Red Light Therapy for Migraines: Does It Help?

Red Light Therapy for Migraines: Does It Help?

At Mito Red Light, we're all about harnessing the power of light to support your well-being — but how does this apply to migraines? 

Red light therapy, using specific wavelengths, helps target the body’s cells to potentially support energy and promote a soothing effect. 

In this article, we dive deep into the science of migraines and explore whether red light therapy could be a part of your wellness toolkit. Stick with us as we illuminate the possibilities and help you understand just how red light therapy might fit into your health strategy.

What Are Migraines?

Migraines are not your typical headaches. These episodes stem from complex changes in the brain, involving nerve pathways and chemicals, which influence blood flow in the brain and surrounding tissues.

What Causes Migraines?

The exact triggers of migraines vary widely among individuals, but some common culprits include hormonal shifts, certain foods and beverages, stress, and changes in sleep patterns. Environmental factors like bright lights or loud noises can also kick-start a migraine. 

Essentially, it's a perfect storm of internal and external factors that disrupt normal brain activity, leading to the symptoms migraine sufferers know all too well. What are those symptoms, you ask? 

Here are some of the most common migraine symptoms:

  • Severe, throbbing pain, often on one side of the head
  • Sensitivity to light, sound, and sometimes smells and touch
  • Visual disturbances known as aura, which can include flashes of light, blind spots, or tingling on one side of the face or in an arm or leg
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dizziness or a feeling of being lightheaded

Each migraine experience can vary from person to person, but the common thread is that they're far more than just a headache. 

What Is Red Light Therapy?

Red light therapy (RLT) is a groundbreaking approach rooted in some of today's most advanced science. RLT utilizes specific wavelengths of red and near-infrared light to interact with various parts of the body at a cellular level.

How Does Red Light Therapy Work?

The science behind red light therapy is fascinating. It primarily targets the mitochondria, the powerhouse of the cell, which are responsible for generating most of the cell's supply of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the energy currency of the cell. 

By exposing these mitochondria to red and near-infrared light, red light therapy aims to support and maintain their function, potentially leading to enhanced cellular energy production.

This process begins when light photons are absorbed by a molecule within the mitochondria known as cytochrome c oxidase. This absorption may help support the mitochondria’s performance, helping to maintain healthy cellular function and energy levels.

Red light therapy is delivered through devices that emit light at specific red and near-infrared wavelengths, typically ranging from about 630nm to near-infrared levels of around 850nm. These devices come in various forms, from large panels to targeted devices, allowing for flexibility in how they are used.

It’s important to note that while red light therapy interacts with the body on a cellular level, it does not claim to prevent, treat, or cure any conditions. Instead, it's a tool designed to support and maintain the body’s natural functions, providing a foundation that may help the body carry out its intricate processes more effectively.

What Are the Benefits of Red Light Therapy?

Now that you’re tuned into the basics of red light therapy, you might be wondering what's in it for you. The truth is that in our modern world, most of us spent a whole lot of time indoors — and that means we’re largely missing out on key wavelengths of light that red light therapy can make up for. 

Here’s a snapshot of the broad spectrum of benefits that red light therapy might bring to the table, each contributing to your overall wellness:

  • May Support Skin Health: Promotes a healthy complexion and can contribute to skin rejuvenation and vitality.
  • May Support Muscle Recovery: Supports muscle recovery post-exercise, helping you stay active and fit.
  • May Help Promote Joint Comfort: Aids in maintaining joint comfort and mobility, making daily activities smoother.
  • May Support Healthy Sleep Patterns: Supports the natural sleep-wake cycle, possibly helping you achieve better quality sleep.
  • May Support Mental Clarity and Focus: Can play a role in maintaining cognitive function, helping you stay sharp and focused.
  • May Support Healthy Circulation: Supports healthy blood flow, which is essential for overall wellness and vitality.
  • May Support Hair Health: May contribute to the health and appearance of hair, supporting hair vitality and strength.

What About Migraines? Can Red Light Therapy Help?

Red light therapy isn’t a cure for migraines, but it might be able to give you a bit of an edge as part of a broader migraine management plan. 

