THE DISCOVERY OF RED AND NEAR-INFRARED (NIR) LIGHT THERAPY
Within documented human history, it is known that humans have been aware of the power of light to heal for literally thousands of years. Many ancient tribes worshipped the sun and gave it massive importance as a giver of life, for likely tens of thousands of years.
But as far as the use of light for therapeutic purposes (“Photomedicine” or “Photobiomodulation”), one could say it goes back over 3000 years to India. It has even been documented in the Hindu text Atharva Veda, written in 1400 BCE.
In the 18th century, reports started to appear in medical literature about the power of sunlight to treat an array of different diseases. And in the 19th century, the therapeutic application of sunlight, known as heliotherapy, gradually became popular.
In the 1900s, the discovery of quantum physics and the shifting focus of many physicists during the World Wars led to the development of laser technology.
Source: book by Ari Whitten – The Ultimate Guide to Red Light Therapy
In the 1960s, a researcher was using red light lasers to cure tumors that were implanted into hamsters. But he did observe a fascinating phenomenon: he noticed that the skin wounds made during the implantation of the tumors healed dramatically faster in the animals being treated with the red light compared to the animals not being treated with light. Indeed, this discovery of the power of red light to speed up healing and regeneration of human cells has now been confirmed by hundreds of studies.
In the 1990s, even NASA started using it.
They were initially using red light LED technology for the purposes of growing plants during shuttle missions. But once it was discovered that these lights also affected human cells, NASA started testing and refining the technology with the idea to use it to help astronauts maintain muscle and bone mass, as well as to treat chronic wounds.
Fast-forward to today’s world, with thousands of studies and proven benefits, this technology is on the cusp of exploding in popularity.
FROM INDIA TO NASA
As far as the use of light for therapeutic purposes (“Photomedicine” or “Photobiomodulation”), one could say it goes back over 3000 years to India.
In the 1990s, even NASA started using it.
THE FIVE “BIOACTIVE” TYPES OF LIGHT
WHY HUMANS NEED SUNLIGHT TO BE HEALTHY
Most of us are deeply unaware of the fact that many different types of light are bioactive in humans – which means they affect the functioning of human cells – and that our health is largely influenced by the dosage of these different types of light that we get each day.
These are the five types of bioactive light in humans:
- BLUE LIGHT – sets the circadian rhythm in our brain, which in turn regulates numerous different neurotransmitters and hormones
- UV LIGHT – allows us to synthesize vitamin D from the sun
- FAR-INFRARED – acts to heat up our cells (part of the sun’s spectrum that we feel as heat) which stimulates changes in cell function, as well as circulation changes
- RED LIGHT – acts on the mitochondria in our cells to stimulate increased cellular energy (ATP) production (among other mechanisms)
- NEAR-INFRARED ( NIR ) – acts on the same pathways as red light – particularly in the mitochondria on our cells to stimulate increased cellular energy (ATP) production
BIOACTIVE IN HUMANS
Our health is largely influenced by the light that we get each day.
WHAT EXACTLY ARE RED AND NEAR-INFRARED LIGHT?
RED AND NEAR-INFRARED LIGHTS ARE PART OF THE ELECTROMAGNETIC SPECTRUM
Red and near infrared lights are part of the electromagnetic spectrum, and more specifically, part of the spectrum of light emitted by the sun (and fire light).
These wavelengths of light are “BIOACTIVE” in humans.
That means that these types of light literally affect the function of our cells. At the highest end of the visible light spectrum is red light, and above the visible light spectrum is near infrared.
Light in these red and near-infrared wavelengths have absolutely incredible effects on human health.
Red and near-infrared light therapy are one of the biggest breakthrough discoveries in health in the last half century.
WE NEED ‘LIGHT’ TO BE HEALTHY
Scientists have quietly accumulated thousands of studies on the power of red and near infrared light to enhance human health for the last several decades. And yet, most people have never heard of it.
Red and near-infrared light therapy helps:
- anti-aging effects on our skin
- get rid of cellulite
- neurological disease
- depression and anxiety
- increase fat loss
- speed recovery from exercise
- increase strength and endurance
- increase energy
- combat certain autoimmune conditions
- fight hair loss
- speed healing from injury
- improve metabolism and hormonal health
Unbeknownst to most people, there are literally over 10,000 studies that have been done on the relationship of different kinds of light to human health. Of these, it is red and near infrared light that are perhaps the most interesting and powerful in their effect on human health.
Source: The Ultimate Guide To Red Light Therapy – Ari Whitten
Red light and NIR get into our cells and affect human cell function, therefore have a profound impact on our health, and are actually necessary nutrients, similar to nutrients from food.