Holistic pain management for recovery with LED Light Therapy? Is that a thing?
Light therapy is well known in aesthetic circles for its healing benefits improving skin health, but many skin care professionals may not be as aware of the incredible benefits of light therapy as it relates to general pain conditions like arthritis, muscle spasm, joint pain, and post-workout recovery.
Summer is in full swing, and most people are engaging more in physical activities like swimming, water sports, hiking, biking, and enjoying more of the great outdoors. LED light therapy is a holistic modality you can suggest as an add-on service to help your clients manage the pain that can sometimes come from any injuries due to increased physical activity.
While clients are visiting you for their skin health needs, why not offer them a proven option for addressing those sore backs and joints? This can be a great add-on to what you are already doing without adding time to your existing treatments. A shape-taking device gives you the flexibility to wrap around a clients’ back, knee, ankle, or shoulder while you are going through your normal skin care routine.
Holistic Pain Management
What many skin health professionals may not realize is just how effective red and near-infrared light therapy can be for the treatment of painful injuries and aching joints. Near-infrared wavelengths provide a plethora of benefits and are clinically proven to penetrate deep below the skin’s surface to target muscle and joint issues at the source, offering much-needed support for people who suffer from pain, inflammation, or arthritis. Whether you are looking for pain relief from a chronic condition or healing from a specific injury (i.e., ankle sprain, strained muscle, or tennis elbow), red and near-infrared light therapy can be an effective, non-toxic, and easy-to-use treatment option.
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A gentle, active exfoliant for normal to oily skin types, as well as problematic and mature skin. The six main ingredients work to exfoliate the skin naturally. Salicylic Acid prevents pores from clogging and helps fade the appearance of inflamed skin. It is rich in antioxidants, Vitamin C, beta-carotene, and flavonoids, and the Mango Seed Butter, with its high content of fatty acids, assists with moisturization.
And a treatment option you already have at your fingertips if you own a multi-purpose device. Just like the smartphones that rule our lives, LED devices have become multi-functional, lightweight, and streamlined. Modern devices are designed for efficiency and can address a variety of conditions with a single machine, thus minimizing your financial investment and requiring minimal storage space.
When it comes to the effective treatment of pain conditions with red and near-infrared light therapy, wavelength is the key to success. Compared to blue light therapy, near-infrared wavelengths can penetrate deep into the muscle and joint tissue to alleviate a variety of common pain conditions, increase circulation, and decrease inflammation. Infrared light therapy provides compromised cells with extra energy to accelerate natural healing and tissue repair, foster cell production and restore homeostasis within the body.
Light energy stimulates the release of nitric oxide, causing blood vessels to increase in diameter (vasodilation) and allowing more blood flow, oxygen, and other important factors to be delivered to the cells. This increase in oxygen and nutrients, along with stimulation of the light energy increases ATP production, which activates pain-relieving pathways, providing pain relief. This decreases pain and inflammation and increases tissue regeneration in the localized area. In other words, light therapy heals the body naturally from the inside out.
In the article, “Therapeutic Light” by Chukuku S. Enwemeka, PT, PhD, FACSM, he wrote, “Other reported mechanisms of light-induced beneficial effects include modulation of prostaglandin levels, alteration of somatosensory evoked potential and nerve conduction velocity, and hyperemia of treated tissues. The resultant clinical benefits include pain relief in conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome, bursitis, tendonitis, ankle sprain, and temporomandibular joint dysfunction, shoulder and neck pain, arthritis, and post-herpetic neuralgia, as well as tissue repair in cases of diabetic ulcer, venous ulcer, mouth ulcer, fractures, tendon rupture, ligamentous, tear, torn cartilage, and nerve injury.”
The whole-body healing benefits of light therapy really do go well beyond the skin surface. We all know that complete wellness is a function of not only looking good but feeling good on the inside as well. When our insides are not healthy, it is often reflected in the appearance of our skin. Whether through poor diet, hormonal changes, or other lifestyle choices, our skin can reveal a great deal about what’s going on inside our bodies.
For example, acne can be a persistent medical condition impacting men and women of all ages and can affect the face, chest, back, shoulders, and arms. Those who suffer from even mild acne may feel self-conscious and want to hide from the outside world. However, combination blue and red-light therapy can be a powerful, drug-free treatment option for acne sufferers.
