The Different Colors of LED Light Therapy
Light seems to demonstrate a strong relationship with the proteins of the body and these proteins can be specifically activated by certain wavelengths (colors) due to their absorption characteristics. When the body is exposed to certain wavelengths, we can shift the electron potential in the targeted tissue and a beneficial biological response may be exhibited by the tissue.
The diverse tissue and cell types in the body all have their own unique light absorption characteristics. They will absorb light at specific wavelengths and not at others. For example, skin layers, because of their high blood and water content, absorb red light very readily, while calcium and phosphorus absorb light of a different wavelength in the infrared spectrum.
Although both red and infrared wavelengths penetrate to different depths and affect tissues differently, the therapeutic effects can be quite similar. Near Infrared (750 nm-1400 nm) due to its longer wavelength can penetrate deep into the body based on power level, right down to bones and even make them vibrate creating space and subsequently, pass through them. This makes it ideal for working on issues concerning the internal organs, glands, musculoskeletal issues where bone, cartilage, joints, ligament and deep muscle tissue are involved. Visible blue light at wavelengths from 430 to 500 nm penetrate tissue to a depth of approx. 5 mm. Light at this wavelength can be very beneficial when dealing with skin and surface related issues, but also shows great benefit to some of the deeper organs functioning (liver function and bile conversion). Issues such as wounds, cuts, scars, abrasions, deviations in the skin (psoriasis, eczema, acne) and specially inflammation and certain infections which may be antibiotic resistant respond well to blue light.
Red vs. Blue vs. Near-Infrared
When we think of color, we can also think of Yin and Yang. As Acupuncturists and Color Therapists, we know that red is Yang in nature (stimulating, warming, invigorating) and blue is Yin (cooling, soothing, nourishing). According to Wesley Burwell, “Blue light is the best when working skin situations as it helps with the conversion of bilirubin under the skin which is primarily the issue with skin eruptions. Blue light also helps to speed up DNA and RNA synthesis which means it helps the cells to produce proteins to fix itself and also aid other cells by donating these proteins. Blue light also speeds up detoxification of the cells as well, is considered anti-pathogenic (bacterial, fungal, parasitic, viral, etc.). Helps to stimulate DNA telomerase enzyme which is responsible for rebuilding the telomeres (protective tips) of the DNA strand and also helps to rebuild lost proteins or genetic material which holds the information for things such as hair color, etc. Blue light and near-infrared is the most commonly used in the cosmetic world because of their ability to affect any skin issue, including scars, birthmarks, stretch marks, aging (degeneration), and acne. Blue light also increases Nitric Oxide locally in the epidermis (skin) which increases blood flow and lymph flow which will help break down and dissolve acidosis conditions in the skin (age spots). Blue light on the skin can also help with mood disorders and also boost neurotransmitter production, specifically serotonin, although it doing so it can reduce production of melatonin. You could also use it for toenail fungus. ANY area that is red and inflamed, the blue/NIR will calm it down quicker than any other.
Near- Infrared is the best for stimulating collagen production and synthesis which is the basis for most wrinkles getting set up in the tissues. Blue light is also beneficial for the thyroid and throat issues, also good for lymph stimulation, and nervous system rebalancing. It is also very good for helping with liver functions, in restoring and balancing, relative to bile flow. Because of it’s nourishing yin qualities, blue light is also very good for lung issues as well (phlegm, cough, constricted breathing). Visible light is only a very small part of the total spectrum of rays reaching us from the sun and other parts of the universe. The visible spectrum itself is measured in nanometers. The most beneficial wavelengths are in the visible and near infrared ranges.