By Amber Milanovich, L.Ac.
Light is an amazing thing and holds strong healing powers. Light therapy uses specific wavelengths of light that can help fight acne, reduce wrinkles, promote anti aging, and reduce pain. Light therapy is powerful alone and even stronger when combined with acupuncture.
Light therapy uses LED lights of blue, red, and infrared light to stimulate healing on a cellular level. Light therapy can also be called Low Level Light Therapy (LLLT) or LED therapy, or even a fancy name of photobiomodulation. All names for the healing power of light.
Why does Light Therapy (LLLT) work?
We’ve evolved with the light of the sun. Early morning sun has much more infrared light and would protect our skin from the ultraviolet light that comes later in the day. Unfortunately not many of us are outside at the right time to gain these benefits. But Light therapy at the correct wavelengths can act like the healing nature of the sun. (citation)
Other waves of light help to treat acne, such as blue light. This is because blue light has antibiotic properties and kills the bacteria that causes acne.
What Types of Lights does Light Therapy use?
We use a LLLT device that uses LED lights (and it is also called LED therapy) that combines blue, infra red, and far infrared in specific patterns to help acne, wrinkles and anti-aging, and reduce pain and improve recovery.
What is LLLT (LED therapy)?
LED (light emitting diode) therapy is the application of light energy to tissue to obtain therapeutic results. Different colors of light emit specific wavelengths that produce a therapeutic effect at different layers of the tissue. The wavelength is chosen according to what sort of results you’re looking for.
What can LED therapy treat:
There are many colors with different therapeutic applications, but here we will focus on the ones that are specifically designed to make your skin more beautiful: the blue and red lights.
Acne is treated with blue light therapy. The blue light penetrates the epidermis and is known to kill acne-causing bacteria. This approach to killing the bacteria is much more targeted than, say, washing your face. It is able to get below the surface to arrest current breakouts and prevent more from forming. Blue light also reduces inflammation. In one treatment people often notice a reduction in their acne, but it is the cumulative effect of regular treatments that makes a dramatic difference.
Aging: Sagging and Wrinkles
Red light is used to treat concerns of aging skin such as wrinkles and sagging (1). The red light penetrates the dermal layer to enhance collagen and elastin production by promoting a reaction in mitochondria of cells. This reaction boosts energy production and regeneration which translates to fewer wrinkles and a more taut appearance. Like blue light, the results are cumulative.
Does it really work?
Yes, it does. There are many studies that show LED Light Therapy works for acne and others that show Low Level Light works for wrinkles and aging.
LED technology was developed by NASA to help with wound healing in space. In a zero gravity situation wounds do not heal easily, so technology was needed to keep astronauts well, hence the application of LED to skin. It was a natural progression to employ this technology for natural healing.
How does LED integrate with other skin care?
LED can be used in conjunction with other treatments or as a stand alone treatment. We have found that the most effective way to use it is to combine it with other treatments like facial rejuvenation acupuncture and Chinese herbs. With Chinese medicine we address internal balance, and LED can enhance those benefits while also addressing layers of the skin in specific ways. Using it as a stand alone maintenance in between acupuncture treatments gives you the best bet for beautiful skin.