Will Red Light Therapy Work for a Migraine and Is It Safe, Overall?
Does red light therapy work for migraines?
First let’s find out more about red light therapy. What else does it work for? How does infrared therapy work, and is red light therapy the same as infrared? Is red light therapy safe?
Red Light vs. Infrared Light and Near-Infrared Light
Let’s establish this, first of all:
For skin conditions, the visible red light spectrum is sufficient. Using LED lights, it works for reducing fine lines and wrinkles in the skin, producing even skin tone, shallow wound healing and stretch marks, as well as hair growth.
Infrared light is invisible, and the body perceives it as heat, rather than light. It penetrates the deepest, for treating brain, bone and muscle issues, and helps with blood circulation.
Near-Infrared light is in between, and can penetrate connective tissues and also bone and brain. For brain injuries and neurological disorders, a professional will determine what is required.
For this article, we will focus mostly on the red light spectrum.
The jury seems to still be out regarding the efficacy of infrared light therapy so I not only gave it a try but researched it. I have a chronic bad back and acid reflux, so made an appointment with my acupuncturist and had her try the light. I believe that my back felt better for about a week, so I am concluding that I will need more than the one treatment. No change in my acid reflux but, to be fair, that probably requires additional treatments as well.
Red Light Therapy for Eczema
Recently a cousin and I were on a road trip. She has had a problem with eczema her entire life and it reared its ugly head while on our journey. Suddenly, for no reason that we could ascertain, her lower face broke out in an eczema like rash. Luckily we have a nephew that has a Chinese medicine clinic which happened to be along our route. He took one look and got out his infrared therapy light and applied it to her face. When the treatment was completed she said her face felt much better and it looked a great deal better. By the next morning the eczema was gone without a trace. Just sayin’….
Red light therapy is an emerging treatment that appears to treat wrinkles, redness, acne, scars, and signs of aging. It uses low wavelength red light and goes by the
following additional names:
- Low level laser light therapy
- Non-thermal LED light
- Soft laser therapy
- Cold laser therapy
Red light therapy work by acting on the mitochondria in your body’s cells. With more energy cells can do their work more efficiently. Certain cells absorb light
wavelengths and are stimulated to work. The light emitted by RLT penetrates roughly five millimeters below the skin’s surface.
Other conditions that are said to benefit from this therapy include:
- improvement in wound healing
- reduce stretch marks
- improve facial texture
- improve hair growth in people with alopecia
So, Does Red Light Therapy Work for Migraines?
Pain is a complex subject, and the above-linked article is a fascinating lottery of information on the subject. But for the purposes of this article, we’ll stick to addressing our main question, “Does red light therapy work for migraines?”
There is a quickly burgeoning body of evidence indicating that red light therapy is not only effective in treating migraine and other types of headaches, but other physical pains, as well.
One study found a 64% reduction in pain after red light treatment. It was deduced that red light therapy administered to a group of 10 women suffering from chronic headaches helped to modulate blood flow and serotonin levels, significantly reducing their conditions, which many of them had suffered with for decades.
Other Conditions Studies Have Shown to Be Helped by Red Light Therapy
- Dementia. People with dementia got regular infrared light therapy on their heads and through their noses for twelve weeks, resulting in improved memories, better sleep patterns, and less anger.
- Dental pain. People with temporomandibular dysfunction syndrome had less pain, clicking, and jaw tenderness after RLT.
- Osteoarthritis. The control group found that the therapy cut osteoarthritic pain by more than 50%.
- Tendonitis. One study suggests that infrared light therapy lessens inflammation and pain in Achilles tendonitis sufferers.
There have been numerous clinical studies and laboratory studies conducted, and there is evidence to suggest that red light therapy may also have these benefits:
- reduce the side effects of some cancer treatments by using the light to activate another medication.
- build collagen to diminish wrinkles.
- mend sun damage.
- prevent recurring cold sores.
Is Red Light Therapy Safe?
Red light therapy is safe and is not associated with any side effects. It is not toxic, invasive, or harsh. Proper eye protection is required in some instances.
Often red light therapy is promoted at beauty spas and salons, gyms, and wellness centers. Just check their credentials, carefully.
Here are some commonly asked questions:
1. Is RLT covered by insurance? Not usually but you should call your health insurance company to find out for sure.
2. How many treatments will I need? This varies with the condition being treated.
3. Will I achieve the desired results? Results can vary from one person to another and the wavelength of the red light source will affect your result.
4. Are there other similar treatment options? There are other light-based therapies available, such as laser treatments, blue or green light therapy, sauna light
therapy, ultraviolet light B and A.
Can I Do Red Light Therapy At Home? | Red Light Therapy Devices
RLT devices can be purchased online and used at home. And, you might be surprised at how inexpensive they are. Just make sure you have done your research, as far as your particular condition, and also make sure you are not buying a junk product, obviously, as with anything.
We recommend getting an infrared device from MitoRedLight.
There are a ton of 5-Star reviews for their red light therapy devices on the website, including this one:
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “Results are real!”
Red light therapy is safe and effective for treating a myriad of conditions, as you can see, including eczema and other skin infirmities, as well as being able to stimulate hair growth, reduce inflammation and speed up wound healing.
In addition, red light therapy has been shown to be successful in treating migraines and many other types of pain, and the compelling results are still pouring in, every day.