Red light therapy is a rare treatment that really is one-size-fits-all. Whether you’re an elite athlete, a busy mum, spend long hours looking at a screen at work or a senior trying to stay active, you can benefit from more healthy light in your life.
Light is essential for our health and cellular function, just like nutrition, movement and sleep. The human body is designed to function with an abundance of natural sunlight. However, our modern lifestyles result in the majority of us spending nearly 90% of our time indoors (hidden away from the natural light we need for optimal health and balance) and instead, overexposed to blue light from screens and overhead lighting (which can have a negative effect on sleep and circadian rhythms). A great way to receive the wavelengths of light we need for optimal health is via red light therapy – a simple, non-invasive treatment that delivers red and near-infrared light to a person’s skin and cells.
Light Therapy Can Improve your Health And Help You Thrive
Red light therapy is a legitimate and widely-used health intervention backed by a large amount of peer-reviewed clinical research. These are some of the benefits:
Enhanced Cellular Function
Red light therapy treatments can improve cellular health across the entire body. When your cells are working more efficiently and producing more energy, the better you can look and feel.
Inflammation and Pain Relief
Red and near infrared light acts as a very mild form of stress that activates protective mechanisms in cells. When red light hits the skin and penetrates into cells, mitochondria are nudged to make energy more efficiently. This boosts the production of anti-inflammatories and antioxidants that speed up healing. 
Improved Blood Circulation
Poor circulation is not a specific medical condition by itself, but it’s a common side effect of numerous other medical conditions, like obesity, diabetes, heart conditions, peripheral artery disease, atherosclerosis and blood clots. One of the potential benefits of light therapy is a significant increase in blood circulation following treatment sessions, supplying more oxygen and other nutrients that are important for healing. 
Healthy light intake is essential for sleep and maintaining natural circadian rhythms. Our brains interpret light as a sign of when to be awake and asleep, and when to make crucial sleep hormones like cortisol and melatonin. Cortisol helps wake us up and keep us going. Cortisol levels tend to be highest in the mornings and lowest when we’re in our deepest sleep. Bright artificial light can stimulate cortisol levels that keep you awake. The hormone melatonin is a counterpart to cortisol. It helps you fall asleep and stay asleep. Your body usually starts producing melatonin in the early evening, when you’re starting to wind down and get closer to bedtime. Bright light, especially bright blue light from phones and computers, has been shown to disrupt melatonin production. Red light on the other hand triggers the release of melatonin which suppresses cortisol release and helps us move into a deep and restful sleep. [3,4,5]
Recovery, Healing and Performance
Red light therapy can improve fitness, boost physical performance, and support the recovery process. Supporting circulation and inflammation reduction, red light therapy helps you heal and recover after injuries and workouts. 
Skin Health and Beauty
Taking in healthy light is crucial for skin cells and skin health. Red light promotes balance across the body and skin by enhancing cellular respiration, making energy production more efficient, with less oxidative stress. [7,8] When your cells are in greater balance, your skin will look and feel softer and more invigorated.
Mental acuity is a measure of how well your brain processes and responds in the moment. When shined on the head, near infrared wavelengths of light can reach brain cells and stimulate the mitochondria in the body’s main processing centre.  This can improve cellular energy production, enhance blood flow and support better mental acuity.
A Red Light Therapy Session At Expand
- Our panels treat your body with red and near infrared wavelengths of light, delivered directly to your skin and cells.
- Treatments are super easy: All you have to do is sit or stand in front of our panels and your body and cells take in the light.
- Treatments are quick: We recommend 10 minutes per treatment area.
- The treatments are completely non-invasive and do not include any ultra violet (UV) rays.
- The skin that you wish to be treated should be fully exposed to the light.
Top Tips For Maximising Your Red Light Therapy Session
- Put on your favourite unwinding music.
- Practice some meditation or breathwork.
- Read a book or listen to a podcast.
- Ditch your phone and other communication gadgets that keep you from fully savouring your session.
- Leave the guilt out the door (you can better care for others if you’re getting some quality TLC yourself). You deserve this.
- Biohack Your Health With Optimal Light Across The Day
A Daily Dose Of Morning Sunlight Is One Of The Most Powerful Sleep-Regulating Signals Of All
Circadian rhythms are the result of our adaptation to the earth’s rotation applying a 24-hour structure on bodily physiology: humans are active in the day and sleep at night. Light is the most important time cue for the circadian rhythm as it stimulates light sensitive cells in our retinas that are connected directly to the hypothalamus of the brain, which acts as the master circadian pacemaker of the body and coordinates all the physical, mental and behavioural changes that follow a daily cycle.
UV Light For Vitamin D Production
The best-known benefit of sunlight is its ability to boost the body’s vitamin D supply and most cases of vitamin D deficiency are due to lack of outdoor sun exposure. We have vitamin D receptor cells that produce vitamin D3 when they are exposed to UVB from the sun. At least 1,000 different genes governing virtually every tissue in the body are now thought to be regulated by the active form of vitamin D.
Blue Light…Knocks Your Circadian Rhythm Off Balance
Blue light is used in most of our modern screen technology – from TVs to phones to tablets to computers. After the sun goes down, you can counteract blue light by wearing blue light blocker glasses, changing your phone to nightshift mode to reduce the blue light the screen emits and laptop screen to night mode/red light mode.
Sleep In The Dark
Research has found that in addition to light sensitive retinal cells, humans have photoreceptors too which are found in our skin, that are capable of initiating light-induced signalling pathways to the rest of the body. So, to make sure you get a deep restful sleep, have blackout curtains to evade the urban glow and also use an eye mask.
Light has a profound impact on your biology: sunlight can regulate hormones, red and infrared light can enhance cellular functioning and promote deep tissue healing, while artificial light can do the opposite.
Call or WhatsApp +27 (0)66 448 0238 to book your 20 minute session at Expand Health.
 Hamblin M. Mechanisms and applications of the anti-inflammatory effects of photobiomodulation. AIMS Biophysics. 2017 May.
 Mak MC, Cheing GL. Immediate effects of monochromatic infrared energy on microcirculation in healthy subjects. Photomed Laser Surg. 2012.
 Sheppard A and Wolffsohn J. “Digital eye strain: prevalence, measurement and amelioration.” BMJ Open Ophthalmology. 2018 April.
 Jung C, Khalsa S, et al. Acute Effects of Bright Light Exposure on Cortisol Levels. Journal of Biological Rhythms. 2010 Jun.
 Harvard Health. Blue light has a dark side.
 Hamblin, Michael. Mechanisms and applications of the anti-inflammatory effects of photobiomodulation. AIMS Biophys. 2017.
 Hamblin, Michael. Shining light on the head: Photobiomodulation for brain disorders. ScienceDirect. 2016 Sept.
 Avci P, Gupta A, Sadasivam M, Vecchio D, Pam Z, Pam N, Hamblin MR. Low-level laser (light) therapy (LLLT) in skin: stimulating, healing, restoring. Semin Cutan Med Surg. 2013 Mar.