Suffolk man shares how light therapy changed his life
- Credit: Archant
The alternative therapy - which is available at Woodbridge Complementary Health Centre - is currently popular with a number of athletes and celebrities.
Woodbridge resident Steve Peck has recently opened Thrive Light, a centre that offers red and infra-red light therapy. The psychotherapist and health & wellbeing trainer explains what light therapy is, what its effects are and how it’s a Covid-safe treatment.
“I’ve been on a personal wellbeing journey for the last 15 to 20 years, and I discovered red light therapy a couple of years ago through an athlete podcaster who I’ve been following for some time now, Ben Greenfield,” explained Steve.
“He’s at the cutting edge of the wellbeing sector, so I eventually took the plunge and purchased myself a red light unit. After regular use, I got to a point where I had to share the benefits with others, and that’s what’s driven me to create Thrive Light.”
Following a testicular injury, Steve would regularly use the red light box to treat himself, and soon noticed the pain began to cease. “The pain stopped in two days. Other aspects of my life have also changed since using it - there’s been changes in my energy and I find I sleep better now.”
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But what exactly is it? Red light therapy is a treatment that works by delivering concentrated wavelengths of light into your skin, and mimics principles similar to plants during the photosynthesis process.
“In a sense, all living beings experience therapeutic benefits from light every day. We’ve been designed to function and work with light, and indeed life began harvesting energy not just through the sun, but from the wavelengths of light the sun provides.
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“Red and near infra-red light have been found to be a particular wavelength, which we experience from the sun, and they feed a part of our living cells called mitrochrondia. They’re like the battery power of each living cell, and those mitochrondria have photosensors on their surface that absorb the specific wavelengths of light and convert them into essential energy for the cell to function more effectively. In a way, we’re almost supercharging each living cell.”
First discovered by NASA in the 1990s, red and infra-red light have since gone on to become popular forms of therapy within the American sporting world – with National Football League players regularly undergoing light treatment to mitigate the damage done by concussions suffered through contact play. “In the United States, the sports governing bodies are actually considering whether they should label it as an unfair performance enhancer.”
Other conditions that light therapy is commonly used for include improving alopecia, helping raise sperm count, reducing the appearance of sun-damaged and wrinkled skin, and improving eyesight. “We actually encourage people to use the light without goggles because it’s been shown to halt the decline of eyesight and in fact improve it,” Steve added.
As well as helping supercharge the body’s physical attributes, light therapy can be used to improve both brain function and mental health.
“It’s not just on the surface – red light penetrates the body and the brain, which is one of the reasons why it helps with mental health. Our brain is made up of roughly a hundred billion neurons, and each neuron has mitochondria in it. By undergoing light therapy, it gives the neurons the energy they need and helps them function effectively.”
Steve therefore hopes Thrive Light can help rejuvenate the people of Suffolk, much like it did to him. “It feels to me that this should be something that is available to everyone, and for me, in an ideal world, when we’re all feeling healthier and able to get our needs better met, then it’s just going to make the world a better place. We all need a lift, and experiencing red light treatment has certainly enabled me to do that to some degree. For the people who’ve been using it, they’re noticing a shift already.”
While Steve’s centre has only been open for a couple of weeks, he has already treated clients who have reported a handful of improvements including more restful sleep, less anxiety and an overall improvement in mood. And as with every form of treatment, those who undergo red light therapy may experience improvements right from the first session.
“It can be one session, or it may be a few sessions. For me, when I first set out on this journey, the injury I was treating was effectively better after two days. A key takeaway here is that in spite of you potentially not noticing a difference, in terms of your longevity and function, whether you’re aware of it or not, the science shows that you have given your cells a superboost by having a treatment of red and infra-red light wavelengths.”
A red light therapy session takes around 30 minutes in total, with half of that spent under three lights, all pointing towards the recipient in order to maximise its coverage.
“In terms of how Covid-safe it is, there is no need to touch anything once you’re here. We clean and air out the room between each client and sanitise every door point between sessions. Once you’re in the room, you can stand or sit, and we have a speaker in there so you can even put some music or a podcast on.
“All you need is a 15-minute dose in front of the light – in that time, your mitochrondia will soon feel a power boost. It’s a quick, great therapy.”
To find out more about Thrive Light, visit thrivelight.co.uk