Brain Function

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How Does Light Therapy Positively Affect My Brain?

Light therapy or PBM (photobiomodulation) goes far beyond healing the skin and muscles. Our brains and cognitive function can both be significantly influenced by light waves. If PBM can have anti-aging effects on our skin, then why not on our minds too? Science tells us that certain light waves are powerful enough to penetrate through our skulls and directly affect the cells of our brain, on a molecular and cognitive level.

How Does this Benefit my Overall Health?

In most cases, the common link between a number of brain disorders is poor cerebrovascular perfusion. Without good circulation throughout the brain, we can face problems such as stroke, cognitive impairment, and just an overall decline in cognitive function.

Science suggests that light therapy can help those who suffer from cognitive impairment (Age-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s, dementia, or injury related), as well as those with no existing neurological deficits. Certain light waves can promote neuroregeneration as well as enhance an individual’s cognitive abilities, such as their memory.

PBM does this through a number of microscopic processes. Our brains rely heavily on oxygen and mitochondria to keep things running smoothly. Just like with our muscles and skin, the light waves promote improved blood flow and help to enhance mitochondrial function. PBM can accomplish this feat by helping to dilate the blood vessels in our brain, thus improving blood flow to the area.

This is done so readily because the light waves have a tendency to increase nitric oxide content in the area exposed to the light. Nitric oxide is a molecule that exists naturally in our bodies and helps to dilate our vessels to allow for better blood flow.

How Often Should I Use Red Light Therapy?

3-7 times per week is sufficient

What Science is Telling Us

“There is some evidence that all these seemingly diverse conditions can be beneficially affected by applying light to the head. There is even the possibility that PBM could be used for cognitive enhancement in normal healthy people.” Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5066074/

 

Hamblin M. R. (2016). Shining light on the head: Photobiomodulation for brain disorders. BBA clinical, 6, 113–124. Source: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbacli.2016.09.002

 

“The NO that is released by photodissociation acts as a vasodilator as well as a dilator of lymphatic flow.”

 

Hamblin M. R. (2016). Shining light on the head: Photobiomodulation for brain disorders. BBA clinical, 6, 113–124. Source: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbacli.2016.09.002

 

“Animal studies of low-level infrared light therapy (LLLT) have shown demonstrable neuroregeneration and repair.” Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4870908/