NASA funded and mother-nature approved
Tanning salons offer red light therapy for relief of skin disorders

Bikini wearing beauties who like to tan can now go even farther beyond the pale by using red light therapy to promote the increased production of collagen for healthier skin. 

Aside from offering tanning with traditional ultra- violet radiation, Valley Tanning salon at 1600 N.E. Vine St. in Roseburg, now offers customers a type of therapy that may alleviate pain resulting from tendinitis, arthritis, torn muscles, fibromyalgia, broken bones, sprains, strains, cuts and nerve damage.

“While many benefits may be gained from red light therapy we just can’t claim to treat, prevent, cure or diagnose any medical condition” says Debbie Brown, who with her husband Kevin owns and operates Valley Tanning. These benefits include biological effects like increased enzymatic production rates, increased oxygen usage, and generally, increased metabolic and circulatory rates to better deliver nutrients and other cellular growth materials to the treatment site as the boosted flow of the lymphatic system drains toxins away. Red light also has the ability to stimulate activity of fibroblast cells to facilitate increased production of collagen and elastin in order to obtain a more youthful appearance.

Since proof that this revolutionary treatment is effective has come to light from sources such as NASA, more people are using red light to promote healing of skin and other tissues while gaining the illusion of age reversal. Tanning, in conjunction with red light therapy, may also have a powerful effect on disorders such as eczema and psoriasis that can be psychologically traumatizing over time.

Anyone who signs onto a red light therapy contract for $75 per 30 days and $140 per 60 days at Valley Tanning can be irradiated without fear of exposure to ultra-violet rays 20 minutes a day, six days a week at the local salon.

The Browns anticipate a surge in sales of red light therapy service in the near future and say they may need to add another room to accommodate customers.

Twelve weeks of consistent use is recommended by dermatologists to obtain maximum results and weekly use afterwards is suggested to maintain optimal skin condition. The specific wavelength of light emitted from these lamps resonates at the same frequency as living tissue. A subsequent increase of cellular energy transfer (Adenisene-5’-triphosphate) in the mitochondria, a cell component, which in turn helps cells heal 150 to 200 percent faster than normal in bone marrow transplant patients according to Light therapy works to heal wounds by assisting the body’s own natural processes.

The therapy is widely accepted by health organizations. A representative from the Consumer Health Organization of Canada explains, “This type of therapy stimulates acupressure points as well as entering the bloodstream through the soft tissue cellular walls. Receiving light at the belly button causes transmission to all body parts since every drop of blood passes near the belly button within 20 minutes.”

Niels Ryberg Finsen, Nobel Prize winner for Medicine and Physiology in 1903 developed a theory a well as artificial light source prior to 1893 specifically for photo-therapeutic skin treatment. Artificial light therapy for body healing, however did not become mainstream until the 1960’s when Russian and Czech researchers attempted to standardize colors by isolating them for use in color therapy experiments and learned by accident that isolated light frequencies could heal damaged cells and tissue.

NASA, which originally used such technology for horticultural experiments, has used red light therapy to treat minor wounds in outer space. A lack of gravity would not allow them to heal prior to the astronauts return to earth. Following this testing the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a Small Business Innovation Research Contract issued by the Technology Transfer Department, funded largely by NASA. This awarded contract is being utilized by the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

Doctors at the hospital located at Marshall Space Flight Center have used the medical application of red light therapy to show promise for burn victims, diabetic patients whose sores heal slowly or not at all and chemotherapy patients who have experienced oral sores which heal faster than normal in response to the red spectrum of light near the 633nanometers wavelength.

Debbie and Kevin Brown have operated the Valley Tanning salon for 19 years and can be reached at 541-672-6398. Business hours are Monday through Thursday 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday 7 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Saturday 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The Mainstream is a student publication of Umpqua Community College.