Fascia is a layer of fibrous tissue – or the connective tissue structure that covers muscles, muscle groups, blood vessels, and nerves, joining some structures while allowing others to slide over each other gently. It’s essentially a band or sheet of connective tissue, mainly collagen, under the skin that attaches, stabilizes, encloses, and separates muscles and other internal organs. We classify it by layer as superficial fascia, deep fascia, visceral or parietal fascia.
And its function is significant in the human body. Fascia is what distributes water equally into our carefully structured skin system. It's mainly made up of collagen and ground substance. So how can fascia be harmful?
In itself, fascia isn’t something bad – in fact, is essential to a healthy body; but if it isn't functioning optimally, things can take an ugly turn. The dysfunction of our fascial system can cause great discomfort and pain. Fascia is ideally supposed to move around as we do, and yet there are many things that cause problems with this tissue.
When fascia is in a shortened position for prolonged periods due to such a lifestyle and overall poor posture, it will adapt – shortening and tightening. Fascial restrictions can also occur from trauma, infection, inflammation, or surgery. These changes affect our fascia's regular movement, creating tension points in our body, pain, applying pressure to surrounding tissues. Therefore, it causes restriction of movement due to the pain and tightening that occurs. So – how can light therapy help?
Light Therapy for Fascia Treatment
Light therapy consists of exposure to a filtered light with an intensity of up to 10,000 lux emitted by a particular lamp. Through light, it can help with a number of problems and specifically offers great benefits to the skin.
Light therapy treatment for fascia can be done any time of the day; however, it is best done in the early hours of the morning, with a duration of up to 30 minutes, and must be repeated for long-term effect.
Next to doing stretches and trying other forms of relaxation methods to release tension, fascia can be treated with light therapy. The skin reacts biochemically to light therapy, directly improving cell functions. ATP, our energy source, increases in production with light therapy treatment, resulting in improved cell rejuvenation. Light therapy benefits are that they reduce the discomfort of pain and inflammation by increasing blood flow and tissue repair mechanisms in the body.
Apart from a healthy functioning body, keeping your fascia rejuvenated also helps with appearance. Body symmetry and alignment improve, the blood flow increases, which gives faster exercise recovery, stretch marks and cellulite get reduced, scar tissue breaks down easier, and overall less pain and better performance in the day-to-day tasks.
Repairing connective tissue such as fascia helps with muscle recovery, which is why light therapy is also used in sports. In the release of ATP, our muscles gain their power back. With light therapy, the recovery is sped up; sessions improve the time it usually takes for our cells to do it themselves.
Plantar fasciitis is often created from strain at the ligament of the sole of the foot. It's a pain in our heels, and with light therapy, tissue repair is accelerated. Light therapy is an overall regenerating way of treating any issue related to connective tissues.
Light therapy can also help with cellulite. In itself, cellulite isn't a health issue, but since light therapy helps collagen production, in the same way it helps fascia, it can also be effective with cellulite. With higher collagen levels, skin appears smoother and tightens, which can reduce the appearance of cellulite.
Light therapy, while treating fascia, can also treat other issues. There are different ways to use light therapy and different settings for different outcomes. Infrared light is used for tissue repair, pain reduction, and similar problems. Red light resolves problems such as inflammation, tissue repair at the surface level, general pain relief as well. Blue light is ideal for combating bacterial issues that lead to our skin becoming acne-prone even when we're past that stage.
That said, you want to make sure you are using the right red light device. At Kaiyan Medical, we have MDA-certified and FDA-approved laser light therapy devices that will make sure you’re receiving medical-grade light therapy treatment for your fascia and other issues.
As humans, we are made of energy and fueled by light. While nutrition and exercise play a role in our well-being and health, light plays a crucial role in us functioning optimally. New and groundbreaking research is unearthing a new understanding of how our cells function and the evidence points to the power of light.
Through technological advancements in science, it’s discovered that our bodies operate similar to a battery. Wavelengths of light give us power, while our overall health determines our ability to receive and maintain the energy from light. And this is where light therapy comes into the equation.
What is Red Light Therapy
Science has proven that our bodies interact with specific wavelengths that benefit our bodies in various ways.
