The Benefits of Photon Light Therapy

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In recent years the application of low-level light therapy has become a driving force in many different areas of medicine. The applications are constantly being studied to see what other benefits can be extracted from light treatment. Different body tissues absorb energy from different wavelengths of light energy. Unlike far infrared, photon light therapy has a shorter wavelength so it doesn’t penetrate as deeply. Photon therapy uses visible red lights at a wavelength of 660 nanometers. Red lights are used for the surface of the skin. When photons touch the skin, the body’s cells absorb energy which is beneficial to the wellness of cells in a number of ways that are worth looking into.
Photon light requires direct exposure to the skin in order for its full effects to be received. When the photon light is absorbed by the body, it forms into nitric oxide. This stimulates synthesis of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) which is essential for the metabolism of all cellular regeneration. Photon light therapy supports the mitochondria, the part of the cell responsible for generating proteins and collagen. The new cells destroy old cells, assisting even further with detoxification.
The benefits of photon light can enhance the experience you have with other therapies such as PEMF, FIR, and negative ions to promote a better quality of wellness over time. Photon light is completely noninvasive.
Photon light therapy stimulates your body in a specific way that medication is unable to accomplish. This added benefit gives you more control on a molecular level. Incorporating photon light into your wellness maintenance routine, in addition to FIR and negative ions, will strengthen your body’s ability to fight back against invasive, harmful agents in your life.
Photon Light May Potentially Alleviate Symptoms of Depression
Mental wellness is a highly controversial area of medicine where opinions on how best to approach it vary greatly. The person to cure depression is certainly going to be remembered fondly. Depression is a severe problem in the world. In America alone, Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD (only one form of depression), affects about 6% of the population. There is more of a demand for answers to this growing problem each day. In recent years, Photon Light has been studied for its effects on the brain, more specifically depression. It has shown some potential signs of improvement in several clinical studies. In a study of 10 students, doctors found that after exposure to light treatment to the head 6 out of the 10 had experienced a reduction on the Hamilton Depression rating scale. Additionally, 7 out of the 10 students experienced a reduction on the Hamilton Anxiety rating scale. The doctors found the best results were achieved after a two week period of treatment. In another study, 20 patients with SAD were treated with 2 hour light therapy sessions involving red light. The conclusion stated that while both were able to yield positive improvements, the green light had a greater effect when it comes to lowering the grade on the Hamilton Depression rating scale. These trial results speak to the potential of photon light when it comes to supplementing depression treatment routines. There isn’t enough evidence to suggest that photon light is enough on its own, but the positive response achieved from the experiments is a hopeful sign for the developing an effective routine for establishing better mental well-being

May Potentially Improve Minor Motor Function and Nerve Regeneration
There has been a multitude of studies conducted using animal subjects in order to test the benefits of light therapy on more adverse conditions. One, in particular, tested the ability to improve motor function in rabbits that have recently suffered a stroke. They found that light therapy administered six hours after a stroke yielded promising improvements in motor functions. They determined that this finding was something that should be further studied in clinical trials. This suggests that there is a potential benefit to using photon light in efforts to address motor function issues. Light therapy is being studied constantly for its other possible abilities. This includes not just motor functions, but nerves as well. There have been studies using rats to test the stimulation of nerve regeneration in facial tissue and damaged spinal cords. Both tests showed inconclusively, but positive results that further the discussion on the regenerative support possibly offered by photon light therapy. (3,4)

Photon Light Assists in the Promotion of Better Wound Recovery
Additional animal studies point to research findings that suggest photon light has the potential ability to support wound recovery efforts for the body. Light therapy has shown improvements in the recovery rates in both mice and rats that have diabetes, a disease commonly associated with having a slower rate of wound repair. Many patients have been reported an increase in collagen, a protein found in skin that is vital for regeneration, after two months, all of which added photon light to their wellness regimens. The ability to stimulate cells allows for photon light to promote better wellness and skin conditions of the body. The progress being made in research of wound recovery with photon light suggest that there is the potential for further discoveries to be made to better use light therapy in this way. (5)

Photon Light Can Help Improve Skin and Acne
The most common area of medicine experimenting with photon light is the skincare field. Since light therapy attempts to affect your cells on a molecular level, it has the ability to make them react in a way that affects your complexion and surface level skin. As a result, there has been a lot of case studies emerging over the years demonstrating the benefits of photon light for the overall condition of the skin. In a study of patients with acne vulgaris, results highlighted that 85% of subject reported a reduction of at least 50% of lesions after just two months. In roughly 20% of these cases, acne eradication reached levels of 90% and after a three month period, complete clearing of the acne ranged around 70-80%. There was a nonresponsive rate of about 20%. Photon light attempts to penetrate deeply into your cells and enact a change from the inside out. (6)

