The Information below on the Brain and Mental Health Benefits of Low-Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) was written by Jordan Fallis
in August 22, 2016, it gives an overview of what can be accomplished when LLLT is applied transcranially.
Treatment that could benefit brain and mental health is available at the Cold Laser Pain Relief clinic in Parkside, Adelaide.
The Brain and Mental Health Benefits of Low-Level Laser Therapy (LLLT)
Sourced from an article by Jordan Fallis, August 22, 2016.
Low-level laser/light therapy (LLLT) is the very last treatment I used to restore my brain function after serious concussions, toxic mold exposure and multiple psychiatric prescriptions.
And in my experience, it is one of the most efficient ways to boost brain function and improve mental health.
Yet your doctor likely has no idea what it is.
It’s about as cutting-edge as it gets and even more unconventional than neurofeedback. But it works.
Also known as photobiomodulation, LLLT is the application of low-power lasers or light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to the body for therapeutic purposes. When LLLT is applied to the brain, it is known as transcranial LLLT or transcranial photobiomodulation .
LLLT has been around since 1967, and there are now more than one thousand scientific studies showing that it can help treat a variety of disorders without any harmful effects. Unlike high-intensity surgical lasers, low-powered lasers do not cut or burn tissue. Instead, these lasers stimulate a biological response and encourage cells to function properly.
How It Works
Research shows that red and infrared light between certain wavelengths produce positive biological effects.
How does it do this?
Mainly by supporting your mitochondria.
As I’ve discussed before, mitochondria are considered the “powerhouses of the cell,” generating most of the energy in your body in the form of ATP.
ATP is your body’s main source of cellular fuel. You are constantly using it, and your brain needs enough of it to work properly.
Proper mitochondrial function and ATP production is critical for neuroprotection, cognitive enhancement, and the prevention and alleviation of several neurological and mental disorders.
And research demonstrates that transcranial LLLT supports mitochondrial function and significantly increases the production of ATP in the brain.
Your mitochondria contain photoacceptors that absorb the photons from light and convert them into ATP – energy that can be used to perform cellular tasks and biological processes.
This process is comparable to plant photosynthesis, during which sunlight is absorbed by plants and converted to energy for the plants to grow.
By stimulating the mitochondria and producing more ATP, LLLT gives brain cells extra ATP energy to work better and heal and repair themselves.
On top of this, LLLT has also been shown to:
• Increase neurogenesis, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and nerve growth factor (NGF)
• Reduce inflammation
• Decrease free radicals and oxidative stress in the brain
• Increase blood flow and circulation, including within the frontal cortex
• Reduce pain by increasing our body’s opioids (natural pain relievers)
• Increased rate of oxygen consumption in the frontal cortex
• Increase serotonin
My Experience and What You Should Expect
Along with neurofeedback, LLLT is one of the most impactful actions I have taken to optimize my brain and mental health.
I first discovered LLLT when reading Dr. Norman Doidge’s book, The Brain’s Way of Healing: Remarkable Discoveries and Recoveries from the Frontiers of Neuroplasticity. I highly recommend the book.
Dr. Doidge talks about Laser Therapy equipment, which can costs thousands of dollars.
I found an integrative physician here in Ottawa who owned a laser and I gave it a try.
After a few sessions, I started experiencing beneficial effects.
By the time I was off all psychiatric medications, I had lost a lot of my full cognitive capabilities. Thankfully, LLLT has restored them.
Here are some of the results I’ve noticed:
• Increased cognitive function
• Sharper thinking
• Improved mood, concentration, alertness
• Less fatigue and reduced need for sleep
• More mental motivation, endurance and productivity
Overall, it has improved my mental constitution. I don’t get fatigued and worn down as easily and I can focus and think harder for longer periods of time.
LLLT also has a cumulative effect. Your brain becomes stronger and more resilient over time as you do the treatment consistently.
It has allowed me to reduce the number of supplements I take daily. I now realize that I needed the treatment for many years, but I just didn’t know it existed.
Many serious brain injuries and mental illnesses can be successfully treated with LLLT, including depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, post-concussion syndrome, stroke and Alzheimer’s disease.
I explore how LLLT has been shown to help each of these disorders below. Feel free to skip to the disorder you’re struggling with to learn more.
Depression and Anxiety
Traumatic Brain Injury
Alzheimer’s Disease and Cognitive Impairment
There are a number of other disorders that can also improve with LLLT treatment:
• Parkinson’s disease (PD) – “Mitochondria in PD tissues are compromised… LLLT could be developed as a novel treatment to improve neuronal function in patients with PD”.
• Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) – Mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress play an important role in motor neuron loss in ALS. Motor function significantly improved with LLLT group in the early stage of the disease.
• Autism – Linked to mitochondria dysfunction and inflammation, so LLLT would likely help.
• Bipolar disorder – Linked to mitochondria dysfunction and inflammation.
• Schizophrenia – Linked mitochondria dysfunction and inflammation.
• Smoking Cessation
• Opiate addiction
• Headaches and migraines
• Acne – This is unrelated to brain health but LLLT can also treat acne. Improving my diet and gut health helped me overcome my acne, but I definitely wish I had known about LLLT when I had it. An integrative physician here in Ottawa has had a lot of success with her patients struggling with acne and other skin issues.
Frankly, it’s ridiculous that this therapy is not better known and promoted by doctors.
The remarkable effects of the treatment in healing the brain in a non-invasive manner, along with the fact that there is no evidence of any adverse side effects, suggests to me that it’s use will only increase.
At the same time, distrust in pharmaceuticals continues to grow because of uncertain efficacy and unbearable side effects. And as the Western population continues to age, the incidence of the degenerative brain diseases will only continue to increase, which will produce a severe financial and societal burden.
I’ve come to this conclusion, and I’m glad I discovered LLLT.
Written by Jordan Fallis
August 22, 2016
NIH Public Access
Author Manuscript, Published in final edited form as: PM R. 2010 December ; 2(12 Suppl 2): S292–S305. doi:10.1016/j.pmrj.2010.10.013.
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Each patient heals at his or her own rate, and because patients are all individuals, results will vary from patient to patient.