For years, sleep cycles were divided into two categories. People who enjoy mornings were known as “early birds.” And those of us who prefer staying up late were labeled “night owls.”
Well, step-aside birds. Mammals are the new name of the game. That’s right; scientists now believe there are four ways to classify sleep/wake cycles. In the science world, these classifications are known as chronotypes.
Chronotypes describe the periods when your body wants to sleep and when it wants to be awake. And to make it easier, the chronotype categories are named after animals. Our natural sleep tendencies are now categorized as bear, wolf, lion, and dolphin.
It is crucial to understand your animal chronotype. Once you do, you can start to schedule your life around your body’s natural cycles. Kaiyan Medical suggests that this may help you sleep better and feel more productive at work.
“The human circadian system actively synchronizes to the 24-h day via environmental signals of light and darkness.”
Circadian? A 24-hour cycle. It’s your body clock. Sleep psychologists reckon they can determine our natural sleeping patterns. By understanding our own, we can have a happier, more productive life.
Now, Chronotype is a term that describes a person’s natural rhythm. And it doesn’t only relate to sleep. Chronotypes influence all primal instincts.
Author Michael Breus, Ph.D., recently suggested that there are 4 natural chronotypes. And he named these after 4 animals that follow similar sleep/wake patterns. So, say goodbye to night owls and early birds. Wolves, lions, bears, and dolphins are the new circadian rhythm mascots.
Check out the chronotypes below and let us know in the comment section which one sounds like you!
Alright, night owls, this is your group. Just like these nocturnal creatures, you are most alert at night. Wolves tend to stay up later and struggle with waking up early.
Only about 15% of the population falls into this group. Wolves are more productive in the later afternoon and evening.
Sleep experts recommend that wolves set their alarm for 7 a.m.(snooze for 30 minutes) and go to sleep by midnight.
Lions are the new early birds. Like these wild cats, you are most alert in the morning. You have no trouble waking up and getting to work. But, lions tend to feel the afternoon slump. And by the evening, they feel drained.
About 15% of the population identifies as a lion. Sleep experts recommend that lions wake up around 5:30 a.m. and go to sleep by 10:30 p.m.
No, you don’t need to hibernate. But, like these diurnal (awake during the day, asleep at night) creatures, you follow the solar cycle. Bears generally feel awake during the day and need 8-hours of solid sleep at night.
About 50% of the population falls into this category. This group is productive in the morning and struggles with the mid-afternoon slump. Sleep experts recommend that bears wake up around 7 a.m. and go to sleep by 11 p.m.
Dolphins “only sleep with half of their brain at a time?”Sound familiar? Well, this is the insomniac (often self-diagnosed) group. You might be anxious and have trouble turning your brain off at night. Dolphins usually don’t get a complete night’s sleep.
About 10% of the population falls in this category. And even though they wake-up tired, dolphins are most productive by mid-morning.
Sleep experts recommend that dolphins get up around 6 a.m. and try to sleep around midnight.
Sleep Like an Animal
Who doesn’t want a better night’s sleep and a more productive day? Start scheduling your days based on your chronotypes! Once you know more about your chronotype, you can form sleep patterns that work with (not against!) your body’s natural rhythms.
So what are you waiting for? Here in Kaiyan, we are embracing our inner animals and start following our optimal sleep schedule.
Bellis, Rich. "How To Design Your Ideal Workday Based On Your Sleep Habits." Fast Company, 26 Nov. 2017,
Levi, Anthea. "This Is the Best Time of Day to Do Everything, According to Your Chronotype." Health.com, 31 Oct. 2016
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Lack of sleep is a villain in America and Europe. Light intake is a big part of the problem. Over 65% of adults say they don’t get enough good sleep every week. Most people also don’t get nearly enough natural light for optimal health: the average American spends over 90% of their time indoors.
In addition to not getting enough natural light, people today are surrounded by artificial blue light from screens and overhead lighting. An overload of artificial blue light can cause headaches and make it harder to get to sleep and stay asleep. When we take in all that bright blue light from laptops, TVs, and phones, especially before we go to bed, our bodies get the signal that it's time to be awake, even if we're tired.
