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Four years, ago I was diagnosed with a labral tear in my hip that was excruciating and "required surgery" according to an orthopedic surgeon. I tried everything and although the symptoms had mostly abated, I had to give up Yoga practice and everything that could exacerbate the tear.
Patti Serrao, a local nutritionist here in New York, was involved with light therapy and suggested I use light pads over the tear. Skeptically, I agreed. One, 20-minute session and all the pain in my hip was gone. After the second, 20-minute session my body had completely repaired the tear. It was that simple. I have resumed a regular Yoga practice and felt no pain since then.
I have invited Wes Burwell, an international educator of light therapy principles, application and usage of LED-based devices, to explain exactly how that miracle occurred. Wes approaches energy medicine from the basis of electrical theory and physics, finding that they are intricately involved on a cellular level. He has worked as technical director/support for two different companies, helping design and develop leading edge LED (Light Emitting Diodes) based devices.
JW: If we think of acupuncture meridians as fiber optics, then placing LED's directly over acu-points will facilitate the entrance and transference of light throughout the body. Can you explain this for us?
WB: Utilizing light therapy over the affected tissue and acupuncture points can restore the bodies inherent light potential. If we determine that a meridian does not have enough energy to function optimally, then not only will this deficiency affect the tissue surrounding that meridian, but the organ which it governs will be affected by a decline of energy delivered to it. By donating energy to the deficient meridians we restore proper potential and the innate wisdom of the life energy begins to undo compensation factors which it put in place and the symptoms functionally dissolve as proper tissue metabolism returns.
According to Ayurvedic philosophy and then later by Einstein's study of Quantum Physics, everything in the universe is made up of two things: sound and light. Sound is the structure or container (matter) and light (life) is the essence that fills or animates it. Meridians are light channels throughout the body and are the interconnecting communication streams between the consciousness experience and the physical body. Meridians broadcast the will of the consciousness and disperse the Qi-Life energy of the individual to habitat and animate the physical tissue, either in a healthy state or diseased state. A diseased state is recognized as a deficiency of life energy being dispersed in the channel causing specific points to be deficient, and consequently, reducing the life energy of the tissue. This results in compensation and deviation factors which show up in the tissue as symptoms. A collection of symptoms will receive a name and it becomes recognized as a disease. This is why we never say that we treat disease, because disease is merely a collection of these compensation and deviation factors.
JW: How does light enter the body?
WB: This is a multiple layered answer. The delivery of light can be understood as simply as standing in the sun to receiving light via our eyes and skin or as complicated as the molecular interaction happening physiologically. Because of my background in electronics technology, I look at cellular functioning from a component/circuitry, electrical flow system. Einstein was very involved with light and in 1921, received the Nobel prize for his research in what is called the "photoelectric effect." When photons (bundles of electromagnetic energy) are emitted and collide with atomic particles (our tissue) they deliver their energy which is absorbed by the electrons. This increases the atomic energy potential and can facilitate electron release from the atoms as well as photons from excited electrons to neighboring atoms. The rates of exchange, absorption capacity and emission spectrum are relative to many factors, which include magnitude of energy delivery, wavelength (color) utilized, as well as which elements from the periodic table are present that the photons are interacting with, specifically the ones that compose our tissues!
Different wavelengths (colors) naturally have different levels of penetration due to tissue composition and specific proteins present which will absorb specific wavelengths and not others. That is why it is ideal to use a multiple color/wavelength device. I use the In Light Wellness System because of this availability in one device.
JW: Tell us how you use light over acupuncture and meridians?
WB: I will place the pads locally over an issue for the most part, i.e. if someone has back pain, I will place a pad directly on the sore area of their back. Included in the system are three pads that can be used. One is an eye mask which is ideally placed over the eyes to donate light to the central nervous system via the SCN (supra-chiasmatic nucleus). Then I will place the body pad or local pad over target areas to facilitate delivery to the acupuncture points. An example of this is placing a pad over the feet/toes, hands/fingers, or ears, the micro-systems which deliver light to the entire body but also house some of the most potent acupuncture points, so it's an easy choice for a win-win situation. A lot happens within the 20-minute cycle before auto shutdown. Twenty minutes is the amount of time it takes for the body to cycle through energetically and for the blood to do a full lap around the body and pass beneath your umbilical area.
JW: Why are there so many LED's? Is there an advantage to using many LED's vs. a single beam?
WB: One of the key benefits of multiple LEDs being used together, which is not comparable or cost effective with laser diode therapy is the release of Nitric Oxide (N.O.). N.O. is now considered to be the "miracle molecule" for its ability to heal, repair and regenerate the body. The release of nitric oxide is exponentially increased when there are multiple light sources used over a surface area as opposed to a single light source. In a study done by Dr. Burke and et al. at the University of Colorado, they found that by using an array of 60 LEDs together they could get a release of 7.5% increase of nitric oxide in the blood plasma. When they increased the array to 120 diodes they were amazed to find that the nitric oxide in the blood plasma increased to 25.5%.
This proved the dose dependency of light therapy; more diodes=better response. Nitric oxide is released from the hemoglobin and myoglobin as well as the endothelial tissues of the blood vessels. It goes through many rapid chemical steps which create vasodilation, angiogenesis and many other benefits all related to health and healing. This is why it's called the "miracle molecule" and in my experience, it surely is!