Red light therapy devices, such as light therapy masks, shine red and near-infrared light onto the skin, stimulating the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) within the mitochondria. By stimulating ATP, damaged cells heal, and new cells are produced faster than normal. But we’ll talk more about that in-depth a little later.
Red light therapy comprises both red light and infrared wavelengths, penetrating through the skin’s layers, right into the cells. Red light wavelengths boost collagen and elastin and improve cell communication. It penetrates superficially and helps aid various skin conditions.
Near-infrared wavelengths stimulate healing, increase mitochondrial function, and improve blood flow and tissue oxygenation. Near-infrared wavelengths penetrate deeply into the body.
Recharging Your Body From Within
At the core of your body’s healing capabilities are the mitochondria. The mitochondria play a vital role in your internal organs and tissue, including the liver, skin, heart, and muscles. It’s in charge of the body’s energy supply via ATP (adenosine triphosphate).
With both working together, they provide energy to our body and maintain the cell cycle and growth. This is why you’ll often hear the mitochondria referred to as the “powerhouse of the cell.”
Here's how the mitochondria is affected by red light:
LED light wavelengths from 600-800nm(red) and between 810-850nm(infrared) penetrate through the skin into the cells via a red light therapy device.
Light enters the cell's mitochondria, absorbed by chromophores which include EZ water and protein cytochrome c oxidase (CCO), resulting in stimulating activity.
Subsequently, three molecules are affected: Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP), Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS), and Nitric Oxide (NO).
Interestingly, our body weight is made of 70% water, with 99% of our bodies' molecules also made of water, making it a powerful component in red light therapy treatment.
Research by Prof Gerald Pollock of the University of Washington proved that water adjacent to a cell is structured water, also known as EZ water. This specific water forms a separation of charge, functioning in the body as positive and negative poles - similar to a battery.
What Does “Red Light Therapy” Mean?
While we’ve been talking about red light therapy, what does it actually mean? Typically, “red light therapy” refers to natural light treatments which deliver red and near-infrared wavelengths as natural sunlight using LEDs or cold lasers.
While you may think red light therapy includes all colors of light, it doesn’t. The term doesn’t include blue or white light, and it isn’t equivalent to full-spectrum light. Red light therapy doesn’t rely on heat, differentiating it from other light-based treatments such as infrared saunas and heat therapy.
Red light therapy is also known as RLT, photobiomodulation (PBM), phototherapy, LED therapy, LED light therapy, infrared therapy, low-level laser therapy, or low-level light therapy (LLLT).
Red Light Therapy: The Multilevel Treatment
As stated before, red light therapy works to heal the entire body and functions on multiple levels.
Adenosine triphosphate (ATP)
Retrograde mitochondrial signaling
Reactive oxygen species
Water, opsins, chromophores, cytochrome c oxidase
Gene transcription factors
Brain-derived neurotrophic factor
Inflammation, Cytoprotection, Proliferation
Stem cell production and migration
Immune cell viability
Retrograde mitochondrial signaling
Transforming growth factor
Pro-and anti-inflammatory cytokines
Mitochondrial membrane potential
Muscles: Increase endurance, tone density
Brain: Improves cognition and immune
Nerves: Repair and pain relief
Healing bones, tendons, and wounds
Increases hair growth
Improvement of the collagen network, anti-aging, skin disorders
Fat re-absorption improved by enhanced micro-circulation
Improved immunity and lymphatic system
Systemic Effects: Positive Affects on Bodily Systems
Red light therapy affects the body in multiple ways, including bodily systems:
Fascia is the thin casing of connective tissue that surrounds virtually every organ, muscle, nerve fiber, blood vessel, and bone in place. While it performs as an internal structure for your body, the fascia also contains nerves, making it almost as sensitive as skin.
The fascia may look like a layer of tissue; however, it’s made up of interwoven layers of collagen and elastin fibers. The fascia is overlooked, yet over recent years, it has been the key to understanding how changes in one area of our body affect others. Red light therapy works to improve communication within the fascia network.
The gut-brain axis connects the emotional and cognitive centers of the brain with peripheral intestinal functions. Recent research discovered the importance of gut microbiota concerning these interactions.
