Many physiological processes depend on the light cycle. There are special photoreceptive molecules in our cells called cytochrome c oxidases, which are enzymes of mitochondria's respiratory chain. Mitochondria are cellular organelles that supply cellular energy. Cytochrome c oxidases absorb light in the phototherapeutic window (NIR and R spectrum), triggering a sequence of redox reactions on the inner mitochondrial membrane. These primary mechanisms' photobiological response is evident in the photo signal transduction to secondary mechanisms that ensure several clinical effects: wound healing, improved blood and lymph circulation, regeneration, and immunomodulation. Photobiomodulation provides the organism with substantial support in maintaining homeostasis of the body. This applies particularly to the red and the near-infrared spectrum. Light contributes to maintaining or re-establishing balance in the organism at even cellular level, where it:
Acts as an antioxidant contributing to the protection of cells from free radicals.
It affects the proteins that protect cells from degenerative processes.
Enhances the osmotic resistance of red blood cells, thus preventing hemolysis.
Affects the growth factors in the nervous system and microvessels and the muscular and connective tissue.
Affects cell signaling.
Regulates inflammations, the immune response, and circadian rhythms.
Supports tissue regeneration.
Stimulates local circulation.
Supports the lymphatic system.
Light affects the mechanisms of disease incidence and substantially shortens the recovery time. It thus helps reduce medical costs, as it cuts down on the use of medicinal products. A light stimulator cannot replace a healthy lifestyle and medical care required in injuries or illnesses, but complementary effects have been proven. The irradiated area shows better circulation, cellular metabolism, and energy production in cells improves, and the healing and regenerative effects on the tissue are stimulated. The light stimulator can be used as an independent or complementary therapy.
Therapeutic light devices can be modulated at various frequencies. Modulation unites the properties of light with technically compatible frequencies that additionally stimulate the body’s regenerative abilities and enhance the effects of light therapy.
Seven different frequencies are used to treat different injuries and alleviate illnesses through light. These frequencies, Nogier frequencies, regulate various conditions. Dr. Paul Nogier was a French neurologist and the founder of auriculotherapy, who determined frequencies for treating individual types of tissue. The seven experimentally determined Nogier frequencies can be used in light therapy to support an affected organ's rehabilitation through acupressure points or of injured tissue. Furthermore, these frequencies help establish a healthy balance of energies through meridian and acupressure points according to acupressure and acupuncture principles. Voll frequencies can also modulate light devices. These frequencies are used for bioresonance therapy with individual electronic devices that include both frequencies for diagnosing and frequencies for treating conditions that occur due to impaired cellular activity. The 2.45 Hz Voll frequency is effective for acute, subacute, and chronic conditions. Using the light of a wavelength of 610–670 nm and 830–870 nm helps with muscular and skeletal injuries, pain, tendon and ligament injuries, and injuries to the nervous system. It affects the acupuncture points. It strengthens and relaxes the body and directly affects individual systems of the organism or individual organs. It is used for edema, sinusitis, insomnia, and vegetative disorders. Light therapy is often complemented by Nogier and Voll frequencies that simulate various tissue types and offer effective support to treating various medical conditions and injuries. The type of injury or the medical condition determines the appropriate frequency to be used.
Seven Nogier frequencies to achieving a healthy energy balance of the body that are most commonly used in light therapy:
Frequency A: 292 Hz
Frequency B: 584 Hz
Frequency C: 1,168 Hz
Frequency D: 2,336 Hz
Frequency E: 4,672Hz
Frequency F: 73 Hz
Frequency G: 146 Hz
It generally applies that lower frequencies are used to facilitate cell activity and for regeneration, while higher frequencies (C-E) are used for alleviation and relief of pain. The effects of these frequencies are enhanced if several frequencies are included in one therapy.
Analgesic effect: G, E.
Regenerative effect: A, B, F.
Relaxation: C, D, G.