Melatonin is the naturally-occurring hormone that regulates sleep and wakefulness. Emerging research is showing that red light therapy treatments can help people produce more of their own, natural melatonin than exposure to other light sources like blue light. Red light therapy is natural light. It’s much less bright than blue light, with a lower color temperature than daytime sun, as the image above shows. Research has shown that red light doesn’t upset your sleep cycle like bright blue light. Red light therapy is showing great clinical results for people with insomnia and sleep disorders.
The light therapy is a simple, non-invasive treatment that delivers concentrated natural light to your skin and cells. Clinical research is showing that red light therapy can improve sleep quality and duration, and help people produce more of their own melatonin.
Light plays a major role in your sleep cycle. The body’s circadian clock interprets light as a sign of when to sleep and when to be awake. Artificial blue light from phones, computers, and other screens is extremely bright and can knock your circadian rhythm out of whack. Red light has the opposite effect: it’s ideal for evenings because it has a low color temperature—far lower than blue light and much closer to the natural sunset.
Red light therapy treatments are quick and simple: you just sit or stand in natural light for 5 to 15 minutes, ideally every day. This stimulates your mitochondria and gives your cells the natural light they need to make energy.
How Does Red Light Therapy Help You Sleep?
Natural light is a key ingredient for a healthy circadian rhythm and restful sleep. If you struggle to sleep, your light intake could be a big factor. Red light therapy delivers natural light like you’d get from the sun, but without UV rays, excess heat, or the need for sunny weather.
Red light therapy treatments supercharge your cells with the natural light they need to make more core ATP (adenosine triphosphate) energy. This helps your body run more efficiently, heal faster, and has shown great results for producing more natural melatonin and improving sleep disorders like insomnia.
Red light therapy treatments have shown great sleep results in a range of peer-reviewed clinical studies. One study on the sleep of pro basketball players showed that a 2-week course of red light therapy in the evening improved players’ sleep quality in the short term. Based on the results, the researchers suggested red light therapy would be a good non-invasive, drug-free solution to sleep struggles.
Overcoming Sleep Disorders with Red Light Therapy
Kaiyan's light therapy products are registered with the FDA as class II medical devices for the treatment of pain, strain, and inflammation. While the existing clinical research has been very positive for red light therapy and sleep, keep in mind that Kaiyan's devices are not cleared with the FDA for the treatment of various sleep disorders or melatonin.
Recent research on sleep disorders among people with migraine headaches has shown that red light therapy both decreased headache frequency, and was the only treatment that improved patients’ sleep disorders.
A 2014 study on cognitive function and traumatic brain injury (TBI) recorded that participants had significantly decreased episodes of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and improved sleep.
Analyzing patients’ electrical brain activity, a 2013 sleep study concluded that red light therapy was especially effective at helping people with sleep disorders fall asleep.
When I’m indoors training under the buzz of artificial lights, my body doesn’t get the natural light it needs. Add computers, cell phones, televisions, etc. and it’s easy to overload yourself with blue light. I used to have trouble sleeping after long training days, but since adding more natural light to my routine with red light therapy, I’ve been falling asleep as soon as I lie down, and I’ve been staying asleep all night.*
Gold-Medal Winning Dutch Gymnast
Red Light Therapy, Sleep, Depression, and Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
Research is showing how closely mood and sleep disorders are interconnected. Parts of the brain that regulate sleep have also been found to closely affect mood. A 2013 review concluded that “nearly all people suffering from mood disorders have significant disruptions in circadian rhythms and the sleep/wake cycle.”
This Greatist post on natural light and serotonin gives good background on the connections between natural light intake, mental health, and sleep. It also mentions using Kaiyan's red light therapy devices to get more natural light, even when you can’t get more sunlight.
Trouble sleeping is one of the most common symptoms of seasonal affective disorder, a type of depression most common in the darker winter months. Some physicians treating patients with mental health disorders have said red light therapy both improves mood, and helps people with depression get better sleep.
