Rich Travis, Staff Writer
Thyroid Nation

Can Near-Infrared Light Therapy Help Your Thyroid?

In a recent study done in 2013 – Low-level laser in the treatment of patients with hypothyroidism induced by chronic autoimmune thyroiditis:

it concludes 48% of the hypothyroid patients maintained normal thyroid hormone levels without thyroid medication at the end of the 9-month follow-up. Almost HALF of the people in the study were able to completely come off their medication and remain off the medication even 9 months after the study completed. ~ PubMed

The body’s biological response to light is one reason that light therapy is recommended to patients for optimal health. We crave light, especially sunlight. Near-infrared lamps, as a light source, can actually help with cancer prevention, detoxification, and killing infections. Infrared light lets off the least amount of harmful rays and is beneficial for thyroid and general health as an increasing amount of research shows interesting and positive results for patients who use near-infrared light therapy for immune-related issues. If you suffer from thyroid disease and symptoms of chronic illness, fatigue, brain fog, light therapy can help to resolve many of these issues. Below is a list of the top 10 benefits.

What is it?

Low-level laser light therapy (LLLT). What is it? This therapy is based on research showing that red light and near-infrared radiation boosts cellular energy metabolism by activating the enzyme complex called cytochrome c oxidase. Studies are showing that this energy-boosting effect actually protects tissues from inflammation. A near-infrared lamp is able to penetrate the deepest as the light is concentrated in a small area. There are many additional benefits to near-infrared light therapy in addition to thyroid health!

It may also be able to reduce pain and inflammation in tissues underneath the skin. Others are investigating whether red light shone into mice’s heads using fibre optics can help with Parkinson’s disease.  ~ New Scientist

10 Benefits of Near Infrared Light Therapy on Thyroid Health

    1. Heavy Metal Detox- One of the main benefits of using infrared light therapy is to rid your body of heavy metals that can be found in our air, food, and water like lead, mercury, arsenic, cadmium, aluminum, nickel and many others. These metals accumulate at high rates in your body can lead to thyroid dysfunction. Detoxing can be a significant help in maintaining your thyroid health.

      Sweating during exercise is not effective for detoxification because exercise activates the sympathetic nervous system.  The sympathetic nervous system (stress, fight or flight) activity inhibits toxin elimination. You must be in a parasympathetic state (calm, rest or sleep) to detox. You can either workout OR detox, not usually both at the same time. ~ Wendy Myers,

    2. Stimulates Weight Loss- Burns calories and enhances metabolism, and heat therapy can increase natural HGH levels to help burn fat and build muscle.
    3. Skin Rejuvenation The skin is the body’s largest organ. It is also a major organ for eliminating body wastes through sweating. Most people don’t sweat enough. Near-infrared saunas encourage sweating and unlock toxins stored beneath the skin bringing deeper toxins to the skin for elimination. NIR light easily penetrates the skin, boosts circulation and brings more blood and nutrients not only to the skin itself but to deeper tissues as well.
    4. Anti-Inflammatory Agent- It directly stimulates energy production inside the heart of the cells, to trigger growth and regeneration of tissues. When the detoxification, heat and light are combined, a synergistic and powerful therapy is created that leads to amazing health benefits.
    5. Light Exposure- If you work indoors, or work the night shift and have little exposure to natural sunlight, light therapy can fight against light deficiency and hypothyroidism. Also, in the wintertime when days are shorter and we all do less outdoor activity, our exposure to light is reduced and this can negatively affect your thyroid health.
    6. Increased Immunity- Infrared Light Therapy enhances white blood cell function by elevating body temperatures by about 3 degrees per one half-hour session. This increases the body’s ability to eliminate foreign pathogens and cellular waste products. Find out if you have low body temperature using a thermometer. If so, boosting your body’s temperature may help jumpstart many beneficial processes in your system. Other immunity functions that can be improved by near-infrared light therapy include improved circulation, improved lymphatic flow, and improved mitochondrial function.
    7. Activates “cytochrome c oxidase”- which is an important enzyme that plays a crucial role in energy production. Many things in our everyday environments work to deplete this enzyme. Some of these things include polyunsaturated fats, stress, estrogen dominance, low thyroid, and lack of light. This enzyme is the same one that thyroid medication (T3) works to activate.
    8. Color Therapy- As an added bonus, these types of lamps emit a red, orange, and yellow visible light that provides a warming a stimulating color therapy. This kind of therapy draws energy downward and assist the digestive organs.
    9. Low Levels of EMF’s- Electrical frequencies are everywhere around us from cellphones, wifi, and electric appliances. Sensitive people can be affected negatively by these frequencies. Near-infrared light therapy emits very low levels of EMF’s making them much safer than other sauna treatments.
    10. Simple and Cost-Effective- This therapy is one of the safest, least costly, and most powerful methods of therapy. You do not need a fancy, expensive laser. Near-infrared lamp saunas are cheap to buy and easy to use.


  • In both a 2010 Brazilian pilot study and a 2013 Brazilian randomized controlled study, nearly half of the hypothyroid patients that received 10 low-level laser light therapy maintained normal thyroid hormone levels without medication at the end of the 9 months.
  • In a 2003 Ukrainian dissertation study, it was concluded that low-level light therapy can decrease medications by up to 75% in patients with postsurgical hypothyroidism.
  • In a 2010 Russian dissertation study, 17% of hypothyroid patients that received low-level light therapy directly on the thyroid area could discontinue medication completely while 38% were able to reduce their dosages.
  • In a 2014 Russian report, the treatment of 347 subclinically hypothyroid women showed that after light therapy, TSH was normalized in 337 of these women! They averaged a TSH level of 9.1 mIU/L and after 10 sessions the average was 2.2 mIU/L.
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Is Near-Infrared For You?

Near-Infrared Light Therapy is not recommended as a replacement for your doctor’s advice or your prescription thyroid medication. It is, however, highly recommended in addition to your current treatments for its therapeutic and detoxifying benefits. Talk to a trusted health professional to see if near-infrared light therapy is right for you and your thyroid health.

When infrared light is absorbed into our photoreceptor cells, it also causes an increase in blood flow. This allows parts of the body that are low in circulation to receive the oxygen and nutrients they need in order to function more effectively. (This includes increased blood flow to your liver, which in turn boosts your body’s ability to detoxify naturally!)

~ Organic Olivia

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Thyroid-Nation-Staff-WriterRich Travis is a staff writer for Living with his wife and 2 children, he has a front-row seat to the devastation thyroid disease can cause and offers an in-depth, up close and personal view of his experience.  His wife of 18 years suffers from Hypothyroidism and was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and Adrenal Fatigue in 2012. Seeking help, offering compassion and supporting cures for those that suffer, he is on a mission to educate the masses. Please follow him and Thyroid Nation on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest. Read more of his articles, here.

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