Rejuvenating Benefits of Infrared Red Light Therapy for Humans and Pets

Rejuvenating Benefits of Infrared Red Light Therapy for Humans and Pets
Photo by Łukasz Nieścioruk / Unsplash

Red light therapy has been researched and used for the last 40 years to help reduce pain and inflammation, promote healing, and prevent tissue damage.

  • Red light is readily absorbed by surface tissues and cells, leading to skin rejuvenation, reduced wrinkles, and accelerated wound healing.
  • Near-infrared light is invisible to the human eye and penetrates into deeper tissues, leading to enhanced recovery, tissue repair, and reduced inflammation.
  • Red light therapy is a noninvasive treatment that can be performed daily with a portable or at-home red light device to support mitochondrial health.

Red light therapy treatment is approved by the FDA for conditions, such as, chronic joint pain, arthritis, acne, and slow-to-heal wounds and has minimal to no side effects.

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Photo by Austin Chan / Unsplash

Infrared light therapy, also known as, red light therapy (RLT). is a non-invasive treatment that uses low-level red light wavelengths to promote tissue healing and reduce inflammation. Red light therapy has been shown to be a promising treatment option for a variety of conditions including acne, arthritis, and wound healing in humans and animals. The treatment works by creating a mild stress on the cells and stimulates the body's natural healing processes at the cellular level to increase circulation and reduce inflammation.

Red light is healing, energizing, and stimulating. Red represents survival, joy, and passion in humans because of how it affects the central nervous system and fight or flight response. Red light therapy research shows that this type of light can naturally energize and boost mood by increasing self-confidence, passion, joyfulness, social awareness, sociability, positivity, conversation skills, and sensory stimulation.

History of Red Light Therapy

Red light therapy dates back to the early 20th century when scientists discovered that red light wavelengths could stimulate the growth of plants. Later, researchers found that red light could also stimulate the growth of human cells in vitro. In the 1960s, NASA began studying the effects of red light on wound healing and found that it could accelerate the healing process in astronauts.

Since then, red light therapy has been studied extensively for its therapeutic effects on a multitude of health conditions and is used today as a non-invasive treatment option to improve health and well-being. Red light therapy is also described as photobiomodulation, low-level light therapy, biostimulation, and light box therapy; for this article we will refer to it as "red light therapy."

How Red Light Therapy Works

Red light therapy works by using low-level red light wavelengths that emit directly through the skin to stimulate the body's natural healing processes at the cellular level. The red light penetrates the skin and is absorbed by the mitochondria in the cells to a depth of about 8-10 millimeters, which then produce more cellular energy in the form of ATP and reduce oxidative stress.

This has positive effects on multiple metabolic and nervous system processes. Red light penetration increases circulation, stimulates collagen production, reduces inflammation, and promotes healing. Red light therapy has been shown to help with with multiple health conditions by stimulating the body's natural healing processes and improving cellular function.

Conditions That Red Light Therapy Can Help With

Red light therapy can help with inflammatory and autoimmune conditions and can be used to help athletes recover from sports-related injuries, muscle soreness, and joint tenderness.

  • Arthritis and joint pain.
  • Slow-healing wounds.
  • Muscle strains and sprains.
  • Fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, and chronic pain.
  • Post-surgical pain and recovery.
  • Back pain and sciatica.
  • Acne and folliculitis.
  • Allergic reactions and dermatitis.

Rejuvenating Benefits of Red Light Therapy

The natural healing power of red and near infrared wavelengths can improve the way you look and feel. Red light therapy has been shown to have a number of potential rejuvenating, therapeutic benefits, including:

  • Rejuvenates skin: promotes skin health and helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, improve skin tone and texture, and reduces acne.
  • Protects cellular energy and mitochondrial health: enhances energy production and ATP synthesis and improves the number and function of mitochondria no matter how old they are.
  • Strengthens immunity: modulates levels of cytokines, growth factors and inflammatory mediators, increases vitamin D and T-cell production.
  • Promotes longevity: increases cell proliferation and migration.
  • Reduces inflammation: speeds up wound healing and enhances tissue repair to minimize inflammation and pain associated with conditions like arthritis and other inflammatory disorders.
  • Accelerates sports recovery: reduces inflammation and pain in muscles and joints to boost muscle recovery after exercise or injury.
  • Increases circulation: improves blood flow and increases the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the cells and tissues.
  • Enhances mood: boosts energy, increases serotonin production and regulation, and reduces symptoms of depression and anxiety.
  • Amplifies athletic performance: supports optimal circulation and joint and tendon health, and enhances endurance and stamina.
  • Sharpens cognitive function: increases neural connectivity and synaptic plasticity and enhances memory, mental clarity, focus and learning abilities.
  • Optimizes sleep: restores circadian rhythm, promotes deep and REM sleep, and improves sleep quality.  
  • Restores oral health: reduces gum inflammation after dental procedures, activates tissue regeneration, and prevents and heals receding gums.
  • Boosts hair growth: boosts blood flow to the scalp, potentially reverses hair loss, and stimulates follicle hair growth.
  • Encourages relaxation: promotes a sense of calm and stillness.

Just like red light therapy has a tremendous impact on humans, animals can also reap the benefits of red light. If your pet has arthritis, is going for surgery, or has joint or muscle pain, red light therapy can help!

Red Light Therapy Benefits for Pets

  • Stimulates cellular energy production and regeneration.
  • Decreases inflammation and swelling in the joints and muscles.
  • Enhances blood circulation for improved oxygen and nutrient delivery.
  • Relieves symptoms of arthritis and acute and chronic pain.
  • Wound healing after surgery.

5 Essential Steps to Create an Effective Red Light Therapy Routine

1. Determine the optimal treatment duration and frequency. Consistent use of 3-5 times per week, up to 1-2 times a day, 10 minutes each session (6 hours between each one) for 6 weeks is recommended.

2. Identify the specific joints or areas of the body to target and administer red light therapy directly on the affected joints.

3. Establish a consistent schedule for red light therapy sessions.

4. Use appropriate light intensity and duration for optimal results.

5. Incorporate red light therapy into your everyday routine.

To further enhance the benefits of red light therapy add in range of motion exercises, strengthening exercises for the affected joints, low-impact cardiovascular exercises, yoga, and core stability exercises.

Final Thoughts

Red light acts as a mild form of stress that activates protective mechanisms in cells. When red light hits the skin, it penetrates cells and stimulates mitochondria to make more energy in the form of ATP, which boosts the production of natural anti-inflammatories and antioxidants. Red light exposure has proven benefits for healing, muscle recovery, improved lymphatic flow, pain relief, collagen production, skin health, immune function, and mitochondrial health.

There are many different red light home devices; it is important to do your research before purchasing one. Red light therapy can be performed 3-5 times a week, up to 1-2 times a day for 10 minutes each session. The key to success with red light therapy is consistency. Take charge of your health today and experience the power of red light to enhance your mitochondria and overall health!

Thank you for reading this post.


This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of such advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.