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    The Wild Guide To Red Light Therapy

    “Nearly every disease state known to man has been linked to low mitochondrial activity. Understanding which foods and factors enhance metabolism, and which inhibit it are paramount for successfully preventing or reversing disease.”
    ― Mark Sloan, Red Light Therapy: Miracle Medicine

    If you could put the benefits of red light and near-infrared light into a pill, it would be the most profitable pharmaceutical in the world.

    According to recent market research, the global market for red light treatment is projected to reach $ 1351.09 million by 2027. This shows that more and more people worldwide are using light therapy for health and wellness purposes.

    Red light therapy, also called low-level light therapy or photobiomodulation, is a safe and non-invasive method of health care that uses red and near-infrared light to speed up the body's natural healing processes and fuel mitochondria. 

    Over 3000 studies have shown that red light and near-infrared light could be helpful in various medical procedures.

    In this guide, we will cover this health modality in detail so that by the end, you will better understand its benefits and hopefully be convinced to add this routine to your health program.

    Sun and Light

    The sun is the generator of everything in our solar system and is the ultimate source of all life on Earth. Without the sun, life on Earth would not be possible. Light, a form of electromagnetic radiation, is the energy that powers all life.

    Light waves are measured in nanometers (NM), with a visible spectrum between 400 and 700nm. Unfortunately, the human eye can only detect 9% of the available range. Red light, which falls between 600 and 700nm, represents the highest part of the visible spectrum. You get near-infrared light as you progress along the spectrum towards the 700nm to 1,100nm range.

    Red and near-infrared light have a bioactive effect on humans, and they are known to power the cells. Unlike humans, who can only see a fraction of the electromagnetic spectrum, near-infrared light is one of the most heavily studied. It has been shown to provide numerous health benefits.

    To better understand where red and near-infrared light falls on the electromagnetic spectrum, take a look at this graphic:

    Light as Nutrition

    One of the pivotal epiphanies in my understanding of light was the analogy to food nutrition. Light powers our cells and plays an integral role in hormone regulation, physical performance, sleep, and gene expression. Just like food, we need light in the right amounts and quantities.

    Science has identified five types of bioactive light in humans:


    1. Ultraviolet light (UV Light) - how your body synthesizes vitamin D from the Sun
    2. Blue Light - large impact on setting circadian rhythm
    3. Red Light - stimulates ATP production at the mitochondrial level
    4. Far infrared light - heats up your body. When you feel the sun's heat, this is what you're feeling
    5. Near-infrared light - Stimulates ATP and acts on mitochondria

    Light as nutrition - Get Your Daily Light Needs

    It's well understood that vitamin D deficiency, caused by insufficient UV light, is a culprit in many modern diseases. Similarly, blue light has been linked to mental health issues and insomnia due to the rise of devices everywhere.

    While we may not know the exact mechanisms of each wavelength and its resulting health implications, it's safe to surmise that humans need the full spectrum of light the sun provides in whatever the average dose is.

    Having the proper amount of these five forms of light is crucial for maintaining good health in humans. During the last few generations, modern humans have switched to living indoor lives with electricity, artificial lighting systems, and little sun exposure. As a result, we have developed light deficiencies and toxicities that seriously harm our health and quality of life.

    Now imagine how many other modern chronic diseases, which science has yet to understand fully, are directly connected to light imbalances. Maybe it's the lack of red and NIR light that's causing so many issues? Maybe it's the far infrared, which we can only get from fire, the sun, or the heat from something like a radiator, is what we're missing in our modern enivorment?

    I think it's ALL of these.

    As science catches up by studying the benefits of light and light technology, I feel it's just telling us something we should already know—our environment is mismatched to our biology.

    Red light and near-infrared light have grown in popularity as science has caught up with the principle of human health. As demonstrated by the benefits of these two types of light, incorporating them into your health program can lead to a healthier, happier life.

    Some of the consequences of light deficiency are:


    • Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): SAD is a type of depression that occurs during the fall and winter seasons when there is less natural light from the sun. The lack of the sun can affect the body's production of serotonin and melatonin, leading to symptoms such as fatigue, irritability, and difficulty concentrating.
    • Vitamin D deficiency: Vitamin D is synthesized when the skin is exposed to sunlight. A lack of the sun can lead to a flaw in this vital nutrient, weakening bones, muscle weakness, and an increased risk of chronic diseases.
    • Sleep disturbances: Exposure to natural light helps regulate the body's internal clock or circadian rhythm. Light deficiency can disrupt this rhythm and lead to sleep disturbances, such as insomnia or disrupted sleep patterns.
    • Mental health problems: Light deficiency has been linked to an increased risk of an anxiety attacks and depression, cognitive decline, and dementia in older adults.

