With the launch of our fantastic portable light panel, the GembaRed Beam, we wanted to take a look at how to optimize the usage of targeted red light therapy panels.
The marketing campaigns for high-powered full body light therapy are strong! They would have you think that is the only way for photobiomodulation to have an effect. In our blog we often recall back to the roots of red light therapy. The majority of red light therapy clinical studies are done with lasers, often the spot size of the laser is only 0.2 cm^2. That is right, only 2 square millimeters! How could so many studies get such powerful results with such small coverage area?!
We know we can achieve fantastic results with proper targeting and dosages from smaller lights. This way we can direct the body to focus energy and repair for a specific area, rather than ramping up the cells all over body simultaneously which competes with our own body's limited resources.
Using targeted red light therapy appropriately can help achieve a full-body or systemic result! We already well know that targeted red light therapy offers a systemic (body-wide) benefit. Further, if we are targeting areas that are causing us distress, then our entire body and quality of life can improve!
Lets take a look at some of the best target areas for our PBM tools.
1. The problem area.
Supporting acute issues or targeted areas?
Of course the most obvious treatment is the problem area. This could be the area of acute distress, inflammation, or area needing mending that could benefit from the support of red light therapy. When we alleviate and support a specific problem area, then the rest of the body can focus on healthy function again, promoting a systemic result.
2. The Face and Eyes.
Trying for mood and energy?
The eyes are the primary pathway for light signals to the brain and body. Bright lights to the face and eyes can be helpful to raise your alertness, energy levels, and mood.  So doing light therapy on the face in the mornings can help kick-start the day!
3. The Forehead.
Wanting to improve brain function without breaking the bank?
You don't need to shove diodes up your nose or wear a fancy helmet. The prime real-estate for light penetration is on the forehead. There we have no hair to block the light, the skin is thin, and bone to penetrate. The added benefit is plenty of blood-flow and circulation in the forehead, which helps with the systemic effects of red light therapy too. 
4. Thyroid and Throat
Trying to support metabolic health and healthy hormones?
Photobiomodulation over the neck area has been shown to promote healthy thyroid function which may contribute to proper hormone production and metabolism. 
5. Thymus and Chest
Looking for better sleep?
The thymus is a gland just behind the sternum in the chest. Stimulation with photobiomodulation can bring about extra-pineal melatonin production. So using a red light targeted on the chest at night may promote better sleep.  When sleep is better, the whole body is better!
6. Kidneys and Adrenals
Trying to improve stress hormones and kidney health?
Aiming the red lights at the lower back area where the kidneys and adrenals are super important to support healthy kidney function and stress hormone production. 
Easy way to cover both kidneys and adrenals is to prop up one of our larger panels on a chair and sit in front of it!
7. Lymph Nodes
Need help supporting detox and inflammation?
The lymph areas are important to support drainage and movement. This helps flush toxins and clear out inflammation. Target red light therapy has been considered an important aspect for supporting lymph mobility. 
8. Navel and Wrists
Interested in blood irradiation to get a systemic effect?
Similar to the forehead, we can irradiate through the navel and wrists as good access points for blood irradiation. Irradiation through the navel for 20 minutes can help the light reach the entire bloodstream! 
Need better circulation and hormonal support?
Red light therapy has been studied to support fertility in males and proper hormone support! 
10. Photopuncture points
Acupuncture might be a little "woo" for this list, but hey, not long ago light therapy was considered pretty "woo". Research has found similar (but not always the same) activation of meridians with the usage of red lights. 
So here we have it! Ten suggestions for red light therapy at targeted points in the body. By using smart areas to support important functional systems will be a fast way to promote a full-body benefit.
For nearly all of the suggested areas above, start with our standard GembaRed recommendations for 15-45 minutes per session on the targeted area, this should equate to about 4-20 Joules/cm^2 per dose.
Thanks for reading!
Disclaimer: All information in this article and website are intended for educational purposes only. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, or cure any ailment. Please consult with your doctor or trusted wellness practitioner before starting any new health activity including Red Light Therapy.