Red light therapy can positively influence mood and neuropsychological issues by the following:
Reducing gut spasms and bowel inflammation.
Increasing neurotransmitters, activating the brain’s immune system, thus increasing blood flow and eliminating toxins.
Reduce blood pressure and increase circulation to eliminate brain fog and anxiety.
Changes the vagus nerve, which connects the gut and brain. It plays a role in stress and social communication.
Changes of the micro-biome.
Red and near-infrared light penetrate through the skin into the cells, which results in low-dose metabolic stress that strengthens the cells’ anti-inflammatory and natural defense systems. In turn, the body becomes resilient to infections.
Safe and low exposure to red light therapy improves the body’s response to external viruses and bacteria. Red light therapy can influence the immune response in the following ways:
Enhances proliferation, maturation, and motility of fibroblasts.
Activates macrophages to behave as phagocytes.
Increases production of fibroblast growth.
Proliferation and activation of lymphocytes.
Release of pro-inflammatory cytokines and mast cell degranulation.
Activation of mast cells results in reduced inflammation.
Red light therapy is scientifically proven to increase the micro-circulation of blood and support the circulatory system as a whole by stimulating the development of new capillaries which carry oxygen throughout the body.
Proper oxygen supply and flow are essential for the proliferation of cells, protein synthesis, tissue restoration, inflammatory response, and angiogenesis. In addition, circulation is also responsible for waste elimination, specifically degenerated cells.
The nervous system includes the brain, spinal cord, neurons, and neural support cells, which is your body’s command center. It controls your movements, automatic responses, and other body systems such as digestion and breathing.
Red light therapy affects the nervous system in the following ways:
Releases growth factors.
Increases the vascular network and collagen.
Facilitates neural regeneration.
Regenerates the nerve lesions and damaged nerves at a faster rate.
Improves the electrophysiological function.
Myelination of fibers.
For all forms of nerve damage, red light therapy offers non-pharmaceutical treatment options.
Red light therapy shows impressive results regarding stem cell growth, maximizing the potential of stem cell implantation for various medical needs. Therefore, red light therapy may show positive results after surgery to stimulate stem cells which repair tissues and organs.
In studies, red light therapy has proven to stimulate mesenchymal stem cells in bone marrow, enhancing their ability to reach the brain. This research shows the possibilities of using red light therapy to heal degenerative conditions, including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, and dementia.
The Origins of Modern Red Light Therapy
It’s clear red light therapy provides multilevel treatment to the body, becoming a popular natural and holistic option for both professionals and consumers, but where did it come from?
Light therapy technology isn’t new; it’s been around for decades as NASA experimented with red light therapy during the 1980s and 1990s. Over the past 10-20 years, red light therapy reached a breakthrough in LED lighting technology, allowing the production of safe and affordable clinical and at-home devices.
We mentioned red light therapy being a holistic treatment option, but what does that mean. Holistic medicine is a full-body approach to healthcare. By focusing on the body, mind, and soul, the body receives the full support and care it needs to function optimally.
Principles of Holistic Medicine
Holistic medicine is based on the following principles:
Optimal health is the combination of emotional, mental, spiritual, social and physical wellness.
The focus is to prevent first, and treat second.
The disease or illness is not caused by a single area, rather the whole body.
The purpose of treatment is to identify the underlying cause of the disease, rather than treating only the symptoms.
6 Main Benefits from Red Light Therapy
While there are endless benefits the body receives from red light therapy, here are the six main benefits.
Relieves Pain And Discomfort
Photobiomodulation, in other words, red light therapy, has proven effective against carpal tunnel syndrome, mucositis, neck pain, menstrual cramps, temporomandibular joint pain, and neuropathic pain from amputation. It also significantly reduces the pain of hypersensitivity while improving sensorimotor function.
These improvements come after anti-inflammatory cells populate the injured area, providing long-lasting pain relief. In addition, it’s also been shown to provide effective relief by affecting the following:
Represses cyclooxygenase and prostaglandins.
Activating peripheral opioid receptors.
Increasing endorphins serotonin release.
Stimulates the metabolism.
Changes nerve transmission.
Red light therapy has proven to be highly effective in rapidly treating wounds from burns, scars, bedsores, ulcers, surgery incisions, and diabetic neuropathy.
