I’m going to set the stage for what I am working with and how this was tested. I can’t duplicate results, I can’t really prove this device accomplished or was in any way beneficial to my recovery, but this was my experience:
What is the Lumaflex Body Pro?
The Lumaflex Body Pro is a self-contained flexible waterproof device that emits red and infrared lights via a series of 45 dual-core LEDs operating at 630nm(Red) & 850nm (Infra-Red). It’s aimed at improving recovery and boosting performance. You use it while you work out, or after.
It is aimed at athletes. I… am not that any more. I will also point out that I had not researched anything on light therapy until shortly before this article as I 1) didn’t know anything about it, 2) didn’t want to bias myself. As such you’ll note I wrote this before reading a ton of medical studies on the wavelengths the Lumaflex uses.
Paul’s Lumaflex Body Pro Experience
Regular readers may recall that on March 6th, 2023 I caught something that took me down for about half a year. Whatever it was acted like Lyme Disease and I’ll spare the details but 30+ blood tests later and two courses of antibiotics and steroids I was mostly over it, and nobody has a clue what it was.
I was left 42 pounds lighter (yay?,) and with an inflammation problem in one knee that made it quite difficult for me to walk. We’ll leave the parts involving needles and kneecaps out of this story but let’s say around late July / early August there was fluid drained and a steroid shot and the knee became great for a day or two and then started going downhill again.
I’d been approached by Lumaflex’s PR company about the Lumaflex Body Pro – the line that caught me was that it was useful for pain relief and recovery and the product description or website mentioned knees. Huzzah! I was willing to give anything a chance at this point. Not being able to get up out of my chair, exercise, swim even because I couldn’t move my right leg without extreme pain, well that’s no way to go through life.
I put it on my knee and left it for a while and it felt warm and slightly out of pain for a while. I dismissed this as the hot water bottle effect because the same could be said of one of those. I’d been alternately icing and heating my knee in an attempt to fight the inflammation which the doc said was the cause of all of my knee woes… at least he was pretty sure of that. He’d had a similar tale of woe from an unknown Lyme-like illness he had suffered.
I was also on Diclofenac at this point for several weeks. It had helped, but the helping seemed to stop at some point. Everything else was un-inflamed. The right knee was just shot, larger than it should be, swollen. Couldn’t straighten it up, couldn’t use it to get up off a chair or the toilet.
By my second or third use of the Lumaflex Body Pro I’d pretty much decided it needed a redesign if you wanted to use it on knees, elbows, or necks. It’s unwieldy and just not going to stay on a joint if you want to be mobile and using this. For me this was ok, I was not going to move so having an oblong warm pancake on my knee didn’t bother me, but it was not something I could use there if I wanted to move 10 feet. Not on my knee. I could strap it anywhere else though.
About 4 or 5 days into using the device I was noticeably better. The orthopedic specialist had assumed after the needle I would have been better in 10 days, I was not and an MRI was scheduled for a couple of weeks out on the 15th day because I should have been better. That was scheduled for September 15th but I kept plugging away and after an brief email exchange with the doc we’ve put it on hiatus as by September 6, exactly six months to the day after whatever train hit me hit me, my knee was working. It was very close to normal again.
I can’t say exactly what the Lumaflex Body pro did, but I had extreme doubts, no belief that it would help, and maybe it came along right at the time I started getting better, or it came along and helped me get better. Based on what I’ve been reading on nih.gov I’m assuming it did help more than the icing and heating.
I used it for three things on my body, each time I handled it like a water bottle. It would lay there, bathe whatever it was touching in red light, and I would recover. I don’t know for the other things whether I would have recovered as quickly, but I suspect it did aid in the knee.
My wife has used it several times and says she thinks it does something positive, but it’s difficult to figure out what the difference is between high tech light, and a nice warm water bottle.
My knee I believe knows the difference and reacted positively.
Nitpicking the design
Let’s say the product works. I believe that it aided me in recovery because my body was pretty much just not getting there. The main flapjack portion of the device needs to make skin contact or you’re bleeding light. The device is flexible enough that it will handle most curves, but the giant battery pack on the thing sort of sticks out and ruins most attempts at making it a joint wrap because that center third of space is just not flexible.
Try and wrap it around your knee and you’ll see exactly what the issues I encountered were.
What I would really like to see in this design is a separate battery pack hooked onto a strap, or maybe just a knee and joint version. Moving the battery somewhere else would enable things such as laying down on the unit – something I have attempted a couple of times while using this on my neck.
I assume the design choices were due to the battery unit also having a vibration notification (for that it’s shut off or started.) I still would like it detachable. Then again, this product isn’t aimed at me.
When you’re wearing this you’re acutely aware there’s a two pound battery pack held on by four magnets aimed at your feet, or at least I was. Changing the puck into two to five batteries distributed over the unit would fix this and probably allow the unit to flex more than it already does. As a note, I found no way to accidentally dislodge the thing so this is probably not a huge concern.
But once again, probably this product is not aimed at me. Looking around for other products that use this light combo I found almost what I think the dream version is (for me at least,) however it was not water/sweatproof and as such would have been useless for workouts.
The price though ouch…
Red light / infrared therapy – does it work?
Spoiler alert here – I had not researched anything about light therapy since 2013 or 14 when I saw someone selling an LED hair laser. This is just something that’s been outside of my orbit of coverage. You may have reached this point and thought “has he been ignorant of this decades old healing technology?” and you would be correct in that assumption.
From what I have been able to tell it’s claimed that red light therapy is pretty much a sort of wonder deal. I’ve been seeing it used in products at CES since… probably 2013 when I first started going to it. Used for everything from follicle stimulation to smoothing wrinkles to promoting weight loss to muscle recovery.
There’re several clinical studies on various light therapies… about 6000 unless there’re dupes in this list. I assume you’re looking for photobiomodulation articles because unless I’m reading things wrong, that’s what this is.
And generally yes, it appears to work well enough that major drug stores have been selling light therapy knee wraps for a while… man I wish I’d checked into that earlier.
So probably yes. I, however, am a gadget reviewer not a medical pro.
Who needs the Lumaflex Body Pro?
OK, obviously this is not targeted at keyboard warriors such as myself. This is designed to be used by people to aid in muscle development and recovery times. I can’t tell you what my recovery times are because, well, sick and all and this body isn’t what I started the year with. That 42 pounds I lost, well according to my scale it’s mostly muscle that’s gone.
With the straps and the battery puck it’s designed to be used while working out. It will hold in most places I attempted.
With the price of the unit you’re looking at athletes who are attempting to pass their limitations. This is not for the casual gym rat, this is for the person who’s looking for results and willing to wear something that sort of looks like the ARC reactor from Iron Man when you put it on your pecs.
If you’re not going to wear it while working out there are a vast array of options at a tenth of the price that have the same wavelength LED arrays (it appears) although you generally lack portability. These would not be good options when working out however, at least the ones I have seen.
But if you’re that peak athlete looking to be the best, this might help you achieve that. I am the wrong guy to be writing a review here for all it can do, but I’m pretty sure it helped my knee out.
Lumaflex Body Pro
The Lumaflex Body pro is a waterproof flexible device that uses IR and UV lights to aid in recovery and pain management. It's aimed at serious athletes and those looking to aid in recovery and performance
Product Brand: Lumaflex
Product Currency: USD
Product Price: 689.00
Product In-Stock: InStock
- Appears to work
- Long lasting battery
- Not great for joints due to battery pack location