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How Does Photobiomodulation Light Therapy Work?

Photo-bio-modulation (changing the body with light) is a non-invasive, non-thermal therapy— meaning it does not radiate significant heat, which stimulates cells to re-generate more energy and undergo self-repair and recovery from the excessive stress we human beings subject ourselves to in modern life. It works through the application of near-infrared and red light (NIR/RL) either, which we will refer to herein as Red-Light Therapy or RLT.

Red light therapy, at certain visible and non-visible frequencies, are the reparative, photosynthetic (think photosynthesis) properties of the light spectrum of the sun.

How does it work?

For the sake of clarity and brevity, we’ll cover in broad terms two key mechanisms which make Red Light Therapy or Photobiomodulation so effective:

ATP production stimulation; and

1) ATP Production Stimulation

It stimulates ATP production in a cell’s mitochondria by interacting with a photoreceptor called cytochrome c oxidase. RLT increases mitochondrial energy production, which has highly beneficial health ramifications 1.

The Details
NIR and RLT wavelengths are able to penetrate cell lining to activate mitochondria, increasing cellular energy production capacity.

And, as the preponderance of scientific evidence bears out, mitochondria are integral to health, disease prevention, energy levels and longevity. In simple terms, they are the batteries that fuel all the processes of our organs.

So anything that enhances the mitochondria’s ability to produce cellular energy optimizes organ function and boosts brain, heart, liver, skin and muscle performance.

Since cytochrome c oxidase drives the respiratory chain in mitochondria responsible for producing cellular energy (ATP), when red and NIR light photons hit this photo receptor, it allows mitochondria to use oxygen more efficiently, which in turn increases ATP levels.

The Role Of Nitric Oxide In ATP Production

Most researchers believe that nitric oxide (NO) plays a central role in how effectively mitochondria generate cellular energy.

Though NO is necessary to healthy function, too much nitric oxide in the wrong place can be detrimental, and certainly when cells don’t have the antioxidant capacity to neutralize unhealthy levels of NO, ATP production is hindered in the mitochondria.

This is because at higher levels, NO begins to compete with oxygen in the mitochondria, blocking the cytochrome c photoacceptor from binding with sufficient oxygen, which— again in very simple terms — inhibits the amount of cellular energy the mitochondria is able to produce.

Red and near-infrared light essentially prevents cytochrome c oxidase from pairing with NO (often to the exclusion of oxygen molecules, which inhibits ATP), thereby allowing cytochrome c oxidase to pair with oxygen instead, which optimizes ATP production.

In this way, NIR and RLT can boost the mitochondrial function for the increased production of ATP, thereby improving the health of every organ and system in the body.

2) Hormesis

Hormesis is the process by which a transient metabolic stressor stimulates adaptations that actually improve health.

Red light and NIR therapy are a form of hormesis, helping make your cells more tolerant to stress. Additionally, these treatments reduce the buildup of free radicals, making you healthier, more energetic and more resilient.

Using physical exercise to illustrate this concept, a demanding workout stresses the body’s muscles (temporarily increasing reactive oxygen species or free radicals), and triggers a response to that stress, with the body ultimately adapting to these conditions, resulting in things like improved cardiovascular efficiency and blood delivery to the stressed muscles.

In the same way, red light and NIR treatments produce transient increases in free radicals, activating many of the same antioxidant and anti-inflammatory defense systems as when muscles are stressed during a heavy workout.

Red and near-infrared light waves stress mitochondria causing them to send signals to the nucleus of the cell, “telling” DNA within that nucleus which genes should be expressed.

This “retrograde signaling” essentially means that just as genes affect what happens in our cells, so do external stressors affect which genes are switched on and off.

Unlike a temporary fix that may treat a symptom, red/NIR light stimulates your body to heal itself, making lasting adaptations at the cellular level that lead to resilience against stressors and a greater capacity to produce energy.

What Can Photobiomodulation Light Therapy Help With?

