(A HealthLight Special Report)
Do you have concerns regarding the long list of unpleasant and potentially dangerous side effects associated with today’s pharmaceutical pain medications? Do you need to manage acute or chronic pain but do not want to risk the possibility of addiction associated with commonly prescribed opiods? Are you looking to avoid the pain, risks, recovery time, and high cost of surgery? If so, you might want to consider a highly effective healing modality known as “Red Light Therapy.”
Red Light Therapy can be defined as “the use of red and near-infrared light to stimulate healing, relieve pain, and reduce inflammation.” Red Light Therapy devices have been granted FDA clearance for increasing circulation, relieving pain, relaxing muscles, relieving muscle spasms, and relieving the aches and stiffness caused by arthritis. If you are wondering what Red Light Therapy can do for you or your patients, here is a list of Red Light Therapy pros and cons:
Red Light Therapy Pros:
Red Light Therapy is also known as “low-level light therapy” (“LLLT,”) and as “photobiomodulation” (“PBM.”)
- Red Light Therapy Relieves Pain:
Medical science has found that Red Light Therapy provides pain relief effective enough to help patients avoid the risks of pain medications and even surgery: “In recent years, evidence for the use of light therapy as a nonpharmacologic approach for pain reduction has gained momentum, and both pre-clinical and clinical studies have demonstrated its efficacy and continue to explore its efficacy in a variety of pain syndromes.” And, “Cutaneous application of red light (660nm) has been shown to reduce pain in neuropathies and complex regional pain syndrome-I…” And today, science affirms that: “…light therapy can increasingly be a useful therapeutic analgesic modality, providing a safe and effective option to reduce the physical, psychological, economic, and societal burden that acute and chronic pain inflicts on so many patients.”
- Red Light Therapy Accelerates Healing:
Red Light Therapy releases beneficial chemicals within cells and tissues through photobiomodulation, a process like photosynthesis in the plant world: “Radiation of tissue with light causes an increase in mitochondrial products such as ATP, NADH, protein, and RNA…” Light also causes the increased bioavailability of Nitric Oxide (NO), a potent vasodilator. And vasodilation “…increases the availability of oxygen to treated cells, and also allows for greater traffic of immune cells into tissue. These two effects contribute to accelerated healing.” So not only is Red Light Therapy effective and beneficial for pain relief, but Red Light Therapy “…can accelerate the body’s ability to heal itself.” This is a major therapeutic outcome which pain relievers and muscle relaxants cannot achieve!
- Red Light Therapy is Fast-Acting:
Red Light Therapy begins being therapeutic very quickly, because, “…the duration of light exposure for red and infrared light treatments is short and only requires seconds to minutes to cause photobiomodulation.” Because beneficial chemicals are rapidly released into cells and tissues within seconds to minutes, Red Light Therapy generates a quick and dependable decrease in pain to the point where, “Fast acting pain relief occurs within minutes of application…”
- Red Light Therapy Regenerates Nerves:
Science has found that Red Light Therapy can actually support the body’s efforts to regenerate nerves, leading to the return of sensation. This is especially important for those suffering from numbing conditions of the lower limbs or hands. “Photobiomodulation therapy (PBMT) effects an important role in neural regeneration and function enhancement, such as expression of nerve growth factor and nerve regeneration…”
- Red Light Therapy Increases Circulation:
Maintaining good circulation and microcirculation are quite crucial to good health. And one of the easiest ways to improve circulation is by using Red Light Therapy. In fact, Red Light Therapy devices have been granted clearance from the FDA for increasing circulation.
- Red Light Therapy Excels at Treating Musculoskeletal Problems:
For many decades now, Red Light Therapy has been regarded as “…an effective treatment modality to reduce pain in adult patients with musculoskeletal disorders.” “According to the more than 4000 studies on pub.med.gov, it can be concluded that the majority of laboratory and clinical studies have demonstrated that LLLT has a positive effect on acute and chronic musculoskeletal pain.” Because of its success with all of the types of musculoskeletal issues seen by chiropractors and physical therapists, Red Light Therapy is utilized by these practitioners worldwide, who regard Red Light Therapy as a safe and effective way to treat and prevent a wide range of these issues.