What are the benefits of proton therapy for breast cancer patients?
Proton therapy is a relatively newer cancer treatment for early stage breast cancer, but it has already shown remarkable promise and advantages over conventional therapy in the treatment of breast cancer. The accuracy and low impact of proton radiation therapy is a non-invasive and low-risk option for breast cancer treatment used to destroy cancerous cells or tissue. Proton radiation treatment is extremely precise and therefore more effective at targeting cancerous cells without causing damage to surrounding breast tissue.
Proton therapy is not a substitute for a lumpectomy. Rather, it is an alternative to traditional radiation therapy. After the lumpectomy has been complete, a breast cancer patient would receive 10 days of proton treatment instead of five to six weeks of traditional radiation therapy.

Red Light Therapy Benefits, Research & Mechanism of Action
Through emitting red, low-light wavelengths through the skin, red light therapy helps naturally jump-start the process of tissue recovery and other forms of rejuvenation through increased blood flow, collagen stimulation and more. 2010 marked the 50th anniversary for medical laser treatments like red light therapy, providing a host of evidence on their benefits. (1)
If you’ve never heard of red light therapy before, you might already be familiar with other terms that are used to describe this treatment, such as low level laser therapy (LLLT), biostimulation (BIOS), photonic stimulation or simply light box therapy. Red light is considered “low level” because it works at an energy density that’s low compared to other forms of laser therapies.
Red light therapies have come a long way, but do they really work? Clinical studies show that, yes, red lightbox therapies have certain healing capabilities and medical applications thanks to the way they positively affect the human endocrine and immune systems. LLLT is now FDA-approved for treating conditions like chronic joint pain and slow-to-heal wounds. In the near future, we can expect approval for many more conditions thanks to red light benefits, such as increased immunity, tissue repair, anti-aging effects, improved joints and more.

What Is Red Light Therapy?
Red light therapy involves having low-power red light wavelengths emitted directly through the skin, although this process cannot be felt and isn’t painful because it doesn’t produce any heat. Red light can be absorbed into the skin to a depth of about eight to 10 millimeters, at which point it has positive 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 due to aging, those caused by cancer treatments like chemotherapy or radiation, hair loss, wounds or incisions, acne, wrinkles and skin discoloration, chronic muscular pain, neurological damage, and tissue damage (often at the root of tears, sprains or pulls). As you’ll learn, even seeing the color red is physically stimulating, primes our senses and gets our blood pumping, so imagine what red light penetrating right into your body can do.
Although there is still controversy over this treatment and more research needed, according to the company Light Therapy Options LLC, there are virtually “no known adverse side effects” of red light therapy treatments, rather a growing list of many anti-aging benefits. (2)
Some of the ways that red light wavelengths work are: (3)
• Increasing energy levels by promoting release of ATP from cells’ mitochondria (4)
• Stimulating DNA/RNA synthesis (5)
• Activating the lymphatic system, an important part of our immune system that helps carry waste out of the body
• Increasing blood flow/circulation, thereby helping bring more oxygen and nutrients to our cells and tissues
• Forming new capillaries (small blood vessels)
• Improving natural production of collagen and fibroblasts, important for things like skin, joint and digestive health
• Repairing and restoring damaged soft connective tissue
• Stimulating or decreasing inflammation, which helps control our natural healing capabilities
• Lowering effects of oxidative stress/free radical damage, which is associated with many effects of aging

