The use of light therapy has a long history and was considered cutting edge treatment for a variety of infectious diseases, skin disorders and wounds in the late 1800's and early to mid-1900's but was shunted aside with the invention of antibiotics and the rise of Big Pharma. Now, light therapy is making a comeback and there are hundreds of research articles on the therapeutic benefits of red, near-infrared, green and, sometimes even blue, light. Photobiomodulation has shown promising results in the treatment of a wide array of disorders from chronic pain to Alzheimer's disease to acne and more.

Join us on this episode of The Health and Wellness Show where we'll discuss the science behind why light is so effective, what happens to your body when exposed to certain wavelengths and how to incorporate light therapy into your life in the comfort of your own home.

Running Time: 01:20:00

Download: MP3

Here's the transcript of the show:

Jonathan: Welcome to the Health and Wellness Show everybody. Today is Friday, August 4, 2017. My name is Jonathan. I'll be your host for today. Joining me in our virtual studio from all over the planet we have Tiffany, Elliot, Gaby and Doug. Hey guys.

All: Hellos.

Jonathan: So today our topic is Lightening up: The Benefits of Photobiomodulation. Essentially you can figure that as light therapy. Light therapy has a long history. It was considered cutting edge in the late 1800s and early-to-mid 1900s for treatment of infectious diseases, skin disorders and wounds. But as big pharma started to rise it was toned back. Less and less people have been aware of it and it's making a comeback now so we wanted to talk about the topic. Is it legitimate? Does it actually do anything? Is it harmful? Is it good? These are questions people have about stuff that they've never heard about before. And I think a large majority of people walking around would say that they maybe vaguely years ago heard about somebody getting treated with light or they know about heat lamps and stuff like that but they don't really know very much about it.
But it's pretty fascinating and you can treat a huge, wide array of conditions with certain types of light. So that's what we want to get into today.

Tiffany: I think more people have heard about those light boxes to treat seasonal affective disorder.

Jonathan: Yeah.

Tiffany: In the wintertime. That might be as far as most people's' general knowledge of it goes.

Jonathan: Or far infrared saunas. If you think of a sauna you think of heated rocks and a cedar room. You don't necessarily think of just getting hit with infrared.

Doug: Especially when they attach a complicated name like photobiomodulation to it. I was just saying something like "Light therapy?"

Elliot: Yeah, there's a couple of different names for it. I think it used to be called low level laser therapy. That was because of the technique that they were using. It was a special kind of directed light beam in a laser format. And then they changed to photobiomodulation. So if you want to check out the studies for it you should try typing in both of those two names because there's loads on both of them. It seems the trend is going toward photobiomodulation now.
I think the reason it's called that is because it's been found that different frequencies of light affect tissues in different ways. So they modulate the frequency of light depending on the specific condition. I guess they could just call it light therapy but maybe that's a little too specific.

Doug: It doesn't sound academic enough.

Tiffany: They have to make it sound scientific to justify their existence and their studies. But there's over 4,000 studies on light therapy.

Gaby: I wouldn't be surprised.

Jonathan: We've covered it before on the show so our listeners might be familiar, but it's definitely proven to have beneficial effects, for sure.

Tiffany: So when we say light therapy, what specifically are we talking about? Are we talking about red light in a certain nanometer range and near infrared light? And then there's mid-infrared and far infrared?

Doug: I think it's all of the above. The photobiomodulation, like Elliot was saying, covers any sort of frequency of light. There is even sun therapy or what they used to call heliotherapy back in the day where they would expose people to sunlight who had different disease states and found that it could be quite helpful. So I think it is all covered under that umbrella term.

Jonathan: When we had Jack Kruse on the show didn't he say that his wife had treated a condition that she had by laying nude in the sunshine?

Doug: Was it psoriasis?

Tiffany: It was hidradenitis suppurativa.

Jonathan: Oh, okay. But she just laid out in the bright sun.

Elliot: So you've got the different frequencies. I've forgotten the exact nanometers of each one, but it's generally from around 650 nanometers to anywhere up to 1,400. So you've got different colour temperatures. They call it colour temperatures in sunlight and so it ranges from shortwave frequencies, for instance ultraviolet and then visible light and blue light and it goes through all of the colours until it eventually gets to red light and I think that's at the 650 nanometers level. Then after red light it's a fairly short quantity of red light and then it gets into infrared, which you can't see. But when they say red light they're referring to infrared light as well and I think they use both red and infrared. Really it's not necessarily the colour of the red light. It's more referring to what physicists call the colour temperature which is to do with the frequency of the light. So you could say it's a very long wave frequency.

Jonathan: Now Elliot, from your research on that, does long wave make it more penetrating, when it's long wave as opposed to shortwave?

Elliot: Yes. I remember when we spoke to Dr. Alexander Wunsch and he asked us the question about heat. And he said "Do you think that heat penetrates deep?" and he caught me out because I said "Yeah, heat penetrates really deep through the skin." And he said "Well no, that's not true."

Doug: He set you up.

Elliot: Yeah. When you look at infrared light, that does penetrate deep. Now if you look at a spectrum it goes infrared and then heat afterwards. But when it comes into the infrared spectrum and the red light, that penetrates very deep into the skin. So if you get a standard red LED and you put it behind one of your fingers you'll be able to see that it penetrates all the way through your finger.

Gaby: Yeah.

Elliot: Whereas if you get a standard light, like a white LED you can't see it through the tissue. So it has the uncanny ability to penetrate very deeply through the membranes and into the tissue.

Gaby: And if you have a swollen finger, will it absorb it as well as the normal fingers?

Elliot: No. I saw some images actually. No it doesn't actually. I think it's because all of the swelling, the inflammation and stuff. I think that stops it from penetrating.

Gaby: Interesting.

Jonathan: So as far as treating regular conditions, I guess from a layman's perspective it makes sense that this would treat inflammation, arthritis, tendon issues, things like that. One of the articles we looked at also said that near infrared lamps have been shown to fight cancer. Now the title says "Near Infrared Saunas Kill Cancer". Some of the stuff is a little bit overblown. I don't know how true that is. Has it been shown to kill cancer cells specifically? But it does at least drastically decrease inflammation which can fight cancer. So I don't know if you guys have any more insight into that as to exactly how powerful.

