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  • Writer's pictureSandra Mendelson

LED LIGHT ENERGY THERAPY: A Powerful Tool for Canine and Human Health and Healing

Your dog just tore his ACL and you teeter out of the vet’s office holding a surgery estimate of $1500 - $4000, wondering how much the months of obligatory doggie physical therapy will add to the total. Take heart…. there just may be a powerful, non-invasive alternative that can even benefit your health as well.

Armed with their veterinarian’s approval and a few therapeutic doggie exercises to do at home, some dog owners have taken the non-invasive, non-pharmacological approach by turning to light energy therapy. Known also as low level light therapy, photonic therapy or photodynamic therapy – the use of pulsed visible red and infrared light stimulates the natural healing power of the body, improving cell function and regeneration.

Over 4,000 studies, including those by NASA and the Mayo clinic, demonstrate that cells exposed to LED light therapy exhibit a 150% increase in cellular repair and vitality versus untreated cells. Proven effective on humans and animals worldwide for more than 40 years, light energy accelerates the healing process and reduces the pain and inflammation that result from physical trauma, disease-based conditions, stress and training.

A partial list of the many acute and chronic conditions in pets that can be improved or eliminated through light energy therapy include:

  • Arthritis

  • Muscle Strain

  • Tendonitis

  • Sprains

  • Post-Operative Pain

  • Musculoskeletal Conditions and Pain Management

  • Soft Tissue Injury: cartilage, tendon

  • Wounds

Not surprisingly, while some dog owners initially investigate light therapy units for their dogs, they ultimately purchase one as a whole-family wellness tool:

I looked at buying a system to use on my dog’s arthritis and muscle degeneration … but I committed to it because I could also use it on everything from my own TMJ jaw pain, tooth infections and knee problems to my husband’s tennis elbow and chronic back pain.” says Priscilla Anderson of Westchester NY. “I tried it out on myself pre-purchase and was impressed with how much better I felt even after the first session. Even my sinuses cleared. Best of all, my dog loved it and we can’t believe the way she is moving. Even her vet was thrilled.”

Visible red light, at a wavelength of 660 nanometers, penetrates tissue to a depth of about 8-10 mm. It is very beneficial in treating problems close to the surface such as wounds, cuts, scars, trigger and acupuncture points and is particularly effective in treating infections. Infrared light (880nm) penetrates to a depth of about 30-40 mm which makes it more effective for bones, joints, deep muscle, cartilage, tendons, etc. An additional benefit occurs when the light pads are placed on the body: the light stimulates acupuncture points so it is then carried to further reaches of the body by way of the nerve meridians.

While there are lots of light gizmos on the market, in the world of light therapy you definitely get what you pay for. Light diodes made overseas are unstable and burn out quickly. Folks who have done their research buy systems that have earned their 510(k) clearance (meaning its FDA cleared as safe) as a Class 2 medical device (for use on humans). The best companies have a rental program that enables consumers to use a system for a few weeks at a fee- and if they decide to purchase, the rental fee is subtracted from the cost of the equipment.

As NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like Rimadyl and Deramaxx) can cause ulcers, hepatitis (inflammation of the liver) compromised kidney function and a long list of other serious side effects, especially with long term use, the attraction to safer, non-pharmacological treatment is growing. Now, some human insurance plans will cover at least part of the cost of a light therapy system, if the patient provides an MD’s written prescription.

For folks who would rather work with a practitioner, take heart: the advent of light therapy technologies has spawned a new set of careers; there is now a growing number of certified light therapists with reasonable out-of-pocket pricing for working with both two and four legged creatures around the country.

One very hopeful sign of the times …


Is light-emitting diode phototherapy (LED-LLLT) really effective?

1:Department of Dermatology, Kangbuk Samsung Hospital, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea

2:Korean Institute for Photomedicine and Photosurgery Research, Goyang, South Korea

R Glen Calderhead, Korean Institute for Photomedicine and Photosurgery, Research Laser Therapy Journal 2011; 20(3): 205–215

Effect of light-emitting diode (LED) therapy on the development of osteoarthritis(OA) in a rabbit model

Yasushi Oshima a , Richard D. Coutts a , Neil M. Badlani a , Robert M. Healey a , Toshikazu Kubo b , David Amiel a, *Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of California San Diego, 9500 Gilman Dr, La Jolla CA 92093-0863 USA Department of Orthopaedics, Graduate School of Medical Science, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, Kyoto Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy 65 (2011) 224–229

NSAIDS And Your Dog: Hidden Dangers


Sandra Mendelson, HC, CPT, CLT is Board Certified as a Holistic Health and Nutrition Coach, AADP, an Equine Photopuncture Therapist and Certified Light Therapist, BANHS. She helps animals and the humans who love them, to reduce and eliminate chronic and injury-related pain and inflammation, improve energy and performance and achieve a state of balanced health through the use of photopuncture, (acupuncture with light), red and infrared light therapy, anti-inflammatory nutrition and detoxification.

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