Often when the term "laser" is mentioned, the mind pictures a beam of light cutting through a piece of steel, or the surgical uses of laser. But there are many different types of laser. The lasers used at Health Renew do not produce heat, and they do not cut or burn. They are effective, non-invasive, and painless. LLLT is a biologically harmless form of light therapy that stimulates the various cells in the body to work better. It is simply a safe, healing light. And, although LLLT is new to North America, it has been used successfully in Europe for over 35 years.
Many excellent laser units are currently available. After much investigation, Health Renew, Inc. has selected the Theralase Therapeutic Laser Treatment (www.theralase.com). Theralase, a Canadian company, is currently a world leader in laser technology, with FDA approval in the United States and CSA certification in Canada. These are hard won approvals, and no other low level laser has both of these. The equipment is manufactured in Canada to Canadian standards, which are among the world's highest. The laser head contains both 660 nm visible laser diodes and 905 nm invisible (Near Infrared) diodes for light saturation of up to 4" into the body.From a patient's point of view, Theralase laser equipment provides maximum healing benefits with minimum treatment times and advanced safety features.
How does Low Level Laser Therapy work?
In simple terms:
Laser is a specialized form of light. Your entire body is made of cells which respond to the energy of light. This light energy is converted within the cells into chemical energy, called ATP, and the cells use this energy to heal.Incredibly, only damaged cells respond to laser, healthy cells are not affected. The specific wavelengths of LLLT have been found to be the most accepted by the body. Low Level Laser light stimulates cell growth and repair. It improves cell communication to speed healing. It stimulates formation of new blood vessels, improves nerve function, plus reduces swelling and inhibits scar formation.
In technical terms:
Light energy consists of small packets of energy, called photons, which travel in a wave-likepattern. The density of photons in a beam of light energy, combined with the wavelength of the light, will determine what reaction will occur when the tissue is bathed with this energy. Because, in LLLT, incoming photon densities are not high enough to cause a rise in tissue temperature, the energy is transferred directly to the target cells, which changes their level of activity. This change in activity is directly related to healing. It only takes one photon, in theory, to achieve a photoresponse in a target cell. Depending on the condition of the cells and their surrounding tissue, the reaction may be biostimulation, such as increased wound healing, or bioretardation, such as reduced pain. These opposite sides of the same therapeutic coin are collectively referred to as biomodulation.
Wavelength is also important because the wavelength of the laser energy will determine how deeply the beam shines into tissue. Near Infrared lasers have the best infiltration, thus achieving deeper absorption which is of great importance in treating muscle and joint problems. Thus, with LLLT, the wavelength penetrates to the problem, and the photo density level causes the bioactivation.
Biologically, the following changes have been shown to occur:
- ATP production increased
- DNA production increased
- Elevated levels of serotonin and acetylcholine
- Mitochondrial activity stimulated
- Modulation of macrophages, fibroblasts and other cells that assist in various aspects of the healing process
- Formation of new blood vessels
- Regulation of electrolyte balance
- Cellular communications are enhanced
- Enhanced anti-aging process
- Stimulated immune system
How is laser therapy different from other forms of light therapy?
All forms of light have a positive effect on living organisms. As an example, there is the effect that sunlight or bright light has on a person's emotional well being, such as in cases of Seasonal Adaptive Disorder. But although bright light therapy has been shown to have a positive outcome on a person's health, because of the many colours (wavelengths) found in the light, the effects are not very precise. Specific health concerns need a more precise arrangement. Laser is different from a bright light source in that the effects of each type of laser are very exact. A particular colour or wavelength has a very specific effect on the body. These specific effects have been measured and analyzed. Laser units are manufactured to produce the desired results in the body in a very controlled manner.
Not only is laser light very specific, but due to its structure it is able to shine deeply into tissue (up to 4", compared to ½" for bright light). Consequently, laser is a much more powerful healing mechanism than a bright light source.