Elliot: Well if you look at what a cancer cell is, it's really a metabolic condition whereby the cell can no longer utilize glucose. So it reverts back to something known as the Warburg metabolism. In basic terms it's called glycolysis. It means that the mitochondria can't use energy for fuel and so other areas of the cells start rapidly using sugars. This is why someone with cancer will rapidly lose weight because their body needs the sugar so what's happening is they're breaking down the muscle tissue to provide sugar for this process. In other words it's fermentation.
So this guy called Otto Warburg discovered this ages ago. He found that this was common to all cancer cells. Modern research now is focusing on genes and stuff. It's looking for cancer genes when the answers have been there for a long time. Cancer seems to be a metabolic disease, not a genetic problem. So when you look at the factors that are commonly up-regulated in a cancer cell there are a couple of things. There's usually lots of nitric oxide funnily enough because what nitric oxide does is it can increase the blood flow to a particular area and it can also promote angiogenesis which is the formation of new blood vessels.

So if you cut open someone who's got lots of tumours you'll find that in the tissue surrounding the tumour is either the blood vessels have decayed so it creates new blood vessels and this is how it gets nutrients and this is how it's stealing nutrients from the body. Nitric oxide usually plays a big part in this, from what I understand anyway. And so one of the reasons why I would think red light helps against cancer cells is not necessarily that it kills them. It's more that it can do a lot to help the metabolic problem that caused the cancer cell in the first place. So it can restore the cell's' ability to use oxygen and to start making energy again.

It depends how you see a cancer cell because if you see a cancer cell as some foreign entity that's trying to kill you then it doesn't make sense. But I tend to look at a cancer cell not as this horrible thing that is somehow foreign to the body, but it's actually the body's way of trying to do the best that it can with the little resources that it has.

Jonathan: Sure.

Elliot: If for whatever reason the cell can't use oxygen to make energy it has to revert to glycolysis. Glycolysis is the only other way that a cell can make energy. So if this goes on for too long, for whatever reason, then that cell is going to grow. But when you can restore oxidative metabolism you restore the cell's' ability to produce energy in the mitochondria which red light does help, then it can essentially reverse the cancer. And this has been shown on several occasions. I hope that makes sense.

Jonathan: Yeah, totally.

Gaby: I think it is interesting that it helps with mitochondrial dysfunction, this whole light therapy because mitochondrial dysfunction also plays a role in all diseases. For me it's more like a synonym, very similar to inflammation. It's the concept that you can find neurodegenerative diseases in cancer but also there is a lot of inflammation and autoimmune diseases. I wonder what is the therapeutic potential here.

Elliot: What's fascinating is that there are a couple of researchers who refer to that very kind of metabolism as diseased metabolism because it's not only just cancer cells that that same thing happens in. I remember posting some stuff on the forum a while back. There is so much evidence to say that glycolysis or what you just spoke about Gaby, that in almost every single disease that I could find, and that was quite a few different ones, ranging from all types of autoimmune conditions, Alzheimer's, dementia, heart disease, all of these different things have a common factor that we find in every single one of them and that's mitochondrial dysfunction.

There are a couple of ways that you can measure that. One thing that you can measure is called lactate dehydrogenase. That's an enzyme that can tell you how much you are undergoing this Warburg metabolism or this fermentative glycolysis, let's say. It's a very inefficient way of producing energy but when there is mitochondrial dysfunction your cells need to get energy so the only other way that they can do it is this Warburg metabolism. So if you are in a state where you are inflamed and you suffer from some kind of autoimmune condition, there is a very good chance that some of your cells are operating on the cancer metabolism. Now you may not have a tumour but essentially it's the same thing. It's mitochondrial dysfunction.

It comes back to a very simple concept; if your cells don't have enough energy they can't repair themselves. They can't function in the way that they need to function. So it kind of comes down to energy. If you don't have enough energy to do something then how are you going to work properly? It just seems like now there's a massive shift in research and it's pointing to the idea that energy is pretty much at the root cause of all disease other than some genetic defects or something. But the majority of them seem to be mitochondrial based.

Gaby: Yeah, it's like big pharma versus the energetic approach. All these people are chasing wonder drugs to fix diseases, never mind that it doesn't work. And all these energetic concepts, not enough people are paying attention to all this new cancer research focusing on the metabolic spectrum of cancer and all these light therapies can be very cost effective. It's not necessarily super cheap but I think it's much more accessible for the average person than mainstream treatments with big drugs.

Jonathan: I think the average far infrared sauna blanket, a sleeping bag that you can get into, runs around $200. I realize that that's a hefty chunk of change but it's a sum that's not impossible to come up with over time, if that's something you're looking for.

Elliot: It's amazing because in our culture and the way that medicine and big pharma has directed things, the modern way of seeing things is that if you've got something wrong with you then you need to take a pill.

Jonathan: Yeah.

Elliot: There's a lot coming out now about how food can be used as medicine but still, light is seen as something completely different. It's seen as "What? Light?! Light's light! It's there in the day and it's not there in the night time." No one really even thinks about it but actually light is one of the most potent factors. Its effect on the body is huge, just as much as food. You can't place more importance on anything basically. They're all as important as each other and they all have lots of effects on the body. It's only being shown now in the biophysics research, how much light really does affect the cells. But ultimately I think it's a hard concept for people to get their head around because I guess we normalize the fact that light is light.

Jonathan: Well sure, and if I put myself in the position of a John or Jane Doe hearing what you just said I might light the patchouli and get your crystals out. It sounds like airy-fairy until you start to hear the research.

Gaby: Yeah.

Jonathan: I think it's absolutely fascinating. One of our chatters just mentioned that the far infrared sauna bags can be high in EMF. I had not heard that but it kind of makes sense. It's an electrical device that you're sitting in.

Gaby: Mercola highlights that a lot, that one blanket is not as high in EMF. He says that you can put a red light device to enhance the healing potential of the far infrared sauna.

Jonathan: Very interesting. I have used the sauna bag. A friend of mine has one and it's pretty interesting. I definitely say it made me feel better.

Doug: I used to have one and I would go in and have a good sweat for a while and get out and have a cold shower. It was a lot easier to do cold showers after doing a sauna so I liked it for a while. But I can't necessarily point at anything and say "it definitely helped with this" or anything in particular but I did feel good doing it, generally.

