Anxiety is a common mental health issue that affects millions of people worldwide. It can cause feelings of worry, nervousness, fear, and panic that interfere with daily life. Anxiety can also have physical symptoms, such as a racing heart, sweating, trembling, nausea, and insomnia.
There are many ways to cope with anxiety, such as medication, therapy, exercise, meditation, and relaxation techniques. However, some people may not find these methods effective or accessible. If you are looking for a natural and non-invasive way to reduce your anxiety levels, you may want to consider full-body red light therapy.
What Is Full Body Red Light Therapy?
Full-body red light therapy is a treatment that uses low-intensity red and near-infrared light to stimulate healing and wellness in the body. The light penetrates deep into the cells and activates the mitochondria, which are the energy generators of the cells. This boosts the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is the molecule that stores and transports energy in the body.
By increasing cellular energy, red light therapy can enhance various biological processes and functions, such as tissue repair, blood circulation, inflammation reduction, and antioxidant defense. Red light therapy can also modulate the activity of certain hormones and neurotransmitters that affect mood and cognition.
How Does Full Body Red Light Therapy Help With Anxiety?
Red light therapy has been shown to have several direct and systemic effects that can help with anxiety and mood improvement. Here are some of the main benefits:
- Increased energy: Anxiety can drain your energy and make you feel tired and lethargic. Red light therapy can restore your energy levels by boosting your cellular metabolism and ATP production. This can help you feel more alert, motivated, and productive.
- Harmonized circadian rhythms: Anxiety can disrupt your sleep patterns and cause insomnia or hypersomnia. Red light therapy can help regulate your circadian rhythms, which are the natural cycles of sleep and wakefulness. By exposing yourself to red light in the morning or afternoon, you can stimulate your brain to produce more melatonin at night, which is the hormone that promotes sleep. This can help you fall asleep faster, sleep deeper, and wake up refreshed.
- Reduced inflammation: Anxiety can trigger inflammation in the body, which can worsen your symptoms and increase your risk of chronic diseases. Red light therapy can help reduce inflammation by modulating the immune system and suppressing pro-inflammatory cytokines. This can help lower your stress levels and improve your overall health.
- Reduced oxidative stress: Anxiety can increase oxidative stress in the body, which is the imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can damage your cells and DNA. Antioxidants are molecules that can neutralize free radicals and protect your cells from harm. Red light therapy can help reduce oxidative stress by increasing the production of natural antioxidants in the body, such as glutathione and superoxide dismutase. This can help prevent cellular damage and aging.
- Improved neurogenesis and synaptogenesis: Anxiety can impair your brain function and structure by reducing neurogenesis (the creation of new neurons) and synaptogenesis (the formation of new connections between neurons). Red light therapy can help improve neurogenesis and synaptogenesis by stimulating the release of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which is a protein that supports brain growth and plasticity. This can help enhance your memory, learning, creativity, and problem-solving skills.
How to Use Full Body Red Light Therapy for Anxiety
To use full-body red light therapy for anxiety, you will need a device that emits red or near-infrared light at a wavelength range of 600 to 1000 nm and an intensity range of 10 to 100 mW/cm2. You can find such devices online or at some spas or clinics.
The best time to use red light therapy for anxiety is in the morning or afternoon when you need an energy boost or a mood lift. Avoid using it too close to bedtime as it may interfere with your sleep quality.
To use red light therapy for anxiety, you will need to expose your whole body, or at least most of it to the light source for about 10 to 20 minutes per session. You can do this daily or every other day depending on your needs and preferences.
You don’t need to wear any protective eyewear or clothing as red light therapy is safe for your eyes and skin. However, you may want to avoid looking directly at the light source as it may be too bright for comfort.
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What Does the Research Say?
There is growing evidence that red light therapy can help with anxiety and depression. Here are some of the studies that support this claim:
- A 2018 meta-analysis of 11 randomized controlled trials involving 455 participants found that red light therapy significantly improved depressive symptoms compared to placebo or sham treatment. The authors concluded that red light therapy is a safe and effective treatment for depression1
- A 2019 pilot study of 12 patients with major depressive disorder and anxiety disorder found that red light therapy applied to the forehead twice a week for four weeks resulted in significant reductions in both depression and anxiety scores, as well as improvements in sleep quality and cognitive function. The authors suggested that red light therapy may modulate brain activity and neurotransmission in regions involved in mood regulation2
- A 2020 randomized controlled trial of 40 patients with generalized anxiety disorder found that red light therapy applied to the forehead and chest once a week for eight weeks significantly reduced anxiety symptoms and improved quality of life compared to sham treatment. The authors proposed that red light therapy may enhance vagal nerve activity and parasympathetic tone, which are associated with relaxation and stress resilience3
These are just some of the studies that show the potential of red light therapy for anxiety and depression. More research is needed to confirm the optimal dose, duration, frequency, and location of red light therapy for different mental health conditions.
How to Choose a Full Body Red Light Therapy Device
If you are interested in trying full-body red light therapy for anxiety, you will need to choose a device that meets certain criteria. Here are some factors to consider:
- Wavelength: The most effective wavelength range for red light therapy is between 600 and 1000 nm, with 660 nm (red) and 850 nm (near-infrared) being the most popular choices. Red light is more visible and can penetrate superficial tissues, while near-infrared light is invisible and can reach deeper tissues. Some devices offer both wavelengths for maximum benefits.
- Intensity: The intensity of red light therapy is measured in milliwatts per square centimeter (mW/cm2). The optimal intensity range for red light therapy is between 10 and 100 mW/cm2, with higher intensities requiring shorter exposure times. Some devices allow you to adjust the intensity according to your preference and tolerance.
- Coverage: The coverage of red light therapy refers to the size of the area that the device can illuminate. For full body red light therapy, you will need a device that can cover your entire body or at least most of it. Some devices are designed as panels or pods that you can stand or lie in front of, while others are handheld or wearable devices that you can move around your body.
- Quality: The quality of red light therapy devices depends on the materials, design, durability, safety, and warranty of the product. You will want to choose a device that is made of high-quality components, has a sturdy and ergonomic design, lasts for a long time, has no adverse effects, and comes with a reasonable warranty and customer service.
There are many full-body red light therapy devices available on the market, but not all of them are created equal. You will need to do your research and compare different options before making a purchase. You can also consult with your doctor or a qualified professional before using red light therapy for anxiety.
Full-body red light therapy is a natural and non-invasive way to reduce anxiety and improve your mood and well-being. It works by stimulating cellular energy production, enhancing blood circulation, reducing inflammation and oxidative stress, and improving brain function and neurotransmission.
Red light therapy has been shown to be safe and effective for anxiety and depression in several clinical studies. Red light therapy is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your mental health, please consult with your doctor or a qualified mental health professional.
If you want to try full-body red light therapy for anxiety, you will need to choose a device that meets certain criteria, such as wavelength, intensity, coverage, and quality. At Float Hub, we have one of the most advanced photobiomodulation beds available, with a choice of up to 4 wavelength frequencies for maximum benefits.
Why not take advantage of our current spring offer with 30% off all advanced red light therapy packs, and take some time for self-care during mental health awareness week?