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Light Therapy as a Natural Management Option for Chronic Conditions

Including anxiety, depression, chronic pain, chronic fatigue, skin conditions, and poor sleep


Most people think of a Physical Therapist as someone who helps people recover from car accidents, work injuries, and surgeries. In fact, we do so much more. The definition of Physical Therapy is “the treatment of disease, injury, or deformity by physical methods…rather than by drugs or surgery.” In this article, I will be discussing our use of Photobiomodulation (PBM) therapy, or the use of light in specific wavelengths to help the body to promote healing and to fight inflammation and damage.


Oxidative Stress: The Underlying Cause of Chronic Conditions


The underlying cause of most chronic conditions down to the cellular level is oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is the disturbance in the balance between the production of reactive oxygen species (free radicals) and antioxidant defenses. Excessive oxidative stress causes cellular damage and can even damage our body’s proteins and DNA over time.

Causes of Oxidative Stress


Several factors contribute to oxidative stress and excess free radical production. These factors include, but aren’t limited to:


• Poor diet

• Sedentary lifestyle

• Smoking

• Lack of exercise

• Excess stress

• Excess drinking

• Exposure to environmental chemicals, toxins, pollutants

The body’s natural immune response can also trigger oxidative stress temporarily. This type of oxidative stress causes mild inflammation that goes away after the immune system fights off an infection or repairs an injury, and this is helpful. Uncontrolled oxidative stress can accelerate the aging and degenerative process and may contribute to the development of a number of conditions, including orthopedic, neurological, and cognitive.


What is Photobiomodulation Therapy and how can it help fight Oxidative stress and chronic conditions?


Red and near-infrared light (at specific wavelengths) is readily absorbed by receptors in our body’s cells, activating the natural energy process. These wavelengths of light promote ATP production, which boosts energy transport in the cells, and helps kick free radicals off our cells. This helps the body’s natural healing process to aid in reduction of inflammation and tissue damage. Red and near-infrared light are difference from blue and UV light because whereas blue and UV light mainly affect the upper layers of the skin, red light can be absorbed by cells deeper in the body.