Jonathan: Sure.

Tiffany: It made me feel good too and I also got in a good nap. Fifteen minutes was all I could stand before I was asleep and then I was sweating so much I had to wake up and get out.

Gaby: That's a good sign, good sweating.

Doug: I used to try and watch things while I was in the sauna bag. I'd get my laptop and put something on to watch and, like you said, about 15 minutes in I'd just be asleep.

Jonathan: When you mentioned that you can't point to anything that it fixed, per se, that made me wonder if it's also time of exposure? You mentioned Jack Kruse's wife. I remember him saying that she had to do that a lot, be in the direct sunlight for as much time as possible and that it actually cured that. But in that case with the blanket, is that something where you'd have to do these same sessions for hours to actually fix the problem? I guess I'm just not aware of that.

Doug: I don't think they recommend doing it longer than an hour or an hour-and-a-half maybe. So I would probably do it for an hour a couple of times a week. I did that probably for about a year I think.

Jonathan: Nice.

Tiffany: It also helps if you don't have any major health issues.

Doug: Well yeah, which I was going to say.

Jonathan: Sure.

Doug: I didn't have anything that I was necessarily trying to achieve with it. I was just doing it for general detox.

Jonathan: Right.

Gaby: People with fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome, it's actually advised to start with a few minutes and then get out and increase it gradually, to tolerance.

Elliot: Yeah, because I think for someone who's really toxic, doing massive doses of some sort of light therapy can be fairly problematic depending on how well their detoxification pathways are working simply because it increases detoxification a lot. It's been shown in several studies to increase lymphatic flow and it also increases the production of antioxidants and things. So I would imagine that if you were increasing the lymphatic flow and the modes of detoxification, if you're really, really toxic then you're going to be getting rid of a lot and you could have some kind of Herxheimer reaction or something.

Tiffany: So it would be a good idea to detox first before you start experimenting with any kind of light therapy especially if you're a pretty sick person.

Elliot: Maybe just in small doses I guess. That's just my speculation.

Gaby: And some researchers say that what is advised is to get exposed to the light therapy for 15 minutes. Most people usually don't do more than that I would imagine.

Jonathan: Sure. That makes sense too where you're exposing yourself directly to heat, you're going to overheat after awhile whereas if you're lying in the sunshine you might be able to modulate your body temperature a little more.

Tiffany: What can light help with? We mentioned seasonal affective disorder where they have people when they first wake up in the morning to sit in front of this full spectrum light box. So it's not just the near or the far or just the red spectrum, it's full spectrum sunlight. It actually works better than Prozac, which I don't find hard to believe because Prozac is crap. But they have them sit three feet away from the light box and they have them do it for 30 minutes. They can do it up to three hours every day and what it actually does is it restores their melatonin synthesis and it normalizes their circadian rhythm to help their mood in the winter time. So that's a good thing.

Jonathan: Yes. And Alzheimer's as well. We have an audio clip that's kind of interesting but also one of the articles we were looking at before the show is Light Therapy Headgear where they're implementing this idea. So I think this is connected to the same team of MIT neuroscientists studying where levels of harmful amyloid beta proteins were cut in half by exposing mice with early stage Alzheimer's to flashing LED lights. So normally what they would try to achieve with drugs was done with flashing LEDs. Now they have implemented this technology into a device that you can wear on your head so an Alzheimer's patient could pop on this head rig and get treated with light.

Gaby: I think the study in mice was very interesting because first what they did is that they put the light directly into the brain, in the hypothalamus in a very invasive way and it cut by half the production of these evil proteins. They said "Well we cannot do this in humans, can we?" So somebody thought "Well why don't we just expose the light through the eyes? The eyes is the window to the brain so maybe it will work." They tried it out and it did the same thing. It cut the evil proteins by half, just by looking at the lights. So that was pretty fascinating.

Tiffany: They put some opaque contact lenses into some of the rats and they did not get the same benefit so that shows that it was working actually through the eyes.

Jonathan: It looks like this headgear that's in this article has two lights that go up your nose as well.

Doug: Yeah, that's supposed to - sorry, go ahead Elliot.

Elliot: No, you go ahead Doug.

Doug: You probably know it better than I do.

Gaby: I was going to say something, as a third person, that supposedly when you put something in your nose there's no hematoencephalic barrier there that prevents something from entering the brain. There's a small gap where it can lead directly into the brain.

Elliot: I was just going to say that it's interesting because it seems like they were a bit surprised that doing it in the eye would affect the brain. But it shines light on how modern physiology views the human body. They try to separate everything and so they think that the eye is somehow separate from the brain just like the arm is separate from the leg. But what research is showing now is that the body is one interconnected thing. It's like non-local interactions between the whole system so you can't just separate. For one there's the nerve that goes directly from the eye to the brain and that nerve is surrounded by water. It's hydrated by a layer of water and we know that water conducts these kind of electromagnetic frequencies. I just thought it's amazing how - I don't know what I was going to say.

Gaby: That's big pharma's school for you. They separate every system and the most obvious and commonsense thing eludes people.

Jonathan: Well let's go to that clip. This is from a podcast that's on NPR called Radio Lab.
Molly Webster: Okay, so here's what they did. They get some mice.

Li-Huei Tsai: We started off with a mouse model.

Molly Webster: Not the mice I actually got all excited over but mice that have an early stage of Alzheimer's disease.

Li-Huei Tsai: with multiple, notable defects.

Robert Krulwich: Do they have the gunky plaques stuff in them or is that later?

Molly Webster: No, but they do have...

Li-Huei Tsai: elevated levels of beta amyloid peptides...

Molly Webster: ...which is this proteins that form the plaques. So it's like basically pre-plaque gunk. But the important thing to Li-Huei Tsai and her team is that they have less gamma going on in their brains. If you remember, the whole plan here is to bring the gamma back. So to do that, they get what might be the world's tiniest drill and they drill a small hole into the skull of the mouse and then they take a really thin fiber optic cable. They slide it through the hole into the brain and then they get this laser of blue light to flicker at 40 beats per second, gamma frequency. And they turn that on and the light travels down the fiber optic cable deep down into the brain to this group of cells that they've modified in the hippocampus to be sensitive to light. So when this pulsing light hit these cells they actually began to fire at 40 beats per second, at gamma frequency. And they would keep these cells firing at gamma for one hour, firing and firing and firing and firing. And then after one hour they turned off the light and eventually they started looking at the brains of these mice, trying to figure out if anything was different after the light flashed.

