My Experiment With Red Light Therapy.

Two months ago I had chronic and continuous back pain (caused by dozens of recurring muscle knots) – I was seeing a Physical Therapist regularly, taking a muscle relaxer at night, 1-2 doses of ibuprofen a day, and having to take 1-2 heating pad breaks every day.  I also had sharp hip flexor pain when I tried to run, and an inability to get comfortable while sleeping. 45 days later, I now have zero back pain, I am running with zero pain AND at a pace that is 1 to 2 minutes a mile faster than I have been able to in over three years, and am falling asleep faster and sleeping comfortably.

I know. Sounds like an infomercial. But let’s start by where I’m coming from.

I’m a skeptic. Especially regarding the newest, greatest, fix-everything solutions. They never seem to work on me because placebo effects don’t work on me due to my extreme skepticism. Which sucks, really. I’d love to have some placebo effects.

However, I am an optimistic skeptic.

I’m an early adopter of new things, and get excited about those things, but then I take a deeply analytical and objective view of them, and therefore cannot convince myself  that they’re working. I take good notes, I measure results without emotion, and I usually come up short. So I try all the things, and I keep doing hardly any of the things.

So the fact that I am objectively, absolutely, 100% convinced of the results I have seen in the past month and a half is mind-blowing – especially to me.

After three years of regular physical therapy visits for my back, legs, and other ailments, and a year of my physical therapist continuously telling me that he thought I could benefit from Red Light Therapy, I bought a book that put the thousands of scientific studies into plain English, read the book in one night, and ordered my first Platinum LED BIO-600 Red Light that same night. The book documented the many ways red light therapy had been proven to help the body, and the list of extensive FDA approved red light therapy uses won me over.

Within days, my back was significantly better and I was able to quit taking all medication. I never went back to my physical therapist – I had no need. Two weeks later, I bought the second Red Light.

PlatinumLED Bio-600 Therapy Light in use

So what the heck is Red Light Therapy and why haven’t you heard of it?

You haven’t heard of it because it only recently became affordable for consumers to own. Each light that I bought was $799, and their price has since dropped to $699 (and you really only need one, but two makes the process quicker.) A couple of years ago, the cheapest Red Light Therapy device we knew of was $100,000. You can see why I waited until now to try it.

BIO-600 Red Light Therapy by PlatinumLEDSo. What it is. It sounds really hokey that a light could make you feel better in all the ways, but there is a lot of science behind it (thousands of well-run studies), it’s already FDA approved for many uses (and is used by doctors, health spas, and physical therapists), and they actually know what the red light does – it activates, heals, and energizes mitochondria – i.e. The engine of our cells, so it makes total sense that it could help so many functions in your body.

The basic takeaway is this: we as humans need red and infrared light, and we don’t get enough of it. Because of that, our cells are unnecessarily sluggish, effecting our energy, our moods, our muscle recovery and growth, our sleep, and pretty much our everything. By getting a daily or every other day dose of red light, we can have more energy, less pain, and better functioning muscles. Because I was having such extreme and chronic muscle pain, I can absolutely attest to its effectiveness.

I started using the light on December 1, which consists of laying in front of my light (about 6 inches away from it) and rotating angles every 3-6 minutes to let it light every surface of my skin. I have taken 13 pages of notes, documenting daily how I feel in every facet, what time I used the light, how I felt afterward, how I slept, how I ran, and everything else I could think to document. Here is a summary of the red light results I wrote down in my daily notes:

– On the third day of use, my back pain went away. Completely. I discontinued taking ibuprofen and muscle relaxers, and didn’t need my heating pad anymore (though I held onto its use for a few more days because it had become an expected comfort in my life.) Before that, I had not had a back-pain-free day in months.

– Toward the end of the first week, I began to find myself wanting to run longer. I went from having intense hip flexor pain after running 3 miles to running 8 miles with no pain.

– I also noticed at the end of that first week that a pain I’ve had continuously since I started running – sharp knee pain upon walking downstairs the day of and the day after a run – was completely gone. I could walk downstairs with no pain and without leaning on the handrail.

