Red Light Therapy For Better Overall Health: Does It Work?

Physiotherapy and chiropractic methods are no longer the only options for people undergoing chronic pain since the FDA permits innovative therapies without many side effects. One of them is the red light therapy, involving the exposure of a skin area to red colored low-light wavelengths for rejuvenating people with chronic joint pain.  

How Red Light Therapy Works

The painless  procedure penetrates the skin up to eight to 10 millimeters, surprisingly without producing heat. When this happens, it improves cellular energy and metabolic processes. The person at the receiving end cannot feel anything physically moving through them since the energy density is lower than other laser therapies. Infrared light-emitting diode devices, also called HEALS, releases energy in the form of photons. 

According to, red light therapy aids tissue recovery by stimulating blood flow and collagen production. It is said to improve the endocrine system and immunity. Despite controversy surrounding the treatment, clinical studies find red lightbox therapies comparable to medical treatment in terms of the healing it provides. 

One study noted the three main purposes, which are “to reduce inflammation, edema, and chronic joint disorders; to promote healing of wounds, deeper tissues, and nerves; and to treat neurological disorders and pain.”  

What NASA Said

Red light symbolizes vitality, survival and passion, signalling a sympathetic response to the nervous system, which activates the fight or flight response, as per National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) scientist Leanne Venier, with expertise in light frequencies. This reaction leads to the cells being supplied with nutrients, promoting healing in the process by reducing inflammation. 

As per research conducted by NASA, red light therapy reduces pain caused by chemotherapy and radiation during cancer treatment. Another common side effect of chemotherapy called oral mucositis was reduced in most patients who took the treatment. 

The HEALS treatment equipment is cost-effective, which is why many patients and clinicians find it attractive. Burns and ulcers on the skin, tumors in children and infections are said to be reduced, as per researchers. 

The benefits of red light therapy are still under scrutiny by skeptics who wonder if the therapy works at all. With the wrong  dosage that is not considered the optimal amount for particular laser therapies, some negative effects could appear. For red light therapy, lower doses are recommended by doctors. 

GettyImages-109413098 Red LED light therapy to stimulate collagen production is uses during a demonstration of the Ultimate Total Body Hydra-Dermbrasion Resurfacing treatment at the Ole Henriksen spa in Los Angeles, California February 23, 2011. ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)