Red Light For Hormone Health During the Perimenopausal Years
Red Light For Hormone Health: Red light therapy is a therapeutic technique that uses low-level red wavelengths of light to treat a variety of issues from hormonal issues, skin conditions, persistent wounds, insomnia, and more. You may have heard red light therapy (RLT) by the names of photobiomodulation (PBM), low-level light therapy (LLLT), biostimulation, and soft laser therapy amongst others. 1
This particular part of the light spectrum, red and near-infrared light (NIR), have been shown to have incredible healing powers. Its benefits and various applications are being lauded as one of the most significant health discoveries of recent years. 2
How Does Red and NIR Light Therapy Work?
Other wavelengths of light such as blue, green, yellow, and UV do not penetrate very far into the layers of your skin. Red and NIR, however, can penetrate much further. Because of this, it can better reach tissue, blood vessels, nerves, bones, and the brain. Both red and NIR wavelengths of light create a specific and particular impact on the cellular level. 3
Once red and NIR wavelengths have absorbed into your skin, tissues, and bones, it essentially ‘feeds’ the body’s cells to increase energy production and anti-inflammatory responses. Red light therapy increases the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is used to fuel every single function in the body including breathing and heart rate. ATP increases the production of the cell’s mitochondria, which is the energy needed for the cell to not only survive but thrive.
In addition to energy production in cells, red and NIR light therapy creates a low-dose, temporary metabolic stress called hormesis—the same response in our body as to when we exercise, which produces anti-inflammatory and antioxidant responses in cells. Because of this, red and NIR light therapy can boost cellular health, increase immune response, reduce inflammation, and improve the regeneration of cells.
How Red and NIR Light Therapy Can Help with Hormonal Imbalances and Menopausal Symptoms
The average age for the onset of menopause in most women is 51 years old. However, symptoms can begin anywhere from 40 to 58 years of age. Menopause results in lower levels of the hormone estrogen as well as others. When this dip and change in hormones occurs, women are likely to experience symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, and insomnia, weight gain, and vaginal atrophy. 4
Thankfully, red and NIR light therapy can be beneficial in helping relieve some of these menopausal symptoms and provide other health benefits as well.
Red Light Therapy For Hormone Health: Reducing Hot Flashes
Women who were undergoing estrogen due to breast cancer therapy developed intense hot flashes and night sweats, according to one study. 5 Red light therapy was shown to reduce the intensity and provide relief drastically. Due to the similar hormone drop, this could be hugely beneficial to those experiencing menopause symptoms.
Helps Insomnia and Sleep Issues
More and more studies are being done to show the benefits of red and NIR light therapy for insomnia and other sleep issues. 6 One major study found that this type of light therapy increases the production of melatonin, the body’s natural sleep hormone. Another study in the same realm found that the internasal application of red light at night combined with blue light in the morning helped greatly with the quality of sleep. 7
Red Light For Hormone Health: Healthy Weight Maintenance
Experiencing weight loss resistance is very common in menopausal years. However, it’s essential to keep in mind that weight gain has many factors. If you regularly consume a highly inflammatory diet, red light therapy can only help so much. If you practice a healthy lifestyle (with a balanced diet and exercise), red and NIR light therapy has shown impressive results.8 These results most likely due to the anti-inflammatory effects of the therapy.
Increases Circulation and Collagen in Skin
As red lightwaves penetrate through the skin, it promotes circulation and helps form new capillaries. Red light therapy also increases collagen production for healthy skin, hair, nails, and joints. This skin benefit isn’t just a beautiful thing for a glowing complexion—collagen is also helpful for people suffering from musculoskeletal issues and people living with arthritis, thanks again to the anti-inflammatory benefits of red light therapy.
Red Light For Hormone Health: Promotes Hair Growth
Another excellent benefit of red light therapy is its ability to encourage the re-growth of hair.9 This is especially beneficial for women experiencing hair loss during menopause due to a lowered production of both estrogen and progesterone.
Red Light For Hormone Health: Additional Benefits
Additional health benefits of red light therapy include, but are not limited to10:
- Promotes wound healing
- Reduces psoriasis lesions
- Helps mend sun damage
- Short-term help for carpal tunnel syndrome
- Prevents recurring cold sores
- Activates lymphatic system for improved detoxification
- Reduces eczema, rosacea, and acne
- Helps fade scars and stretch marks
How to Practice Red Light Therapy
Red light therapy can be done at many establishments, including spas, gyms, and salons. There are also FDA-approved devices that you can purchase so you can practice red light therapy in the privacy of your own home. To treat severe medical conditions such as psoriasis, arthritis, or cancer, consult with your physician before beginning any red or NIR light therapy.
Joovv Light(affiliate link)!
My favorite brand of red light therapy for at-home use is Joovv. A high-quality home device like a Joovv uses medical-grade LEDs to shine natural red and near-infrared light on your body. Just like the wavelengths of light, your body needs from natural sunlight, but without the heat or UV rays that cause sun damage, and without the need for sunny weather. Joovv offers the greatest power, size, efficiency, and convenience in light therapy. Joovv’s modular design can be fully customized for your individual treatment needs, and their medical-grade LEDs deliver consistent dosages with the most clinically-effective wavelengths of natural light.
- “Red Light Therapy: Uses, Benefits, and Risks – Healthline.” 11 May. 2018, https://www.healthline.com/health/red-light-therapy.
- “The Nuts and Bolts of Low-level Laser (Light … – NCBI – NIH.” 2 Nov. 2011, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3288797/.
- “Boost Immune System, Balance Hormones, Mood, and ….” https://hormonesbalance.com/articles/boost-immune-system-balance-hormones-mood-and-rejuvenate-skin-with-red-and-near-infrared-light/.
- “Perimenopause, Early Menopause Symptoms | The North ….” https://www.menopause.org/for-women/menopauseflashes/menopause-symptoms-and-treatments/menopause-101-a-primer-for-the-perimenopausal.
- “369 The effect of exemestane and anastrozole on bone ….” https://www.jvascsurg.org/article/S1359-6349(10)70395-5/fulltext.
- “What Is Light Therapy for Perimenopause? – First For Women.” 29 Oct. 2018, https://www.firstforwomen.com/posts/health/light-therapy-for-perimenopause-167625.
- “Low-level light therapy of the eye and brain – NCBI.” 14 Oct. 2011, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5436183/.
- “Low-Level Laser Therapy for Fat Layer Reduction – NCBI – NIH.” 7 Jun. 2013, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3769994/.
- “Efficacy and safety of a low-level laser device in … – NCBI – NIH.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24474647.
10. “Red Light Therapy: Uses, Benefits, and Risks – Healthline.” 11 May. 2018, https://www.healthline.com/health/red-light-therapy.