NASA strongly supports this claim as this technology was used in treating wounds. Red and near-infrared light proves effective in all four phases of the wound-healing process:
These processes are regulated by various factors connected via nitric oxide (NO) signaling release, adjusted by light energy.
An issue the body encounters when trying to heal a wound is low oxygen flow, and red light increases the flow of oxygen, speeding up the natural healing process. By reducing inflammation and increasing oxygenation of the wounded area, blood vessels can form, rapidly repairing the area, lessening pain and scarring.
By reducing pain, red light therapy eliminates the reliant on pharmaceutical painkillers during the healing process.
The human body receives energy on the cellular level, maintaining communication between organs and ensuring disease resistance.
A strong immune system works to protect the body from harmful bacteria and viruses at all times. With red light therapy, the body receives a boost of support as it releases nitric oxide and melatonin, two components involved in DNA repair and antimicrobial.
This process is called hormesis. Red and near-infrared wavelengths penetrate through the skin into the cells, causing mild metabolic stress, which stimulates cells to activate their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant response.
With the support of red light therapy, the body is better prepared to fight infections. Numerous studies have proven red light therapy to have the following effects on the immune system:
Improves melatonin production
Increases NO levels
Improves antioxidant production
Improves thyroid function
Stimulates T cells pre-operatively
Increases flow of neurotransmitters
Boosts collagen and elastin production
Encourages lymph node activity
Enables the transportation of immune cells
Stimulates optimal function of cells and organelles
Inflammation in the body can be acute and topical (short-term, resulting from sprains, infections, and accidents) or chronic and general (long-term, caused by ongoing conditions).
Acute inflammation is a healthy bodily response; however, chronic and general inflammation can negatively impact long-term health.
As of today, the current treatment for inflammation is NSAID or steroid drugs, both having a detrimental effect on the healing process and long-term health. Red light therapy stimulates the body to activate its natural healing mechanism, reducing the health risks of long-term drug use.
Red light therapy decreases the number of inflammatory cells, increases fibroblast proliferation (cells that synthesize collagen and other matrix macromolecules), stimulates angiogenesis (creation of new blood vessels), and activates the body’s anti-inflammatory, antioxidant response.
The following conditions are connected with chronic and acute inflammation, all proving promising results with red light therapy treatment:
Neuron inflammatory disorders such as Alzheimer’s
Irritable bowel syndrome and colitis
Red light therapy is extremely popular in competitive sports and performance. It offers natural and non-pharmaceutical treatment, which applies to many areas of the body.
Aside from the overwhelming benefits on overall health, red light therapy encourages muscles growth and repair by stimulating the production of ATP, which aids in faster recovery and better performance.
Red light therapy used before training prepares and strengthens the body while aiding muscle recovery after training.
Here are the scientifically documented effects of red light therapy:
Reducing DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness)
Enhanced endurance and performance
Increasing sleep quality
Improving sexual function and libido (including Testosterone)
Aiding weight loss
Boosting cognitive function
Reversing skin aging
Reduces symptoms of depression and seasonal affective disorder
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a form of depressions, impacting 5% of Americans, specifically during the winter when there’s less natural sunlight. SAD is also known as seasonal depression or winter blues.
Many people treat SAD symptoms via bright white light treatment, mimicking the sun’s light daily. However, researchers recommend natural light treatment, like red light therapy, to help with light deficiency. Over recent years, physicians recommend red light therapy alongside psychotherapy and medication.
Who Can Use Red Light Therapy?
While many people are using red light therapy devices for at-home treatment, red light therapy systems are found in many clinical and professional settings:
Skincare Professionals: Red light therapy is a popular skincare treatment among Hollywood celebrities, including Kourtney Kardashian, Julia Roberts, and Emma Stone. Leading skincare professionals like dermatologists and aestheticians use red light therapy to help promote collagen production, reduce wrinkles, and treat skin conditions.
Health Practitioners: Health practitioners from all specialties are incorporating red light therapy into their practice. Dentists use it to reduce inflammation, physicians for mental health conditions, and oncologists for cancer side effects.
