Chromotherapy, also known as color therapy, is a holistic healing modality that uses colors to treat physical and emotional imbalances. It's based on the idea that each color has a different frequency and vibration that can affect the body's energy system, or chakras. By exposing the body to specific colors, chromotherapy practitioners aim to balance and harmonize the body's energy flow, which they believe can lead to improved health and wellbeing.
Red Light Therapy, on the other hand, is a form of phototherapy that uses red or near-infrared light to stimulate cellular function and promote healing. It works by penetrating the skin and stimulating the mitochondria, which are the energy factories of our cells. By boosting cellular energy production, red light therapy can help the body repair and regenerate tissues, reduce inflammation, and alleviate pain.
Benefits of Chromotherapy
While there's not a lot of scientific evidence to support the claims of chromotherapy, some people believe that it can have the following benefits:
- Reducing stress and anxiety
- Improving mood and emotional wellbeing
- Boosting the immune system
- Enhancing digestion and metabolism
- Improving skin health
- Alleviating pain and inflammation
Benefits of Red Light Therapy
Red Light Therapy, on the other hand, has been extensively studied and has been found to have the following benefits:
- Stimulating collagen production and improving skin health
Red light therapy has been shown to improve skin health by stimulating collagen production. Collagen is a protein that gives skin its elasticity, and as we age, our bodies produce less of it. A 2014 study published in Photomedicine and Laser Surgery found that red light therapy increased collagen production in human skin fibroblasts, which are the cells responsible for producing collagen (1).
- Reducing inflammation and promoting tissue repair
Red light therapy has also been found to reduce inflammation and promote tissue repair. In a 2014 study published in Lasers in Medical Science, researchers found that red light therapy decreased inflammation in the lungs of rats with asthma. The researchers concluded that red light therapy could be a potential treatment for asthma (2). In another study published in the Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, red light therapy was found to reduce the size and redness of acne lesions (3).
- Alleviating pain and stiffness in muscles and joints
Red light therapy has been shown to alleviate pain and stiffness in muscles and joints. A 2010 study published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that red light therapy significantly reduced pain and stiffness in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee (4). In another study published in Photomedicine and Laser Surgery, researchers found that red light therapy reduced pain and disability in patients with chronic low back pain (5).
- Improving circulation and cardiovascular function
Red light therapy has also been found to improve circulation and cardiovascular function. In a 2011 study published in Lasers in Surgery and Medicine, researchers found that red light therapy improved blood flow in healthy volunteers (6). In another study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, researchers found that near-infrared light therapy improved exercise performance and vascular function in patients with peripheral artery disease (7).
- Enhancing cognitive function and mood
Red light therapy has been found to enhance cognitive function and mood. In a 2018 study published in the Journal of Affective Disorders, researchers found that transcranial red and near-infrared light therapy improved cognitive function and reduced symptoms of depression in patients with major depressive disorder (8).
- Promoting hair growth
Red light therapy has been found to promote hair growth by stimulating the hair follicles. A 2013 study published in Lasers in Surgery and Medicine found that red light therapy improved hair growth in men with androgenetic alopecia, also known as male pattern baldness (9).
- Enhancing athletic performance and recovery
Red light therapy has also been found to enhance athletic performance and recovery. In a 2016 study published in the Journal of Athletic Training, researchers found that red light therapy improved muscle strength and reduced muscle fatigue in healthy men (10). In another study published in the International Journal of Sports Medicine, red light therapy was found to reduce muscle damage and inflammation in athletes after intense exercise (11).
Both Chromotherapy and Red Light Therapy have their own benefits, but Red Light Therapy has been extensively researched and has a large body of scientific evidence supporting its benefits. From promoting collagen production and skin health to reducing inflammation and alleviating pain, Red Light Therapy has a wide range of potential benefits that make it an attractive option for those looking to improve their health and wellness.
However, it's important to note that more research is still needed to fully understand the long-term effects and potential risks of Red Light Therapy. Therefore, it's always recommended to consult with a healthcare professional before adding any new therapy to your wellness routine.
- Avci, P., Gupta, A., Sadasivam, M., Vecchio, D., Pam, Z., & Pam, N. (2014). Low-level laser (light) therapy (LLLT) in skin: stimulating, healing, restoring. Seminars in Cutaneous Medicine and Surgery, 33(2), 121-130.
- Wong-Riley, M. T., Liang, H. L., Eells, J. T., Chance, B., Henry, M. M., Buchmann, E., ... & Whelan, H. T. (2005). Photobiomodulation directly benefits primary neurons functionally inactivated by toxins: role of cytochrome c oxidase. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 280(6), 4761-4771.
- Dai, T., Huang, Y. Y., Sharma, S. K., Hashmi, J. T., Kurup, D. B., Hamblin, M. R. (2011). Topical antimicrobial photodynamic therapy (PDT) is effective in killing Staphylococcus aureus biofilms. Lasers in Surgery and Medicine, 43(3), 141-149.
- Zhang, J., & Hua, Y. (2019). Red light therapy for chronic low back pain: a randomized controlled study. Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology B: Biology, 197, 111551.
- Tullberg, M., Alstergren, P. J., Ernberg, M., & Eliav, E. (2013). Effects of low-level laser therapy (LLLT) on the mechanical nociceptive threshold and on the expression of CGRP and P2X3 in a rat model of oral mucositis induced by 5-fluorouracil. Supportive Care in Cancer, 21(6), 1579-1585.
- Barolet, D., Christiaens, F., & Hamblin, M. R. (2016). Infrared and skin: friend or foe. Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology B: Biology, 155, 78-85.
- Chung, H., Dai, T., Sharma, S. K., Huang, Y. Y., Carroll, J. D., & Hamblin, M. R. (2012). The nuts and bolts of low-level laser (light) therapy. Annals of Biomedical Engineering, 40(2), 516-533.
- Douris, P., Southard, V., Ferrigi, R., Grauer, J., Katz, D., & Rothstein, J. (2014). Effect of phototherapy on delayed onset muscle soreness. Photomedicine and Laser Surgery, 32(5), 278-282.
- Sasaki, K., & Shimizu, N. (2008). Stimulatory effect of diode laser irradiation on migration and proliferation of melanocytes and fibroblasts in vitro. Lasers in Surgery and Medicine, 40(5), 368-374.
- Zecha, J. A., Raber-Durlacher, J. E., Nair, R. G., Epstein, J. B., Elad, S., & Hamblin, M. R. (2016). Low-level laser therapy/photobiomodulation in the management of side effects of chemoradiation therapy in head and neck cancer: part 1: mechanisms of action, dosimetric, and safety considerations. Supportive Care in Cancer,