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4 Al Rashoud AS, Abboud RJ, Wang W, Wigderowitz C. Efficacy of low-level laser therapy applied at acupuncture points in knee osteoarthritis: a randomised double-blind comparative trial. Physiotherapy. 2014 Sep;100(3):242-8.

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Mack GL, 5 Mitchell UH. Low-level laser therapy with near-infrared light increases venous nitric oxide levels acutely: a single-blind, randomized clinical trial of efficacy. 2013 Feb;92(2):151-6.

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7 de Almeida P 1, Lopes-Martins RA, De Marchi T, et al.. Red (660 nm) and infrared (830 nm) low-level laser therapy in skeletal muscle fatigue in humans: what's better Lasers Med Sci.

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Do not freak out: That is NOT a tanning bed pictured above. Rather, it is a red light therapy bed from New York Citybased aesthetician Joanna Vargas. However, while tanning beds are a never-ever, reddish light therapy-in bed form or only an at-home facial gadget-is proven to have a slew of health benefits for your skin and well-being. .

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“It really can do a host of things,” says Vargas. “Red light therapy speeds the healing of the body, reduces inflammation, and helps hydration levels in the skin.” Seems like a lot, right Let's break it down.

Red treatment is a technique which uses low-level wavelengths of light. When exposed to red light treatment, the body creates a biochemical effect which boosts the quantity of energy stored in cells, explains Z. Paul Lorenc, M.D., a board-certified plastic surgeon. This helps cells to function more efficiently and repair damage, which is why it's been used as a treatment for scars and wounds.

“Your complexion will be more lifted, toned, and improved-resulting in younger-looking, smoother skin by increasing healthy cellular activity,” says Vargas. In addition to helping to hydrate and heal the skin, it's also great for anti-aging since it protects existing collagen and elastin, while also stimulating new collagen production, she says.

Dr. Lorenc backs up its anti-aging powers:”I have worked extensively with red light treatment and the skin and discover it to be effective at both boosting collagen production and reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles,” he says.

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And because the wavelengths penetrate deeply, they're more efficacious than say, a wrinkle-reducing serum. Use the two in tandem, though, and you'll see results that are (unscientifically talking ) twice as nice.

Red light therapy may also treat inflammation and pain-one study found it to aid in healing Achilles tendinitis, a common foot injury; another cited positive results when used on patients with osteoarthritis.

Dr. Lorenc also says red light treatment promotes quicker healing time for wounds and helps decrease post-workout inflammation. More on that here: The Benefits of Red, Green, and Blue Light Therapy

“It is completely noninvasive and safe for everybody,” says Vargas. Unlike many other lasers used on the skin (like an IPL, or intense pulse light) that cause harm to cause tissue repair, red light therapy causes zero damage to the skin. “People often mistake light for laser, or believe that red light therapy will cause sensitivity, but it does not.” .

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What's more, Vargas sees red light therapy as an important form of therapy, not merely a beauty treatment. Despite a small sample size (approximately 200 subjects), most subjects experienced significantly improved skin complexion and skin feeling, together with an increase in ultrasonographically measured collagen density.

If you're prepared to shell out serious dollars, you can buy a full-body red light treatment bed for your home-to the tune of about $3,000. You can visit with a spa. By way of instance, Vargas' namesake spa provides, LED light therapy treatments for body and face beginning at $150 for thirty minutes. .

However, you can also safely attempt red light therapy without heading to a derm's office with cool facial gadgets and tools, the best of which come with an FDA stamp of approval. Dr. Lorenc actually helped develop the beloved Neutrogena Acne Light Mask, which uses both blue light therapy to kill germs and red light treatment to decrease inflammation-all from the comfort of your own home.

(Related: Can At-Home Blue Light Devices Really Clear Acne).

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A few others worth looking into: The Amazon top-rated Pulsaderm Red ($75; amazon.com) is a superb value, and the Dr. Dennis Gross Spectra Lite Faceware Pro ($435; sephora.com) is a futuristic, Instagrammable splurge that busts acne while also stimulating collagen production and minimizing fine lines.

Through emitting red, low-light wavelengths through the skin, red light therapy helps naturally jump-start the procedure for tissue recovery and other types of rejuvenation through increased blood flow, collagen stimulation and much more. 2010 marked the 50th anniversary for medical laser treatments like red light therapy, providing a host of evidence on their benefits.

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If youve never heard of red light therapy before, you might already be familiar with other terms that are utilized to describe this treatment, such as low level laser therapy (LLLT), biostimulation (BIOS), photonic stimulation or just light box treatment. Red light is deemed low level because it works at an energy density thats low compared to other kinds of laser therapies. .

Red light treatments have come a long way, but do they actually work Clinical studies demonstrate that, yes, red lightbox therapies have particular healing capabilities and healthcare applications thanks to the way they positively influence the human immune and endocrine systems. LLLT is currently FDA-approved for treating ailments like chronic joint pain and slow-to-heal wounds.

