Photonic or Low-Level Laser Therapy
It has been known since 1968 that low-level laser light could be used to stimulate acupuncture points. Research has shown that this type of treatment is beneficial for wound healing. It is non-invasive and guaranteed pain-free. It can be used directly around a wound as well as on acupuncture points. It has also been shown to be anti-inflammatory and analgesic (pain-relieving).
Photonic therapy involves the use of a torch-like device that emits monochromatic light. This is the same as what is often described as low-level laser therapy using superluminous diodes (SLDs). True laser-emitting diodes are different from SLDs, but SLDs are becoming more popular as there is no evidence that the laser-emitting diodes are more effective. SLDs have only become commercially available in recent years.
Light consists of particulate and electro-magnetic energy. The wavelength of light emitted in photonic therapy is approximately 660nm, which has been shown to penetrate skin and trigger a photochemical reaction in cells.
Therapeutic uses include the following:
- Postoperative wounds and pain
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Musculoskeletal pain
- Neck pain
- Back pain.
Acupuncture points on the skin are stimulated. These sites differ from surrounding tissue in several ways [see: ACUPUNCTURE]. When these points are stimulated, nerve cells send a message to the brain, which can then result in the brain releasing pain-relieving chemicals.