Molly Webster: And they see...

Li-Huei Tsai: To our much surprise...

Molly Webster: They were not expecting this at all. After they shot this pulsing light into the brain there was suddenly nearly half as much of that soon-to-be nasty plaque gunk stuff that was filling up their hippocampus.

Robert Krulwich: Half?

Molly Webster: Yeah, half of the stuff was just swept away.

Li-Huei Tsai: Yes, 40-50% reduction of beta amyloid.

Molly Webster: That just seems crazy.

Li-Huei Tsai: This is crazy! I mean we were just so surprised.

Robert Krulwich: Do they know why the flood of light would...

Molly Webster: Yeah.

Li-Huei Tsai: So turns out the pulsing light somehow triggered the brain's clean-up crew. Microglia.

Molly Webster: These cells in the brain that are called microglia...

Li-Huei Tsai: You can say they're the janitors of the brain.
Jonathan: So I think it again speaks to Elliot's point about how shocked and surprised they were that this worked. It's kind of funny. And then that later in the show they mentioned that they cut it back. Eventually they then shot it through the eyes without any invasive surgery and it did the same thing. They also cut back the time to the point where they have the same effect with a few minutes of exposure to the light. So it was a pretty fascinating study.

One of our chatters asked what they used to modify the cells to be sensitive to light. I'm not sure. They don't really say. They were doing some kind of a chemical treatment on the mice to those cells in the brain. I'm not sure.

Tiffany: My question is did they use methylene blue because that's something that makes cells more sensitive to light and makes the cells better absorb light.

Jonathan: Sure.

Tiffany: I thought they said something about DMSO. I'm not sure if I heard that in the interview or I'm just making it up in my own mind.

Jonathan: If our listeners want to hear that show you can go to or just Google radiolab and then look up the show called Bringing Gamma Back.

Gaby: I wouldn't be surprised if they used DMSO because they use that a lot as preservative, for tissue manipulation. They do the research and they don't allow people to use it.

Jonathan: Yeah.

Tiffany: I thought it was amazing that they got the effect. Even if they did use the full hour, a full hour just to get half of the beta amyloid protein out of the brain and to activate the microglia, that is amazing! And then they cut it back to just a few minutes!

Elliot: It seems like light has just an amazing effect on metabolism. It just seems to increase metabolism by so many different ways. One thing in Alzheimer's disease, especially with the beta amyloid plaques, there's inflammation in the brain. That's in Alzheimer's. We know that different light frequencies significantly decrease inflammation. I can't remember what I was going to say just then. Sorry, I'm not really on the ball today.

Tiffany: Were you going to say something about how Alzheimer's is considered diabetes type III because the brain cannot properly utilize glucose or fat for energy and that's why there's problems?

Elliot: Yeah! Yes, something about that. Light overall is just amazing for metabolism. There's a couple of things that it's said to do. It increases the levels of ATP. We know that. It stimulates DNA and RNA synthesis. It activates the lymphatic system so it increases detoxification. It increases the blood flow and circulation so often when there's an issue in a local part of the body there may be an issue with delivering nutrients to that area. So people with Reynard's syndrome have really poor blood flow in their extremities so red light can be really helpful for that. It's actually been shown in studies to be really beneficial as a treatment.

Gaby: That Radio Lab audio, mentions gamma frequency. That's explained also. It's a 25 minute audio interview. They explain that when you are paying a lot of attention, when you are really focused, your brain produces gamma frequency. What is it, 16 Hz, pulse per beats, kind of thing? The light that they flashed into the mice resonated with the gamma frequency. The mice started producing gamma frequency when they were exposed to these lights. So they thought that was interesting and they later realized that their evil proteins were cut by half by increasing the janitors, also known as the microglia cells. They were cleaning the house basically. So I thought that was pretty interesting.

Jonathan: It really is.

Tiffany: They also mentioned how in the brains of these Alzheimer's patients, their normal brain beat or frequency is kind of muted, like somebody turned the sound down and when they shone the light into the brains, it actually turned the sound back up on the natural 40 Hz beat.

Gaby: Yeah, it's like their brains are a dark room and somebody's literally shining a light through.

Tiffany: Like, "Wake up! It's daytime."

Jonathan: It just occurred to me that that's actually very similar to the theory of protomorphogens. Now this is not a standard medical term. It was come up with by a guy who started Standard Process. You guys are familiar with that supplement company? And he had done some research that indicated - and there has been evidence since - that when you introduce the cells of an organ that is failing, to for example, bovine raw liver cells to a person who has liver cancer, the person's liver will use those cells to regenerate and it works with heart, lung, eyeballs, bone, everything. When you introduce the healthy cells from another mammal source of the same tissue, then the body will use those to regenerate.
So it's kind of fascinating that with light it would work in a similar way, that when you're low on a gamma frequency, you introduce something that stimulates that and it will increase it naturally. It's almost like the body is looking for a source to resonate with.

Gaby: Yes, you were mentioning all the mechanisms of action, but it is also speculated that certain frequencies of light stimulate stem cells for the body and stem cells help the body repair itself.

Elliot: If we want to go really deep into it, there's a book which gives a good overview of some of this stuff. It's called Energy Medicine by Dr. James Oschman and I recommend everyone should read that. I've read quite a few books this year and I recently finished that one and I've got to say, hands down, that was the best book I've read all year. It's so concise. But it turns out the research in biophysics is painting such a different picture of the human body, the way that it works.

You just mentioned about light frequencies activating stem cells. Well it actually turns out that there's a lot of research to suggest that that is the primary mechanism for how cells actually communicate with one another, via UV light and infrared light and different frequencies of visible light and that there are specific frequencies by which cells vibrate at. So cells have specific frequencies and so the idea is, is that the way that cells communicate with one another is they send out chemical messengers which somehow travel all the way through the body and randomly bump into another molecule which is how things are controlled. That's what the modern medical paradigm would say whereas what this research is actually saying is that the frequencies by which specific proteins and enzymes and other cells are vibrating at, resonates with other cells and it's through resonant interactions on non-local interactions that these cells actually communicate with one another.