Natural Health Experts: Leading voices in the health and wellness industry such as Dr. Sarah Ballantyne, Ben Greenfield, and Dave Asprey strongly support the use of red light therapy. Paleo and Keto health experts like Robb Wolf, Mark Sisson, Luke Story, and Dr. Anthony Gustin also support red light therapy.
Sports Medicine Pros: The National Sports Association of Sports Medicine (NASM) adopted red light therapy to treat sports injuries. Top trainers and doctors, including Dr. Troy Van Biezen and Dr. Ara Suppiah, use red light therapy to heal their athletes.
Elite Pro Athletes: Professional athletes worldwide, including NFL stars like Patrick Peterson, UFC champion Anthony Pettis, and gold medal gymnast Sanne Weavers use red light therapy to enhance performance and quicken recovery.
Fitness & Training: World-renown fitness trainers, including Lacey Stone and Jorge Cruise, use red light therapy to enhance athletic performance and muscle recovery.
Supportive Cancer Care: The Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer (MASCC) recommends the treatment of red light therapy for oral mucositis (OM), a common symptom of cancer treatment.
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We can usually identify inflammation when we see it. The inflamed part of the body looks red and swollen, and it feels hot and painful. But in this article, we’ll find out why we experience inflammation, as well as its causes, risk factors, and how red light therapy devices can help reduce it.
What Really is Inflammation?
Inflammation is our body’s natural response to pain, irritation, damaged cells, exposure to germs, and potential danger. There are two types of inflammation:
1. Acute inflammation
This type of inflammation happens as our body’s healthy response to injury or stress. We mean “healthy” because it helps the body recover faster. The inflammation happens only for a few hours and then starts to repair the damaged tissue.
2. Chronic inflammation
On the other hand, chronic inflammation can be excruciating and may cause discomfort or inconvenience. It causes an imbalance in the body, making it operate inefficiently over time. Chronic inflammation can be caused by viral infections, repetitive tissue damage, autoimmune reactions, and persistent and recurring acute inflammation. At its worse, this type of inflammation may lead to more serious diseases and/or conditions such as cancer, stroke, depression, and heart disorder.
Common Causes of Inflammation
Anything that causes stress on your body may lead to inflammation. These include:
Wounds and injuries
Signs of Inflammation
There are five common signs of inflammation:
Heat on the inflamed area
Loss of function (i.e., you can’t move your arms or legs)
Treatment Options for Inflammation
For acute inflammation, doctors normally recommend nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen and paracetamol. Meanwhile, chronic inflammation may also be prescribed with NSAIDs, along with steroids and supplements.
However, these common treatment options help prevent inflammation symptoms but do not deal with the root cause, including improper cellular function, biological imbalance, and damaged tissues. This is also why lifestyle changes (improved diet, regular exercises, and high-quality sleep) and red light therapy could be of great help.
How Red Light Therapy Works Against Inflammation
Red light therapy, also referred to as low-level laser therapy (LLLT) or photobiomodulation (PBM), is a non-invasive treatment option. This kind of therapy delivers wavelengths of red and near-infrared (NIR) light to your skin and cells for multiple benefits. When it comes to inflammation, it can help cut down oxidative stress and activate protective cellular mechanisms to boost your immune system and protect you from diseases that may cause inflammation. It can also boost the generation of healing agents and antioxidants in the body to speed up damaged tissues' healing process.
Red light therapy can give your body the light exposure needed to function more efficiently, improve blood flow, and limit inflammation.
Inflammation is a natural part of our biological processes, but chronic cases may also lead to serious health risks that can affect the quality of your life. Therefore, if you’re experiencing signs of inflammation, regardless if it’s acute or chronic, please schedule an appointment with your doctor to get the care and treatment you need as early as possible.
In the meantime, to protect your body from the stress that may cause inflammation, you can do red light therapy either through a health provider or from the comfort of your home. If you need to purchase red light therapy devices, you can browse through our catalog to see the brands and products that we offer.
Though laser technology started with Albert Einstein, the technology didn’t evolve until the 1960’s when a laser prototype at Hughes Research Laboratories in Malibu, California, was first built. However, its purpose wasn’t for the medical industry; instead, for the military.
