COLD LASER CURE
Maybe you think like I used to --- a hopeless Sci-Fi fan since my youth. When I thought of lasers, I thought of James Bond in Goldfinger ---- about to be cut in half by a steel-melting super laser. Or I am reminded of Captain Kirk, Spock, and Bones setting their phasers (lasers) for “stun”. Or maybe I recalled Han Solo blasting his way across the galaxy aboard the Millennium Falcon. Although these are all pictures of lasers, these are definitely not Laser Therapy.
My goal with this website is to give you the straight scoop on Therapeutic Lasers --- Cold Lasers if you will (sometimes referred to as Low Level Lasers); how they work, what they do and do not do, as well as what kind of problems they might help with, etc. So sit back and enjoy the ride!
WHAT IS A LASER?
A source of high-intensity optical, infrared, or ultraviolet radiation (light), produced as a result of stimulated emission maintained within a solid, liquid, or gaseous medium. The photons involved in the emission process all have the same energy and phase so that the laser beam is monochromatic and coherent, allowing it to be brought to a fine focus.
Wheeewww! That was a mouthful! And unless you were a physics major in college, the technical definition above is probably so much gibberish. Forget technical definitions! It is the last part of the last sentence of the definition that I want you to focus on. “The laser beam is coherent, allowing it to be brought to a fine focus.”
Let's say I have a real nice flashlight ----- an expensive Maglite, that can be focused down to a fairly narrow beam. It is a great flashlight that is capable of focusing its light down to a narrow point. But unfortunately, no matter how hard I try to keep the light focused on one particular spot, the light scatters --- a lot. The further the light gets from the flashlight, the more spread out the central beam becomes.
A laser beam is different. It is “coherent”. This simply means that the beam has the ability to remain focused over a distance, as in the picture above. We have all seen this effect with a laser pointer, or in my neck of the Ozarks, a laser projection gun scope. But right now, I know that you are not interested in Laser Pointers, you are wondering about Laser Therapy.
HOW DOES COLD LASER WORK?
MITOCHONDRIA AND THE RELATIONSHIP TO ATP
I know, I know, I know. You have always been told to eat your peas and carrots because they will give you energy. This is only partially true. Just remember that whatever you eat (carbohydrates, proteins, or fats) must first be completely digested and then converted to ATP in order to extract any energy from it. Interestingly enough, the same is true of plants that create ATP from sunlight in a process called photosynthesis. Suffice it to say that without adequate amounts of ATP, living organisms simply cannot get done what they need to get done in order to survive and thrive. On the contrary, abundant supplies of ATP mean that cells have adequate energy to do all the things it must do to stay alive ---- and some leftover for "less critical" functions as well.
It's kind of like being on a strict budget ----- and then winning the lottery. When you are on a tight budget, you plan for each and every expense. You pay your utilities, your rent / mortgage, your vehicle payment, insurance, etc, etc, etc. And at the end of the month, if you have any money left over, you can use it for something other than absolute necessities. You could go out to dinner and a movie, or you could buy yourself a new TV. Or you could do something more practical. You could use extra money to make improvements on your home, or purchase a new set of tires for your vehicle. The bottom line is that extra money at the end of the month is a good thing. After taking care of the essentials, there is still something left over for things considered to be less important as far as survival is concerned. Win the lottery and you not only do not have to worry about the essentials, you have spending money for whatever you want.
Stop for a moment. We have already told you that ATP is the "energy currency" of the cell. What if there were a way to give specific parts of your body some extra spending money, so to speak? What could your body do if it could create more ATP in a local area --- lots more ATP?
More ATP would obviously, at least for the short term, be a great thing. Think about the implications for a moment. More ATP in specific cells means more cellular energy, and more cellular energy means that those specific cells can do all the things that they must do for daily survival ---- and still have energy left over to do other things that go beyond simple survival. Extra energy in the form of ATP can be used by cells, tissues, and organs, to "clean house" (detoxify themselves of accumulated waste products and toxins), repair themselves, regenerate / rebuild themselves, and do all sorts of other things over and above simply "Staying Alive". But how in the world can we make cells create more ATP? Cold Laser Therapy, of course!
NEUROSCIENTISTS LIKE COLD LASER RESEARCHER DR. JUANITA ANDERS SHOWS THAT COLD LASERS SPEED HEALING PROCESS OF INJURED NERVES
"The field of photo therapy, once called laser, is blooming right before our very eyes. There have been multiple studies at NASA that even show that retinal damage can be reversed by photonic stimulation... I know of no other modality that even comes close to the myriad of physiological changes that take place with the laser and yet no adverse effects" Joseph Kleinkort Ph.D., was a founding member of the American College of Orthopedic Medicine as well as serving as the Liaison Officer to the World Safety Organization under the umbrella of the United Nations.
