articles: the physics of healing (part 2)

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)
  • MONOCHROMATIC
      • 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terms such as Biostimulation, Cold/Cool Laser, Low Level laser therapy, Soft Laser and Low Power Laser Therapy have been replaced by photobiomodulation (PBM) / photobiomodulation therapy (PBMT) as per the general consensus within the field.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.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

Is it time to consider photobiomodulation as a drug equivalent?

ultraviolet irradiation of blood: “The cure that time forgot?”

The Jeremiah Metzger Lecture: Jeremiah Metzger and the era of heliotherapy

a critical analysis of chromotherapy and its scientific evolution

United States’ FDA: ultraviolet (UV) radiation

new light on chromotherapy: Grakov’s “virtual scanning” system of medical assessment and treatment

“Photobiomics”: Can light, including photobiomodulation, alter the microbiome?

fundamentals of thermal radiation

photobiomodulation: lasers vs. light-emitting diodes?

chromophore concentrations, absorption and scattering properties of human skin in-vivo

the effects of exercise training associated with low-level laser therapy on biomarkers of adipose tissue transdifferentiation in obsese women

non-visual effects of light: how to use light to promote circadian entrainment & promote alertness

the benefits of polychromatic light therapy and the dental connection to health

minimally invasive non-thermal laser technology using laser-induced optical breakdown for skin rejuvenation 

phototherapy for eczema

the influence of simulated sunlight on the activation of influenza virus in aerosols

heliotherapy of tuberculosis

the use of low level laser therapy for musculoskeletal pain

a systemic review of low level laser therapy with location-specific doses for pain from chronic joint disorders

PBMT on accute pain and inflammation in post total hip arthroplasty patients

photobiomodulation promotes adenoviral gene transduction in auditory cells

pre-conditioning with near infrared photobiomodulation reduces imflammatory cytokines and markers of oxidative stress in cochlear hair cells

photophysical approaches to responsive optical probes

targeted light therapy destroys cancer cells

red light therapy can heal thyroid & more

the treatment of infectious disease with a medical device: results of a clinical trial of UV blood irradiation in patients with hepatitis C infection

Robert C. Olney, M.D., A.B., F.I.C.S., Member I.C.A.N., President A.B.I.S.: UV blood irradiation ; blocked oxidation

shining light on the head: photobiomodulation for brain disorders

protein-induced photophysical changes to the amyloid indicator dye thioflavin T

mitigating unwanted photophysical processes for improved single-molecule fluorescence imaging

synthetic strategies to optimize photophysical and photoredox properties of organometallic complexes

photobiomodulation and implants: implications for dentistry

efficacy of antimicrobial photodynamic and PBMT in patients undergoing fixed orthodontic treatment 

antimicrobial photodynamic and photobiomodulation adjuvant therapies for prevention and treatment of medication-related osteonecrosis of the jaws

how light turns ordinary hydrogen peroxide into a MRSA treatment

endogenous porphyrin production in bacteria by aminolaevulinic acid & subsequent bacterial photoeradication

disinfection and healing effects of 222-nm UVC light on methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infection in mouse wounds

germicidal efficacy and mammalian skin safety of 222-nm UV light

effect of UVC on bacterial colonization in chronic wounds

stability of SARS coronavirus in human specimens & environment & its sensitivity to heating and UV radiation

Foundation For Blood Irradiation, Inc. patent for UV blood irradiation method & apparatus

Nebraska Medicine: N95 Filtering Facepiece Respirator Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation (UVGI) Process for Decontamination and Reuse

cognitive-behavioral therapy, light therapy & their combo in treating SAD

light therapy for neonatal jaundice

light therapy for insomnia sufferers

Foundation for Alternative & Integrative Medicine: the medical action of UV light

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