About 65% of the human body is made up of water. During an infrared session, the body’s core temperature is raised, which stimulates sweat production and allows the body to release toxins and fats through the sweat glands. Hydration is incredibly important because we need water not only to survive but also to produce sweat. Getting your glisten on while sweating at the gym or on a run is also important, but the key to a successful infrared session is, well, the infrared. By penetrating approximately 1-2 inches into the body, infrared can promote the release of toxins, fats, and cholesterol that is not replaced when you rehydrate. It literally flushes out of your body. During an infrared session the body can release up to 20% of fats and toxins, this is in comparison to about 3-5% released during traditional exercise. The heat and lights unique wavelength of 635nm stimulates fat cells to release energy that is then easily metabolized. The process is similar to when your body enters the “fat burning” stage of a good cardiovascular workout. It also increases collagen and elastin in the skin while creating a slimmer figure. It’s completely safe, natural, painless and non-invasive. The light technology utilized in our Infrared Sculpt Pods causes fat cells to temporarily alter the permeability of the cell; this brief change allows the fat contents to seep out from the cell where it can be processed naturally through the lymphatic system.
For years we have used means of surgery and plastic surgery to alter the body, however you can alter your body without surgery, naturally and noninvasive with The Sculpt Pod!
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.
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 light 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 1-2 inches, at which point it has positive effects on cellular energy, the 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) and weight loss.
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.
Some more ways that red light wavelengths work are:
Increasing energy levels by promoting release of ATP from Cells.
Stimulating DNA/RNA synthesis.
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.
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. “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.”
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 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. 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 rosacea and 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.
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 arthritis concluded 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.”
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.” 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. 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 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 zones in the human body.
Red is said to stimulate the first zone 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.
And finally weight loss:
Losing weight and extra fat is a common goal for almost everyone. For some, all it takes is a clean diet and exercise. But for others, it's not that simple. Often times, there are deeper health issues that prevent the body’s metabolic rate from working properly. Stress, for example, has a proven negative effect on metabolism.
That’s why for so many people, working out and dieting becomes a frustrating, never-ending cycle. And in most cases, people often blame themselves for the lack of results.
Just as red and near infrared light is showing promise for a host of health issues, this type of therapy has shown surprisingly effective results for fat loss as well. Unlike many solutions promoted for weight-loss such as medications and surgery, red and near infrared light therapy provide a safe, natural and non-invasive option to becoming healthy and more fit.
How Does it Work to Reduce Fat?
Our bodies absorb light energy - especially at certain wavelengths - and our cells respond by carrying out their day-to-day functions at an improved level. Not only does this help with things like skin health and muscle recovery, but it also plays a role in the body’s ability to process fat. It has been well documented that red light at certain wavelengths stimulates mitochondrial and ATP production. This happens as part of the cellular respiration process in which cells break down and convert stored energy - releasing waste products as part of this process.
And there’s clinical data to back this up. A 2013 review in the academic journal Lasers in Surgery and Medicine states, “the mechanism is based on absorption of red and near infrared photons by chromophores in the mitochondria (particularly cytochrome c oxidase), leading to increases of mitochondrial membrane potential, oxygen consumption, adenosine triphosphate (ATP), and a transient increase in reactive oxygen species (ROS)." The researchers in this study went on to say that light therapy provides numerous ways of reducing weight, decreasing fat & cellulite, and improving the blood lipid profile. Even though the mechanism of action for light therapy- related weight loss has not been completely defined, one theory is that light therapy affects adipocytes, which are cells that store fat, causing the lipids to disperse. In simpler terms, light therapy helps the body wash away fat cells. Light therapy may create other actions that affect fat and weight loss as well. For instance, a 2012 study in the International Journal of Endocrinology showed that light can affect hunger, which could have benefits for helping to prevent the buildup of extra fat before it even begins. This study found that red light helped control levels of the hunger-related hormones leptin and ghrelin in sleep-deprived participants.
What Does Other Research Say?
Besides the obvious health issues that come from obesity and excess fat, one of the primary motivating factors for people to attempt to lose weight has more to do with how they look in the mirror than what the scale actually reads. Body contouring has become a commonly marketed term for all sorts of therapies and treatments. Red light therapy simply helps our cells function better by providing an energy boost from a specific range of natural light.
A study in the Journal of Obesity Surgery researched red light therapy for body contouring. This 2011 double- blind, randomized study performed this therapy at 635-680 nanometers (nm) on participants for four weeks and looked at effects on the waistline. Subjects were asked not to change their diet or exercise habits. At the end of study, the researchers concluded that in just 4 weeks, participants achieved both cosmetic and a statistically significant reduction in waistline girth.
Another similar study published in Lasers in Surgery Medicine concluded that participants showed a significant reduction in overall circumference, including each part of the body. Researchers concluded that this type of therapy can cut down on the circumference of the specific areas that are treated.
A later study in the same journal – Lasers in Surgery and Medicine – also found benefits from red light therapy for contouring the hips, thighs, and waist. This 2013 study demonstrated positive results from red light at 635 nm. Researchers used the therapy on 86 participants for 20 minutes per session on alternating days during a two-week period. After the treatment window, they found a mean loss of 2.99 inches overall compared to the starting point. Separately, the thigh, waist and hip areas all showed a reduction too.
Researchers concluded that red light therapy at this level and wavelength was safe and clinically effective for the specified purpose! Overall, red light therapy has shown positive results for fat loss and body contouring across several different clinical studies. This type of therapy offers a safe, non-invasive alternative for helping people improve their looks and their health. It's safe to say you can add weight loss to the long list of benefits for the use of red light therapy! And you can find all of this in a 30 minute session inside The Sculpt Pod!