Photobiomodulation (PMB)

What is Photobiomodulation?

Photobiomodulation is the Modulation of a Biological system with Photons.

Very specific wavelengths of light, measured in nanometers, have different absorption points and capacities in the cells. Green for example is absorbed into the blood, Reds and shorter Near Infrareds are absorbed into the Cytochrome C Oxidase in the Mitochondria of the cells, and longer near infrareds like 940nm are absorbed into the water in the cell membrane.

What this means is we can modulate biological responses to a degree with wavelengths, and then shape those responses with intensity, frequency and digital coding.

Eczema Treated with Photobiomodulation Therapy

Eczema Treated with Photobiomodulation Therapy

Photobiomodulation therapy or PBMt is a wellness modality that uses non-ionizing light sources in the visible and infrared spectrum (lasers, LEDs, and broadband light).

Photobiomodulation therapy has beneficial therapeutic outcomes for the promotion of wound healing, tissue regeneration, and alleviation of pain. Photobiomodulation is used by healthy people as well for improving cognition, skincare, recovery after competition or intense training, and preconditioning.

Credited with the discovery of photobiomodulation is the Hungarian physician Endre Mester, founder of the Laser Research Center at the Semmelweis Medical University, Budapest. The accidental discovery was made because of a faulty low-level ruby laser which was supposed to show improvement in reducing tumors. The original experiment failed but Mester noticed that the treated mice show faster hair regeneration than the control group and called his discovery “laser biostimulation” later became more popular as Low-Level Laser Therapy.

When mentioning Low-Level Laser Therapy we have to be sure to mention Low-Level Light Therapy which was introduced after LEDs started to be used as light sources in studies. Photobiomodulation has many names: LLLT, Laser Biostimulation, Laser Phototherapy, Low-Power Laser Irradiation, Low-Power Laser Therapy, LED Therapy, LED Light Therapy. Different names were used in different medical studies over the years which caused confusion on the subject of light healing. The term “Photobiomodulation” was adopted to negotiate this confusion and in 2015 it was added to the National Library of Medicine MeSH database.

How does Photobiomodulation Work?

Research shows that if you illuminate the belly of a rat, the wound on the back will heal faster. It is kind of like saying if we treat the elbow, the knee will get better. We might for example see changes in brain function, even though we are not illuminating the brain.

Diagram: Light penetration through the body

Diagram: Light penetration through the body

The objective of whole body Photobiomodulation (PBM) then is to create systemic benefits of detoxification, improved circulation and improved energy throughout the entire body. Changing the health of the cells changes the health of the entire body. The effects may not be as immediate as a laser, but the long-term benefits of gradual whole body changes can be profound.

Traditional studies of Photobiomodulation (PBM) were based on localized treatments. Traditional research used LED probes to illuminate a small wound or treatment area. One of the larger studies posted on the NIH website used 10 LED modules to deliver a total of 41 joules per module or 410 total joules of energy, and the results were positive.

The human body may have 1600 – 2000 square cm’s of skin surface depending on the size of the individual. LED light therapy illuminates a huge surface area of the body with what should be safe yet effective doses of energy. The cumulative dose can be incredible, but the relative energy per cm2 can remain both stimulatory and safe.

The bench that the subject lays on may deliver 12 joules/cm2 to 500 cm2 of surface skin on the back as the focal point of the LED beam is correct. That means delivering 500/cm2 x 12 J = 6,000 Joules of energy.

The front of the body is farther away from the LED’s depending on the contours of the body. As the distance to the LED increases, the levels of irradiance on the skin decreases. If we assume 1/4th of the total irradiance or an average of 3 joules for the remaining 1200 cm2 of skin, then we have 1200 cm2 x 3 J = 3600 Joules.

6,000 + 3600 = 9600 Joules of cumulative energy delivered to the entire body. This is over 20 times to total energy delivered in one of the largest illumination studies completed.

A Whole Body Photobiomodulation Chamber delivers a massive amount of cumulative energy but in lower doses of energy that stimulate cellular changes that benefit the entire body.

Does Photobiomodulation Therapy heal disease?

No, we cannot and are not saying this.

Does a healthier and stronger body heal itself? This we firmly believe. Photobiomodulation therapy, through its cellular benefits, may augment medical treatments by making the body stronger and healthier.

People Feel, Think, Look, &
Perform Better™.

A full-body system like the ATP system delivers an enormous amount of healing energy to the entire body in the precise dose needed to stimulate changes.

