Both saunas and red light therapy provide clinically-proven treatments with a range of health benefits. They can even compliment each other; however, they rely on very different biological mechanisms of action to produce health benefits.
What is the difference? Namely, heat!
Infrared Saunas: Saunas have been providing healing heat for centuries in the form of the steamy setting known as a convection sauna - the air is heated, and water is added to create humidity. In recent years, Infrared Saunas have grown in popularity; instead of heating the air, they heat the object inside the sauna, with the majority of benefits tied to the temperature, humidity level and amount of time your body is exposed to the heat. Far-infrared are more effective at delivering heat, with the ensuing biological responses, including increased heart rate and perspiration. With a sufficient amount of heat, special proteins that respond to the stress become activated, providing benefits similar to physical exercise.
Alternatively, Red Light provides specific wavelengths exclusively (no UV) to provide benefits with limited heating of the body/vessels.
Red light therapy is a newer form of therapy that first came to be recognized by NASA researchers in the 1990s. While the initial discovery of red light therapy was related to the effect it has on speeding wound healing, many new discoveries have since emerged, allowing red light therapy to be used for a variety of different benefits.
KEY MECHANISMS OF RED LIGHT
Stimulating ATP production in hte mitochondria through interacting with a photoreceptor called cytochrom c oxidase.
Creating a temporary low-dose metabolic stress (known as hormesis, which is also a primary mechanism of why exercise works) that ultimately builds up the anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and defense systems of the cell.
WHY RED LIGHT IS THE BEST OPTION FOR MY TCM AND COSMETIC ACU PATIENTS? CONSERVATION! (FLUID, ENERGY, YIN)
Simply put, the majority of my patients are more depleted than not. In Chinese medicine terms, I have more deficient patients than I do patients in balance or even excess.
They are often Yin deficient, lacking vital fluids that nourish the body - hydration that is not getting to their skin even though they are drinking plenty of water, including post exercise. This state can also create ‘deficient heat’, which can lead to more dryness and stagnation. Hello, menopause and perimenopause (think of the fluid loss as estrogen that is in decline, we want to conserve this at the moment).
Some of the main conditions I treat for the skin revolve around dehydration and dryness - wrinkles and sun damage are more pronounced in these skin types.
Fatigue and Exhaustion. While movement is important to help maintain and build energy and strength, think in terms of qi gong or tai chi, pilates or yin yoga to achieve movement and strength building without depleting your reserves. These type of exercises are kinder to the body when we are looking to conserve.
Hair loss. It's happening more often with changes in hormones, post covid, and increased stress. Red light has been shown to help with hair regrowth from a variety of causes by increasing blood flow, but also encouraging movement to the anagen phase to slow hair loss.
And even more on red light …
The health of every organ and every cell depends on the energy being produced by the mitochondria in those cells. Because red light therapy works to enhance mitochondrial energy production in essentially every type of cell in the body, it can enhance the cellular processes and cellular health of potentially almost every type of cell in your body.
Benefits for the skin and hair include:
Anti-aging effects for the skin by enhancing collagen synthesis and elastin production
Help repair the DNA damage from aging UV rays
Reduce color patches, hyperpigmentaiton and skin discoloration
Accelerate repair of the epithelial layer of the skin
Help clear up skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis, acne and rosacea
Lowering unwanted inflammation, speed healthy wound healing
Improve appearance of scars, help scar tissue heal properly
The aforementioned hair loss
Some of the other benefits of red light therapy:
Help prevent cognitive decline
Improve eye health
Improve quality of life for fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue
Help tendonitis and bone healing, improve joint health, arthritis
Combat depression and anxiety
Muscle recovery, strength and improved muscle mass
Overcome fatigue and improve energy levels
Improve fertility (sperm motility, egg quality)
Our red light therapy harnesses the synergy of Halotherapy, Oxygen, and Negative Ions to maximize benefits
What is Halotherapy?
Halotherapy, also known as Dry Salt Therapy, is a fast-growing holistic approach that mimics the microclimate of a salt cave. Patients breathe in the micro-sized salt particles, which are immediately transported to every part of the respiratory tract, even the smallest alveoli, and bronchioles. Then the dry salt molecules dissolve and attract small impurities, the reason why it is called the toothbrush of the lungs.
Salt therapy may eliminate the root of inflammatory respiratory illnesses in the lower and the upper tract like asthma, bronchitis as well as allergies, by destroying bacteria and restoring health and immunity.
How does it work?
Micro-sized salt particles are dispersed into an enclosed environment (our vitality booth) through a unique process generated by a halogenerator. These less then 3 micron sized salt particles while creating an antibacterial environment draw out the excess moisture, the mucus and impurities that are in the airways and on the skin. Therefore it is essential to use a high quality halogenerator that produces the right size particles in order to achieve the desired results.
I love the synergy for my skincare patients, based on these Halotherapy benefits:
Improves eczema and psoriasis
Fortifies skin’s protective barrier
Helps normalize skin’s pH-balance
Promotes healthy tissue regeneration
Clears impacted follicles to prevent acne formation
Reduces inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-edematous effects
Anti-microbial, Anti-bacterial, Anti-viral, and Anti-inflammatory
Opens the bronchial tubes in the lungs, helps to reduce inflammation in the sinuses & small airways
Breaks up and clears mucus
Increases PH level – reduces acidity
Naturally triggers skin microcirculation and membrane activity
Enhances skin’s protective and reparative properties
Acne - clears follicles
Athletic Performance →
Expands the airways for increased lung functions and capacity
Increases oxygen saturation and exchange
Helps with muscle endurance and recovery
How to use red light and salt therapy for your condition?
Red light: Dose and distance are important.
The skin can benefit in a short time, and more is not necessarily better. Anywhere from a few minutes up to 15/20 minutes is probably plenty of time for most. Benefits decrease with overdoing it.
How to know when you’ve exceeded what is best for you? You’ll probably feel more fatigued post session then energized. Start slow and assess your body’s reaction, then build up. Also, the closer the light, the deeper the penetration, but still being mindful of timing.
Halotherapy offers the best results when practiced regularly. The benefits are cumulative, so consistency and frequency are the key. People with chronic issues will benefit greatly if visiting salt rooms at least 3-4 times a week. Those who are looking to incorporate Salt Therapy into their regular wellness routine would benefit from a weekly session. Halotherapy has been used on a daily basis without any side effects.
We look forward to seeing you at The Desert Canary soon. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions!
THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO RED LIGHT THERAPY BY ARI WHITTEN
Studies included throughout the book with notations.
Are your lights third party tested and validated?
Our lights have been third party tested and validated by Independent Testing Laboratories in Colorado. See halotherapysolutions.com for more.
Does the light emit UV? No, this is a different spectrum, it does not emit any damaging UV.
Other terms for red light therapy?
LLLT or low level light therapy, PBM or photobiomodulation, red and near-infrared light therapy.
There are typically no side effects other than potential thirst. However, if someone is on any medications or suffers from any serious medical issue, please seek medical advice before any therapy. It is normal for your nose to run some after breathing in salt.
Red Light Therapy:
Not for use while pregnant
If you have any negative side effects, lower the dose
Wear goggles or shades if you have eye health problems or sensitive eyes
Do not stare directly into the lights
See below for more from the manufacturer of our panels
There is an upside down U shaped response curve when it comes to red light benefits More is not always better! The great thing about Mito Red Light devices is that you can reap the same benefits in less time versus other products on the market.
We recommend working up to 10-minute treatments at 12-18 inches from your device to begin. Additional sessions for specific areas may be beneficial but beyond a certain point, the scientific evidence points to diminishing returns. More is not always better!
For this reason, we recommend you allow at least 6 hours between treatments of the same area. We recommend no more than 15 to 20 minutes in any one session. We recommend using the device 4-10 times per week. We recommend taking at least one day off per week.
For a detailed discussion of contraindications and other considerations please see our article: