Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Matt Boyd is one of the many pro athletes using Joovv red light therapy to optimize his health and perform his best on and off the field. We recently asked Matt about his health and fitness routine, the technologies he uses to play his best, and how he’s integrated Joovv into his life and training. If you want a primer on red light therapy, check out this overview.
How did you first hear about red light therapy and what made you want to try a Joovv?
Last offseason, I was looking to take my training and my whole lifestyle to a new level. I knew I could change my body and recovery methods to better suit my training and truly get more benefit out of it. Kirk Bradshaw, owner of the Athletic Training Institute in Bellevue, Washington, (a place where I’ve trained since I was 14 years old), knew this and arranged a meeting with their newest employee, Devin McKee. Devin has a new whole life approach for me for the offseason and moving into the season, focusing on how to maximize our training, recovery and performance. Calling it biohacking doesn’t do what he does justice. So, when we first started meeting, one of the products he recommended was a photomodulation device.
What benefits were you looking to receive from using the Joovv light therapy device?
Light is especially important in the Seattle area, where there is limited sunlight in the winter. As part of my daily routine, I stood in front of my Joovv when I woke up and before I went to bed, around 7pm to help set my circadian rhythm. The benefits of increasing ATP production in every area of my body was a selling point too. After feeling the benefits of my full-body Joovv setup, I purchased a smaller, portable Joovv device as well. I travel with a Joovv now, and it’s become a staple of my game routine. I move the light around my body, mostly my arm to speed up the recovery process that comes with throwing a baseball everyday.
2019 was one of your most successful seasons as a starting MLB pitcher. How much credit do you think Joovv along with other recovery modalities has had in that success?
It’s been huge. Obviously you need to perform, and work on the skills that will help you perform, but the Joovv has been huge in helping me recover and wake up every morning rejuvenated, ready for whatever the day holds.
Other than major injuries that limit playing time, what are the most common day-to-day health problems that you and other MLB players face over a long season? Has Joovv helped?
Using the Joovv helps me stay ready, and recover so I can perform and keep all my focus on the glove, not on my body. That has been amazing. But playing a 162-game season, with the majority of the games coming at 7pm, we are exposed to various bright lights deep into the night. Winding down after playing under the lights every night is tough, and can mess up your natural sleep rhythms as the season goes on. This has been the first season that I’m consistently able to get to bed at a somewhat normal hour.
When did you first learn about the importance of recovery and how much has your recovery routine changed over the years?
I've always been intrigued by taking my game to another level, and trying to maximize all I have. Kirk Bradshaw at the Athletic Training Institute introduced me to MAT (Muscle Activation Techniques), and now MAT has become part of my regular routine, regardless of where I am in my season. He also introduced me to the NanoVi, which has been instrumental in keeping me fresh with the rigors of an MLB season. Kirk got my wheels turning, and since then I've constantly been looking for ways to be the best I can be every single day.
Are younger athletes starting to take notice of the importance of recovery so they can prolong their careers?
I don't think it's as much of a priority to younger baseball players as it should be. We are in a world that is surrounded by things that are working against you. If you want to be the best in your game, you need to be the best at every single facet of your life, and recovery is right there. What you put in is what you’re going to get out. I wish I knew what I know now when I was a college athlete!
What are 5 health tips you would recommend to young athletes?
Watch what you eat. Eating is the biggest game changer. You may not see immediate effects, but it's the constant good choices that produce the lasting compound effects that grow you in ways that are truly impactful.
Sleep is integral in changing your body and being ready to compete at your best day in and day out. (Check out this page for more on red light therapy, sleep, and circadian rhythm.)
Find a trainer who can help you grow your game physically and find someone who can grow it mentally.
Grow in the weight room. And If you can expand your mind and understanding and awareness, the possibilities are truly endless in how you can grow who you are as a person.
Last but not least, constantly seek out new information, turn over every stone and find what works. That’s how I’ve found useful tools like red light therapy.
Would you recommend Joovv to other athletes?
I would! It is such a great device. The applications are broad and you can truly change your body when you use it. It should be part of your regimen!
You can see more elite pro athletes who train with Joovv here, and learn more about the science behind red light therapy as a fitness and training tool here.
Joovv light therapy products are indicated for use in the relief of muscle and joint pain, including arthritis and muscle spasm pain, and increasing of blood circulation, and relaxation of muscles. The information provided in this article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to support the safety or effectiveness of Joovv devices, or diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. It's not a substitute for a face-to-face consultation with your healthcare provider, and should not be construed as medical advice.