This bed is.. "automatic, supersonic, hypnotic, funky fresh,work my body..."
OK, so Missy Elliott and Ciara didn't say this about the TheraLight when they released this song in 2004 (where were you?), but they could have!
There is a new wave of red light therapy devices flooding the recovery and wellness industry. Why? Well, it's because red light works! Red Light therapy has been on the scene in the recovery world for many years now and people are starting to catch on to its unprecedented capabilities. Thousands of published studies continue to prove its ability to change the way our bodies heal and recover. Red Light Therapy is the broad term used to describe the phenomenon of photobiomodulation therapy (or PBMT). It is also referred to as Low Level Light Therapy (or LLLT). Whichever name you prefer to call it, there are a few things you should definitely know whether you are seeking out treatment for yourself or in the market for a red light therapy device to purchase.
Ok, so we know it works. Does this mean that any device claiming to be red light therapy works? If it has red lights, is it considered red light therapy?
THE most important things to note here are:
- Photobiomodulation Therapy is a DOSE DEPENDENT treatment. It typically utilizes both red and NEAR INFRARED wavelengths. There are different quality bulbs that can be used AS WELL AS different wavelengths to choose from. For example: TheraLight uses four different wavelengths: 635 nm(visible red), 810 nm, 850 nm, 940 nm (all 3-not visible, near infrared). The wavelengths are chosen based on studies that show which types of cells can be targeted at different depths, each having been studied independently for the different roles they can play in cellular activation and protection.
- This means there is a specific therapeutic dose that will render the maximum response from the cells in order to achieve optimal outcomes. How do you dose light? Very carefully. Every aspect of the treatment session has been measured and calibrated to deliver a very specific dosage of light to different cells and depths in the body, studied to achieve the most optimal outcomes. There are many intricate variables involved in producing such a controlled and consistent dosage. An example of this type of device and calibration can be seen with TheraLight. The TheraLight team went all in and utilized the best in quality, from the bulb quality selection, wavelength selection and calibration, 360 degree consistent exposure, pulse rate optimization, therapeutic irradiance, and power supply. Put all of these factors together and you get the proper therapeutic dosage in a 10 minute treatment time every other day.
- A proper and measured dose will deliver optimal outcomes at this exact time frame. No more is needed. No need for turning over during a session or standing and rotating for 30 minutes or more. TheraLight is able to eliminate the many variables at play with other types of devices. Longer treatment times seen for other devices may indicate inconsistent dosages, inadequate power output, missing wavelengths, far fewer diodes, and in-congruent skin exposure.
- Pulse. The TheraLight is unique in many aspects, one of which is the pulse option. We know that our cells can adsorb the light optimally when it is broken up into "bite-sized" pieces. This is called the pulse rate and can be adjusted by single increments (Hz) ranging from 0-5000. This is HUGE. We know from published studies that utilizing the pulse rate can elicit stronger cellular response and maximize treatment efficacy.
Can you get results with different/other devices?
Sure. The short answer here is yes. The problem we have seen and have heard people discuss is that other devices don't deliver results unless you are getting consistent exposure for up to hours every week. Do you have the time it would take to get the desired effect? The issue with devices that are not fully enclosed is that somewhere around 90% of the light is deflected and lost, not even absorbed by the body. At best you are getting 15-20% of the desired effects from wall panels. You will get an effect over time, but wouldn't you rather guarantee the optimal effect in the 10 minute treatment time you receive in the 360 degree fully enclosed bed?
To keep with the theme of bold claims in the industry we touched on in our previous blog on Cryotherapy, there are some bold claims about Red Light Therapy/Photobiomodulation. Some of the red light therapy claims you might find if you do a quick search online:
- promotes wound healing and tissue repair
- improves hair growth in people with androgenic alopecia
- help for the short-term treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome
- stimulates healing of slow-healing wounds, like diabetic foot ulcers
- reduces psoriasis lesions
- aids with short-term relief of pain and morning stiffness in people with rheumatoid arthritis
- improves skin complexion and builds collagen to diminish wrinkles
- prevents recurring cold sores from herpes simplex virus infections
- reduces some of the side effects of cancer treatments, including oral mucositis
- improves the health of joints in people with degenerative osteoarthritis of the knee
- helps to mend sun damage
- helps diminish scars
- relieves pain and inflammation in people with pain in the Achilles tendons
Yes, these are very bold claims. Yes there are studies showing the efficacy of photobiomodulation within certain wavelength and dosages that DO ACTUALLY provide these results, with the right equipment. We run into the same problems here as we do with cryotherapy in that people are making bold medical claims just because there is a study published, but that does not mean that particular device/ wavelength of light has been cleared for those uses by the FDA. Each manufacturer and device would need to go through the FDA process to be considered a wellness device for the intended uses. TheraLight is classified as a general wellness device and its intended uses are as follows in this statement from the FDA.
“The TheraLight FIT Full Body Wellness Light Pod is a General Wellness Device. General Wellness Devices are exempt from pre-market notification (510k). Therefore, the TheraLight FIT Full Body Wellness Light Pod does not require FDA clearance or approval, instead must be registered with the FDA under defined Intended Uses. The device is built according to current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) and is in compliance with applicable standards as required by FDA."
THE CLASS I INTENDED USES ARE:
• Restoration of motion to joints
• Redevelop muscles
• Adjunct to obesity as part of a diet and exercise program
THE CLASS II INTENDED ARE:
• Relaxation of muscles and relief from muscle spasms
• Temporary relief of minor muscle and joint aches, pain and stiffness
• Temporary relief of minor pain and stiffness associated with arthritis
• To temporarily increase blood circulation
Is your manufacturer registered with the FDA?
Send us your questions on all things Red Light! We would love to hear some of the bold claims you've heard and compare different devices on the market.