    What is Red Light Therapy?

    Photobiomodulation is a light therapy that utilizes low-level wavelengths of light to treat various conditions. This therapy is also referred to as photobiomodulation, low-level light therapy, or simply as red light.

    It's a therapy that doesn't hurt and doesn't have to be done in a hospital. It's become popular recently because it helps treat skin problems, pain, inflammation, and other problems. But how does this red light therapy work? Let's unpack everything for you.

    Unpacking the Science: How Red Light Therapy Works

    Red Light Therapy stimulates the body's natural healing mechanisms at a cellular level. The red light penetrates the skin and is absorbed by the cells, triggering a series of biological processes.

    These processes include:


    • Increased production of collagen and elastin
    • Healing and inflammation are aided by the boost in blood and oxygen supply.
    • Increased cellular energy generation aids in the healing of injured tissues and organs


    Red light therapy had existed since ancient times when people used the sun's healing rays to treat many health problems. In the early 1900s, scientists began to study the therapeutic effects of light, and in the 1960s, the first low-level laser therapy was developed.

    Since then, research has continued to advance and refine the use of light therapy for various applications.

    “Of the 50,000+ studies published on red light therapy to date, no adverse side effects have been reported.”
    ― Mark Sloan, Red Light Therapy: Miracle Medicine

    Health Benefits of Red light treatment

    Red light treatment has gained popularity recently due to its numerous health benefits. Let's explore the benefits of red light therapy in detail.

    Improved Skin Health

    Wrinkles, fine lines, and age spots may all be diminished with red light therapy, which also boosts overall skin health.

    Collagen formation is stoked, and blood supply to the skin is increased.

    It has also been shown that rosacea, psoriasis, and acne can be helped with red light therapy. Several methods by which it does this include the following:


    • Stimulates collagen production: Collagen is a protein responsible for the suppleness and resilience of the skin. Wrinkles and loose skin result from a decline in collagen formation that comes with aging. Collagen production may be boosted by red light treatment, resulting in skin that is both firmer and more radiant.
    • Improves skin tone and texture: The treatment improves skin tone and texture, making it look smoother and more even.
    • Accelerates wound healing: Red light treatment has been found to accelerate the healing of wounds, including cuts and burns.

    Reduced Inflammation and Pain

    The red light treatment effectively reduces inflammation and pain in various conditions, including arthritis, muscle soreness, and joint pain.

    But how does it do this?

    Studies have found that photobiomodulation significantly reduces pain and stiffness in people with knee osteoarthritis.

    Improved Muscle Recovery and Performance

    Athletes and fitness buffs may be interested to learn that red light treatment has been shown to speed up muscle repair and increase performance. More information on its operation is provided below:


    • Enhanced muscle recovery: Red light therapy's capacity stimulates the production of ATP (adenosine triphosphate), providing cells with energy and contributing to accelerated muscle healing. The increased energy production can help muscles recover more quickly after a workout or injury.
    • Increased muscle performance: Studies have shown that low-intensity light therapy can increase muscle strength and endurance, improving performance during activities or athletic events.

    Improved Joint Health

    Low-intensity light therapy has been shown to work wonders on joint health, making it a sought-after non-invasive treatment option for individuals dealing with joint-related conditions.


    • Reduces inflammation: While inflammation is the body's normal response to injury or illness, prolonged inflammation can cause permanent damage to joints and severe discomfort. The anti-inflammatory effects of red light therapy have been demonstrated to be beneficial in easing joint pain and enhancing mobility.
    • Stimulates collagen production: Joint health depends on collagen, a protein vital to cartilage and bone structure. Joint cartilage is protected, and new cartilage is encouraged to form. Research has shown that red light treatment can increase collagen formation, which in turn can aid in the healing of injured joint tissue and alleviate the associated pain.
    • Increases blood flow: Phototherapy has been shown to increase blood flow to the joints, improving the delivery of nutrients and oxygen to the affected area.
    • Enhances range of motion: Joint pain and stiffness can limit your range of motion and make it difficult to perform everyday activities. Phototherapy has been found to improve joint flexibility and range of motion, which can help to restore function and improve quality of life.

