WHAT IS PHOTOBIOMODULATION?
Food is not the only way we obtain energy. In fact, the body operates in a similar way to a battery, with our health determined by our ability to receive and maintain a charge. The human cellular battery crucially depends on light and its interaction with the body. Red light, comprised of both red and near-infrared wavelengths, is a unique healing part of the electromagnetic spectrum and it is one of the most natural ways to charge the body.
Photobiomodulation (PBM), also known as low level laser therapy (LLLT), is a non-invasive light therapy that employs non-ionizing, low power, laser light to improve certain symptoms and promote healthy effects. The applications of PBM are broad, ranging from pain relief to promoting recovery of tendinopathies, nerve injuries, osteoarthritis and wound healing.
The cell's exposure to red light, at the right intensity and dose, allows them to perform more efficiently. The red light stimulates Cytochrome c-oxidase to reduce oxidative stress, allowing the mitochondrion to function more optimally. Long term PBM use, along with standard treatment, promotes tissue re-repair, and decrease in inflammation. The positive effects even benefit those with more severe conditions. Due to its non-invasive procedure, in some cases, PBM can help patients benefit from the same health effects as standard surgical procedures.
Why Red Light?
Sunlight is essential for good health. We have evolved in an outdoor environment and sunlight contains a broad range of wavelengths that vary at different times of the day. This circadian biology has a huge effect on our bodies. Red light therapy technology allows people to harness the benefits of the sun, without being exposed to harmful ultraviolet rays.
Science is only now beginning to understand the effect of red light on the body and how vital it is for health and optimal functioning. Red light is chosen because its penetration through tissue is maximal due to lower scattering and absorption by tissue chromophores. The absorption, scattering, and chromophore concentrations of skin, melanin, and red cell hemoglobin, are fundamental properties of the tissue that can provide essential information for many aesthetic, therapeutic, and diagnostic applications.
Red light therapy applied to one site of the body can produce an improvement of a condition in an unexposed body part. Local effects of light can be transferred through circulating blood, the lymphatic system, or the nervous system, for a global effect. As Red-light therapy charges the body, the effects of healing in one area often leads to positive changes in another area, in a cumulative and ongoing process. When given the right energy to heal, the body will use it to facilitate self-repair.
Applications of PBM
PBM significantly reduces pain, swelling and inflammation, accelerating the body’s ability to heal itself. The long-term effects of PBM (or LLLT) occur within a week or two and can last for months and sometimes years as a result of improved tissue healing.
PBM uses red light to stimulate both collagen and elastin production, dramatically reducing lines and wrinkles and repair damage form UV rays. In addition, it stimulates collagen synthesis and fibroblast formation, anti-inflammatory action, stimulation of energy production in mitochondria, and even DNA repair. The most effective nm is 630-970nm LED.
During PBM therapy, post-exercise levels of biochemical markers, Blood Lactate, Creatine Kinase, and C-Reactive Protein level, decrease significantly. There is an increase in circulation following the treatment, indicating tissues are receiving more oxygen and other nutrients important for healing—while also ridding themselves of toxic byproducts.
PBM enhances physical performance and accelerates recovery by decreasing muscle acidosis in high-intense sports activities when applied before activity. Increased lactate levels indicate muscular fatigue or acidosis that is associated with anaerobic metabolism during intense exercise activity. High levels of blood lactate are related to impaired performance during intense muscular contraction.
PBM has been proven to reduce muscle strength loss and muscle soreness, resulting in fewer range of motion impairments. It improves muscle power and delays muscle fatigue due to the decreased lactate levels in blood as well as lower CK and C-reactive protein.
PBM is widely used to treat conditions related to neurogenesis. It improves post-stroke local microenvironment and stimulates neuroprogenitor cells, significantly alleviating behavioral deficits.