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May 14, 2019

Red Light Therapy? It’s trending in Tampa Bay!

By Anu Varma Panchal 

Red Light Therapy with Joovv

Have you ever considered red light therapy? Basking in the sun used to be a good thing. You’d get your dose of Vitamin D, go inside with a pleasant sense of well-being, and probably sleep better that night. Today, we know a few hours in direct sunlight can be dangerous for us unless we’ve slathered ourselves in the right type and amount of sunscreen and examined every mole with deep suspicion for weeks afterwards.

US Cryotherapy has a solution: the newly introduced Joovv Red Light Therapy, a device that lists among its benefit fat loss, muscle recovery, thyroid function, joint pain and skin improvement. Jeff Houghtaling, manager of US Cryotherapy at 1905 W. Kennedy Blvd. in South Tampa, says that just 10 minutes a day of controlled exposure to red light helps promote general well-being and better health.

“When people first got interested in this [red light therapy], we thought it was hokey,” says Houghtaling, who with the owner, Mark Sergi, spends extensive time researching and experimenting with new treatments on the market. “We don’t just jump on the bandwagon. But the more research we did, the more excited we got.”

With good reason: According to numerous scientific studies quoted on Joovv’s official website, exposure to ultralight or red light therapy in the correct doses and at the correct wavelength has been shown to stimulate:

  • Mitochondria (our cells’ energy producing unit) to make more ATP (the energy that powers us).
  • Collagen production in our body, improving skin elasticity and hair length.
  • Production of antioxidants in the body, which helps tackle inflammation and stress.
  • Activity in the lymphatic system, reducing swelling and inflammation.
  • Melatonin output, leading to better sleep

It’s so far not been shown to have any side effects and is safe to use as much as you want. But that doesn’t mean any red light therapy will do. Houghtaling explains that red infrared light works at 2 wavelengths, at about 650 nanometers and 850 nanometers.

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At the lower range, the light is said to boost collagen production, which helps skin look clear, fade sunspots and stretch marks and lessen the frequency of breakouts. At the higher range, it penetrates muscles, helping with joint pain relief and stimulating cellular metabolism.

At US Cryotherapy, Joovv is installed in a room the size of a small walk-in closet. You’ll take off your clothes for maximum effectiveness and put on a pair of sunglasses to protect your eyes from the lights, which can seem very bright at your first visit.

You’ll find yourself standing between two rows of panels that have small red bulbs mounted in them.

Once they are turned on, you’ll be bathed in a red light. The overall effect is of standing in a warm patch of sunlight, with no discomfort, pain or any sort of burning sensations.

Once the 10 minute red light therapy session is up, you get dressed, pay and leave.

Houghtaling himself uses it every day and is amused when clients ask him if he’s been dyeing his beard. He hasn’t, but he thinks that continual use of Joovv has stimulated more hair growth, which makes it look fuller and therefore darker.

“People are looking for alternatives to pharmaceuticals,” he says. “They are looking to be more productive, more efficient.”

When Houghtaling and Sergi were scouting for new technologies to introduce at US Cryotherapy, they were drawn to systems that stimulate the body to heal itself, rather than treating symptoms or interfering with nature. Instead, they use cold, light, heat and compression to stimulate your body to increase various metabolic processes.

Using one or a combination of these therapies, they’ve found success helping clients who suffer from psoriasis, eczema and chronic pain. Many clients are athletes, and many staff members are involved in health and fitness fields as well. Houghtaling himself teaches jujitsu. But many clients are there simply for a sense of well-being that they can get in a short visit.

Red light therapy treatments start at $25 for one, or a 10-pack for $159. You can also consider a monthly pass, which starts at $199 and can be used to mix and match all the services offered here, including the newest entry—iV BARS vitamin drip.

Says Houghtaling: “We are a one-stop wellness shop.”

This article originally appeared in the May 2019 issue of Tampa Bay Parenting Magazine and was sponsored by US Cryotherapy.