5 Benefits of Red Light Therapy
1. Increased Immunity and Reduced Side Effects of Cancer Treatments
Research done by NASA in conjunction with the University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital has shown that red light technology can successfully reduce symptoms experienced by cancer patients, including painful side effects caused from radiation or chemotherapy. Using far red/near-infrared light-emitting diode devices (called High Emissivity Aluminiferous Luminescent Substrate, or HEALS in this case) has been shown to release long wavelength energy in the form of photons that stimulate cells to aid in healing.
NASA tested whether HEALS could treat oral mucositis in cancer patients, a very common 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 treatment. Patients received the light therapy by a nurse holding the WARP 75 device, which is roughly the size of an adult human hand. The WARP device was held close to the patient’s face and neck for only 88 seconds daily for 14 days. Researchers stated, “The HEALS device was well tolerated with no adverse affects to bone marrow and stem cell transplant patients….The HEALS device can provide a cost-effective therapy since the device itself is less expensive than one day at the hospital.” (6)
Similar HEALS technology is also now being utilized for the treatment of pediatric brain tumors, slow-healing wounds or infections, diabetic skin ulcers, and serious burns.
2. Wound Healing and Tissue Repair
Light in the spectral range of 600 to 1,300 nanometers has been found to be useful for promoting wound healing, tissue repair and skin rejuvenation, although it does this through a different mechanism of action compared to many other laser resurfacing treatments. Most laser therapies used in dermatology offices use intense pulsed light to promote skin rejuvenation by inducing secondary tissue repair. In other words, they cause intentional damage to either the epidermis or the dermis of the skin in order to trigger inflammation, followed by healing.
Red light therapy actually bypasses this initial destructive step and instead directly stimulates regenerative processes in the skin through increased cellular proliferation, migration and adhesion. Red light therapy has been shown to positively affect skin cells through regeneration of fibroblasts, keratinocytes and modulation of immune cells (including mast cells, neutrophils and macrophages) all found within skin tissue.
3. Anti-Aging Effects for Skin and Hair Loss
One use of red light laser therapy that’s 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 efficacy and safety for red light therapy in promoting anti-aging skin rejuvenation and intradermal collagen increase when compared against controls. (7) Researchers concluded that red infrared therapy “provides a safe, non-ablative, non-thermal, atraumatic photobiomodulation treatment of skin tissue with high patient satisfaction rates.”
Subjects treated with red light therapy experienced significantly improved skin complexion, improved skin tone, improved texture/feeling, reduced skin roughness, reduced signs of wrinkles and fine lines, and increased collagen density as measured through ultrasonographic tests. Patients with rosaceaand redness have also found relief using LLLT, even those who are unable to tolerate higher-heat laser therapies.
Yet another anti-aging effect of red light therapy is reversing hair loss and stimulating follicle growth, which works in many of the same ways as red light therapy for wound healing. Results have been mixed according to studies, but at least a moderate portion of both male and female patients have had positive results for reversing baldness/hair loss when using LLLT. (8)
4. Improved Joint and Musculoskeletal Health
Red light therapy is now being used to treat arthritis symptoms thanks to its capability of stimulating collagen production and rebuilding cartilage. A 2009 Cochrane review of red light therapy for rheumatoid arthritisconcluded that “LLLT could be considered for short-term treatment for relief of pain and morning stiffness for RA patients, particularly since it has few side-effects.” (9)
Even in those who don’t suffer from arthritis but have other signs of tissue damage or degeneration due to aging, LLLT can still be beneficial. A 2009 study published in The Lancet showed, “LLLT reduces pain immediately after treatment in acute neck pain and up to 22 weeks after completion of treatment in patients with chronic neck pain.” (10) Other studies have found that even when patients with musculoskeletal disorders don’t experience less pain from red light therapy treatments, they have a high chance of experiencing “significantly improved functional outcomes,” such as better range of motion. (11)
Cellular rejuvenation and increased blood flow due to red light therapy are two key aspects of improving joint and tissue health. Decreasing oxidative damage, which degenerates joints, and modulating inflammation are other ways that LLLT benefits soft/connective tissue.
5. Reduced Depression and Fatigue
Another way to explain the benefits of red light is through the lens of Eastern medicine. Ask a Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner how light helps improve health, immunity and recovery, and he or she will likely compare it to acupuncture’s mechanism of action:
• Light is a form of energy, and our bodies are just big energy systems. Light has the power to stimulate specific meridian points and chakrazones in the human body.
• Red is said to stimulate the first chakra because it correlates most strongly with our survival instinct (hence why it gives us energy and makes us act quickly, in order to motivate us to pursue things like money, food, sex, power, etc.).
• While acupuncture uses tiny needles to achieve bodily harmony through stimulating certain points in the body’s energy system, light therapy uses focused, visible, red wavelengths in much the same way.
Red light has been shown to be naturally energizing and correlated with improved moods by increasing self-confidence, positivity, passion, joyfulness, laughter, social awareness, conversation skills and sensory stimulation. While results vary from patient to patient, there’s reason to believe that LLLT has mental and emotional perks in addition to physical benefits.

