One of the most difficult addictions for any individual to overcome is alcoholism. Fortunately, there are a variety of proven and effective treatments available for those living with alcoholism, including red light therapy. Although this form of treatment may seem unorthodox, it offers those who engage in it a number of benefits.  


Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD), also known as alcoholism, is a medical condition that develops in a person over time. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, a person has alcohol use disorder if they are unable to control or stop their consumption of alcohol. This lack of control or inability to stop is especially significant if the individual is unable to exercise control when facing consequences to their health, finances, occupation, or social life.   

Alcoholism and the Human Body

Alcoholism typically affects several areas of a person’s life. However, one of the most severe effects alcoholism can have on a person is on their body. The risks alcoholism can have on a person’s health often include:

  • Weakened immune system
  • Damaging communication pathways in the brain
    • Usually affecting coordination and behavior
  • Liver problems
    • Steatosis, or fatty liver
    • Alcoholic hepatitis
    • Fibrosis
    • Cirrhosis
  • Heart problems
    • High blood pressure
    • Stroke
    • Cardiomyopathy
    • Arrhythmias Stroke   
red light therapy for alcoholism

What is Red Light Therapy?

History of Red Light Therapy: 

Red light therapy is exactly what its name implies; it is therapy for the human body with red light. In general, light therapy dates back to the early 1900s when Danish physicist Niels Ryberg Finsen invented it to treat individuals with skin tuberculosis. Since then, light therapy has been continually studied and utilized. In the 1990s, NASA started to incorporate red light therapy in space. The organization discovered that red light therapy could help stimulate growth in plant life and increase cellular function for their astronauts.

How Red Light Therapy Works: 

Light travels in wavelengths, and different colors of light have different wavelengths. Red light has a specific wavelength that allows it to more deeply penetrate human skin. In doing so, the mitochondria in skin cells can absorb the energy from red light and increase a cell’s overall functioning. Because of this increased functioning, skin cells and other surrounding cells can grow and combat skin conditions and even relieve areas of inflammation, joint pain, and more.        

UV rays are not used in red light therapy, so there is little chance of skin damage. Red light therapy uses a low amount of heat that doesn’t harm the skin in any way, so there is no chance of getting burnt. As a result of clinical trials, red light therapy has been proven to be effective in promoting collagen production, decreasing skin ageing, reducing joint pain and inflammation, and enhancing muscle recovery.

red light therapy

The Benefits of Red Light Therapy for Alcoholism 

Although red light therapy is not a cure for alcoholism, it can offer those recovering from alcoholism a number of benefits. These benefits include:  

1. Improved Mental Health

Red light therapy sessions and red light therapy, in general, have been found to help reduce tension and anxiety. This helps a person recovering from alcoholism to relax, enter more positive mindsets, and reduce their irritability. By improving one’s state of mind, one can more easily commit to their recovery.

2. Increased Energy

By stimulating cell activity, red light therapy helps to increase energy in the area or areas being treated. However, an increase in energy from red light therapy can permeate throughout the entire body. This often gives a patient the jump start they need to not only feel better physically and mentally but manage their recovery from alcoholism.  

3. A More Natural Sleep Cycle

Many alcoholics find it difficult to sleep once they become sober. Fortunately, red light therapy can provide some assistance. One of the main reasons people have sleep issues is from irregular lighting during their waking hours. By exposing themselves to bright red lights during red light therapy sessions, the light itself helps subconsciously reinforce the difference between waking hours and those meant for sleeping.      

4. Rejuvenated Skin

Aside from helping with recovery, red light therapy also has tremendous benefits on a person’s skin. Red light therapy can help rejuvenate the skin, increasing elasticity and collagen. It can also help heal skin conditions like rashes, scrapes, and burns.   

Recent studies conducted at the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center have shown that red light therapy can help treat alcoholism. In neuroscience research, optogenetics has been used at the medical center to discover that red light therapy can alter impulses and actions, aiding in the treatment of alcohol addiction.

red light therapy

Why Complementary Therapies are Important in Treating Addiction

Alternative medicines, which use a holistic approach to help people focus on both mind and body, are an innovative and creative method of assisting addiction treatment. Complementary therapies utilize a holistic approach to help people focus on both body and mind in tandem. The skills and therapies learned in complementary therapies may assist people in overcoming their addiction and staying sober long-term.

A crucial element of our treatment programs at Knoxville Recovery Center is the inclusion of complementary therapies, such as red light therapy, which are integrated alongside our more conventional individual and group therapies provided by our counsellors and therapists. Patients frequently choose to utilize art therapy, yoga, and mindfulness as part of their rehabilitation.

Interested in Using Red Light Therapy to Treat Alcoholism? 

If you or a loved one is currently living with alcoholism, help is available near you! At Knoxville Recovery Center our experienced team of addiction specialists offer a number of treatment programs and therapies for alcoholism, including red light therapy.

Services offered: 

Detox – Our on-site detox clinic accommodates and supports clients as the body sheds all residual traces of addictive substances. Clients are under medical supervision during the detox process to ensure that they remain safe and comfortable. 

Addiction Treatment –  During our addiction treatment program, clients will engage in introductory therapies and exercises that work to prepare them for continued, more intensive treatment outside of our facility. The goal of our addiction treatment track is to stabilize clients so that they are treatment-ready. 

Mental Health Treatment – Our mental health treatment program introduces behavioral therapies rooted in self-expression and holistic exercise. Art therapy, music therapy, and yoga are just a few forms of therapy we offer at the center. Our goal is to help the client reclaim their voice and expose them to treatment within a professional facility. 

Aftercare Planning – Aftercare is designed for individuals who have benefitted from our introductory addiction services and are transitioning into a more intensive addiction treatment program. Once a client is stabilized, they will be encouraged to pursue continued addiction treatment. Our experienced case managers will then work with our clients to place them in a program that addresses their specific wants and needs.

If you feel that you or a loved one is struggling and needs help, or if you’re curious about the many benefits of red light therapy, our specialists are on standby and ready to help. Call Knoxville Recovery Center and speak with an expert today.

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