Throughout Human history, red and near infrared light treatment has been used by ancient and modern civilizations. Among them, the Egyptians applied light therapy as a healing method to treat a variety of ailments and disorders (Gupta, N. 2018). The groundbreaking article that led to the re-emergence of the impact of low level laser (e.g. red light therapy, e.g. photobiomodulation; PBMT) treatment in the 1960's (Mester et al. 1968) showed the potential importance of it on healing human tissue. As a consequence of these findings, NASA began implementing red light therapy (otherwise known as Photobiomodulation treatment/therapy; PBMT) in it's programs for healing it's personnel and astronauts in outer space (Cotler, 2015). The research on the subject of red and near infrared light has since expanded tremendously. Reflecting on the findings of modern day research, how can the unique benefits of red and near infrared light be explained and examined through investigating the scientific literature? The science does in fact provide you and me (the general public) with overwhelmingly strong evidence of the application of PBM red light therapy on 3 key areas: Pain relief, wound healing and reducing inflammation (Chung, Dai, Hamblin, 2012, Hamblin et al. 2018).
Acute and chronic pain in the joints, limbs, bones, tendon, nerves, ligaments, cartilage and muscles is a common problem among many adults and presents itself in the form of TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction), Migraine, Headache, chronic back pain, tennis elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome, jumper's knee and various other symptoms, diagnosis and disorders (Photomed. Laser surg. 2014) PBMT (Photobiomodulation therapy) provides a safe, convenient and effective solution to these ailments, primarily because it's a non-drug, non-pharmaceutical, non-surgical and non-invasive treatment without any known side effects. Through daily (regular) usage of red light therapy (PBMT), pain gradually dissipates, leaves and subsides from the body, depending and according to the length (duration), intensity and surface of application area. PBMT works on both principles of reducing and preventing pain symptoms for short term and long term benefits (Hu et al. 2016).
Wound healing has been at the center of attention for research into the effects of red light therapy for decades. The wavelengths of red and near infrared light (estimated 600-1000 nanometers) rejuvenate and re-stimulate damaged cells so that they can repair themselves almost organically and the skin grows back to it's orignal healthy levels. Open wounds, sores and blisters experience a formidable change and benefit from red light treatment (photobiomodulation) as is the definition of it's name, photo = light, bio = life and modulation = change/stimulation/inhibition when red and near infrared light is applied to the tissue. The skin at the wound site heals significantly faster with PBM Treatment as opposed to if no treatment was conducted at all (Frangez et al. 2017).
As people come of age and grow older, inflammation tends to become a re-occurring issue. Arthritis, Tendinitis, Bursitis, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Osteoarthritis are among the disorders that people suffer from often without any plausible solution in sight. That can change with PBMT and PBM Light, which targets all of the above mentioned joint dysfunctions and conditions. With repeated application of PBMT over time, the inflammation will shrink and reduce in size and shape, leading to the prevention of re-occurring issues and relapses. PBMT's effectiveness in reducing inflammation has been reported in many research papers and will likely continue to do so with more and more scholars embracing the topic (Ozdemir et al. 2001).
https://researchgate.net/publication/326367879_ANCIENT_LIGHT_THERAPIES_A_BOON_TO_MEDICAL_SCIENCE. Ancient Light Therapies: A Boon to Medical Science. 2018. Nishant Gupta.
Mester, E. Szende, B. Gartner P. The effect of laser beam on the growth of hair in mice. Radiobiol Radiother (Berl) 1968;9:621-626 (Pubmed) (Google Scholar)
Cotler, H. B. A NASA discovery has current application in orthopaedics. Curr orthop.Pract. 2015 Jan; 26(1):72-74.
The Nuts and Bolts of Low-Level Laser (Light) Therapy, Chung, Dai, Hamblin (2012).
Low-Level Light Therapy: Photobiomodulation. Hamblin, M.R; Ferraresi, C; Huang, YY, Freitas, LF; Carrol, JD (2018).
A controlled trial to determine the efficacy of red and near-infrared light treatment patient satisfaction, reduction of fine lines, wrinkles, skin, roughness and intradermal collagen density increase. Photomed. Laser Surg. 2014 Feb. 1;32(2): 93-100 .
Red LED photobiomodulation reduces pain hypersensitivity and improves sensorimotor function following mild T10 hemicontusion spinal cord injury. Hu, Zhu, Potas, J. Neuroinflammation. 2016; 13(1):200. https://ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5000419/.
The effect of LED on blood microcirculation during chronic wound healing in diabetic and non-diabetic -a prospective double-blind randomized study. Frangez et al. 2017 May; 32(4):887-894.