Red light therapy is an incredible way to help treat many different aspects of your body, whether that is for pain and inflammation, weight loss, hair growth, or sleep - amongst a number of other benefits.
However, trying to achieve long-lasting results in general, in a short amount of time, is very unlikely.
Allow us to explain…
Firstly, as we know, red light therapy delivers wavelengths of red and near-infrared light within the skin and cells of our bodies. In other words, they deliver energy to the mitochondria within the cells. Since the cell has more energy, it should now perform better.
When your mitochondria produces more energy, as a byproduct, they’re also producing more free radicals (molecules that are unstable and should be balanced or neutralised by antioxidants).
Therefore, when you first start with red light therapy it may come as a shock to your cells as they need time to adjust and up-regulate the amount of antioxidants that they’re producing.
This doesn't necessarily mean that you will have any side effects (as you may already know, red light therapy has very little of these), but what it can mean is that some of this new energy gets diverted to helping the cell deal with these extra free radicals.
As your cells learn that they need to have more antioxidants on hand, so you will start seeing increasing benefits with red light therapy.
While we're here, it’s important to remember that consistency is one of the most important aspects of getting results with red light therapy.
It's like going to the gym. If you were to go only once or twice in a single week, you wouldn’t expect to see results straight away compared to if you went consistently for 3 months, right?
The same goes with red light therapy. It is recommended to use your device 3-5 times per week for 10-20 minutes, although having a session daily is of course even more beneficial.
(If you want more information on how long and often you should be doing your red light therapy sessions, be sure to checkout this video.)
Monitoring Your Progress
It's a great idea to track your improvements throughout the process of using red light therapy.
This can be as simple as taking before and after pictures when it comes to physical or skin-related needs. If you are using the device for more hidden issues (sleep, pain etc), then journaling can be a great way to keep track of how you are feeling.
Home Device vs. Going To A Spa
Finally, you might be thinking, “Why would I buy my own device if I can just go to a spa or clinic to have a few sessions?”
Sure, you most definitely can, but if you had to work it out, it would most likely cost you a lot more (including traveling to get there and back) for a few sessions a month, than having your own device and being able to do it yourself in the comfort of your home, and on a daily basis.
*If you’re unsure about which device would suit you best, you can take the red light therapy quiz.
To conclude, if you are completely new to red light therapy then you may see a delay in benefits as your cells learn to adapt to their new energy levels.
The most important factor for getting results is consistency, so even if you do shorter sessions, make sure you stick to a planned schedule.