I first tried red light therapy a little over a year ago. My mom raved about it and showed me her device. I didn’t know much about what it was for back then, but the idea of red light therapy seemed interesting. Flash forward a bit and I loved it so much that I bought my own red light therapy device. What is red light therapy, what do you use it for and why do I love it? Let’s talk.
Mito red light therapy
First, red light therapy is a huge topic and I want to do an overview here that’ll give you a basic introduction. I know my eyes glaze over when I read articles that venture too far into the weeds, so I’ll try not to do that here. 😉
Second, in case you’re new here, I only share products here that I 100% believe in and actually use and love. Before buying my device, I did a lot of research and decided on a handheld model from Mito Red Light, one of the leaders in the red light therapy space. I feel confident recommending them to you at this point after a year of 3x weekly use. I’ve become such a big fan that I feel I can honestly speak to red light therapy’s effects.
Wellness has always been important to me and this year more than ever.
With that, let’s go….
What is red light therapy and what does it do?
OK, let’s start with the basics. The big question is, “What is red and near infrared (NIR) light therapy?” Red and near-infrared light are part of the electromagnetic spectrum, and more specifically, part of the spectrum of light emitted by the sun. But there’s no dangerous UV rays in red light therapy and you don’t have to worry about sunburn or skin damage.
At the highest end of the visible light spectrum is red light, which goes from a little over 600nm (nanometers) to approximately 700nm. One level above the visible light spectrum is near-infrared (NIR) from about 700nm to a little over 1,100nm.
The magic happens when we are exposed to red and near-infrared wavelengths. There’s no shortage of studies done on both animals and humans that show the positive effects of red light therapy.
Red light boosts energy production in your cells
The most well studied mechanism of action surrounding red and near infrared light therapy is increased mitochondrial energy production in our cells. Mitochondria are the energy power plants of all the cells in our body. Without going too far down the rabbit hole, just know that red and near infrared light therapy helps the mitochondria ramp up production and make even more energy.
Near-infrared (NIR) and red light therapy devices have been FDA-approved (for safety) for several purposes so far, including hair-loss reversal, anti-aging, acne, wound healing, pain relief, and a lot more. It’s an evolving modality that’s worth keeping an eye on.
Here are some things that red light therapy can help with:
- Promotes wound healing and tissue repair
- Supports collagen production/anti-aging skin benefits
- Reduces swelling and inflammation and associated pain
- Improves joint health/arthritis
- Improves physical performance, muscle recovery and energy levels
- Increases melatonin/improves sleep
Most red light devices (including Mito red light devices) have a combo of red light and near infrared light and allow you to use one or the other or both, depending on what you’re looking to target.
The benefits of red light: Red light between 600-700nm offer benefits for skin texture and tone, smoothing fine lines and wrinkles, promoting collagen production and generally rejuvenating the appearance of skin and hair. Check out this study for the skin benefits.
The benefits of near-infrared light: Near-infrared light (NIR) 700nm – 1100nm. penetrates deeper into the tissues to assist with wound healing, muscle recovery, nerve injury, and joint pain.
What do I use my Mito red light therapy device for?
OK, now that you have a basic understanding of red light therapy, let me tell you what I use my device for. I use it for about 10 minutes per session for muscle recovery after strength training, to decrease muscle soreness, for better sleep, and for skin and scalp health.
You have to use the device regularly to see the benefits, as it’s not a one-time thing, but something you incorporate into your wellness routine. After about a two week ramp-up period, I started to feel the results. My body feels fresher when I work out and my recovery periods after a tough strength workout session are shorter.
My skin also looks even and fresh and I think it’s helped me to have healthier hair (I told you all about the hard water problem in France). I also think it improves m sleep. I do all my sessions later in the day or at night before bed.
A friend of mine has a bigger unit and uses it for her psoriasis, and the anti-inflammatory effect has been life changing for her.
What does red light therapy feel like?
