How Using Red Light Therapy Can Speed Your Muscle Recovery

Photobiomodulation, also known as RLT, increases muscle endurance and speeds muscle recovery.

John Iovine
9 min readApr 12, 2020


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When I began researching Red Light Therapy (RLT) also known as photobiomodulation (PBM), I realized I needed this badly. Practicing martial arts at my age (65) is challenging. The aches and pains usually associated with working out amps up with age. As soon as my muscles cool off from the work out and drills, usually within an hour from leaving the Dojo, my muscles and joints ache.

For all the information presented in this article the following terms; Red Light Therapy, RLT, photobiomodulation and PBM mean one and the same, and may be used throughout the text interchangeably.

First photobiomodulation is not snake oil. The technology was adopted by NASA in the 1990s, as a methodology to increase wound healing for space faring astronauts. Today there are literally thousands of clinical, scientific peered review studies on the efficacy of Red Light Therapy (RLT) treatment for a wide variety of conditions.

One researcher I follow is Dr. Michael Hamblin. A Harvard University professor and the lead researcher at the Wellman Center for Photomedicine at Massachusetts General Hospital. He has published over 400 peer-reviewed papers. He has researched and written upon the use of photobiomodulation for wound healing, brain injury, hair regrowth, psychiatric disorders and arthritis. He is considered the foremost expert on Red Light Therapy and Photobiomodulation.

This article focuses on the effects of RLT on muscles.

  1. Improves muscle endurance
  2. Reduces muscle soreness (DOMS)
  3. Improves muscle recovery
  4. Reduces joint pain
  5. Reduces inflammation

The clinical evidence is so overwhelming that some trainers, as well as professional, NFL and Olympic athletes are using it (1) for its muscle performance boosting benefits.

Photobiomodulation- For Beginners

The biochemistry involved with photobiomodulation is complex. We do not need to understand the how and why it works to…



John Iovine

Science writer, thinker, self-experimenter, focusing on personal development and health —