LASER SOUNDS SCARY, IS IT DANGEROUS?
Most people think of lasers in the movies that burn holes or blow up things. That’s half correct. In reality, there are two types of medical lasers:
High Power and Low Power
High power or "hot" lasers are used in surgical procedures to cut through tissue while low-power lasers stimulate tissue repair and healing.
I use Erchonia's Cold Laser which falls under the category of "low" power and it uses two different wavelengths of light:
635 nanometer: for healing, reducing inflammation, increasing ATP in the cell
(great for pain, neurological conditions, wound healing)
405 nanometer : antibacterial, antiviral and anti fungal properties
(great for acne, infections and skin conditions)
There are more than 100 double-blind positive studies confirming the clinical effect of LLLT (Low Level Laser Therapy) and more than 2500 research reports are published. There are very few to no side effects making LLLT a fantastic therapy for those experiencing acute or chronic pain or inflammatory conditions.
ARE THERE ANY SIDE EFFECTS OR CONTRAINDICATIONS?
In the many clinical trials performed, no side-effects were ever observed during or after the treatment.
Although some patients say they feel a warming sensation, cold lasers do not directly produce any heat. The light energy is delivered to cells and tissues directly but not through heat. The warming sensation is an indirect effect due to the increase in the local circulation of the treated area.
LED light therapy, on the other hand, works by first producing heat which then promotes blood circulation.
The only absolute contraindication for laser therapy is direct or reflected exposure through the pupil onto the retina.
We also avoid going over cancerous areas and malignant tissue.
Using the laser directly over a pregnant woman's abdomen is also avoided.
WHAT CAN COLD LASER TREAT?
Laser therapy has been postulated to exert three main effects:
-reduction of pain
-modulation of inflammation
-acceleration of healing.
Cold laser therapy can stimulate all cell types including muscle, ligament, cartilage, and nerves. It can even penetrate the skull and positively affect your brain! We are able to program the laser to target the specific tissue or injury type we are working on in order to get optimal results.
Because of it's versatility, a number of conditions can be treated by cold laser therapy but it works best at treating PAIN and INFLAMMATION.
Some commonly treated conditions include:
Carpal tunnel syndrome
Post-Surgical or Injury Recovery
Since 1967 there have been over 2,500 clinical studies published worldwide. Many of these studies are double-blinded, placebo-controlled and have demonstrated cold laser therapy to be a proven method for pain relief.
WHAT IS A SESSION LIKE?
I offer two different options for laser sessions in my office but like most types of therapy, multiple sessions are HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for optimal results.
1. ADDED ON TO AN ACUPUNCTURE OR CUPPING SESSION
To super boost your acupuncture or cupping session, patients can add laser to either service listed above for $15.
While you are receiving your acupuncture or cupping session I place the laser over the brain/spine and then over the targeted area(s). The laser will be on each area for 30 seconds up to 10 minutes depending on the condition and areas being treated. The laser is painless and most often patients do not feel the laser's healing power at work (although some feel a subtle vibrational sensation).
2. SOLO LASER
This is a great option for kids, pets, or people with needle-scaries. These solo laser sessions are anywhere from five to fifteen minutes long and consist of the patient sitting in a chair or laying on the table while the laser is applied to the brain/spine and then to the target area. I recommend buying a series or package and coming in at least 2-3x a week for two weeks (or more depending on the complexity and severity of your condition).
HOW MANY TREATMENTS DO I NEED?
This answer varies from patient to patient.
It depends on the individuals body and healing mechanisms.
Certain factors will generally decrease the numbers of sessions we need:
-length of time you've had the injury or condition
Other factors may increase the number of sessions needed:
-inability to rest
-systemic diseases (autoimmune, diabetes, cancer, thryoid conditions)
-sugar, alcohol and processed food intake (these are inflammatory and can make the condition worse)
I recommend starting with the 6 session package and coming in 2-3 times per week for two weeks. This is a great start for straight forward, non-complex injuries and pain conditions.
If you've had your injury for a long time, it's severe or complex, then I recommend the 12 or 20 session packages.
CAN YOU USE LASER IF YOU'RE PREGNANT?
As with most new therapies and treatments, it's good to check with your doctor first.
There is no evidence that Low Level Light Therapy can cause harm to a an unborn baby however there aren't any documented tests either. Most studies performed on pregnant women or babies are unethical so it's hard to get safety data.
It may be used on the pregnant woman for the treatment of back pain etc.
HOW DO COLD LASERS WORK?
You may know that sunlight stimulates vitamin D production in the body and that it can make you burn or tan. These reactions are a result of light penetrating the skin and activating a chemical mechanism called "photobiostimulation".
'photo' - light
'bio' - life/body
'stimulation' - producing
Laser light also causes bio-stimulation or (bio-modulation) because we are making cellular changes within the body. This is known as the "photodynamic effect", which means that laser light energy is actually converted to cellular energy (through enhanced ATP synthesis).
The laser is programmable so that it can penetrate to the level of the target tissue (bone, muscle, joint, nerves) in order to activate anti-inflammatory and pain responses. When the ‘target’ cells receive the proper photobiostimulation, a cascade of chemical reactions occur (relieving inflammation, increasing circulation, etc).
Even if cells closest to the area of concern are not directly treated there is a proximity effect. Cells closer to the skin surface can affect others that are deeper and further away; effectively, chemically transferring the treatment to the target area.
WHAT DOES IT FEEL LIKE?
Laser is painless and non-invasive. Some patients notice a slight tingling or vibrational sensation because the nervous system is being stimulated but most don't feel anything at all.
WHAT BENEFITS DO COLD LASERS HAVE?
-Relieves acute and chronic pain
-Reduces inflammation (swelling)
-Promotes faster wound healing
-Shortens post-surgery or injury recovery time
-Increases blood circulation
-Stimulates the immune system
-Stimulates nerve function
-Develops collagen and muscle tissue
-Helps generate new and healthy cells and tissue
WHO SHOULD GET COLD LASER?
Cold laser is AWESOME for:
-anyone in pain
-anyone with inflammation
-anyone experiencing swelling or edema
-sprains or strains
-PEOPLE WHO ARE SCARED OF NEEDLES