Part 1 of this series should be a sufficient primer for understanding the basic properties of light waves. In this post, I’ll focus on the biological mechanisms that make light an effective treatment* for a variety of ailments. For a summary of blue light and red light, please see my previous posts about these. Please refer to my previous post for an explanation of electromagnetic fields in the Human body, particularly as they apply to such therapies as bone stimulation and acupuncture.
Any research of light treatment– even just light bulbs– generates a deluge of information. The various terms mentioned in advertising alone is enough to make your head spin. I’ve sifted through the jargon to outline the basics, which hopefully can be a handy guide to deciphering what’s what. The following is a categorization of sources/ types of light (my previous post explains the visible spectrum as our eyes see and brain interprets it):
- POLYCHROMATIC (white)
- heliotherapy: natural light via the sun)
- phototherapy: artificial light via lamp bulbs)
- laser* (Light Amplified by Stimulated Emission of Radiation): gas/ liquid emits light when charged by energy from electricity or another laser
Sunlight stimulates/ facilitates the synthesis of Vitamin D. As with water soluble vitamins (such as C as I explained in a previous post), excess gets flushed out rather than stored but fortunately, just 10-15 minutes of exposure (per day 2-3 days per week) is sufficient. Through a multi-step process, a compound in the skin absorbs UV B radiation and generates vitamin D by systematically converting substances at a molecular level to be metabolized in the liver and kidneys.
Ways and means of simulating the beneficial effects of sunlight are rapidly increasing, as are methods for isolating certain colors of light. Moreover, many treatments can target specific cells rather than merely blasting all of them at once. Confusion results from the wide variance of terms used by scientists, doctors, manufacturers, etc., which means multiple different acronyms could potentially all refer to the same thing. It’s overwhelming; particularly, when the general public lacks cursory knowledge (such as the outline I provided above)!
*According to the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery, Inc., terms such as Biostimulation, Cold/Cool Laser, Low Level laser therapy, Soft Laser and Low Power Laser Therapy have been replaced by photobiomodulation (PBM) / photobiomodulation therapy (PBMT) as per the general consensus within the field. Their working definition is, “a form of light therapy that utilizes non-ionizing forms of light sources including LASERS, LEDs, and broadband light, in the visible and near infrared spectrum. It is a non-thermal process involving endogenous chromophores eliciting photophysical and photochemical events at various biological scales.”
In simplified terms: photobiomodulation therapy (PBMT) utilizes forms of light strong enough to get subatomic particles moving, yet too weak to transfer their energy to matter (i.e. radiation). This involves particles that give color to molecules (e.g. blood protein and skin pigment), which are produced internally rather than introduced via an outside source. The significance is our ability to manipulate the body at a cellular level to invigorate processes/ functions on its own without the invasive procedures upon which we used to rely. Just imagine simpler, faster healing with minimal to no side-effects!
Applications/ implications of light-based treatment include:
- regulation of circadian rhythms, especially improvement in sleep quality
- improved blood circulation
- improved cholesterol levels
- enhanced results of exercise, e.g. improved BMI and waist circumference
- enhanced physical endurance
- improved insulin levels
- enhanced mood
- skin rejuvenation, e.g. reduction of wrinkles and roughness
- collagen synthesis (particularly in diabetes-damaged tissue)
- reduction of joint inflammation
- enhanced wound healing, such as during post-operative recovery
- reduction/ prevention of sepsis
- reduction/ prevention of tumors, cysts and lesions
- gene therapy for sensorineural hearing loss and regrowth of cochlear ear hair
- microbial disinfection of viruses and bacteria on surfaces
- blood irradiation
- prevention and treatment of blocked oxidation (the prime cause of malignant, viral, bacterial, and allergic diseases)
- treatment of neonatal jaundice, rickets, sinusitis, constipation, eczema, psoriasis, tuberculosis, hepatitis C, thyroid disorders, arthritis, diabetes, cancer, Parkinson’s disease, dementia, depression, seasonal affective disorder, insomnia
It’s clear that what should be overwhelming is the evidence that light heals. This realization should impact what we purchase, how we vote, who we allow to treat us as we support further research and promote those medical professionals who condone this ancient proven medicine given to us by God.