Targeted Versus Full-Body Red Light Therapy

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Our team is often asked the question “Should I treat my whole body or just target specific areas?”. In this article, we’ll explain the key differences between targeted and full-body devices, and the benefits of having both. 

What is Red Light Therapy and How Does it Work?

Red light therapy is a simple, non-invasive treatment that delivers wavelengths of red and near infrared (NIR) light to your skin and cells. A quality in-home medical device like a Joovv uses LEDs to shine red and near infrared light on your body. Red light therapy only takes a few minutes per day. With a Joovv device, a 10-minute treatment session per area is recommended. Red light therapy is also easy: all you have to do is sit or stand in front of the device and let your cells take in the therapeutic light.

Red light therapy works by improving cellular health and energy production across the body. Check out our Science Page for a peek inside the cell during a red light therapy session.

What is Targeted Red Light Therapy?

One approach to red light therapy is to target specific problem areas, like a sore ankle, or the skin on your face. Targeted red light therapy utilizes a smaller device with a smaller treatment area to provide localized support to a specific area of the body. Targeted red light therapy products are usually portable or handheld. They are typically no larger than 10x10 inches and often require a power cord that needs to be plugged into the wall. Targeted devices can work wonders for troublesome areas of the body with consistent usage but have their limitations, as we explain below.

The targeted approach is most commonly seen in skin care applications, where it’s popular with dermatologists, estheticians, and people doing at-home beauty and skin rejuvenation treatments. Targeted red light therapy has also been used for decades to relieve joint pain, help manage inflammation, and improve healing outcomes for injuries.

Most in-home red light therapy devices use LEDs to deliver wavelengths of light to the body. There is also a strong base of peer-reviewed research behind the efficacy of targeted low-level laser treatments (LLLT) for many of the same benefits. However, laser treatments aren’t a realistic option for most people because of how expensive, inconvenient, and difficult they are to operate due to the risk of overheating the skin tissues. 

What is Full-Body Red Light Therapy?

Full-body red light therapy uses the same wavelengths of light as targeted treatments, but delivers it to a larger area. This maximizes the body’s potential to benefit from red light therapy.



The more your body and cells can take in wavelengths of light, the more energy you can produce. Full-body red light therapy treatments can produce systemic benefits for the body, like improved sleep and circulation.

Joovv is the first company to design and engineer a full-body red light therapy device that people can use in their homes. Before Joovv, the only option was to pay for access at spas or clinics. Getting red light therapy on a consistent basis in commercial settings is too expensive, inconvenient, and time-consuming for most people. 

Should You Use Full-Body or Targeted Red Light Therapy?

Let’s look at some of the key differences between targeted and full-body red light therapy:

Treatment Size: Targeted devices treat a relatively small area on the body, while full-body devices are designed for much broader coverage, allowing for treatments of a larger area, in a fraction of the time.

Budget: Part of the appeal of a targeted device is the cost. Targeted devices can be a great place to start, if you’re trying to stay within a certain budget. A major benefit of starting with a Joovv modular device, such as the Mini 3.0 or Solo 3.0, is the ability to expand over time. 

Setup: Choosing the right setup for the space in your home is often an overlooked factor. Targeted devices don’t take up any space and can be portable, which makes for convenient use for travel. While a full-body device provides the best overall coverage, you will want to make sure you pick the best setup option for you. Check out this guide to help understand our available options

Energy delivered: The larger the treatment area, the more light energy is delivered to the body. The image below shows how much is delivered in a 10-minute session with a targeted device vs a full-body device.

More benefits with full-body red light therapy: Targeted devices can work wonders for specific problems like a sore joint. They’re also vital tools in the skincare industry. But if you’re looking for more systemic health benefits, only a full-body device is able to deliver enough light and energy to impact your whole body. We’ll cover some of the main benefits of red light therapy later on in this article.

Joovv’s Targeted Red Light Therapy Options

Joovv makes both targeted and full-body red light therapy devices you can use in your home. Here’s a look at the targeted devices:

Joovv Go 2.0: The Go is a completely portable, wireless, and rechargeable targeted red light therapy device. Industry leading, this device is loaded with features you won’t find elsewhere, including an alarm clock setting, Ambient mode for improving sleep and circadian rhythm, and Recovery+ mode for optimal fitness and recovery, when paired with our Joovv app. 

To learn more about the Joovv Go 2.0, click here.

Joovv Mini 3.0: The Mini is larger than the Go and covers a broader treatment area.Unlike the Go, it’s compatible with Joovv’s modular system, which allows you to expand your treatment area by connecting the Mini to additional devices. The Go requires a cool-down between treatments, but the Mini can be used consecutively.

To learn more about the Joovv Mini 3.0, click here. 

Neither the Go 2.0 or Mini 3.0 devices were designed for full body use and are not recommended for this purpose. 