    Improved Mood and Mental Health

    Low-intensity light therapy is not just for physical benefits; it can also work wonders for your mental health. It can ease anxiety and depression by sending more blood to the brain and making the brain make more serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that controls mood.

    Red light therapy increases the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter critical in regulating mood and well-being. It also helps to regulate the body's circadian rhythm, which regulates sleep-wake cycles and can impact mood and mental health.

    Studies have shown that red light therapy can decrease symptoms of depression and anxiety in individuals, potentially by increasing levels of endorphins and other mood-boosting hormones in the body.

    Low-intensity light therapy may also effectively treat seasonal affective disorder (SAD), depression triggered by seasonal changes, and lack of sunlight during the winter.

    Improved Sleep Quality

    Improved sleep quality is a significant benefit of low-intensity light therapy that we often overlook. Poor sleep can substantially impact our overall health and well-being, leading to fatigue, irritability, and decreased cognitive function. Red light therapy has been shown to improve sleep quality in a few different ways:


    • Regulation of circadian rhythms: Our bodies have a natural 24-hour sleep-wake cycle called the circadian rhythm. Exposure to red light in the morning and during the day can help regulate the circadian rhythm, leading to better sleep quality at night.
    • Increased melatonin production: Melatonin is a critical hormone regulating our sleep-wake cycle.
    • Reduced insomnia symptoms: Insomnia is a common sleep disorder with difficulty falling or staying asleep. Low-intensity light therapy has been shown to reduce insomnia symptoms, leading to improved sleep quality.
    • Reduced sleep disturbance: Low-intensity light therapy can also reduce sleep disturbance caused by external factors such as noise or light pollution, leading to more restful sleep.

    Hair Loss and Growth

    Have you noticed hair thinning or hair loss? It's a common issue for both men and women and can be caused by various factors such as stress, hormonal imbalances, genetics, and autoimmune disorders. Luckily, Low-intensity light therapy has shown promising results in promoting hair growth and preventing hair loss. Here's how:


    • Increased blood flow: Red light treatment has been shown to increase blood flow to the scalp, providing essential nutrients and oxygen to the hair follicles, promoting hair growth, and preventing hair loss.
    • Stimulating hair follicles: Red light treatment stimulates the hair follicles by increasing cell metabolism, which helps to produce new hair growth.
    • Reducing inflammation: Red light treatment has anti-inflammatory properties that help to reduce inflammation in the scalp, which can lead to hair loss.
    • Thickening hair: Light-emitting diode therapy (LED therapy) can thicken existing hair, making it stronger and more damage-resistant.

    Improve Oral Health

    Oral health is a critical component of overall health, and good oral hygiene is essential to maintaining healthy teeth and gums. Neglecting oral health can lead to many issues, including tooth decay, gum disease, bad breath, and even systemic health problems such as heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.

    Here are some of the ways red therapy therapies can benefit oral health:


    • Reducing Inflammation in the Gums: Gum inflammation, or gingivitis, is a common condition that can lead to more severe gum disease if left untreated. Red light therapy and near-infrared light therapy have been shown to reduce inflammation in the gums, promoting healthy blood flow and aiding tissue repair.
    • Promoting Wound Healing: Oral wounds, such as those caused by dental procedures or injuries, can slowly heal and lead to discomfort and infection. Red and near-infrared light therapy has been shown to speed healing and promotes tissue regeneration.
    • Antibacterial Properties: Red light treatment and near-infrared light therapy may also have antibacterial properties that can help to prevent or treat oral infections.
    • Potential Benefits for TMJ Disorder: Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder is a condition that affects the joint that connects the jawbone to the skull. Light-emitting diode therapy (LED therapy) and near-infrared light therapy have been shown to have potential benefits for reducing pain and inflammation associated with TMJ disorder.
    “Nerve (Pain): Some studies have shown that red/NIR light can dull pain due to blocking conduction”
    ―Ari Whitten, The Ultimate Guide to Red Light Therapy

    Types of Red light Treatment Devices

    Several Phototherapy devices are available, each with unique features and benefits. These include:


    • Light Panels: These are large panels that emit red light and can be used to treat the entire body.
    • Handheld Devices: These smaller devices can target specific body areas, such as the face or joints.
    • Full-Body Beds: These are beds that emit red light and can be used to treat the entire body while lying down.
    • Infrared Saunas: These saunas cast red and infrared light for relaxation and detoxification.

    How to Choose a Phototherapy Device

    You must consider a few things to ensure you get a good product. If you need help deciding which device is suitable for you, consider the following:


    • Consider the type of device: There are several red light therapy devices, including handheld devices, light panels, and full-body beds. Consider your needs and preferences before choosing a device.
    • Check the wavelengths: Different wavelengths of red and near-infrared light affect the body differently. Look for machines that emit wavelengths between 630-660 nm for skin-related benefits and 810-850 nm for more profound tissue benefits.
    • Check the intensity: The light emitted by the device is measured in milliwatts per square centimeter (mW/cm²). Look for a device with a power of at least 20-50 mW/cm² for optimal results.
    • Check the coverage area: The device's coverage area is essential, especially if you want a full-body treatment. Ensure the device covers the space you need and the treatment is manageable.

    How to Use Red Light Treatment

    Red light is a simple and effetive way to correct your light nutrition imbalance. But before you dive in, it's important to know how to use it safely and effectively is essential. Here are some helpful guidelines to keep in mind:

    Recommended Exposure Times and Distances

    The recommended exposure time for red light treatment can vary depending on the type of device you are using and the area of your body you are treating. Generally, exposure times can range from a few minutes to half an hour.

    Start with shorter exposure times and gradually increase the duration as your body adapts to the therapy.

    The distance between the device and your skin can also affect the effectiveness of the treatment. Typically, the closer the device is to your skin, the more intense the therapy.



    • Avoid looking directly into the light, as this can damage your eyes.
    • Do not use this therapy if you are pregnant, have epilepsy, or take photosensitizing medications.
    • Before using this therapy, check with your healthcare provider for any medical conditions or concerns.

    Best Practices for A Daily Red light Treatment Routine

    Red light is a non-invasive, low-risk treatment that uses specific wavelengths of red light to improve various health conditions. If you're considering integrating red light therapy into your daily routine, here are some best practices to follow:

    Set a Schedule

    Setting a schedule for red light treatment is essential to ensure consistency in your routine. Character is critical to getting the best results from red light therapy. Consider scheduling a specific time each day for your red light therapy session, such as before or after your shower or workout.

    Start Slowly

    If you're new to red light treatment, start with shorter sessions and gradually increase the duration and intensity. This will help your body adjust to the treatment and minimize adverse reactions. Start with a 5-10 minute session and gradually increase to a maximum of 30 minutes.

    Stay Hydrated

    Drinking enough water is essential for the overall health of your body, and it's necessary when using red light therapy. Red light therapy can cause mild dehydration, so drink enough water before and after your session.

    Keep Skin Clean

    Before beginning red light therapy, ensure your skin is clean and clear of oils or lotions. This makes it possible for the light to permeate the skin more deeply and safely without causing any discomfort. Clean the affected area with water and a light soap before starting treatment.

    Combine with Other Treatments

    Red light treatment can be combined with other medicines to enhance its benefits. For example, mixing red light therapy with exercise, proper nutrition, and good sleep hygiene can help you achieve better overall health.


    Photobiomodulation is safe, non-invasive, and practical, with numerous health benefits. In this guide, we have covered the basics of phototherapy, including its definition, how it works, the history and evolution of the treatment, the different types of devices available, and its associated health benefits.

    While red light treatment is generally safe, following guidelines on using the devices safely and effectively is crucial to avoid adverse effects. When choosing a red light therapy device, it is essential to consider factors such as the type of device, its wavelength, intensity, and safety features.

    In light of the many health benefits of phototherapy, you should try it as part of your daily health regime. Whether you are an athlete looking to enhance your performance, someone struggling with chronic pain, or simply interested in improving your overall health and well-being, red light therapy is worth considering.

    Check out Noble Red devices in the Wild Shop.



    “Ideal frequency of use is likely between 3-7x/week (or up to once per day). There are studies which have used more and less than this, however, based on my experience working with hundreds of people, I believe between 3 to 7 times per week is optimal.”
    ― Ari Whitten, The Ultimate Guide to Red Light Therapy: