How Does Red Light Therapy Work?

How Does Red Light Therapy Work?

 Red light therapy (RLT) is one of the many alternative treatments advertised by holistic and medical doctors as an effective way to manage pain and improve skin outlook. Forbes even mentioned in its article about red light therapy that studies by NASA led to the discovery that it could be used as a kind of photomedicine

This article discusses the definition of red light therapy as a form of complementary and alternative treatment, how red light therapy works, the effectiveness of RLT, and some of the best red light therapy devices on the market. 

By the time you finish reading this article, you will clearly understand red light therapy and how you can apply it to certain aspects of your life. 

What Is Red Light Therapy (RLT)?

Red light therapy (RLT) belongs to a class of treatment known as low-level light therapy (LLLT) or photobiomodulation therapy. Photobiomodulation therapy is the process of altering cellular function using low-level, non-thermal LED light. 

In layman’s terms, red light therapy belongs to a class of treatment in which light within a specific wavelength is used to help the body heal. Think of it as a gentle nudge for the body to kick into self-healing mode. 

More specifically, red light therapy uses a low wavelength of red light (620 to 750 nanometers) to stimulate an increase in energy production in the cells. This process is known to heal the skin and a myriad of muscular conditions. 

While there is still a divide among doctors and scientists about the extent of the benefits that red light therapy provides to people with certain ailments, it is generally agreed that the use of red light therapy leads to improvements in patients’ health conditions. 

To initiate red light therapy, medical-grade LED lights are used to deliver concentrated and specific wavelengths of light to the body. Studies show that the cells in the human body can absorb specific wavelengths of light (like near-infrared light) and use them to stimulate the production of ATP (the energy-carrying molecule in cells) in the mitochondria (the energy center of the cell). 

Basically, the cells use this extra energy to repair themselves and, therefore, heal our bodies in the process.

The biggest selling point of red light therapy over most traditional light therapy is that it is non-invasive. This means there is no harm done to your skin during the process. 

Don’t worry if all of this seems like magic to you. The concept of how RLT works is explained in the next section!

How Does Red Light Therapy Work?

Before we explain how red light therapy works, it is important to understand why red light therapy works. See, when the cells of living organisms receive more energy, they can carry out cellular tasks more effectively and efficiently. This increased efficiency leads to faster healing times and the other benefits caused by red light therapy.

As discussed in the section above, the main function of red light therapy is to activate the production of ATP (adenosine triphosphate) in the mitochondria. ATP is a substance found in the cells of living things that provides the energy required for the metabolic processes performed by various cells in the body. Plus, the ATP is also necessary for the production of RNA (ribonucleic acid) – this carries instructions for the synthesis of essential proteins in the body).

After all, the job of the cells in the body is to heal the body and promote growth in the appropriate sectors of the human body. 

Why Can’t I Use Any Light for RLT?

So, why exactly does the red light work and the green light not work? Or why can’t we just use any red light to activate this healing process in the body? These are good questions! 

Firstly, it’s not just red light that works. It is red light at a very specific wavelength - 620 to 750 nanometers, to be precise, that the different components of cells in our bodies respond to. You can’t just point any red light at your sore shoulder and expect it to help you heal. It is to be a specific type of red light, like the type produced by the devices made by Hooga.

For instance, Dr. Ilyas, M.D., a certified dermatologist with Schweiger Dermatology, says comparing red light therapy to traditional skin devices like lasers and intense pulsed light (IPL) is helpful.

Doctors use laser lights to cause controlled damage to the skin as a method for triggering an inflammatory reaction, which promotes wrinkle reduction and reduced redness on the skin. 

On the other hand, red light therapy does not cause any form of trauma to the skin and also has no risk of possible reactive swelling sometimes caused by laser therapy. 

Various devices have been developed to deliver the benefits of red light therapy to patients suffering from conditions such as arthritis, chronic body pain, and several other conditions. Some of those devices include specialized devices like the 4-In-1 Facial Wand, Red Light Therapy Dot, Charge, and Red Light Therapy Pods

If you prefer a full-body setup that provides all the benefits of red light therapy, then the Red Light Therapy Horizontal Mobile Stand may be perfect for you. 

Is Red Light Therapy an Effective Form of Treatment? 

Several studies have been carried out to determine the efficacy of red light therapy, and many of them have yielded positive results. One of the many studies with over 128 active participants showed that none of the volunteers dropped out dues to any adverse event. This means red light therapy is generally safe as a treatment process. 

The study concluded that the application of red light therapy as a treatment method provides a safe, non-ablative, non-thermal, atraumatic (without trauma) photobiomodulation treatment of skin tissue with a high patient satisfaction rate. 

It is safe to say red light therapy is an effective form of treatment for most people. 

What Are the Common Uses of Red Light Therapy? 

Now that you know just how safe red light therapy is, it’s time to find the best ways to use RLT to your advantage. 

Here are some of the tested use cases of red light therapy: 

  1. It is used to improve the time it takes to heal a wound.
  2. It helps to reduce stretch marks.
  3. It improves the appearance of the face by reducing wrinkles, fine lines, and age spots .
  4. It is used to improve the appearance of scars.
  5. It can improve sun-damaged skin.
  6. It is used to treat psoriasis, eczema, and arthritis.
  7. It is used to treat people with androgenic alopecia for improved hair growth.
  8. It is a good way to treat acne.

Note: The use cases mentioned above are not an exhaustive representation of all the use cases of red light therapy. Red light therapy is still undergoing lots of research, and more use cases emerge every year. 

In many cases, red light therapy is used in conjunction with physical therapies and medication to treat conditions such as arthritis, muscle fatigue, and lots more. 

Before starting a new treatment method like red light therapy, ensure that you consult your doctor or physician. 

Some of the Best Red Light Therapy Devices on the Market

It will be unfair to talk about red light therapy and not mention some of the best devices available to anyone willing to give it a shot. 

Hooga is a leader in manufacturing and distributing powerful red light therapy devices for use in the comfort of your home, gym, or office. 

Below are some of the best devices for red light therapy by Hooga:

  • HGPRO300 – Red Light Therapy Panel: The HGPRO300 red light panel is a high-powered, targeted red light therapy device with 60 dual-chip LEDs that emit clinically proven wavelengths of red and near-infrared light at 660 and 850 nanometers. The best part about this panel is that it allows you to choose between red light, near-infrared light, or both!

  • Horizontal Stand by Hooga: The horizontal stand isn’t a red light or near-infrared light emitting system. It is useful for mounting red light therapy panels like the HGPRO300 horizontally. This kind of mounting system makes it possible for you to receive your red light therapy while lying down. This stand comes with wheels that can be locked in place or allowed to roll freely. 

  • HGPRO300 + HGPRO1500: This is a multipanel setup that combines two of the best red light therapy panels produced by Hooga on a vertical stand. The HGPRO1500 is a high-powered, full-body red and near-infrared light therapy device designed to provide full-body red light therapy in the comfort of your home. The HGPRO1500 combined with the HGPRO300 provides you with more extensive coverage of red light therapy for a sustained red light therapy session. 

    Shop our: Red Light Therapy Panels

    Shop our: Red Light Therapy Light Bulb


    In this article, we discuss red light therapy, its meaning, how it works, the level of safety it provides as a treatment method, and some of the best devices on the market available to you. Red light therapy is a safe, non-invasive treatment system that activates the cells in the body and promotes the production of ATP in living cells. 

    Try out red light therapy today with some of the best devices on the market from Hooga!

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