What is Red Light Therapy?

Red Light & Near Infrared Light Therapy has been scientifically proven in peer reviewed clinical trials to have anti-aging effects on our skin, help with neurological disease, fight depression and anxiety, increase fat loss, speed recovery from exercise, improve your sleep, increase strength and endurance, combat some autoimmune conditions, fight hair loss, and speed healing from injury, all with little to no side effects.

How Red Light Therapy Can Enhance Your Health

Learn more about Red Light Therapy and how it can help improve your health


There are multiple natural skin treatments available on the market right now and the beauty industry is bigger than ever as more and more people are concerned about improving their appearance. The best available treatment for your skin health is red light therapy. There are numerous spas and natural medicine clinics around the world that already have red light therapy on their menus as studies have clearly shown how effective red-light therapy is for skin repair, rejuvenation and anti-ageing affects. Many people are becoming increasing wary of cosmetic injectables like Botox but still want to achieve younger skin, reduce wrinkles or reduce the appearance of scars. These health conscience individuals are turning to red light therapy as a solution due to the amount of peer reviewed science backing up the claims. Red light therapy used 660nm red light to improve skin elasticity, increase collagen, heal wounds and scars. 660nm red light strengthens the mitochondria in your skin cells which the provides benefits to skin ageing and repair.

In 2017 a study was released showing that red light improves skin complexation, decreases inflammation and pain, fades stretch marks and scars, repairs sun damage, reduces wrinkles and quickens the skin’s healing process. The Academic Literature also shows that by utilising red light therapy we can improve blood circulation. This provides more oxygen used for healing to spread quicker throughout the body. This also helps the body tissues rid themselves of toxic chemical by-products. Another benefit of using red light at 660nm is that is lessens acute and chronic inflammation. Like above, it achieved this by delivering more oxygenated blood to the damaged tissue. Clinical trials have shown that red light therapy builds up the body’s antioxidant levels which helps heal and regenerate the skin.

Increasing Collagen and Decreasing Wrinkles

Red Light Therapy improves circulation and has been proven to boost collagen and elastin. Collagen is a protein within the body that keeps your skin youthful and assists with joint and general health. As you age, collagen production reduces therefore red light therapy is crucial in restoring and maintaining a healthy skin. Several studies discovered that people who had been treated with near infrared light had greater levels of collagen than those who weren’t. Multiple human trials have shown that red light therapy boosts natural collagen production.

Red Light Therapy for Skin Conditions

Several studies have shown that red light therapy can be beneficial for the following conditions.

• Eczema and Psoriasis
The positive effects of red light therapy on eczema and psoriasis are evident in the literature. Researchers are noted to have stated that “there were no adverse side effects to using RLT, and that it brought the needed treatment to such skin conditions” on the following study.
• Acne
Research conducted in 2013 by leading light expert Alexander Wunsch demonstrated that red light therapy is effective in treating acne. During the study, they discovered that red light reduced production of sebum known to cause acne and control inflammation.
• Cold Sores
Studies have shown that red light therapy had positive effects on cold sores. Red light therapy reduced breakouts and pain associated with cold sores.
• Pigmentation
Studies have shown that Red Light Therapy helps to treat pigmentation disorders such as vitiligo and albinism. Red Light Therapy is able to increase pigmentation by increasing the production of melanocyte and reducing any autoimmunity within the body causing depigmentation.

Scar and Wound Healing

Clinical trials have shown that red light therapy can help reduce pain and inflammation that occurs after surgery. It also quickens the healing process.

In 2015, researchers performed a meta-analysis on 40 different studies to see if red light therapy sped up the healing of wounds after surgery. The result showed a statistically significant result that red light therapy helped to heal wounds.

In 2004, a study was carried out to see if red light therapy could reduce the appearance of scars. It was discovered that patients who had been under red light therapy had less visible scars than those who weren’t. There were no side effects following treatment.



Dieting and exercise are only part of the solution when it comes to fat loss. Red light therapy can help with the appearance of fat and cellulite, fat loss, controlling appetite and overall body sculpting. Red and Near Infrared Light Therapy has been proven to be a non-invasive, safe, and natural approach to weight management. By getting concentrated wavelengths of red light and near infrared light into your cells with the aim of reducing oxidative stress and stimulating cellular energy production you can help stimulate weight loss.

Clinical studies have shown red light therapy causes lipids to disperse and help eradicate fat-triggering cells. A study has also shown that red light therapy can control hunger-secreting hormones, such as ghrelin, and leptin, which helps with keeping you feeling full after smaller meals.

