What is laser therapy?

A brief history of lasers – where it all began

First theorized by Albert Einstein almost a hundred years ago, and later invented by Theodore Maiman in 1960, the laser has no doubt become one of the most revolutionary inventions of modern society. Although laser therapy has now been used and researched in Europe for over 30 years, the first low-level therapeutic Class III lasers were only approved in the U.S. by the FDA as late as 2002, and Class IV high-power deep-tissue lasers a year later in 2003.

RJ laser – painless modern solutions for therapeutic laser

Laser therapy equipment from RJ Laser
RJ Laser, Germany – 5-diode cluster

Developed and manufactured in Germany, the RJ-Laser system is based on more than 30 years of experience in development and production of medical low-level laser devices. As a result, RJ-Laser offers a worldwide leading system for bio-stimulation/bio-modulation in the widest range of applications – such as laser acupuncture, laser therapy for treating deep tissues including joints and various musculo-skeletal conditions, neurology, dermatology, veterinary medicine, and even anti-aging therapy, as well as non-invasive laser blood irradiation and more.

Often indispensable for treating various kinds of musculo-skeletal and soft tissue disorders, laser therapy has also exhibited numerous beneficial results for metabolism, organ support, tension, trauma and wound-healing – just to name a few. Regularly used to treat traumas and sports injuries, laser has often been shown to successfully address inflammation, edema and pain. Although still inadequately used in allopathic medicine, this modern therapeutic modality has become well- established in such areas as sports medicine, chiropractic and physical therapy as safe and effective for pain management, inflammation reduction and accelerated healing.

How does laser therapy actually benefit our body?

Laser therapy works by a process known as photo-bio-modulation – in other words, laser light excites the energy within cells by transmitting emissions known as photons. The tissues then absorb these photons via a photo-chemical (not a photo-thermal effect), thus without causing any heat damage to the tissues themselves. As both living cells and lasers are sources of coherent mono-chromatic light, the body is able to accept and use the energy from therapeutic lasers because it is able to recognize this photonic energy as similar to its own.

Litecure sm
How laser therapy works

When a chromophore (a molecule within the cell’s mitochondria known to absorb light) receives photon energy from a laser, its biological function can be modulated, thus promoting a cascade of cellular activities such as adenosine triphosphate (ATP) synthesis, increased enzyme production, improved cellular respiration and repair, mitochondrial stimulation, increased vasodilation, lymphatic drainage, and reduced inflammatory signaling. Studies have shown that impaired cells in cases of injury, edema and inflammation have a significantly stronger response to laser light than healthy cells – in other words, light is able to produce the most benefit where it is needed the most.


Laser therapy - shoulder
Laser applied to the shoulder

Lightneedle – a painless modern solution for laser acupuncture

Laser therapy to a finger
Light-needle applied to the finger

Laser acupuncture is a term used to describe the use of a laser beam for acupoint stimulation instead of the use of a penetrating needle. The  LightNeedle is an innovative new treatment system which offers precise and strong laser stimulation of points and deep tissue layers, and can be widely used for many therapeutic applications. It allows for the simultaneous treatment of twelve acupuncture points using fiber-optics – something unique in the realm of laser therapy.

Laser therapy - Light-needle
The 12-diode Light-needle laser

Low-level laser acupuncture involves the application of photonic energy directly to the acupuncture points. The energy from lasers seems to be more suitable for the meridian system which is an oscillating energy field, than the more mechanical effect of a needle – therefore, using laser devices allows a practitioner to transfer modulated energy directly to the meridian system. Laser acupuncture is a painless and non-invasive method of treatment, and may be offered to patients with needle-phobia as well as to children.

The following is a partial list of conditions that have shown promising results with laser acupuncture: Acute/chronic pain, TMJ dysfunction, Paresthesia, Cervical/lumbar spine syndromes, Neuralgias, Dermatoses, Allergic rhinitis/sinusitis, Asthma, Frozen shoulder, Phantom pain, Arthritis/arthrosis, Fibromyalgia, Bursitis, Tendonitis, Nerve regeneration, Carpal tunnel syndrome and Wound healing.

What can be treated with therapeutic laser?

Laser therapy - ankle, multiple
Treating an ankle with laser

Cold laser therapy offers a powerful drug-free and non-surgical alternative for treating discomfort and pain, and provides demonstrated therapeutic benefits for a wide range of both acute and chronic diseases, regardless of age or gender. It has been shown to be highly useful in treating patients with the following:

•Chronic neck and back pain •Disc injuries •Shoulder pain •Sciatic pain •Arthritis •Bursitis •Plantar fasciitis •Carpal tunnel syndrome •Sport injuries •Soft tissue damage •Tendonitis •Repetitive stress injuries •Muscle strains •Joint sprains •Shin splints •Morton’s neuroma •TMJ •Migraines •Post-surgical rehabilitation and more

What to expect from a laser treatment

Finally, because the nature of laser light is similar to the bio-photonic emissions of living cells, laser stimulation is practically free of any side effects when applied in compliance  with safety protocols. Although treatments may take just a few minutes, the therapeutic effect continues to soothe and heal long after leaving the office. Expect to experience a sense of pleasant warmth and relaxation during the treatment – and in many cases even instant relief of pain. Although some patients need as little as just 1 or 2 laser therapy sessions, others (especially those with long-term chronic conditions and serious traumas) may require as many as 10 sessions or more. In any case, lasers are a wise therapeutic choice based on their effectiveness and non-invasive nature, especially when compared to taking prescription medications or considering surgery.