Light therapy or Phototherapy, is the treatment of a disorder by exposure
to specific wavelengths of light using light-emitting diodes(LEDs), controlled
with various devices. The light is administered for a prescribed amount
of time.Light therapy has been shown, in over 40 years of independent
research worldwide, to deliver powerful therapeutic benefits to living
tissues and organisms. In the same way that plants use chlorophyll to
convert sunlight into plant
tissue, light emitting diodes(LEDs) can trigger natural intracellular
photobiochemical reactions in our bodies. Plants must have the sunlight
to grow. Our cells benefit from light therapy.
was first discovered in the 1960s when European scientists began to use
light beams of specific wavelengths and frequencies to treat damaged cell
tissues. Today, that technology has been harnessed into portable,light-emitting
diodes(LED) hand-held units, and full-body units.
Studies show when light therapy breaks through blocked
energy, and the light enters and stimulates the cells as photons. The
photons are absorbed by the photoreceptors within the cell. Photons strike
the damaged tissue including skin, blood, muscle, and bone, and create
a cellular response which reduces pain and jump-starts the healing process.
The use of monochromatic low intensity infrared laser and
LED diodes has been promoted in several countries for many years as an
effective treatment for arthritis, soft tissue injuries and pain. Infrared
Diode Therapy has been used as a monochromatic device since around 1960.
It was not until 1998 that PAIN-X-2000 - Polychromatic Infrared Diode
Therapy was developed and first used in the United States.
is becoming increasingly rare to find a physiotherapy department or clinic
without access to this modality.Polychromatic Devices are being used by
Medical Doctors, Nurses, Veterinarians, Equine Therapists, Chiropractors,
Anesthesiologists, Dentists, Massage Therapists, Physical Therapist, and
many more. More and more publications within the medical and scientific
community attest to the clinical usefulness of these devices and their
many biological effects upon the cells.
Principles of phototherapy were established at the end
of the nineteenth century by NR Fineness, a Nobel Prize winner, for application
of light treatment of psoriases, kemicterus, and as photodynamic therapy
(POT). Phototherapy was advanced with introduction of laser treatment,
initially in surgery. The development of the infrared (830 nm) gallium-aluminum-arsenide
and the red (633nm) helium-neon low power laser, introduced phototherapy
in wound healing and analgesia. Many investigators have described successful
pain treatment in a variety of diseases.
visible wavelengths(Red, Green, Yellow, Orange, Blue),and invisible to
human eye wavelengths (infrared) have been shown to effect at least 24
different positive changes at a cellular level. Visible light penetrates
tissue to a depth of about 8-10 mm. It is very beneficial in treating
problems close to the surface such as wounds, cuts, scars, trigger and
acupuncture points and is particularly effective in treating infections.
Infrared light (904nm) penetrates to a depth of about 30-40mm which makes
it more effective for bones, joints, deep muscle, etc.
Depth of penetration is defined as the depth at
which 60% of the light is absorbed by the tissue, while 40% of the light
will continue to be absorbed in a manner that is less fully understood.
Treating points with light can have a dramatic effect on remote and internal
areas of the body through the stimulation of nerves, acupuncture and trigger
points that perform function not unlike transmission cables.
The technology is now becoming accepted and widely
used in human medicine as well. Light therapy stimulates the natural healing
power in the cells of the body. This tool uses the energy of light, called
photon energy, to stimulate the activity of certain cell components. By
using photo energy, you have a simple, effective, non-pharmacological
medical alternative. Conservative management of acute and chronic injuries
and postoperative wounds has come to include the use of photo energy because
it is quickly effective, cost effective, and easy to administer. Back
Light is energy that moves in a wave pattern. Light is also characterized
by its wavelength in the electromagnetic spectrum. Most of our infrared products
are available in red, orange, yellow, green, and blue which lie in the
visible spectrum. These therapeutic colors of photo energy lie between
the infrared and ultraviolet wavelengths. This combination of infrared
and visible light wavelengths is believed therapeutic. There are components
in the tissue and blood that absorbs these wavelengths and activate normal
cell activity that may have been disrupted by injury or sickness. The
reason for this increased cell activity is the photon. The photon is the
energy portion of the light wave. For this reason we often refer to this
therapy as PHOTON THERAPY.
Infrared therapy utilizes light energy in the invisible
range of light. Infrared rays are just beyond the visible red range of
light in the spectrum, thus we cannot see the Infrared light emitted from
the treatment unit. Virtually all light has some penetration properties;
however, it is often absorbed by the outermost skin layers. Traditional
thermal (hot) laser light, on the other hand, can penetrate but often
destroys tissue. Since damaged cells benefit from light, the objective
was to develop a non-thermal and nondestructive deep tissue delivery vehicle
- hence Infrared Light Therapy.
