determining the best device, times, distances, type of wave... along with the studies that support these recommendations.
How long does it take to see results?
Most treatments require a period of weeks or even months.
It is important that the treatment is constant. Red light therapy works at the cellular level and cells can only absorb a certain amount of energy at a time.
For this reason sessions of more than 20 minutes are never recommended because they are no longer effective.
Exposure should be routine if you want to fully enjoy the benefits.