- Red Light Therapy is Non-Invasive:
Unlike the use of corticosteroid injections and surgery, Red Light Therapy is non-invasive. It usually causes no pain, except perhaps when damaged nerves begin to regenerate. “With the advantage of being non-invasive, the applications of PBM are broad, going from pain relief to promoting the recovery of tendinopathies, nerve injuries, osteoarthritis and wound healing.”
- Red Light Therapy is Relaxing:
People report that Red Light Therapy feels relaxing, comforting, and soothing. Pain, stiffness, soreness, and muscle tension quickly disappear. Many acupuncturists employ Red Light Therapy to relax their patients before needle insertion, making needling easier. Physical therapists and massage therapists use Red Light Therapy to relax patients and make hand work easier.
- Red Light Therapy Poses No Risks or Safety Issues:
Red Light Therapy has been found to be risk free and can be administered without worry regarding harmful side effects or safety issues. “PBM has an almost complete lack of reported adverse effects…” And a recent 2021 study concluded that, “In addition to its label as a nonpharmacologic therapy, light therapy is attractive to both clinicians and patients due to its noninvasiveness and lack of side effects, ultimately increasing patient compliance.”
- Red Light Therapy is Non-Toxic and Non-Addictive:
Unlike many pharmaceuticals currently prescribed for pain relief and chronic conditions, especially opioids, Red Light Therapy offers the major benefits of delivering pain relief plus accelerated healing while being non-toxic and non-addictive.
- Red Light Therapy Can Treat a Large Tissue Area:
Depending upon the size of the therapy pad, Red Light Therapy can treat a large area of the body, such as the upper or lower back, upper or lower leg or arm, or the entire shoulder, knee, or elbow. HealthLight makes a large 264 Diode Red Light Therapy Pad and a Long 180 Diode Pad, and either pad can easily treat large areas of tissue.
- Red Light Therapy Can Treat Every Body Area (Except the Eyes):
Red Light therapy can benefit virtually every external part of the body, from the toes up to the head, as well as internal organs such as the liver, the heart, the stomach, etc. But placing Red Light Therapy Pads that include infrared light directly over open eyes is not recommended. However, face masks can be worn safely over closed eyes. HealthLight makes a 104 Diode Face Mask that emits only red light and blue light. This mask is safe to place over closed eyes, and can achieve medical-grade results — and does not need a controller.
- Red Light Therapy Can Treat an Extensive Range of Issues:
Since scientific studies have proven that, “These low doses of light have demonstrated the ability to heal skin, nerves, tendons, cartilage and bones,” Red Light Therapy can help stimulate, support, and accelerate healing for a wide range of issues throughout the body. Dr. Michael R. Hamblin of Harvard University proclaims, “To a very great extent I believe that almost all types and variety of human diseases can be treated with light (of one kind or another).”
- Red Light Therapy is Simple and Easy to Administer:
Nothing could be simpler and easier than Red Light Therapy. Just place the Red Light Therapy Pads directly on the body wherever pain relief and increased circulation are needed, turn on the device, select a setting, and the light waves produced by the pads do their work. Sessions are usually programmed to run twenty minutes, after which time most devices shut off automatically.
- Red Light Therapy Can Be Used at Home:
Because Red Light Therapy is so safe and so easy to administer, no risk is involved with using LED Red Light Therapy devices at home. Many chiropractors have developed in-home programs for chronic conditions based on patients self-administering LED Red Light Therapy between office visits. As Dr. Hamblin explains, “LED devices are considered totally harmless with no risk of eye damage or skin burns, and are ideally suited to home use.” And a 2019 study concluded that PBM devices used at home, “…have good potential for effective and safe treatments in a variety of medical conditions requiring frequent sessions.”
