Light therapies have been used for healing since early recorded history. In ancient times, this “Heliotherapy” was based upon religious beliefs and superstitions. By the end of the 19th century, sunlight was proven to kill bacteria. Sun baths were used to treat scurvy, rickets, edema, rheumatic disease and depression. In the early 1800’s devices were made to focus sunlight on the body for greater therapeutic effectiveness. In 1926 quartz mercury vapor lights were used to treat open wounds of surgical TB. Ultra-violet light has been recommended for seasonal affective disorder since the early 1980’s.
Low intensity laser has been used to treat injuries and pain since the late 1960’s. Research as shown this therapy to be effective for treatment of arthritis, soft tissue injuries, and pain. These lasers speed tissue healing by putting energy (photons) into the body. This energy is absorbed on a molecular level,without any heating of the tissues. This increased molecular energy helps speed normal body chemical reactions and assists in healing. Unfortunately, these devices are not approved by the FDA for medical use in this country.
There is, however, a new device using light therapy that is FDA approved for medical use in this country. The device is called a Photonic Stimulator. Like a laser, it produces a single wavelength of light (900nm). Unlike a laser, this light is not focused into a small beam. Instead, it is more like a flashlight, and the energy is applied from a hand held wand. This device has been shown to have similar healing properties to low-level laser therapy that has been used in Europe for the last 20 years.
In addition, this Photonic Stimulator helps modulate the sympathetic nervous system, helping the body to normalize skin temperature regulation. Myofascial pain and RSD pain are transmitted through the body by the sympathetic nervous system. Abnormalities and changes with photonic stimulation can be monitored with an infrared camera during treatment.
We use this device in our office to treat:
• back pain
• restless legs
• neuropathic pain
• diabetic neuropathy
• wound healing
• Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy
• myofascial pain and trigger points