THE SCIENCE OF LIGHT THERAPY
Light therapy is a process by which energy (photons)are absorbed through the skin and taken up by photoreceptors within the cell’s mitochondria. The haemoglobin in the cell is then triggered to release nitric oxide. Nitric Oxide is an important signalling molecule that dilates the blood vessels thus allowing increased circulation and tissue oxygenation. This is essential for tissue regeneration on any level.
Nitric oxide is also a neurotransmitter, promotes collagen synthesis and collagen fibril alignment. Importantly, Nitric oxide stimulates the production of cellular energy - Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP). ATP is then transported throughout the body to where it is needed.
Depth of Penetration
Visible red light, at wavelengths from 630 to 700 nm penetrates tissue to a depth of about 10 mm. Light at this wavelength is very beneficial in treating problems close to the surface such as wounds, cuts, scars, trigger and acupuncture points, and is particularly effective in treating infections.
Infrared light (800 to 1000nm) penetrates to a depth of about 50mm and deeper which makes it more effective for treating the deeper muscle structures, tendons, ligaments, joints, bones and organs.
** Although both red and infrared wavelengths penetrate to different depths and affect tissues differently, the therapeutic effects are similar.
Superluminous LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) are safe concentrated light sources used to produce the specific wavelengths of light that provide therapeutic benefits of light therapy without adverse side effects.
- LED’s at specific wavelengths increase circulation by increasing the formation of new capillaries. This allows more blood supply – hence more oxygen and vital nutrients to reach tissues.
This increased circulation also allows for the faster removal of metabolic wastes.
- Studies site that LED Therapy stimulates the production of collagen. Collagen is an essential protein for repair to damaged tissue, including ageing skin and scars.
- LED Therapy stimulates the release of ATP – Adenosine triphosphate. ATP is the major carrier of energy to all cells.
- LED Therapy increases the activity of the lymphatic system thus promoting a faster elimination of swelling – oedema in tissues.
- LED Therapy reduces the excitability of nervous tissue by stimulating the release of endorphins. Endorphins are the body’s natural pain fighting chemicals.
- LED Therapy increases the synthesis of RNA and DNA. This helps damaged cells to be replaced more quickly.
- LED Therapy increases phagocytic activity hence helps fight infections. Phagocytes help to destroy and mop up dead or degenerated cells.
- LED Therapy stimulates tissue granulation which is an important part of tissue repair.
- LED Therapy stimulates trigger points and acupuncture points.
- LED Therapy helps to relax muscles and reduce stress.