How Does Infrared Light Therapy Work?

Pressure Sore at 13 Weeks

After 3 Weeks of Treatment – 10 minutes, twice a week

After 6 Weeks of Treatment – 10 minutes, twice a week

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coherent photons, which are particles of electromagnetic energy, are emitted from an infrared cold laser (also referred to as low level laser, soft laser or therapeutic laser). These particles enter the tissues and are absorbed in the mitochondria – which are tiny structures within the substance of each individual cell. The energy is converted to chemical energy within the cell.

The permeability of the cell membrane then changes, which in turn produces various physiological effects. These physiological changes affect a variety of cell types including macrophages, fibroblasts, endothelial cells and mast cells, resulting in wound healing, pain relief, reduced inflammation, drainage, etc.

When comparing lasers, two measurements are key. The first is the wavelength, which determines the color of the light and is measured in nanometers (nm). The second classification is the power of the laser, which is measured in milliwatts (mW). A laser of 500 mW or less is classified as a Category 3, cold laser. This means there is no danger of burning the skin or tissues, or causing damage from overheating. Lasers that are stronger than 500 mW are classified as Category 4 lasers and these should only be used by professionals, or in conjunction with a device that monitors the temperature of the tissue during exposure.

Another defining characteristic of laser light is that it is coherent light. This means that if you shine the light against the wall and then you back up farther and farther away, the laser point will stay the same size. If you happen to have a laser pen that is just an LED, then as you back away the light will fan out – this is the quick way to tell the difference between the two.

Simple colored laser lights have an affinity for the same color. For example, if you set up a green balloon that has a red balloon inflated inside it, and then you shine a red laser light on the balloons, the red balloon inside will pop, but the green one will stay intact. This is because the red laser has an affinity for the red balloon only.

However, infrared lasers are “colorblind” so they will penetrate deeply into tissue. An infrared laser light needs to be a minimum of 650 nm and 5 mW – at this strength it will penetrate almost half an inch into the skin. So if you have a shallow wound or an abscess, this strength is probably sufficient and infrared laser pen lights of this strength can be purchased fairly inexpensively.

After 6 Weeks of Vetrolaser Use

After 6 Weeks of Vetrolaser Use

If you have a deeper wound or a fistula, then you may want to invest in an infrared laser that can penetrate deeper into the tissue. Unfortunately, these infrared lasers can be very expensive. The ones I found ranged from $1,200 – $13,000. How many people suffering from fistulas are likely to be able to afford that? So I went “outside the box” and I found an infrared laser – called the Vetrolaser II – that is sold for animal-use, for only $525. This is exactly the same quality, technology and strength of the expensive human-use lasers. It has three 808 nm diodes (lasers) in one unit, at a strength of 200 mW. Thus it can penetrate two inches when used on Caucasian skin (darker skin results in less penetration).

To sell or advertise a laser for human use, you have to submit it to the FDA and get approval – this is possibly the cause of the high price tag on human-use lasers. But if you specify that it is for animal use only, then you can avoid the FDA process.

I spoke with Dr. Daniel Kamen D.C, who sells this “veterinary laser” and he said that the ideal way to use the laser (to get the fastest results) is to put the laser directly in contact with dry skin. However, if the skin is wet, or the wound is open, then you need to hold it off the skin to avoid wetting the laser, but hold it as close as you can.

It’s worthwhile to note Amy Spiegel’s article about healing her son’s peri-anal abscess: She used an infrared laser pen light and the healing took six months when used for 1-2 minutes per day. We couldn’t get any information about the wavelength and power of the laser she used. But I did find a photo that looked just like it and the seller said that whilst the laser was 635 nm, it was less than 5 mW in power. So this is perhaps why her son’s abscess took so long to heal.

Interestingly the infrared laser pad Amy’s son is using now (for maintenance) contains 50 diodes (infrared lights) of 880 nm and 100mW for each diode – which a lot stronger than the pen light used to heal the fistula (and, at $844, is a lot more expensive).

Below are some places to purchase therapeutic-quality lasers at the cheapest prices I could find. And, as per usual, if you try this therapy, please let me know how it worked in the COMMENTS section below.

Infrared Laser Sources

Red Laser Pen (635 nm, 5 mW, 1/2″ penetration) – has a button you need to press and hold down, which personally I don’t recommend as it gets very tiring. However, if price is an issue, then this is a good option at $69.95 since it also includes a case and about 14 disposable tips in varying sizes. Good red laser pen of same strength as the professional one – just with less attachments and does not have an on/off switch that stays in position – must be held down continuously.

Doctors Red Laser (635 nm, 5 mW, 1/2″ penetration) – has on/off switch and comes with a wide variety of tips, both straight and angled (for dental applications) and a padded travel case. Useful for treating thinning or receding gums or gingivitis. This professional red laser is a good deal for $149

Blue Laser (450 nm, 5 mW) – has on/off switch and comes with a wide variety of tips, both straight and angled (for dental applications) and a padded travel case for $219. Tips can be interchanged with the Doctors Red Laser as using the two lasers in combination can work well for stubborn cases. The Blue Laser has been documented to help the body’s defenses eliminate bacteria or other infections. (With a photochemical effect). For this reason, if your fistula has a lot of infection, this blue laser may work better than the red ones.  It is also better for treating (softening, dissolving) scar tissue. Good for oral treatment of gingivalis. This company used to carry a Violet Laser, but switched to this blue one because, “At the cellular level it stimulates the cytrochomes. Most effective for Propionibacterium Acne and most skin conditions. This wavelength has a broader spectrum for killing bacteria than violet.”