Benefits & Effects
F : Facilitates cellular activity, especially when this activity is reduced. Activates bodily functions. Stimulates acupuncture points
G : Anti-inflammatory function stimulates the immune system. Accelerates recovery. This setting is often combined with other settings, as inflammations comprise several phases.
A : It has a stimulating effect on the tissue of ectodermal origin (the central and the peripheral nervous system, the sensory epithelia, the epidermis with hair, nails, cutaneous glands, the pituitary gland, the epiphysis). It facilitates recovery following surgical procedures, restores the skin and the mucous membrane (wounds, wrinkles, ulcers, aphthae, herpes). Helps with migraines. This frequency is used as the universal frequency for acupuncture points.
B : It has a stimulating effect on endodermal origin tissue (the liver, gall bladder, pancreas, intestinal loop, the urinary bladder). It enhances blood and lymph circulation. It also affects the conduction of nerve fibers. It prevents the development of blisters in the initial phase of herpes and facilitates wound healing in the mouth cavity.
C : It stimulates mesodermal origin tissue (connective and supportive tissue, striated and smooth muscle tissue, hematopoietic organs, the lymph, kidneys, the genitals). It supports bone healing and facilitates recovery following muscle, ligament, and joint injuries. It relaxes the muscles and improves joint mobility. D : Complements frequencies A and C.
E : Relieves pain.
Modern light devices for photobiomodulation are frequency modulated and are intended for specific therapies that we wish to conduct. This means that in addition to treatment with the seven basic frequencies, they enable the use of preset programs that automatically combine various frequencies in recommended time intervals. The frequencies change automatically concerning the type of injury or the medical condition. After the therapy, the devices shut down automatically.
Douris P, Southard V, Ferrigi R et al. EFFECT OF PHOTOTHERAPY ON DELAYED ONSET MUSCLE SORENESS (DOMS). Photomed Laser Surg. 2006; (3): 377–82.
Ramagole DA. EFFECTS OF LOW LEVEL LIGHT THERAPY IN TREATMENT OF OVER USE SPORTS INJURIES IN PROFESSIONAL ATHLETES – DESCRIPTIVE PILOT STUDY.
Department of Orthopaedics, University of Pretoria, South Africa.3. Junior EC, Lopes-Martins RA, Baroni BM et al. COMPARISON BETWEEN SINGLE-DIODE LOW LEVEL LASER THERAPY (LLLT) AND LED MULTI-DIODE (CLUSTER) THERAPY (LEDT) APPLICATIONS BEFORE HIGH-INTENSITY EXERCISE. Laboratory of Human Movement, University of Caxias do Sul, RS, Brazil.
Carroll JD. LOW LEVEL LASER/PHOTOBIOMODULATION DOSIMETRY. WHAT ARE THE TRESHOLDS AND WHAT ARE THE LIMITS? Photodiagnosis and Photodynamic Therapy. 2008, 5(1): S25(71).
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.
Margaret Jarrett was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease eight years ago. And although she was bothered by many of the symptoms that commonly afflict people living with Parkinson’s — resting tremor, uncertain gait, and terrible nightmares — the thing that bothered her the most was the loss of her sense of smell. An avid gardener, she took great pride in her roses but being unable to inhale their perfumed scent really got her down.
“You take something like your sense of smell for granted,” Jarrett, 72, said. “You don’t realize how precious something is until it’s gone.”
Parkinson’s disease combines movement disorders, including resting tremors, muscle rigidity, impaired balance, and movement slowness. It can also cause neurological problems such as depression, insomnia, memory loss, and confusion.
Its cause is unknown, but it is associated with dopamine depletion and destruction of neurons in the brain's basal ganglia region.
The current mainstay of treatment for Parkinson’s disease involves physical therapy and medications that act to increase dopamine levels in the brain. One relatively new therapy for Parkinson’s is exposure to infrared light.
