Whether you’ve noticed skin-conscious celebrities gleaming red light onto their faces or you’ve seen elite athletes walking around with a light therapy device in their back pocket, the growing popularity of red light therapy cannot go unnoticed.
Praised for its potential to alleviate a wide range of health issues, from skincare concerns to pain management, red light therapy has become a popular choice for those seeking non-invasive and drug-free solutions.
This therapeutic technique involves exposing the body to red wavelengths of light, which stimulate cellular repair and regeneration, leading to a whole host of benefits.
Whilst it’s hugely beneficial, approaching this treatment method with the right knowledge is key. As with any health product, some common pitfalls and misconceptions can hinder its effectiveness and safety.
To help you reduce red light therapy mistakes, we've compiled a comprehensive list of the 13 most common mistakes to avoid - perfect for beginners or seasoned red light therapy (RLT) users.
The Benefits of Using a RLT Home Device
Having a red light therapy device at home allows you to take control. You can choose when, where, and how often you use red light therapy to manage your pain, ease inflammation, and heal damaged tissue.
This makes it extremely convenient and accessible, not to mention low cost. Once you’ve purchased the device, no other payments are required like you’d have when attending multiple sessions at a clinic. There’s no more sitting in uncomfortable and intimidating sterile rooms either, as you can use the device while watching TV on the couch or while getting ready to wind down for the evening.
Beyond all of this, the holistic healing potential of red light therapy is bountiful as it spans the skin, mind, and cells. It considers the interconnectedness of physical and mental health, all while improving mood, sleep, and energy levels.
For skin, it’s been said to result in a healthier complexion and a natural glow as blood circulation is improved, meaning more oxygen and nutrients can be delivered to the cells. This boosts collagen levels too, giving you a youthful appearance with the reduction of fine lines and wrinkles. An added plus if you’re using red light therapy for pain management reasons!
Here’s the low-down on the other benefits of using an RLT home device…
- Can manage pain
Increasing Popularity of Red Light Therapy at Home
From Rolling Stone to the New York Post, media publications worldwide have publicized the growing popularity of red light therapy and the ease of this treatment at home.
Now that it is much more available, with a range of devices dedicated to different purposes, it has become a go-to treatment option for those looking for something effective yet safe for the skin and body.
It’s certainly not a new treatment though, with NASA’s research into RLT making it a popular and much more attractive option back in the early 2000s. Just in today’s modern world, advancements in technology have made it much more accessible.
Common Uses for RLT
The most common reasons for utilizing this form of therapy include…
- Pain management for those with injuries or chronic pain
- Heals tissues quicker
- Improves mobility
- Reduces inflammation
- Enhances sports performance and endurance
- Treats skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis
- Reinvigorates the skin
As a result of these uses, you’ll see red light therapy being used in a variety of locations worldwide. From Kim Kardashian using a light therapy face mask in the comfort of her own home to CrossFit athlete Sara Sigmundsdóttir, who has this ‘in her back pocket’ when training, it’s now used by a whole range of people.
Speaking of 6x CrossFit athlete and Icelandic weightlifter Sara Sigmundsdóttir, here’s what she had to say about Kineon’s MOVE+: “After two weeks of using the MOVE+, I felt a huge difference…
“Knee flexion has always been very challenging for me after my ACL tear. All of a sudden I was able to bend down in a squat without thinking about it.
“I’m very excited to start the season with this in my back pocket.”
Sara isn’t the only person who is a fan of the MOVE+ either, with our device being trusted by a wide range of elite athletes and top health experts. See what they had to say here!
How Kineon Makes RLT More Accessible
It’s not just athletes who have high praise for our (Kineon!) RLT device, but many people are reaping the benefits of improved mobility and managed pain.
Making these expansive advantages available to the everyday person has always been our aim at Kineon. Our CEO, Forrest Smith, created the product as a solution for his own chronic knee pain originating from an MCL tear.
As such, the MOVE+ Pro was born. This is a non-invasive, safe, and enhanced light therapy device that helps relieve joint pain, reduce inflammation, and stimulate the healing of damaged tissues.
The best part (aside from the benefits) is that it’s completely wireless and portable! It can be incorporated into your routine at home and is much more cost-effective than going to see a physio or doctor every week.
Importance of Correctly Using Your RLT Device
As with any medical-grade device, using it correctly is absolutely paramount. Reading through the manual and guidance will help you to succeed in this, as will ensuring you buy your device from a legitimate and reputable company.
There are safety standards that devices must adhere to, so you check reviews, testimonials, and the research that has gone into the company.
Going beyond safety, there are some ways to get the most out of your shiny new tool. Learning and putting these things into practice will increase the chances of promising results.
