This week’s conversation is with Wes Pfiffner, a member of Joovv’s leadership team.

Joovv is the first company to develop a modular, full-body light therapy for personal, in-home use.

So why am I so interested in light therapy?

You probably know that UV light from the sun helps us create Vitamin D, but other colors and wavelengths of sunlight are crucial for our health as well, like red light and near-infrared light.

I’ve been hooked on Joovv for a while and I wanted to have Wes on to take a deeper dive into their technology and how it can make a difference for you.

In this conversation, Wes breaks down the basics of light and how it works on a cellular level, leading to some commonly known (and some not so common!) ways healthy light exposure optimizes health, and why you should prioritize this therapy the same way you do diet and exercise.

Joovv also just launched their next generation of devices – you can learn more and take advantage of an exclusive offer at Joovv.com/findingmastery.

“Light is a fundamental piece of our health that most people don’t have a very good understanding on. Once you start wielding it to your benefit, you can see pretty dramatic changes.”

In This Episode:

How did early life shape him?

My family started investigating alternative ways of taking care of the body. I first started learning about organic. When you’re in the Midwest, learning about organic, that probably happened on the West Coast five years previous by the time it got to the Midwest. We started seeing things about pesticides, and then you see, “What’s this thing about grass-fed beef? I’ve never heard about grass-fed beef.” So you start investigating all these things.

Why red light therapy?

My sister, Melissa, who’s a co-founder of the company, she was dealing with a major skin issue, eczema, and anybody familiar with eczema, it’s a really, can be a really nasty issue, dry skin, irritable, itchy, and it’s just not pleasant. She had been looking a ton of different ways of healing and trying to do it like a natural alternative way. She read on some random forum of, hey, this person said I tried red light therapy and it cleared mine up. She’s like, “Red light therapy?” She started looking more into it and seeing that, man, estheticians use this for skin health. There may be something to this.

Why getting sun exposure is important for health

Live a healthy lifestyle, right? What’s always in there? Make sure you get sunlight, but people don’t know why. They have no idea the reason why, except for vitamin D. But I hear a lot of people, “Oh, I don’t need to get out that much. I take a vitamin D supplement.” Well, that’s true. That’s beneficial. But look at what else you’re missing. You’re missing all of these other wavelengths of light that provide beneficial effects on your body, red and near-infrared happens to be one of those that our cells really need, and specifically, the mitochondria. What we try and educate at Joovv specifically is we’re out of balance with the amount of light we’re getting and we’re really out of balance with the amount of red and near-infrared light we’re getting. We’re over exposed to blue light. We have a complete imbalance. In fact, the EPA, the Environmental Protection Agency releases in 2018, 93% of Americans time is now being spent indoors, their lifetime.

Why is Joovv a better solution than simply spending more time in the sun?

It’s tough. I know all these benefits of the sun, yet it’s hard for me to get outside. It just is. I have to pick up the kids, got to take them, I’m inside working. I’m lucky if I can get a 20-minute lunch break outside. Also, the intensity matters. There could be extremely cloudy days, right? You’re getting some rays through the clouds, but a lot of it is blocking. There’s those times when it’s hard to exactly do the right dosage calculator. You may not get, and a lot of times we’re fully clothed. When can I be outside fully naked and actually get a good exposure? It’s hard. I would say it’s just our lifestyle has made it extremely hard. I think a lot of people would rather be out in the sun. Most people say like when they go on vacation, they just feel good. They’re also out in the sun. You know what I mean? They’re away from all the bullshit they’re dealing within the office, the computers, the regular that. Yeah. True. But you’re also giving your body a nutrient that you’ve been, it’s been lacking.

How does light therapy affect skin health?

The biggest benefit you see from a skin perspective is a mechanism of action as a result of doing a treatment. You’re seeing an increase in blood flow. You’ll see vasodilation pretty quickly within seconds to a minute. The skin needs proper blood flow, right? For collagen production it just needs blood flow. You’d you’d be surprised of how much inflammation can be associated with the lack of blood flow to an area. So red and near-infrared increases the blood flow. It’s stimulating the cells, and specifically, the mitochondria (energy for the body).

How does light therapy affect performance?

Every day we’re putting stress on our bodies, whether we’re doing physical activity or not, just going through the day can be stressful on the body and we need to recover. Where light is important there is your cells need that. We’re always needing to recover. That’s why we sleep. So from an athlete’s perspective, it’s very, very important that you replenish those cells that are under stress and get those returned to normal. That’s what we see versus placebo group is cells return back to homeostasis faster and not only faster, but stronger.

What other impact has he noticed?

Those mornings when I wake up foggy, for whatever reason, 5 minutes to 10 minutes in front of the Joovv, makes it completely go away. I’m focused. It’s go time where I’m just locked in and that fogginess is gone, where in previous that might hang around for a couple hours. I would have needed to go get that coffee.

How is this different from near-infrared and red light saunas?

Easiest way to explain it is in an infrared sauna, that’s primarily mid and far-infrared. Those are very long wavelengths that primarily generate heat. That’s the mechanism of those wavelengths on the human body, they generate heat. They’re putting a stress on you, right? So if you’re giving the body heat, it’s going to sweat to keep itself cool. All right. You’re going under stress. Red and near-infrared light is the exact opposite, where it’s giving your body energy. So a sauna, putting you under stress, utilizing light, putting stress on your body, and near-infrared and red light is giving yourself energy. They’re both very beneficial therapies, just different.

 

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  • Finding Mastery 203: Michael Breus, clinical psychologist, on The Key to a Better Night’s Sleep

 

References:

 

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Director of Business Development at

Wes Pfiffner is a member of Joovvs leadership team, and leads all their marketing efforts.