The Difference Between Light Therapy and Near Infrared Therapy

by Frank Mash

Understanding the Differences Between Light Therapy and Near Infrared Therapy.

The Difference Between Light Therapy and Near Infrared Therapy

Near Infrared Light Therapy has been utilized for centuries. Along with treating depression and a host of skin diseases, this therapy has proven effective for many common physical and mental health problems.

More often than not, individuals who suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD) come to find out they aren’t exposed to adequate sunlight. People with this life-altering disorder often experience a dip in serotonin, leaving them feeling hopeless and depressed.

While Near Infrared Light Therapy provides a multitude of benefits, the various types of Light Therapy affect the body differently. If you’re curious as to how Light Therapies differ, we’d love to shed light on the topic by describing the three common types:

Light Therapy, Red Light Therapy, and Near Infrared Therapy: How They Work

Light therapy exposes individuals to much brighter light than any other indoor lighting can offer. This type of therapy is beneficial for those who deal with depression, SAD, and sleep disorders. The term “lightbox” refers to this type of Light Therapy.

In as little as 30 minutes per day, Light Therapy can increase mood-boosting hormones and chemicals, allowing your body to tune into its natural awareness of when it’s time to sleep, wake, etc.

Near Infrared Therapy Vs. Red Light Therapy

The light spectrum has a visible and penetrable part on the electromagnetic scale, which falls between 630 and 700 nm. This is what is identified as red light and used in red light therapy. It is commonly used as a treatment for the skin’s surface. On the other side of the light spectrum, right between 700 and 1,200 nm, is the invisible part or near infrared. 

In healing and pain relief, the longer wavelengths have the ability to penetrate deeper into the body tissues and cells. Energy is delivered effectively for quicker and more effective relief. However, methods of light absorption and how effective they may be still varies depending on the actual wavelength, cell, and tissue type. Each of these reacts differently to each other depending on the factors mentioned. For instance, some colors can penetrate on deep tissues while blue light vibrations remain on the skin. 

Using LED when trying to control the temperature of the surface makes NIR technology optimal. LED makes the process quicker as it can disperse over larger areas compared to laser or Red light halogen. 

The delivery of light energy via OPD-optical power output also makes LED, halogen, and laser different from each other. While the OPD of halogen and laser are measured in watts, LED NIR is in milliwatts. Because LED NIR has a more precise measurement, it is possible for treatment to become gentler as to prevent tissue damage and lessen the risk of further injury. 

Experts have also looked into this technology. There are NASA studies that prove how the electromagnetic frequency band of NIR can deeply penetrate into the body. Individual cells can get a healing effect as a result. As an example, Near Infrared wavelengths respond to receptors found within a cell’s mitochondria. This can cause cell detoxification, collagen increase or protein synthesis, as well as an increase in cell metabolism. While regeneration and growth in cells are triggered simultaneously, pain and inflammation are reduced. 

In other words, Near Infrared Therapy is used to rejuvenate cells and relieve pain. Light Therapy is used to tap on body processes like one’s circadian rhythm and mood. Both of them are very beneficial, but they have a great difference from each other. 

Near Infrared Therapy Benefits

The infrared light spectrum features a light that is almost invisible to the naked eye. In the electromagnetic spectrum, its infrared wavelength is the shortest. This is known as Near Infrared Therapy. While the typical wavelength of infrared can be between 700 nm and 1 mm, Near Infrared Light is between the 700 nm and 2,500 nm spectrum. Among its many benefits are:

• Pain relief
• Joint and muscle pain management and relief
• Anti-aging
• Circulation improvement
• Skin rejuvenation
• Flexibility
• Energy increase
• Cell regeneration
• Inflammation reduction
• Body fat reduction
• White blood cell production
• Mitochondria recharging
• Boost in metabolism
• Quicker healing of wounds

Light Therapy Benefits

On the electromagnetic spectrum, Near Infrared Therapy, Red Light Therapy, and Light Therapy all fall under different wavelengths. While they each have advantages to them, they still provide different benefits. 

The benefits of light therapy are numerous. They go beyond just improving one’s mood or making one’s skin look better. Once you try out the Infrared Healer®, you will be pleased with the number of benefits you can enjoy from it.

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