Once delivered, the light energy promotes the process of photobiostimulation.
The positive effect of photobiostimulation on animal cells is analogous
to photosynthesis in plant cells, whereby a chain of chemical reactions
are set in motion. In human tissue the resulting photochemical reaction
produces an increase in the cellular metabolism rate which expedites cell
repair and the stimulation of the immune, lymphatic and vascular systems.
The net result, observed in clinical trials to date, is the apparent reduction
in pain, inflammation, edema and an overall reduction in healing time.
Light Therapy Definition
Future LED Applications
Much research is underway on the use of medical LED therapy to determine
whether there are other applications for light therapy. "Research
is currently being done on the different effects of different spectrums
of light on living tissues," says Braden. It is thought that the
visible red spectrum, which is roughly in the 600 to 700 nanometer range,
is effective with surface issues such as wound care and that higher wavelengths,
including infrared, are more penetrating. Studies also suggest that going
down to the 400 or 500 nanometer spectrum, which is blue light, might
be effective for treating skin disorders including acne and scarring.
already seen how using LEDs can improve a bone-marrow transplant patient's
quality of life," said Dr. Harry Whelan, professor of neurology,
pediatrics and hyperbaric medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin.
"These trials will hopefully help us take the next steps to provide
this as a standard of care for this ailment."
"Companies in this business are looking at the medical research that
is being conducted regarding different frequencies of light to see where
this technology might take us," says Braden. He foresees wound care
as being the next big application. "You can expect over the next
few years to see LED therapy as being the primary treatment for wounds
such as post-surgical and non-healing wounds like diabetic ulcers."
and Ignatius say they would like to test their technology in other clinical
situations such as spinal cord injuries and for treatment of Parkinson's
disease, strokes, brain tumors, and tissue and organ regeneration.
may seem strange to some people because it is very much a change in the
whole paradigm of medicine, which has been pretty much poisons and knives
up until this point. The use of natural energy at an intensity that is
brighter than the sun, but still nonetheless near infrared light at wavelengths
that are helpful and not harmful, to enhance the cells' natural biochemistry
truly has a lot of potential in the medical arena," says Whelan.
have proven that Infrared Light aids:
Mucositis with LED Lights From 27 ABC WKNOWTV.com Updated:
June 12, 2008 04:32 AM CDT Four
year old Delaney (duh lane ee) Dikeman (dike min) is recovering from severe
aplastic (ay plastic) anemia. "They did a blood test and all of her
cell counts were low." Delaney needed a bone marrow transplant from
her baby sister. It required the destruction of delaney's immune system
using chemo, leaving her susceptible to severe mouth sores. "Mucositis
is one of the most painful side effects of cancer treatment and it essentially
occurs in all patients with bone marrow transplant regimens to a fairly
The medical college of wisconsin is testing near-infrared
technology to see if it can prevent mucositis (myoo co sigh tiss) by reviving
and re-energizing damaged cells. "The cells have been attacked by
the treatment of the cancer, and now they're in an energy crisis. if the
light is able to help them over that energy crisis so they can heal faster,
we can actually heal the mucus membranes." Hundreds of tiny
l-e-d chips emit near-infrared light. The light isn't hot, but it is powerful.
"We're able to administer light that can be over ten times as bright
as the sun, but just at the helpful wavelengths." For delaney's mom,
the light treatment was a way to help her daughter and advance the science.
"She had a couple of sores, but that was about it, and from my understanding,
it can be a lot worse than what she had." Ultimately, a small glimmer
of hope that helped heal this little girl. In addition to the national
study on mucositis treatment, the Wisconsin researchers are investigating
whether this light therapy may treat other conditions such as parkinson's
Lampl, Y., et al. (2007). Infrared Laser Therapy for Ischemic Stroke:
A new Treatment Strategy. Results of the NeuroThera Effectiveness and
Safety Trial-1 (NEST-1). Stroke 38(6), pp.1843-1849. Back
Infrared Therapy products use LEDs instead of Lasers. Lasers have a focused
beam (as used for eye surgery) that produces a narrow bandwidth of radiation
that generates the light. The laser light is called "coherent"
because the light waves are "in step" with each other, which
is called coherence. Picture the laser lights as a single column
penetrating to a specific point within the target area.
The LEDs in our products are non-coherent which
is electromagnetic radiant energy not all of the same phase (not in a
column, but an array), and can consist of various wavelengths.
