Low Energy Lasers [LEL] are being used with increasing frequency and for many different applications. Most people come into contact with laser technology of one sort or another almost daily. Laser light for example is used in such devices as supermarket barcode readers, compact disc players, lecture theatre pointers and laser light shows.
Lasers also have medical applications. High powered lasers can cut through tissue for operating on the lens of the eye, for sealing tears and for many other operations where it functions as a light scalpel. Over the last 40 years or so an increasing body of research and experience has shown that low power lasers can also have very powerful healing properties.
Light therapy itself is not new, and goes back hundreds of years and perhaps even longer. Sunlight has always been understood to have healing properties and even today the absence of sunlight is recognized as a cause of ill health and even depression.
All lasers emit photons or light energy packets. In photosynthesis the photons from the sun are converted by the plant into plant energy. Low powered lasers are also called ‘soft’ or ‘cold’ or ‘low intensity’ lasers. They have no heating effect, which differentiates them from high-powered lasers, which heat or burn tissues. It would seem that photons emitted from the LEL are able to induce biochemical reactions in the body. This is referred to as a photochemical effect, and tends to modulate or regulate biochemical processes towards a healing end, referred to as photo-biomodulation.
INDICATIONS FOR LOW ENERGY LASER TREATMENT
The laser is especially important and useful in a number of key areas highlighted below:
- Wound healing: All wounds, in both humans and animals, should be treated with laser. It is safe to use in babies, children and the elderly. It can be applied to open tissue even if the wound is covered with a dressing, provided the dressing is not too thick.
- Soft tissue injuries such as bruising and sprains and all sports injuries, which often respond quite dramatically.
- Nerve injuries such as neuropathies and neuritis due to injuries.
- Pain relief: The effect is similar to that produced by acupuncture and in fact the laser can be used to stimulate acupuncture points. This is especially useful in babies and children and other people afraid of needles.
- Lymph oedema and other tissue swelling. LEL stimulates drainage of tissue such as after mastectomies and other surgical processes.
- Herpes simplex such as cold sores on the lips.
- Improves blood supply to tissues. This is useful in cases with poor blood supply to lower limbs and the laser has even been used to improve blood supply to the heart in patients with angina. In all these cases the laser is applied to the outside of the body over the limbs or chest wall in the area of the heart.
- Mucous membranes: The mucous membranes respond in a very beneficial way when the LEL is applied. Healing is improved, swelling is diminished and there is a rapid decrease of pain. This is especially useful in sinus problems.
- Skin: The LEL improves the microcirculation of the skin tissue and has been used as an anti-aging device and can be tried in any skin condition such as Juvenile Acne, Acne Rocacea, Psoriasis, warts and many other conditions.
- Dentistry: A very important area for LEL treatment. The anti-inflammatory, anti-oedema , bioregulatory and normalization of micro-circulation all contribute to the healing response in the full range of dental and gum problems including pre and post-surgery and temporo-mandibular joint problems.
- Internal Organs: In Russia where a great deal of LEL research has been carried out, the LEL is used also to treat conditions of the organs such as chronic lung problems, liver disorders and, over the abdomen to treat the intestines and bladder.
In fact the laser is so safe that, apart from directly applying it over the eyes, it can always be tried as a first line of treatment.