Laser Mechanism of Action – A Research Review by Dr. Ryan House
Laser photons produced at a specific wavelength of energy (in the near infrared spectrum from 800 nm to 980 nm in wavelength) are mainly absorbed by three compounds in living human tissue: water, red blood cells, and mitochondria.
Made up of two hydrogens and an oxygen, water’s chemical structure resonates when exposed to the right wavelength and cause local heating and a temperature gradient to be produced on the molecular level. This temperature gradient creates potentials along which blood cells are more likely to flow. The stronger and more numerous the gradients, the more local circulation of oxygen can be stimulated. Water absorbs the highest level of photons that are around 980 nm.
Red Blood Cells
These cells, traveling through the bloodstream, absorb oxygen from the lungs, carry it on hemoglobin molecules, and then deliver it to our body’s tissues. Hemoglobin contains iron and iron is another element that is reactive to near infrared laser light. It is targeted with a broad range of photons from 800 to 980 nm in wavelength.
This is the energy producing powerhouse and director of operations located inside the nucleus of our tissue cells. When functioning properly, mitochondria produce ATP, our body’s energy currency. They also signal other individual cells to heal, reproduce, grow, or even die off. Mitochondria contain copper and copper is an element that is reactive to near infrared laser light. Target wavelength for mitochondria is around 800 nm.
Laser therapy stimulates three things: 1) blood to flow more rapidly 2) blood cells to pick up and drop off oxygen more easily and 3) cells to produce energy and signal healing more efficiently.
The body does most of the work itself and so the target for an effective laser treatment is NOT the pathology itself, but rather to stimulate the appropriate cell compartments that lead to the body’s natural repair mechanisms. Basically, we want to stimulate the cell’s metabolism (i.e. its ability to use oxygen to create energy).
The LiteCure laser has diodes which produce photons specifically at the 800 nm and 980 nm wavelengths, making it one of the most effective modalities available to repair injuries.