By supporting overall cell function and energy, RLT may help keep your body's systems running smoothly. This might mean fewer migraine triggers, like stress and poor sleep — big culprits behind those crushing migraine episodes. 

As a result, integrating red light therapy into your routine could help you establish a more balanced physiological state, potentially diminishing the intensity and frequency of migraine occurrences.

Are There Any Side Effects to Red Light Therapy?

When considering any wellness tool, it's essential to look at the full picture, including potential side effects. The good news is that red light therapy is generally seen as safe. Most users experience no adverse effects when using it as directed.

However, like any therapy, the key is proper usage. It's important to follow usage guidelines closely and start with shorter sessions to see how your body reacts.

For those particularly sensitive to light, it's wise to consult with a healthcare provider before starting red light therapy. While adverse reactions are rare, everyone's body is unique, and what works for most may not work for all.

How To Optimize Red Light Therapy

Curious about integrating red light therapy into your routine for migraine management? Here's how you can optimize your sessions for the best results:

Consistency Is Key

Just like any wellness routine, consistency is crucial with red light therapy. Aim for regular sessions, ideally daily or several times a week. This helps your body maintain the benefits over time.

Time Your Sessions Right

Experiment with timing. Some find morning sessions energizing and set a positive tone for the day, potentially warding off migraines. Others may prefer evening sessions to unwind and promote better sleep, indirectly helping manage migraine triggers.

Create a Relaxing Environment

To enhance the effects of red light therapy, create a calming environment. Dim other lights, play soft music, or meditate during your session. This not only soothes your mind but may also amplify the calming effects.

Start With Short Sessions

Especially if you’re new to red light therapy, start with shorter sessions of about 5-10 minutes and gradually increase the duration as your comfort with the therapy grows. The MitoADAPT 2.0 Series, with its customizable settings, is perfect for finding the right balance that suits your needs.

Stay Hydrated

Hydration is important when using red light therapy. Water helps support the body’s natural processes, including the management of migraine symptoms. Make sure to drink plenty of water before and after your sessions.

Use the Right Equipment

Invest in a quality red light therapy device that emits the correct wavelengths. Our red light panel series offers a range of wavelengths that are optimal for supporting overall cellular health, which can be beneficial for migraine sufferers.

Combine With Other Techniques

While red light therapy can be a powerful tool, combining it with other migraine management strategies like maintaining a healthy diet, managing stress, and regular physical activity can enhance your overall results.

Adjust According to Your Response

Everyone’s response to red light therapy can vary. Pay attention to how your body reacts and adjust the intensity, duration, and frequency of sessions accordingly. Some might benefit from longer, more frequent sessions, while others might find shorter, less frequent exposure works best.

Monitor Your Progress

Keep a log of your migraine frequency and intensity to monitor the effects of red light therapy over time. This can help you tailor your approach and understand what works best for your specific needs.

Consult a Professional

If you’re unsure about how to integrate red light therapy into your migraine management plan, consult with a healthcare professional who understands both migraines and the benefits of red light therapy.

Embrace the Light

At Mito Red Light, we understand that modern life often leaves us lacking in essential elements, including exposure to red and near-infrared light. While red light therapy is not a cure-all, there's promising evidence suggesting it could play a role in managing migraine symptoms. However, more research is needed to fully understand its potential benefits.

If you're considering adding red and near-infrared light back into your daily routine, Mito Red Light is an excellent choice. Our state-of-the-art technology is designed to help replenish what modern living often strips away. 

We're committed to supporting your journey toward better health, offering a supportive and soothing approach to wellness. 

DISCLAIMER: Mito Red Light devices are not clinically proven to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any medical conditions.  Mito Red Light devices are low / risk general wellness devices aimed at affecting the body through supporting cellular function. The scientific studies referenced in this article are for educational and informational purposes only and are meant to educate the reader on the exciting and growing field of phototherapy.  To see a list of precautionary warnings and contraindications click here.

Sources:

Migraine - Symptoms and causes | Mayo Clinic

Mitochondria—hubs for regulating cellular biochemistry: emerging concepts and networks | PMC

Red Light Therapy: Benefits, Side Effects & Uses | Cleveland Clinic

Why it’s important for you to drink water and stay hydrated | UC Davis