Light frequencies that are emitted by cells contain information and this information is passed throughout the whole body. So it's pointing to the idea that we are just one big electromagnetic sort of thing. We're not just a bunch of chemicals. That's just a very mechanistic way of looking at the human body. It seems that we are energetic beings and we communicate in lots of different ways.

Gaby: What's the name of the author of the book of Energy Medicine?

Elliot: Dr. James Oschman. It's a great book.

Tiffany: I'm going to put that on my Amazon wish list.

Elliot: Seriously, I read it in two days. I was just constantly absorbed by it. It's a really great way of looking at things but it makes a lot of sense.

Jonathan: You mentioned going deep and we could go into Rife technology and treating conditions with different resonant frequencies that either promote or contradict the frequencies of certain cells. So you can promote good cells but you can also accidentally promote bad cells. I used to know a person who did this and they said that you had to be very careful because you could essentially grow a tumour if you weren't careful. That's some white witch kind of stuff so talking about it with people is a little hard.

Elliot: I've never heard of that but in that book he talks a lot about those kinds of things. There's lots of information online and other places which talk about energy medicine and some of it's a little bit woo-woo and some of it's not. I don't know about using a technology, but a lot of what he actually speaks about is body work based. It's a little bit off topic but it needs to be explained.

Jonathan: Let's go there.

Elliot: So when a cell undergoes an injury, it was first found that it would produce something called injury potential. Robert Becker found this and other researchers found this, but there's a very electrical phenomenon that happens when a tissue is regenerating. There's a negative DC electric current which passes through the tissue and it's said that this is what activates regeneration programs and this is the first thing that happens and all of the chemical messengers and things actually stem from this injury potential.

So researchers have found that what they can do is mimic the injury potential to activate healing. This is quite a well known thing in bone research. So when you have a bone which is not regenerating, not coming together when you break a bone and then you go six months and it's still not healed, then in some places in the US they will recommend using an electrical device whereby it stimulates the injury potential and it's gotten some amazing results. What it does is stimulates the regrowth of the bone. This can actually happen in other tissues. It's found to be the case in all tissues whenever something needs to regrow and regenerate.

What they've found is that body workers, massage therapists and Reiki masters and other kinds of qigong practices, by measuring the biomagnetic fields coming out of the hands of these individuals, they found that they are the same as what have been found to be the injury potentials. So when we hear accounts of people going for massage therapy and suddenly having miraculous recoveries of their cancer or something, we think "God! That's so stupid. No way could that be the case. It must just be a random coincidence." Well it turns out that what it could very likely be doing is mimicking the regeneration programs that are inherently native to the individual's body system. But that's probably a topic for a whole other show.
How it relates to light is that light is just part of the electromagnetic spectrum. It's no different. So light can in and of itself, act as one of these kinds of regenerative influences.

Gaby: I have one question Elliot. Is this book Energy Medicine by James Oschman, is this the same book that Dr. Klinghardt the Lyme expert who also does a lot of light therapy, insists that everybody should read it?

Elliot: Yeah. That's the one.

Gaby: I'm buying it right now.

Elliot: I'll be honest. I've done quite a bit of research in this area and this is the most concise explanation. He's really done such an amazing job at bringing it all together and it's very interesting stuff.

Doug: It's interesting because it makes me think about homeopathy as well, just to go way further off topic here; just the fact that it's introducing a frequency into the body to have some sort of physiological effect. That always brings me back to thinking about homeopathy and stuff and how they have this pellet that's been infused with this frequency and that can have pretty major effects. So it seems like there's lot of different approaches to take in introducing these healing frequencies.

Jonathan: Well it's a similar thing with the water research where it carries information, depending on what it has been infused with and so that information is essentially a frequency.

Elliot: Yeah.

Jonathan: It's pretty fascinating stuff. It's definitely a fine line where you get into the term we use a lot "woo-woo" or "airy-fairy", new agey kind of stuff that is unfounded. Maybe parts of it are founded on things that work but it's not fully understood so it's not effective and may even be dangerous in some cases, like over-using herbs and stuff like that. Like I was saying earlier, maybe you do these intense sauna blanket sessions for hours. Somebody might think that way. I do, turn everything up to 11 and then hurt yourself.

Gaby: You also do yourself a lot of good.

Jonathan: It was just illustrating that it's a fine line when you talk about going deeper, going off topic into other things and making connections. You can understand that the body is made up of biological material and is intimately tied with energy, flow, frequency, things like that, in a very scientific way that's not new agey but is still not incredibly well understood.

Elliot: Well this is the thing. The problem is how we see the human body I believe. I think one of the main problems is that when we do biochemical research we isolate a substance and we remove it from the living system and actually we take out the most important parts. So when you study a tissue you take away the connective tissue. You take away the collagen! You take away the water when in fact the water and the collagen, if not the most important parts in the system.

The problem with the way that we view the human body is we see the connective tissue as a lump that holds the body together. But what we don't understand is that the connective tissue is - it's going to go off topic. Is that okay?

Jonathan: Go ahead.

Doug: We're already there.

Elliot: It's going to link back.

Jonathan: It helps us understand it, yeah.

Elliot: Okay. Ultimately to understand the effects that light has on the system we need to understand the main role of connective tissue because connective tissue is made up of mostly collagen. Collagen is an amazing protein because when it's in the body it's hydrated by a layer of water. There's a layer of water surrounding the collagen. This is not water like what's in a cup. This is water that's structured. It's a gel-like substance.
So the interesting thing about hydrated collagen - and remember that collagen or connective tissue connects every single part of the body all together - it's like an integrated system which connects everything. This collagen is an amazing substance. It's known as the superconducting liquid crystalline matrix. This is what the research is calling it because when collagen is hydrated it turns into a liquid crystal. When you look at a crystal under a microscope or whatever, you'll see that it's highly structured. It's like a polka-dot board. Everything is in a unique order. It's a very ordered molecule or an ordered structure. And the same thing happens in living systems with collagen.