It eventually trickled down into Hollywood when Sci-Fi directors realized its potential for visual effects. But, of course, it didn’t take long for other fields to jump on the laser light bandwagon, including the medicine and rehabilitation industries. From there, the medical industry began to understand laser light’s impact on the human body when it came to healing and recovery.
Low-level (light) laser therapy (LLLT) is used to treat various conditions, including pain relief and inflammation. Over the past ten years, research and technological advancements have fine-tuned low-level light therapy, making the treatment highly effective in providing pain relief and healing treatment.
What is Low-Level Laser Light Therapy?
Before we talk about its capabilities, it’s essential to understand how it functions. Low-level laser light therapy is a non-invasive technique that gives the body a low dose of light to stimulate cellular healing. Laser light therapy targets the specific area in need to increase mobility by reducing pain and inflammation.
Low-level laser light therapy works through a process called photobiomodulation. During this process, the light is absorbed by the body’s tissue, where the cells respond with a physiological reaction, promoting cellular regeneration. The light stimulates cellular metabolism to promote cell growth and the healing of damaged cells.
How Laser Light Affects the Body
There are a couple of ways laser light therapy affects the body. Here’s what laser light therapy does for the body:
Light energy is absorbed by melanin, hemoglobin, and water. The energy dissolves into heat, creating a soothing and warm sensation. The warming sensation helps patients feel relaxed.
There’s an increase in ATP production in the mitochondria through light energy, the cell’s powerhouse. With increased ATP production, more energy is available for the healing process.
Light energy aids with the release of nitric oxide, which enhances the circulation of damaged tissue. Increased circulation allows for improved oxygen exchange, nutrient exchange, and waste removal.
Light energy releases crucial chemicals that help reduce inflammation.
So can laser light therapy be used alongside physical therapy? The answer is yes. In fact, the two treatments complement each other perfectly.
The Perfect Pair: Laser Light Therapy and Physical Therapy
With patients experiencing chronic or acute pain, the feeling of pain isn’t the main issue. However, patients can reduce pain and inflammation symptoms through laser light therapy while undergoing physical therapy treatments. Laser light therapy is ideal for pre and post-surgical procedures and during rehabilitation.
Patients undergoing laser light therapy will feel warm and soothing healing sensations as well as an immediate reduction in pain after treatment. By reducing pain, patients will improve their physical therapy performance and reduce their healing time. Ideally, four to six laser light therapy sessions are recommended to patients to receive the best results.
Whether you’re looking to improve your chiropractic, dermatology, medical or physical therapy practice, laser light therapy can provide your patients with the extra care they need to reduce chronic or acute pain and inflammation symptoms.
With many laser light products on the market, you want to make sure you’re investing in a medical-grade laser light device for your practice. Kaiyan Medical manufactures MDA-certified and FDA-approved laser light therapy devices, ideal for various medical and rehabilitation industries.
LED light therapy is not new to the medical industry and certainly not new to doctors of chiropractic.
Studied for decades, the use of low-level light therapy (LLLT) — both LED and laser — has been making its way into the medical mainstream in the U.S. since the 1990s. And chiropractors have taken the lead in the clinical use of LED light therapy and are advancing the use of this technology for new applications.
This is no surprise to industry professionals and medical providers because this technology is a perfect pairing to what chiropractors advocate and bring to the medical community: healthy, drug-free healing and pain management options that are highly efficacious. Compared to the high cost and side-effect spectrum of many pharmaceutical drugs, LED light therapy can be a cost-effective alternative to drugs and surgery.
LED light therapy has the ability to increase blood flow and lymphatic circulation, decrease pain, and stimulate many cellular processes that accelerate healing. Plus, it has a high safety level, no known negative side effects is easy to administer, and is non-invasive.
Because LED light therapy can provide pain relief, wound healing and address neuropathy discomfort and various musculoskeletal issues, it is a mainstay in many clinics. Some patients also purchase light therapy systems from their chiropractors for in-home use between office visits for long-term therapy needs such as chronic pain and neuropathy.
It is also an attractive option for new chiropractors just getting started because it can bring substantial benefits to their patients while offering a fast ROI.
