a body-mind approach to fibromyalgia

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Red Light Therapy

 

As someone who has always struggled to fall asleep due to an overactive mind I can’t tell you how delighted I am with my red light device. Just 15 minutes most night before bed and this little 9 inch square pad and it’s lights our for me.

 

Light is energy. When red light penetrates the skin, it powers up the natural healing properties of our body at a cellular level.

 

Red light therapy was discovered in the 1970s when Dr. Endre Mester noticed the positive effects of a low-level laser on hair growth and wound healing in mice. This led to greater scientific interest in stimulating cells to improve healing and growth, and the field of red light therapy was born.

 

Since then, many advancements have been made, and nowadays many people use red light therapy for muscle recovery or to maintain healthy skin. It has also been used to improve sleep, help inflammation, and enhance mental acuity. 

 

What is red light therapy?

 

Red light therapy is a simple, non-invasive treatment that delivers red and near infrared (NIR) light to your skin and cells. A device with light emitting diodes (LED) delivers red and near infrared light on your body during a treatment session you will see the red light and feel the warmth of the near infrared light.

 

Red light devices emit wavelengths similar to sunlight, but without the heat or UV rays that may cause skin damage. Red light therapy offsets the negative effects of all the bright blue light we’re surrounded by every day due to working indoors or looking at screens.

 

Red light therapy for fibromyalgia

 

There is mounting evidence that red light therapy may be a safe and effective treatment option for people suffering from fibromyalgia, and that it may be a useful tool for reducing many of the conditions’ key symptoms. It may seem far-fetched that a simple device that emits light can have such wide-ranging effects, but it becomes much more plausible when you start to understand how red light therapy works.

 

What is red light therapy?

 

Rather than exerting an external force on your body to treat various symptoms, red light therapy simply provides your cells with the right conditions for them to function more efficiently. In other words, it helps your body treat itself. How does it do that?

 

 

Red light therapy uses specific wavelengths of light, namely red and near-infrared, to penetrate the skin and target the mitochondria of the cells. Here they trigger a biochemical reaction that allows oxygen to be used more efficiently to produce adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP is the vehicle that transports cellular energy to every part of the body from the largest organ to the smallest cell. 

 

At any given time, your body’s cells are carrying out an immeasurable number of tasks, which are crucial to your overall health, and which can be hindered by insufficient cellular energy. These lapses in energy can manifest in a multitude of issues and ailments, ranging from skin conditions to inflammatory diseases, to chronic pain conditions and many more.

 

Red light therapy for fibromyalgia: recent studies

 

A team of researchers conducted a systematic review meta-analysis of all randomized controlled trials evaluating the effects of red light therapy on fibromyalgia published before 2018. They found that treatment led to significant improvements in Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ) scores, stiffness, pain severity, number of tender points, depression and anxiety, compared to placebo treatment.

 

Red light therapy is safe and affordable

 

A major advantage of red light therapy is the lack of risk. Not only is treatment non-invasive and completely painless, but it’s also passive, meaning all you have to do is find a comfortable position and let the light do its work. Red light therapy also has no serious side effects and there are no known short or long term risks. 

 

Traditional treatment modalities for fibromyalgia can be exceedingly expensive. Now, red light therapy can be expensive if done in-clinic, so more and more people are turning to red light therapy at home.

 

Can a home device help treat fibromyalgia?

 

You might think that a personal red light therapy device wouldn’t be able to deliver the same results as treatments administered at a clinic or spa. The reality is that most professional equipment uses the same LED technology that you’ll find in a home device.

 

My Recommend Devices

 

I`ve selected three devices on Amazon that I feel should cover most people's needs. I started with the budget version and then selected progressively more advanced models.

 

This website is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com

Red Light Therapy Lamp

 

This is the most affordable option and I recommed it for anyone on a budget or starting out with red light therapy. This 54W 18 LED light with an adjustable socket clamp is really easy to use, simply clamp it to your desk and point it at your face, shoulder, knees, or waist for 20 minutes every time. It comes with the standard 660nm red and 850nm near infrared wave lengths. 660nm is best for surface treatments while 850nm is best for deep tissue. An English instruction manual is included so there won't be any confusion when you first set it up. ​It has a life span of 50,000+ hours, a 12 month warranty, and a 30-day return/refund period.

Infrared Red Light Therapy Belt

This 18"x 8” wearable red light therapy pad has an alternating array of 120 red light diodes (660nm) and 240  infrared light diodes (850nm). These wave lengths penetrate deeply into the body 30-40 mm, making this pad beneficial for bones, joints and deep muscle recovery problems. This device can wrap your whole body including head, neck, back, shoulders, arms, knees, hands, feet to help you improve your physical condition.​ Thesre is a 90-day risk-free money-back guarantee and a 24-month period of free replacement of parts.

Hooga Red Light Therapy Device

 

This hanging kit has a high power output making it ideal for sleep, pain relief, skin health, and energy. The advantage of this dec\vice over it's more affordable counterparts is its high irradecance: Irradiance measures power output for an area and is measured in milliwatts per square centimeter. The gold standard in red light therapy is 100mw/cm2 at the surface of the device. The Hooga HG1500 delivers an irradiance of higher than 100 mw/cm2 at the surface which results in quick and effective treatment times even out to distances as far as 24 inches. The beam angle of the 300 LEDs is 60 degrees. Included is an informative manual as well as a door mount and adjustable hanging kit. The lifespan of the panel is 50,000+ hours, a two year warranty, and a 30-day return period.

The Ultimate Guide To Red Light Therapy:

How to Use Red and Near-Infrared Light Therapy for Anti-Aging, Fat Loss, Muscle Gain, Performance Enhancement, and Brain Optimization

 

Ari Whitten

This book has the longest subtitle I've ever come across. it's almost as long as my review. That said it's a great book and in it Ari Whitten cuts through all the confusion, myths and pseudoscience around this complex topic. He takes you on a deep dive into the science of how to use red/near-infrared light therapy to improve your health, your body and your life in dozens of ways. Overall a very practical and readable book.