How to Start Red Light Therapy for Health Practitioners: An Overview and FAQ for Business Owners
With the rising costs of medicine and the growing demand for non-invasive, natural, effective treatments, people are increasingly embracing alternative therapies. At the same time, many health and wellness professionals are looking for ways to enhance their clients’ experiences and deliver superior results.
And, many are seeking ways to grow their client base and increase revenue. Offering red light therapy may be the ideal solution for both patients and providers. In this article you’ll learn how you can use red light technology offer your clients:
- A boost to health and fitness outcomes (without any side effects);
- A stand-alone or complementary therapy that boosts health at the cellular level;
- A source of repeat business (and ongoing success stories and referrals) from one initial and very modest investment.
We’ll show you how red light therapy can boost your business whether you’re a doctor, dentist, alternative medicine practitioner, physical therapist, gym owner, personal trainer, sports coach, and more. And, we’ll talk about which system is best for you, how to set it up in your office, and how to guide your clients in achieving the results they want.
But first, let’s review what red light therapy is, so you know exactly what you’re selling to your customers.
In a hurry? Skip to the most relevant section for you and learn how you can use red light therapy in your business:
- Complementary/alternative medicine practitioners
- Gyms and trainers
- Mental health professionals
- Pain management clinics
- Physical therapists
- Scar clinics
- Sleep clinics
- Spas and anti-aging clinics
What Is Red Light Therapy?
Red light therapy, also called low-level light therapy (LLLT) or photobiomodulation, is a treatment method that uses red and/or near-infrared (NIR) light to stimulate healing and reduce inflammation.
Red light devices are fitted with LED bulbs that expose the skin to specific wavelengths of light, which vary in length and are measured in nanometers (nm).
The term “red light therapy” includes red light, with wavelengths ranging from 630nm to 660nm; and NIR light, which ranges from 800nm to 850nm. Both red and near-infrared wavelengths have the most profound therapeutic applications.
When red or NIR light is shined on bare skin, mitochondria (the energy centers inside cells) soak up the light. This initiates increased energy production within individual cells and creates a ripple effect of positive biological processes. Energized cells can perform their essential functions better and faster. This, in turn, supports the functioning of the body’s systems for rapid relief of symptoms and “healing from within.”
The light emitted by LED panels does not generate heat. Red light contains no harmful ultraviolet light and has no known side effects. It is non-invasive, painless, enjoyable, and shows great potential for both patients and providers in a wide variety of health and wellness areas.
Who Currently Offers Red Light Therapy?
Red light therapy is gaining widespread appeal and popularity with many types of businesses, due in large part to a growing body of anecdotal evidence backed by more than 3,000 independent studies.
One of the most common uses for LLLT is in dermatology, where patients see a dramatic reduction in symptoms of chronic skin conditions such as rosacea, acne, psoriasis, and eczema. It is also used by neurologists to treat traumatic brain injuries, strokes, and neurodegenerative diseases.
The applications for LLLT are widespread and varied, including practitioners in the following areas:
Naturopaths, chiropractors, acupuncturists, Ayurvedic practitioners, massage therapists, and yoga teachers can offer enhanced benefits to their clients using red light therapy.
Whether your practice centers on biologically based therapies, manipulative/body-based therapies, energy medicine, or mind-body medicine, LLLT can offer a treatment modality that doesn’t contradict your approach and offers measurable results.
A massage therapist, for example, could offer “red light massages” using two large panels mounted on a horizontal stand. This premium massage would come at a higher cost, for which the client would receive extraordinary benefits.
Red light massage therapy is popular with chiropractors because it is a natural vasodilator, meaning it relaxes the inner muscles of the blood vessels, causing them to widen and circulation to improve. Red light also heals inflammation, which accelerates the healing of musculoskeletal pain, including low back pain, shoulder impingement syndrome, neck pain, joint pain, and carpal tunnel syndrome.
Red light therapy can benefit your dental practice by offering your patients the pain-relieving, anti-inflammatory properties of red light, which can accelerate healing after dental procedures, and relieve myofascial pain associated with temporomandibular disorder (TMD).