- Red Light Therapy Can Be Administered While Doing Other Activities:
Red Light Therapy offers the distinct advantage of allowing other activities during treatment. You can read, listen to music, watch television, use your phone or tablet, or even nap, as the Red Light Therapy device should shut off automatically.
- Red Light Therapy Can Treat Multiple Issues Simultaneously:
From two to six areas of the body can be treated during a single therapy session by using a controller that can operate multiple Red Light Therapy Pads simultaneously — providing you or your patients an extensive therapy session that benefits several problem areas at one time. HealthLight makes multi-port controllers that are able to power either 2, 3, or 6 Red Light Therapy Pads at once.
- Red Light Therapy Can Be a Stand Alone Treatment or Used with Other Therapies:
Red Light Therapy can be used as a standalone treatment, or in conjunction with other healing modalities such as chiropractic, acupuncture, physical therapy, or massage therapy. Utilizing Red Light Therapy with other therapies will usually augment, amplify, and accelerate their therapeutic results.
- Red Light Therapy Devices are Portable:
Red Light Therapy devices are lightweight, which allows them to be portable. Devices can be easily packed in a suitcase or backpack — and used at the office or while on vacation. Red Light Therapy devices made by HealthLight are lightweight, compact, and include a handy carry bag — making it extremely easy to take your Red Light Therapy device with you wherever you go.
- Red Light Therapy Devices are Easy to Maintain:
A well made Red Light Therapy device should require no maintenance, as long as the Therapy Pads and controller are handled properly. Good quality LEDs (such as those used by HealthLight) should last for many years. Therapy Pads can be kept clean and sanitary for individual or family use, or for use by health clinics, by placing them in lightweight clear plastic bags. These bags can then be disposed of and replaced as needed, keeping your Red Light Therapy Pads clean and ready for the next treatment session.
Red Light Therapy Cons:
In comparison to the extensive list of Red Light Therapy pros, the cons are minimal:
- Red Light Therapy Pads that include Infrared LEDs Should Not be used over open eyes.
But pads that emit only red light and/or blue light are safe over closed eyes.
- Red Light Therapy Should Not be used with pharmaceuticals that cause light sensitivity.
- Red Light Therapy Should Not be used over a developing fetus.
But other body areas may be treated during pregnancy.
- Red Light Therapy Should Not be used over active cancer.
While “Applying PBM therapy over the site of a tumor has been considered to be a contraindication,” Red Light Therapy can provide positive benefits to cancer patients. “In contrast, it was realized that PBM was highly effective in the mitigation of numerous distressing side effects that occur as a result of a range of different kinds of cancer therapy.” As a result, “PBM is becoming a well-established approach to mitigate or prevent the development of cancer therapy associated side effects…”
If you would like to experience the numerous pros of Red Light Therapy for yourself, or add Red Light Therapy to your clinic’s treatment menu to aid your patients, purchasing a professional medical-grade, FDA-listed Red Light Therapy device from HealthLight will bring you all the benefits that Red Light Therapy has to offer. HealthLight makes the most powerful clinical-strength Red Light Therapy devices available in today’s marketplace, ensuring that you receive the most effective therapy for the best possible outcome. When it comes to choosing a Red Light Therapy device, you can’t go wrong with HealthLight.
 Hamblin MR. Mechanisms and applications of the anti-inflammatory effects of photobiomodulation. AIMS Biophys. 2017;4(3):337-361. doi:10.3934/biophy.2017.3.337, p.1.
 Cheng K, Martin LF, Slepian MJ, Patwardhan AM, Ibrahim MM. Mechanisms and Pathways of Pain Photobiomodulation: A Narrative Review. J Pain. 2021 Jul;22(7):763-777. doi: 10.1016/j.jpain.2021.02.005. Epub 2021 Feb 23. PMID: 33636371; PMCID: PMC8277709, p.14.
 Ibid., p. 1.
 Ibid., p.14.
Chung, Hoon, et al. The Nuts and Bolts of Low-level Laser (Light) Therapy. Ann Biomed Eng. 2012 February; 40(2): 516–533. doi:10.1007/s10439-011-0454-7, p. 5 of NIH Public Access version, p. 5.
