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What is Red Light LED/Laser Therapy?

This therapy uses red and near infrared light, whether by LED Arrays or Low Level Lasers. There some 30 years of clinical research behind it, and there are treatment protocols for many types of injuries (for healing) and conditions (to slow or stop degenerative diseases; to reduce or eliminate pain). It also increases Nitric Oxide in the blood. There are probably over 70 alternative names for this therapy, but the most accurate is Photo Bio Modulation Therapy (PBMT).


WARNING: There are several home remedy sources for this treatment. I will suggest that they are of questionable value (though they certainly are expensive!) and may actually be dangerous. The danger lies in the power usage. See "How Dangerous is Red Light LED/Laser Therapy?" below. This is NOT High Energy Laser, which has too much energy for this process. (If the process is laser only, and is very short - few minutes - it IS NOT Red Light LED/Laser Therapy.)


If you need even more information than provided here, please see

You can download their whitepaper directly at

What is Red Light LED/Laser Therapy Good For?

Clinical Research with Red Light Therapy has been in progress for some 30 years, and it will continue into the future. This is because it has gotten positive results in so many areas. The most positive discovery is that there are No Known Side Effects!


Red Light Therapy can be used for the following (and much more) - Items in RED have been personally treated by your therapist:

  • Degenerative OsteoArthritis. (Knee Joints) After 3 months of nearly complete disability and immobility due to pain: After 2nd treatment, pain was cut in half; after 5th treatment, pain was almost completely eliminated. In maintenance mode, steady micro improvements daily. (Elbow Joint) After 2 months of intermittent pain: After 1st treatment, only very occasional pain. Now on occasional maintenance treatments. (Hip Joints) Pain eliminated after first treatment. Now on occasional maintenance treatments. (Lumbar Spine) As this one is a self-treatment, I am unable to use the laser, but can use the LED array. Pain is significantly reduced and is now on occasional maintenance treatments.
  • Diabetes Neuropathy. (Burning Sensation in Soles of Feet) After many years of burning sensations all night long in the soles of both feet: After the 1st treatment, burning was completely eliminated and has not returned.
  • Tinnitus. Ringing in the ear, like a tinkle bell, after hearing every sound. After 1st treatment and two days later, tinnitus eliminated. Comes back occasionally, but not as intense, Now occasional maintenance treatments.
  • Muscle Tightness. (Tight Erector Femoris) After a year of tightness and pain every morning on rising: After 1st treatment and a few days later, tightness eliminated. Returns occasionally with less intensity. Now in maintenance mode.
  • Reduce or Eliminate Pain
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. CTS was not confirmed. Treatment did not change symptoms. Different condition is suspected.
  • Neurological Conditions
  • Earlier Discontinuation of NSAIDs and Opioids
  • Dental Pain and Inflammation (Tooth Ache; Inflammation where Root Canal is indicated). Periodic maintenance treatments keep issues in check.
  • Menstrual Cramps (No Risk of Side Effects!)
  • Tendinosis/Tendinitis
  • Shingles
  • Hair Regrowth
  • Post Dental Surgery
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Disc Herniation
  • Epicondylitis
  • Facet Joint Syndrome
  • Eczema and Other Dermatological Conditions (i.e. Acne, Psoriasis, etc.)
  • Temporomandibular Joint Disfunction (TMJ)
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Fractures
  • Repetitive Stress Injury
  • Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Rotator Cuff Injury
  • Ligamentous Injuries
  • Meniscus Tears
  • Trigeminal Neuralgia
  • Morton's Neuroma
  • Myofasciitis
  • Bursitis
  • Joint Dysfunction
  • Capsulitis
  • Migraines/Headaches
  • DeQuervain's Disease
  • Frozen Shoulder
  • Muscle Tears
  • Compression Fractures
  • Bell's Palsy
  • Anterior Inflammation
  • Promote Faster Healing of Injuries
  • Musculoskeletal Conditions
  • Dermatological Conditions
  • Wounds (Healing)
  • Scarring (Decrease)
  • Edema and Stiffness
  • Restricted Range Of Motion
  • (Possible Cosmetic Applications)



What is Red Light LED/Laser Therapy NOT Good For?

  • Tattoo Removal
  • Hair Removal
  • Skin Ablation

How Does Red Light LED/Laser Therapy Compare?

There are a number of "competing" therapies that some may think are comparable. How do they stack up to Red Light LED/Laser Therapy?

Therapy:              RedLight         TENS            Ultrasound          Shockwave           IFC

Pain                          X                       X                    X                                                            X

Sprains                    X                                              X                                                            X

Tendon Injury        X                                              X                              X

Arthritis                   X                                              X                                                            X

Nerve Injury           X                                              X

Fractures                 X                                                                               X

Microcirculation    X                                                                                                             X

Edema                     X

Inflammation        X

Wounds                  X

Skin Conditions    X

(Source: Bioflex)

How Does Red Light LED/Laser Therapy Work?