“Light energy has been used for healing since the earliest recorded medical history, but has gone out of favor in Western medicine with the advent of the existing paradigm of a more surgical and pharmacological basis... (Cold Laser) has been an essential part of therapy for practitioners around the world for almost 20 years, but it is only recently catching on in the United States. Still, the vast majority of students of medicine and allied health practices in this country are not being taught its efficacy and use... I have had the opportunity to assist multiple patients with pain management, wound healing and physical recovery… This modality has been the best new technology I have had to offer my patients in the last decade. It is my hope that others will latch onto this technology and bring it forward, for it is a completely non-invasive option that provides so many physiologic advantages with no apparent side effects.” Dr. Jeff Nelson, Director of the Burn and Wound Center at St. Mary’s Hospital in Tucson, Arizona
LASER LIGHT AND INCREASED MITOCHONDRIAL FUNCTION
- There are receptors for neurotransmitters (serotonin, dopamine, acetylcholine, etc)
- There are receptors for hormones (Insulin, various Thyroid Hormones, Estrogen, etc)
- There are receptors for light (AKA "Photo-Receptors")
When the infrared light of a Cold Laser (it is called "cold" because it produces light without any heat) is applied to the spine or affected body part at a frequency of between 600 - 900 nanometers, it causes the cell's Mitochondria to dramatically increase production of ATP. How deeply do Cold Lasers penetrate? Our Cold Laser actually has 5 diodes in the head ---- two that penetrate approximately 4-5 cm (1.5 - 2 inches) and three that penetrate less than that. In an average sized person, there are very few body areas that cannot be reached with the light from our Lasers.
IS COLD LASER A MIRACLE CURE?
NOT EXACTLY; BUT CLOSE!
It is not that Cold Laser Therapy is, in and of itself, a miracle. However, anything that has an ability to "turn on" the power-making machinery in energy-depleted portions of the body so that there is an excess of energy for things other than basic survival, has the potential for producing earth shattering results. This brings us to our next page.
WHAT KINDS OF HEALTH PROBLEMS CAN COLD LASER POTENTIALLY HELP WITH?
European and Japanese doctors have been using Cold Laser extensively for decades. They have the famous Hungarian physician, Dr. Andre Mester to thank for this. During experiments with cancerous rats in 1967, Dr. Mester discovered that certain physiological changes were taking place in the rats treated with lasers. But his lasers were big, bulky, and incredibly expensive. Thankfully, by 1980, the Laser Diode had been invented, making the application of Cold Laser Therapy less cumbersome, more affordable, and much more practical.
In 2010, I decided to purchase a laser for rather selfish reasons. Sure, I had read lots of research and talked with colleagues who had been using them for years. However, I was not convinced that it was something that I really needed in my practice ---- until my hands started hurting. Although I am in excellent physical condition, my hands have taken a real beating from 20 years worth of running a busy chiropractic clinic. I had spoken with Chiropractic Radiologist, Dr. Gary Guebert of St. Louis, about his experience with Cold Laser Therapy (he was cured of a longstanding and frequently debilitating case of PLANTAR FASCIITIS after just one Cold Laser treatment) and became convinced that it was something I needed to do for my hands. Although I was a "Doubting Thomas", within 2-3 three two minute treatments I could tell a dramatic difference.
Then, early in the spring of 2011, my son and I were at one of our local sawmills hauling firewood for our outdoor wood furnace, and I twisted my knee. I honestly thought that I had torn a meniscus (maybe I did). I began searching the internet for information and protocols on using Cold Laser Therapy for knee problems and found the website of Dr. Alexandra Schnee in Dallas, TX. I could not believe the difference that three or four 3-5 minute treatments made! I am finding out that the Cold Laser is truly the perfect complimentary therapy for the Scar Tissue Remodeling work that I have been doing for the past twelve years.
GENERAL EFFECTS OF COLD LASER
Increased Cell Growth: Laser light accelerate cellular reproduction and growth. Amazingly enough, there is a great deal of research showing that Cold Laser actually has the opposite effect on cancer cells ---- slowing down their rate of division.
Increased Metabolic Activity: Laser photons initiate a higher outputs of specific enzymes, immune cells, oxygen, and nutrition for blood cells. I does also mediates a greater production of the only source of energy source for all cells --- ATP.