Full-Body Red Light Therapy Options from Joovv

Joovv makes six different red light therapy kits that offer moderate to full-body coverage. They range from the Joovv Solo 3.0, the cornerstone of the modular system, to the largest light therapy setup, the Joovv Elite 3.0 which is comprised of six Solos.

The Joovv Elite, Joovv Quad, and Joovv Max all offer full-body coverage, depending on your height.

The Joovv Solo, Joovv Duo, and Joovv Half-Max offer moderate coverage and can all be expanded to a full-body kit at any time.

The benefit of a larger kit is that you can receive more light energy at one time, meaning you’ll see full-body results in less time. Need help finding the best Joovv kit for you? Take this short quiz. 

Combining Targeted and Full-Body Red Light Therapy Treatments

Targeted and full-body red light therapy are both effective, but using them together can be very effective. Many Joovv users own a full-body system, like a Quad or Elite, for daily treatments. Then they also own the Joovv Go, so they can take red light therapy away from home and do targeted treatments from anywhere. It’s a win-win that ensures your body and cells get the healthy light they need every day.

Benefits of Red Light Therapy

The effectiveness and safety of red light therapy are backed by a large amount of peer-reviewed clinical studies. Here’s a look at some of the core benefits you can see with consistent use and full-body coverage:

Enhanced cellular function: In conjunction with a healthy lifestyle, light therapy treatments can have systemic benefits because they work by improving cellular health across the entire body. One major effect is an increase in ATP energy production, which powers your body. Learn more about cellular function, mitochondria, ATP energy, and light therapy here.

Inflammation management: Light therapy treatments help your body’s natural inflammation process as you recover from illness or injury. Dr. Michael Hamblin is one of the world’s leading photomedicine researchers, and believes light therapy produces an “overall reduction in inflammation.” [1] Read more details about inflammation, strain, and light therapy here.

Skin health and beauty: Red light is a popular tool for skin care because of red light therapy’s blood flow and inflammation benefits. Taking in healthy red light is crucial for skin cells, skin rejuvenation, and healing. Learn more about skin health and light therapy here.

Recovery and performance: Muscle cells require a great deal of energy, and strengthen through a process of tearing and repairing. Red light therapy helps your body produce and use energy more efficiently.  Joovv’s unique Recovery+ mode is designed to optimize the body’s natural recovery process. Learn more about recovery, performance, and light therapy here and see the pro athletes and teams using Joovv here.

Sleep optimization: Red light therapy is popular with people trying to optimize their sleep and circadian rhythm. Bright blue light at night can knock your sleep cycle out of whack, but red light is a lower-intensity alternative that can help support longer, more restful sleep. [2,3,4] Unlike bright blue light, frequencies of red light are less intense and don’t interfere with your brain’s perception of light during certain times of the day. This can help you transition to sleep more naturally. Learn more about circadian rhythms and light here.

You can learn more details about other health benefits of red light therapy here.

FAQs About Targeted and Full-Body Red Light Therapy with Joovv

Questions about targeted and full-body red light therapy? Check out these FAQs about Joovv’s devices and coverage options:

Can a Joovv targeted device be used to treat the whole body?

Targeted devices are not designed or recommended for full-body treatments. 

What is the best full-body red light therapy option to start with?

If you're looking to treat your entire body in a simple, ten-minute per side session, your best options are the Max, Quad, or Elite. To work your way up to true full-body red light therapy, you can start with the Duo or Half-Max to cover much of your body with light at one time. 

If you are planning on expanding down the road, check out this helpful Joovv device buyers guide

Conclusion: Full-Body Light Therapy Delivers Optimal Results

Targeted red light therapy treatments with smaller devices are great for improving sore joints, healing specific areas, and rejuvenating skin. For more systemic benefits like sleep, energy, inflammation, circulation, and overall fitness & performance, you may need a larger device that covers more of the body and delivers more light energy to your skin and cells. Joovv makes both targeted and full-body red light therapy kits, from the portable handheld Joovv Go to the full-body Joovv Max, Joovv Quad, and Joovv Elite.

Ultimately, your lifestyle and health goals may be the deciding factors when comparing Joovv devices. Whether your path leads you to targeted or full-body (or somewhere in-between), Joovv has an option for you. 

 

Sources and References:


[1] Hamblin M. Mechanisms and applications of the anti-inflammatory effects of photobiomodulation. AIMS Biophysics. 2017 May.


[2] Sheppard A and Wolffsohn J. “Digital eye strain: prevalence, measurement and amelioration.” BMJ Open Ophthalmology. 2018 April.

[3] Jung C, Khalsa S, et al. Acute Effects of Bright Light Exposure on Cortisol Levels. Journal of Biological Rhythms. 2010 Jun.

[4] Harvard Health. Blue light has a dark side.