– I found myself falling asleep immediately – something I do not do. I’m normally a 30-minutes-of-wind-down person, all while resenting my immediately-asleep husband. But I was now actually sleepy at bedtime and would feel myself immediately drifting off. It was shocking and magical the first few times it happened.

– Using the light gives me an immediate energy boost. I can wake up sluggish and with burning eyes, then feel energetic and have no eye burn after using the light.

– One of the FDA approved uses is to get rid of cellulite. Three weeks after using the light daily, I went into our bathroom with the most unflattering lighting and did a search for my always-plenteous thigh cellulite. It was gone.

– Starting in the third week, my legs all of a sudden felt bionic when I ran. They had no pain, no muscle burn or soreness, and felt significantly faster and more able. I could run up hills, without breaking pace, that I’d always walked up before. My legs felt like they were putting out no effort. It was spectacular. From there, my speed began ramping up to levels that I literally could not make my legs move before I started using the light. I remember last summer feeling like I was flying one day, and then being discouraged when my pace, still fast for me, was 10:30. I am now running sub-10 miles every time I run – up to 6 sub-10 miles in a row – and have nearly run a flat 9 minute mile (9:08. So close.) For me, this is huge. After my wreck in 2015, I became a much slower runner and have hung out in 11-12 minute miles since then. So to be running 9-9:30 is a huge gain for me – one that is clearly a result of the red light.

Here’s my six mile run from this past weekend next to my fastest run in November, which was the month before I started using the light:

Red Light Therapy Running Pace Comparison
– I also used to get injured when I would run faster than 10 minute miles – I would have knee or ankle pain for several days after going “too fast.” Last January I even resolved to run less in 2018 and hike more so that my knees could be more healthy. Despite the fact that I’m running faster than I have in over three years, I am experiencing no aches and pains from my running, during or after the runs.

– After three weeks, some of my back pain returned. It wasn’t as bad as it was before, and was more localized. I was discouraged, because I couldn’t figure out why it would show back up, but then I was able to pinpoint where it was coming from: our old and unsupportive mattress. The light had stripped away all of my other muscle pain to make it obvious that the one thing I couldn’t red light away – my mattress – was still hurting me. We bought a new mattress and now I am back to zero back pain, all the time.

There are many, many other FDA approved and researched uses for the lights. Although my lack of pain has been miraculous, the thing that got me most excited about the light’s potential are the documented cognitive improvements it can make over time. It’s supposed to make your brain work better, which y’all know I need. If a light could make me able to write again, I would be ever so thankful. That’s still out on trial, but hey – I am writing this, so it’s a start.

So if you’re interested in trying Red Light Therapy, here are my tips:

1. BUY CAREFULLY. Most Red Light products (there are a ton on Amazon) are not powerful enough to work, or they don’t have the correct wavelengths to be therapeutic. The studies have been able to pinpoint what wavelengths and outputs are helpful, and it’s a pretty specific science. The book explains all of this and has several brands they recommend. The two I got are Platinum LED Therapy Light’s BIO-600, Combo Red light. (Edited to Add: Several months after this post was written, the manufacturers contacted me and offered me a discount code to share: ObjectivityLight gets you 5% off your entire order of any of their line of lights.) I bought Platinum LED Therapy’s lights because it was cited in the book as the least expensive, most effective light, and I have been very happy with them. A local light technician tested and compared my light’s output and wavelengths to a much more expensive brand, Joovv, and they measured the same.

Red Light Therapy Book by Ari Whitten

1. Read this book. It has so much valuable information in it, and is an easy read that is objective and informative. He explains the science behind the lights in plain English, and he tested dozens of lights and narrowed down the options tremendously

3. Make it a part of your daily routine. I think the dramatic effects I’ve experienced are because I have used it every single day – and sometimes twice a day.

4. Take notes. Find what time works best for you. I found that too close to bedtime kept me awake, but about 4 hours before bedtime put me to sleep. However, in general I tend to use it earlier in the day for the energy boost. And I can also tell a huge difference in runs after I’ve used the light for the day versus runs before lighting.

So clearly, I’m a believer. I will continue to take notes and use the light daily, and will update its results in the future. Feel free to ask me any questions in the comments, or email me at

Sequel Post: For my updates and insights after nine months of daily use, click here.

Leave your comment below!


