The Science of Photobiomodulation

Photobiomodulation, Bio-light, LLLT (Low-Level-Laser-Theraphy), Red / infrared light therapy have gained a lot of attention in recent years due to their benefits for the body. These therapies work by using specific wavelengths of light to penetrate the skin and stimulate various cellular functions. In this article, we will explore the effects of red light and infrared therapy on the body in depth.

Charged particles, such as electrons, play a crucial role in the function of living cells. They are involved in processes such as respiration, photosynthesis, and the generation of electrical signals in the nervous system. Photons, which are particles of light, also play a role in the function of cells. They can excite electrons in molecules, leading to chemical reactions and changes in the structure and function of cells.

In photobiomodulation, specific wavelengths of light are used to interact with cells and tissues in the body. This is because different wavelengths of light have different levels of energy, and can interact with different parts of cells and tissues. For example, red light has a longer wavelength and lower energy than blue light, and can penetrate deeper into tissues. Infrared light, which has an even longer wavelength, can penetrate even deeper.

One of the main cellular effects of red light and infrared therapy is increased energy production. This is because the light wavelengths are absorbed by the mitochondria, which are the powerhouses of the cell responsible for producing ATP, the body's energy currency. When the mitochondria absorb these wavelengths, they are able to produce ATP more efficiently, leading to increased energy levels throughout the body.

An important effect of red light and infrared therapy is the activation of various cellular signaling pathways. These pathways play a key role in regulating cellular function and can have a wide range of benefits. For example, red light therapy has been shown to activate the AMPK pathway, which helps to regulate cellular metabolism and energy production. Activation of this pathway has been linked to a range of health benefits, including improved insulin sensitivity, increased fat burning with specific wavelengths, and reduced inflammation.

Infrared therapy has also been shown to activate various cellular signaling pathways, including the heat shock response and the production of nitric oxide. The heat shock response is a cellular stress response that is triggered by exposure to heat, which can lead to improved cellular function and protection against oxidative stress. Nitric oxide is a signaling molecule that helps to regulate blood flow and immune function, and has been linked to a range of health benefits.

The benefits of red light and infrared therapy can vary depending on the specific wavelength and irradiance used, as well as the duration of treatment. Most studies have used irradiance levels between 20 and 200 milliwatts per square centimeter, with treatment times ranging from a few minutes to several hours.

In general, studies have found that light in the range of 580-1000nm are the most effective for photobiomodulation. The irradiance used in studies can vary greatly, with some studies using as little as 5mW/cm2 and others using up to 500mW/cm2. The optimal irradiance for photobiomodulation appears to be in the range of 40-100mW/cm2.

Studies have also investigated the use of pulsed and continuous wave light, with both types showing potential benefits for photobiomodulation. However, the specific pulse duration and frequency used in studies can vary greatly and more research is needed to determine the optimal parameters for this approach.

It's important to note that the specific parameters used in photobiomodulation studies can greatly impact its effectiveness.

At the smallest scales, the effects of photobiomodulation can be explained by the interaction of charged particles and photons. When photons of a specific wavelength are absorbed by a molecule, they can excite electrons, leading to changes in the molecule's energy and structure. This can trigger a cascade of reactions within the cell, leading to changes in cellular function.

At the largest scales, the effects of photobiomodulation can be seen in the well-being of the organism as a whole. By interacting with cells and tissues in the body, photobiomodulation can promote and improve cellular function. It is a powerful tool that harnesses the energy of photons to bring about beneficial changes in the body and improve overall health and wellness.


  1. Hamblin, M. R. (2018). Mechanisms and applications of the anti-inflammatory effects of photobiomodulation. AIMS biophysics, 5(4), 337-361.

  2. Avci, P., Gupta, A., Sadasivam, M., Vecchio, D., Pam, Z., & Hamblin, M. R. (2013). Low-level

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