LED light therapy utilizing a full body Photobiomodulation Bed like the ARRC LED’s ATP system presents a tremendous mechanism to augment medical treatments. The benefits of PBMt are systemic and essentially what we want to achieve is a healthier body that is stronger with more energy devoted to optimizing performance. The benefits of detoxification of waste and free radicals, improved circulation, improved arterial connections, improved energy (mitochondrial function), reductions in inflammation, and energized heme strengthen the body. This strength creates energy to better fight health issues. Photobiomodulation Therapy augments medical treatments not by treating a specific issue but rather by helping the body move to higher levels of homeostasis.

Since the benefits begin at the level of energy, they pervade the cells. The benefits to the cells then cascades down into the tissues, organs and systems. As Dr. Hamblin states “benefiting nearly every tissue, organ and system in the body”. If the organs and systems benefit from the cellular cascade, then it follows that conditions with a root cause of inflammation, or toxicity will also resolve.

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Mitochondria, Aging & Photobiomodulation (PBM)

Mitochondria Diagram

Diagram: Mitochondria Structure

Mitochondria are the motors in the body that produce ATP. ATP is the fuel that cells use to thrive. A current theory on aging suggests that as we age, the mitochondria become damaged by free radicals and toxicity. Photobiomodulation has been shown in research to slow, halt and even reverse Mitochondrial Dysfunction and improve the production of ATP.

A whole-body LED Light Therapy Bed delivers photons of different wavelengths throughout the body. The action of improving mitochondrial function improves cellular energy and slows cell death. Improving cellular health and longevity is considered a key factor in aging. The benefits cascade to create improvements in cognition, wellness, performance and aesthetics.

For additional information please visit our Mitochondria, Aging & Photobiomodulation page.

Photobiomodulation Therapy or Laser Therapy?

Lasers create focused coherent light and are extraordinary tools to pinpoint intense energy on an injury. Lasers are excellent tools to focus on localized pain and injuries.

LEDs are non-coherent light sources that instead disperse energy out onto the cells. A powerful full-body LED light bed delivers massive amounts of energy to the entire body, stimulating reductions in toxicity and inflammation while it improves cellular energy and circulation. The cells get healthier which cascades down into and benefits the tissues, organs and systems. LED beds help the entire body get better. Photobiomodulation beds simultaneously affect aesthetics, cognition, pain, inflammation and performance.

Lasers are excellent at focusing on the injury. LED light beds focus on the whole being. Everything gets better.

LED light beds that are dose optimized will out-perform LED beds that are either too weak or over-powered. We don’t take the entire bottle of aspirin – we take 2.

For additional information please visit our LED Light Therapy Bed or Focused Laser page.

Targeting, Dose Multiple Wavelengths, Optimum Dose

Photobiomodulation Targeting

LED’s used for Photobiomodulation

Like a multivitamin supplement, multiple photobiomodulation bed wavelengths may trigger different reactions in the cells. As the science of photobiomodulation research improves we believe that wavelengths, pulse and dose will become more specialized.

A Spa owner interested in skincare might be better suited with a mid-energy system. A doctor stimulating deeper healing might find more power is better due to the increased penetration. A business owner wants both effectiveness and shorter treatment times to ROI their investment. A professional athlete might find that Red/NIR is the best choice while someone with skin issues will benefit from adding green.

For additional information please visit our Photobiomodulation Targeting, Dose Multiple Wavelengths, Optimum Dose page.

Understanding The Physics Of Photobiomodulation

Different light wavelengths and intensities can create different outcomes in the body. If we know the wavelength and intensity, then we should be able to direct the system to create predictable reactions in the body. In this section, we offer a high-level explanation of the physics of light as applied to our systems

For additional information please visit our Understanding Light page.

Healthy People & Photobiomodulation

Healthy People and PhotobiomodulationAthletes who break their own personal best records after supplementing with a full-body LED light therapy bed to have performance as a measurable benchmark. Professional sports franchises are building recovery centers that utilize full-body photobiomodulation beds to help their athletes prevent mechanical injuries of competition (preconditioning), speed recovery after competition and improve peak performance in the areas of strength, speed and endurance during competition.

People suffering from pain or illness have the reduction of pain or illness as a benchmark. In both cases, LED light therapy is triggering cellular changes that cascade down into and change the tissues organs and systems which improves how their bodies are performing.

For additional information please visit our Healthy People and Photobiomodulation page.

