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Medically Reviewed

Medically reviewed by Jennifer Strong, LMHC

Written by Tampa Bay Recovery staff
Updated on August 13, 2023


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Red light therapy can be a valuable component of a comprehensive addiction treatment plan for people who have developed substance use disorders and certain mental health concerns. At Tampa Bay Recovery Center, we provide a number of different holistic and alternative treatment options for those struggling with addiction and mental health disorders including Red Light Therapy.

What is Red Light Therapy?

Red light therapy is a safe, non-invasive treatment technique that uses near-infrared light, or NIL, to help people who have been living with depression, anxiety, alcoholism, drug addiction, and certain other disorders.

When it is incorporated into a comprehensive, personalized treatment plan, red light therapy can help people make sustained progress toward improved quality of life.

Red light therapy for mental health disorders and addiction is also sometimes referred to as photobiomodulation (PBM) or low-level laser therapy (LLLT).

Before a patient receives red light therapy at Tampa Bay Recovery Center, a member of our team will explain the features and benefits of this service and answer any questions they may have.


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The History of Red Light Therapy

Red light therapy was first discovered in 1903 to have positive health effects by Danish physicist Niels Ryberg Finsen. During that time Finesen used the treatment for skin tuberculosis and was awarded a Nobel Prize. Since then, red light therapy has been utilized for many different purposes, including space. In the 1990s, NASA incorporated red light therapy to stimulate plant growth at the USA’s space station. After this, NASA started using red light therapy to increase the cell function of those in space living without gravity. Since then, more and more medical professionals have recommended red light therapy for numerous health conditions.

How Does Red Light Therapy Work?

Experts have long understood that exposure to light can have a beneficial impact on a person’s mood and emotional well-being. Red light therapy builds on this fundamental understanding by providing patients with focused exposure to light from a specific segment of the electromagnetic spectrum.

At our treatment center in Tampa Bay, red light therapy sessions for mental health disorders and addiction are conducted by trained professionals. In a safe and comfortable environment, patients are exposed to red light via a medical device that is placed on or near their forehead. The patient remains awake and alert throughout the entire process.

Research suggests that red light therapy works by promoting improved mitochondrial functioning. Mitochondria are parts of cells that are responsible for energy production. They have a significant impact on cognition and other brain functions.

What Does Red Light Therapy Treat?

Every person who receives care at our center completes a thorough diagnosis and receives a customized treatment plan. We determine which elements should be included in our patient’s treatment plans by evaluating their needs and discussing their treatment goals with them.

Red light therapy may be used to treat people who have been affected by a variety of mental and behavioral health concerns, including:

  • Major depressive disorder
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Anxiety
  • Schizophrenia
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Alcoholism
  • Drug Addiction

If red light therapy for mental health concerns or addiction can ease the symptoms a patient has been experiencing, we will incorporate this form of care into their customized plan.

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Tampa Bay Recovery Center is a premier leader in the provision of addiction treatment services. If you or someone you love is in need of professional care to address a substance use disorder, reach out to us right now at (813) 733-8774 to speak with an admissions specialist who can get you started on the road to recovery.

Benefits of Red Light Therapy for Mental Health

Multiple studies have shown that red light therapy can be a valuable part of a comprehensive approach to treatment for people who have been experiencing a wide range of mental health concerns.

2019 study in the journal Lasers in Surgery and Medicine revealed that transcranial photobiomodulation (a form of red light therapy) led to improvements in behaviors that are associated with anxiety.

2009 study in the journal Behavioral Brain Functions noted that patients who were treated with red light therapy had improved scores on the Hamilton Depressive Rating Scale, with no noticeable adverse side effects.

2013 article on the Medical News Today website reported that “laser lights could be the future of addiction therapy.”

Benefits of Red Light Therapy in Tampa Bay

The many benefits of receiving red light therapy for alcoholism include:

  • Comprehensive care: We are committed to identifying and addressing the full scope of each patient’s unique needs. At our center, red light therapy is one of many treatment methods that can be incorporated into a person’s comprehensive treatment plan.
  • Personalized service: When you receive care at Tampa Bay Recovery Center, you can rest assured that your treatment plan will include only the services that best align with your needs, goals, and expectations.
  • Exceptional staff: The professionals who provide red light therapy and other forms of treatment at our center are dedicated to offering superior service in a welcoming and compassionate manner. Here, you will always be treated as a valued individual who is worthy of dignity and respect.
  • Safe & comfortable environment: Patient safety is our top priority at Tampa Bay Recovery. We also work diligently to ensure that those who heal with us are as comfortable as possible during red light therapy sessions and at all other times.

The time you spend in treatment may be relatively brief, but the services and support you receive here, including red light therapy, can provide lifelong benefits.

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Get Red Light Therapy in Tampa Today

Tampa Bay Recovery Center is a trusted provider of red light therapy to help people whose lives have been disrupted by anxiety, depression, addiction, and other health concerns. If you or someone that you care about has been struggling with one of the many disorders that can be treated with red light therapy, please contact us today to learn how we can help or learn more about our admissions process. Your path to improved health may be much closer than you realize.

Our Philosophy

We believe that getting help for substance use disorders is about much more than just trying to get through another day of not drinking or using drugs. Our mission is to help people reclaim their lives by teaching them how to effectively deal with the stress, trauma, and anxiety that contribute to their addictions. 

Meet Our Team

Our staff has over 60 years of combined experience in treating behavioral health disorders. Our compassionate and empathetic approach has helped hundreds.