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With the COVID-19 outbreak on everyone's mind, boosting our immune systems should be a priority. Getting adequate sunlight, nutrition, sleep, water, and relaxation helps our bodies fight disease, and fortunately we can control these aspects of our health. Practicing breathing, meditation, and yoga techniques can do wonders for reducing stress and boosting immunity.
Scientists have also discovered how red light therapy can help your body fight a virus.
WHAT IS RED LIGHT THERAPY?
Red light therapy uses wavelengths of low-power red light emitted through the skin. However, it does not produce heat, so the rays are not harmful. The skin can absorb red light to a depth of eight to 10 millimeters and it supports cellular energy, as well as the nervous system and metabolic processes. Science classifies this light as low-level because it emits less energy than other types of laser therapy.
If you've never heard of red light therapy, lightbox therapy is one way for it. Doctors use this method to treat seasonal affective disorder. Research is being done on red light therapy, but many scientists have found that it has virtually no side effects and may even provide anti-aging benefits.
A 2012 report published in the Annals in Biomedical Engineering found that red light has the following benefits: “it reduces inflammation, edema, and chronic joint disorders; to promote the healing of wounds, deeper tissues and nerves; and to treat neurological disorders and pain. " It also increases immunity and lifespan by increasing cell migration and controls levels of cytokines and other inflammatory markers.
BENEFITS OF RED LIGHT THERAPY
How can red light therapy improve our health? Studies show that the wavelengths of red light can benefit our bodies in the following ways:
-Increase energy levels by helping to release ATP (adenosine triphosphate) from the mitochondria of cells
-Promotion of DNA / RNA synthesis
-Increases the function of the lymphatic system that helps eliminate waste from the body.
-Increases blood flow and circulation, allowing oxygen flow throughout the body, forming new small blood cells
-Improving the natural production of collagen, which is used in skin repair, joint repairs and digestive processes.
-Reduces the effects of free radical damage, reducing the risk of cancer and other diseases.
Below we will go into more detail on how red light therapy can help your body during this pandemic. While taking care of your mind and body through relaxation techniques, and an overall healthy lifestyle is the most important, red light therapy is a great addition.
HERE'S HOW RED LIGHT THERAPY CAN HELP YOUR BODY FIGHT A VIRUS:
1. INCREASES IMMUNITY AND REDUCES SIDE EFFECTS OF CHEMOTHERAPY
NASA research shows that red light therapy can benefit cancer patients by reducing the side effects experienced by cancer treatments. Called HEALS, scientists use red or near-infrared light-emitting devices to release long-wavelength energy to stimulate cells. NASA conducted a study to see if this treatment would help patients with oral mucositis, a common side effect of chemotherapy. In the study, they found that 96% of patients saw a decrease in pain after receiving the HEALS treatment.
The scientists stated: “The HEALS device was well tolerated with no adverse effects for bone marrow and stem cell transplant patients. The HEALS device can provide cost-effective therapy as the device itself is less expensive than a day in the hospital. "
Research is also underway to study how this technology could treat pediatric brain tumors, slowly heal wounds, diabetic skin ulcers and third degree burns.
2. HEALS WOUNDS AND TISSUES
Light emitted in the 600 to 1,300 nanometer range has been found to promote wound healing, tissue repair, and skin rejuvenation. However, it uses a different method of healing than conventional laser therapies. Most of the current treatments that dermatologists use involve intense pulsed light, which promotes rejuvenation of the skin by directly causing inflammation, which then leads to healing. Lasers damage the epidermis or dermis so that healing can take place later.
However, red light therapy does not involve first damaging the skin and instead stimulates regenerative processes in the skin. Helps promote increased cell migration and adhesion, which helps heal wounds and tissues. It can also treat skin conditions by regenerating fibroblasts and keratinocytes.
3. INCREASES JOINT AND MUSCULOSKELETAL HEALTH
Red light therapy helps relieve arthritis symptoms by stimulating collagen production and repairing cartilage. A 2009 Cochrane review on the role of low-level light therapy (LLLT) in helping rheumatoid arthritis found that “LLLT could be considered for short-term treatment for the relief of morning pain and stiffness for patients with AR, particularly because it has few side effects ”.
LLLT has also been found to help those who have age-related degeneration or tissue damage. A 2009 study published in The Lancet found that red light therapy can decrease pain immediately after treatment for acute neck pain and up to 22 weeks after treatment ends for patients with chronic neck pain.
4. IMPROVE SLEEP
The human body needs daily exposure to natural light, preferably at dawn and dusk, to regulate sleep cycles. Since most of us spend most of our days indoors, shaking up our circadian rhythms and our balance. This can lead to problems like weight gain, fatigue, mood disorders, and insomnia. However, red light therapy can help regulate your sleep as it mimics natural sunlight. This will help reset your biological clock and balance melatonin levels.
Getting enough vitamin D during this time is essential, especially since scientists have shown that sunlight helps reduce the risk of contracting a virus.
5. DEPRESSION AND FATIGUE REDUCED
Since sunlight increases energy and reduces depression, it is not surprising that red light therapy produces similar results. This study shows that one hour of light therapy can lower depression scores in those with seasonal affective disorder. Lack of sunlight can damage our immune system, so it is essential to expose our bodies to some type of light every day. Light therapy is especially helpful in the winter months, when sunlight is scarce in most northern countries.
SIDE EFFECTS OF RED LIGHT THERAPY
Although scientists haven't found many side effects associated with red light therapy, it may not be a universal answer to a lack of natural light. Scientists are still investigating which spectra of light are most useful for treating various conditions and patients. In red light therapy, scientists have found that low doses are more helpful than higher doses. Some patients have reported side effects such as nausea, muscle weakness, dizziness, bloating, and burning, although these are rare.
Keep in mind that results vary from this type of therapy, and it may take a while to see the desired results.
FINAL THOUGHTS ABOUT HOW RED LIGHT THERAPY CAN HELP FIGHT A VIRUS
Red light therapy involves the emission of red and near-infrared wavelengths through the skin to treat conditions such as depression, arthritis, insomnia, conditions caused by chemotherapy, and skin disorders. It helps increase cell rejuvenation and increases blood flow, which increases immunity. This can help your body fight viruses and diseases in general. While side effects from this therapy are rare, results vary widely, and scientists are still studying the health benefits of red light therapy.
By emitting low-level waves through the skin, red light therapy can help with tissue therapy and other age-related skin degenerations. It helps increase the production of collagen, which is essential for processes such as skin rejuvenation, digestive health, and joint repair. Red light therapy has a positive effect on the immune and endocrine systems and can significantly help fight viruses. The FDA has even approved treatment for conditions like chronic joint pain and slow-healing wounds.
As research on red light therapy grows, we can expect to see even more uses for this powerful natural remedy. As for fighting COVID-19, take the necessary precautions. Practice social distancing, wash your hands thoroughly after coming into contact with people or objects, and maintain a healthy lifestyle.