Sources and References:
Morita T., Tokura H. “ Effects of lights of different color temperature on the nocturnal changes in core temperature and melatonin in humans” Journal of Physiological Anthropology. 1996, September
Klepeis N., Nelson W., et al. “The National Human Activity Pattern Survey (NHAPS): a resource for assessing exposure to environmental pollutants”. Journal of Exposure Analysis and Environmental Epidemiology 2001.
Sheppard A and Wolffsohn J. “Digital eye strain: prevalence, measurement and amelioration.” BMJ Open Ophthalmology. 2018 April.
Gooley, J., Chamberlain, K., Smith, K., Khalsa, S., et al. “Exposure to Room Light before Bedtime Suppresses Melatonin Onset and Shortens Melatonin Duration in Humans” J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2011 Mar.
Hamblin M. “Mechanisms and applications of the anti-inflammatory effects of photobiomodulation”. AIMS Biophys. 2017.
Zhao J., Tian Y., Nie J., Xu J., Liu D. “Red light and the sleep quality and endurance performance of Chinese female basketball players” Journal of Athletic Training. 2012, November-December.
Loeb LM, Amorim RP, et al. “Botulinum toxin A (BT-A) versus low-level laser therapy (LLLT) in chronic migraine treatment: a comparison.” Arquivos de neuro-psiquiatria. 2018 Oct;76(10):663-667.
Naeser MA, Zafonte R, et al. “Significant improvements in cognitive performance post-transcranial, red/near-infrared light-emitting diode treatments in chronic, mild traumatic brain injury: open-protocol study.” Journal of Neurotrauma. 2014 Jun 1;31(11):1008-17.
Wu JH, Chang YC. Effect of low-level laser stimulation on EEG power in normal subjects with closed eyes. Evidence Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2013; 2013:476565.
Vadnie C, and McClung C. Circadian Rhythm Disturbances in Mood Disorders: Insights into the Role of the Suprachiasmatic Nucleus. Neural Plasticity. 2017 November.
McClung C. How might circadian rhythms control mood? Let me count the ways. Biological Psychiatry. 2013 April.
Nutt D, Wilson S, et al. Sleep disorders as core symptoms of depression. Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience. 2008 September.
Avci P, Gupta A, et al. Low-level laser (light) therapy (LLLT) in skin: stimulating, healing, restoring. Seminars in Cutaneous Medicine and Surgery. Mar 2013.
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.
Sources and References:
Klepeis N., Nelson W., Ott W., Robinson J., Tsang A., Switzer P., Behar J., Hern S., Engelmann W. “The National Human Activity Pattern Survey (NHAPS): a resource for assessing exposure to environmental pollutants”. Journal of Exposure Analysis and Environmental Epidemiology 2001.
Hamblin M. “Mechanisms and applications of the anti-inflammatory effects of photobiomodulation.” AIMS Biophys. 2017.
LED Lights Used in Plant Growth Experiments for Deep Space Missions. NASA.
Gál P, Stausholm MB, et al. Should open excisions and sutured incisions be treated differently? A review and meta-analysis of animal wound models following low-level laser therapy. Lasers in Medical Science. 2018 Aug.
John Foley, David B Vasily, et al. 830 nm light-emitting diode (led) phototherapy significantly reduced return-to-play in injured university athletes: a pilot study. Laser Therapy. 2016 Mar.
Kim HK, Choi JH. Effects of radiofrequency, electroacupuncture, and low-level laser therapy on the wrinkles and moisture content of the forehead, eyes, and cheek. Journal of Physical Therapy Science. 2017 February.
Wunsch A and Matuschka K. A Controlled Trial to Determine the Efficacy of Red and Near-Infrared Light Treatment in Patient Satisfaction, Reduction of Fine Lines, Wrinkles, Skin Roughness, and Intradermal Collagen Density Increase. Photomedicine and Laser Surgery. Feb 2014.
Barolet D, Roberge CJ, et al. Regulation of skin collagen metabolism in vitro using a pulsed 660 nm LED light source: clinical correlation with a single-blinded study. Journal of Investigative Dermatology. 2009 December.