For more invasive procedures, an animal study suggests that LLLT can support bone growth, which can assist after wisdom tooth extraction or in patients with an abscess.
Gyms, Fitness Trainers, Body Sculptors, and Sports Coaches
Give your clients a significant competitive edge with LLLT. It’s completely legal in competition, is safe, non-invasive, and suitable for both elite and recreational athletes—and is often used by Olympic athletes, including the U.S. Track team.
Dr. Michael Hamblin, an associate professor at Harvard Medical School and a world-renowned expert in LLLT, said during an interview with Men’s Journal: “Red light therapy may help you recover from exercise, sleep better, heal wounds and injuries like tendonitis, reduce arthritis—and it may simply make you feel better, which is something that’s hard to quantify.”
Your clients want to improve their athletic abilities and excel in their sport. And they also want to build muscle, sculpt their bodies, recover faster from intense workouts, push themselves to new levels, and return to their sport as soon as possible after an injury.
LLLT can help your clients achieve these goals and more. It reduces inflammation, which you can learn about in this article; and helps relieve pain in people with Achilles tendinitis, which will allow faster return-to-training. Since many athletes suffer from knee pain, let them know that red light has been used to successfully treat meniscus tears, as this study describes.
A wide and diverse body of research has shown the benefits of red light therapy for athletes. These studies, for instance, show that LLLT promotes less muscle fatigue, more muscle growth, and reduced oxidative stress. A study published in 2017 found that when applied before exercise, red light preconditions muscles to prevent injury; when applied after workouts, it accelerates muscle recovery. This lets your clients perform longer, faster, and harder than ever before to crush their personal best.
Mental Health Professionals
Researchers who study neurological disorders have learned that these disorders have two characteristics in common: oxidative stress, due to chronic inflammation; and mitochondrial dysfunction, which is diminished cellular energy that leads to poor cell performance, low resilience, and slow regeneration.
LLLT has shown incredible promise as a treatment for neurological disorders, including traumatic brain injuries and degenerative disorders that lead to psychological distress and severe depression. This was revealed during a 2018 clinical trial that involved veterans suffering from PTSD. Red and NIR light therapy showed dramatic improvement after 12 weeks of transcranial treatment. The veterans reported less anxiety, better sleep, fewer angry outbursts, and improved mental functioning.
Red light’s ability to reduce oxidative stress also has implications for neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Macular degeneration is a devastating eye disorder that is the leading cause of severe, permanent vision loss in people over the age of 60—and it is one of several eye conditions that can be successfully treated using LLLT.
When used long-term as an ongoing treatment for age-related macular degeneration, LLLT dramatically improves visual acuity and can cause a decrease in edema and hemorrhage, with no side effects.
Research has shown that macular degeneration is caused by mitochondrial dysfunction. Thus, restoring optimal energy production in ocular cells using NIR light can be an effective treatment to increase mitochondrial energy production and reduce retinal inflammation.
Red light is non-invasive, effective, and safe, which is a huge draw and a welcome relief for many patients who are understandably terrified of losing their sight.
Pain Management Clinics
With an estimated 50 million Americans suffering from chronic pain, finding relief from pain is a major healthcare concern—and one of the hallmarks of red light therapy. Near-infrared light absorbs deeply into the body’s tissues where it reduces inflammation and improves blood flow to muscles, connective tissue, and joints, as well as restores normal peripheral nervous system functioning.
In studies with animals, scientists have found that LLLT can reduce the need for nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) by over 50 percent. In human trials, LLLT has been found to reduce pain sensitivity following spinal cord injury. It has also been shown effective in treating low back pain and increasing the regeneration and thickness of cartilage, which helps reduce pain from osteoarthritis.
Red light therapy can help restore patients’ mobility and range of motion while reducing pain. Studies have revealed that it promotes bone healing, relieves pain, and treats neuropathic pain, whether your patient has sought treatment for an injury or a degenerative disorder like osteoarthritis.
