We’ve seen a slew of unusual wellness modalities from our little perch in the wellness world. More and more, we’re seeing a growing interest in these unconventional wellness protocols – from ancient herbs to modern new therapies like the below.
Of course, not all unusual products and modalities are equal. We share only the best of what we discover and experience and, recently, we stumbled into the promising health benefits of LED light therapy.
Before sharing this interview with InLight Medical’s Heather Parkin, we experimented with her therapy recommendations for over three months. We tested the therapy’s effectiveness on a family member with an autoimmune condition. While we’d love to wait even further to report a more dramatic effect, we can definitely report that after the three month period, we’re seeing a shift.
Does the concept of fighting pain and inflammation with innocent little LED lights seem like a stretch? We get it. Read through Heather’s compelling interview below, including her own sister’s remarkable experience with the therapy that blew us away.
The Chalkboard Mag: What is Low Level Light Therapy or LED Light Therapy in a nutshell?
Heather Parkin: LED Light Therapy, which is also known as Low Level Light Therapy (LLLT), is called ‘low level’ because it’s noninvasive, painless and cool to the touch. LED light therapy assists your body in its natural ability to heal. All living things – plants, animals, humans – are built with the ability to heal ourselves naturally. Low-Level Light Therapy, or LED Light Therapy, reduces inflammation, increases circulation and reduces pain. Studies have shown that by increasing our blood circulation, it helps support our innate healing process, allowing our bodies to do what they are meant to: self heal. Scientific effects of increased circulation include:
TCM: How does LED light therapy work?
HP: LED Light Therapy is a unique therapy that harnesses the healing powers of infrared, red and blue light. InLight Medical Systems uses a carefully timed sequence of settings, known as pulses, to create an environment in which change may occur more rapidly. This gentle pulsing emits special wavelengths of light energy that dramatically increase circulation to injury sites and areas of chronic pain. So, if you think about the way plants absorb sunlight from the atmosphere, well, our cells beneath our skin absorb light energy the same way. When we absorb this light energy, it activates our body’s natural healing response. The result is a rapid relief of discomfort, improvement in sensation and regeneration of damaged tissues.
Because Light Therapy is naturally effective on a cellular level, not only does it relieve pain, but it addresses the underlying condition by stimulating the body’s innate healing ability — something that painkillers cannot do. LED Light Therapy is effective, non-abrasive, non-invasive and restorative.
TCM: What are most people using the light therapy device for? I know it can help with such a wide variety of conditions, can you bucket them into a few categories?
HP: Research has shown that chronic inflammation is the number-one cause of most diseases (inflammatory disorders), and without inflammation, disease cannot grow. Because LT assists the body in its natural ability to heal, by reducing your inflammation and increasing your blood circulation, you can use the lights for just about anything. Inflammatory issues like arthritis, Crohn’s, asthma; digestive issues like IBS, leaky gut, colitis; thyroid Issues like Hashimoto’s and hyperthyroidism; neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, peripheral neuropathy, MS, migraines, fibromyalgia, traumatic brain injuries and all of the symptoms that come along with that; hormonal imbalances like PCOS, endometriosis, menopause, PMS symptoms; chronic pain, athletic performance and recovery; PTSD, depression, the list goes on! You can use them at any age and on any living, breathing thing! I even use the lights on my plants at home. I’m that ‘crazy plant lady.’ The motto in my house ‘go on the lights.’ You have a cut? Sunburn? Go on the lights. You are feeling under the weather? Go on the lights. You hurt your knee running? Over-extended in yoga? Go on the lights! Your pet has joint pain? Put them on the lights… You get the idea.
TCM: How long has the therapy been around for?
HP: The use of light and color to help heal our bodies dates back thousands of years. Ancient civilizations across the Earth respected the powers of light and color and recognized the healing properties they possessed. By embracing our roots, going back to the basics and combining it with the technology we have today, we are able to create cutting edge devices like these. It’s funny how something so very simple, so very basic and organic, is becoming the future of healing. Color, light and sound: That’s where we’re headed. Society, as a whole, is starting to take healthcare into its own hands. People are sick of prescription drugs and all side effects that come along with them. We are looking for something else, something natural, something less invasive, something that works!
TCM: Do most people think it’s a bit nuts when they first learn about it? How do you help people wrap their brains around this?