 Ibid., p. 6.
 Cotler, Howard B. et al. The Use of Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) For Musculoskeletal Pain. MOJ Orthop Rheumatol. 2015 ; 2(5): . doi:10.15406/mojor.2015.02.00068, p bid., p. 7.
 Cheng K, Martin LF, Slepian MJ, Patwardhan AM, Ibrahim MM. Mechanisms and Pathways of Pain Photobiomodulation: A Narrative Review. J Pain. 2021 Jul;22(7):763-777. doi: 10.1016/j.jpain.2021.02.005. Epub 2021 Feb 23. PMID: 33636371; PMCID: PMC8277709, p.12.
 Cotler, Howard B. et al. The Use of Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) For Musculoskeletal Pain. MOJ Orthop Rheumatol. 2015 ; 2(5): . doi:10.15406/mojor.2015.02.00068, p. 5.
 Heo JC, Park JA, Kim DK, Lee JH. Photobiomodulation (660 nm) therapy reduces oxidative stress and induces BDNF expression in the hippocampus. Sci Rep. 2019 Jul 12;9(1):10114. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-46490-4. PMID: 31300736; PMCID: PMC6625994, Abstract.
 Clijsen R, Brunner A, Barbero M, Clarys P, Taeymans J. Effects of low-level laser therapy on pain in patients with musculoskeletal disorders: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Eur J Phys Rehabil Med. 2017 Aug;53(4):603-610. doi: 10.23736/S1973-9087.17.04432-X. Epub 2017 Jan 30. PMID: 28145397, Abstract.
 Cotler, Howard B. et al. The Use of Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) For Musculoskeletal Pain. MOJ Orthop Rheumatol. 2015 ; 2(5): . doi:10.15406/mojor.2015.02.00068, p bid., p. 6.
 de Freitas LF, Hamblin MR. Proposed Mechanisms of Photobiomodulation or Low-Level Light Therapy. IEEE J Sel Top Quantum Electron. 2016 May-Jun;22(3):7000417. doi: 10.1109/JSTQE.2016.2561201. PMID: 28070154; PMCID: PMC5215870, p. 2.
 Hamblin, Michael R. “Mechanisms and applications of the anti-inflammatory effects of photobiomodulation.” AIMS biophysics vol. 4,3 (2017): 337-361. doi:10.3934/biophy.2017.3.337, p. 14.
 Cheng K, Martin LF, Slepian MJ, Patwardhan AM, Ibrahim MM. Mechanisms and Pathways of Pain Photobiomodulation: A Narrative Review. J Pain. 2021 Jul;22(7):763-777. doi: 10.1016/j.jpain.2021.02.005. Epub 2021 Feb 23. PMID: 33636371; PMCID: PMC8277709, p. 14.
 Cotler, Howard B. et al. The Use of Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) For Musculoskeletal Pain. MOJ Orthop Rheumatol. 2015 ; 2(5): . doi:10.15406/mojor.2015.02.00068, p bid., p. 4.
 Hamblin, Michael R. “Virulence profile: Michael R. Hamblin. “ Virulence. 2016; 7(7): 836-839. Published online 2016 Jun 17. doi:10.1080/21505594.2016.1201348. Accessed online.
 Gavish L, Houreld NN. Therapeutic Efficacy of Home-Use Photobiomodulation Devices: A Systematic Literature Review. Photobiomodul Photomed Laser Surg. 2019 Jan;37(1):4-16. doi: 10.1089/photob.2018.4512. PMID: 31050938, p. 14.
 Hamblin MR, Nelson ST, Strahan JR. Photobiomodulation and Cancer: What Is the Truth? Photomed Laser Surg. 2018 May;36(5):241-245. doi: 10.1089/pho.2017.4401. Epub 2018 Feb 21. PMID: 29466089; PMCID: PMC5946726, p. 241.
 Ibid., p. 244.
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