Acupuncture is a proven treatment option when it comes to dealing with a host of health problems, from allergies to depression to chronic pain. Acupuncture is the key to restoring the body’s energy flow and achieving balance. Acupuncturists also may use herbal remedies, acupressure massage, and other modalities like LED light therapy to enhance their treatment and get improved outcomes for their patients.
And while you might be familiar with acupuncture, LED light therapy might be a new or less familiar concept to you. Light therapy is gaining in popularity and a quick search on Amazon or Google brings up a variety of products from pads and flexible panels to masks and handheld devices. Let’s look at what light therapy is and how it can enhance certain acupuncture treatments.
Definition of LED Light Therapy
LED light therapy is known by a few different names including phototherapy, red light therapy or low-level light therapy. It is supported by thousands of peer-reviewed and published clinical research papers from prestigious institutions around the world. You can view a few of those studies here. The rather simple definition of LED light therapy is the application of specific wavelengths of light applied to tissue to obtain beneficial therapeutic results. Think of it as photosynthesis for humans.
In the same way that plants use chlorophyll to convert sunlight into energy, high intensity light emitting diodes (LEDs) utilizing specific, proven wavelengths of light can trigger a natural biostimulatory effect in human tissue. Research has shown that light emitting diode (LED) or phototherapy can increase circulation, accelerate tissue repair, kill acne bacteria, decrease inflammation, improve acne prone skin, skin tone, texture and clarity, decrease under eye wrinkles as well as ease muscle and joint pain, stiffness, spasm, and pain associated with arthritis.
Research indicates that cells absorb particles of light (photons) and transform their energy into adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the form of energy that cells utilize. The resulting elevation of ATP is then used to power metabolic processes; synthesize DNA, RNA, proteins, enzymes, and other products needed to repair or regenerate cell components; foster mitosis or cell proliferation; and restore homeostasis. Simply put, the LED phototherapy source provides compromised cells with added energy, so the cells performance is enhanced. For example, fibroblast cells will increase collagen and elastin production in connective tissue to improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles in our skin and increase the rate of wound healing.
Acupuncture Applications Using LED Light Therapy
One of the ways your acupuncturist might incorporate LED light therapy is through a facial acupuncture treatment. Your practitioner will use acupuncture points on the body to treat any underlying patterns of disharmony and local acupuncture face points to address facial symptoms. To enhance the effects of the acupuncture treatment, they might place a large panel-style LED light device over your face.
There are FDA-cleared, medical-grade light therapy devices on the market that your practitioner has likely vetted for proven treatment success. An average LED treatment cycle is 20-30 minutes.
For facial acupuncture patients, light therapy stimulates micro-circulation in the skin, decreases inflammation, improves lymphatic drainage, softens fine lines and wrinkles, increases the production of collagen and elastin, and delays the signs of aging. Perhaps the best features of LED light therapy from the patient’s perspective are that it is relaxing and rejuvenating, affordable, and there is no downtime post treatment.
Talk to your acupuncturist about the various uses of LED light therapy with acupuncture. It’s also a great option in helping to treat chronic pain conditions such as arthritis, muscle strains and sprains, and joint pain. This perfect pairing just might be the key to restoring balance and getting you back to health. Don’t wait, make an appointment today!