What is Photobiomodulation?
This is going to be easier than it sounds.
“Photo” means “light.
“Bio” means “life”
“Modulation” means “a change” in something.
So, in photobiomodulation, light is used to cause a change in living beings, both man and animal.
Photobiomodulation is Light Therapy
Photobiomodulation is actually just a new name for an ancient therapy.
Light has been used in the healing arts of every culture through time. In the United States it was abandoned as quackery with the invention of antibiotics.
Light therapy in all forms has been making a strong comeback in the last 50 years, as chronic disease increases, antibiotics fail, and more people are demanding natural alternatives to drugs and surgery.
The term, “photobiomodulation” marks the formal acceptance of light therapy into modern conventional medicine. However, the therapy is not new. Research goes back decades and has been published by major universities all over the world.
Since medical researchers have started bringing light into the lab, there has been an un ending and ever more promising list of conditions that can be treated, prevented or even reversed with light. Here is very short list of common examples, already FDA approved and available:
- acne treatment
- anti-aging (collagen production & wrinkle reduction)
- hair loss prevention & hair regrowth
- pain relief
- fat loss
- stem cell production
Here’s the types of things in the research stages and clinical trials:
- Alzhimer’s Disease
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
- Heart Attack
- Spinal cord injuries & nerve regeneration
The Technical Definition of Photobiomodulation
NAALT defines Photobiomodulation Therapy as “A form of light therapy that utilizes non-ionizing forms of light sources, including LASERS, LEDs, and broad-band light, in the visible and infrared spectrum. It is a non-thermal process involving endogenous chromophores eliciting photophysical (i.e. linear and non-linear) and photochemical events at various biological scales. This process results in beneficial therapeutic outcomes including but not limited to the alleviation of pain or inflammation, immunomodulation, and promotion of wound healing and tissue regeneration.”
The Interpretation of the Technical Definition of Photobiomodulation
Photobiomodulation is a form of light therapy.
It uses harmless forms of light sources such as low level lasers, LEDs and broad-band light sources including incandescent, fluorescent or halogen lights.
It does not work by heat.
It works because our cells contain “chromophores” which literally absorb light.
Once the light is absorbed, it sets off a complex group of physical and chemical reactions within the cell. These reactions can and do extend to cells that have not even been exposed to the light.
All the effects of this process have so far been positive and beneficial.
Just a few of the beneficial effects include:
- alleviation of pain
- alleviation of inflammation
- stimulating the immune system
- wound healing
- tissue regeneration
How to Learn More About Photobiomodulation Now
There are 3 different ways to go about learning more about photobiomodulation right now.
- You can do research by color. For example, a google search for “blue light therapy,” “red light therapy,” and “near infrared light therapy” will all turn up interesting results.
- You can do research by health issue. For example, if you want to know if photobiomodulation can help with your condition, do a search for “your condition” + “LLLT” or “light therapy” or “photobiomodulation.”
- You can browse through our list of resources on the subject, found on our red light therapy website here.