Redlight Therapy as an alternate therapy for MS

 

Throughout this post I refer to redlight therapy as either redlight therapy or photobiomodulation (PBM for short) - please note they are both the same thing.


This is one of the most interesting therapies for health I’ve seen in a long time! and I want to share it incase you havn’t heard of it before.

It’s called Redlight Therapy or Photobiomodulation (PBM) and it has some pretty amazing health benefits that have big potential as an alternate therapy for MS.

For over a year now I’ve been seeing red light devices popping up on the beauty and wellness scenes and hearing about the health benefits. Naturally they’ve caught my attention and got me pretty intrigued - what are these redlight panels and masks all about? …why are people using them? …and can they help me?.

Kate Hudsen and Jessica Alba using light therapy on instagram.

Kate Hudsen and Jessica Alba using light therapy on instagram.

I’ve seen people standing in front of full body devices and others using phantom of the opera type masks (pictured above) that emit light directly on the face.

I soon learnt the facial devices are great for anti-aging as redlight increases collagen production and reduces fine lines, blemishes and wrinkles.

But what caught my attention was learning how redlight is helping people with pain, inflammation and muscle recovery - mind blown!. Really?? I thought, I can use redlight to turn back the clock on ageing and fight inflammation in my body? even reduce pain in my muscles after a workout? if so, that’s incredible!!

So, in this post I wanted to dig a bit deeper in to redlight therapy and look at the clinically proven health benefits and what it’s being used for, how it actually works, if it’s safe, and how it could help those of us dealing with MS.

I’ve found four studies on MS, nervous system injuries and brain disorders and the use of photobiomodulation that look really promising so far, amongst other studies for other conditions.

In terms of studies linked to the health benefits of red light therapy, I’ve linked each point below.


health benefits of redlight therapy

Pretty impressive list right? but it’s also shown potential in eleviating depression and anxiety and improving sleep as well.

From this list it’s easy to see how redlight would benefit those of us with MS but also any other illness that involves inflammation. But for MS specifically - reducing inflammation, increasing blood flow and fighting cognitive fog are three BIG ones.


will any old red light do?

Unfortunately we can’t go and buy any old red light bulbs and expect them to do the same thing. I’ve learnt that the magic of healing redlight is in the frequency it’s emitted.

Studies show redlight emitted in the mid 600 nanometre and the mid 800 nanometre range work the most effectively to gain the health benefits above.

  • Mid 600nm range called RED light is great for collagen production, skin tone and texture. This is what you’ll find at beauty salons and in redlight face masks, for skin rejuvenation.

  • Mid 800 range or NIR light is great for going deeper into tissue and reducing inflammation, reducing pain, improving cognition and energy production in cells.


how does it work & is it safe?

Although it sounds strange to stand in front of a redlight panel it’s considered completely safe and natural and is approved by the FDA (American Food and Drug Administration).

We get full spectrum light from the sun anyway including many different colours and some wavelengths we can’t see, but only a select range of red and near infrared light is clinically therapeutic for the purposes of photobiomodulation (mentioned above, mid 600nm and mid 800nm range).

All you have to do is simply stand in front of a redlight device, about 3 to 4 inches away when it’s on, for about 10 minutes and your body naturally absorbs the red and near infrared light it emits. Yip! that’s all you have to do, just stand there, no pain or burning, it’s actually really calming and nice.

Light therapy delivers safe, concentrated wavelengths of natural light to your skin and cells, with no chemicals, UV rays, or excess heat. These red and near-infrared wavelengths of light stimulate the mitochondria in your cells similar to natural sunlight, reducing oxidative stress and increasing circulation, so your body is able to make more core energy to power itself. Making energy more efficiently throughout your body improves physical function, speeds the healing process, and lowers inflammation & pain, as demonstrated in numerous peer-reviewed studies. It also significantly improves skin health and appearance. Studies have also identified an increase in circulation following red light therapy, indicating tissues are receiving more oxygen and other nutrients important for healing—while also ridding themselves of toxic byproducts.
— www.joovv.com

how can redlight help ms?

This is where it gets really interesting. In terms of redlight being used in the treatment of MS and brain disorders I’ve found four really promising studies.

It seems scientists and researchers are already well aware of the benefits of redlight therapy, not just for MS but a range of different brain or nervous system disorders which is really exciting to see.

Me with my Joovv Go

Me with my Joovv Go


study 1

This study by the University of Wisconsin (2018) is having great outcomes in mice so far.

Note: Sorry for the long quotes, I thought I’d keep them in as they explain things so well and I found them interesting.

Photobiomodulation therapy with far red or near infrared light can be a helpful therapeutic approach because such wavelengths increase energy production by cells and protective anti-inflammatory responses, while decreasing damaging inflammation. Lyons explained the potential of PBMT as a therapeutic approach to MS. “We’ve already seen success with this treatment in mice. Our experiments showed that mice treated with PBMT experienced less severe clinical disease and experienced fewer relapses than mice not receiving PBMT. As we prepare to move toward clinical studies, we are trying to ascertain whether similar effects are noted on human immune cells.
— uwm.edu

study 2

This study (2019) is on central nervous system injuries like stroke, spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, and MS and PBM, to help with rehabilitation and healing.

Central nervous system diseases such as stroke, spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, and multiple sclerosis can be fatal or cause sequelae, affecting sensorimotor and cardiorespiratory systems and quality of life.

Aerobic exercises bring benefits in terms of fatigue retardation, gait improvement, regulation of the autonomic nervous system, neuroprotection of the brain, stimulation of the production of endogenous neutrotransmitters related to general well-being, and a favoring of neuroplasticity. Photobiomodulation (PBM Therapy) (previously known as low-level laser therapy), and especially transcranial PBM Therapy, has shown benefits in animals and humans such as cognitive improvement, memory, and behavioral improvement, including attenuation of depression and anxiety, and increased cortical oxygenation.

