I treated myself to a few pairs of new glasses and then stocked up on basics like pricey over-the-counter meds, sunscreen and a first-aid kit.

It wasn't until they showed up at my door that my health-editor instincts kicked in and I wondered, do these things actually work?

While attempting to replicate an experiment that used a ruby laser to cure tumors in rats, he discovered that his lower-powered laser didn't eradicate any tumors but did inspire faster hair growth and better wound healing in rats.

Since that time, red-light therapy has gone by more than 75 aliases, including low-level light/laser therapy, cold laser therapy, monochromatic infrared light energy therapy and photostimulation.

However, in more recent years, researchers have encouraged the use of the term photobiomodulation (PBM) therapy, which they feel is more representative of the practice.

PBM, therefore, is different from other forms of light therapy, like infrared saunas -- which uses far-infrared radiation to heat the body -- and intense pulsed light, which uses high-intensity light sources to target the surface of the skin.

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