How Light Therapy Works
Nitric Oxide (NO)
Nitric Oxide is:
One atom of Nitrogen paired with one atom of Oxygen
A potent vasodilator
Used by the body as a signaling molecule
The first gas known to act as a biological messenger
Watch Nitric Oxide Work
Endothelial Cells aligned horizontally (lining of the blood vessel) can be seen to produce Nitric Oxide (in green) and we see the dramatic widening of the blood vessel.
Light therapy triggers the release of nitric oxide, often called the "miracle molecule". Nitric oxide is the body’s natural vasodilator - it widens the blood vessels and capillaries.
How Nitric Oxide (NO) is created in your body and its the benefits .
Red and Infrared light therapy releases nitric oxide in the tissues under the therapy pad increasing blood flow in areas where it is needed to reduce pain.
Now that you know what Nitric Oxide is, see how Light Therapy works to increase nitric oxide and how it positively affects nerves and sensation to reduce pain.
Nitric Oxide: Miracle Molecule
One of the most dramatic aspects of light therapy is its triggering of the release of nitric oxide, often called the "miracle molecule". Nitric oxide is the body’s natural vasodilator - it widens the blood vessels and capillaries. After just 20 minutes of light therapy, blood flow is increased to nerves and other tissues, and this boost in local circulation lasts for several hours. Nitric oxide is also a messenger molecule that triggers healing processes in the body. By increasing the production of nitric oxide, infrared, red and blue LED light therapy increases circulation, speeds healing and relieves pain. Other benefits may include improved delivery of nutrients to cells, improved immunity and neurotransmission.
Nitric Oxide is the body's natural vasodilator. Infrared and red light trigger the release of Nitric Oxide from both red blood cells and the endothelium.
Click to read this overview study on Low-Level Light Therapy at PubMed.gov
The Nuts and Bolts of Low-level Laser (Light) Therapy
Quote below from the article Conclusion:
"The day may not be far off when most homes will have a light source (most likely a LED device) to be used for aches, pains, cuts, bruises, joints, and which can also be applied to the hair and even transcranially to the brain."
Nitric Oxide: Nobel Prize 1998
Three US scientists – Robert Furchgott, Ph.D., Louis Ignarro, Ph.D., and Ferid Murad, MD – received the 1998 Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine for the discovery of NItric Oxide.
Dr. Jonathan S. Stamler, Professor of Medicine at Duke University Medical Center, states about Nitric Oxide:
"It does everything, everywhere. You cannot name a major cellular response or physiological effect in which (nitric oxide) is not implicated today. It's involved in complex behavioral changes in the brain, airway relaxation, beating of the heart, dilation of blood vessels, regulation of intestinal movement, the function of blood cells, the immune system, even how fingers and arms move."
When we stop to think that no life would exist on this planet without the sun, it seems likely that healing benefits can be found in light.
All life on this planet has light to thank for its existence. Light streams photons (tiny packets of energy) to our bodies resulting in numerous benefits to our well-being by enhancing our body's natural chemistry. Photons trigger a cascade of beneficial chemical reactions throughout tissues that stimulate the body's own healing and protective processes. LED Light Therapy uses the therapeutic effects of light to assist the body at a cellular level, increasing circulation, relieving pain & much more.
Light therapy is new to many people and clinicians. But forms of Low-Level Light Therapy (LLLT) have been shown to deliver powerful therapeutic benefits in over 50 years of independent research worldwide. Light therapy has been researched by NASA since the 1990s. Universities and research institutions have extensively studied light therapy for its beneficial effects on Diabetes, Neuropathy, wound healing and much more.
Light therapy has been shown in research to:
Increase vascularity (circulation):
By increasing the formation of new capillaries that replace damaged one's circulation is improved. New capillaries speed up the healing process by carrying more oxygen as well as more nutrients needed for healing and they can also carry more waste products away.
Stimulate the production of collagen:
Collagen is the most common protein found in the body. Collagen is used to repair damaged tissue and to replace old tissue. It is the substance that holds cells together and has a high degree of elasticity. By increasing collagen production less scar tissue is formed at a wound or incision.
Stimulate the release of adenosine triphosphate (ATP):
ATP is the major carrier of energy to all cells. Increases in ATP allow cells to accept nutrients faster and get rid of waste products more quickly by increasing the energy level in the cell. All food turns into ATP before the cells utilize it. ATP provides the chemical energy that drives the chemical reaction of the cell.
Increase lymphatic system activity:
Edema is the swelling or natural splinting process of the body. Edema has two basic components: the first is a liquid part, which can be evacuated by the blood system, and the second is comprised of the proteins that have to be evacuated by the lymphatic system. Research has shown that the lymph vessel diameter and the flow of the lymph system can be doubled with the use of light therapy. The venous diameter and the arterial diameters can also be increased. This means that both parts of edema (liquid and protein) can be removed at a much faster rate to relieve swelling.
Reduce the excitability of nervous tissue:
The photons of light energy enter the body as negative ions. This calls upon the body to send positive ions, like calcium among others, to go to the area being treated. These ions assist in firing the nerves thereby relieving pain.
Stimulate fibroblastic activity that aids in the repair process:
Fibroblasts are present in connective tissue and are capable of forming collagen Stimulate fibroblastic activity that aids in the repair process.
The process of scavenging for an ingesting dead or degenerated cells by phagocyte cells for the purpose of clean up. This is an important part of the infection-fighting process. Destruction of the infection and clean up must occur before the healing process can take place.
Induce a thermal like effect in the tissue:
The light raises the temperature of the cells through a photochemical reaction.
Stimulate tissue granulation and connective tissue projections:
Part of the healing process of wounds, ulcers or inflamed tissues.
Stimulate acetylcholine release:
Acetylcholine causes cardiac inhibition, vasodilation, gastrointestinal peristalsis, and other parasympathetic effects.
Click Images to Enlarge
Phagocytes ingest and clean up dead and degenerated cells.