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This facial treatment has Anti-Inflammatory benefits that work to alleviate redness or skin irritation. It contains high doses of antioxidants and omegas to nourish the skin. It offers Instant glow and enhancement of complexion. It provides age prevention and age management to combat wrinkles.
The blue light is proven to kill acne-causing bacteria while the red light reduces inflammation, pimples, and the redness associated with acne. A reduction in lesions and an overall improvement in the tone and texture of the skin is often seen in just a matter of weeks.
Light therapy has also been cleared by the FDA for the treatment of male and female pattern hair loss. There is substantial research that supports light therapy’s ability to regrow hair loss due to androgenetic alopecia with minimal side effects and adverse events.
Turning Back the Clock
When it comes to aging, a significant factor leading to wrinkles, fine lines, and even painful musculoskeletal issues is due to inadequate collagen levels. Think of collagen as the building block of our cellular health, it really is the glue that holds us all together. As we age, our bodies just don’t produce collagen in the same way as when we were younger. Light therapy gives our cells the boost of energy needed to upgrade our collagen production through enhanced fibroblast stimulation.
Increased fibroblast activity is just one benefit of light therapy. Fibroblasts make collagen fibers, so it makes sense that the more and healthier fibroblasts we have, the more and better collagen fibers are made. Healthy collagen levels give us a glowing complexion, firm skin, strong nails, dense bones, and healthy hair. Collagen is also an essential component in keeping muscles, joints, and tendons in healthy working order.
Backed by scientific research, the red and near-infrared wavelengths used in FDA-cleared, medical grade light therapy devices are clinically verified to enhance the body’s natural ability to generate collagen and elastin by activating fibroblast cells. These safe, natural wavelengths deliver proven wavelengths of light energy to help our bodies heal from the inside out.
Whole-Body, Whole Family Wellness
Medical grade LED devices are reviewed for both efficacy and safety by appropriate regulatory agencies such as the FDA. Make sure you are using an LED device that has been FDA-cleared for the particular conditions you are interested in treating. For ease of use and maximum versatility, look for a multifunctional device that is shape-taking and easily applied to any body part including the face, neck, and décolleté, as well as wrapped around more awkward areas such as shoulders, knees, and elbows. Choosing FDA-cleared devices lets your clients know you have done your homework and are offering them effective solutions to maintain their skin and overall health.
Clinical research shows the beneficial healing effects resulting from LED light therapy require specific energy delivery. Using the correct parameters promotes and enhances tissue repair, reduces pain, and improves acne, in addition to other clinical benefits. Measured in Joules, the appropriate dose delivered at or close to the surface of the skin should be between 2-10 J/cm2.
It’s important to note that effectiveness depends on the amount of energy absorbed by the cells during the treatment session and NOT the power output of any specific device. The closer the device can be placed to the tissue, the more readily energy is absorbed.
Pulsing adds a higher level of sophistication and effectiveness to an LED device and its importance should not be overlooked. Delivering light energy in a pulsed manner has been shown to enhance the cell’s ability to absorb more energy over the treatment period.
Light Therapy = Perfect Holistic Add-On
You already know light therapy is a great add-on after peels, microneedling, waxing, fillers, and other treatments and now you can talk to your clients about its benefits in addressing general pain conditions like those mentioned above. And you can also talk to your male and female clients about hair restoration with LED light therapy.
Who knows? It might lead to a larger conversation about how they can purchase a device from you for home use. And that is just another way light therapy can help add to your bottom line, as well as your treatment options!
Whether you are looking to combat acne-prone skin, wrinkles that come with aging, hair loss, or aches, or pains, light therapy is a holistic way to improve cellular performance so you can heal from the inside out. Low-level light therapy is scientifically proven to be an effective and safe treatment and is also non-invasive, non-toxic, and painless. Use the healing power of light to look good on the outside and feel good on the inside!
Contribution By Denise Ryan
With over 30 years of sales, marketing, and product management experience in dental and medical device manufacturing.
She has been with Celluma since January 2012 as product manager, director of sales and currently serves as the global vice president of brand management.