Infrared Light Therapy
Natural Treatment for: Chronic Joint Pain, Muscle Pain, Sport Injuries and Hypothyroidism
Red and Near Infrared Light – Natural Light
Humans and other animal and plant species, by Nature’s design, have been programmed to utilize near infrared light. Sunlight that reaches the earth’s surface contains 52% to 55% infrared light. Our bodies absorb near infrared light between 600 nanometers (nm) and 1000 nm. Our Infrared Light Therapy uses this specific range for the treatment.
Basic Mechanism of Infrared Light Therapy
This therapy is based on multiple researches showing that red light and near infrared boosts cellular energy (adenosine triphosphate – ATP** ) metabolism by directly activating the mitochondrial* enzyme complex called cytochrome c oxidase.
The most relevant wavelengths are 600-1000nm, in other words, red light and the penetrating shorter wavelengths of near-infrared (NIR) radiation.
* Mitochondria have been described as “the powerhouse of the cell” because they generate most of the cell’s supply of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), used as a source of chemical energy. In addition to supplying cellular energy, mitochondria are involved in other tasks, such as signalling, cellular differentiation, and cell death, as well as maintaining control of the cell cycle and cell growth. The number of mitochondria in a cell can vary widely by organism, tissue, and cell type. For instance, red blood cells have no mitochondria, whereas liver cells can have more than 2000.
**ATP is sole source for all human metabolism.They are responsible for protein synthesis and production of enzymes which are responsible for tissue growth, digestion, production of neurotransmitters, production of hormones, Immune function, DNA repair etc. Everything works better when ATP production improves.
The systemic anti-inflammatory effect
Usually the red/near-infrared is applied locally to the treatable tissue. However, light also has systemic effects which seem to be transmitted mainly by circulation of blood. The researcher Natalya Zhevago has conducted an interesting study, in which the patients got some visible light and infrared to the sacral area (low back). The given light was quite similar to sunlight, except that this light didn’t contain UV radiation or blue light, and the infrared portion was polarized. According to one study, polarization of light enhances the metabolic effect slightly.
The subjects’ blood was analyzed after the treatment. The results were interesting. Subjects’ pro-inflammatory cytokines (TNF-α, IL-6 etc.) were dramatically reduced in the subjects, especially in those with initially high values. Also, the concentration of anti-inflammatory cytokines increased.
The effects were quite opposite to the typical effects of UV radiation, which increases TNF-α ja IL-6 and other pro-inflammatory cytokines.
In human studies, large doses of IL-6 and TNF-α have been demonstrated to suppress peripheral thyroid hormone metabolism by decreasing T3 and increasing rT3. In one study, half of the hypothyroid patients getting near-infrared treatment did not require any medication through the 9-month follow-up after the treatment period, establishing the importance of light for thyroid health.
Our current focus and benefits of Infrared Light Therapy
We are currently applying our light therapy for following conditions:
- Chronic joint pain such as Arthritis, Osteoarthritis and Lateral epicondylitis – tennis elbow
- Muscle pain and Sports injuries
The benefits of Infrared Light Therapy for each condition are:
Muscle Pain / Sport Injuries:
Based on multiple researches:
» Boost tissue regeneration and accelerate the healing process by stimulating energy production within cells
» Reduces pain by reducing pro-inflammatory cytokines and increasing anti-inflammatory cytokines
» Reduce inflammation by modulating inflammatory cell
A few examples of the clinical study results
According to the studies, many different illnesses including osteoarthritis, hypothyroidism, fibromylagia, can be effectively treated with red and infrared light therapy. Many of the results have been very encouraging.
Many interesting results have been published regarding the treatment of each condition below. Here’s some short summary of the results.
Hungarian researchers studied the use of near-infrared light in knee osteoarthritis patients, in a double-blinded placebo controlled trial. Intervention group got infrared treatment on their affected joint twice a week, over a period of four weeks. The placebo group got a similar treatment of 100-fold lower intensity.
» 5.75 before the treatment
» 1.71 after the last treatment session
» 1.18 two months after completing the therapy
» 5.62 before the treatment
» 4.13 after the last treatment session
» 4.12 two months after completing the therapy
Wound, injury healing
Journal of Clinical Laser Medicine & Surgery (2003)
Title: Effect of NASA light-emitting diode (red and near infrared) irradiation on molecular changes for wound healing in diabetic mice.
The study revealed certain tissue regenerating genes that were significantly upregulated upon LED treatment when compared to the untreated sample. Integrins, laminin, gap junction proteins, and kinesin superfamily motor proteins are some of the genes involved during regeneration process.
In a Brazilian randomized controlled trial (2013)
48% of the hypothyroid patients receiving 10 sessions of LLLT maintained normal thyroid hormone levels without thyroid medication at the end of the 9-month follow-up.
Other benefits were also noted: TPOAb levels decreased by 49%, echogenicity index (EI) increased by 19% and normalization of thyroid volume was noted in five of the seven patients with abnormal thyroid volume. Thyroid vascularization was corrected in 16 of 22 patients who had abnormal vascularization at the baseline.
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