Lasers May Heal by Sending Information to the Body
Lasers are one of the newer healing devices on the market today. Low level laser therapy has been shown to be effective in treating sprains and strains, carpal tunnel, fibromyalgia, tendonitis, bursitis and a host of other problems. But just how does this space-age technology actually work? How do lasers heal?
Light has been used as a healing modality for centuries. The ancient Indians and Chinese used color to heal and it is an important part of Aurvedic healing. Sunlight has long been regarded as playing an important role in healing. Some cultures even worshiped the sun as a healer.
Lasers and sunlight are both forms of electromagnetic energy. Lasers produce what is known as monochromatic light. The first laser was developed by Theodore Maiman in the year 1960. Maiman was able to produce a red light that contained one frequency. Sunlight contains many frequencies of light. You can see the various frequencies of light by sending sunlight through a prism and observing the rainbow of colors. The colors correspond to the different frequencies.
Later in the 1960’s Dr. Endre Mester thought that malignant tumors in rats would not grow if they were exposed to low level laser light. To his disappointment the laser had no effect on the tumors and they continued to grow. However, all was not lost because he made an important observation. The skin incisions made in the rats healed faster. Like sunlight, tissue healing was stimulated with lower exposures while damage occurred with higher exposures. Mester’s work laid the foundation for the low level healing lasers we see today.
Lasers heal on a cellular level. The mechanism has similarities to photosynthesis in plants. Plants take energy in the form of sunlight and store it in a molecule called adenosine triphosphate or ATP. Lasers stimulate tiny structures inside cells to also produce ATP. The result is an increase in the cell’s function which can include facilitating healing systems such as decreasing inflammation and assembling components for repair.
If we look at healing with lasers and photosynthesis in terms of information exchanges we see more similarities. Plants use the information in light in order to maintain their complexity. In other words plants take sunlight and use it to build larger more organized molecules from simpler less organized molecules. If we see damaged cells as more disorganized than normal cells then lasers work by the same mechanism. Laser light is taken in by the disorganized damaged cell and helps the cell to become more organized. As cells increase their level of organization they heal. Light then can be seen as a source of healing information.
The future is bright for low level laser therapy as studies are underway investigating its effects on a variety of problems. Perhaps lasers can become finely tuned information sources that promote healing for many conditions. Maybe even someday they will be available as over the counter devices.