The full explanation is extremely technical, so I will give a simpler explanation to cover the basics:


The red and near infrared light frequencies are shown to stimulate metabolism in the cells, so that they can perform optimally. The body has a number of photo receptors that make this possible.


LED Arrays are used to reach areas from the surface of the skin to a depth of about 1 cm. The body absorbs this light energy quite readily, so penetration is shallow. To reach deeper tissues, a Class 3B Laser device is used.


More details are available through the links in the first section "Red Light LED/Laser Therapy - Cold Laser Therapy What is It?"

Local and Systemic Benefits

Any type of therapy will have elements of both Local and Systemic Benefits. Local refers to a treatment in a specific area with benefits in that specific area. Systemic refers to a treatment in a specific area having benefits for the entire person, overall.


If you have knee surgery, nearly 100% of the benefit will be local, and little, if any benefit, will be systemic.


Traditional massage (including my own more thorough massage) provides about 95% local benefit, and very little systemic benefit. That may sound counter to your intuition and experience, but the reason is that massage is generally provided for the entire body, so it is actually many local benefits being felt.


My own "Myoskeletal Alignment Therapy (Extended)"™ modality is 50% or more systemic benefit. This is because I treat the nervous system, which hooks into all parts of the body. Many of the techniques also provide local benefit, particularly for all types of mobility.


Red Light Therapy is somewhere in the middle, perhaps 80% local benefit and 20% systemic benefit. The systemic benefit comes from the blood cells (and stem cells) that are treated in the local area. Since the blood  circulates throughout the body, other areas will see some benefit, too.

How is Red Light LED/Laser Therapy Provided?

Like most therapies, Red Light LED/Laser Therapy can be used as a standalone treatment, or in conjunction with other treatments, for a synergistic effect. Synergistic just means "The Whole is Greater than the Sum of its Parts."


If you want the best outcome in the shortest time, you would combine Red Light Therapy with my MAT(E)™ modality and thorough traditional massage. Another reason to choose this combo is that it is necessary if you want coverage for direct billing and your massage insurance plans. See "Is Red Light Therapy Covered by Massage Insurance?" below.


For Red Light Therapy, that portion of the session will follow specific protocols which may be adjusted for your own physical and medical considerations. In general, this will mean that you start with Red Light from an LED Array, followed by Near Infrared Light from that same array. The final step is deeper point treatment with a Low Level Laser device using Near Infrared Light. Depending on the issue being treated, and how large the area to be treated is, this process may be repeated one or more times to shift the area of attention. In all cases, the LED Array and Laser Device will be in direct contact with the skin.


Although there are general protocols to be followed, they are sometimes modified for the individual. Contact me to discuss the issues you may wish to have treated. You WILL need a treatment plan. I do not charge for this consultation.

How Do You Prepare for Red Light LED/LaserTherapy?

The area being treated should be absolutely clean. That includes not having any cream, makeup, oils, lotion, etc. on the skin. This will ensure maximum light transmission to the tissues.

If you want to shave the area before treatment, do so no earlier than the day before treatment, to allow time for the skin to heal.

What is the Cost of Red Light LED/Laser Therapy?

There is no charge for the consultation (required). The charge for treatment is the same as for any other service (in half hour increments). I do not charge extra beyond my time.

How Many Treatments Will I Need?

The following is directly from the Bioflex Clinical User Manual:


Frequency of Treatment

  1. In acute conditions, it may be appropriate to treat patients on a daily basis for 4 days or even longer. Evaluate each treatment response until symptoms subside. This approach is particularly applicable in cases of trauma, herniated discs and acute back problems.
  2. Once the symptoms have diminished, treat three times per week until stable, then reduce to twice per week until improvement is at least 80% or more.
  3. Weekly maintenance therapy may be required with degenerative osteoarthritis for two to three months or even longer in certain instances.
  4. Longer treatment sessions in many situations results in a reduced number of treatments for each condition.
  5. Completion of treatment in acute conditions generally requires one to three weeks. IN chronic situations, such as degenerative osteoarthritis, one to two months may be necessary. In degenerative osteoarthritis of the lumbosacral spine with stenosis of the spinal canal and/ or the foramina, up to 50 treatments may be indicated over a protracted period of time.

So, it is extremely rare that a single treatment will fix whatever ails you, but it has happened. Please understand that it does take time to get results, but in most cases (over 80%), expected results are achieved if the treatment plan is followed.


