What is Light Therapy?


Light Emitting Diode (LED) phototherapy is the application of light energy to tissue to obtain therapeutic benefits. The energy is used to improve cellular performance. Phototherapy is known for its healing and anti-inflammatory properties and has a variety of applications across many medical fields. Research has shown that phototherapy can: increase circulation, accelerate tissue repair, decrease wrinkles, decrease inflammation, improve skin tone and wrinkles, texture and clarity, ease muscle and joint pain, stiffness, spasm and arthritis and kill acne bacteria, and much more.
LED light therapy device emitting red light
Woman with LED light therapy device for skin care.

How Does Light Energy work?

Specific wavelengths of light energy, when properly absorbed, up-regulates compromised cells. The light (photons) energy is absorbed by photoacceptors in the mitochondria and used to create adenosine triphosphate (ATP). The ATP produced then stimulates various metabolic processes which can result in the repair and regeneration of cell and tissue components. In an article, “Therapeutic Light” – by Chukuku S. Enwemeka, PT, PhD, FACSM, he wrote “other reported mechanisms of light-induced beneficial effects include modulation of prostaglandin levels, alteration of somatosensory evoked potential and nerve conduction velocity, and hyperemia of treated tissues. The resultant clinical benefits include pain relief in conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome, bursitis, tendonitis, ankle sprain, and temporomandibular joint dysfunction, shoulder and neck pain, arthritis, and post-herpetic neuralgia, as well as tissue repair in cases of diabetic ulcer, venous ulcer, mouth ulcer, fractures, tendon rupture, ligamentous, tear, torn cartilage, and nerve injury.”
LED light therapy session in progress
Woman wearing elbow brace, pain relief therapy.

How Light Energy is Absorbed by Cells?

Light (Photons) Applied to Tissues

Absorption in the mitochondria and cell membranes by chromophores

Elevation of ATP synthesis (Ca2 and the respiratory chain involved) & Formation of ROS (Reactive Oxygen Species)

DNA & RNA synthesis, protein synthesis, and mitosis & cell proliferation

Tissue Repair & Pain Control process begins

Abstract green bubble texture close-up.

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