The History of Light Therapy

March 2, 2009 by  
Filed under Blog, L.E.D. Light Therapy

light-therapy-handsLight therapy dates back to the Greeks, when it was known that exposure to light, or heliotherapy, could be beneficial to health.  Today, we know that one benefit of light exposure is the skin’s production of vitamin D, one of the healing vitamins that is essential to good health. The Greeks may have been observing this effect, though they didn’t know about vitamins. Neither did they know that exposure to some of the sun’s wavelengths, like UV, can be very harmful.

In the 19th Century, a Nobel Prize was awarded to Dr. Niels Finsen, a Danish Physician who demonstrated the beneficial effects of various wavelengths in the treatment of tuberculosis. This same technology has proven to be effective in the fields of dermatology, neurology and physiotherapy.

Forty years of independent research have shown that Light Therapy has powerful therapeutic benefits to living tissue. In the 1960s in Europe it was noted that certain single wavelengths had excellent therapeutic effect on treatment tissues through a process called photo-stimulation. One example is the practice of “light-treating” babies for jaundice, a common condition of newborns.

More recently, cancer researchers have noted that a single red frequency combined with a topical cream kills certain types of skin cancer cells.  Researchers also noted that it stimulated skin tissue to regenerate and improve the appearance of the skin.  Circulation is increased and fibroblastic activity, collagen production and healing are promoted. This effect has produced very positive results in the treatment of rosacea, anti-aging and sun damage.

In space, the weightless environment slows cellular growth, in part because it depends on gravity. NASA research examined the use of light to penetrate deep into tissues and found it stimulated cell growth and promoted healing in zero-G environments.

Today, LED Light Therapy is an FDA-approved cosmetic procedure that is gentle, painless, safe and effective.  Treatments are non-invasive and non-abrasive.

Red Light helps to encourage collagen production and healing in the skin. It helps to increase blood and oxygen flow to the skin and capillaries, therefore increasing cellular metabolism and strengthening the capillary walls. Red LED Therapy is also an excellent treatment for scarring and rosacea. The red light penetrates deeply into skin tissue. It stimulates gradual healing by increasing blood circulation and lymphatic activity.

Blue LED Light Therapy has proven very effective against more difficult acne cases, and instances where an ongoing acne treatment appears to have stalled. In clinical studies, blue light has been shown to generate singlet oxygen which attacks the bacteria that causes acne. More than 86 percent of study participants experienced a 74% acne reduction!

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