  1. This is great news! I’m so happy that you have found something that is making you feel good!

  2. So my first thought was ”Does the red light mean ‘stop and slow down’ with your hectic life?”
    And then I got to the part where you can buy a light for home use!! YAY! I can do this at home!
    Interestingly I just read an article about how we need to get more sunlight, not for the vitamin D like we’ve been told but because the sunlight does so much more than just elevate vitamin D. That is, higher Vit. D is only an indication that the other things are going on and by taking a supplement and staying out of the sun we are missing the most important part. I wonder if this red light supplies that most important thing.
    I have issues going out in the sun because I’m a redhead and burn to a crisp.

  3. Wow, what amazing results so glad this is working for you! I’m going to share with my husband who is a runner and has some knee and sciatic issues. Last year he had such bad back problems the only time he wasn’t in pain was if he sat down so we ended up spending over $2000 to have him do acupuncture and spinal decompression.
    It worked, but I’m so worried that he will get hurt again.
    Can I ask why you chose the size you did and not one of the other two options?

    • What I bought was based on reading the book – the bigger the unit, the less time it takes to get light to all of your body, which is also why I bought a second one. You could also do one large one and one small one and still get full body coverage.

      • Rachel I am Esthetician and I am using Red therapy for skin care prone to acne almost 20 years because the country where I came from believe in alternative treatments to benefit our body. So Red therapy does works. But cellulitis gone in two weeks really is impressive. As you say you start to run more miles then before it should helps to burn fat and you’re cellulitis will show less visible. What you think?

      • Ruben Jubera says:

        So I have had 4 back surgeries and just got over throat cancer and w all that said I’ve been fighting neuropathy in my calves for over 5 years and take pain pills everyday, rd LTE help?

      • I bought 2 of the 600’s and 2 of the 300’s. It covers EVERYTHING! I also have back pain, and I have been under the light for about 3 weeks or more, and so far I still suffer. It is getting less though, but I credited it to some therapy type exercises I am doing to activate the glute muscles. Maybe its’ the light instead, or also…who knows. I am using green tea, fresh brewed, for 20 minutes, on all the wrinkled areas I want to tighten up, then going under the light. There is a study on pub med that says the green tea will hasten results 10 times faster!! That’s huge! results in 1 month what would normally take 10 months. Oh my!

  4. Stephanie says:

    Wow! I’m so happy this works so well for you! Is this something that you can try out at a PT office or something before buying?

    • Based on the comments I’ve seen on this post on Facebook, apparently a lot of fitness gyms have them? I’ve also seen a tanning salon near me that has a red light be. And yes, some PTs would have them, but that might be harder to track down.

      • Randall says:

        Planet Fitness does for Black Card members…which is why I’m here. I wanted to know what it does or what the big deal was about it. When they open, I’m going to try them out.

  5. Stephanie says:

    Okay, you’ve definitely piqued my interest. I started having back pain for the first time in my life last February, and since then, my body feels like it has aged 10 years. I went from walking ~25 miles/week to fewer than 10, even though I’ve been seeing a chiropractor regularly. It’s been kind of depressing, which I’m sure you can relate to.

    Thank you SO MUCH for sharing. I much prefer being active and I’m definitely looking into this.

  6. Wow that is amazing! I’ve never even heard of this. I wonder if it would help my grandma. She has all sorts of back and leg pain because of arthritis and sciatic problems. I need to check this out! Are there any negative side effects? Or wrong ways to use it?

    • There are no side effects that they’ve found. There’s no wrong way to use it, though you don’t want to overdo it – you lose the benefits (but it takes a LOT to overdo it – basically don’t sleep in front of it.) I wear sunglasses when I’m facing it most of the time – it’s actually supposed to be good for your eyes, but my eyes are so sensitive, I try to be careful with them.

    • NO!!! no negative side effects at all. Just get the book she suggests by Ari Whitten, he is a doctor and a red light specialist. He will tell you EXACTLY how to use it!

  7. Kate Jaco says:

    This is very fascinating. I’ve been going to the chiropractor for 4 months for a bulging disc that’s ever so slowly getting better. I wonder if the lights help something like that. I’m looking forward to doing more research. Thank you for sharing and I’m so glad you found something that’s helping you.

