Benefits Of Red Light Therapy For Depression

June 2, 2023

Red light therapy is a new treatment first developed to treat skin conditions such as acne, wrinkles, and scars. However, as research into this new form of skin treatment has continued, it was accidentally discovered that red light therapy also has other useful purposes in treating mental health conditions. Red light therapy is also effective for disorders such as depression and seasonal affective disorder (SAD).  

What Is Red Light Therapy?

Red light therapy is a painless and non-invasive treatment that uses low-power, visible red light to treat various skin conditions. It can help improve the health of your skin and boost collagen production, reduce inflammation, improve circulation, speed up wound healing, and diminish wrinkles. In addition to cosmetic purposes such as facial rejuvenation, it’s also been found effective for treating acne, sun damage, and psoriasis. 

Red light therapy for depression is a form of phototherapy designed to reduce symptoms of depression. The treatment uses devices that emit spectrums of visible red light. Red light has been found effective in inhibiting and regenerating certain cells. 

Thus, having an effect on overall mood. In addition, research suggests that red light exposure produces serotonin. Serotonin is a hormone associated with mood regulation and decreases inflammation and oxidative stressors, which have been linked to mental health issues.

How Is Red Light Therapy Used?

Red light therapy for depression is a form of phototherapy in which a patient sits with their eyes open and is exposed to red LED light at specific therapeutic wavelengths for around 15 to 30 minutes. Over the course of multiple sessions—usually two or three times per week—exposure to these lights could potentially improve one’s mental health. It works by increasing serotonin production, reducing inflammation, and improving mitochondrial functioning.

Depending on one’s needs, their doctor may also recommend other forms of therapy as part of an overall treatment plan.

What Is Mitochondrial Functioning?

Mitochondrial functioning refers to the function of mitochondria. Mitochondria are tiny cellular organelles that serve as the power source for cells. These organelles produce a significant amount of energy in a form called ATP (adenosine triphosphate). ATP is used in various cellular functions and processes such as metabolism, growth, and development. 

The quality of mitochondrial functioning plays an essential role in overall health. Furthermore, irregularities can lead to diseases ranging from neurological disorders and mental health disorders to cancer.

How Is Mitochondrial Functioning Related to Depression?

Research has linked poor mitochondrial functioning to depression. In addition, Mitochondria dysfunction is often associated with a decrease in energy, which could cause or worsen feelings of exhaustion, fatigue, and other symptoms related to depression. 

Additionally, research suggests that the efficiency of mitochondria can influence the release of neurotransmitters like serotonin, contributing to mood regulation and general well-being. Poor mitochondrial function can also lead to increased inflammation and oxidative stressors, both known triggers for depressive episodes.

Is Red Light Therapy Safe?

Yes, red light therapy for depression is considered a safe and noninvasive treatment option. However, you should consult your medical professional before using it, as some pre-existing conditions may influence its effectiveness. While there are no serious risks associated with red light therapy for depression compared to other treatments like medication or psychotherapy, individuals who experience photosensitivity should use caution when undergoing the procedure.

Benefits of Red Light Therapy for Depression

The benefits of red light therapy for depression include improved mood, increased energy levels, reduced anxiety and stress, better sleep quality, improved cognitive performance, and increased feelings of positivity and well-being. Research also suggests that this non-invasive phototherapy can stimulate the production of serotonin. This helps to increase feelings of pleasure and happiness and reduces inflammation in the brain.

This helps reduce physical and psychological symptoms linked to mental health disorders such as depression and SAD. Red light therapy is a safe treatment option with low-risk side effects. There is a potential for long-term improvement and overall mental well-being with regular use.

Are There Any Risks or Side Effects?

Generally, no significant risks or side effects are associated with red light therapy for depression. However, it is important to note that individuals with photosensitivity should avoid using this treatment option as exposure to the lights could potentially worsen their condition. As always, when discussing any medical treatment, please consult your doctor before undergoing any treatments.

What Other Therapies Can Be Used for with Red Light Therapy?

Red light therapy is commonly combined with other therapies for depression, depending on individual needs and preferences. For example, other physical treatments that may be used include yoga, mindfulness techniques, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), or biofeedback to reduce episodes of depression. In some cases, medications such as SSRIs may also be prescribed when necessary. Additionally, lifestyle habits like regular exercise and nutrition can support the effects of red light therapy and overall well-being.


Red light therapy is a painless, non-invasive treatment that has been found to be effective in providing relief from certain skin conditions and also reducing symptoms of depression. While there are no serious risks associated with red light therapy for depression compared to other treatments such as medication or psychotherapy, it’s important to consult a doctor beforehand if necessary. 

Moreover, due to its ability to regulate serotonin production and reduce inflammation, the effects may vary depending on individual needs. Therefore combining red light therapy with other therapies can help improve overall mental well-being significantly.

Red Light Therapy in Chattanooga, TN

Try red light therapy for depression at Time Wellness in Chattanooga, TN. Our experienced specialists will work closely with you to create a tailored treatment plan that suits your needs.

Contact us today and start enjoying lasting relief from depression symptoms.