Types of Light Therapy (a.k.a. photobiomodulation)

The scientific term for Light Therapy is ***Photobiomodulation***. Photobiomodulaton is the use of therapeutic wavelengths (colors) of light to heal, restore and stimulate multiple physiological processes and to repair damage caused by injury or disease.

In short, biological processes are triggered by photons. The primary action (simplified) is that photons from specific wavelengths of light begin a cascade of enzymatic reactions in the mitochondria of the cells.

This restores cellular respiration (generating ATP) and releasing Nitric Oxide into the blood stream. This lowers pain, increases circulation and greatly speeds the repair/replacement of damaged tissue.

So, Light Therapy is indicated in helping return almost any body to a healthy, pain-free state.  This can be accomplished with a variety of tools.

Various delivery methods for Photobiomodulation:

  • Pad Based Light Therapy – these systems offer red / blue and/or infrared LED light diodes that are applied directly to the skin. Often pulsed at specific hertz rates to help activate or sedate the tissue as well.
  • Photopuncture – acupuncture with light. This is done with either LED or Laser light at about 660 nm red wavelength and the light is applied to acupoints for 15 – 90 seconds each.
  • Light Panels – that emit specific wavelengths in an area near your body but not touching it.
  • Blue light therapy to treat SAD – Seasonal Affected Disorder – usually uses blue light wavelengths of about 440 nm. This is most often in an LED device that the user shines around their face and eyes for a certain length of time each day.
  • Light Therapy Saunas – usually done with red and or infrared LED panels. (~610 nm – ~900 nm wavelengths)
  • Cold Laser Therapy – again red / blue or infrared in monochrome from narrow laser diodes that is applied near or on the area to be treated.  These often have a combination of laser and LED diodes.