Thankfully though, unlike going under the knife with surgical procedures or addictive pharmaceuticals, red light therapy is generally considered to be a low-risk treatment option. There are no known serious risks or side effects when used correctly.
It is a safe alternative and is well-tolerated by most people. RLT is non-invasive, painless, and doesn’t involve the use of harmful UV rays or chemicals.
In fact, numerous studies have shown that red light therapy can provide a range of health benefits with minimal side effects, making it a popular choice for those seeking an all-natural, low-risk treatment option.
Common Mistakes When Using an RLT Home Device
Here are some things to remember to prevent red light therapy mistakes and ensure optimum effectiveness.
1. Incorrect Distance From Your Red Light Therapy Device
Setting the right distance between the red light therapy device and your skin is a key element to ensuring the best out of the treatment. This distance dictates how much light actually reaches your skin, playing a significant role in the overall therapeutic outcomes of the treatment.
Being too close to the device might lead to overheating and potential damage to your skin, while placing yourself too far away could result in insufficient light absorption, thereby reducing the treatment's benefits.
The best distance for red light therapy devices isn't one-size-fits-all; it varies based on the type of device, the intensity of the light, and the duration of the treatment.
As a general rule, most red light therapy devices work best at a distance of 6 to 12 inches from the skin, but this can vary depending on the type of device.
Keep in mind that the optimal distance can also be influenced by different skin types and conditions.
For instance, individuals with thinner or sensitive skin might need to maintain a greater distance to prevent skin irritation.
Meanwhile, those with darker skin tones might benefit from being slightly closer to the device to ensure adequate light absorption.
PSA: A good starting point is to keep the device approximately 6 inches away from your skin!
Based on how your skin responds to the treatment, you can then make adjustments as necessary.
2. Using The Wrong Settings For Your Red Light Therapy Device
Depending on which RLT device you buy, there may be several settings to toggle before you can get started.
Reading through the tailored manual and guidance will help you to know which setting it should be on and for how long.
If you’ve purchased a device from us, here at Kineon, we’ll never leave you guessing.
Everything you need to know will be in the guidance that comes with the device, but if you do have any questions, we have a great customer service team who are always happy to help whenever you need.
3. Using a Device That’s The Wrong Size
When you first start researching the red light therapy market, you’ll notice the wide variety of devices and sizes.
If you’re looking for a full-body treatment, buying a much larger panel device could be better for you. If, however, you’re looking for something portable that can be used on multiple areas of your body, a smaller device like the MOVE+ Pro could be the one for you.
The MOVE+ Pro gives you the power to specifically target certain areas, whereas a full-body device may not reach the areas you’re hoping to heal. If you are looking to focus on multiple areas, accessories like extender straps can help to reach larger surface areas like multiple spots or the back, shoulders, hips, and stomach.
4. Using Red Light Therapy At The Wrong Time Of The Day
To put it simply, the best time of day is when you have time to fit it into your schedule!
But you should avoid using it for two minutes and then putting it down, only to pick it back up several hours later for another minute-long session. Using it for 5 - 20 minutes at a time will give you the results you’re looking for.
For some people, this means using red light in the morning as a preventative measure, whilst others prefer to use it in the evening as a way to soothe their joints after being on their feet all day. Whatever fits your lifestyle is the best time for you.
The Pitfalls of Skin Preparation
5. Wearing Sunscreen Or Clothing
While red light therapy can still provide benefits when used through clothing, it's important to note that optimal results are often achieved when the treatment is applied directly against the skin.
Without the barrier of clothing, the powerful wavelengths can penetrate the skin more effectively, allowing for a deeper and more targeted treatment. This direct contact with the skin ensures that the light is not scattered or absorbed by the fabric, maximizing its absorption by the body's tissues.
If you prefer to wear clothing during your sessions though, it's important to select the right materials and colors to ensure the therapy's effectiveness.
Light and breathable fabrics, such as cotton or linen, are ideal as they allow better penetration of the red light wavelengths. These materials enable the light to reach the skin more efficiently, maximizing its healing properties.
As for color, it's best to stick with lighter shades such as white or light grey. These colors reflect the red light and won't absorb it in the same way that darker colors do.
It's essential to avoid clothing that may block or reflect the light, such as dark and shiny fabrics or materials that are too thick. Tight-fitting clothing can also limit your body's exposure to light, which can, in turn, reduce the benefits you receive.
Instead, opt for loose-fitting, light-colored clothing made of breathable materials such as cotton or bamboo.
Like clothes, sunscreen will also act as a barrier to red light. So, although SPF is recommended to be worn every day, consider using the RLT device before applying any sunscreen to the body.
