Red/NIR therapy and me

Mary

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I first bought a red/nir light device about a year ago, inspired by this thread by @Aspen: My Red/Near Infrared Light Therapy Experiment | Phoenix Rising ME/CFS Forums I ended up returning my first device because it was too large and difficult for me to maneuver. I didn't have the stamina to stand in front of it for 10 minutes or more and it couldn't be used laying down (that would bIock fans, and cause the unit to shut off). I went with Mito Red Light because of the 60 degree beam angle, good reviews, a live person almost always answered the phone and patiently answered questions and admitted when he didn't know the answer, and the 60-day money back return guarantee if you didn't like it. I had to pay return shipping, which was fair. A week after I returned it no acknowledgement of the return so I called and he apologized, he'd been out of town, and the money was credited back to my credit card within a day or 2.

So then I ordered this device, much smaller and easier to maneuver, which is what I've been using for some months now. The stand is invaluable, it lets me situate it anywhere.

So - the red light does seem to increase my energy. I haven't used it continuously for an extended length of time - there were interruptions for various things, but am getting back to using it about 5 days a week, 15 minutes on my torso and 15 minutes on my back, once a day. And several times I've had a noticeable increase in energy, an hour or so after using it I'm seriously considering getting the larger unit again as I'd like to use it on my face as well so I could do front and back torso in 30 minutes total, instead of having to keep shifting my position in front of the small unit. I think I do have more stamina than before and think I might be able to tolerate standing for 10 or even 15 minutes to use the device (it can hang on a door).

Several months ago my left shoulder was getting very sore, out of the blue, and getting progressively worse. It reminded me of a frozen shoulder I'd had several years ago which took a few months to recover from. So I started the red light on it, 15 or 20 minutes once a day, and within 2 weeks my shoulder was more than 50% better. My shoulder now has a few twinges, but I haven't used the red light on it in a few months - it takes time to do it! I have no doubt that if I used the light on my shoulder a bit more, it would recover all the way.

It also relieved a sore muscle, tendon, I don't know what it was on my inner right thigh. It had been sore for several years but was the least of my worries so I just ignored it, and then this year it started to get very sore, such that just putting on a pair of pants or driving my car was getting quite painful and I was going ow! ow! ow! when I had to do anything like that. 2 weeks of using the red light was amazing - again, over 50% better, and rapidly got even better. My leg doesn't hurt any more at all - this is after several years of hurting.

One of my sisters has rheumatoid arthritis and has noticeably improved energy since using this for a couple of weeks. she only tried it a couple of times at first, didn't notice much and stopped. I bugged her and finally she agreed to try it daily for 2 weeks, and was surprised to find her energy improved a lot, reduced need for a nap during day, and just felt better so now is doing it every day.

Another person I know is very tightly wound, finds it very hard to relax, and is also very skeptical of anything like this - but he gave it a try too and liked it immediately. It is calming and soothing. Some people say it helps with sleep but I've been too afraid to try it at night in case it revved me up! One of these days I may give that a go. Many people say their pets like to lie in the light.

Anyways, I don't regret my purchase at all - I'm so grateful to @Aspen who got me started on this. I'm not including any research links here - they're easy to find. I may post some later -

One last thing - after using the red lights, my lips get red. I think it's increasing blood flow or oxygenating the blood, not sure what, but something good --
 

Jyoti

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This is fantastic, @Mary! So glad it is working so well for you. And it seems like there is more to come? Or the promise of that? Hope that if you can get a bigger unit you will be able to accomplish more in the same amount of time. It does sound like it definitely softens knots and relieves pain, which is a great thing to have on board. The energy increases are interesting as well. And always welcome! Thanks for sharing your experiences.

I got the same model you now have, Mary, because of your enthusiasm for it. I often end up joking about the many devices that cost about $350 each that I have to choose between, money definitely being an object here. It certainly felt like a worthwhile thing to try amongst the many, and because of your good experience returning the first device, I decided to give it a go. The stakes were not too high.

My target areas were almost exclusively on my neck, face and upper back. I thought it might be worth giving the stellate ganglion a good dose too, just to see if anything interesting happened.

Like you, I found some reduction in pain and a relaxing glow after using it. Very nice. However, I had difficulty finding a set-up or position that worked for me. I got myself into pretzel shapes trying to get the right part of my body into the beam, holding stances that created stress in other parts of my body. In addition, goggles are strongly recommended for any use wherein the light might reach your eyes. Almost everything I was doing required the goggles.

Long and short: I started dreading my daily sessions where I would sit in the imposed dark, sweating under the goggles, twisted into an unsupportable position, unable to use my eyes for anything that helped to pass the time and counting the seconds till I could be done.

I think the logistical problems could be solved, and though I did try a number of means to make it all work out better, I never found the right pose or plan for it. After a couple of weeks where I managed to find a hundred excuses every day to avoid the Mito Red (and I am not much of a procrastinator) I had to admit that despite its benefits, it was not particularly conferring them on me. Yet.

I returned it, paid the postage, which wasn't cheap, but also wasn't at all unreasonable for having had the 'loan' of this device for a couple of months, and was refunded the purchase price in a prompt fashion.

I wouldn't rule out trying it again some time, but would need to think more carefully about how I might make use of it in a way that I could incorporate into my routine.

I hope you keep us posted on how things continue to evolve with your use of it, @Mary.
 

Mary

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Hi Jyoti - I think part of its action is to reduce inflammation. And studies have shown also that mitochondria have photoreceptors which respond to various wavelengths of light - the NIR light especially can penetrate a bit through the skin. One of these days when I have "spare" energy I'll post some links. It's also been called cold laser therapy and has been used for many years by various practitioners.

About getting into the right position - yeah, it can be tricky, but I think if you just shone the light on the target area - e.g., the neck, you wouldn't have to pinpoint the exact spot - the light would shine on the target and surrounding area. You don't want to get too close anyways - I think 5" or 6" is the very closest and 10" 15" is just fine. So I don't think you have to be that precise - e.g., I think you could illuminate your upper back and you'd get what you wanted. Does this make sense? I did have to experiment with getting the device at the proper height (I used boxes and books!) and made a set up where I could sit comfortably on the floor at the right height. Or if I had a chair by a table that could work too - but I didn't really have to make myself into a pretzel.

About the goggles - I just used them if I was doing my face, where the light was shining directly into my eyes. I didn't wear them if there was ambient red light. Actually, this type of red light is being used to treat macular degeneration and other eye problems. I did some research on this awhile ago, and some of the damage from MD was being reversed with the red light. I'm not recommending that anyone treat themselves or stare into the light, but that I don't think there is any danger from ambient red light and it very well may be beneficial. See below:

3 minutes of deep red light once per week may improve vision (medicalnewstoday.com)
Morning Exposure to Deep Red Light Improves Declining Eyesight - Neuroscience News

I'd want to do a little more research about some of the claims in this article:
Is Red Led Light Therapy Bad for Your Eyes? Let's Find Out (platinumtherapylights.com)

Long and short: I started dreading my daily sessions where I would sit in the imposed dark, sweating under the goggles, twisted into an unsupportable position, unable to use my eyes for anything that helped to pass the time and counting the seconds till I could be done.
Yeah, that would be miserable! :eek: I think it can be made a little more comfortable ;)

I will keep you posted how it goes!
 

Mary

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@Jyoti - something just popped into my head. The red light therapy is not like a laser beam which does have to be very very carefully aimed at a very precise spot, no room for "thereabouts" with laser! The red light is totally different, and is effective if you just target the general area where you want the relief - it should cover everything within that area. Maybe this will help?