You can work on your health in many different ways, the obvious basics being the quality and length of our sleep and a healthy diet. Among other things, the light we expose ourselves to during the day is also extremely important for our health. Light has had a major influence on the evolution of life on Earth, and nowadays, when we spend most of our time indoors under artificial light, we forget this important piece of the puzzle.
Exposing ourselves to our natural source of light, which is the sun, is absolutely essential for our health. It not only emits visible wavelengths and UV radiation, which we need, for example, to synthesize vitamin D and support mental functioning, but it also emits infrared radiation, which is invisible to the naked eye, and which we will discuss further in this article. Specifically, we'll be talking about near-infrared radiation, which you may also know as NIR or IR-A. We use this spectrum in our MITO LIGHT® red light therapy devices. It is therefore not the mid (IR-B) and far (IR-C) infrared spectrum that is used in infrared saunas. A more detailed explanation of the difference between our red light therapy devices and infrared saunas can be found in the "Differences between red light therapy device and infrared sauna" article.
Infrared radiation accounts for more than 50% of the solar spectrum reaching the surface of the Earth, or our bodies when we are outside (even when it is cloudy). It is most abundant at sunrise and sunset.
Infrared radiation is thus lacking in our "light diet", especially during the dark part of the year (autumn/winter) when we are indoors most of the time. Nowadays, however, people usually don't even have enough time to be outside in the sun without clothes during the summer work week. This shortage can be very effectively compensated for by modern technologies and devices such as the special MITO LIGHT® red light therapy devices.
These emit specific wavelengths of red & near-infrared radiation (NIR) which, according to hundreds of scientific studies, have a very strong therapeutic effect on a number of problems arising from various types of diseases and modern lifestyles.
Let us now introduce the 5 main effects of red & near-infrared light therapy on our health:
1) Increasing energy during the day
You'd be surprised how many people today have problems with energy dips that prevent them from functioning to their full potential, and are unnecessarily dependent on the abuse of stimulants.
Problems at the energy level can arise from a number of factors, but most often it is a combination of them. First and foremost, people generally lack sufficient light, as outlined in the introduction. At the same time, what often happens is that there is not enough mitochondrial energy production in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP).
This brings us to one of the most sensationally powerful effects you can get by strategic use of the red light therapy device. This is because it not only emits near-infrared radiation, but also a very intense red light that can reach intensities of up to 30,000 lux. This means that if you put the red light therapy device on in the morning during your morning routine, your circadian rhythm will be adequately synchronized. This is especially useful if it is cold and still dark in the morning. It is during this period that energy problems occur the most in society.
In addition to light intensity, the key is the mentioned near-infrared radiation (NIR), which has the ability to penetrate deep into our body, down to the level of cells and mitochondria. It has been shown that NIR can increase the efficiency or health of our mitochondria, thereby stimulating the production of ATP, which is absolutely crucial in the context of the lack of energy during the day.
The use of specific wavelengths of near-infrared radiation has been shown to have a beneficial effect on patients suffering from the serious disease of fibromyalgia. This type of disease is most likely rooted in mitochondrial dysfunction and manifests itself in chronic fatigue and pain that prevents people from functioning normally. In a placebo-controlled clinical trial, near-infrared radiation was found to help patients significantly improve their quality of life. [R]
2) Promoting skin health and regeneration
The condition of our skin is a direct reflection of the health of our body's internal environment, and consequently the health of our immune system and detoxification, which is reflected in the way we live our lives.
In case you live an unhealthy lifestyle and pro-inflammatory industrially processed foods are represented in your diet, it is no wonder when various skin problems such as eczema, acne or even autoimmune skin diseases start to appear.
Our skin, like other tissues, needs building blocks for its repair and regeneration, which in this case are collagen and elastin.
In studies, red light has been shown to stimulate collagen production, which can effectively help with problems such as wrinkles resulting from rapid skin aging, cellulitis, acne, or dry and cracked skin. [R]
In addition, using a red light therapy device will help to deal with skin damage caused by UV rays, whereby the skin's inflammation is reduced, DNA is restored and overall oxidative stress is reduced.
In the autoimmune disease vitiligo (loss of skin pigmentation and formation of white spots), it leads to the restoration of pigmentation (by proliferation of melanocytes) and reduces the autoimmune process that damages melanocytes. [R]
3) Reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety
Mental health issues are a very complicated topic that can stem from different levels of causes. One very common one is the change in our biorhythms, or the transition from sunny summer to rainy autumn.
Due to this change, some people develop what is known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which results from the lack of UV light and light in general. People suffering from this disorder often have a disturbed circadian rhythm, which is then reflected in a disturbed mental balance, a bad mood and a lack of energy.
An effective prevention against the onset of this disorder is generally therapy using intense light or photobiomodulation. This can take many forms, but it turns out that infrared radiation is very effective in this context. A study found that the use of infrared radiation led to a 50% reduction in the risk of developing this disorder. [R]
At the same time, depression and anxiety can stem from other physiological causes, where, for example, there is abnormal blood flow in the frontal skin of the brain.
Near-infrared radiation effectively aids in the overall blood flow to the brain and thus may help to compensate for this imbalance that is behind depressive and anxious states.
In patients diagnosed with major depression, the use of near-infrared radiation led to a reduction in symptoms in 6 out of 10 people. [R]
4) Reducing systemic inflammation
In almost every civilization or autoimmune disease, chronic inflammation is present, which depletes our immunity and body systems.
In today's age of stress, inadequate sleep and poor quality food, inflammation is increasing and it's no coincidence that the number of people suffering from CVDs is also increasing.
If you want to fight systemic inflammation, you definitely need to stick to the basic rules of a healthy lifestyle, but among other things, you can help yourself with various devices, which include the use of a red light therapy device.
Near-infrared radiation has the ability to interact with pathways that influence inflammation while inhibiting pro-inflammatory cytokines that are elevated in systemic inflammation. [R] If you are healthy and engage in heavy strength training or other physical activity, using a red light therapy device will greatly speed up your recovery. You can significantly reduce the soreness of sore muscles (which is a type of strong inflammatory reaction), and thus manage more training in your week.
5) Improvement of thyroid function + Hashimoto's disease
Thyroid disorders can significantly complicate the lives of many people, who are often dependent on daily medication, without which their condition does not continue to improve without other lifestyle changes.
In the case of autoimmune thyroid disorders such as Hashimoto's thyroiditis, regular exposure to near-infrared radiation has led to dramatic improvements in people's condition, where they have been able to withdraw their medication to minimal doses or even discontinue it.
This is because near-infrared radiation has a modulating effect on our immune system, reducing its overreaction against given organs or tissues. In one study, near-infrared radiation had the effect of significantly reducing TPOAb immune antibodies, which are elevated in this autoimmune thyroid disease. [R]