Morita T., Tokura H. “ Effects of lights of different color temperature on the nocturnal changes in core temperature and melatonin in humans” Journal of Physiological Anthropology. 1996, Sept.
Naeser M., Zafonte R, Krengel MH, Martin PI, Frazier J, Hamblin MR, Knight JA, Meehan WP, Baker EH. “Significant improvements in cognitive performance post-transcranial, red/near-infrared light-emitting diode treatments in chronic, mild traumatic brain injury: open-protocol study” Journal of Neurotrauma. 2014, June.
Liu KH, Liu D, et al. “Comparative effectiveness of low-level laser therapy for adult androgenic alopecia: a system review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.” Lasers in Medical Science. 2019 Aug.
Gupta AK, Mays RR, et al. “Efficacy of non-surgical treatments for androgenetic alopecia: a systematic review and network meta-analysis.” JEADV. 2018 Dec.
Afifi L, Maranda EL, et al. “Low-level laser therapy as a treatment for androgenetic alopecia.” Lasers in Surgery and Medicine. 2017 Jan.
Hofling DB, Chavantes MC, et al. Low-level laser in the treatment of patients with hypothyroidism induced by chronic autoimmune thyroiditis: a randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Lasers in Surgery and Medicine. May 2013.
Hofling DB, Chavantes MC, et al. Assessment of the effects of low-level laser therapy on the thyroid vascularization of patients with autoimmune hypothyroidism by color Doppler ultrasound. ISRN Endocrinology. 2012.
Hofling DB, Chavantes MC, et al. Low-level laser therapy in chronic autoimmune thyroiditis: a pilot study. Lasers in Surgery and Medicine. 2010 Aug.
Vladimirovich Moskvin S., Ivanovich Apolikhin O. Effectiveness of low level laser therapy for treating male infertility. Biomedicine (Taipei). 2018 June.
Ban Frangez H., Frangez I., Verdenik I., Jansa V., Virant Klun I. Photobiomodulation with light-emitting diodes improves sperm motility in men with asthenozoospermia. Laser in Medical Science, 2015 Jan.
Salman Yazdi, R., Bakhshi, S., Jannat Alipoor, F. et al. Effect of 830-nm diode laser irradiation on human sperm motility. Lasers Med Sci. 2014.
Chow KW, Preece D, Burns MW. Effect of red light on optically trapped spermatozoa. Biomedical Optics Express. 2017 Aug.
Preece D., Chow KW, Gomez-Godinez V., Gustafson K., et al. Red light improves spermatozoa motility and does not induce oxidative DNA damage. Scientific Reports. 2017 Apr.
American Psychiatric Association
Cassano P, Petrie SR, et al. Transcranial Photobiomodulation for the Treatment of Major Depressive Disorder. The ELATED-2 Pilot Trial. Photomedicine and Laser Surgery. 2018 October.
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Avci P, Gupta A, et al. Low-level laser (light) therapy (LLLT) in skin: stimulating, healing, restoring. Seminars in Cutaneous Medicine and Surgery. Mar 2013; 32(1): 41-52.
Brain waves are oscillating electrical voltages in the brain, measuring just a few millionths of a volt. At the root of all our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors are the communication between neurons within our brains. Brainwaves are produced by synchronized electrical pulses from masses of neurons communicating with each other.
Brainwaves are detected using sensors placed on the scalp. They are divided into bandwidths to describe their functions but are the best thought of as a continuous spectrum of consciousness, from slow, loud, and functional — to fast, subtle, and complex.
It is a handy analogy to think of brainwaves as musical notes — the low-frequency waves are like a deeply penetrating drum beat, while the higher frequency brainwaves are more like a subtle high pitched flute. Like a symphony, the higher and lower frequencies link and cohere with each other through harmonics.
Our brainwaves change according to what we’re doing and feeling. When slower brainwaves are dominant, we can feel tired, slow, sluggish, or dreamy. The higher frequencies are dominant when we feel wired or hyper-alert.
The descriptions that follow are only broad descriptions — in practice, things are far more complex, and brainwaves reflect different aspects of different locations in the brain.
