A couple months ago, I went to a 2-day symposium on low level light therapy. The theme of the day was, something like, ‘the mechanisms behind the action,’ or, basically, why and how does light therapy work?
I’m going to be honest and say I didn’t understand about 50% of the words that were uttered there. That is in part because of the language barriers, and, in part because doctors have much worse technobabble than any computer geek I’ve heard yet.
The 50% I did understand changed the way I see the whole light therapy business. Here’s some things I learned:
Wavelength doesn’t matter.
Coherence doesn’t matter.
Dose matters. Dose means how much light for how long. More is not better. If light for ‘this long’ makes things happen, light for longer makes things stop happening, not makes them happen better.
Time matters. The sooner treatment begins the better. In fact, even treatment before trauma helps, as in the case of surgery, for example.
Light only effects the cells that need it, and has no effect on the rest, the result being: zero negative side effects.
How does it all work?
That cannot yet be fully understood or agreed upon.
And that was the bottom line.
It works, but we’re not sure why yet. The faster we can figure it out, the faster we can….
(do not get me wrong – there was no mention of sales – this was a very purely scientific presentation.) but,
Health issues were described in terms of dollars spent per year treating them, not in terms of lives lost, or lives affected by that issue.
At least two major laser companies were present, along with the FDA.
There were some researchers that had their sleeves rolled up and they were visibly excited about the things light could do, and the prospects for the people.
But there were others who were polished, with perfect power-point presentations, branded by the companies that backed them. Companies waiting in the wings to make a killing in the health care industry after a few ‘variables’ bringing down the numbers were excluded, and ‘phase three trials’ were complete.
One guy joked – this is how we turned $50 worth of LEDs into a million dollar piece of equipment.
Another said, while researching something else, they discovered that blue light in conjunction with (riboflavin, I think) killed bacteria. He said that that finding will probably be “snatched up by some pharmaceutical company and never heard of again.”
I saw nerves being regenerated across severed spinal cords. I saw the devastating effects of stroke being stopped in the brain. But I left with the sickening realization that the future of light therapy is going to be controlled by big business, and government agencies.
It took me a few weeks to absorb and process everything I saw and heard, and to identify that feeling I had when I left. But when I finally put it all together, I realized that the purpose of my business needs to change from sales, to education. People need to be armed with the basic truths about light therapy, (which are not represented in mathematical formulas), so that they can more confidently sort through all the hype on the web, find the information they need, and a product they can afford, whether I sell it or not.