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Red light treatment involves having low-power red light wavelengths emitted directly through the skin, although this process cannot be sensed and isnt painful since it doesnt create any heat. Red light can be absorbed into the skin to a depth of approximately eight to 10 millimeters, at which point it's favorable effects on cellular energy and multiple nervous system and metabolic processes. .

Red light therapy has shown promise for treating symptoms of joint pain or osteoarthritis because of aging, those due to cancer treatments like chemotherapy or radiation, baldness, wounds or incisions, acne, wrinkles and skin discoloration, chronic muscular pain, neurological damage, and tissue damage (often at the root cause of tears, sprains or pulls).

Although there is still controversy over this therapy and much more study needed, according to the firm Light Treatment Choices LLC, there are virtually no known adverse side effects of red light therapy treatments, rather a growing list of several anti-aging benefits. (2)

Activating the lymphatic system, an important part of our immune system that helps carry waste from the body

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Improving natural production of collagen and fibroblasts, important for things like skin, digestive and joint health

Lowering consequences of oxidative stress/free radical damage, which is associated with many effects of aging

Research performed by NASA in conjunction with the University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital has demonstrated that red light technology can successfully reduce symptoms experienced by cancer patients, including painful side effects caused from radiation or chemotherapy. Utilizing far red/near-infrared light-emitting diode devices (known as High Emissivity Aluminiferous Luminescent Substrate, or HEALS in this instance ) was proven to release long wavelength energy in the form of photons that stimulate cells to assist in healing. .

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NASA examined whether HEALS could treat oral mucositis in cancer patients, a very frequent and painful side effect of chemotherapy and radiation, and concluded that 96 percent of patients experienced improvement in pain as a result of the HEALS therapy. Patients received the light treatment by a nurse holding the WARP 75 apparatus, which is about the size of an adult human hand.

Researchers stated, The HEALS device was well tolerated with no adverse impacts to bone marrow and stem cell transplant patients. The HEALS device can provide a cost-effective treatment since the device itself is less expensive than 1 day at the hospital.

Similar HEALS technology is now currently being utilized for treating pediatric brain tumors, slow-healing wounds or illnesses, diabetic skin ulcers, and severe burns.

Light in the spectral range of 600 to 1,300 nanometers has been proven to be helpful for promoting wound healing, tissue repair and skin rejuvenation, even though it does this via a distinct mechanism of action in comparison to other laser resurfacing treatments. Most laser therapies used in dermatology offices use intense pulsed light to promote skin care by causing secondary tissue repair.

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Red light therapy actually bypasses this initial harmful step and instead directly stimulates regenerative processes in the skin via increased cellular proliferation, migration and adhesion. Red light treatment has been proven to positively affect skin tissues through regeneration of fibroblasts, keratinocytes and modulation of immune cells (including mast cells, neutrophils and macrophages) all found within skin tissue. .

1 use of red light laser therapy thats growing in popularity is reversing signs of aging on the skin (i.e, wrinkles and fine lines). Results from a 2014 study published in Photomedicine and Laser Surgery demonstrated both safety and efficacy for red light treatment in promoting anti-aging skin rejuvenation and intradermal collagen growth when compared against controls.

Subjects treated with red light therapy experienced significantly improved skin complexion, improved skin tone, improved texture/feeling, decreased skin roughness, decreased signs of wrinkles and fine lines, and increased collagen density as measured through ultrasonographic tests. Patients with rosacea and redness also have found relief using LLLT, even those who are unable to tolerate higher-heat laser therapies. .

Yet another anti-aging effect of red light treatment is reversing hair loss and stimulating follicle development, which works in many of the same ways as red light treatment for wound healing. Results have been mixed according to studies, but at least a moderate part of both male and female patients have had positive results for reversing baldness/hair loss when using LLLT.

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Red light therapy is currently being used in the treatment of arthritis symptoms of stimulating collagen production and rebuilding cartilage. A 2009 Cochrane review of red light therapy for rheumatoid arthritis concluded that LLLT could be considered for short-term therapy for relief of pain and morning stiffness for RA patients, particularly since it has few side-effects.

In those who dont suffer from arthritis but have other signs of tissue damage or degeneration due to aging, LLLT may still be beneficial. A 2009 study published in The Lancet showed, LLLT reduces pain after up to 22 weeks after completion of treatment in patients with neck pain and therapy in acute neck pain.

(11).

Cellular rejuvenation and increased blood circulation due to red light therapy are two areas of improving joint and tissue health. Decreasing and modulating inflammation are ways that LLLT benefits soft/connective tissue.

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Another way to describe the benefits of light is through the lens of Eastern medicine. Request a Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner how light helps improve health, immunity and healing, and he or she will likely compare it to acupunctures mechanism of activity:

Light is a form of energy, and our bodies are merely energy systems. Light has the power to stimulate specific meridian points and chakra zones .

Red is said to stimulate the first chakra as it correlates most strongly with our survival instinct (hence why it gives us energy and makes us act fast, to be able to motivate us to pursue things like money, food, sex, power, etc.).

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