    • In my unscientific opinion (based on my reading and experience), I think it helps muscle the best, nerve pain the next best, and bone pain I’m not so sure about. But bulging disc pain might be because of muscle spasms around the disc? If so, it could really help. Another way of putting it – it helps inflammation really well – so if it’s inflammation, I think it would help.

  8. That’s really cool, I’ll have to check into that. I wonder if it helps her muscular dystrophy, which is what I have? I will look into it! Thank you so much for sharing, and it’s wonderful hearing from you. I hope you continue to have such good results! Thanks for sharing.

  9. Jennifer T. says:

    Very intriguing. I’d love to hear another update in a couple months!

  10. SHEILA TODD says:

    Thank you for your article documenting your personal experience. Most of the things I have found by searching make it seem that Joovv is the ONLY vendor. It is great to hear that there is a source for red light that is more reasonably priced. I will definitely get the book before I buy a unit.

    • EricBarry says:

      Couldn’t help but to chime in ,, Joovv is way over priced and the power is no match for Platinum LED . I currently own the medium size , it’s so powerful that in 15 min I’ve bathed my body , I wouldn’t be with out it

    • I agree! Almost all the info out there seems to be infomercials for Joovv. I was so glad to stumble across a less expensive option, and one that has been proven to be just as effective.

    • Kristy Brinkley says:

      Shiela I have both the Joovv and the Platinium 900 Bio and I like the Platinum way better!

  11. Leanne rau says:

    I’ve never heard of this, but I’m fascinated I just ordered the book. Im currently dealing with back pain. My dad has severe nerve pain and gout. And I’m curious if it could help my special needs son, so I’ll be anxious to read and learn more! Keep us updated on what you see with it, I always enjoy your writing!

  12. Hi Rachel, curious how long you spend each day with it… Do you think you can do with less time/less frequency after some period of time? I don’t have back pain but hamstring pain from running. Some random days I hurt (muscles) from exercising and other days not, and no idea what causes it. Also I go through periods with lots of muscle and foot cramps (like now).


    • Yes, I use it for different times depending on the time I have available, and also depending on how I’m feeling. As little as 10-15 minutes can offer a good improvement of symptoms. The longest I use it is 40 minutes, and that’s just because it’s so relaxing and gives me an excuse to read without guilt. ;-)

      • Rachel, I think maybe I’m not using it long enough then?? Ari Whitten suggests WAY less time than you are using. I have been going 5 minutes full body, 6-12 inches away, for 5 minutes EACH side. Should I up that, do you think??

  13. Crap, I bought the wrong book! I should have known better than to just google what I thought was the title :(

  14. Donna Crowley says:

    I just found your blog from the review you left on PlatinumLED. While searching Amazon in December for an E-book, I found Ari’s book on red light therapy. I bought & read it. Within a week, I convinced my husband that we should buy one. I bought a bio 600 combo. I used the light every day for 10 minutes on front & back side. I was feeling better but I kept thinking that maybe I want this to work due to the amount of money invested. Within 3 weeks, a mole I had on my back was gone. I could no longer argue it’s benefits. I purchased a bio 300 combo that night. I had custom hooks made to stack my lights. They are no longer adjustable but I don’t need them to be. I have them set at a height that works for both my husband and myself.
    I was interested in red light therapy due to neuropathy pain from 3 back surgeries. My pain has lessened a lot to the point that I’m now back to weight training. (I also bought a new bed).
    I work nights as a sleep technologist. I have difficulty sleeping during the daytime. I wanted something to help with that instead of relying on meds. I’m starting to sleep better without zquil..
    I have hypothyroidism and dry macular degeneration. I’ve read promising studies on red light therapy to treat both of these conditions. I’m hopeful to see benefits in those areas as well.
    Good luck!

    • That’s awesome! Glad to hear it’s helping so much.

    • Question: You purchased two different sets of lights. What was your reason for purchasing the Bio 300 combo? And what is the difference between the two? What is the website that you purchased. I want to make sure I go to the correct website.

