Shining Laser Lights On Your Balls & Beyond: Photobiomodulation 101 – How To Use Near Infrared & Red Light For Collagen, Thyroid, Muscle, Skin & More.

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For some reason, I've gotten a reputation as a guy who “shines light on his balls”.

Perhaps it was this Men's Health magazine article, in which I discuss a form of light therapy called “photobiomodulation” as a way for guys to increase sexual performance, sperm count and testosterone.

Or perhaps it's because I've described on multiple podcasts how I pull down my pants for 20-30 minutes a day while I'm at my desk, and “bathe my balls” in red and near-infrared light, using a device called a “Joovv”.

Turns out the benefits of photobiomodulation go far beyond your nether regions. Heck, this recent study even hinted at the fact that perhaps it should actually be banned as an illegal performance-enhancing drug!

On today's podcast, I discuss photobiomodulation ins and outs with two experts in the field: Justin Strahan and Scott Nelson.

Not just any man can take his wife's dream and make it a reality. This is just one of the reasons why Justin is so special. Justin's affinity for process and extreme attention to detail is why we are lucky to have him as head of R&D. The two words we would to describe Justin are intuitive and thorough. Prior to inventing and developing the Joovv, he spent his career as an engineer managing design and development teams. He also has six children, and can apparently play drums and trumpet like it's nobody's business.



Scott is the impetus, power, and energy that set Joovv in motion. As head of commercialization, his ability to metabolize information quickly makes him an irreplaceable asset. The two words we would use to describe Scott are efficient and personable. Prior to cofounding Joovv, he spent his entire professional career in leadership positions with some of the largest medical device companies in the world, including Medtronic, Covidien, Boston Scientific, and C.R. Bard.


During our discussion, you'll discover:

-The intriguing history of photobiomodulation (PBM) and the JOOVV light…11:11

  • All types of health benefits from a wide range of wavelengths.
    • Sunlight is optimal
    • Red (600-670 nanometers); near infrared (800-880 nanometers)
    • Visible Red light is considered near infrared.
    • Far infrared is useful for heating tissue (over 3000 nanometers); you can't see it.
  • Comparing research between red and near-infrared light.
    •  Original PBM devices were lasers. Low-level laser therapy (LLLT)
    • Difference between LED and lasers: light source itself. Laser is a specific wavelength. LED is tight range, but not a coherent beam.
    • Photo medicine is still a niche field. Most older academics say that it's based on laser therapy, younger professionals say with newer LED light, you can deliver the same level of intensity over a much broader treatment area.
  • How is LED light different from sunlight?
    • Americans spend around 93% of their lifetime indoors due to their work and lifestyle.
    • PBM harnesses specific wavelengths; restores healthy function to offset stressors such as wifi, bluetooth, etc.
    • It's similar to supplementing our diets with a smoothie or multivitamin.
    • It doesn't contain the UVA or UVB, blue light, etc.

-The compelling research behind phototherapy for everything from testosterone to collagen to thyroid to muscular recovery and beyond…21:00

  •  Wide-ranging benefits: skin health, muscle recovery, thyroid function.
    • Supported by over 3,000 peer-reviewed manuscripts.
    • Over 200 placebo-controlled trials.
  • Restores natural skin health.
  • Red light is studied for skin health; near infrared often used for joint pain studies.
  • Are JOOVV lights effective for controlling acne?
  • The effect of red lights on the eyes. Will it damage your eyes to stare at a JOOVV, or will it even help them?
    • Proven to help degenerative eyes.
    • Near-infrared a bit more comfortable to the eye.
    • Begin treatment with eyes closed; then open eyes if you feel comfortable.
    • JOOVV elite allows you to use only near-infrared light.
    • JOOVV devices are registered with the FDA, Class 2.
  • How red and infrared light affects collagen production.
    • It increases collagen production, helps restore joint health.
    • Copper and green light have been shown to enhance benefits of light therapy.
  • Can PBM mitigate circadian rhythm or exposure to artificial light?
    • Sun gets a “bad rap”; unfairly associated with skin cancer.
    • Studies prove that red/infrared light increase levels of melatonin.

-Is PBM effective in attaining weight loss?…41:30

  • Not necessarily weight loss, but there is a “slimming effect”.
  • Some studies have shown that red light helps in increasing metabolism.
  • Red light has been shown to mitigate the effects of sleep deprivation. 

-Why PBM is now under consideration for classification as a “performance enhancing drug”…46:30

  • Meta-analysis claimed that red light builds up muscle tissue.
  • Near-infrared waves have had a profound impact.