Pain Relief: Pain Relief is due not only to accelerated healing processes, but is also the result of increased release of endorphins. Many acupuncturists actually use a Cold Laser to treat acupuncture points instead of needles!
Faster Wound Healing: Light from the Cold Laser stimulates cells called fibroblasts, which can speed up collagen synthesis in damaged tissue. This is a bigger deal than you might imagine because Collagen, the most abundant protein in the body, is the building block for muscles, ligaments, tendons, fascia, bones, skin, and several other connective tissues. This is why I sometimes recommend Cold Laser follow up for our Tissue Remodeling Treatments.
Increased Cellular Detoxification: Increased ATP is known to provide increased cellular energy for "cellular housekeeping". Clear out the cellular toxicity and the body heals so much easier.
Increased Immune System Function: Numerous studies show that coherent light from a Cold Laser actually stimulates the immune system.
Better Blood: Numerous studies show that Cold Laser is very beneficial to increasing both the amount of blood, as well as increasing the blood's function.
Increased Vascular Activity: Laser photons induce temporary dilation of local blood vessels that can increase blood flow to effected areas. One way it does this is by increasing the good form of NO (Nitric Oxide). Bodybuilders love this stuff because it dramatically speeds up muscle regeneration. But more importantly, Cold Laser has been shown to actually increase the numbers of capillaries in treated tissue, thus bringing more blood (hydration, nutrition, detox, etc) to the treated area on a longer term basis.
Reduced Fibrous Tissue (Scar Tissue) Formation: Lasers have been shown to reduce the formation of FIBROSIS following tissue damage from: cuts, scratches, burns or surgery. If you think that scar tissue is no big deal, think again. The major thrust of my practice is dealing with Chronic Pain Syndromes that are either caused of affected by Scar Tissue Formation.
Stimulated Nerve Function: Laser photon exposure speeds the process of nerve cell reconnection, and helps bring numb or dysfunctional areas (neuropathy) back to life.
Increased Tissue Oxygenation: Laser has been shown to increase oxygenation via increased levels of cellular ATP. For more information on the importance of Oxygen in the healing process, visit BRAIN-BASED THERAPY, MISSOURI
Anti-Inflammatory Actions: Cold Laser Therapy has been shown in numerous studies to decrease inflammation. Be aware that although many people believe it to be true, inflammation is not synonymous with swelling --- it's much more serious than that. Inflammation is a largely "systemic" chemical issue that causes all sorts of problems (swelling is one of many). This probably helps explain why Cold Laser Therapy can help so many different problems.
Laser Acupuncture: Be aware that there are dozens of studies touting the fact that Cold Laser Therapy actually stimulates acupuncture points in a similar fashion to needles or other methods.
SPECIFIC CONDITIONS THAT MAY BE
HELPED BY COLD LASER
- KNEE PROBLEMS: This could mean anything from a Torn Meniscus to a post-surgical rehab (if you have actually "blown out" your knee, you will most likely still need surgery). Cold Laser Therapy has even been shown to help people suffering with pain due to degenerative arthritis. There are over 25 studies on this specific topic. It is more critical than you ever believed to AVOID KNEE SURGERY.
- PLANTAR FASCIITIS: If you have first-step-in-the-morning-pain, you have Plantar Fasciitis. This stuff can be debilitating! And if you have tried the cortico-steroid injections and anti-inflammation pills, you already know that they do not work. Board Certified Chiropractic Radiologist, Dr. Gary Guebert, of St Louis told me of his experience with Chronic Plantar Fasciitis and Cold Laser Therapy. He was one of many subjects in a research project at Logan College of Chiropractic. Although he had a very longstanding and chronic case of Plantar Fasciitis that he had literally tried "everything" for; a single Cold Laser treatment actually fixed his problem permanently.
- TENDINOPATHIES: Tendinopathy is the generic name given to various tendon problems. Far and away, the most common tendon problem we treat is tendinitis (which is actually now known as "TENDINOSIS"). Cold Laser Therapy is tremendous for tendon problems; particularly in conjunction with our clinic's specific work with Tendinitis / Tendinosis.
- CHRONIC NECK PAIN: Although Chiropractic Adjustments and breaking FASCIAL ADHESIONS are extremely effective for getting rid of (or at least dramatically diminishing) the majority of CHRONIC NECK PAIN, Cold Laser Therapy is an excellent adjunct for the extremely stubborn cases.