How it Works
LEDs deliver wavelengths of incoherent (diffused) light to the body. LEDs are similar to laser diodes, but their light spreads out, unlike the highly focused beam of coherent light that emits from a laser. This more diffused light makes administration exceptionally safe.
This therapy is also known as photobiomodulation — meaning that light can produce a cellular change in the body. Photons of light stimulate the release of nitric oxide, which
is the body’s natural vasodilator, greatly increasing circulation in the local treatment area. Blood flow is increased to nerves and other tissues, improving tissue oxygenation that stimulates healing. This boost persists for several hours after a therapy session.
Research indicates that the benefits of LED light therapy include
Increased ATP production
Accelerated exercise recovery time
LEDs have low power requirements and high efficiency with minimal heat production. Power levels are measured in mW/cm2 (milliwatts per centimeter squared). And LED lifetimes are rated up to 100,000 hours and can last for decades.
The most common device wavelengths are the following:
Near-infrared: Many LED therapy devices use the 800 nanometers (nm) range; however, infrared include a much wider spectrum with deep penetration up to 100 mm.
Red: 630 to 700 nm, with penetration up to 10 mm.
Blue: 405 to 470 nm, with penetration up to 3 mm (beneficial for skin and wound healing).
Pulsed frequency(s) or continuous wave devices provide timed sequences of light turning on and off during application, which is thought to accelerate change in the tissues.
Continuous-wave devices are always on; no frequency is added to the light.
Applications for Use
Light therapy is commonly used to treat acute and chronic joint pain in the neck, back, leg, shoulder, wrist, knee, and ankle. It can be helpful for arthritis pain, bruises, carpal tunnel syndrome, and musculoskeletal conditions. It is also used to treat skin conditions such as pressure ulcers, wound healing, and scar tissue reduction.
Even NASA has good things to say about light therapy. NASA issued a news release in December 2000, which stated that doctors at Navy Special Warfare Command centers in Norfolk, Virginia, and San Diego reported a 40 percent improvement in patients who had musculoskeletal training injuries treated with light-emitting diodes.1
There are distinct advantages to using LED therapy devices in your clinical practice. For example, Patients can be left unattended during therapy, maximizing staff resources. Large surface areas can be covered by the LED pad or panel, delivering therapeutic photons broadly and safely to the body's targeted area. And systems are generally portable and user friendly.
Moreover, LED light therapy can help you enter niche markets, such as peripheral neuropathy and brain injuries. These are areas where LED light therapy is appearing to be more effective than pharmaceutical approaches.
An increasing number of scientific studies show expanded indications for LED light therapy to treat neurologic conditions, especially brain injuries and degeneration. The advanced research being done by Michael Hamblin, Ph.D., and his group and by Margaret A. Naeser, Ph.D., at Boston University demonstrates that LED light therapy can positively affect the brain. Naeser’s 2017 study with veterans showed significant improvement after 12 weeks of transcranial photobiomodulation.
Increased function, better sleep, fewer angry outbursts, and less anxiety and wandering were reported with no negative side effects.2
Preliminary brain studies conducted by other groups using transcranial LED light therapy show impressively improved brain blood flow verified before and after single-photon emission computerized tomography (SPECT) brain scans. These brain studies have implications for patients presenting with such conditions as traumatic brain injury (TBI), PTSD, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, concussions, strokes, and depression.
Nearly all neurological disorders have one thing in common: diminished blood flow. And increased circulation and blood flow are precisely what LED light therapy promotes.
More than 3 million new cases of peripheral neuropathy are diagnosed each year in the U.S. alone. LED light therapy has shown significant results in relieving this condition's discomfort and improving sensation, as evidenced by several studies.
Adding LED light therapy systems can help you offer neuropathy therapy as a substantial part of your practice.
LED light therapy devices have received FDA clearances that temporarily increase local circulation; and the temporary relief of pain, stiffness, and muscle spasms. Many practitioners are hopeful that the FDA will keep expanding clearances for this cutting-edge healing technology.
References NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center. “NASA Space Technology Shines Light On Healing.” ScienceDaily. http://www.sciencedaily.com/ releases/2000/12/001219195848.htm. Published Dec. 2000. Accessed Jan. 2018.