The aims of this trial will be to evaluate the parameters related to the function of the musculoskeletal and cardiorespiratory system and the impact of PBM therapy on these parameters, as part of a rehabilitation and training program for people with reduced mobility.
— ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31232920

study 3

This study (2018) is on photobiomodulation being used along the spine, forearms, hands and under the tongue of MS patients as a neuroprotective therapy.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease, for which the forms of treatment are medication and rehabilitation. However, in vitro and in vivo studies have demonstrated that photobiomodulation can be an effective treatment modality for inflammatory diseases, including MS.

Photobiomodulation has a broad range of benefits, such as the avoidance of cell and tissue death, the stimulation of healing and injury repair, reductions in pain, edema and inflammation, cell proliferation, and even apoptosis. The outcomes of photobiomodulation include the regeneration of cells, the stimulation of the growth of Schwann cells, a reduction in spasticity, functional improvements, a reduction in nitric oxide levels, and the upregulation of the cytokine IL10, demonstrating that this therapeutic modality can offer neuroprotection.
— ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29742699

study 4

This last collection of findings is more an in-depth article (2016) called Shining a light on the head - Photobiomodulation and brain disorders.

It’s a really great read and seems to predate the other studies I’ve linked above, it was probably the catalyst for further studies. It talks about the history of PBM, how it works and what brain disorders it was showing promise with back in 2016 - these included strokes, Parkinsons disease, Alzeimers disease, psychiatric disorders like depression and anxiety, cognitive enhancement and traumatic brain injuries. It concludes…

Many investigators believe that PBM for brain disorders will become one of the most important medical applications of light therapy in the coming years and decades.
— ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5066074/

These studies are really so exciting for us, I can’t wait to see the latest results. It’s fantastic to see scientists connect PBM with the nervous system to try and help us - a massive thank you to them!

For something that’s as simple as standing in front of a redlight device for 10 minutes a day to improve things like cognitive fog, lower pain & inflammation in the body and improve healing, that would improve the lives of so many people suffering with chronic illness for sure.

But also the fact it’s completely non invasive, no pain or burning, and is anti-aging and easy to do in the comfort of your own home at your leisure, with potential to be nueroprotective as well, that is massive!!

It seems to me there’s already a clear correlation of benefits for PBM and improvements in MS, at least the relief of symptoms.


who uses redlight already?

In terms of who else out there is making use of redlight? on a superficial level it seems models and celebrities are already well and truly into it - Bella Hadid, Emma Stone, Kate Hudson, Jessica Alba, Delta Goodrem and Chrissy Teigen have all been snapped either wearing a redlight face mask on Instagram (Kate Hudson & Jessica Alba pictured above) or talking about them. These are the devices purely for anti-aging, where the mid 600nm range of red light is used.

But in terms of muscle recovery and rehabilitation, athletes and sports teams are also making use of redlight. However most athletes I’ve found are in America and are people I haven’t heard of, so they may or may not resonate with you. But redlight has apparently taken off in the NFL (National Football League in America). Probably because Joovv is an American company so it’s much more accessible to them right now.

My energy level is up, my mental game is much clearer, and the way I sleep & feel is totally different since I implemented Joovv
— Patrick Peterson 7-time Pro Bowl Cornerback

Ben Greenfeild is an athlete, personal trainer and exercise physiologist among many other impressive things, he swears by redlight.

This one is my wheelhouse and the biggest reason I swear by my daily, full-body red light therapy sessions. When you train hard and perform at a high physical level, muscle recovery is essential. Red light helps my body spring back from the pain and strain of a punishing workout faster, so I can do it all over again sooner without getting hurt.
— bengreenfieldfitness.com

Ben also has a great podcast if your into health and bio-hacking, I listen to is regularly, just google search “The Ben Greenfeild Fitness Podcast”.

Surprisingly Victorias Secret Angels also use redlight not just for glowy skin but to reduce inflammation in their bodies pre show.

We start with LED light therapy, which is designed to reduce inflammation and boost the collagen in the skin. At this point, right before the show, the girls have been working out a lot, and many have a little residual inflammation and usually some redness.

The light treatment isn’t just for their faces, but the whole body, too. We have a 40-minute full-body light treatment that gives the girls immediate relief from any joint and muscle pain and reduces puffiness everywhere. Just yesterday, Barbara Palvin came in and did the full-body LED light treatment, then the LED facial treatment, followed by the oxygen infusion — and that’s the full treatment.
— Mzia Shiman www.refinery29.com

Hopefully this post has helped you see relight isn’t as crazy as it looks! it’s actually really powerful with huge potential for the treatment of so many illnesses.

I’m so eager to try a full spectrum device to see how I’d feel, I literally can’t wait. It really does seem like a dream therapy for MS, but experiencing it first hand would be ideal, to really feel and track the differences.

My little Joov Go (pictured above) is purely a portable device for skin rejuvenation (red light), and in all honesty I’ve been loving it so far. I’ve noticed less redness in my skin after treatments, blemishes are almost healing over night and my skin just looks clearer and healthier all together.

If you’re interested, just note that all Joovv devices except the Joovv Go RED and the Joovv Go NIR combine both the NIR and RED light so you can gain all the health benefits. It’s just their small portable “Go” devices where they’ve separated the RED and the NIR light. It would’ve been epic to have both light forms in my little portable device, but anyway I can graduate in time.

If you use redlight therapy already please comment below and let us know how you find it and what benefits your getting, please share, share, share, I’d love to hear how you feel! I’m sure we all would.

In the mean time I’ll keep using my little Joov Go and report back soon!

Much Love!

Simonne x