Red Light Therapy vs. Blue Light Therapy: What’s The Difference?
• Blue and red light therapies, two forms of phototherapy, have some similar benefits and uses, although they work in different ways. The mechanism of action of both is still not entirely well-understood, but it’s believed that LLLT devices produce light with wavelengths similar to those of blue light lasers only with broader output peaks (they’re less monochromatic and don’t produce heat or friction).
• Blue light is more commonly used at home from light-emitting devices, especially for the treatment of acne. It’s been found that blue light reaches the sebaceous (oil) glands in the skin and can help kill porphyrins, which are compounds inside acne bacteria. (12)
• Red light is believed to penetrate the skin deeper and may also help acne and other skin disorders by reducing inflammation and improving healing.
• Blue light and red light can be emitted from tabletop light therapy devices (which are used at home and usually weaker, requiring about a total of 30 minutes to one hour of treatment time twice per day) or from stronger devices used in doctors’ offices that work quicker (sometimes within just several minutes or less).
• The Wellman Center for Photomedicine at Massachusetts General Hospital explains that there’s still widespread uncertainty and confusion surrounding the mechanisms of action of these light therapies, especially LLLT, at the molecular, cellular and tissue levels. There are also a large number of parameters for doctors to consider before treating individual patients (wavelength, fluence, irradiance, treatment timing and repetition, pulsing, and polarization) that can add to the confusion and patient variability in terms of results. (13)

Where to Go and How to Use Red Light Therapy
Many conventional doctors consider red light therapies to still be alternative treatments, considering more research is needed overall to prove their efficacy and results can sometimes vary. Currently most medical insurance companies state that LLLT is an “experimental treatment” so many won’t provide insurance coverage. Depending on what condition you’re treating, you can speak with your dermatologist, oncologist, orthopedic, rheumatologist or neurologist about treatment options. Your primary care doctor, or a chiropractor, may be able to give you a referral.

Red Light Therapy Research and Historical Use
Different types of phototherapy light boxes have actually been used for decades to treat numerous mood-related, skin, sleep-related, and acute or chronic pain conditions.
A 2012 report published in Annals in Biomedical Engineering stated that red light is used in three primary ways: “to reduce inflammation, edema, and chronic joint disorders; to promote healing of wounds, deeper tissues, and nerves; and to treat neurological disorders and pain.” (14) It’s been found that red light therapy promotes stronger immunity and longevity by increasing cell proliferation and migration, as well as modulating levels of cytokines, growth factors and inflammatory mediators.
Starting in the late 1990s, NASA scientists began developing infrared light technologies that could be used for plant growth during shuttle missions. What they discovered over the past two-plus decades is that red light therapies could also provide healing cellular stimulation in humans and animals.
Here’s an overview of how red light therapy is believed to be effective:
Red light — even just seeing the color red — stimulates all of our senses, primes us for quick movement and deliberate action, and enhances courage. Because it grabs our attention, you’ve probably noticed that the color red is used on many warning signs and traffic signals in order to cut through clutter and alert us of danger. So what does the effect of seeing red have to do with healing?
Leanne Venier — an engineer, scientist and an expert in light frequencies and the healing effects of color therapy — explains that red light is naturally attention-getting, energizing, stimulating and “representative of survival, joy and passion” in humans because of how it affects of our central nervous system. According to her work, along with extensive research done by trustworthy organizations including NASA, red light can trigger the sympathetic nervous system and therefore activate the “fight or flight response.”
Being in fight-or-flight mode causes reactions like improved blood circulation, rapid heartbeats, increased sweating, high concentration and so on. Normally we think of activating our stress response as a bad thing, but this can also be healing because it carries nutrients to our cells and controls inflammatory responses.

Possible Side Effects/Cautions Regarding Light Therapy
Although red light therapy seems to be very well-tolerated and unlikely to cause side effects, it still remains controversial whether it can help all patients. One difficulty that researchers have had gathering results from studies on red light therapy is pinpointing which light ranges are optimal for treating different health conditions and different patients.
Certain published study results have found that LLLT can cause negative reactions when an inappropriate choice of light source or an inappropriate dosage is used. There is an optimal dose of light for any particular application, and in the case of red light therapy, often lower doses are found to be more effective than higher doses. Be sure to work with a qualified LLLT practitioner whenever receiving treatments, and report any side effects, including burning, swelling, dizziness, muscle weakness or nausea. Keep in mind that seeing results from red light treatments might take patience and that responsiveness is expected to vary.

Final Thoughts on Red Light Therapy
• Red light therapy (sometimes called LLLT or low level laser therapy) involves emitting red, low-light wavelengths through the skin to stimulate cellular rejuvenation, increase blood flow, stimulate collagen and more.
• Red light therapy/LLLT is used to help treat conditions such as cancer treatment side effects, wounds, wrinkles or fine lines, hair loss, arthritis symptoms, musculoskeletal disorders, and neurological damage.
• Red light therapy is well-tolerated by most, but results can vary. Researchers and experts feel there is still a lot to learn about how color/light laser therapies work, which means they remain controversial and not always covered by insurance.