  15. Hey Racheal,
    I have had a similar healing healing journey, I was diagnosed with Lyme and prescribed heavy antibiotics that wrecked me. I’ve done hyperbaric chambers to magnets and then I found red light therapy. I started solas red light therapy to help others get lights at low cost. I’m a daily user and happy to help anyone. Please reach out if you have questions. I would love to get you one of our panels

    • Jason,
      I have Lymes, too, and have gone the route of antibiotics, herbs, essential oils, etc. I have just started red light therapy with a Beurer infrared light. Rachel, will that work?
      Jason, please let us know how you are using the light – area of body, frequency,duration of treatment. Is it helping?

      • Sharon Roberts says:

        I have had multiple compression fractures in my back and ribs over the last 3 ribs I’ve had steroid back injections that multiplied my pain, rather than help. I’ve also been battling one flare-up after the other of chronic hives.
        I’ve been to my personal M.D., , specialists at both Mayo Clinic and Iowa Specialty hospitals multiple times as well as Allergy Associates of Lacrosse, WI., Mc Farland Allergy Specialists, University of Iowa in Ames, Iowa would the Red Light therapy help the terrible back pain and/or the Chronic Hives ?

  16. Patricia Gillespie says:

    Dear Rachel, Thank you so much for writing this informative article. I too have been using Red Light Therapy for a few months and the biggest benefit for me was helping me to sleep. I havenʻt had all the incredible results you have had but thatʻs probably because you are much younger than myself. I go to a clinic and was away from it for three weeks on vacation and sleeping problems started coming back. I am now back to it and sleeping better again. I was once a runner and very athletic until I totally wrecked my health with a glutten allergy which wrecked my digestive system and gave me systemic candida. You have given me hope that this red light might really improve my health so that I can again be very athletic. Your article is also helpful because it gives me something to give people to read who donʻt understand what I am doing and think I am doing some crazy alternative health gimmick. I should add that my osteopath who is a very enlightened doctor also thinks it is great. Thank you again. Patricia

  17. I have RA and started using the bed at my Naturalistic Dr’s office. I’ve had 10 sessions and do feel some inflammation is dissipating, so I’m going for another 10 sessions. if I still feel improvement, I am considering on buying the lights for my home. I am wondering where to place them so that I will be comfortable while using them and where they will be close enough to me to work. I would truly appreciate if anyone would share their placement of the light.

    • I have mine set on their side next to a yoga mat. So I lay down when using them. You could do the same with a table next to a bed. That’s what I would recommend!

    • I have mine hanging on a wall, and I stand while using. I have a full body, 4 panel system from Platinum LED. Paid 2500 for it. You don’t need that many, but one bio 600 will take care of the entire front of your body if you stand in front of it about 10 inches away. The lights are set at a 90 degree angle, if Im not mistaken, and the further you stand from it, the the more of your body it will get because of the angle of the light lens increasing coverage from further away. Hope this helps!

  18. What would you suggest for skin therapy ?

    I was looking at the Deese mask and so expensive and only 25watts which might be good since you or so close to face.

    How would platinum work instead for skin therapy?

  19. Hi..I was wondering if it is also effective with Parkinson’s disease or peripheral neuropathy?

  20. Randy McFarland says:

    Hi Rachel,
    How long did it take to get over the hip flexor pain? I’m thinking mine is iliopsoas bursitis/tendonitis.

  21. Joe Mathews says:

    Gemba Red for the Win!

  22. Do you think this would work if someone has spinal stenosis?

  23. I have Kidney Disease Anemia…The Red Light Therapy has helped so much for that…my lab results proved it…along with the inflamation which is what has caused my loss of kidney function…Love my Red Light…it just makes me feel good !!!

  24. Pat Rupchock says:

    Does anyone know if red light therapy can help cataracts? I have the kind that makes you see multiple images with one eye, not the cloudy kind. My retinas are really bad so the doctor says I am at high risk for cataract surgery. So I am trying to find some non-surgical means to eliminate them. Help!!

  25. Doug Wilk says:

    I love this device..I compared it to Joovv & its more powerful, better built & a better price…..Joovv advertises >100mw/cm2 at the surface..but who stands this close… at 6″-12″ Platinum is twice as powerful

  26. Jennifer says:

    I’ve been going to Red Light therapy salon for a year or two. The results were amazing. Back pain (I used to have to get cortisone shots)…gone! Crohn’s disease…full remission. Used to get lip lines longer necessary. Now, w Covid-19, salon is closed and even if it reopens, I may b uncomfortable going there. I’m interested in a home setup..but I like the full body beds they have at the’s so relaxing and gets the entire body and face so I’m uncertain about “panels”…any input is welcome. Mahalo!