Most results are attained in the first 2 (of 3) stages. A Stage is simply a major change to the protocol. Minor changes to the protocol can occur within a stage, such as when symptoms increase after a treatment, in which case the "dose" is usually cut in half for the next treatment, until such increase in symptoms subside. Statistically (across all conditions being treated), 50% of patients will get good results after about 5 treatments, and most of the rest could take up to 10 treatments. The Treatment Plan is adjusted according to patient results, which usually means changing what Stage you are in, or how often the treatments are. Certain conditions may require even more treatments.

Is Red Light LED/Laser Therapy Covered by Massage Insurance?

Yes, and no!


Red Light LED/Laser Therapy is known as an "Adjunct" or "Supplemental" therapy to massage modalities. This means that it is not actually a massage modality, but can be used to supplement massage modalities. (There are several such Adjunct therapies, since massage seems to be a catch-all when it comes to therapy types.)


If an Adjunct Therapy is used 30% or less for your total treatment time, it is considered "In Scope" treatment and will be covered by massage insurance plans. This applies to the TOTAL time for all treatments, so it is possible that an individual session could be 100% Red Light Therapy and still be covered.


If you were to have a 100% Red Light Therapy treatment plan, it would be considered "Out Of Scope" and would NOT be covered by massage insurance. (However, it MAY be covered by other types of insurance or employment benefit plans, such as Health Spending Accounts- check with your provider.)

How Dangerous is Red Light LED/Laser Therapy?

I would caution you against the use of consumer Red Light Therapy devices, or even the use of higher powered lasers. Their results are likely inconsistent at best. This is partly due to their higher power consumption (which can work against metabolism stimulation) and their variable distance from the skin. High power lasers can cause damage (i.e. burning the tissue).


You should understand that there are various types/classes of lasers used for laser therapy. Specifically, I only use devices manufactured by Bioflex. These include Class 3B Lasers, which are very low power. One reason the treatment is called Cold Laser is that there is no heat generated within the tissues. Other systems, however, use higher power (i.e. Class 4) and generate heat within the tissue - the danger is that heating the tissue can negate the intended therapy, and even cause injury, such as burns. With Bioflex lasers, the laser will not function unless it is pressed firmly into the skin. There are only a few areas, such as the eyes and thyroids, where this treatment should not be used. Tattoos can react due to metals used in the pigments and cause heat, so the they may need to be iced, first. And if you are pregnant or think you could be, or have a malignant cancer, or you are epileptic, this MUST be disclosed to your therapist in advance. To date, with over 30 years of clinical studies, there are NO KNOWN SIDE EFFECTS with this treatment. It is extremely safe.


Another factor to consider is that Alberta is the only province (at the time of this writing) to require lasers (of all types) to be inspected and registered with Occupational Health and Safety, as mine are. (Unfortunately, there are many clinics that do not know this, and may be subjecting themselves to severe penalties, or their patients to unknown risk, for failing to do so.) You are within your rights to request the clinic's Inspection and Registration certificates, and even their Training Certificates! I suggest you do so.

Why Did Your Therapist Decide To Provide This Service?

Prior to making Red Light LED/Laser Therapy available, I basically limited myself to a more thorough traditional table massage, and my own modality, MAT(E)™, which works with the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS). I get the best results with MAT(E)™, but even better results when the two are provided as a combo treatment. Besides, most people do not consider it a massage unless they have been "oiled up and rubbed down."


The issue arose as to how to treat myself when needed. Obviously, it can be extremely difficult to massage myself. It tends to be less efficient and less effective - how do you reach all those areas yourself? It's even worse trying to treat yourself with MAT(E)™, because passive mobility is a major part of the treatment - that is, the therapist has to move the patient (the patient does not move himself). Plus, I'm the only one who knows the MAT(E)™ modality, so I can't get the treatment elsewhere!


After developing several conditions that needed treatment, I knew that even my more thorough traditional massage was not good enough, and my MAT(E)™, though very effective, was not practical for self treatment, I researched alternatives. Red Light LED/Laser Therapy came out on top for something I could use to treat myself. It also turned out to be a great complement to my other two modalities when combined with them, for my patients.


So, before making Red Light LED/Laser Therapy available to my patients, I spent time successfully treating my own issues, plus gaining experience with some simple case studies with select patients. I am confident that this therapy, especially when a treatment plan and protocols are followed and when combined with my other two modalities, will be very effective for what it can treat.

What Should You Do Now?

There is no charge for a Pre-Treatment Consultation, so contact me for a time.


Before you contact me, try to have as much information about your condition, injury, etc. as possible. It is best to have a doctor's diagnosis. The more information you have, the better.


Contact me. Email would be best as it's easier to read and respond to, particularly if there is a lot of information.


I may ask you further questions and then determine an initial treatment plan for you. Note that, if you decide to go ahead, the treatment plan may change according to the results realized. Sometimes the plan can be shortened, and sometimes it may need to be lengthened. I will try to provide as much information back to you as possible, before starting, so that you can make an informed decision.

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