So when collagen is hydrated by water it can conduct electricity. It turns into something called a semiconductor which means that it conducts electrons and it can modulate different frequencies, depending on the need for that frequency. So it not only conducts electricity but it conducts light as well. Light travels through the collagen and this it's how it's said that a certain molecule may be able to communicate with another molecule via light frequencies is through the connective tissue. So the connective tissue as we've just said, is electrically conductive. So when you step on your foot, something called a Piezoelectric current is produced. This is when you push a substance or mechanical pressure induces charge. So this charge travels throughout the body via the connective tissue so just by walking on your foot you are essentially electrifying your collagen network. It's a matrix.

Sorry, I don't want to go too off topic but essentially I think this is ultimately how light can affect the system on a really deep level. Gerald Pollock has done a lot of research on water based on the work of someone called Gilbert Ling. This has shown that that when light is shone on water and that water is touching a hydrophilic surface, like a protein, like collagen in your body, when light shines on the collagen it charge separates the water so electrons are on one side and protons are on the other side and this creates a battery.

Collagen or connective tissue is electrically conductive and that light effect on the water surrounding the connective tissue causes the water to become a battery. Then you start to see how electricity may actually be the fundamental energetic system of the body. This is completely independent of ATP. So this idea that ATP is the chemical form of energy for the body, it was disproven that ATP contains any energy whatsoever. Honestly, I think that if you look at the research you'll see that the body's an electrical system. The chemical energy is a theoretical construct that was produced based on faulty evidence, yeah? I don't want to go too off-topic.

Jonathan: You're not. We're talking about light therapy and this is integral so don't worry about that.

Tiffany: And red light therapy also boosts the production of collagen. So by being under red lights you're boosting your body's ability for communication.

Doug: It was interesting too because in the material we were reading for preparing for this show they talked about one experiment - I can't remember the specific disease state they were looking at - but they shone infrared light onto one hand in some kind of state where both hands were affected and although the one hand that they shone the light onto had most of the effect, the other hand was still affected. So there's obviously some kind of communication going on there.

Tiffany: Yeah.

Doug: So maybe that ties in with the whole collagen thing.

Gaby: Fascinating. I also wanted to illustrate the effects on people because they have done light therapy research on Alzheimer's patients, not mice. These were actually human beings! They put a probe with a red light on the 850nm spectrum that went into the nose and they tested a pulsed frequency white light into the head with headgear and it went so incredibly well. Alzheimer patients that were completely brain dead - it sounds awful but I don't know how else to explain it - and they lit up, literally. They started eating and doing independent tasks that they were not able to do before. The family members were so pleased and so happy that they said "Please give me the machine. We'll buy it, whatever. Just don't take it back." Because as soon as they stopped doing the therapy they would reverse back to their previous state. It has to be done periodically, constantly. But it works!

Tiffany: They also did something similar with veterans who were suffering with gulf war syndrome. They gave them the headgear and they used the pulsed infrared light up the nose and they found that putting it up the nose stimulated the formation of new brain cells and it also made the connection between the existing brain cells stronger. But the thing about the gulf war syndrome was they were so toxic with all the pesticides and crap that they used over in the wars and all the vaccines that they were forced to get, the veterans are so toxic they found that it increased the mitochondrial production of the brain and it helped them to detox all of that stuff and all of their symptoms got better.

Jonathan: Wow. It's obviously a field that deserves much more time and research into actual applications. Gaby you mentioned earlier in the show that it could be affordable too and I think that that's a big thing for people because we have all this debate raging right now about healthcare and who should fund it and a lot of very basic healthcare - I'm not trying to tell you to never go to the doctor - can be done at home. Preventative stuff can be done at home. We were talking before the show about light therapy and Gaby, maybe you elucidate. It was hatching lamps for chickens that you can get that will have a similar effect.

Gaby: Yeah, the "cheap version" because these machines can get really, really expensive. You can spend thousands of dollars on something similar to what's been used in research. I forget his name, a British researcher (Michael Hamblin) who was a pioneer on light therapy, explained that you can get floodlights from Amazon or whatever website you want, security camera floodlights because they sell it on the near infrared spectrum, 850nm. It's the same thing they used in research. A relatively big floodlight can cost $40.

Jonathan: Sure.

Gaby: It's pretty big. You can do a lot with that. And people have posted videos on YouTube where they've done headgear so you can put it on like a hat. People are very creative. I was like okay, I cannot do this stuff. I think I'm going to buy the floodlights though.

Jonathan: Tiff you had mentioned too that you had a setup with heat lamps that you just clipped under the bed.

Tiffany: These heat lamps you can buy off of Amazon. I got a couple of bulbs. They're the red bulbs. I think they're about 630-650nm. You just set them up. They actually do produce heat. They do use them for chickens and they use them in buffets to keep food warm. I don't think that they're the best but you can still get a lot of the benefits of the red light from them. You can just set them up and lie underneath them naked and do 15 to 30 minutes a day. People have sworn that it has helped their pain. I haven't really noticed anything but I don't have chronic pain. But I just do it for the mitochondrial benefits that I may not be able to feel anything from but hopefully it's working behind the scenes.

People use those. They also use those grow lamps that people use for their gardens or to grow weed. They sell these panels of red light. Again, it's around 630nm and you can set those up too. They hang down and you could maybe rig them up on the ceiling so they're maybe about a foot away from your body and lie down underneath those. There's also the things that Gaby mentioned, the near infrared which actually you can't see. But if you take your cell phone and you put the camera on you can actually see the light coming out but you can't see it with the naked eye.

But with the near infrared light, that actually penetrates a lot deeper than just the red light. The red light might go a few millimetres under the skin and it's actually good for regenerating collagen and wrinkles and psoriasis and things like that. But if you want to get deeper with the near infrared light, which would be around 800 to 850 nanometers, you can actually use it for chronic pain, muscle pain, bone issues, arthritis, tendon issues and things like that.

Elliot: What you can do is find a couple of light bulbs. I use a reptile light bulb and someone said in the chat that they also do as well and that actually contains both the far infrared, the red and the near infrared. So you can get a triple whammy then. You can hit all bases. But again, in the research what you'll find is that they'll recommend specific frequencies for specific conditions but also what they'll say is that they use very high-tech lasers and stuff and I think a lot of that is marketing because there are companies that are trying to sell these high tech lasers. But if you actually look at the frequencies and the types of light, you can get this stuff just from random light bulbs. So I think there's a big industry involved in that so in a lot of the research you might find that they say "we recommend only using this product"...