    • Last time I checked, the full beds were around $100,000. My physical therapist did comparisons to the light output of the panels versus the beds, and you don’t gain any effectiveness by having a bed versus the panels – it just takes less time since you’re getting 360 degree body coverage at once. I have two panels and rotate my body to get full coverage – it takes about 30 minutes. You can get four panels (two on each side of you) and cut down your rotations from 4 to 2. 

      • Lisa from NJ says:

        My tanning salon offers red light therapy. Do you think theirs would be as beneficial as I can’t afford the at home models at this time.

  27. Shannon Coleman says:

    Really fascinating! Thank you for sharing your experience! I’m going to read the book and do some research! I’m also trying to envision how this will work with a rather busy toddler…in quarantine. My husband works in healthcare and is on the front lines of this pandemic. Due to the nature of his work, he is unable to come home…which means I’m at home 24/7 with our darling tiny tornado. While I would love to be optimistic that this situation will end/improve in the near short-term, I’m realistic enough to know that it’s going to be a long battle for those in healthcare.
    Do you know if there are benefits to short bursts of time that cumulatively add up to 30-40 min/day? Or does the benefit come from the consecutive length of a session, like with intermittent fasting? Short bursts would be much easier for me sustain while ensuring our daughter doesn’t destroy our house or herself while I’m red light rejuvenating myself!
    Also…what mattress did you end up buying? We are currently on our 3rd mattress sleep trial and not convinced this one is a keeper either.

    • Sorry for the slow reply! Yes, short bursts I think would be just as effective. I do that sometimes when time is short. I do not remember what type of mattress we got. A Serta I think?

  28. Cindy D says:

    Thanks for your article. I’ve been searching for as much “real-life” feedback from people who have used red light therapy and was having so much trouble finding ones that did not seem manufactured! I think I’ll take a hard look at BioMax now. However, I’m struggling with the size. On one hand, I’d love to do my whole body but to do that, I’d still have to have several units. I’m just under 6′ tall and while I’d love to get the benefits in my shoulders (I have a torn rotator cuff that I really don’t want to have surgery on) but more importantly, I have no cartilage under my kneecaps so they always hurt and last year I had ankle surgery to remove an extra bone that had popped out and was causing significant tendon issues every time I jumped. So I’d almost want something from my toes to my head. Do you think I should get one unit and then just do what you do and lie on the side and start on the top and then half way through move it to my lower half? Also, would the skinnier version be enough to cover the whole width of my body? i would think I’d have to spend a ton of time laying in front of it!

    And lastly, I heard that too much exposure actually has a negative effect. I’d worry that be constantly rotating I might be using it too much. Thoughts?

    • I am 5’5″, my husband is 5’8″. We have a BIOMAX-900 and a BIO-600 (my third light, the other BIO-600, I loan out to friends, because three lights is too many for us.) We both get full body coverage and then some from that set. I definitely prefer the BIOMAX – it has several more light spectrums and I can definitely tell a difference between it and the BIO. Two BIOMAX-900’s would most definitely be enough for you, but you could probably be fine with two BIOMAX-600s as well. One is rather cumbersome since you have to do your body in sections.
      I have been using them for a year and a half now and have not had any negative effects. 
      Hope that helps!

  29. Thanks so much for your thorough post about red light therapy! I got a small handheld device in a subscription box and after research used it on my knee where my pain is worst. After just one treatment I could tell a difference. I decided to research further because I still have muscle, tendon and ligament pain after 3 years since a ladder injury. I found your blog, did more research, and am excited to also learn that you can use an FSA account to purchase these! I just ordered the Biomax 450 and can’t wait for it to arrive!

  30. Czefrah Thomas says:

    I need Red Light therapy only for Insomnia. I am retired and on a fixed income so I need something of an affordable price . What do you suggest ? Are there light bulbs than can be used in lieu of a Device ?

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