Below are some important studies that show other associated benefits of red light therapy when it comes to weight management.

• Decreased Cellulite
A group of researchers in 2011 conducted a study on the impact of red light therapy on the reduction of cellulite in the body. The research cantered on a group of women within the 25-55 age brackets. The researchers divided the women into two groups, with one group focusing on treadmill exercise and the other combining red light therapy with treadmill exercise. At the end of the trial, results showed those who combined RLT and exercise had more effective changes in the thigh circumference and cellulite.
• Thighs and Hips
In 2013 a study showed the positive effects of red light therapy in tightening the waist, hips, and thighs. The researchers discovered a mean loss of 2.99 inches in the body’s circumference at the end of the research and they arrived at the conclusion that red light therapy is capable of facilitating a tighter hip, thighs, and waist.
• Reduction in Waistline
A 2011 double-blind and randomized study applied visible red light therapy at 635-680nm on obese individuals. At the end of the study, a statistically significant reduction of the waistline was achieved on each of the participants.
• Decrease in Body Fat
A group of researchers in 2018 initiated triple-blind, placebo-controlled research to determine the impact of red light therapy on individuals undergoing endurance training. The outcome showed that pre-exercise treatment using light therapy is more efficient than placebo in facilitating a reduction in body fat.



There are many studies that show red light therapy has a positive influence on physical performance.

Red light therapy not only improves physical performance but also helps deal with delayed onset muscle soreness. For this reason, many professional athletes and world-renowned trainers have taken a liking to red light therapy. By using near infrared light at 850nm cells kin your muscles are stimulated in a process known as photobiostimulation and oxidative stress is decreased. More energy is also generated which increases speed of recovery and provides more energy for better performance. Infrared wavelengths of light encourage the production of antioxidants which reduces oxidative stress which is known to have a strong association with fatigue. Antioxidants also promote the production of heat proteins which prevent oxidative stress as shown in this study.

Various studies have shown that red light therapy improves blood circulation which improves oxygen and nutrient supply to the site of injury or muscle in need of recovery. As a result the rate of healing is increased and toxic substances are removed in the process.

There are many studies that show that red light therapy may help prevent muscle soreness and fatigue. Some of the most important are listed below:

• Delayed Onset of Muscle Soreness
Pain and stiffness felt a few days following a workout or physical activity is termed delayed onset of muscle soreness (DOMS). A clinical trial investigating the impact of red light therapy and exercise came to the following conclusions:

- Participants treated with red light therapy experienced a more significant reduction in pain compared to those in the control group.
- The pain scores as assessed by the McGill Pain Questionnaires were significantly different in a 48-hour period.
- Summarily, red light therapy has a positive impact on symptoms relating to DOMS.

• Less Running Damage
A 2012 clinical trial showed that red light therapy can reduce oxidative stress and muscle injury in runners. This was achieved by modifying the redox system in their cells.
• Less Knee Muscle Fatigue
A 2018 study signalled that the use of red light prior and following exercise resulted in less muscle fatigue.
• Workout Recovery
Findings from a 2014 clinical trial indicates that red light therapy reduces muscle soreness following vigorous physical activity, particularly when applied immediately after.



Researches say that the level of testosterone begins to drop after the age of 30 in men. It gets worse when the level of testosterone begins to dwindle at a faster pace. Medical conditions like weight gain, low sex drive, muscle loss, and lower energy could manifest, as shown here. A group of researchers from the University of Siena conducted a placebo-controlled pilot study in 2016 to ascertain the impact of Red-Light Therapy on testosterone in men with low sexual desire. The result, the light therapy group’s testosterone level grew from 2.1 ng/ml to about 3.6 ng/ml within two weeks. The mechanisms by which red light therapy improves testosterone levels is still a mystery.

The first and most important consideration is the ability of the human body to absorb Near Field Infrared Light, thereby, paving the way for an increase in Cellular Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP). Aside from the capability of ATP energy to facilitate many bodily processes, some other studies allude to the fact that the application of Red and Near Infrared Light wavelengths triggers the Leydig cells. These are cells charged with the responsibility of producing testosterone in the testicles. Therefore, it makes sense that the increase of chemical energy transportation in the form of ATP is efficient in facilitating an increase in the testosterone hormone.



More than 60 million adults in the USA have arthritis or join conditions. Studies have shown that arthritic pain is the leading cause of disability in the United States. Usually, medications and surgery are the major options in managing arthritis. There are hundreds of clinical trials that provide evidence on the positive effects of red light therapy on arthritic symptoms, especially joint pain and inflammation.