- CHRONIC LOW BACK PAIN (DISC HERNIATION) & SCIATICA: Disc Herniations are epidemic in the United States. And let's face it. How many people are shouting "Halleluiah" because their back surgery went so well? Cold Laser is always part of our SPINAL DECOMPRESSION THERAPY PROTOCOLS.
- SHOULDER PROBLEMS: I treat lots of various SHOULDER PROBLEMS with Tissue Remodeling Work. However, the Cold Laser allows for far deeper penetration (nearly two inches) than any form of body work that I am aware of.
- HIP PROBLEMS: Hip problems, including arthritis are dog common. Scientific studies show that Cold Laser Therapy helps.
- DEGENERATIVE ARTHRITIS / RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS: DEGENERATIVE ARTHRITIS is not hereditary! It is caused by a combination of poor nutrition and abnormal biomechanics over time (abnormal or loss of joint motion). Although there is no "cure" for Degenerative Arthritis (often called "Osteoarthritis" or even erroneously, "DJD" -- Degenerative Joint Disease), there is a boatload of Scientific Research showing the effectiveness of Cold Laser Therapy for Degenerative Joints. I have heard it said that there are over 170 different types of arthritis. The plain truth is that Cold Laser helps speed up the Regeneration Process of Collagen --- the building block for all connective tissues, including bone and cartilage.
- BUTT PAIN / SCIATICA / PIRIFORMIS SYNDROME: This website's number one page (several thousand visitors a week) is about PIRIFORMIS SYNDROME. Even though it is almost universally ignored / misunderstood by the medical majority, it is an epidemic (especially in the female population) that causes or contributes to as much as 40% of all sciatica.
- BURSITIS: For the past decade I have been telling people that the vast majority of what is diagnosed as bursitis by the medical community is actually TENDINOSIS or FASCIAL ADHESIONS. However, I occasionally see real cases of bursitis. These are the people with hugely swollen joint bursae (the small fluid filled sacs that protect bones and tendons from each other).
- OSGOOD SCHLATTER'S SYNDROME: In ten years of doing Tissue Remodeling Treatments, I have never once had a case of OSGOOD SCHLATTER SYNDROME that could not be resolved quickly and easily with this form of treatment.
- CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME: Sometimes CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME is a local problem that can be solved with our Tissue Remodeling Treatments, and Cold Laser Therapy. Sometimes it is just a small component of a greater systemic Autoimmune problem that may require Brain-Based Therapy to correct.
- POST SURGICAL PAIN & REHAB: Wow! This topic covers a lot of ground. Suffice it to say that if you read about the way that Cold Laser Therapy works, you will totally understand why it should be part of every post-surgical rehab program. Period! I am not the only person saying this, as there is an abundance of research on the topic. There is a large amount of peer-reviewed medical research on the subject as well. There is also a significant amount of research talking about the ability of Cold Laser Therapy to increase the number of blood vessels in tissue, decrease inflammation, increase osteoblastic, fibroblastic / chondroblastic activity (increased capacity to build / repair bone, tissue, and cartilage), and numerous others.
- FACE PAIN & TMJ (JAW PAIN): If you suffer with TMJ, you know how tricky they can be. Sometimes Cold Laser Therapy works. Sometimes our Tissue Remodeling Treatment works well for TMJ as well.
- DeQUERVAIN'S SYNDROME: DeQuervain's Syndrome is really just a Tendinosis of the thumb extensor muscles. I have never had a case I could not fix or at least make a huge change in (See our DeQUERVAIN'S SYNDROME PAGE).
- DENTAL ISSUES: Wow! The amount of research on Cold Laser Therapy for Dental Problems and healing of the mouth, is off the chart! If you are having an inability to heal something in your mouth, consider Cold Laser Therapy.
- PROSTATE: How many men out there are suffering terribly with BPH (Benign Prostate Hypertrophy)? I know several men personally who have had their lives turned upside down by this problem. Be aware that for the majority of the male population, the application of this therapy is not exactly a "pleasant" experience.
- ILLIOTIBIAL BAND SYNDROME: This can cause pain on the lateral leg, the hip area, or the outer knee. OUR ITB PAGE.
- FIBROMYALGIA & CHRONIC NON-SPECIFIC PAIN: Fibromyalgia is serious stuff! McGill University recently published research that stated, For more on Fibromyalgia, visit DESTROY FIBROMYALGIA.
- CHRONIC TRIGGER POINTS: TRIGGER POINTS are marble-sized, bundles of knotted muscle tissue. Sometimes they are related to Fascial Adhesions, sometimes they are not. If they are, they can be treated with Tissue Remodeling.
