I’ve Seen the (Red) Light

Just about every thought leader that I follow in the Bio-Hacking space is a fan of Red Light Therapy or Photobiomodulation (PBM). Some use it for reducing pain and inflammation or as a post workout recovery technique. Others tout the benefits related to skin health and collagen production. Still others claim it’s a miracle for increasing libido. Based on the research I’ve read, I was always interested in using PBM as a sleep aid. The biggest deterrent for me was that the best PBM devices are NOT inexpensive. Independent analysis of many of the ‘cheap’ models reveal that they bathe your body in EMF as well as (if you’re lucky) the desirable red and near infrared wavelengths of light. Since I go out of my way to avoid EMFs where I can, this wasn’t a viable option.

Red Light Therapy Devices that I Currently Use

Over time though I’ve been able to collect some of the best red light therapy devices out there.  Each of the devices I own has their own pros and cons.  They all use different wavelengths in the red/infrared spectrum.  The devices I currently use include:

Joovv Mini 2.0

The Joovv Mini is a panel based red light therapy device.  It contains LEDs supporting wavelengths of 660 nm (red) and 850 nm (near-infrared).  You can also toggle each of these off or on to specifically target one or both wavelengths.  I wrote a review of the Joovv Mini and a past study that I participated in.

Kineon Move+ Pro

The Kineon Move+ Pro is an innovative form factor red light therapy device.  It consists of chainable modules, each of which contain 650nm red LEDs and 808nm Infrared lasers.  Each module is either all on or all off.  I’ve written a review of my experience with the Kineon Move+ as well.

Infrared Sauna

Many people will object to me calling an infrared sauna a red light therapy device, but as I dive into later in this article, there is much overlap.  All of these devices are used synergistically.  I also have a chromotherapy device installed in my sauna which allows me to get some of the same effects that I can from the more traditional red light therapy devices.

How I Incorporate Red Light Therapy

Each Red Light Therapy device that I use has a differing form factor.  This makes them particularly useful for specific purposes.  I’ve developed the following protocols for how I use each of them.

Full Body Recovery

The number one way that I use some sort of red/infrared light therapy is just as a general full body recovery mechanism.  For this I primarily use the sauna.  I spend at least 20 minutes using this just about every day.  It’s always done post-workout and I try to get a little meditation/breathwork session in at the same time.  Sometimes, I’ll do a mild yoga session or some other form of stretching while getting my sweat on.  The benefits of this practice are many. Subjectively, I just feel great.  I seem to recover from workouts faster and general joint pain just seems to disappear.  I’ve been told my skin looks better.  

Better Sleep

Probably the most objective thing on this list (except for maybe a decrease in blood pressure).  Using red light therapy has definitely improved my sleep.  Amount of deep sleep, total sleep and time that it takes me to fall asleep have all moved in positive directions.  This is especially true on days that I spend in the sauna, but I feel that just viewing red light at night seems to have a positive impact.

Spot Treatment

Sometimes, even with all the time spent in the sauna, I still get a nagging joint issue.  When I was training pistol squats, my knees were always obliterated.  This is the one area where the Kineon Move+ shines.  The ability to just put it on and go about your every day life is amazing.  This also works great in conjunction with regular sauna use.  More recently, I’ve had a nagging issue with one of my feet around the big toe area.  I started using the Kineon for this, but noticed that the heat in the sauna seemed to make it feel even better.  Because of this, I started using the Joovv under my desk while sitting with the heat setting of the Joovv turned on.

Better Mood

I initially got involved with using the Joovv through a study researching Seasonal Affective Disorder.  The outcome of this study was that the assigned protocol of using it every morning was statistically significant in improving mood.  Even though I do many other things in the sauna that could improve my mood, I subjectively agree that both the Joovv and sauna seem to have benefits.

Skin/Nerve Health

I already mentioned how great I think the sauna is for skin health.  Before I owned a sauna, I used to meditate in front of the Joovv every day.  When that practice moved into the sauna, I noticed that my skin looked brighter, but not necessarily as taut as before.  I didn’t really pay too much attention to this until I contracted Lyme disease.  My Lyme led to a case of Bell’s palsy which paralyzed the right side of my face.  This was basically due to inflammation in a major nerve.  I would do my physical therapy in the sauna and noticed that the heat definitely made things feel better while doing this.  So I started doing my physical therapy in front of the Joovv panel whenever I wasn’t in the sauna.  Maybe coincidence, but this led to greater gains in my physical therapy than I was achieving before.  I also noticed that my skin was looking taut again.  This led me to start digging around for why this might be.  I discovered that the wavelengths used in the Joovv had been found to stimulate collagen production.  This has now been incorporated back into my regimen.

Eye Health

I’ve crossed that threshold where everyone my age needs reading glasses and light to read a restaurant menu.  In an effort to fight this, I came across Gabor Patch exercises and added them to my routine.  While researching this, I also came across studies using red light therapy to stave of macular degeneration.  I now use the Joovv at least once a week to do this.  

Red Light Therapy Conclusion

Even though there are many other claims regarding the benefits of PBM, these are the improvements that I’ve seen from my own personal use.  This list is pretty amazing!  You can see why I would never consider taking these devices out of my routine.  Have you experienced any benefits from red light therapy?  Are you interested in trying?  Let me know in the comments.


One response to “I’ve Seen the (Red) Light”

  1. […] the cause. After reading about the benefits of getting red light into the eyes, I decided to do the PBM therapy with eyes open.  In both cases I noticed a difference in mood although it’s difficult to say […]

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