What Does Light Therapy Actually Do?
Photobiological Effect of Light Therapy
Increase vascular efficacy (circulation) by increasing the formation of new capillaries, which are additional blood vessels that replace damaged ones. New capillaries speed up the healing process by carrying more oxygen as well as more nutrients needed for healing and they can also carry more waste products away.
- Stimulate the production of collagen. Collagen is the most common protein found in the body. Collagen is the essential protein used to repair damaged tissue and to replace old tissue. It is the substance that holds cells together and has a high degree of elasticity. By increasing collagen production, less scar tissue is formed at the damaged site.
- Enhances Release of Nitric Oxide. This gas is an important signaling messenger molecule in the body of all mammals that is involved in many physiological and pathological processes.
- Stimulate the release of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP is the major carrier of energy to all cells. Increases in ATP allow cells to accept nutrients faster and get rid of waste products faster by increasing the energy level in the cell. All food turns into ATP before it is utilized by the cells. ATP provides the chemical energy that drives the chemical reaction of the cell.
- Increase lymphatic system activity. Edema, which is the swelling or natural splinting process of the body, has two basic components. The first is a liquid part which can be evacuated by the blood system and the second is comprised of the proteins which have to be evacuated by the lymphatic system. Research has shown that the lymph vessel diameter and the flow of the lymph system can be doubled with the use of light therapy. The venous diameter and the arterial diameters can also be increased. This means that both parts of edema (liquid and protein) can be evacuated at a much faster rate to relieve swelling
- Increase RNA and DNA synthesis. This helps damaged cells to be replaced more promptly.
- Reduce the excitability of nervous tissue. The photons of light energy enter the body as negative ions. This calls upon the body to send positive ions like calcium among others to go to the area being treated. These ions assist in firing the nerves thereby relieving pain.
- Stimulate fibroblastic activity which aids in the repair process. Fibroblasts are present in connective tissue and are capable of forming collagen fibers.
- Increase phagocytosis, which is the process of scavenging for and ingesting dead or degenerated cells by phagocyte cells for the purpose of clean up. This is an important part of the infection fighting process. Destruction of the infection and clean up must occur before the healing process can take place.
- Stimulate tissue granulation and connective tissue projections, which are part of the healing process of wounds, ulcers or inflamed tissue.
- Stimulate acetylcholine release. Acetylcholine causes cardiac inhibition, vasodilatation, gastrointestinal peristalsis and other parasympathetic effects.
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