- DUPUYTREN'S CONTRACTURE (HAND): This is a Myofascial Contracture of the palmar aspect of the hand. See our DUPUYTREN'S CONTRACTURE PAGE.
- SPORTS INJURIES: Think of it like this. Huge numbers of Sports Injuries involve PULLED OR TORN MUSCLES, LIGAMENT INJURIES, FASCIAL TEARS AND ADHESIONS, and / or TENDON PROBLEMS. These are a few of the things that our website is specifically about. However, if you have been paying attention, you should realize that Cold Laser Therapy is a beautiful modality to improve the healing process. Lance Armstrong credits his Chiropractor (Dr. Jeff Spencer) with helping him win a record 7 times. The only piece of equipment that Dr. Spencer brought with him was a Cold Laser.
- BRAIN-BASED THERAPY / NEUROLOGICAL INJURY or DISEASE: To truly understand our Brain-Based Therapy, you will have to go to BRAIN BASED THERAPY MISSOURI. Needless to say, there is abundant research on Cold Laser Therapy for everything from DEPRESSION to NEUROPATHY and almost everything in between.
- CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE & CANCER: Sure, CANCER is scary, but the #1 killer in America is Heart Disease / Stroke. There are several studies on both. Just so we are clear on this, Cold Laser Therapy is NOT a cure for either condition!
- SKIN PROBLEMS / RASHES / SCARS / ACNE: This is truly a mind-bender! How many kids have tried all sorts of expensive and dangerous treatments for acne (including long term antibiotic use)? The skin is the largest organ in your body. SKIN PROBLEMS almost always reflect a lack of health in other areas as well.
- MALE & FEMALE INFERTILITY: SEXUAL DYSFUNCTION is absurdly common in America. This is another tool in the toolbox for solving it.
- WHIPLASH: Please realize that Whiplash Associated Disorders (WAD) are not relegated solely to Chronic Neck Pain and Headaches (although they can certainly be a big part of it). WHIPLASH causes FASCIAL ADHESIONS which, by restricting joint motion over time, actually leads to DEGENERATIVE ARTHRITIS. Be aware that more serious whiplash injuries are going to require Brain-Based Therapy.
THE SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH ON
COLD LASER THERAPY
Because they do not create heat, Cold Lasers have been deemed safe by the FDA. Due to their relatively lower power output, Cold Laser Therapy with a Class III Laser Device does not cause tissue damage that can occur with the higher powered Class IV devices used for surgery that do produce heat. The main concern with Cold Laser use is not to shine it in the eyes. Although you can see in David Rindge's Cold Laser Research Library, there are dozens of studies on treating eyes with Cold Laser Therapy, it must be done in a very specific manner so as not to burn the retina. We might have the patient wear a special kind of sunglasses and have anyone with them leave the room for a few minutes during treatment.
Cold Laser Therapy has been in use since 1967 in Eastern Europe. Although it is rather "unknown" in America, Cold Laser Therapy has been researched and used extensively by Europe's medical establishment. It has also been embraced by both the Chinese and Japanese as well.
I assure you that if you ask your doctor about Cold Laser Therapy, one of two things will happen. He will either have a glazed over, deer-in-the-headlights look because he has no idea what you are talking about; or he will get visibly upset and start throwing around words like "Voodoo", "Pixie dust" or "Witchdoctor". Pay no attention to either reaction. The truth is that there is enough Scientific Research on Cold Laser Therapy to keep him reading for months if he cared to do so. In fact, current estimates are that between 250 - 300 peer-reviewed Scientific Studies on the effects of Cold Laser Therapy are being published each year!
Although I have seen several websites that contain large numbers of Scientific Studies concerning the use of Cold Lasers, David Rindge (RN) of Healing Light Seminars website takes the cake. Rindge has done everyone a huge service by compiling and organizing by topic (in alphabetical order) an absolutely amazing Laser Research Library that contains literally hundreds (probably thousands) of peer-reviewed scientific studies from around the world on the various benefits of Cold Laser Therapy. Not only that, but the site is updated weekly. If you have any doubts about the efficacy of Cold Laser Therapy, or if you are wondering if it could potentially help you with a specific health issue, simply visit the Cold Laser Research Library! By the way, every claim made on this website about the ability of Cold Laser Therapy to be able to accomplish a certain thing is backed up by peer-reviewed studies from this site
COLD LASER RESEARCH