What is Low Level Laser Therapy?
At East Valley Family Healthcare, we are constantly searching for new and exciting scientific breakthroughs in natural treatment methods. Dr. McFarlane may recommend the implementation of cold laser treatments to supplement your customized treatment plan.
It has been used clinically for numerous ailments in Europe for over thirty years and has been the subject of over 2,500 scientific papers, published worldwide. There are no reported side effects to the therapy which is painless, non-toxic and complements many traditional therapies.
Until recently, LLLT has been relatively underutilized in North America. Today, however, there is increasing awareness and acceptance of LLLT among healthcare practitioners. Low level laser light is compressed light of a wavelength from the cold, red part of the spectrum of electromagnetic radiation. It is different from natural light in that it is one precise color; it is coherent (it travels in a straight line), monochromatic (a single wavelength) and polarized (it concentrates its beam in a defined location or spot). These properties allow laser light to penetrate the surface of the skin with no heating effect, no damage to the skin and no known side effects. Rather, laser light directs biostimulative light energy to the body's cells which the cells then convert into chemical energy to promote natural healing and pain relief.
There are two types of medical laser: high power and low power. High power lasers are used to cut through tissue. Low-level lasers, on the other hand, are used to stimulate tissue repair through a process of PhotoBioStimulation.
Research has proven that cells emit low level infrared light called biophotons. Biophotons allow for inter-cellular communication. When two exact biophotons cross they form a wave called the soliton wave. A soliton wave has higher amplitude than the waves from the two original biophotons and moves through the body rather easily. Soliton waves carry information and energy. Suffice it to say that the type of information they carry is dependent on many factors.
All cells are composed of atoms which have a nucleus composed of a protons and neutrons with electrons moving around the nucleus. When electrons leave the atom, the atom is negatively altered and you now have disease. The new altered atoms and cells are reproduced via DNA and the disease becomes chronic.
Low level lasers that produce soliton waves carry electrons back to the damaged atoms and cells, helping to restore normal DNA composition and normal, positive soliton wave communications between cells.
This process is how low level laser therapy can be effective for any condition in which cellular function or receptor sites have been altered. For example, in diabetes, alteration of cell receptors for insulin reduces the cell's ability to produce adequate ATP for the cells energy blocks. When this damaged cell is reproduced millions of times, the result is Type II diabetes.
Low level laser therapy and particularly the patented laser used in our office produces soliton waves that carry electrons to the damaged cells, restoring their capability to function normally. Mode 3 of our laser has 29 pre-programmed frequencies that have proven effective at restoring intercellular communication.
What Is Low Level Laser Therapy? Low level laser therapy is directing red and near infrared light over tissue in hopes of improving healing, reducing pain, and reducing bacterial counts. Low level therapy uses cold (subthermal) laser light energy to stimulate cellular function. The therapy is precise, accurate, safe and can be extremely effective for a wide variety of conditions. The energy range of low level laser light lies between 1 and 500 mW (milliwatts), while for surgical lasers the energy is 3000 to 10000 mW.
How Does Low Level Laser Therapy Work? Low level lasers supply energy to the body in the form of photons. This is contrast to electricity, which supplies electrons, and in contrast to acidity and alkalinity, which is based on protons. It is becoming apparent that the body signals within itself in protons, electrons and photons. The wavelength of photons determine their effect on visible light, which is transmitted through the skin's layers (the dermis, epidermis and the subcutaneous tissue or tissue fat under the skin), Light waves in the near infrared ranges penetrate the deepest of all light waves in the visible spectrum. It is these wavelengths that are exploited to stimulate cellular function.
Low Level Lasers energize the tissue since light is a form of energy. For example, laser light on scalp and hair follicles provides high levels of light which are used by the cells in the scalp and hair to assist in the normal chemical processes performed by those cells. The term for this is photobiostimulation. The most common example of light converting into chemical energy is photosynthesis, where plants are fed via light converted into chemical energy. In a similar way, laser penetrates into soft tissue and increases the action of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), a molecule that is a major carrier of energy from one reaction site to another in all living cells. By doing so, laser light increases the energy available to cells so they take in nutrients faster and get rid of waste products.
Many long-term clinical research programs show that bio-stimulation of cold-beam, low-level laser gives numerous positive effects to by a combination of three functions:
- Energization: Transforming laser energy into cell energy
- Circulation: Increasing blood and lymph circulation
- Vibration: Resonating cells into vibrative harmony
Energization: As mentioned above, light is energy. According to the eminent scientist FA Popp (Dysequilibrium and Self-Organization, 207-230. 1986 Reidel), living cells actually give out ultra-weak photons (light) with a coherence characteristic to laser. Popp postulated that sick cells are light-starved and when irradiated with low level laser in the correct frequency range they become light-restored and healthy. The safe laser light penetrates into soft tissue where it is absorbed by cells and converted into energy that increases healthy metabolic processing. Not surprisingly, scientists and physicians have been using low level laser over the past 30 years to accelerate wound healing and regenerate tissue.
Circulation: Microscopic studies show laser increases circulation and oxygenation of the blood to the scalp and hair bulb; removes calcification and blockages around the hair bulb; as well as increases cell replacement or regenerative activity. These factors help hair to improve in fullness, shine, body and elasticity. Problems such as over-oily or dry scalp, dandruff and itchiness can also be reduced.
In 1986 the International Laser Research Group Association included in their trial report on cold-beam laser: it normalizes metabolism of tissues, improves trophism [blood cell nutrition], and assures a regular sebaceous secretion.
Vibration: Soft tissues and fluids in our bodies actually vibrate! And they do this within a frequency range similar to that of cold-beam, red-light laser. In fact, one of many scientific theories (Wolbarsht ML. Ed: Clinical Aspects of Laser Research. Plenum Press New York p116 1977) is that cells are largely dependant for healthy function on an exchange of energy and information with surrounding cells. This is achieved via individual wave systems by which cells communicate through inter-connective plasma by vibration.
A cell is in an unhealthy state when its vibrations become irregular or out-of-step with this common communications system. However, it can be brought back into vibratory harmony by being irradiated with low level laser working at quantum level.
Numerous other scientific studies and practical articles have endorsed and expanded early findings of the general efficacy of laser's effects on the hair, skin or tissues.
Blood Pressure - The results from a group of 30 patients suffering from hypertension were positive in 80% of the patients. Laser Therapy. 1990; 2(2):59
Tennis Elbow - complete pain relief and restored functional ability were achieved in 82% of acute patients and 66% of the chronic cases. J Clin Laser Med & Surg. 1998; 16 (3): 145-151
Fibromyalgia - 66% benefited from the treatment with regard to local pain, hypomobility andphlogosis. J Clin Laser Med Surg. 1997; 15 (5): 217-220
Headache/Migraine - pain disappeared after 1-5 minutes. Proc 9th Congress Soc Laser Surgery& Medicine, Anaheim, CA: 2-6 Nov. 1991
Low Back Pain - treatment was effective in 71% of the laser group and 36% of the sham group.Lasers Surg Med. 1998 Suppl 10, p. 6
Rheumatoid Arthritis of the Hand - grip strength and movement were improved while swelling, pain and morning stiffness were reduced. Lasers in Medical Science, 1989; 4: 193
Type II Diabetes an anecdotal report from the Dr. Lytle reports on how Type I and Type II Diabetes were temporarily helped with laser