Dr. Ann Liebert, co-ordinator of photomolecular research at the Australasian Research Institute, has been exploring the idea of using infrared light to modulate the gastrointestinal tract’s microbiome in humans.
The gut’s microbiome — composing trillions of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa from hundreds of different species that normally inhabit our gastrointestinal tract — has come under increasing scientific attention over the past decade, with links being established between the microbiome and several conditions including obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and depression. Several studies have also observed that the gut microbiome is markedly altered in patients with Parkinson’s disease. Fecal microbiota transplantation can have a protective effect in animal models of Parkinson’s.
The reason for this is unknown. However, an interesting observation is that another common pathology seen in Parkinson’s disease is the accumulation of misfolded proteins, called Lewy bodies, in the brain. It has been shown that certain sensory cells of the gut contain these same proteins.
Researchers have hypothesized that abnormal forms of the protein could travel from the gut to the brain through the vagus nerve, a phenomenon observed in animal models of Parkinson’s. Further support for this theory comes from findings that people who have had a surgical vagotomy — where branches of the nerve are cut — have a lower lifetime risk of developing Parkinson’s.
“We know that infrared light can reduce Parkinson’s symptoms and offer protection to brain cells. So, we wanted to test if it could modulate the gut’s microbiome as well,” Liebert said.
Provisional results from the first half dozen Adelaide participants, including Margaret Jarrett, have been promising.
“The six patients . . . showed an increase by up to 20 percent in the favorable microbiome that is associated with obesity reduction and short-chain fatty acid production. And the bacteria associated with rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease and insulin resistance were all decreased,” said Hosen Kiat, a professor of cardiology at Macquarie University, who oversaw the trial.
“For the last three years, I haven’t been able to smell flowers,” Jarrett said. “But several weeks into the trial, I started to smell my roses, daphnes, and gardenias again, and it was wonderful.”
Another participant, Barry Weldon, 70, had a similar experience. “My sense of smell improved significantly,” he said. “One day, I walked into the house, and for the first time in a long time, I could actually smell the soup my wife was cooking.”
Ron Till, 68, had an even more dramatic improvement. “The trial gave me the ability to sleep again,” he said. “It was amazing.”
Till’s neurologist cautioned him not to get his hopes up before the trial but changed his mind when he saw the results. “He told me it was voodoo medicine and probably wouldn’t work,” Till recalled. “But after the trial, I went back for my three-monthly assessment with him, and he said to me, ‘You’re actually testing better than when you first started with me ten years ago.’”
Retired geologist Sean Kennedy, 76, also experienced an improvement in his coordination and balance. “My juggling skills have improved,” he said.
In a review published in Photobiomodulation, Photomedicine and Laser Surgery, Liebert and her co-authors acknowledge that while the exact mechanism by which light therapy alters the microbiome is unknown, there is definite potential in light therapy.
“The ability of PBM [light therapy] to influence the microbiome (if proven to apply to humans) will allow an additional therapeutic route to target multiple diseases, including cardiovascular disease and Parkinson’s disease, many of which have thus far eluded effective treatment approaches,” the paper concludes.
Kiat is excited by light therapy’s potential. “If we can create non-invasively a metabolically healthier microbiome through this extremely cheap and easy way, then inflammatory diseases and neurodegenerative diseases should be positively influenced,” he said.
Gold Coast-based GP Mark Jeffery is a clinician who has been using lasers in his practice for more than four years. He says the research supports the use of light therapy for a wide range of diseases, including Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, depression, and chronic pain.
“The reality is there are no real side effects from low-level laser therapy, and it’s one of the safest treatments you can ever do,” he says.
Liebert says the promising results they have seen thus far will inform a large, double-blinded randomized control trial planned for this year. “It has the potential to apply to huge fields of medicine,” she said.
Weldon’s neurologist, Chris Kneebone, is keeping an open mind on infrared light therapy’s potential. “We all just have to wait and see what the trial results tell us,” he said.