Light Is An Essential Supplement

Over 4000 studies suggest that light heals. Like a multivitamin, full-body LED light therapy beds to stimulate key cellular reactions that improve the health, energy, and function of cells. These studies suggest the benefits of light as a supplement include reduced inflammation, detoxification of waste and free radicals, improved circulation, and improved energy.

An LED Light Therapy Bed illuminates the entire body with photons that trigger cellular reactions which may cascade down into and affect the tissues, organs and systems. You just get better.

For additional information please visit our Photobiomodulation as a Supplement page.

Photobiomodulation Therapy Beds

Whole Body LED Light Therapy beds are about luxury, precision and efficacy. A photobiomodulation bed allows for the correct dose, without overstimulation (damage) in the shortest time frame possible. Optimized intensities mean program times are reduced and comfort is increased. Regulation of distance to the LED source in a bed creates the precise distance required to optimize dose. This improves efficacy by maximizing penetration without overstimulating. The ARRC LED ATP system is optimized for 10 minutes or shorter treatment times in a continuous current format and 12 – 15 minutes or shorter utilizing the pulse.

The objective of whole body photobiomodulation beds or full-body LED light therapy is to create systemic benefits of detoxification, improved circulation and improved energy throughout the entire body.

Photobiomodulation Therapy
Frequently Asked Questions

Why Photobiomodulation therapy?

In traditional medicine issues that are generally caused by some sort of toxicity are often treated with toxic medications or invasive procedures. While the medication may reduce the symptoms and provide relief, it can also create a cascade of dysfunction in the cells which may create negative side effects.

Photobiomodulation detoxifies the cells of waste and free radicals, feeds the cells with nutrients, repairs and rebuilds arterial connections, nerve fibers, and the cellular mitochondria which provide energy that powers the cells. These significant changes cascade down into and affect nearly every tissue, organ, and system in the body.

Researchers suggest that the benefits accrue to nearly every system in the body.

Where does PBMt fit into health and wellness?

Photobiomodulation therapy benefits span from aesthetics with skin and hair to performance with improved speed, strength, endurance and faster recovery to improved cognition with recovery from brain-related damage to wellness with improved health, reduced pain, and better overall energy.

What is Photobiomodulation Therapy (LED light therapy)?

Photobiomodulation detoxifies the cells of waste and free radicals, feeds the cells with nutrients, repairs and rebuilds arterial connections, nerve fibers and energetic organelles. These significant changes cascade down into and affect nearly every tissue, organ and system in the body.

What is Photobiomodulation used for?

Photobiomodulation therapy, when delivered by a powerful whole-body photobiomodulation bed is an energy medicine protocol that delivers precisely metered doses of specific wavelengths of light to be absorbed into and modulate the biological processes of the body. This whole-body treatment elevates the health of the cells, which as Dr. Michael Hamblin states, “trickles down into and benefits nearly every tissue, organ and system in the body”.

How often can you use Photobiomodulation therapy?

Photobiomodulation is dose-specific and the dose is essentially intensity times seconds of time. Overdosing occurs with any combination of 3 factors:

  • Excessive frequency: Typically we recommend at least 1 day off in between sessions but most will benefit with as few as 1 treatment per week.
  • Excessive light intensity: Dr. Michael Hamblin suggests optimal dose is between 30 – 60mw/cm2 per wavelength and under 100mw/cm2 cumulative (ATP system is perfectly dosed
  • Excessive treatment duration: Different assessments have different dosing parameters and we recommend no more than 50 Joules per cm2 of surface area. A Joule is irradiance x seconds. Irradiance is energy on the skin, not off of the LED. The ARRC LED’s cumulative irradiance (the third party verified) is 83.9 on the bench and slightly lower on the canopy. 83.9 x 600 seconds is 50 Joules, which means optimum dose for most conditions – no pulse added on the ATP system is 10 minutes. Pain relief can be higher and athletic performance lower (30 Joules).

Generally overdosing will not damage the cells but what will occur is the benefits lessen in relation to the amount of overdose. Point is, More is Not Better. Right is Right. ATP is perfectly dosed for 10-minute sessions continuous current.

Disclaimer: The FDA has concluded that due to the inherent safety of low level light therapy, light therapy devices may be offered OTC for relief from minor aches and pains. The ARRC LED makes no claims as to the effectiveness of its devices other than minor aches and pains. Statements expressed within this site have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Any and all information and/or statements found within this site are for educational purposes only and are NOT intended to diagnose, treat, cure, prevent disease or replace the advice of a licensed healthcare practitioner.

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