LIGHT THERAPY: A modern treatment with a long history
The Nobel Prize in medicine was awarded to Danish Physician, Niels Ryberg Finsen, for treating Smallpox and Tuberculosis with red light therapy in 1903. Further progress in the light therapy was pioneered by Professor Endre Mester, a Hungarian physician, who successfully used it to heal wounds and regrow hair in 1967. NASA also experimented with LED and laser light therapy in the 1970's to grow flowers in space.
Today, photobiomodulation, as it is also called, is used for a variety of medical, cosmetic and health conditions, such as Chronic Pain, scar healing, gut and digestive issues, Arthritis, Peripheral Neuropathy, Lymphedema, Fibromyalgia and most recently, Parkinson's.
which light therapy device is best?
differences between laser and LED light therapy
Laser emits a single wavelength that is more focused, powerful and operates at faster speeds than LEDs. Lasers also transmit further (deeper) than LEDs and with fewer errors. Lasers therefore provide greater precision, increased reliability and consistency over time, and significantly reduced treatment times versus LEDs.
- SYMBYX Neuro helmet is powered by LEDs emitting red light therapy and infrared light therapy.
- All other SYMBYX devices use high-grade medical-laser diodes
How to compare light therapy devices
1. Technical specifications are readily available with any credible manufacturer. Light therapy or photobiomodulation is typically measured in nanometres and the colour or visibility of the light will depend on the wavelength.
2. The goldilocks rule: Applying an optimal dosage of light, which considers wavelength, application time and intensity or strength, is critical. More is not more or better with light therapy. In fact, treatment or application above or below a threshold level of nanometers, joules, hertz, time, power level may have little or no effect.
It's all about the 'just right' which should always be backed by human clinical trials.
RESEARCH SUPPORTING LIGHT THERAPY
"PBM was shown to be a safe and potentially effective treatment. Improvements were maintained for as long as treatment continued, for up to one year in a neurodegenerative disease where decline is typically expected."
How does light therapy offer neurological protection in Parkinson's disease? John Mitrofanis PhD
"As it stands, light therapy in the experimental setting has been shown to both protect and rescue neurons from degeneration after parkinsonian injury, something that current therapies in patients do not do; that in itself, should be an incentive for trial in the clinical setting."
Treating the microbiome to affect changes in Parkinson’s patients.
"Manipulation of the microbiota within the GI tract may have a positive impact on the Quality of Life of PD patients through a reduction in non-motor symptoms"
Michael R Hamblin, 19 May 2017, Mechanisms and Applications of the Anti-inflammatory effects of Photobiomodulation, AIMS Biophysics Journal