Red Light Therapy and Parkinson's Disease

Could something as simple as red light hold the key to better days with Parkinson's? Though it may raise eyebrows initially, the effectiveness of red light therapy in providing relief for individuals dealing with this irksome problem is gaining traction through numerous research findings. We're talking improved movement, better sleep, sharper thinking - all from just soaking up some special rays. Let's shine a light on how it works and what it could mean for you or someone you love.

An Overview of Parkinson's Disease

Parkinson's disease is a brain disorder that affects movement, often starting with a barely noticeable tremor in just one hand. But while tremors are the most well-known sign, the disorder also commonly causes stiffness or slowing of movement.

In the early stages, your face may show little or no expression, or your arms may not swing when you walk. Your speech may become soft or slurred. Parkinson's symptoms usually begin gradually and worsen over time. As the disease progresses, people may have difficulty walking and talking.

While there is no cure for Parkinson's, medications can help control the symptoms, often dramatically. In some later cases, surgery may be advised. And while Parkinson's itself is not fatal, disease complications can be serious.

Symptoms of Parkinson's Disease

Parkinson's signs and symptoms may include:

  • Tremor
  • Slowed movement (bradykinesia)
  • Rigid muscles
  • Impaired posture and balance
  • Loss of automatic movements
  • Speech changes
  • Writing changes

The symptoms and progression are different for everyone. Early symptoms may be mild and go unnoticed. Symptoms often begin on one side of the body and usually remain worse on that side, even after symptoms begin to affect both sides.

Parkinson's signs and symptoms may include tremors, slowed movement, rigid muscles, impaired posture and balance, loss of automatic movements, speech changes, and writing changes. The disorder also commonly causes stiffness or slowing of movement.

An Overview of Red Light Therapy

Red light therapy (RLT) is a treatment that uses low wavelength red light to reportedly improve your skin's appearance, such as reducing wrinkles, scars, redness and acne. It's also touted to treat other medical conditions.

To date, there's a fair amount of evidence to show that RLT may help with certain conditions, but there's still a lot to learn. Much of what we know about red light therapy comes from NASA, which has been studying it since the 1980s as a way to grow plants in space.

How Does Red Light Therapy Work?

Red light therapy devices use light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to bathe the skin in different wavelengths of light. Red light is thought to work by producing a biochemical effect in cells that strengthens the mitochondria. The mitochondria are the powerhouse of the cell — it's where the cell's energy is created.

The energy-carrying molecule found in the cells of all living things is called ATP (adenosine triphosphate). By increasing the function of the mitochondria using RLT, a cell can make more ATP. With more energy, cells can function more efficiently, rejuvenate themselves, and repair damage.

Red light is thought to penetrate the skin deeper compared to other light colors, prompting many to believe it's more powerful for treating the skin. Red light therapy devices use LEDs to bathe the skin in different wavelengths of light, which is thought to strengthen mitochondria and help cells produce more ATP energy.

Red and Near-Infra Red Light Therapy for Parkinson's Diseases

While there's no cure for Parkinson's disease, there are treatments that can help manage symptoms. One promising therapy is red and near-infrared light therapy, also known as photobiomodulation.

This non-invasive treatment uses specific wavelengths of light to stimulate healing at a cellular level. Research suggests that red and near-infrared light can help reduce inflammation, improve mitochondrial function, and protect against cell death - all of which may help slow the progression of Parkinson's.

How Red Light Therapy May Help Parkinson's Symptoms

Several studies have looked at the effects of red light therapy on Parkinson's disease, with promising results:

  • A 2018 study found that near-infrared light therapy improved motor function and reduced clinical signs of Parkinson's disease in rats.
  • Another 2017 study showed that red light therapy improved sleep disorders and excessive daytime sleepiness in Parkinson's patients.
  • A 2016 review of several studies concluded that photobiomodulation may have beneficial effects on the motor and non-motor symptoms of Parkinson's disease.

While more research is needed, these studies suggest that red and near-infrared light therapy may be a safe and effective complementary treatment for managing Parkinson's symptoms. By reducing inflammation, improving mitochondrial function, and protecting brain cells, this therapy shows promise for slowing disease progression.

The Effects of Red Light on Parkinson's

Parkinson's disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects movement, balance, and coordination. While there is no cure for Parkinson's, recent research suggests that red light therapy may help manage some of the symptoms and potentially slow the progression of the disease.

Improving Motor Function

One of the most debilitating symptoms of Parkinson's is the loss of motor function, including tremors, stiffness, and difficulty with fine motor skills. However, several studies have shown that red light therapy can help improve motor function in Parkinson's patients.

For example, a 2017 study found that Parkinson's patients who received near-infrared light stimulation showed significant improvements in motor function, as measured by the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS). The researchers concluded that "near-infrared light treatment may be a promising therapeutic strategy for patients with Parkinson's disease."

Reducing Non-Motor Symptoms

In addition to motor symptoms, Parkinson's patients often experience non-motor symptoms such as sleep disorders, depression, and cognitive impairment. Red light therapy may also help alleviate some of these symptoms.

A 2018 study found that Parkinson's patients who received red light therapy had improved sleep quality and reduced daytime sleepiness compared to a control group. The researchers suggested that red light may help regulate the body's circadian rhythms and improve sleep-wake cycles.

While more research is needed to fully understand the effects of red light on Parkinson's, these studies suggest that it may be a promising complementary therapy for managing both motor and non-motor symptoms of the disease. By improving mitochondrial function and reducing inflammation, red light therapy may help slow the progression of Parkinson's and improve quality of life for patients.

Treating Parkinson's at Home with Red Light

If you're interested in trying out Red Light Therapy at home for Parkinson's disease, you should check out our HG, PRO, and ULTRA series. They're designed to bring you all the potential benefits of red light therapy right in your own space.

Smaller Hooga panels like the HG300 work well for targeted treatment of smaller areas like the face, neck, hands, and feet. These are areas often affected by Parkinson's symptoms like facial masking, neck stiffness, and fine motor impairment. Regular use may help improve muscle function and reduce stiffness.

For more full-body treatment, larger panels like the PRO4500 and ULTRA4500 can irradiate larger surface areas in a shorter amount of time. This may be beneficial for Parkinson's patients experiencing widespread muscle rigidity, impaired balance, and difficulty with gross motor movements.

Tips for At-Home Red Light Therapy

When using red light therapy devices at home, keep these tips in mind:

  • Position the device about 6-12 inches from the treatment area
  • Aim for 5-20 minute sessions, 3-5 times per week
  • Be consistent with treatments for best results
  • Protect your eyes with goggles if light is uncomfortably bright
  • Stop use if you experience any adverse reactions

While red light therapy is generally considered safe, it's always a good idea to talk to your doctor before starting any new treatment, especially if you have any underlying health conditions or concerns. With consistent use and guidance from your healthcare provider, at-home red light therapy may be a helpful complementary treatment for managing Parkinson's symptoms and improving quality of life.


Red light therapy for Parkinson's disease? It's not as crazy as it sounds. Studies keep stacking up, showing how this simple treatment might help with everything from tremors to brain fog.

The best part? You don't have to trek to some fancy clinic. With an at-home device, you can soak up the benefits right in your living room. Smaller panels are perfect for targeting specific trouble spots, while bigger setups can bathe your whole body in that therapeutic glow.

So if you're ready to give red light therapy a shot, our devices have got you covered. The road ahead with Parkinson's might still be bumpy, but with a little red light in your corner, those rough patches might just get a bit smoother.

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