Blood Pressure,
Cardiovascular Health & Immune

How Does Light Therapy Impact my Immune System?

One of the more greatly hypothesized and researched theories as to how PBM helps to boost our immune system is related to its effect on our thymus gland. Our thymus plays a major role in producing cells that are imperative to our immune function.

Over time our thymus begins to shrink, leading to decreased immune cell production. Studies have shown us that PBM has an effect on our thymus that appears to slow down this shrinking, keeping our immune system better intact over time.

 

How Does this Benefit my Overall Health?

Our immune system is our most crucial defense system against bacterial and viral invaders that mean to do us harm, should they make it past our external defenses. We know that certain light waves can virtually reverse the effects of time on our skin, as well as heal and repair other areas of our body such as our brain, muscles, and even wounds.

By helping to prevent or reverse thymus involution (the shrinking effect that naturally takes place as we age), we can keep our immune system intact for the long haul. By boosting mitochondrial actions and increasing blood flow/oxygenation throughout the body, we are giving our immune system that much more of a fighting chance, if our body doesn’t have to work that much harder to remain healthy.

One final impact that PBM has on our immune system is the increase in nitric oxide that is provoked from exposure to the light waves. This special compound is responsible for tasks such as normalizing blood pressure levels while also increasing blood flow to the areas of our body that need it most.

What Science is Telling Us

“Low-power laser irradiation showed more effective immunomodulatory effects when applied on the thymus projection area.” Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16436179

“Red light therapy can also increase nitric oxide, the compound that heals the cells and increases the blood flow which may help to stimulate healing and strengthen your immune system to defend against disease; regulate your blood pressure, and reduce inflammation. Nitric oxide is also crucial to the health of arteries.” Source: https://www.cryo.com.au/why-your-body-needs-led-red-light-therapy/

Suggested Usage for Immune System Strengthening

How Often Should I Use Light Therapy?

3-7 times per week is sufficient unless otherwise directed by your primary healthcare provider.

Heart:

How Does Light Therapy Benefit my Heart’s Health?

Instead of providing restorative properties, as PBM does to much of the rest of our bodies, PBM can provide protective properties to our hearts. Most heart diseases and heart injuries are related to an ischemic event or severe lack of perfusion.

PBM helps to dilate vessels, allowing for better perfusion throughout the heart. Not to mention the anti-inflammatory properties that PBM can provide, allowing our hearts to not work so hard and significantly reducing the likelihood of any further damage. PBM is thought to be incredibly protective of our hearts, but it can be helpful in the recovery of our hearts in the case that damage has already been inflicted.

How Does this Benefit my Overall Health?

Myocardial infarction occurs when there is a decreased blood flow through the vessels of the heart for one reason or another. Those reasons vary from plaque build-up that blocks the flow of blood, to blood clots that become lodged in the vessels, thus inhibiting blood flow. Due to the power that PBM has to decrease inflammation and increase blood flow, our hearts can receive a significant amount of protection from these properties.

Unfortunately, there have not been enough studies on humans to solidify these positive effects of PBM on individuals who suffer from cardiac diseases or are at high risk for developing such diseases. We do know that PBM does, for a fact, decrease inflammation and boost mitochondria efficacy.

That being said, it can be inferred that as research continues on in this field of supplemental healthcare with PBM, it is likely we will eventually see more research that backs up the use of PBM for cardiac purposes. Such as with patients who are status post-myocardial infarction, to help reduce the negative effects of cardiac remodeling that may eventually lead to heart failure, or to protect those who have been deemed high risk for lethal cardiac events.

What Science is Telling Us

“By amplifying this gene through light, they found that it protected cardiovascular tissues against low oxygen conditions like myocardial ischemia, caused by reduced oxygen flow to the heart.” Source: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/08/190808115052.htm

“If the therapy is given before high risk cardiac and non-cardiac surgery, it could offer protection against injury to the heart muscle."

Suggested Usage

As we are still continuing to learn about the effects of PBM on the health of our hearts, the correct frequency and duration of exposure have yet to be determined.