Gaby: Yeah.

Elliot: But really you can get by on actually going the cheap way. As Gaby said, there's so many people that actually seem to get benefits from this.

Jonathan: My dog who has since passed away, had a torn ACL and we were treating it at the vet with this infrared laser and it was a very impressive looking machine that had a steel cable that went to this little gun and they would turn it on and "mmmm" and shoot the laser on the spot where the tendon had torn. I noticed that they never brought up "hey you should get one of these and this kind of lamp and do this at home". They never actually said that.

Tiffany: Of course not.

Jonathan: There was a question I wanted to talk to my vet about but it was hard to because I could tell - and this was not her fault that she was kind of biased. I wanted to ask, so during the process of treating this tendon, a super-aggressive bone tumour broke the bone and took over and then just went nuts, completely metastasized. I thought this was really coincidental that this happened while we were doing this laser treatment. Is it possible that it stimulated the growth of the cancer cells? She said no, there's no connection at all but I was wondering if in a certain context that could happen but I just don't know. I tend to think it more likely that it actually was something that pre-existed and weakened the tendon which allowed it to tear and go from there.

We don't need to get into that story but I was curious about the actual laser therapy.

Doug: Was it infrared Jonathan?

Jonathan: I believe it was. I'd have to look it up to confirm but I think it was infrared. It looked like a laser pointer on the skin that you move around.

Doug: Because infrared is supposed to have the opposite effect. It's supposed to actually be good for getting rid of tumours.

Jonathan: Yeah, and that's what I understood as well but the timing was so weird that I was curious if there was some kind of thing. There was a big confluence of factors. I'm sure it was a whole bunch of things combined. But to Elliot's point about the marketing, that was an extremely marketed machine that was very much like "this is a specific, proprietary technology that we're using" when in fact, like you said, the same effects could be achieved by just getting the certain type of light which you can get from a bulb that you can order.

Elliot: One of the chatters asked about psoriasis. They have a friend who has psoriasis and they're wondering if this can help. I've just come across an article which says that "A recent study showed that the use of red and infrared LED therapy is very promising in treating psoriasis." So apparently "The patients used a combination of near infrared and red light over the period of 4-5 weeks with 20 minute sessions every 48 hours. The clearance rates during the follow-up period were 60-100%." So it seems to be fairly effective. You would use near infrared and red light. So that's not far infrared. It's just the near infrared and the red light that were beneficial.

Jonathan: Nice.

Doug: I remember one of the old remedies for psoriasis was to tell people to go out and lie in the sun and I've known people actually did manage to cure their psoriasis just by going out and sunbathing regularly. With sunlight you're getting the full spectrum so I can see how that would be helpful.

Elliot: I just wanted to add, to kind of understand it because for me it was hard to get my head around why is red light so beneficial because when you start looking into the research it just seems like it can help everything. There's so many studies. We haven't even touched on the amount of things. I've got a list here which is literally 40 or 50 conditions which have been shown to be helped. But you can guarantee that if there's a condition that someone that you know has, the chances are it's been studied and it's seems to have a benefit, yeah?

Jonathan: Yeah.

Elliot: So why is this random thing like red light so good for the body? So if you put it in an environmental context, sunlight contains red. It contains all different frequencies but it contains red and that's a really prominent frequency contained in sunlight. So when you look at the effects that sunlight has on the cells and on the body you see that the different frequencies have different effects. We spoke to Dr. Alexander Wunsch back in January about this and he explained it really well but I'm just going to give a brief overview now because I think it's interesting that listeners sort of understand it because it confused me at first.

We can see red light as an antidote to the other harmful effects of the other kinds of light. So if you look at blue light, the effect that blue light has on the cells is that it increases free radicals. It oxidizes the cells and increases inflammation, increases free radicals, increases damage yet red light seems to have the exact opposite effect. It's like nature's way of protecting against the harmful frequencies. So it reduces inflammation. It increases antioxidants which help deal with the free radicals. It increases the metabolism to be able to detoxify these substances. It's like nature's way of protecting against all the bad things that are in our environment. So when you're out in the sunlight you get the cancer-causing UV frequencies and you get the horrible blue light and then you've got the red light with it at the same time to undo all of the damage. You can use that, take that, see that that is such a beneficial thing and then you can use that separate from the sunlight. You can use it by light bulbs and things and you can increase that regenerative effect.

I just thought that was so amazing. It's like mother nature has designed this perfect thing which can allow us to essentially survive. But it also shines light - shines light, sorry. That was no pun intended. But it shines light on such negative effects, of the blue light as well because with the artificial light bulbs they don't contain any red because now we're not using incandescents, we isolate the blue frequency and we use that because it's supposedly energy saving. So we're getting all of that damage from the blue light but there's no red light to counteract it.

So if you're in an environment where you work in an office or something and you are unavoidably exposed to blue light then I think it's definitely more important that you should supplement that red light when you get home, just to counteract those effects and try and mimic what mother nature has designed for your body to stay healthy.

Tiffany: And another way to more closely mimic mother nature is to use the lights in the morning, not use them at night, although people sat around firelight at night and that's a big source of near infrared heat. So this is something that I read but I've been using my light in the morning just because it seems more natural to do that.

Jonathan: Well didn't Kruse say that...

Doug: It seems like there's contradictory information on that because some people say that it actually increases melatonin production so it's good to do it at night. But then that doesn't really make sense because in the natural environment that we were evolved in there wasn't red light, although maybe the firelight maybe answers that question.

Tiffany: Well what I've read is that the increased amount of melatonin that you produce at night will block the beneficial effects of the red light.

Doug: Yeah. I read that as well. So you maybe could use it at night and in the morning so you can increase your melatonin at night but not get the mitochondrial benefits but in the morning you get all those mitochondrial benefits? I don't know. That's just speculation.

Gaby: They were speculating that probably because it's best to use the red light therapy during the day just because of the melatonin finding.

Jonathan: Yeah, Jack Kruse said that when we had him on. He was talking about it being best early in the morning and that that actually produced it, that the melatonin that's produced in your eyeballs from that encounter with the sun at a certain time of day is then used later. So getting the light early in the morning is beneficial for sleep later on.