6. Not Staying Hydrated
Red light therapy can’t work miracles; you have to be helping your body to recover rather than hindering it. Make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day, as proper hydration is crucial for optimal muscle function and recovery.
Being dehydrated can lead to decreased performance and delayed recovery.
Mistakes With Therapy Sessions
7. Not Being Consistent
One of the best (and easiest!) ways to see an improvement in your ailments is through being consistent with the application of red light.
Everyone’s heard the saying ‘consistency is the key to success,’ and there’s a good reason why it’s so popular - it’s true. This doesn’t mean you must dedicate hours of your day to red light therapy. Quite the contrary, as just 5 - 15 minutes per day (consistently) will help you see results much quicker than if you were to do a 30-minute session every three weeks.
P.S. Our customers report an 80% reduction in pain within 1-4 weeks!
8. Not Timing Sessions Properly
Do you remember back in school when you’d beg time to go quicker, with a short five-minute stint feeling like an achingly long hour period? Even in daily life, it’s easy to mistake timings, although in the adult years it may feel as though it’s flying by!
To ensure you’re using your device for enough time (but not too much) use the handy timer on your phone or clock to alert you when you’ve reached 20-30 minutes.
9. Overdoing It
One of the great things about red light therapy is that it can be used frequently without any adverse effects.
Although the exact frequency of use depends on the specific condition being treated and the type of device being used, red light therapy is generally considered safe to be used every day or multiple times a week.
Some devices may only require a few minutes per session, while others may require 20-30 minutes or more.
However, we don’t recommend using a light therapy device for hours at a time. Instead, opt for a regular 5 - 20-minute session per day.
10. Ignoring Measurable Progress
When it comes to the effectiveness of red-light therapy, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach…
Some people will see results within a few days of starting their treatments, while others might have to wait a few weeks before they start to notice any improvements.
The first thing to keep in mind is that each body is different and will respond differently to various treatments.
Just like with weight loss, seeing images and measurements helps you to see the changes in a much better format. Therapy is similar; it may not feel immediate, but stay consistent and the treatment will begin to work. Keep track of your feelings, movement ability, and soreness as you progress with the treatment.
11. Expecting Quick Results
When an injury strikes, it’s only natural to wish the pain away and attempt to fix the issue in the shortest time possible.
While the MOVE+ Pro increases blood flow, reduces inflammation, and eases pain in a 5-minute session, the prolonged benefits won’t be experienced in a short amount of time. It takes patience and consistency.
One of the best ways to solve this issue is by considering RLT as an extension of your usual home routine. Find a 5-15 minute period of your day where you can integrate the device.
Creating a solid routine will help you to feel the benefits and get results.
Relying On Isolated Red Light Therapy Sessions
12. Not Discussing Your Red Light Therapy Treatment With Your Doctor
While red light therapy is generally safe, it is always a good idea to speak with a healthcare professional before beginning any new treatment - especially if you’re dealing with a fresh injury, have underlying health conditions, or are taking any medications.
They can provide personalized advice and ensure it's a suitable option for you.
13. Not Pairing Red Light Strategically With Other Therapies Or Efforts
There’s no doubt that red light therapy can have remarkable benefits, but this is boosted even more when paired with other efforts to recover or help with pain.
This will depend on the advice from your doctor too. For some people, light exercise along with red light therapy can help to accelerate healing following an injury or increase the mobility in the joints.
Other light activities include yoga, walking, stretching, or swimming. If you’re experiencing tightness in your shoulder, we’ve outlined six shoulder stretches that help alongside the use of red light.
How To Get The Most Out Of Your Kineon Device
Looking for something you take with you wherever you go? Or something you can use in a relaxed environment in the comfort of your own home? The Kineon MOVE+ Pro allows you to do just that - all while feeling the expansive benefits of RLT.
To get the most out of red light therapy, use the device for 5 - 20 minutes every day. Once integrated into your daily routine, it’s really easy and simple to use the device.
If you’re able to use it on bare skin, that’s even better as some clothing can act as a blockage against the light.
To get the most out of your Kineon device, follow the recommendations below…
- Use it wherever you feel most comfortable
- Set an alarm as a reminder to use it consistently
- Apply the device against bare skin if possible
- Measure your process
- Consult with a medical professional if you’re unsure if RLT is right for you
- Reach out to our amazing customer service team if you need any assistance.
Keen to give red light therapy a try? Start your journey today with our 30 day at-home trial.
For more articles on red light therapy, read:
- Before & After Red Light Therapy
- Photobiomodulation Vs. Red Light Therapy: Is Photobiomodulation the Same As Red Light Therapy?
- The History of Red Light Therapy