How Light Therapy Works


Increasingly researchers state that, apart from the molecular interaction on a biochemical basis, the factors of information and energy also play an extremely important role for the organism. Not only is the biochemical component necessary, but also the biophysical component is a critical component to treat an illness most effectively. The biophysicist Prof. Dr. F. A. Popp furnished one of the most important scientific contributions with his photon theory . There is no theory today, which can explain the multiple interactive effects in the organism better than Popp’s.

According to quantum theory, light consists of light bundles, also mentioned as quanta or photons. The photons are absorbed by the skin and spread in the body. Popp’s contribution was to state that each cell communicates with other cells by means of bio photons. Likewise, three Russian scientists S. Stschurin, V.P. Kasnaschejew and L Michailowa confirmed, after over 5,000 experiments, that living cells transmit information by bio photons.

How Does Photon Therapy Work?

The radiated photons are absorbed by the skin, multiply in the body and spread everywhere. They reach the brain passing the branching of the nervous system as well as the spinal cord and harmonize (in the meaning of modification) the production of different hormones: endorphins, serotonin. Using other pathways, the photon signals arrive at the adrenal gland and modify the production of DHEA and cortisol.

Cellular Effects

There is no life possible without light. According to Prof. Dr. F. A. Popp, in each cell of our body, light radiates by so called bio photons. In affected cells the intensity of the light diminishes. The regeneration of these weakened cells is stimulated by supplying light in the form of photons. At the same time, that means that the photons do not have a stimulating effect with fully functioning cells (battery effect).

The photon therapy used in the infrared wave band can activate many metabolic processes including cell division for cyclic AMP metabolism, oxidative phosphorylation, hemoglobin, collagen and other proteins synthesize leukocyte activity, production of macrophages and wound healing. If macrophages are exposed to infrared light within the range of 880nm, they release substances, which are helpful in repairing damaged cells and which support production of connective tissue.

Infrared light has been proven to have positive effects on leukocytes, several types of lymphocytes, several types of enzymes, prostaglandin production, and collagen cells. It was proven that infrared photon radiation leads to an increase of the ATP concentration and the ATP activity in living tissue (Energy).

Hormonal Effects

Endorphins are also mentioned as endogenous morphine, since they resemble morphine in chemical structure. They are found in different places of the body and the central nervous system and are considered responsible for and/or participating in different functions such as pain reduction and well-being.

Furthermore, endorphins have a controlling influence on the reactions of the body in stressful situations and on homoeostatic mechanisms such as heart circulation, respiration, digestion and thermal regularization. Patients with chronic pain were found to have a lower level of endorphins in the cerebrospinal fluid. Treatment increased endorphin levels, resulting in pain reduction. Addictive behavior is attributed to a suppression of the bodies own production by endorphins as well.

Cortisol plays a substantial role in stress situations in addition to adrenaline and noradrenalin. With shock or stress, increased cortisol production takes place. Stimulation with the infrared light results in lower cortisol levels. The patient feels a pleasant continuous relaxation. In short, there is no form of pain or illness that won’t be positively affected by this technology.


All plants perform Photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is the simple process of converting sunlight and water into glucose and oxygen (photo energy – chemical energy). Cellular biologists have determined that our bodies use a similar principle in the final digestive process whereby proteins, fats and sugars are broken down within the mitochondrion membrane into the smallest molecular nutrient elements, called pyruvates.

Certain light wavelengths (red and infrared) on the low level of the color spectrum are absorbed by the human body and stimulate the mitochondrion membrane to produce ATP (adenosine tri-phosphate) energy. ATP is the fuel that all cells utilize to perform cellular activities, including DNA and RNA synthesis, cellular repair (called Mitosis) and collagen production.

While Photo Bio-Stimulation is a critical biological process, long-term sun exposure subjects the body to high-level, dangerous light wavelengths as well (UVA/UVB). Long-term sun exposure, combined with injuries and natural aging, damages and ages skin, resulting in older, less efficient functioning cells in skin tissue. Visual effects include skin discoloration, loss of tone, loss of elasticity, reduction in collagen and the thinning of the dermal layers. Over time, this creates tosis (the aged face).