His advice for people who wish to give it a try for their Parkinson’s? “If you want to give it a go, give it a go,” he said. “I’ve got no reason not to recommend it, but at this stage, I’ve got no reason to think it is helpful either.”
As for Jarrett, she has no doubts that infrared light therapy has helped her. She enjoys pottering around in her garden again and has more energy than she has had for a long time.
“I feel like I could take on the world again,” she said. “My garden has never looked better.”
Skincare doesn’t just affect the way you look. It also plays a huge role in your overall health — from body temperature to hormone regulation to your immune system. If you’re into skincare as much as we are, one of the many ways that can help you keep your skin healthy is red light therapy. In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into why you should take care of your skin, and we’ll also discuss how red light therapy devices can help you achieve your skin goals.
Are you ready? Let’s go straight into it.
Why Do You Need to Take Care of Your Skin?
As the largest organ in our body, your skin is your body’s first defense line to bacteria, germs, viruses, etc. It’s a vital part of the immune system and some processes in your body, such as temperature control, blood circulation, and hormone production.
Main Functions of the Skin
Let’s take a look at the skin's main functions to help you understand how essential it is for you to take care of this vital organ.
1. Defense and Immunity
The skin is an active immune organ, and it serves as our physical barrier from the dangers of the environment. It helps protect our bodies from diseases, germs, viruses, dirt, UV radiation, and potential thermal and physical injuries. It also helps detect and fight off infection, toxins, allergens, hazardous substances, and carcinogens.
2. Temperature Regulation
Aside from protecting us from extreme cold or heat, the skin also helps prevent moisture loss, keeping us from being dehydrated.
3. Sense of touch
The skin has a somatosensory system that is composed of touch receptors and nerve endings. This system is responsible for the sensations we feel, including pain, pressure, vibrations, smoothness, roughness, heat, cold, tickle, itch, and more.
4. Storage and Production of Vitamin D
Your body also uses your skin's deeper layers to store metabolic products, fat, and water. The skin is also responsible for producing vitamin D, supplied in the body when the skin gets enough sunlight exposure.
Need we say more? Your skin plays a huge part in your appearance. Of course, when your skin is healthy, you also look glowing, radiant, and definitely more attractive.
Red Light Therapy and Keeping Your Skin Healthy
Before we proceed with the “how,” let’s first define what red light therapy is. Red light therapy is a non-invasive treatment option for different kinds of medical conditions. It is also used for health improvement and various aesthetic procedures.
Decades ago, red light therapy machines were only available in clinics, high-end salons, and spas. Nowadays, red light therapy devices can be bought and used by anyone. In fact, you can do red light therapy at the comfort of your home and incorporate it into your skincare routine.
How Does Red Light Therapy Work?
Red light therapy works by delivering wavelengths of red and near-infrared (NIR) light to our cells and skin. Besides helping enhance cellular function, red light therapy also helps stimulate the mitochondria and produce ATP (adenosine triphosphate) energy. This treatment option usually takes only about 10 minutes per session.
How Does Red Light Therapy Help Keep Your Skin Healthy?
Our skin relies on millions of cells to be able to perform its functions. When our cells experience homeostasis or a state of balance, our skin and body perform (and look) better. And as mentioned above, red and NIR light enhances cellular function while also preventing inflammation and oxidative stress. Red light therapy helps make your skin look and feel softer, smoother, and healthier.
Besides, red light therapy also helps damaged tissues heal and regenerate faster. It also has anti-inflammatory benefits, potentially increasing blood flow to damaged and inflamed tissues and reducing oxidative stress.
Skincare is self-care, as keeping your skin healthy also produces multiple benefits to your health. Thankfully, aside from proper hygiene, regular exercise, a balanced diet, and an established skincare routine, red light therapy can also improve your overall skin health.
For more information about red light therapy or to view our catalog of red therapy devices, click here.