What Is Infrared Light Therapy & How Does It Work?

Proven pain relieving infrared light therapy devices from HealthLight. Our At-Home LED Light Therapy Line is available for home and professional use.

What Is Infrared Light Therapy?

Infrared light therapy is a procedure that uses light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to relieve pain caused by acute or chronic injury. By using low intensity light in the red or near infrared (NIR) spectrum (600nm – 1000nm) users will find infrared light therapy to be the perfect non-invasive treatment.

Light has a photochemical effect comparable to photosynthesis in plants.  For light therapy to work, enough light has to penetrate below the surface of the skin and be absorbed by cells to exert a sufficient chemical change.


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Other Names For Infrared Light Therapy

Other names you might hear to describe red light therapy include:

  • Low-level laser light therapy.
  • Red light therapy
  • Low-power laser therapy.
  • Non-thermal LED light.
  • Soft laser therapy.
  • Cold laser therapy.
  • Biostimulation, photonic stimulation.
  • Photobiomodulation
  • Phototherapy.
Infrared light therapy for feet

The Science Behind Infrared Light Therapy

Infrared light therapy is backed by years of science. In 1993, Duke University researchers discovered the benefits of infrared light therapy. In 1998, three American physiologists won the Nobel Prize for discovering that nitric oxide causes the blood vessels to dilate. This effect can be seen when a patient with angina takes nitroglycerin. The blood vessels dilate and reduce the angina. However, nitric oxide must be taken by mouth and reach the heart systemically via the blood flow.

Therapeutic infrared light often come in the form of LEDs, as they are a safe and cost efficient method to deliver light therapy to specific areas of the body. Unlike medical lasers, HealthLight red light therapy pads do not require use of protective eyewear during treatment.

Infrared light therapy involves illuminating concentrated wavelengths of light between 810nm and 850nm on bare skin. The treatment is based on light photons interacting with light-sensitive molecules in each cell.

When infrared light photons reach these molecules, they can stimulate mitochondrial cells (commonly called “cell energy generators”) to produce more adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which stimulates cellular energy production.

This in turn supplies energy to all the cells that are illuminated by the light. Self-protective factors such as antioxidants are released to prevent inflammatory cell damage. And cells can perform their functions more efficiently, including repairs and remodelling. This enhanced feature has anti-aging benefits as well as the ability to treat the causes of many diseases and ailments.

Infrared Light Therapy Wavelength Chart explaining how rred light pads work

There are many uses for HealthLight devices.

How HealthLight Red Light Therapy Pads Compare To Other Light Therapy Devices

Red total power, mW, at surface of pad
  • HealthLight
  • Celluma
  • NeuroCare
Joules per minute at surface of pad
  • HealthLight
  • Lightsource
  • Anodyne

How HealthLight Red Light Therapy Pads Compare To Lasers, Panels & Saunas

The Benefits of Infrared Light Therapy

When selecting a light therapy program, it's important that you take the specifications of the LED pads into consideration. The medical benefits from light therapy is dependent on: wavelength and power.

  • Wavelength (measured in nm) needs to be sufficient in order to achieve an adequate dosage.  The bulk of clinical literature suggests that light in the mid-600nm range to high-800nm range is most effective. That is because these wavelengths have the greatest effect on the cellular respiration process.
  • Power Density is the amount of light power delivered to an area of the body. HealthLight infrared light therapy pads are powerful enough to provide pain relief to the body.

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How people can benefit from infrared light therapy

Tricolor infrared Therapy Pad

Infrared light therapy, cherished for its ability to relieve pain, has garnered significant attention from the medical community. This non-invasive treatment involves exposing the body to low levels of infrared light, a type of electromagnetic radiation that lies beyond the visible spectrum.

Pain Relief

Primarily, infrared light's ability to alleviate pain is rooted in its unique interaction with bodily tissues. By gently penetrating the skin and reaching deeper layers, it prompts a vasodilatory response, meaning blood vessels expand to improve blood flow. This heightened circulation brings with it a surge of oxygen and nutrients to the afflicted areas, effectively soothing pain and aiding in the body's natural recovery processes. This holds particular promise for individuals struggling with conditions like arthritis, muscle discomfort, and even post-injury recovery.

The Spectrum of Infrared Light Therapy

Infrared Light Therapy Frequency

Improved Circulation

The second core advantage of infrared light therapy, improved circulation, further cements its place in the medical landscape. Enhanced blood flow holds the key to a host of benefits, ranging from pain relief times to better overall tissue health. The infrared light's ability to prompt vasodilation relaxes blood vessels and reduces resistance, allowing blood to flow more freely. This not only facilitates the swift transport of essential nutrients and oxygen to cells but also assists in the removal of waste products. Beyond the localized effects, this improved circulation can have a positive impact on the cardiovascular system, potentially contributing to better heart health and a more efficient metabolism. In sum, infrared light therapy's dual action of pain relief and enhanced circulation underscores its significance in the pursuit of holistic medical care.

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What are the uses for near infrared light therapy?

Infrared Light Therapy For Athletes

Elite athletes have long used NIR light therapy on key muscles to try and reduce muscle fatigue and alleviate the effects of delayed onset of muscle pain or pain that occurs two to three days after intense exercise.

Fitness enthusiasts and athletes often push their bodies to the limits, resulting in sore muscles and occasional injuries. For them, red light therapy can be a game-changer. By promoting improved circulation, this therapy helps deliver essential nutrients and oxygen to muscles, aiding in faster recovery and reducing muscle soreness. Athletes can incorporate red light therapy into their routines to optimize their training results and maintain peak performance levels.

Shoulder infrared Light Therapy Pad

Infrared Light Therapy for Chronic Pain Sufferers

Chronic pain can be a relentless burden, affecting one's quality of life. Infrared light therapy offers a glimmer of hope for those grappling with conditions such as arthritis and joint pain. By targeting the body's natural mechanisms, infrared light therapy helps mitigate pain and promote circulation, allowing chronic pain sufferers to experience moments of relief and respite from their persistent discomfort.

Infrared Light Therapy for Professionals and Desk Workers

Long hours spent sitting at desks can lead to postural issues and muscle tension, causing discomfort and pain. Infrared light therapy presents an opportunity for professionals and desk workers to counteract the toll of sedentary lifestyles. By promoting relaxation and enhancing circulation, this therapy can help alleviate aches and provide a well-deserved break from the strains of work.

HealthLight Red Light Therapy Pads
Made in USA 1

The gold standard for manufacturing quality

HealthLight red light therapy devices are FDA-cleared and manufactured in the USA in a state-of-the-art facility outside Chicago.

We have no supply chain issues. If you order today, we ship today. 

Why Choose HealthLight Infrared Light Therapy?

Healthlight is proud to design and produce industry-leading, FDA-listed light therapy products in our state-of-the-art manufacturing facility near Chicago. We have earned the trust of patients, therapists, and physicians across the world.

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The Healthlight Difference

Highest power at the skin.

Never operates above 105 degree F.

Focusing lens to optimize energy focus

Proudly made in the USA

Pulses to avoid tolerance build-up

red blue light waves

Ability to maintain narrow band of beneficial wavelengths

Pad flexibility conforms to body--no loss of energy at pain site

USB-style connectors, not breakable DIN’s.

Infrared Light Therapy FAQs

Infrared light therapy works in multiple different applications. Research suggests that it can temporarily relieve pain and improve circulation, leading to its increasing popularity. However, the effectiveness of infrared light therapy can vary depending on the condition being treated, the specific parameters used (wavelength, intensity, duration), and individual responses. In conclusion, YES, red light therapy works.  

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