Why You Should Try Light Therapy to Manage Chronic Illness

  • By Jennifer Mulder
  • 11 August 2022
  • 5 minute read

This article is written by Arnold Bloom. 

Have you ever considered how light affects your health and happiness?

Light contains several therapeutic benefits for human health. However, natural light contains UV rays that can cause severe damage if one is exposed for a long period of time. Therefore, light therapy was invented to get all the benefits of light without the side effects.

So, what can light therapy do for your health?

Well, therapy lights can help your skin and physical and mental health exceptionally. Additionally, you will be able to manage several chronic conditions under control when administering light therapy regularly. Chronic pain due to arthritis, high blood pressure, heart diseases, different kinds of dementia, and depression can be handled with the help of red light therapy.

Let’s discuss them in detail.

Managing Chronic Conditions with Red Light Therapy

Red light therapy was developed by NASA to help astronauts while in space. However, the promising technology was soon adopted by several industries for its versatility. Now healthcare, skincare, bodybuilding, etc., have adopted this technology for its exceptional therapeutic benefits.

As the technology developed, researchers saw the immense potential in helping patients with chronic conditions. As red light and near-infrared light wavelengths are bigger in size, they can travel deeper into the skin and start healing from cellular levels.

So, here are some chronic conditions where red light therapy has shown significant promise in managing and healing.

1. Chronic Pain

When a patient suffers from pain for a long time beyond the usual recovery time, it is diagnosed as chronic pain. Arthritis is one of the significant reasons one experiences chronic pain.

Arthritis pain occurs in the muscles and joints of patients and influences their day-to-day life. Most arthritis treatments focus on reducing this pain and helping patients to live a regular life.

Red light and near-infrared light wavelengths can penetrate the patient’s skin and reach the muscle and bone cells. Upon reaching there, these wavelengths energize the mitochondria of those cells, increasing the metabolism of those cells. In turn, increased metabolism helps these cells to repair themselves and replicate healthy growth. Therefore, the patients can reduce chronic pain without injecting chemicals.

Also, light wavelengths help increase blood flow in the body and deliver the necessary oxygen and other nutrients for cells to be repaired. Thus, patients with chronic pain can manage their symptoms and lead healthy lives.

2. High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is caused when a patient experience blocks in their blood-carrying arteries. These blockages can occur due to several reasons. Fat deposition in the arteries is a crucial one.

As mentioned earlier, red light therapy helps elevate blood flow all over the body. As the blood can freely circulate with the influence of light, the heart doesn’t have to work much. Therefore, the blood pressure gets significantly lower.

Additionally, red light wavelengths can activate white blood cells to repair damaged tissue, increase elasticity, and influence collagen production. Therefore, any damage in the blood vessels and arteries can be repaired.

Moreover, red light therapy helps shrink fat cells. Thus, blockage in the blood-flowing path is significantly reduced when this therapy is administered regularly. So, high-blood sugar patients should try this therapy by consulting their doctor.

3. Heart Diseases

30.3 million people in the USA have been diagnosed with heart disease as of 2018, and every year 647,000 Americans die from it. As the statistics show, 1 in 4 people in the USA die from heart disease.

The most common form of heart disease is a heart attack.  When a patient experiences a heart attack, their hearts get scarred, and tissues get damaged.

When a patient with heart disease administers red light therapy, cardiovascular tissue cells gather energy from light wavelengths to repair the damage. Therefore, the scarring which causes heart failure can be reduced, and the patients can live a better quality of life.

Why You Should Try Light Therapy to Manage Your Chronic Illness | The Health Sessions
Photo by Johannes Plenio via pexels.com

4. Diabetes

Diabetes is another chronic condition that affects the processing of food into energy. In the case of diabetes, either the body does not produce enough insulin or cannot use the produced insulin properly.

NIR (Near Infrared Light) therapy can help diabetes patients to manage their diabetic condition. When diabetes patients are exposed to near-infrared wavelengths, nitric oxide and heat shock proteins start to generate in their bodies. These components help in increasing insulin sensitivity.

5. Dementia and Alzheimer’s

Research has shown significant promise in helping dementia and Alzheimer’s patients with red light therapy. With this therapy, dementia patients can lead a normal life and restore several brain functions.

Red light and near-infrared light therapy help reduce oxidative stress levels of dementia patients. Therefore, dementia patients can restore their memory functions.

With this therapy, one can improve motor skills, recognition, and memory. Therefore, patients with Alzheimer’s can reduce cognitive damage and lead healthier lives.

6. Chronic Depression

Several studies have shown that red light therapy works as an antidepressant. Red light wavelengths influence the body to emit the melatonin hormone. This hormone is known for its calming effects.

Melatonin hormone allows the body to fall asleep. Therefore, one can get rid of stress and insomnia when using red light therapy regularly. As the brain stays stress-free, depressive symptoms can be managed significantly.

Patients with seasonal affective disorder have benefited greatly from this therapy. However, bipolar disorder patients may experience manic episodes when exposed to bright light. Therefore, seeking a doctor’s opinion before getting this therapy for chronic depression patients is important.

Final Words

Chronic diseases greatly influence our lives and hamper our sanity. However, proper care and treatment can help patients cope with these symptoms and lead healthier llives.

Red light therapy has shown significant promise in resolving several chronic disease symptoms and helping patients lead better lives. More and more research is being done to make this therapy benefit more patients. Soon, this therapy can be a significant one as it can resolve a wide range of problems for the users.

Thankfully, it’s not that difficult to get access to light therapy in the 21st century. You can even take light therapy at home by getting a portable therapy device from a reputed manufacturer. 

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