Highlights of an interview between Dr. Joseph Mercola and Dr. Michael Hamblin about healing the body with PBM therapy.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Photobiomodulation & how does it work?
Photobiomodulation (PBM) Therapy is the application of Red and Near-InfraRed light and has been clinically proven to reduce inflammation, support immune function, and stimulate cellular repair, resulting in improved muscle performance, improved joint motion, enhanced wound healing and much more. It is safe, relaxing, and has no known negative side effects.
In recent studies, photobiomodulation has demonstrated increased exercise capacity and longer exercise times, as well as improved biomarkers (including reduced lactate, creatine kinase, and CRP) after exercise in people treated with red and infrared light. Photobiomodulation has also been reported to release certain brain compounds that positively affect mood and sleep.
How does it work?
The use of visible and near-infrared (NIR) light for reducing pain, inflammation and edema, has been known for almost forty years. The effects are photochemical – just like photosynthesis in plants.
First we must understand a bit about the cell itself. The air we breathe and the food we eat is combined in the cell to create cellular energy called Adenosine
Triphosphate (ATP). The actual process occurs in he electron transport chain which is located in the mitochondria, the power plant of the cell. Located at the final step of this chain is a enzyme called Cytochrome C Oxidase (Cox). It is where oxygen attaches and ATP is produced with water as a byproduct.
When cells undergo stress, such as cigarette smoking, too much sugar in our diet, too much sun on our skin, an injury etc, there will be an increased amount of free radical production. Specifically a molecule called Mitochondrial Nitric Oxide (mNO). This molecule has a higher affinity for that enzyme Cox than oxygen does, so it attaches there first. There is then fewer or no place for oxygen to attach, so the cell is unable to produce as much ATP as it needs to function well and it becomes even more stressed, beginning to produce a very volatile free radical called Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS).
Typically the cell manages and neutralizes free radicals with rest and antioxidants, however the inability to do this fully results in Oxidative Stress. If you have ever seen a metal object rust, you have seen oxidation.
If left unchecked it can actually create holes in the metal. In our cells, oxidative stress is accepted as the underlying trigger for most diseases and degenerative conditions. It is also a component in the inflammatory phase of acute and chronic injuries, as well as the aging process.
What can PBMT work for?
The NovoTHOR is the first and only Photo- biomodulation device to deliver the necessary light parameters to the whole body. The intended uses of the NovoTHOR are restoration of motion to joints, improved muscle performance, decreased post exercise soreness, and adjunct to obesity as part of a diet and exercise program.
This non-invasive and safe therapy has been shown to be highly effective for :
improved sports performance
reduced post exercise soreness
faster recovery from sports injuries
reduced pain and discomfort in chronic inflammatory conditions such as:
• chronic fatigue
• rheumatoid arthritis
• psoriatic arthritis
increased energy and vitality
improve wellness goal outcomes
How does PBMT compare with other treatments?
PBMT works at the cellular level, stimulating repair and normalizing cell function. Many therapies only address symptoms, without addressing the source. With that said, chronic degenerative changes often cannot be "healed", instead they must be managed. PBMT is a safe, effective, non pharmaceutical way to manage pain and inflammation.
Unlike drugs and surgery, PBM Therapy
• is non-invasive
• is non-toxic
• has no side effects
• promotes cell regeneration
• reduces inflammation and pain
How many sessions are needed?
That depends on you and your “Human Variables”. Every person’s condition is unique, therefore there treatment course is as well. However there are some general rules of thumb that apply to PBMT.
Acute injuries and inflammation from muscle strains and sprains, cuts, bruises, burns, etc typically show very rapid improvement and can resolve in 2-4 treatments.
Long-term, chronic conditions can take as many as 12 sessions to get significant benefits.
How often will I need to have PBM?
Therapy can be done daily, however that is not always practical or convenient. Minimum interval recommendation is 2-3 times per week until your goals are met, then 1-2 times per week for ongoing maintenance. For individuals who exercise frequently or at high levels, 3-5 timed per week is recommended for optimal recovery.
What is the session process like?
You can disrobe to your level of comfort; however, light cannot penetrate clothing, so it is optimal for no clothing to be worn. You will lie on the bed face up for the duration of the session. The standard suggested session time is 12-20 minutes; when completed the unit will turn off automatically.
What will I feel?
Unlike high intensity lasers, PBM Therapy does not heat tissue. It does, however, increase circulation so a warming sensation is often experienced. Occasionally, some clients may experience mild fatigue, discomfort, or aches after a session. These responses should reduce after 24-48 hours; if they persist notify us.
I’ve never heard of this before—is there any research about it?
There are currently over 500 clinical trials (RCT) and 4000 laboratory studies on PBM Therapy, with 30 new research papers a month being reported on Pub Med. NovoTHOR was developed by James Carroll, a recognized authority on Low-Level Laser Therapy. He collaborates with many universities and hospital research centers on treatment protocol design and reporting of treatment parameters, including Harvard Medical School and MIT.
Click here for samples of published research