HP: Sometimes, yes, they have a hard time. Sometimes they look at me like I’m a total quack! You know, it’s not mainstream, it’s not the norm. Again, it’s cutting edge technology. But, I find if you listen to what their needs are first, their health issues at hand, their concerns, then it’s easier to explain how the lights can help them. When you tell people that the lights are not here to cure or heal them, they are here to assist their body in its own natural healing ability, people understand that. Also, education is key. There is so much information out there, on PubMed.com there are over 3,500 articles on this therapy alone. If you Google ‘low level light therapy’ or “photobiomodulation + (your health issue at hand)” so many articles and studies will come up. I encourage all of my clients to be their own healthcare advocates. Knowledge is key when dealing with your health, your body and your life.
TCM: Would you share a few client improvement stories?
HP: I have so many, it’s hard to choose one! My sister’s story is super powerful! She was in a skiing accident on Mt. Hood. A man was skiing down the mountain, taking about a 20 ft jump, and landed on my sister’s head. She had to be life-flighted off the mountain, to the ER. She suffered from a severe traumatic brain injury (TBI). As you can imagine, all the symptoms you get from a TBI: head shocks, migraines, blurred vision, slurred speech, memory loss, depression, anger, etc. She was experiencing it all. She was on major pain medications: 24 mg of Dilaudid (which is a form of morphine) and 2,000 mg of gabapentin a day, seeing five to six different specialists and nothing was helping. After about six months of this, some friends introduced her to the lights. She did six sessions in two days and was able to get off all her pain medications. In two weeks, she started seeing small, positive changes in her memory, speech and vision. Fast forward several months later, using the lights twice a day, my sister had her life back. She was healthy and no longer suffered from a TBI.
One of my younger clients, she’s 28, was pretty sick before starting Light Therapy. She suffered from Lyme disease, adrenal fatigue, hormonal imbalances and digestive issues; that’s so much to deal with at such a young age. It was heartbreaking. Here was this young, beautiful, talented girl who was unable to live her life free of pain. It kept her from working and traveling; it debilitated her and kept her from living her life to its fullest. She had tried so many different treatments and protocols, but nothing helped her fully recover. She was looking for something, that one thing that would help. Then she found me on Instagram, and that is how she started her journey with Light Therapy. She has been doing the lights now for about six months, and is feeling fantastic. I actually had the honor of meeting her in person, this past summer, because she has been able to start traveling again, and she was in San Diego. And recently, I received a text message from her, stating that she was interviewing for a job and took her first exercise class again! Do you know how amazing that is? She has her life back, working, traveling, exercising, feeling healthy again! She is able to now start living her best life!
TCM: What is most people’s journey with the lights? Do most try them skeptical at first?
HP: If you believe you are going to heal, you will. Your mind is half the battle. If people are skeptical, their minds are the roadblock to their healing. If they are open and want to heal, then there is no room for skepticism. All of my clients are blown away by the results they see. One of my favorite things about my job is when I get a text message from a client saying how amazing they feel, how the lights have changed their life, that it’s the best investment they have ever made. Remember, you can use them for just about anything – so it changes the way you respond to your health. For example, a couple weeks ago, I injured my wrist in yoga, practicing inversions. Definitely sprained or strained it, and I was in a lot of pain. In the past, I would have gotten Xrays, had the doctor bandage it up, taken a painkiller, etc. Instead, I have been wrapping it in the lights daily. A week and a half later, I’m pain free, back at yoga practicing my handstands. Not to mention, I’ve saved myself hundreds of dollars in medical bills!
TCM: Let’s talk about the skin rejuvenation aspects of this. Most women are becoming familiar with LED based therapies from similar treatments in the spa. Is this the same or different?
HP: LED Light Therapy can boost collagen production, promote tissue regeneration and reduce inflammation! Bye bye puffy eyes, fine lines and wrinkles! Because our skin is directly affected by what’s going on in our bodies, we want to make sure we work on the body as a whole. When your liver and kidneys aren’t functioning properly, it can start to show through your skin. With InLight Medical Systems, you are able to work on your entire body, not just your face; working from the inside out. Unlike when you go see your facialist and you get a LED Light Therapy Facial, they are just working on your face. Which, is great, I’m not discounting its effectiveness, but they are not working on the main organs that support your skin. When you support your skin through properly functioning organs, the result is beautiful, regenerated, glowing skin!
Have you tried LED light therapy yourself? We’d love to hear about it.
Have questions for Heather Parkin? Leave your comments below…
The Chalkboard Mag and its materials are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. All material on The Chalkboard Mag is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise or other health related program.