Cold Laser, aka low-level laser (light) therapy
Approximately 5 years ago, I purchased an Erchonia FX635. This was not my first experience with a low-level laser. In fact, I saw my first Erchonia laser 20 years ago. However, sticker shock prevented me from pursuing purchase at that time especially because insurance does not cover this therapy. I did purchase a small less expensive laser to use on an occasional basis. I did use it over the years and experienced some amazing results. I once smashed my finger in the table and, after using the laser, it was fine the next day! Some other cases that convinced me to look further into it included carpal tunnel, broken bones and tendonitis just to name a few.
The turning point for me started with research into ways to encourage neuroplasticity following a stroke. After speaking with some experts in my field who specialize in this work, I was referred to a book by Dr. Norman Doidge, A Brain’s Way of Healing. This led me down the rabbit hole!
"tLLLT has strong evidence for many beneficial effects on TBI and stroke in both animal models and human patients."
I could go on forever but, instead, let me boil it down for you to one word...inflammation. Inflammation, in my opinion and that a many experts, is the root cause of all chronic illness, pain and dysfunction in the brain and body. The laser is not a miracle cure (although sometimes I wonder). It is one amazing tool in the fight against inflammation whether that inflammation is in the brain or somewhere else in the body.
The FX635 is currently FDA approved for plantar fasciitis and chronic low back pain. Current research by Erchonia is showing benefits for Concussions, ADHD, Autism, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.
On a personal note, I have used it for a chronic shoulder injury, an acute wrist injury and transcranially (brain) as I have a long history of concussions largely due to soccer.
How does it work?
The best description I have found is that it supports the mitochondria by causing a photochemical reaction within your cells which leads to increased production of ATP (fuel), increased oxygen, increased circulation, decreased free radicals and decreased oxidative stress (the nemesis to health).
What, you may ask, are mitochondria? They are the powerhouses of your cells. Hence, stimulating the mitochondria translates into extra cellular energy available for function and repair.
The history of laser…
The fact that lasers had the potential to decrease pain, inflammation and swelling was discovered in the 1960s.
What is it used for?
It has been used in 3 ways:
To decrease inflammation, swelling and chronic joint disorders
To promote wound, deep tissue and nerve healing
To treat neurological disorders and pain
My special area of interest is in what LLLT can do for the brain!
Increases oxygen and blood flow to the prefrontal cortex (the opposite is said to be associated with depression)
Decreases neuroinflammation (proven beneficial in mood enhancement)
The combination of all these aforementioned benefits allows the brain to heal
Thunshelle C, Hamblin MR. Transcranial Low-Level Laser (Light) Therapy for Brain Injury. Photomed Laser Surg. 2016 Dec;34(12):587-598. doi: 10.1089/pho.2015.4051. PMID: 28001759; PMCID: PMC5180077.