Brainwave speed is measured in Hertz (cycles per second), and they are divided into bands delineating slow, moderate, and fast waves.
Infra-Low brainwaves (also known as Slow Cortical Potentials) are thought to be the basic cortical rhythms that underlie our higher brain functions. Very little is known about infra-low brainwaves. Their slow nature makes them difficult to detect and accurately measure, so few studies have been done. They appear to play a major role in brain timing and network function.
Delta (δ) Waves (0.5 TO 4HZ) — Sleep
Delta brainwaves are slow, loud brainwaves (low frequency and deeply penetrating, like a drumbeat). They are generated in deepest meditation and dreamless sleep. Delta waves suspend external awareness and are the source of empathy. Healing and regeneration are stimulated in this state, and that is why deep restorative sleep is so essential to the healing process.
Theta brainwaves occur most often in sleep but are also dominant in deep meditation. Theta is our gateway to learning, memory, and intuition. In theta, our senses are withdrawn from the external world and focused on signals originating from within. Twilight states that we normally only experience fleetingly as we wake or drift off to sleep. In theta, we dream; vivid imagery, intuition, and information beyond our normal conscious awareness. It’s where we hold our ‘stuff,’ our fears, troubled history, and nightmares.
Alpha (α) Waves(8 TO 12 HZ) — Very relaxed, Passive Attention
Alpha brainwaves are dominant during quietly flowing thoughts and in some meditative states. Alpha is ‘the power of now,’ being here, in the present. Alpha is the resting state of the brain. Alpha waves aid overall mental coordination, calmness, alertness, mind/body integration, and learning.
Beta brainwaves dominate our normal waking state of consciousness when attention is directed towards cognitive tasks and the outside world. Beta is a ‘fast’ activity, present when alert, attentive, engaged in problem-solving, judgment, decision making, or focused mental activity.
Beta brainwaves are further divided into three bands; Lo-Beta (Beta1, 12–15Hz) can be thought of as a ‘fast idle’ or musing. Beta (Beta2, 15–22Hz) is the high engagement or actively figuring something out. Hi-Beta (Beta3, 22–38Hz) is a highly complex thought, integrating new experiences, high anxiety, or excitement. Continual high-frequency processing is not a very efficient way to run the brain, as it takes a tremendous amount of energy.
Gamma (γ) Waves(35 TO 42 HZ) — Concentration
Gamma brainwaves are the fastest brain waves (high frequency, like a flute) and relate to the simultaneous processing of information from different brain areas. Gamma brainwaves pass information rapidly and quietly. The most subtle of the brainwave frequencies, the mind has to be quiet to access gamma.
Gamma was dismissed as ‘spare brain noise’ until researchers discovered it was highly active in states of universal love, altruism, and the ‘higher virtues.’ Gamma is also above the frequency of neuronal firing, so how it is generated remains a mystery. It is speculated that gamma rhythms modulate perception and consciousness and that a greater presence of gamma relates to expanded consciousness and spiritual emergence.
New Trial to Test Brain Wave Stimulation as Alzheimer’s Preventative
With a new $1.8 million grant from the Part the Cloud-Gates Partnership Grant Program of the Alzheimer’s Association, researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Massachusetts General Hospital are launching a new clinical trial to test whether stimulating a key frequency of brain waves with light and sound can prevent the advance of Alzheimer’s disease pathology even before volunteers experience symptoms such as memory impairment.
“Because Alzheimer’s disease leads to neurodegeneration and cognitive decline, the best time for intervention may be before those symptoms even begin,” said Dr. Li-Huei Tsai, Picower Professor of Neuroscience and director of The Picower Institute for Learning and Memory at MIT. “We are hopeful that our safe, non-invasive approach of sensory stimulation of 40Hz gamma brain rhythms can have a preventative benefit for patients. We are very grateful to Part the Cloud-Gates Partnership Grant Program for their support in funding rigorous research to test this exciting possibility.”