Elliot: Yeah, it's the blue. The eye has a special protein called rhodopsin and it also has melanopsin as well. So the blue light first thing in the morning sends a signal to the brain which activates the circadian rhythm. It sends a signal to a part of the hypothalamus called the super charismatic nucleus and this then sends a signal to all of the peripheral clocks and the central clocks in the body to say that it's daytime. But also the UV light later on in the morning and throughout the day increases the production of something called ocular melatonin and ocular melatonin is the precursor or is one of the precursors for melatonin. So it shows how if you don't get enough UV light in the daytime then the chances are you're not going to be producing a lot of melatonin in the night time, even if you've been wearing blue blocking glasses or something.
So it kind of points to that you should go outside as much as possible.

Gaby: Notice how all new cars have these incredibly powerful LED lights, blue lights.

Jonathan: I hate those. Yeah.

Doug: Yeah, can't stand them. One thing that I just wanted to mention because I thought it was pretty good for all my fellow males out there who might be listening; actually you females as well for that matter. It applies to both. Apparently infrared light is very good for baldness/hair growth. I thought that that was pretty interesting. That's when I got on Amazon and started searching out things.

Tiffany: Yeah, they sell those combs that have red light infused into the bristles of the comb. You can comb your hair with it, like 15 minutes a day or something.

Doug: For 800 bucks though.

Tiffany: Yeah, but that headgear set that they used for the Alzheimer's and the gulf war syndrome patients, there was a guy who made his own little headgear. It looked kind of raggedy but I guess it did the same thing. So you could probably make your own little headgear or just get a lamp and put your head underneath it.

Doug: Yeah.

Jonathan: Yeah.

Gaby: Yeah. It would be worth it.

Doug: You wouldn't necessarily walk around with a hat on. You could probably just shine a light on your head.

Gaby: He did it for I don't know how much time. It was not too much time, and the real machine - I won't say the brand - it costs $1,500 or so. And it's just like three lights that are not very big actually so you can make your own and probably something better.

Tiffany: But you want to make sure that the light hits your scalp. If you want your hair to grow, put it on the spots where the hair is sparse. Or if you just want hair growth in general you could probably part your hair and let the light shine on the parts of your scalp that are exposed.

Doug: Or you could shave your head.

Tiffany: Yeah. It would serve the purpose.

Gaby: There's a chatter who says "How about gray hair?" I was wondering the same thing. Well chatter we can do an experiment. We'll report back.

Tiffany: But another thing that I found interesting is that they've used red light to dissolve fatty tumours in dogs. There's some research on that. But a lot of that research is where they inserted a probe into the tumour and it kind of melts the fat in the tumour. This is not a cancerous tumour. This is just a fatty lipoma. But I was wondering if you applied near infrared light if you have lipomas - which a lot of people do and I do - if you put it on your skin and let it just sit there for awhile with a little bit of pressure could you dissolve a fatty lipoma?

Doug: Just push it in.

Tiffany: That's my experiment.

Gaby: Report back. That reminds me, they do sell probes with a light at the end because there are abscesses like from hidradenitis suppurativa, boils basically where they get fistulas. They basically make a hole they actually put something in there. Light therapy is one thing that they've used along with methylene blue with very good results actually.

Elliot: There were a couple of studies that were actually amazing; six of seven people or five of seven people had a complete remission! Like how likely methylene blue could do that!

Gaby: Yeah, because we talk a lot about mechanisms and "these facts are fascinating information" but there are actually a lot of people reporting a lot of results that you will not get even with ibuprofen, for things like tendonitis, sore muscles, eyesight improvement. We spoke about the Alzheimer patients. They had miraculous turnover with light exposure. These boils, this is a serious disease. People go through very mutilating surgeries in order to get hold of this and like Elliot said, seven people out of nine - it was more than 60% of them - went into remission with light therapy.

Tiffany: They've also used light therapy shining near infrared lamps onto the area of the body, like on the back, for the kidneys and it has helped people with chronic kidney disease, on the way to becoming dialysis patients. They just shone near infrared light onto their backs where the kidneys are.

Gaby: Yeah, kidney failure. If it can reverse kidney failure to the point where you are not a candidate for a kidney transplant, that's enough for me!

Elliot: It's been known to completely reverse hypothyroidism in many people as well.

Tiffany: Put it on your thyroid.

Elliot: So many studies.

Gaby: Hashimoto patients! Think about it! It's an autoimmune disease. Most people never get cured from it.

Tiffany: They have to take synthroid for the rest of their life.

Elliot: Yeah, 80% of the people in one study who completely discontinued all thyroid medication. That's amazing because these people have been taking this stuff for 40 years or something and then they just shine some red light on them and it completely reverses the issue?!

Gaby: Yeah, people should be completely mad that they're not hearing about this more!

Jonathan: Yeah.

Tiffany: I know we hear that blue light is bad but blue light is useful in certain situations. They have lamps where they use a combination of blue light and red light to help people with really bad acne and the blue light acts as antibacterial and the red light cleans up all this stuff and helps to heal.

Gaby: It kills a propionibacterium that the bacteria produces that is involved in the acne. So yes, nice skin. There you go.

Jonathan: Obviously there's a whole host of things, a huge array of things that you can treat with light. So we encourage our listeners to look into this more and definitely check out some of the options for getting your own bulbs and making a very simple setup where you can do a few minutes a day, 10, 15 minutes a day or a couple of times a week even. So definitely check that out.

Tiffany: Oh, I have one more thing to mention before we go. They do sell those little nasal red light things you stick up your nose on Amazon. I have one. I think it's called Hailicare and they market it for allergies. I didn't really use it for that purpose. I just wanted to irradiate my brains so I'd become smarter, but I have noticed that this summer I have sneezed a whole lot less than I usually do.

Jonathan: Nice. Alright, I think on that note we'll wrap it up. We don't have a pet health segment for today so we wish Zoya well and we'll see her next week. Thank you everybody for tuning in and for taking part in the chat. Be sure to check out the SOTT Radio Show on Sunday at noon eastern time. Go to and the air time is shown there in your local time zone. We'll be back next week.

Tiffany: And if you have any red light experimental results, maybe we'll have a follow up show.

All: Byes.