Lasers and Infrared LEDs have different wavelength configuration, but
they both disburse in the body when the light enters. The difference is
in the wavelength and the density of the energy. The LED array reaches
a larger surface area.
laser actually delivers substantially less energy per unit of time because
of the duty cycle of the LED. The LED's duty cycle is 2.5 million times
longer than a laser of comparable wavelength. Lasers are also expensive
lasers were used in early research, we see names such as low level laser,
infrared laser, cold laser, low level light laser, and low power laser
where we read about photon therapy. The term laser therapy is not all
together appropriate for the photon therapy used today. Remember what
is important is the type of energy produced which creates the biological
effect. Bear in mind it is the interaction of light photons and molecules
within the cell that creates cellular activity. LED's will penetrate just
as deep as a laser. Once the laser enters the skin it is no longer a columated
beam of light so it does the same as the LED's except the LED's have a
wider viewing angle and cover a larger area than a single laser beam.
lasers produce a brilliant visible red light. The can be large and expensive.
Most popular tools available today do not require this type of brilliant
light emitting equipment, but use semi-conductor diodes. Our light-emitting
diodes are less expensive and tiny, by comparison. They are also extremely
proponents of lasers say that light must be coherent. While this may be
a controversial question to some, remember living tissue has its own coherency
factor. This coherency factor is much higher than that of the light therapy.
We believe this cancels the coherency factor of the incoming light. This
light then becomes scattered. If the coherency is lost when it passes
through the first layer of tissue, then the distinctive tissue such as
the nerves, muscles, blood, and or connective tissues absorb light which
are non-coherent. Basically the tissue at this point does not know if
the light was emitted from a coherent or incoherent source. To quote David
Olszewski from the book Light Years Ahead "LED's are increasingly
replacing cold lasers, as they demonstrate comparable effectiveness without
the laser's side effects. There is concern with the use of even soft lasers
in terms of potential harm around negative side effects. They can be harmful
if overused or if they come in contact with the eyes." He also is
stated as follows, "LEDs give a larger light dispersion beam and
allow a greater margin of error in locating and activating the acupuncture
n his paper, Laser Therapy: Infrared Photo Energy May
Reduce Neuropathic Pain, by Thomas J. Burke, PhD, he states that diabetic
neuropathy is a common health problem today which often poses a variety
of clinical challenges. Dr. Thomas J. Burke reports on the results of
a study utilizing phototherapy (non-coherent light therapy) on patients
with neuropathies. There is a rapidly increasing body of evidence that
is demonstrating the clinical value of using non laser light therapy for
a wide variety of painful conditions..
studies of LED therapy by NASA states:
"Lasers, however, have some inherent characteristics that make their
use in a clinical setting problematic, such as limitations in wavelength
capabilities and beam width. The combined wavelengths of light optimal
for wound healing cannot be efficiently produced, and the size of wounds
that may be treated by lasers is limited. Light-emitting diodes (LEDs)
offer an effective alternative to lasers. These diodes can be made to
produce multiple wavelengths, and can be arranged in large, flat arrays
allowing treatment of large wounds. Potential benefits to NASA, military,
and civilian populations, include treatment of serious burns, crush injuries,
non-healing fractures, muscle and bone atrophy, traumatic ischemic wounds,
radiation tissue damage, compromised skin grafts, and tissue regeneration."
LIGHT VS LIGHT EMITTING DIODES (LED)
When this therapy reached the U.S. and Canada, both lasers and light-emitting
diodes at 660 nanometers were being used. The LED diffuses; the single
frequency laser does not. With this diffusion, the cell can actually be
in control of the treatment and shut off the molecules when it was done.
But with the laser, the cells are no longer in control; the doctor or
the practitioner applying the laser is in control. If he does it too long
or with too much strength, you would not only heal the tissue, but you
would start a deterioration again. So basically, the use of light-emitting
diodes eliminated the draw back of lasers, and light could be applied
into such sensitive areas as the eyes and around the face. LEDs allowed
this whole area to blossom into a much larger usage by average people
in their homes. Tiina Karu, Ph.D. of the Laser Technology Center in Russia,
and affiliated with the University of California at Berkely, probably
the top researcher in the world on the use of lasers and light emitting
diodes published a study in Health and Physics Digest called "Photobiological
Effects of Lasers" which discusses photobiological stimulation without
laser light. The article explains that you can do laser treatment without
using laser light, by using light emitting diodes which are much safer.