Reducing the appearance of scars and, in some of the most severe cases, restoring mobility, is a top priority for people with prominent scars. LLLT is widely used to treat burns, hypertrophic scars, stretch marks, and other types of scarring. It works by stimulating the production of collagen, activating stem cells, and reducing UV damage. In addition, LLLT normalizes the collagen structure of newly forming skin, so new tissue is made of normal skin rather than scar tissue.
Lack of sleep is a chronic modern problem. An emerging challenge is the use of electronics that emit blue light, which has been found to damage the eyes and skin and lead to sleep disturbances by stimulating alertness during the night.
As confirmed by a study of Chinese elite athletes, your clients can benefit from red light as a way to regulate melatonin production. In the study, the athletes receiving red light treatment experienced improved performance outcomes following quality sleep.
Spas and Anti-Aging Clinics
Red light therapy is well known as an anti-aging treatment that can restore a youthful appearance. The use of red light on a regular basis could, in some cases, eliminate the need for laser peels, retinoids, collagen injections, and possibly even cosmetic surgery.
In a German study, volunteers reported significant improvements in skin complexion and feeling; and clinical assessments verified improved collagen density, skin smoothness, and reduction of fine lines and wrinkles.
LLLT stimulates the formation of new capillaries to increase circulation for improved oxygen nutrient delivery to the skin. Research has shown that it promotes collagen production, and increases the rate of lymph node pumping for more efficient waste removal from the body. It also helps to regulate the rate at which cells reproduce and die to restore normal skin cell replacement.
Clients who want to reduce sun damage (sun spots, sunburn, and fine lines/wrinkles), improve skin tone, and reduce the appearance of acne scars, will benefit significantly from ongoing LLLT treatment.
Like wrinkles and other signs of aging, hair loss can affect a client’s self-esteem. LLLT stimulates hair follicles to naturally and safely regrow hair by increasing blood flow and collagen production. Collagen acts as an antioxidant to reduce oxidative damage, which can lead to increased hair growth.
Pet owners have expressed the same desire for natural treatments for their beloved pets as they want for themselves.
A 2017 study showed faster healing in dogs exposed to near-infrared light immediately prior to tibial plateau-leveling osteotomy (TPLO). Another study showed a 50 percent reduction in the need for NSAIDs in dogs with elbow osteoarthritis.
Horses, too, benefit from red light. A 2012 Oklahoma State University study found much faster healing and less scarring when LLLT was applied to equine metacarpal wounds.
Weight Loss Clinics
Many people have tried and failed at losing weight using diet and exercise alone. In some cases, excess weight can be due to hormonal imbalances such as hypothyroidism. LLLT can balance the thyroid, which may result in easier weight loss.
A fascinating result of red light therapy is a reduction of fat cells. Red light triggers the formation of microscopic pores in adipose cells, which releases lipids.
One study found that just four minutes of exposure to 635nm red light caused an astonishing 80% of lipids to be released from adipose cells. By six minutes, almost all of the fat had been released from the adipocytes in the treated area. The same study also found that red light stimulates adipocyte apoptosis (or fat cell death), which also releases the lipids stored within these cells.
Red light can also control leptin and ghrelin: one study focused on the effect of red light on leptin and ghrelin in sleep-deprived adults. The result was a 19% reduction in leptin and ghrelin.
It also promotes muscle growth to stimulate the metabolism and helps ease symptoms of depression to get your clients motivated to stick with their exercise/diet plan.
What Can You Charge for Red Light Therapy?
Costs for individual red light therapy can range from $30 to $300 per session depending on geographic location (market demand), the service provider, and whether the sessions are part of other therapies.
Many wellness practitioners have had tremendous success packaging LLLT as a complementary treatment to their most popular therapies. Once it’s established with your clientele, it easily becomes a desirable stand-alone service.
Monthly subscriptions or packages are also popular as a way to reduce the cost for your clients or patients.
One of the questions you’ll often be asked is whether the treatments are covered by insurance. Currently, some insurance companies accept LLLT as a treatment; usually, this is handled as a special invoice to the insurance company, or paid through a health savings account (HSA).
