(link to beginning of Article)To his surprise the tumor cells were not destroyed by what was presumed to be a high power laser. However what plainly occurred was that the incisions he had previously made in the poor rats skin healed faster in the laser treated animals when compared to the incisions of the control animals that weren’t so treated.
Subsequent experiments were performed to explain this phenomenon and these confirmed his suspicions that indeed treatment with red light accelerated healing of the surgical incisions. Baffled but fascinated by this development, he carried out other experiments in which he showed that skin defects, burns, and human cases of skin ulcers arising from diabetes, infected wounds and bed sores also healed faster. How could a device intended to destroy tumors cells promote healing? It turned out that his custom designed laser was in fact a low power laser.
Since Dr Mester first uncovered the therapeutic benefit of this red laser light over 2000 double-blind studies have documented that varied wavelengths of light have been shown to promote healing of skin, muscle, nerve, tendon, cartilage, bone, and periodontal (around the teeth) tissues. It was also discovered that the healing effect was accompanied by a powerful pain killing effect as well. Studies undertaken to explain these effects have shown that on a cellular level, light at appropriate doses and wavelengths is absorbed by light absorbing substances within the mitochondria (energy generating organelles within each cell) and cell membranes. Once absorbed the energy is converted and stored as ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate). As gasoline is to your car’s engine, the chemical ATP is the form of energy your cells use to power the cellular machinery involved with living and in fact healing. Also found is that Red to Near Infrared (NIR) wavelengths penetrate more deeply than any other wavelengths of light.
Now, with that said why do my Infrared Lasers (two of them), that I used for more than 13 years, sit collecting dust (actually I have sold one recently). I used to use these lasers on every animal patient. What has replaced them is a new Light Therapy system from a company called “LightMD®.” PetLight® is the Veterinary version of the FDA approved LightMD®.
In late 2015 the FDA approved the application for a new ground breaking technology which represents the first significant advancement in the field of Photo or Light Therapy since Dr. Mester’s seminal research first brought the terms LLLT and Infrared Laser into the therapeutic lexicon. Practitioners with even a modicum of experience utilizing Infrared Laser therapy in their respective fields will admit, at least to colleagues, that the therapeutic benefits of Laser Therapy have always been inconsistent, patient to patient, and condition to condition. This has been my experience as well. This technological advancement represents the culmination of years of research, addresses this as well as other limitations of Laser Therapy, and finally brings the full benefits of Light Therapy to Fruition.
What makes this new Light Therapy system unique are the following. First, different tissue types and different conditions appear to need many wavelengths of light energy for healing. Lasers are monochromatic, meaning that they generate a single wave length, such as 810nm or 850nm. This new system produces wavelengths from roughly 600nm (Red light) through 950nm (Near Infrared light) and all the wavelengths in between. Second, instead of the usual 5 minute or so treatment times for lasers, this system’s treatment times are 20 to 30 minutes. Third, instead of the small area of treatment for lasers, this system can cover much larger areas with pads that contain hundreds of super luminous diodes. If you own one of the newer extremely bright flashlights you have experienced how powerful superluminous diodes are relative to older flashlight technology. Vastly greater amounts of light energy are absorbed in these treatments when compared to Laser. Some Companies that manufacture Cold Lasers have recently tried adding red and infrared LED’s to their Lasers to get around the single wavelength issue. Unfortunately these older technology LED’s are pretty weak relative to their light output.
Fourth, this System is so advanced that it delivers the light pulsed (think of a blinking light) at what ever frequency the operator designates from 1hz to 20,000hz. (1 flash per second up to 20,000 flashes per second). Now why is this significant? It has been found that different conditions and tissues of the body respond even faster when illuminated at different resonant pulse frequencies. Different tissues appear to like the light in discrete packets of light energy delivered at certain rates rather than a continuous beam akin to a spot light. I suppose it's analogous to the more pleasing sounds produced by singers wavering or modulating their voices during a song or in string instruments such as a Cello where the musician modulates the sound by oscillating his fingers rapidly on the strings as opposed to a constant unwavering tone.
As an aside, have you noticed older dogs and cats increasing lay out in the direct sunlight, often to the point you are concerned about overheating. They do this because their bodies crave these beneficial wavelengths. The common assumption has previously been that older dogs, for example, lay in the sun because they crave the warmth. Paradoxically, these same older dogs often prefer cold hard tile or linoleum over their comfy beds to sleep on during the night! Over the years I was always baffled by this phenomenon. Our companions appear to put up with the heat to get the light. Unfortunately the Sun also provides less beneficial wavelengths such as Ultraviolet A, B, and C.