Low level laser therapy

Laser is an acronym for “Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation”. Laser light is monochromatic, coherent, synthetic, very pure, and very organized light that doesn’t exist in nature except as “Ultra-weak luminescence”. Low-level laser therapy (LLLT), also termed “Photo-biostimulation” and “Cold laser therapy”, is simply defined as: using light to activate cells. ONLY weak or stressed cells respond to laser therapy. Normal cells do NOT need light energy!!

The body transmits laser through the skin in the “Red” and “Near infra-red” spectrum ONLY. The proposed mechanism of laser therapy includes:

1. Stimulation of mitochondrial cytochrome: nitric oxide (NO) is a gas that is synthesized in the cells by the enzyme “NO synthase - NOS”. In humans, 3 forms of NOS are found: nNOS (Found in neurons), iNOS (induced in macrophages), and  eNOS (Found in endothelial cells)

In stressed cells, NO is manufactured in the mitochondria, which then attach to cytochrome c oxidase enzyme in the electron transport chain inhibits its coupling with oxygen (O2). The lack of oxygen coupling in the electron transport chain inhibits the production of ATP

When laser is shined into a stressed cell, the laser photons pushes NO from its mitochondria and the cells into the extracellular fluid, resulting in peripheral vasodilation and enhanced peripheral tissue perfusion; in the same time, it free cytochrome c oxidase from NO coupling resulting in enhanced ATP generation 

2. Stimulation of stem cells: laser can be shined on the tibia or the sternum to stimulate the bone marrow’s adult-stem cells to proliferate and increases their blood availability; thus, increases tissue regeneration

3. Stimulation of lymphatic vessels: laser can be shined on the lymphatic nodes and the thoracic ducts boosting their energy production and their lymphatic drainage

4. Pain management: laser inhibits Aδ and C-fibers by decreasing their ATP production; the less energy they produce, equals analgesia. However, this effect is seen ONLY of the laser is shined over the dorsal root ganglia

4. Anti-inflammatory effect: absorption of light influences the permeability of cell membranes by acting on the light sensitive receptors “Integrins”; this action will increase passage of the ions such as Ca2+, Na+, K+, which will cause increased nerve activity. As a consequence, there will be increase in S.O.D. activity (Super Oxide Dismutase) which fights inflammation and reduces damage from free radicals


Selected references

1. THOR laser – Workshop & lectures


2. Harris C. Cold Laser Technology and Frequency Healing. 2012; CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1st edition