There is an abundance of positive research regarding the benefits of low-level light therapy. Below is a collection of links where you can read the research for yourself.

What Light Therapy Does​


Increases circulation by increasing the formation of new capillaries, which are additional blood vessels that replaced damaged ones. New capillaries speed up the healing process by carrying more oxygen as well as more nutrients needed for healing and they can also carry more waste products away.

Stimulates the production of collagen. Collagen is the most common protein found in the body. Collagen is the essential protein used to repair damaged tissue and to replace old tissue. It is this substance that holds cells together and has a high degree of elasticity. By increasing collagen production less scar tissue is formed at the damaged site.

Increases RNA and DNA synthesis. This helps damaged cells to be replaced more promptly.

Stimulates fibroblastic activity, which aids in the repair process. Fibroblasts are present in connective tissue and are capable of forming collagen fibers.

Stimulates tissue granulation and connective tissue projections, which are part of the healing process of wounds, ulcers or inflamed tissue.

Stimulates the release of adenosine tri-phosphate (ATP). ATP is the major carrier of energy to all cells. Increases in ATP allow cells to accept nutrients faster and get rid waste products faster by increasing the energy level in the cell. All food turns into ATP before the cells utilize it. ATP provides the chemical energy that drives the chemical reactions of the cell.

Increases lymphatic system activity. Edema, which is the swelling or natural splinting process of the body, has two basic components. The first is a liquid part, which can be evacuated by the blood system and the second is comprised of the proteins, which have to be evacuated by the lymphatic system. Research has shown that the lymph vessel diameter and the flow of the lymph system can be doubled with the use of light therapy. The venous diameter and the arterial diameters can also be increased. This means that both parts of edema (liquid and protein) can be evacuated at a much faster rate to relieve swelling. LightMD, Inc./ November 2005

Relieves pain. The photons of light energy enter the body as negative ions. This calls upon the body to send positive ions like calcium among others to go to the area being treated. These ions assist in firing the nerves, thereby relieving pain. Light therapy is successfully used in pain therapy, dermatology and rheumatology with excellent therapeutic effects in the treatment of shoulder humerus periarthritis, tendonitis and carpal tunnel syndrome. Stimulates acetylcholine release and other parasympathetic effects.

LED vs Lasers

All life forms on earth evolved on scattered light (LED) not collimated (LASER) light; when one thinks about a laser, think scalpel. It is not a good idea to laser meridian points of the body. The meridians function is to absorb scattered light, convert it to collimated light and distribute it into the body for internal use.(bio photons) A meridian point doesn’t know what to do with collimated light.

LED’s do not deliver enough power to damage the tissue, but they do deliver enough energy to stimulate a response from the body to heal itself. With a low peak power output but high duty cycle, the LED’s provide a much gentler delivery of the same healing wavelengths of light.(actually more wavelengths) The laser approach does the same thing but at a substantially greater energy output. For this reason, LED’s do not have the same risk of accidental eye damage that lasers do. Don’t let greater output power fool you, it does not equate to more energy in the treatment area. In fact the LED approach puts dramatically more energy into the treatment area at a much lower cost to deliver the treatments Moreover, LED’s are neither coherent nor collimated and they generate a broader band of wavelengths than do single-wavelength lasers. Non-collimation and the wide-angle diffusion of LED’s confer upon it a greater ease of application, since light emissions are thereby able to penetrate a broader surface area. Moreover, the multiplicity of wavelengths in the LED, contrary to the single-wavelength laser, will enable it to affect a broader range of tissue types and produce a wider range of photochemical reactions in the tissue.