-How PBM affects stem cells…49:30

-The effect of using PBM on your neck for thyroid issues…51:30

-The optimal amount of PBM to which you should expose yourself per day…54:23

  • It's difficult to test the power output of a device.
  • There are many variables that affect the amount of PBM a device is able to put out.
  • Ensure you purchase your device from a reliable, trusted company.
  • JOOVV is ~100 milowatts per sq. cm.
  • Recommended 10-minute treatment about 6″ away from the device.

-The differences and benefits of continuous wave vs pulsed frequencies…1:01:20

  • Pulsed means the light turns on and off very rapidly.
  • A bit of ambiguity on the results of pulsed; continuous wave is tried and true.
  • Sunlight is considered to be a continuous wave light.

-Whether the JOOVV produces much EMF or flicker, and if you can actually look at the light without eye damage…1:03:07

  • Household LED lighting is different from PBM. JOOVV lights have AC/DC built in.
  • JOOVV lights mitigate “dirty electricity.” 
  • Newer devices are even more effective.

-What kind of things you can combine with photobiomodulation to enhance the effects…1:10:30

-And much more!

Click here for the full written transcript of this podcast episode.

Resources from this episode:

Biomat mini


Alitura Clay Mask

PulseCenters PEMF

Blue light blocking glasses

-The structured water filter Ben uses

4th Phase Of Water Book by Gerald Pollack

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Do you have questions, thoughts or feedback for Scott, Justin or me? Leave your comments below and one of us will reply!

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38 thoughts on “Shining Laser Lights On Your Balls & Beyond: Photobiomodulation 101 – How To Use Near Infrared & Red Light For Collagen, Thyroid, Muscle, Skin & More.

  1. Lady Jaymes says:

    This may be a dumb question, but does anyone know if I purchase an Elite unit is there any benefit in putting a mirror on the opposite side? Or do the health benefits of the light only come directly from the source? The wellness center I go to has two elite units facing each other to maximize the treatment, but I probably won’t spring for that option.

  2. Dave says:

    I have post concussion syndrome. Former soccer player. Did too much with the vielight from bad advice from one doc. Is it possible to do too much? It is from my experience. How much is too much and what can one do to recover from too much exposure? After recovering here,, maybe try the joovv instead?? Thoughts? Thanks

  3. Clint says:

    I always go to the red light district in Amsterdam, kinda has the same benefits.

    1) increases temporarily my testosterone and energy levels by 900%
    2) Takes only few minutes per session
    3) Perfect for massaging injuries
    4) Always on the chase for younger skin
    5) Best stress relief.

  4. Scott says:

    Hey Ben would this be a cheaper alternative that some people could use?…

    1. I'm not familiar with that… I only personally recommend the Joovv as I have seen their research and trust in the efficacy/safety of their product.

    2. Karel Mencl says:

      I’ve purchased the 300W one and it works great. I will re-test my TST after 30 days of using it. It has 660nm and 850nm LEDs 1:1.

  5. Keith says:

    Has anyone ever published any data as far as the effects of the light in relation to skin cancer? I have had melanoma twice and I protect myself from sun exposure – is redlight therapy safe in that respect?

  6. I’ve been studying and using the low level LED therapy as a treatment for dementia and other neurodegenerative disorders as well as traumatic brain injury. We’ve been studying the Vielight and a UK-developed unit called Cerebrolite for about 10 years. The potential for healing and prevention of brain degeneration is quite clear and when combined with brainwave biofeedback, we can reverse memory loss and prevent further decline. Clinical trials are ongoing now, details at

  7. Harrison Bradford says:

    When it comes to shining light on testicles, is it best to use infrared and near infrared simultaneously as the Joovv can do? Or is it best to stick with the visible infrared only. Also, what’s the optimal duration for such treatment? Thanks in advance.

    1. I use both. Joovv recommends 10 minutes at approx 6 in distance from treatment area.

      1. Joseph says:

        I may have misunderstood something here, but – in a 2016 video you mention keeping to the lower wavelength of the IR (660nm) purely for maintaining testicular health. Does simulaneously/separately using the NIR w/ an 850nm wavelength then not jeapardise the testicles?

      2. marc dumonceaux says:

        hey ben, so do you only do 6 inches away or have you gone less by now?

  8. David Campaniello says:

    Do you know how the new Truelight from Truedark light compares to the Joovv products and would you recommend it? It’s about 1/2 the price, offers different light spectrum along with pulsing. Thanks.

  9. Kyle says:

    I am debating on whether to buy a joovv or infared sauna from clearlight. No chronic health conditions aside from some occasional GI issues. Just want to look, feel, and preform better. Which one would you recommend to buy first?

