Laser Therapy Huntington Beach
Laser Therapy at Health Pro Wellness Center
How does it work? Laser Therapy De-Mystified
The mechanics of photobiomodulation (laser therapy) are complex, and so many laser companies use this complexity to “talk over your head” in hopes to create their own pseudo-science to fit the technical specifications they are able to produce in their equipment. At Health Pro Wellness Center, we use K-Laser USA equipment. Our choice was based on the fact that K-Lasers are not only dedicated to constant research but also a better understanding of the underlying principles of the technology. These lasers are equally dedicated to making these complex ideas more readily understandable to those who use and benefit from laser therapy
Why is K Laser treatment more successful?
The first goal of an effective therapy is to increase the amount of oxygen available for the cell to process. This means increasing blood circulation since the hemoglobin in red blood cells are the transporters of oxygen from the lungs to the cells. On the macroscopic scale, this relies on increasing the heart rate, which in turn slightly increases body (and blood) temperature. This is why exercise is good therapy for almost any ailment; increasing blood flow increases metabolism and stimulates the immune system. Locally around a wound, however, topographical heating does very little, resulting in neither an increase in circulation nor metabolism. This type of thermal effect is not the mechanism for laser stimulation of circulation. Laser irradiation instead creates local temperature gradients; that is, temperature differences on the molecular level that create potentials along which blood cells are more likely to flow. The stronger and more numerous the gradients, the more local circulation of oxygen can be stimulated.
What is the most efficient way to cause these temperature fluctuation? Recall that the cell is more than 80% water. If you can target the absorption of water by a particular wavelength of radiation, you can cause local resonances that reinforce themselves.
Once the increased circulation gets the blood to the cell, the hemoglobin that carry the oxygen in the blood have to drop off their oxygen supply. Oxygenated and deoxygenated hemoglobin have very distinct signatures in the NIR. We are not concerned with the process of re-oxygenating the hemoglobin, because this occurs in the lungs. Instead we are interested in the absorption spectrum of oxygenated hemoglobin HbO2 whose deoxygenation can be stimulated by the absorption of a photon of radiation.
Cytochrome C Oxidase Redox
The terminal enzyme in the respiratory chain of a cell, cytochrome c oxidase, is the principle absorber of radiation in the entire cell and governs the rate at which oxygen is processed into ATP. Unlike the one-way deoxygenation of hemoglobin, cytochrome receives and delivers its oxygen in cycles within the cell and so we need to stimulate both processes in order to maximize efficiency. It turns out that laser irradiation does both, depending on the oxidation state of the enzyme. When deoxygenated, laser irradiation will stimulate oxygenation, and vice versa [redox]. This effect has resounding implications and is thought to be the universal validation of laser therapy. The different oxygenation states of this enzyme have peaks throughout the visible-NIR spectrum, which is why virtually all wavelengths used have shown to be useful.
K-Laser equipment goes one step better. Laser phototherapy with wavelengths throughout the NIR spectrum enhances cellular metabolism, but there exists a peak in the absorption spectrum that can maximize this effect. Remember, when the enzyme is either fully oxygenated or fully deoxygenated, irradiation will push the cycle along in the right direction, so we want to stimulate the process at both endpoints. The peak in the difference spectrum reflects the wavelength at which laser irradiation will have the greatest effect to change the oxygenation state, which will subsequently turn the wheels on the cellular metabolism most efficiently. This is analogous to firing the spark plugs at the exact time in the engine cycle to get the maximum effect.
All Three Mechanisms in One
The wavelengths employed by K-Laser are fine-tuned for success. We have one wavelength (970 nm) that coincides with a peak in water absorption; again the cell is 80% water and so this will have the effect of most efficiently creating temperature gradients that will increase local blood flow and therefore oxygen flow. K-Laser’s 905 nm wavelength, along with the others at 800 nm and 970 nm, lies at the peak of the broad absorption curve of oxygenated hemoglobin; this means once the blood gets to the cells, K-Laser irradiation will most efficiently stimulate the passing of oxygen from the hemoglobin into the cells for use in metabolism. Finally, the 800 nm beam lies at the peak in the cytochrome c oxidase redox cycle; once the oxygen is in the cell, K-Laser irradiation will most efficiently stimulate the cyclic process of using and replenishing oxygen, thereby maximizing the ATP (energy) throughput of the cell. Remember, the name of the game is oxygen: getting into the cell, getting the cell to use it faster to make more energy, and then letting the cell’s natural processes boost the body’s immune system. This will result in curative and analgesic effects upon every administration of treatment as well as continued relief in the future.
Consistency and Predictability
Power density is the only necessary intensity parameter for in vitro experimentation because there is no attenuation due to a monolayer of cells. From power density measurements, calculating the energy density (i.e. dose) is straightforward: power density in units of Watts/cm2 multiplied by treatment time in seconds yields dose in units of Joules/cm2. This is the energy deposited per area of irradiated tissue. In vivo, however, this parameter does not tell the whole story. Tissue is a highly scattering medium and there is non-trivial attenuation at depths in the human body. The power density simply refers to the intensity (number of photons) at the output of the laser. This intensity decays exponentially with depth in tissue, and the decay constant (related to the penetration depth) is determined by the wavelength of the laser and the optical properties of the tissue. Furthermore, radiation will scatter laterally (radially, since the beam is cylindrical) and so there will be dose deposited beyond the spot size of the laser.
Laser phototherapy, if administered by someone trained in the art, is beneficial in almost all of its forms and has no adverse side effects.
The differences between commercially available laser units lie solely in the wavelength, power density, pulse modulation, and aesthetics. From these parameters, you can derive the penetration depth, dose distribution, treatment time, and the estimated biological effect. There is NOT a “magic” wavelength or setting that is the cure for a disease, and to claim otherwise (as many distributors or salesmen do) is irresponsible. There are, however, certain operating regimes that give better results than others and are more effective for particular symptoms. The select few modalities, atop which K-Laser finds itself rather lonely, that have been specifically designed to isolate and capitalize on a fundamental therapeutic mechanism, have continually proved successful in the clinic. And since the primary mechanism of action is the stimulation of the body’s natural anti-pathological immune system, the range of symptoms for which this laser is useful knows no bound. No other laser offers more versatility in treatment modality nor dosimetric information about each potential use.