If LED light disperses over a greater surface area, it results in a faster treatment time for a given area than laser. The primary reasons that LightMD chose the LED’s over lasers is that LED’s are safer, more cost effective, provide a gentle but effective delivery of light and a greater energy output per unit of surface area in a given time duration. Another key advantage of the LightMD approach is that, once the treatment regime has been programmed in the LightMD Phototherapy system, and the Phototherapy Pad has been applied, the practitioner is free to work on other patients during the treatment period. The Cold laser (wand) approach requires the practitioner to be with the patient for the entire treatment.

Extra Links

February 4, 2007 – USA Weekend Magazine: Light That Can Cure You


January/February 2004 – Rehab ManagementTherapeutic Light

November 13, 2003 – NASANASA Light-Emitting Diode Technology Brings Relief In Clinical Trials

Oct. 29, 2003 – WIRED NewsLight at the End of the Tunnel,1286,60786,00.html

2001-2004 – University of Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin Research

Ophthalmology Times: New LED phototherapy device for skin rejuvenation

United States Government Clinical Trials

Scientific America: Red Light Saves Sight

Wikipedia – Light Therapy

Nasa Research

Nasa Press Release, 2003 –

Nasa Clinical Trials –

Nasa Press Release, 2000 –

Nasa Light Study –

Nasa Light Successes –

Nasa Study –

Nasa Research –

NASA Light Emitting Diode Medical Applications From Deep Space to Deep Sea –

Search for light Therapy Articles –

Low Level Light Therapy has been used at the following establishments:

Academic Papers

Disclaimer: The following articles are academic research papers that relate to light therapy and LED light. LightMD, Inc. does not make any claims to these authors’ conclusions.

Effect of near-infrared light-emitting diodes on nerve regeneration.

J Orthop Sci. 2010 Mar;15(2):233-9. Epub 2010 Apr 1.
Ishiguro M, Ikeda K, Tomita K.
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Graduate School of Medicine, Kanazawa University, 13-1 Takara-machi, Kanazawa, Ishikawa, 920-8641, Japan.

Conclusion: The regeneration of nerves is improved by LED irradiation, as shown by the increase in mitochondrial oxidative metabolism and thus antioxidation levels in the chamber fluid that is produced from nerve stumps after nerve injury.

View On PubMed 

Pretreatment with near-infrared light via light-emitting diode provides added benefit against rotenone- and MPP+-induced neurotoxicity.

Brain Res. 2008 Dec 3;1243:167-73. Epub 2008 Sept 30
Ying R, Liang HL, Whelan HT, Eells JT, Wong-Riley MT.
Department of Cell Biology, Neurobiology and Anatomy, Medical College of Wisconsin, 8701 Watertown Plank Road, Milwaukee, WI 53226, USA.

Conclusion: Infrared LED treatments can help damaged and even poisoned nerves by increasing ATP production. This increase in ATP allows cells to produce more energy, thus recovering more quickly.

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Low-level laser therapy activates NF-kB via generation of reactive oxygen species in mouse embryonic fibroblasts.

PLoS One. 2011;6(7):e22453. Epub 2011 Jul 21.
Chen AC, Arany PR, Huang YY, Tomkinson EM, Sharma SK, Kharkwal GB, Saleem T, Mooney D, Yull FE, Blackwell TS, Hamblin MR.
Wellman Center for Photomedicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

Conclusion: Low Level Light Therapy (LLLT) actually acts at the gene level and will activate mitochondria and NF-kB which directly helps inflammation. Studies show this beneficial effect has many clinical applications.

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Effect of light emitting diodes in the photodynamic therapy of rheumatoid arthritis.

Photodiagnosis Photodyn Ther. 2010 Mar;7(1):44-9. Epub 2010 Jan 15.
Neupane J, Ghimire S, Shakya S, Chaudhary L, Shrivastava VP.
College of Biomedical Engineering and Applied Sciences, Dhana Ganesh, Handigaun Marg, Kathmandu, Nepal. [email protected]

Conclusion: The use of photodynamic therapy with LEDs proves to be a non-invasive, effective, and cheaper solution for rheumatoid arthritis.

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