    1. Apples and oranges. That's like asking me to choose my favorite child. But if you can afford it, the Sanctuary sauna from Clearlight is a real treat:…

  10. Bill says:

    Has there been any studies on how Joovv would increase male fertility? I see testosterone is increased so I’d assume sperm and sperm quality would greatly increase as well?

  11. Chad says:

    Huge fan! The JOOV is a little outside of my budget. I noticed LED panels on Amazon that are intended to be used for plants that emit red light and are much cheaper. Can I use any LED light source that emits Red (600-670 nanometers) to get the benefits of photobiomodulation? Thanks!

    1. The problem with some of the other red lights is that they emit too much heat. I haven't really used/tested much other than the Joovv, so I'm afraid I can't advise on this.

  12. Mitch Webb says:

    Dude, great podcast! I’m buying a home and looking to optimize light, water and EMF. Are you recommending incondescent and candle LED over the Lighting Science bulbs? Thanks!

  13. Joe says:

    Ben, have you ever considered a podcast about building a bio-hacked, healthy home? Different light therapies added/built into new builds? Clean water tricks like reverse osmosis/carbon filter/UV lighting. Optimal set up for non-Wifi home. Reducing endocrine disruptors. Building material recommendations. I’d be interested in a “home” hacks episode.

  14. Angelo says:

    Hey Ben,

    What do you recommend is the best way of getting Deuterium tested other than through ?


  15. Carson says:

    Pulsed vs continuous is a huge difference between treatments. Especially if your trying to heal something. There’s nothing mentioned here about it.

  16. Ryan says:

    thanks for the podcast!

    A few times people are mentioned who boosted their testosterone and verified it via testing.

    Could you please share what protocol they followed?

    I’m aware of the rat study that boosted testosterone via pbm, but I’d find it much more valuable to hear a known working protocol on a person with this actual light.


  17. Rick Yarussi says:

    Just FYI, the reason a laser is collimated (light comes out in a parallel beam with small divergence) isn’t related to the fact that it’s just one color. It’s just because of how they’re usually built. If you wanted to, it would be easy to take a laser and expand the beam with a simple lens or diffuser. But since we don’t know *exactly* which wavelengths are needed, it’s probably good that LED’s have a wider spectrum.

  18. Rick Yarussi says:

    Halogen lamps run on DC, but you don’t get much flicker because of how they work. They work because the current raises the temperature of the filament, and it glows. The AC is varying at 60Hz, so the time between voltage peaks is about 16.6ms. So the time from the peak to when it goes to 0 is only 8.3ms. That’s not enough time for the filament to cool significantly. So there might be a small amount of flicker – it would be very interesting to measure exactly how much – but I doubt it’s a lot. LED’s are different – they don’t work by heat, so they respond much faster to changes in the current.

  19. Keith says:

    Ben i have a question? If i was to buy one Joovv and set up a area with mirrors to reflect the light from the Joovv to cover my whole body would that have the same effect?

    Thanks for all you do,

  20. SlyNate says:

    I believe you mentioned using PEMF on your femur to enhance endogenous stem cell production. Can you please provide a reference to evidence or a protocol for that? Also, is it possible to overdo PEMF? Like is there a downside for oversaturing your cells with PEMF?

    Lastly, can you also please provide more information on the green tea face soak? Are we supposed to just brew green tea, dip a rag in it, and rest on our face?

  21. Mitch says:

    The link you provided for green tea extract for skin has some really toxic chemicals in it. Many people use links on this blog and trust the recommendations. Can you link to a better one? do you use this product? do you have any reservations with this product?

    1. Mitch says:

      Disregard and apologies. Realized you mentioned in the podcast that it has bad ingredients. Jumped the gun.

  22. Spartan says:

    Can you use the joov light inside a clearlight sauna? Get both the near and far infrared in a single modality.

    1. Priscilla says:

      I have this question also. Wish someone had a reply to advise

  23. Tim Vargo says:

    You don’t have to put on the red light
    Those days are over
    You don’t have to sell your body to the night
    You don’t have to wear that dress tonight
    Walk the streets for money
    You don’t care if it’s wrong or if it’s right
    You don’t have to put on the red light
    You don’t have to put on the red light
    put on the red light
    (Roxanne) put on the red light
    (Roxanne) put on the red light
    (Roxanne) put on the red light
    (Roxanne) put on the red light
    I loved you since I knew ya
    I wouldn’t talk down to ya
    I have to tell you just how I feel
    I won’t share you with another boy
    I know my mind is made up
    So put away your make-up
    Told you once, I won’t tell you again it’s a bad way
    You don’t have to put on the red light
    You don’t…
    ~The Police

  24. Joel says:

    What was the device you mentioned which measures EMF levels?

  25. mike says:

    I thought this was going to be an article on photoshop! Ha ha!

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