The Difference Between Red Light & Infrared Light Therapy

Light therapy is an umbrella term that’s been batted around for a while, not always clearly defined. You’ve probably heard of it due to its booming popularity either from watching videos, word of mouth, or from advertisements for a variety of holistic and wellness products that have flooded the market. Under that umbrella fall various kinds of light therapy, including red light and infrared light therapy. In general, light therapy is ususally a type of healing modality.

Infrared saunas are one of those modalities. And before you buy one, you’ll want to have a clear idea of what to look for and what type of therapy each provides. First, let’s define what the terms mean and what each type of light provides.

What Is Light Therapy?

Light therapy, also called bright light therapy or phototherapy, is a natural healing method for certain conditions and issues within the human body. One type of light therapy is sun exposure or something that mimics that light, like a sun lamp. The second type is more controlled and comes from a fabricated heat source. This includes light panels, light wands, and more.

Much like plants that use the sun’s energy for photosynthesis, humans use the energy of sunlight, or similar types of light to create energy and use it as a sort of ‘healing fuel’. When skin is exposed to certain light it kickstarts chemical interactions within the body and causes positive changes including boosting circulation, healing wounds, and changing our overall mood.

Even though we can’t see what’s happening, there are many internal interactions occurring that are working hard to help heal and repair. Lack of sunlight in particular can cause a host of cognitive issues, cancers, and bone development issues to name a few.

So, let’s compare and contrast red light therapy and infrared light therapy.

Red Light Therapy vs Infrared Light Therapy

Red light therapy, often referred to as low-power laser therapy (LPLT), photobiomodulation (PBM), or low-level laser therapy (LLLT) can be explained, according to Cleveland Medical Clinic asa treatment that uses low wavelength red light to improve your skin’s appearance, such as reducing wrinklesscars, redness and acne. It’s also used to treat other medical conditions.” When it comes to red light therapy, one of the questions that people ask most is whether tanning booths are considered red light. Rest assured, it is not the same. Tanning booths emit UV rays that could damage the skin and the cells, while red light does not.

Medical professionals frequently offer red light therapy as a more homeopathic, less invasive, skin treatment at certain clinics. However, there are many products you can purchase that are easy and safe to use at home. Red light therapy is also referred to as near-infrared light. If your sauna comes with chromotherapy, you can benefit from red light, or near-infrared, in addition to mid- and far-infrared.

Infrared light waves, unlike red light, are invisible to the naked eye, but you can feel it. Infrared light therapy’s most natural source is the sun. However, you can gain the benefits of infrared  without risking sunburn or damage from UV rays. Health Mate saunas feature low-emf, nonharmful infrared.

Infrared light therapy is especially helpful if you experience acute or chronic pain, muscle issues and circulation problems. Because it penetrates deep below the skin layers, it provides a greater range of healing from the inside. The penetration ultimately increases blood flow, which helps to repair injuries or bodily trauma.

Let’s learn more about the benefits.

What Are The Main Benefits Of Each?

Although there is some overlap on what kinds of conditions and issues these two kinds of therapies treat, the differences are there, and depending on what your specific needs are, you can choose accordingly. If you’re unsure about what kind is best for you, consult a medical professional.

According to this graphic, we can see the differences of how red light therapy vs infrared sauna light affects the body, and how deep they go inside subcutaneously.

Infrared light levels
Image credit: It’s Now You

Both red light therapy and infrared light therapy offer their fair share of health aids. While studies and clinical research are ongoing, evidence suggests the following benefits.

Red light benefits:

  • Decrease wrinkles
  • Help heal scars and wounds
  • Increase melatonin production
  • Enhance eye health
  • Reduce anxiety
  • And much more

Infrared light benefits:

The great news? Health Mate offers saunas that provide both red light and infrared, through its full-spectrum saunas. These offer the benefit of red light or chromotherapy via LED panels along with high-quality, lasting heaters that provide a dual-wave mid- and far-infrared.

But, what about safety?

Are There Risks Or Side Effects?

As with any type of procedure or treatment, complications can occur with overexposure or misuse. This applies to both red and infrared light therapy, even with regular use. Ultimately, you should always follow any medical or product guidelines to ensure you are exposing yourself within proper timelines, at safe temperatures, and are not prone to any particular medical reactions based on your existing health condition.

Since studies and findings are still being reported, we are continually updating any supportive claims and negative outcomes in order to ensure the safety of our customers and potential customers.

The Bottom Line

Ultimately, light therapy is a safe, effective way to improve your health. If you make sure to follow the advice of your medical practitioner, health professional, or product guidelines, you should reap the many benefits it can provide.

Check out our large selection of saunas and take the next step to improve your health with infrared sauna therapy. Health Mate has been the industry leader in manufacturing award-winning saunas for over 40 years. Contact us today for information regarding our saunas, quotes, and how to order.