Getting the Best Panels: An Investment in Your Business
The PlatinumLED BIOMAX series delivers a five-wavelength array of the most therapeutic wavelengths of red/NIR light together, ensuring the most comprehensive absorption and bio-stimulating effects. This series is designed to allow individual panels to be linked together to treat larger areas or the whole body, which offers unparalleled flexibility.
From tabletop models designed for spot treatment to large multi-panel arrays, PlatinumLED delivers the most powerful LED lights on the market, along with the most beneficial wavelengths of red and NIR light.
How to Set Up Your Panels
PlatinumLED BIOMAX panels can be configured for individual use for targeted treatments, or as multi-panel arrays for whole-body treatments.
Client comfort is important. Smaller panels can be mounted on a tabletop stand or hung from a door. Larger panels can be mounted to vertical or horizontal stands. Depending on the nature of your practice, your patients can sit, stand, or lie down to receive their treatment.
For full-body use, the most popular configurations are two or four BIOMAX 900 panels linked together and mounted horizontally or vertically. These configurations still only treat one side of the body; for faster full-body therapy (no turning over), two separate two- or four-panel configurations could be set up in a dedicated therapy room.
We especially recommend the BIOMAX horizontal stand for use at clinics or if you have beds in your office. Just purchase two BIOMAX panels and the stand and your clients can lie down and relax while soaking up the benefits of our advanced array of wavelengths.
A two-panel BIOMAX 900 array is large enough to treat the entire body (one side at a time) of any adult. Use two four-panel arrays for more active situations. Clients can, for example, use resistance bands, do yoga, or ride an exercise bike while receiving red light therapy with a four-panel or larger array.
How To Use Red Light Therapy In Your Practice
Most practitioners will schedule one client session per hour since sessions can take up to 20 minutes of therapy time. The client doesn’t want to feel rushed, so factor in ample time to undress/dress and time to disinfect the room between clients.
Goggles are not required with LLLT; in fact, red light is actually beneficial to the eyes and is used to treat a variety of eye conditions. However, if a client isn’t comfortable looking at the LED device, you can offer light-blocking goggles as a way to increase their comfort.
Your clients can nap while enjoying their red light treatment, which will stimulate relaxation and activate the parasympathetic nervous system for accelerated healing.
Starting Red Light at Your Business: Keys to Success
While introducing red light therapy to your clients, keep these important facts in mind:
- The area being treated needs to be bare since any clothing or even a sheet can interfere with the light absorption into the body’s tissues. If a client is receiving full-body treatment or treatment over a large area, he or she may need to be nude, so privacy is paramount. Most practitioners dedicate a room to red light therapy in order to give their clients the privacy they need.
- Red light therapy is not an instant fix. It’s an inside-out, cell-level approach that often requires multiple treatments for acute conditions such as muscle injury, and consistent ongoing treatments for chronic conditions. Cells need ample time to repair and regenerate themselves.
Your clients may experience some fast results, but the most dramatic outcomes will happen with consistent use over one to four months. Consistent use can involve several weekly sessions, but the key to success is consistency over time.
We’re Here to Support You in Growing Your Business with Red Light
At PlatinumLED, we are passionate about red light therapy, and all it can do. We want you to offer your clients unprecedented success, and we want to help you grow your business. We’re always happy to answer questions about the types of panels that will give your clients the best results, as well as setup information, dosage tips, and anything else you need. We’re real people, and we’re here for you!
Clear Results, Distinct Advantages
Thousands of clinical studies demonstrate that red light therapy offers innumerable health benefits. Your clients will be thrilled with the results, and you will enjoy distinct advantages to using LED therapy devices in your practice.
Clients can be left unattended, you can treat large areas of the body at once, and you may gain a competitive advantage in niche markets such as brain injuries and peripheral neuropathy.
In an aging and increasingly holistically-minded population, you can give your professional practice a boost and offer your clients improved mobility, decreased pain, a more youthful appearance, and more overall vitality … a clear win-win.