I’ve been using Far Infrared Light three to four times a week for the past five years now, together with three other therapies, to give me a non-sugical facelift. I really love my results, and have been reading with great interest about research on additional uses for far infrared light. Knowing it has a positive effect on wound healing and tissue regeneration of the skin, there are now studies looking at deeper light therapy, particularly into the brain, with positive findings.
“We are applying a technology that’s been around for a while,” says lead investigator Dr. Margaret Naeser, (of the VA Boston Healthcare System),”but it’s always been used on the body, for wound healing and to treat muscle aches and pains, and joint problems. We’re starting to use it on the brain.”
Utilizing scalp electrodes to transmit the infrared light into specific areas of the brain, are producing promising results for individuals with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder where cognitive therapy alone has been effective up to a point. The researchers tested individuals who have had cognitive therapy, and found improvement in their thought clarity and more.
“The LED therapy increases blood flow in the brain, as shown on MRI scans. It also appears to have an effect on damaged brain cells, specifically on their mitochondria. These are bean-shaped subunits within the cell that put out energy in the form of a chemical known as ATP. The red and near-infrared light photons penetrate through the skull and into brain cells and spur the mitochondria to produce more ATP. That can mean clearer, sharper thinking, says Naeser.”
The mitochondria is the “power house” or engine within our cells. If the infrared light treatment helps to stimulate or “rev up” the cell’s engine, thereby producing more “fuel” (ATP), this will be a tremendous option for so many who have neurological issues. Hopefully, after it becomes a proven adjunctive therapy, researchers will explore its application for those with epilepsy, autism, depression, dementia and other neurological issues which could be life changing.
“Neuropsychological testing before the therapy and at several points thereafter showed gains in areas such as executive function, verbal learning, and memory. The study volunteers also reported better sleep and fewer PTSD symptoms.”
I’m looking forward to learning more about this application in the future.
- Margaret A. Naeser, Ross Zafonte, Maxine H. Krengel, Paula I. Martin, Judith Frazier, Michael R. Hamblin, Jeffrey A. Knight, William P. Meehan, Errol H. Baker. Significant Improvements in Cognitive Performance Post-Transcranial, Red/Near-Infrared Light-Emitting Diode Treatments in Chronic, Mild Traumatic Brain Injury: Open-Protocol Study. Journal of Neurotrauma, 2014; 31 (11): 1008 DOI: 10.1089/neu.2013.3244