Salmarche AE, Naeser MA, Ho KF, Hamblin MR, Lim L. Significant Improvement in Cognition in Mild to Moderately Severe Dementia Cases Treated with Transcranial Plus Intranasal Photobiomodulation:
Case Series Report. Photomed Laser Surg. 2017;5(8):432–441.
Fallah A, Mirzaei A, Gutknecht N, Demneh AS. Clinical effectiveness of low-level
laser treatment on peripheral somatosen- sory neuropathy. Lasers Med Sci. 2017 Apr;32(3):721–728.
Mandelbaum-Livnat MM, Almog M, Nissan M, Loeb E, Shapira Y, Rochkind
Photobiomodulation Triple Treatment in Peripheral Nerve Injury: Nerve and Muscle Response. Photomed Laser Surg. 2016;34(12):638–645.
The one thing we have in common with animals, plants, and other living organisms is that we are all made of tiny little cells. The intricate human body in itself houses trillions of cells. Without cells, there wouldn’t be any life on Earth at all.
In this article, we discuss cellular anatomy and cellular function. Here, we understand how light plays a role in the support and acceleration of cellular respiration.
What is a cell?
Think of cells as the basic building block of all living organisms. As the smallest unit of life, cells contain many parts, each with a different and specific function. The command center of the cell is called the nucleus that contains the human DNA.
As these cells combine to form into an organism, they become responsible for vital activities like nutrient intake, energy production, structure building, and hereditary material processing. They make sure that your body gets enough energy and nutrients to function 24/7.
What is ATP?
One essential activity that our cells do for us is by taking in oxygen and nutrients to fuel body energy. This energy unit that is converted by the cells is called Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) Energy.
The ATP itself is a molecule packed with high energy that empowers cellular function. ATP is required by the body to do every activity. Other cells that do more strenuous activities like muscle cells would need more ATP than others. The ideal optimal cellular function would allow cells to produce and use enough energy to achieve body balance or homeostasis.
How is ATP produced?
The mitochondria are the powerhouses of the cell. They are responsible for the production of ATP. Aside from cellular energy, this double-membrane powerhouse does protein synthesis, cell signaling, and cell apoptosis. ATP is produced with oxygen (aerobic) or without oxygen (anaerobic), the former being more beneficial because it converts more energy. Thus, 95% of cellular energy goes through an aerobic process.
Our cells go through a process called Aerobic cellular respiration to convert oxygen, food, and water into the body’s energy currency, which is ATP. This process is a well-organized metabolic pathway that consists of four stages. Our bodies take in nutrients from the food we eat for the first two stages to convert them into carbon compounds. Then for the next steps, these carbon compounds are transformed into the energy that our cells use.
How does light therapy support cellular function?
Light can sometimes be less attributed to improve our body’s physiology. However, light has benefits that go beyond aesthetic and technological purposes. Just like how light plays a role in plants' photosynthesis, it also benefits human cellular function.
Red light therapy from Kaiyan Medical composes of Red and Near-Infrared Wavelengths that aid in the Mitochondria's function to produce more ATP energy. It works by increasing the number of Mitochondria in our cells and by boosting their function.
The electron transport chain heavily governs the cellular respiration process. Red Light therapy has photons that can boost the mitochondria to function better through the Cytochrome C Oxidase. It plays an essential role in the cellular respiration process by improving the cell's electron transfer process. In this way, more ATP can be produced by the body for an enhanced cellular function.
As mentioned earlier, oxygen plays an essential role in the cellular respiration process. The infamous Nitric Oxide can take the rightful place of oxygen to limit ATP production that causes stress and cellular death. Red light therapy also gets rid of a harmful roadblock to ATP in the dissociation of Nitric Oxide and the Cox. The photons from Red light therapy prohibits the production of nitric oxide.
The effect that Red Light therapy does on our body is that by improving cellular function, our body can achieve these benefits:
Improved blood Flow
Increased Energy Build up
Enhanced Healing Response
Balanced Cellular Function
As you do daily activities such as eating, drinking, walking, or working out, think of the massive role that your cellular system plays to make these activities possible. In this way, you can put conscious efforts into improving your cellular system through a healthy diet and lifestyle and by integrating Red Light Therapy.