Since the cells are basically in control of the process, there is no way
to overuse light. Back
different types of tissue and cell types in the body all have their own
particular light absorption values and characteristics. These tissue and
cells will only absorb light at specific wavelengths. This is one of the
reasons that we offer infrared products that have the Polychromatic Process
(using more than one color; this can also mean that it contains radiation
of more than one wavelength.) Superluminous LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes)
are safe concentrated light sources used to produce the specific wavelengths
of light that provide therapeutic benefits of light therapy without adverse
Infrared - Either 950nm or 850nm
Red - 660 nm
Yellow - 590 nm
Orange - 612 nm
Green - 574 nm
Blue - 465 nm
Purple - 420 nm - VersaLite only
tissue and cell types in the body all have their own unique light absorption
characteristics; that is, they will only absorb light at specific wavelengths
and not at others. For example, skin layers, because of their high blood
and water content, absorb red light very readily, while calcium and phosphorus
absorb light of a different wavelength.
OF CELL TISSUE
Tthe University of
Chicago researchers discovered that the average wavelength of cell tissue
in the human body ranged between 600 nanometers and 720 nm; 660 is the
Excellent studies have
been done using light for pain relief, degenerative osteoarthritis, carpal
tunnel tendonitis, skin ailments, acne, psoriasis, healing of the sinus
cells, throat and ear problems, whiplash and lower back problems.
red and infrared diodes are absorbed
by the skin, muscles, tissues, bone as well as working at the physical
cellular level. Visible red light, at wavelengths from 630 to 700 nm,
is very beneficial in treating problems close to the surface such as wounds,
cuts, scars, trigger and acupuncture points, and is particularly effective
in treating infections. Infrared light (800 to 1000nm) penetrates deeper
which makes it more effective for treating organs and provide relief for
ailments of bones, joints, deep muscle tissue.Although both red and infrared
wavelengths penetrate to different depths and affect tissues differently,
the therapeutic effects are similar.
The green diodes
are absorbed by the Bio-Electro-Magnetic Energy Field (E-Field) which
surrounds the body. It is here that the stress and strain build up and
develop into "weak spots." If these spots are not eliminated
from the E-Field, eventually under hard work or performance pressure they
can become problem areas. Green is also considered a master color and
has reported usefulness as an anti-inflammatory
as well as for painful joints and allergies.
The orange light
is considered a rejuvenating color. It can help with muscle cramps and
boosts energy in the lungs and stomach.
The yellow lights
can be great stimulants for the sensory and motor nervous system, as well
as toning muscles. It helps to increase your energy state. It, reportedly,
helps relieve arthritis pain and improves the lymphatic system.
The blue lights
are believed to be contractors and restrictors.They have reportedly help
with inflammation, acne, burns, headaches, fever, etc., as well as provide
a calming and relaxing effect. In addition to the Blue 9 LED, other models
have blue lights available in the switchable model.
are many other colors that are used in color therapy, however, we feel
at this time the combination we have developed are appropriate for general
use.The "warm colors" are of positive polarity and the "cool"
colors are of the negative polarity.
be reminded that Emerson WorldWide products are not intended to diagnose,
cure or prevent any disease.
are definitions of commonly used terms used in connection with the use
of light therapy devices.
1. Visible Light: light that is within the visible spectrum, 400nm (violet)
to 700nm (red)
2. Infrared Light: light in the invisible spectrum below red, from 700nm
3. Polychromatic: lights that are more than one color or wavelength of
4. Monochromatic: light that is of one color, or one wavelength
5. Nanometer (nm): a unit of measure of wavelength of light (one billionth
of a meter)
6. Nanosecond: one billionth of a second
7. Joule (J): unit used to measure the energy delivered
8. Watts :( w) and Milliwatt (mw): units used to measure the power capability.
Milliwatt is 1/1000th of a watt.
9. Peak power output: the maximum output of power, measured in milliwatts
10. Average power: amount of power actually delivered in a given time
Medical Infrared Light
Emitting Diodes (LEDS) are so safe, in fact, that
the FDA has given the technology the clearance for human infrared therapy. There
are no known side effects to this treatment. Patients who are pregnant
or who might be pregnant, and patients with active malignancy (cancer)
should avoid this therapy.
Read the studies of LED therapy by NASA. "Long term space
flight, with its many inherent risks, also raises the possibility of astronauts
being injured performing their required tasks. The fact that the normal
healing process is negatively affected by microgravity requires novel
approaches to improve wound healing and tissue growth in space. NASA LED
arrays have already flown on Space Shuttle missions for studies of plant
growth and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has cleared human
Devices and services offered at Emerson Worldwide, are not substitutes
for regular medical care, for medical assistance and treatment, see your
medical doctor, or alternate health care professional. Emerson WorldWide's
products are not intended to diagnose, cure or prevent any disease.