In extensive testing in Tsai’s lab with multiple mouse models of Alzheimer’s, the light and sound stimulation technique, called Gamma ENtrainment Using Sensory Stimuli (GENUS), improved cognition and memory, prevented neurodegeneration, and reduced amyloid and tau protein buildups. The research showed that increasing 40Hz brain rhythm power and synchrony stimulated the brain’s immune cells and blood vessels to clear out the toxic proteins. Early results from human testing at MIT show that GENUS is well tolerated and increases 40Hz power and synchrony, just like in the mice.
The new study, conducted in collaboration with neurologist Dr. Keith Johnson at MGH, will enroll 50 volunteers aged 55 or older who show signs of amyloid protein plaque buildup in PET scans but remain cognitively normal. Experimental volunteers will receive an hour of GENUS light and sound stimulation in their homes daily for a year. At regular checkups, the team will monitor GENUS's effect on amyloid buildup via PET scans as well as other biomarkers such as tau and for changes in cognition, sleep, structural and functional MRI, and other indicators of brain function and health.
The trial will be double-blinded, randomized, and controlled, meaning that some volunteers will be exposed to non-GENUS light and sound during the trial to provide a non-treatment comparison group. To ensure that bias does not influence the results, neither the volunteers nor the experimenters will know which group's volunteers are.
Dr. Claudia Aguirre which has a Ph.D. in neuroscience from USC and travels the world lecturing on a broad range of topics from neuroscience to skin care has been researching the power of the skin and its connection with the brain.
The skin is highly innervated and intricately connected to the brain and central nervous system, just as other sensory organs are. Dr. Claudia Aguirre is discovering that the skin has a lot of neuro potential, or neuroplasticity, that has gone unrecognized. For example, just as our eyes have receptors that transduce light photons into signals to the brain that we process as vision, we’re discovering that our skin also has light receptors. Although we don’t yet know how they work, we speculate that they might be signaling the brain to make systemic changes that affect the full nervous system. Similarly, olfactory receptors in the hair follicles, just as we do in the nose.
Another example is touch, for which our skin is the primary sense organ. Skin is also our largest organ, which gives us a clue as to how important touch is. Different receptors in the skin can tell us not only whether what we touch is hot or cold, rough or smooth. Skin can even sense the intention behind the touch. A gentle touch feels much different than an aggressive one. We can tell whether the person giving us a massage is paying attention or whether they’re distracted. Moreover, different kinds of touch elicit different biochemical and hormonal responses, which have systemic results. A hug or kiss stimulates the release of oxytocin, the bonding hormone, through the bloodstream, while a punch or shove will release adrenaline and cortisol. All of these capabilities are what we say by the hidden brain in the skin.
The skin is connected to the nervous system; it’s connected to the endocrine system. The skin is impacted by our emotional states and, conversely, our skin can impact how we feel about ourselves. Cultural stress and anxiety can trigger or aggravate many skin conditions—from acne to eczema to herpes, psoriasis, and rosacea. Conversely, a disfiguring skin condition can trigger stress, anxiety, depression, and even suicide. Chronic, generalized anxiety can create chronic inflammation and exacerbate inflammatory skin conditions, such as the ones mentioned previously. Chronic stress can result in chronic anxiety, hypervigilance, poor sleep, and a whole cascade of effects resulting in a constant breakdown of tissues and organs, including the skin. There’s a whole new field of medicine being developed called psychodermatology, which is the study and treatment of the psychological component of skin conditions. Better understanding of the neuropotential of skin also opens the possibility of whole new avenues of treatment with light therapy for many of our chronic conditions.
In Kaiyan Medical we have understood that neuroscience should absolutely be part of the conversation about skincare and beauty because the brain and the skin are intimately connected. Skincare is important not only for the skin, but also the brain. That's why we keep developing light therapy devices for skin and brain. In Kaiyan we always recommend to listen for all the little signs that your skin tells you that you tend to ignore. You get a rash, and you brush it off: “Maybe it’s just dry out. Maybe I need to switch creams.” But if it occurs repeatedly, you need to look more closely and ask, “What could my skin be trying to tell me?” Are you repressing emotions? Is there a relationship issue you’re avoiding? Is there some other life circumstance that’s “gotten under your skin”? The body has a wisdom we should listen to.