Photo bio-modulation (Low Light Laser Therapy)
What Is Low Light Laser Therapy?
Low Light Laser Therapy is the medical use of monochromatic light emission from a low intensity laser diode (250 milliwatts or less) or an array of high intensity super luminous diodes (providing total optical power up to the 2000 milliwatt range). Conditions successfully treated include painful inflammatory joint and muscle conditions such as tendonitis and osteoarthritis, particularly of the neck, knee and shoulder. Many sports injuries and certain skin diseases respond too. Recently the beneficial effects of low intensity laser are being shown in deep inflammatory conditions such as endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease, ulcerative colitis and inflammation of the prostate. The light source is placed in contact with the skin allowing the photon energy to penetrate tissue, where it interacts with various intracellular biomolecules resulting in biochemical changes in deep cellular components, such as mitochondia – the “power plants” of the cell. Many of the body’s healing processes are accelerated or enhanced. The following outlines some of the specific effects of Low Light Laser Therapy:
This emerging technology uses superluminous and laser diodes to irradiate abnormal tissue with photons. Photons are particles of energy that are absorbed by a variety of micro-molecules within the cell, a process that initiates a number of positive physiological responses. In irradiated tissue light energy is converted into biochemical energy. The result – normal cell structure and function are restored using the body’s own mechanisms. Light in its various forms has been used for healing from the time of the ancient Egyptian and Greek civilizations. With recent advances in the engineering of devices and the development of protocols for effective therapeutic application, dramatic benefits and treatment of many complex medical conditions are now achievable. The BioFlex System combines engineering advances with the capacity to control all parameters such as frequency, duty cycle, energy density, duration, etc. A range of protocols can be delivered to tissue in standard fashion or on a customized basis. The monochromatic coherent and polarized characteristics of the therapeutic light beam permit penetration of deep tissues without harming normal cells. It should be noted that the end result is intending to be curative, rather than just symptom control, the conventional approach for the management of pain.
The Advantages Of Low Intensity Laser Therapy
- Easily tolerated
- Highly effective
- Minimal negative side effects
The Physiological Effects Of Low Intensity Laser Therapy
Short Term Effects
- Production and release of beta-endorphins (these are morphine like substances produced by various cells in the body that inhibit the sensation of pain)
- Cortisol production is increased (cortisol is the precursor of cortisone). This enables the body to combat the stress associated with trauma or the disease process
- The short-term effect is significant in 5-10% of cases during or after the conclusion of the initial treatment, but is not as important as the long term or cumulative effect
Long Term Or Cumulative Effects
- ATP (adenosine triphosphate) production is increased resulting in improved cellular metabolism
- DNA (deoxyribonucleicacid) production; the protein building block of tissue is substantially increased
- Neurotransmission is facilitated due to elevated levels of serotonin and aceytylcholine
- Mitochondrial activity is stimulated resulting in cell replication etc. (i.e. replacement, regeneration and repair of abnormal cells)
- Modulation of macrophages, fibroblasts and other cells
- Angiogenesis (formation of new blood vessels)
- Regulates cell membrane potential, essential in Na, Cl and K ion transfer (electrolyte balance)
- Cytokines and other chemicals enhancing cellular communications are released
- The immune response is stimulated
- Lymphatic drainage is enhanced
- The histamine response is modified
- Production of growth factors are increased
- The body’s healing processes are accelerated
These beneficial physiological changes are the result of cell stimulation and tissue regeneration. Many other positive activities are found including hormonal and cerebral spinal fluid effects which are significant and are currently under investigation.
Acupuncture being a branch of Chinese medicine works to promote the smooth and balanced flow of our energy (Qi) through the channels beneath the skin, with using ultra-fine needles. When the Qi is out of balance, illness can result.
Depending on the condition, the acupuncturist will use needles to stimulate the body’s own healing response and restore the natural healthy flow of Qi in the channels. Other techniques such as cupping or moxibustion may also be used.
The treatment is aimed at the whole person, and as well as asking about current signs and symptoms, factors such as the patient’s emotional state, sleep patterns, muscle tone, diet, medication, digestive system and breathing are all taken into consideration. Tongue and pulse form an important part of diagnosis as does palpation of the body.
Lifestyle and Chinese Medicine dietary advice also form an important part of the treatment, to enable patients to play an active part in improving their health and wellbeing.