JW: Tell us how you got involved with light therapy.
WB: In 2006, my sister-in-law had an operation to remove a cancerous tumor. During the surgery, damage was caused to the right phrenic nerve. I read studies and spoken with colleagues on the ability of light therapy to help regenerate nerves. Based on the studies and the success they had experienced with light, I purchased a hand held laser and through some trial and error was able to restore the nerve function from 10% back to 35% in less than one week. At some point early on, I realized that what I had accomplished with a laser was only scratching the surface, which I now think of as a modern healing miracle.
I began offering laser therapy in my clinics, targeting acupoints and trigger points and was able to achieve great success with approximately 85% of my clientele when it came to pain reduction, neuromuscular re-education and numerous other issues. This work was very practitioner intensive and required my full attention and knowledge of the points and how to balance them. This approach was very time consuming and success did not always come easy. About 15% of my clients did not respond to laser therapy and this puzzled me. This drove me to deepen my understanding and I learned that some people have the ability to polarize against coherent light delivery. Lasers are coherent light. Tiina Karu mentioned in one of her studies that using incoherent light that the human body actually had to break down coherent light into incoherent before it could be implemented to create the biostimulatory response, or healing. This answered my question and prompted me to look into the use of LED (light emitting diode) light therapy.
Many of the light studies that I had already reviewed were done prior to the inception of Super Luminous Light Emitting Diodes, SLEDs. After reviewing more recent studies where SLEDs were put up against laser diodes of the same power rating , I was amazed to find that they were performing at par and in many cases, producing better results. In 2011, I implemented an all SLED system into my clinic to begin testing its efficacy. I decided to test it out on my client base that had not responded to laser therapy. Out of those 48 clients, every one of them received benefits with only direct application of light therapy to the area of pain. Of that 48, 25 had complete absolution of pain in a 20-minute session and the other 23 received pain reduction ranging from 90-30%. The amazing part was that I didn't have to attend to them other than placing it over the area, turning it on and coming back to unhook them when the 20-minute cycle had ended. I could then tend to another client simultaneously, which instantly doubled my clientele and I was getting results with 100% of my clients. It instantly became the most popular tool in my clinic and continues to produce results that I have not previously experienced using anything else.
JW: What is the current research trend in using Light as a healing modality?
WB: Interestingly, light therapy really is not a new healing modality, it is just enjoying a comeback of sorts. The inception of new technologies (semiconductors) in our day and age allow us to be more precise with the usage of light, such as tighter control of power delivery, wavelength (different colors), and pulsation rates (frequency delivery). The amount of studies being done today has grown exponentially in the last decade and new uses for light are becoming more mainstream every day. From helping with antibiotic resistant infections, faster healing of wounds, to helping to alleviate depression. Every day a new article is coming out and the range of uses continues to increase.
JW: Is light therapy a stand-alone therapy or an adjunct?
WB: It can be either/or. There are people that pursue light therapy certifications and are setting up light therapy clinics with amazing results. If they are not qualified to do anything else they may occasionally have a client that will plateau and that is when I suggest to them to seek another professional. I have worked with many clients and have referred them to chiropractors, naturopaths, MD's, acupuncturists, massage therapists, etc. to help them clear the issue that is creating the plateau, but they come back to the light therapy to keep progressing. For professionals, it is a perfect adjunct to increase the power and potency of their therapy/treatment and speed up or amplify results for their clients.
JW: Are there classes or a certification program? How can one go about getting a thorough education in light therapy?
WB: To support and educate L.E.D. light therapy system users, a distance learning course is available from The Quantum Academies, comprised of written material, video instruction and examination. This course meets certification requirements from the Board of Advanced Natural Health Sciences. You can find them online. I believe that you, Jennifer, are developing a class just for acupuncturists, correct?
JW: Yes, I currently offer a one hour, one PDA/NCCAOM class on my website for those looking for a basic, introduction to the history and use of light. In addition, I am developing a more advanced class geared towards practitioners which will be done by the end of 2013.
WB: To summarize, what I share most with people is that Biology = Physics animating Chemistry. I view the human body as a collection of flow systems working synergistically. When "disease" appears, something is impeding one or more of these flow systems. This forces compensation factors to be enacted affecting the bodies natural pathways. When energy flow redirection goes beyond the ability to compensate comfortably, symptoms appear (stress). This creates a deficiency of electrons in localized tissues which can reduce nerve functioning, blood flow and lymphatic drainage. If we restore the electron potential to the deficient area we have the possibility of restoring system flow, thereby undoing compensation factors; symptoms. Light therapy gives us the ability to shift the electron potential in the tissues through the photoelectric effect, or photobiostimulation. Thank you for your time and interest in a powerful tool to benefit all beings-this works on humans and animals alike!
JW: Thank you Wes! I very much admire the fact that in the years I have known you, you never stop studying and researching how best to serve your clients.
For more information about light therapy, contact Jennifer Waters directly at 315.247-8613 or
Click here for more information about Jennifer Waters, LAc, Dipl. Ac.
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