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Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) or Photobiomodulation (PBM) is certainly not new and has been used in the field of Medicine for over 40 years, primarily in research, treating conditions related to pain and inflammation. Low Level Lasers, which use very small amounts of energy, have positive effects on illness and disease, yet have no side effects. In the last 20 years the costs of the technology have fallen to within the budget of hospital departments and clinics, but the actual mechanism of how low level laser therapy causes these remarkable effects remained difficult to identify, until relatively recently.
All forms of life on Earth, from the simplest of microorganisms to the most complex plants and animals,are mostly comprised of lots and lots of chemical reactions. We’re all made from cells, and cells are made from chemicals. When cells are built, live and then die, these processes too are chemical reactions. What happens inside cells and between other cells are also chemical reactions, yet all these chemical reactions have a source of fuel or power that keeps the reactions going and this is a little chemical called Adenosine Triphosphate, or more simply ATP.
If you think of a cell, be it any cell, and imagined the cell was a car, then ATP would be petrol. The petrol is the fuel that is used to power everything, even the battery. Without it, the car ceases to function pretty quickly and eventually the battery just drains down until it is depleated. ATP is the fuel that powers all of the chemical reactions of ‘Life’, which include movement, growth, reproduction, healing, repair, rejuvenation and normalisation, boosting ATP production can reboot, kickstart, power-up or turbo charge any of these processes. Every cell in our body, with the exception of mature blood cells, contain structures called ‘Mitochondria’, described in textbooks as our ‘energy factors’ because these parts of a cell are where our cellular energy comes from in the form of ATP. It is now understood that animals, not just humans, are in many ways a mirror of plants, and we now know that we absorb light to create ATP in a process very similar to photosynthesis that happens in plants, only plants absorb ultraviolet rays of the sun (just beyond the blue that we can se), whereas animals absorb infrared.
Laser light allows light to reach deeper tissues of the body where the cells of damaged or diseased tissues can absorb this light to speed up their processes of repair and rejuvenation. It is also known that different cells in the body respond better to different colours of red and infrared light and it is interesting that cells respond flashing lights.
There are many other healing effects that are extremely well understood, such a reducing Oxidative Stress in tissues and the effects on Nitric Oxide, but treatment without drugs or side-effects that fundamentally helps to heal and repair is not a dream of the future. It is here in the present, right now.