Using light to stimulate brain activity may sound far-fetched, but it shouldn’t. After all, red light therapy makes everything better. Science also unanimously agrees that while UV light from the sun on our skin stimulates Vitamin D production, more than 40% of the sun’s light waves come from also healthy, NIR wavelengths.

Established research documents that PBM is indicated and helpful for:

The #1 Benefit: Increasing energy, deceasing accumulated fatigue
• Red light is thought to work by producing a biochemical effect in cells that strengthens the mitochondria. The mitochondria are the powerhouse of the cell — it’s where the cell’s energy is created. The energy-carrying molecule found in the cells of all living things is called ATP (adenosine triphosphate). By increasing the function of the mitochondria using red light therapy, a cell can make more ATP. With more energy, cells can function more efficiently, rejuvenate themselves, and repair damage. Light photons cause electrons in the to become “excited” to power the bio-machinery to produce the chemical energy—ATP.

Then there are also the 3 core benefits that result from increased energy production that is the driver of regeneration.
• Wound tissue regeneration
• Inflammation reduction
• Pain relief—analgesic effect

Systemic benefits include:
• It also helps rejuvenate facial skin and smooths skin tone.
• Red light builds collagen in the skin to reduce wrinkles.
• It helps to repair sun damage.
• Red light activates the lymphatic system for potentially improved detoxification.
• Decreases inflammation in the skin.
• Helps fade scars and stretch marks.
• Improves hair growth to reverse balding.
• Stimulates slow healing wounds.
• Can prevent recurring cold sores, or herpes simplex.
• Helpful in the short term for carpal tunnel syndrome.
• Beneficial for skin to reduce eczema, rosacea and acne.

Disease conditions that seem to benefit, with largely anecdotal evidence at this time:

• Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia
• Post-traumatic stress disorder
• Cognitive enhancement
• Cognitive impairment from trauma, injury, etc.
• Depression, anxiety, and mood disorders
• Parkinson’s Disease
• Stroke
• Global Ischemia

In short, near-infrared and red light therapy are incredibly powerful tools you can use to dramatically enhance your health.

Where can you get Photobiomodulation/Red Light Therapy?

Here at Regenus Center we offer Photobiomodulation / Near Infrared Red Light Therapy in the following forms:

1: Class 4 Therapeutic Laser  — concentrates the beam of PBM “red” light, with 3 strong light diodes on a 5-7” area for pain relief, wound healing, cellular regeneration and more. 10 minutes per area.

2: Whole Body PBM Therapy — uses a lower power, higher volume of light diodes to infuse the body with photons of light though the entire body. This therapy while it stands on its own 100%, is the ideal complement to people utilizing PBM laser therapy for the best results. 8-15-minute sessions. Whole body PBM, also includes other frequencies of the light spectrum, referred to as POLYchromatic light therapy, but can also be experienced as Red/IR only as well.

It has no side effects. Occasionally, first time users may experience a transient headache, dry throat, or ironically tiredness, known as “retracing,” which is actually good. It’s analogous to the old saying “sometimes things seem worse before they get better,” meaning you are healing at a deeper level (the source) so that you can experience more energy where the rubber hits the road in your physical body.

That said, most clients report an improvement in their level of energy right off the bat.

3: Infrared Sauna — Our far infrared sauna has near-infrared light added to it. You get to enjoy all the benefits of both near-infrared therapy and a traditional far-infrared sauna in one shot.

Call 862-295-1620 to Book Your First Red Light Therapy Session or Click This Link to Book Online


General Disclaimer: These services are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. This Website offers health and fitness advice. This advice is designed for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice, treatment, or diagnosis of a healthcare professional. Always consult your physician before beginning any therapy program. You agree that you assume all responsibility when choosing to act on any of the health or fitness advice contained on this Website. We reserve the right to amend this policy at any time without any prior notice to you.



About the Author

John Allen "JAM" Mollenhauer



Discover the true secrets to recapturing your vitality.

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