It feels like…. nothing. You might feel a slight warming sensation but it doesn’t get hot or uncomfortable at all. The lights are powerful, though, so definitely wear approved eye protection and don’t ever look directly into the lights. There will be a red glow for the red light wavelength and a much softer pink or almost invisible glow for the near-infrared if you only use that functionality. Always keep your eyes closed when treating your face.
Red light therapy is easy to do. I turn my device on, point it at the area I’m looking to target about 10 inches away, and that’s it. I let it do its thing while I relax. Then I put it away until next time.
The red light device brand I recommend
I have the Mito Mobile Flex from Mito Red Light. It’s small, weighing in at 1.5 pounds and measuring about 6 x 3 x 1 inches. It’s easy to hold in your hand too and has a 1-year warranty. The Mobile Flex comes in a case which makes it easy to travel with and store and charges via USB cable. Even with regular use, you can go weeks between charges. I think it’s the best red light therapy device on the market.
My device packs a red light punch and you can use it in three ways: 1) All 12 LEDs as NIR or 2) All 12 LEDs as Red or 3) 50/50 split Red / NIR. It produces 660nm (Red) & 850nm (NIR) wavelengths.
There are also larger red light light therapy units that plug into the wall and even full body size panels, depending on what you’re using it for.
Why the Mito Red Light brand specifically? For me, it came down to Mito Red Light offering the most bang for my buck. The red light is concentrated and gets the job done in less time. They’re 3rd party tested as well. You’ll get the most effective red light devices from Mito Red Light and you can read how they stack up here. They really do make the best red light therapy devices on the market.
Red light therapy pros and cons
As with anything, there will always be pros and cons and red light therapy is no exception.
Red light therapy pros:
- The wellness benefits. I could list out 10 additional points under the wellness umbrella because yes, red light therapy does a lot including reducing chronic inflammation, improving circulation and collagen production, and more. Doing red light therapy at home is a fantastic and easy addition to anyone’s wellness routine. For me, it reduces muscle soreness and fatigue, keeps my skin looking great, and helps with better sleep.
- Simple to do. Whether you’re an athlete who wants to recover faster, someone with chronic joint pain or for any other reason, red light therapy is non-invasive, pain free, and easy to do at home.
- Quick. Most sessions are only about 10 minutes long, meaning you can easily make the time in your routine for red light therapy. It’s not a long, drawn-out process and there’s no setup or cleanup required.
Red light therapy cons:
- The cost. While red light therapy devices aren’t prohibitively expensive, they aren’t 10 bucks either and not all red light therapy devices are created equal.
- Red light therapy might not be effective for you. Depending on what you’re looking to treat, red light therapy might not improve anything in your life. You won’t know until you try.
- Not a quick fix. Results take time. It’s not an immediate one-and-done quick fix. If you tend to be forgetful or have trouble starting a new routine, you might find red light therapy a chore. You have to do it consistently to reap the rewards.
Final thoughts on red light therapy
Some people will say red light therapy is bogus and isn’t proven to actually heal anything. People also say that about acupuncture, homeopathy, massage, chiropractic/osteopath care, and a whole bunch of other alternative medicine modalities. I was skeptical too. Then I tried it.
I definitely don’t think everything works for every person or every ailment. I hated acupuncture personally, but I have family members who swear by it. But if something works for you, then who is to say otherwise?
Life is short and if you find something that helps you to look and feel your best, then that’s awesome. I hope you’ll end up loving red light therapy as much as I do.
Lastly, I swear by my Mito Red Light device, so much so I’ve become an affiliate for the brand and can offer you a discount if you want to check it out. For 5% off, use my discount code OUIINFRANCE at checkout.
If this sounds interesting to you and you’re intrigued, you have nothing to lose. Mito Red Light has a 60-day return policy so if you don’t notice any of the positive effects, they offer a full refund, no questions asked and no restocking fee. They also offer free shipping in the U.S. and discounted worldwide shipping.
What health/wellness activities have become a part of your routine over the years? Have you heard about red light therapy?
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