Below is an outline of the noteworthy results of these studies involving osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, as well as hand, knee, wrist, and spinal pain.
• Osteoarthritis Knee Pain
Multiple studies carried out between 2015 and 2018 show a reduction in pain due to knee osteoarthritis with the application of red light therapy. An excellent example can be found here.
• Cartilage Regeneration
In 2017 a study looked at examining knee cartilages of lower mammals. The findings demonstrate that there is an enhancement in knee cartilage regeneration via “biochemical modifications”.
• Meniscal Tears
In 2013 researchers from Europe carried out a clinical trial aimed at examining the effect of red light therapy on the pain levels of patients with meniscal pathology. The results were very positive.
• Hand Osteoarthritis
A meta-analysis published in 2015 showed a significant effect of ultrasound and red light therapy in the management of hand osteoarthritis in females – a major reduction in pain being one of the benefits.
• Rheumatoid Arthritis
There was a 70% decrease in pain when red light therapy was applied compared to the instances where placebo therapy was used. This study supports this.
• Morning Stiffness
Red light therapy positively affects hand flexibility. Morning stiffness only lasted for an average 27.5 minutes when compared when light therapy was not used, which was much longer. See here for details.



The thyroid is a tiny gland in the neck that secretes hormones responsible for your metabolism. This means weight gain, fatigue, anxiety and much more is quite common when you have a sub-optimal performing thyroid. There are rising cases of thyroid dysfunction such a Hashimotos and hypothyroidism. Early results from clinical research on the thyroids of other mammals uphold the belief that light therapy has positive effects in the treatment of thyroid related issues.

A team of Brazilian-based researchers are working on a 3-year randomised, placebo-controlled trial on 43 patients with a history of hypothyroidism. The essence of the research was to evaluate the long-term effects of the therapy on more patients suffering from thyroid disorders. Part of the outlined findings is a 9-month follow up of the patients’ response to the therapy.

Below are their Findings:

• Limited need for Levothyroxine

One of the high points of the findings of the research is the discovery that people suffering from thyroid conditions tend to have limited need for Levothyroxine (a pill aimed at treating thyroid issues).

• A Decline in the Levels of Thyroid Peroxidase (TPOAb)

Another finding of the research is the decline in thyroid peroxidase (TPOAb). These antibodies indicate a problem in the autoimmune system. Therefore, a decline in their levels laid credence to the fact that near-infrared light therapy could be a better solution to thyroid disorders.

• Improved Thyroid Function

Going by the data obtained at the end of the research and the subsequent 9-month follow up period, the researchers concluded that light therapy is “effective at improving thyroid function, promoting reduced TPOAb-mediated autoimmunity, and increasing thyroid echogenicity in patients with CAT hypothyroidism” as shown in this study.



Red light therapy is a non-invasive, safe and simple treatment that delivers concentrated red (660nm) and near infrared light (850nm) to your skin and cells. Red light and near infrared light helps activate our mitochdonria, which are our cell’s batteries. Our mitochondria are responsible for energy production via electron chain transport. Energy is produced when oxygen from the water and food we eat binds to cytochrome c-oxidase at the final stage of electron chain transport. The result is the production of energy (ATP)

When we run biological processes in our body from breathing and moving we create nitric oxide which causes inflammation. Oxygen that was used to create energy favours binding with nitric oxide which means less oxygen is then available to create energy. Red light at 660nm and 850nm breaks down nitric oxide which frees up more oxygen for energy production and reduces inflammation.

Other names for red light therapy are photobiomodulation (PBM) or Low-Level Light Therapy (LLLT). Not all red light has the same effect on our bodies. It appears that the most beneficial is visible red light at 660nm and invisible near infrared light at 850nm.

Hive contains red light at 660nm and invisible near infrared light at 850nm. According to research by Dr. Michael Hamblin, M.D., an associate professor at Harvard Medical School, the most effective wavelengths within the natural light spectrum found to be extremely beneficial at the cellular level are 660nm and 850nm.

As you can see on the following diagram, wavelengths of 660nm and higher are able to penetrate deeper into the body, providing a much more effective treatment.


The total amount of energy delivered per area during treatment is measured in Joules/cm2. This is calculated by multiplying the irradiance of the device by the treatment time in seconds, divided by 1000. Be careful with other red light therapy devices as they often inflate their irradiance levels.

HIVE delivers 51.2 mw/cm2 which is plenty for the most optimal session of red light. To learn more about the benefits of red light therapy from scientific studies click here.