These three lasers are all sold by Dr. John Schimmel – who specializes in acupuncture applications. However, he has 30 years experience and countless seminars on laser therapy under his belt, so is very informative to speak with on many applications/problems. You can contact him via his site, or phone 719-201-8581

Vetrolaser II – Triple Diode Infrared Laser (3 x 808 nm, 200 mW, 2″ penetration)

This is the “veterinary-use” laser I wrote about above and it currently retails for $525.

Tel: 1-800-742-8433 and Dr. Kamen can answer any questions you might have.

Infrared Laser Pad (8 rows of 660 nm, 7 rows of 880 nm)- I recently found this very reasonably priced laser pad on Amazon, but it doesn’t list the mW. Still, since it is at 660 nm and 800 nm, it can do the job and would likely be more powerful than the laser pens:

NOTE: This article is part 3 of a 3-part series, which together give you the FULL instructions on how to heal a fistula or perianal abscess. So make sure you read EACH post to get the full instructions:

1. Natural Remedy for Perianal Abscess and Fistula
2. How to Use Infrared Lasers to Speed Healing of Fistulas – this post above
3. Amy’s story: How She Used Jini’s Natural Remedy and Infrared Lasers to Heal Her Son’s Perianal Abscess

Click here if you have a rectovaginal fistula for specific instructions for this condition.

If you still need additional guidance, then consider booking with a doctor familiar with my protocols to help you.

35 Comments

35 thoughts on “How Does Infrared Light Therapy Work?

  1. This sounds really exciting for Steven, who has had his abscess for at least 5 years, and another for a couple of years.
    The Vetrolaser website mentions the safety glasses which are also expensive. Do you think this is essential. I guess we need to protect our eyes!
    Thanks for staying at the forefront Jini!
    Cheers,
    Penny



  2. People keep recommending another light therapy which is not laser. Have you heard of that and is it any good?
    Best wishes,
    Penny



  3. Hi Jini. After reading this article, I purchased the vetrolaser to help heal my fistula. I’m wondering what you think would be the best treatment to apply to the skin prior to using the laser. Amy used ITIRES ointment and Notatum drops but I’ve also read where you have recommended DMSO and Oil of Oregano. Any suggestion would be helpful. Thanks!



  4. Amy was also using the wild oregano oil. So I’m thinking you could start with that (start with 6:1 dilution and make it stronger if you can tolerate it). If that’s not working well enough, then you could add some 70% DMSO to the mixture. And in that case, I would be prepared to follow treatment with aloe vera if necessary – the fresh plant is the best – just cut off a small piece from the end of a leaf, split it open with a knife and apply directly (say thank you to the plant for sharing its healing) in case the DMSO leads to skin irritation. Oy vey, I’m not supposed to be “giving advice” over the blog, but what can we do?



  5. Thanks Jini! I really appreciate the advice. I will post my results here when I have some.



  6. Does anybody know of any doctors treating fistulas or peri-anal
    Abscess with laser.



  7. i would love to know as well if there are any doctors that are willing to treat with the laser. Jini, do you have any info on that?
    I have a perianal fistula with a drainage seton in place.



  8. Nice post!!!!! Thanks a lot. I am very greatful to you for posting the whole working of the infrared light therapy. I suggest my students to use this therapy in lab as they are working on the body skin of animals.



  9. What info can you share about infrared and scar tissue? We take our daughter to a Dr. who uses infrared light as well as other treatments but sometimes only infrared. It can take weeks/months to get an appointment. I do other therapies at home and believe the infrared and/or accupunture helps her the most . I would like to purchase and infrared tool, but not sure which would be the best for a small child with over half her back with scar tissue.



  10. Well, I am certainly no expert in this field, but from what I’ve seen, it looks like the violet laser is better for breaking down scar tissue than the infrared. However, have you looked into DMSO for treating scar tissue? It was first used in the 60′s with burn patients. Then the FDA got involved and banned it for everything but interstitial cystitis (for which a drug co. owns the patent of course) – so this amazing substance got sidelined.

    Go over to the Tahoma Clinic blog and read Dr. Wright’s stuff on DMSO – he also sells a great book about it on his site by Norman Walker. We have seen some good results using DMSO for scar tissue thus far and I’m also experimenting mixing DMSO gel with pure aloe vera gel – easier on the skin (less itchy, less rash on sensitive types, etc.). Good luck and please post here again with your trials and results…



  11. hi jini. . i know this post is old. . . hopefully you get this. . . thank you for the info here. . . ive been doing a lot of research in the past couple days as to the viability of laser therapies to potentially aid in healing cartilage. . . my injured meniscus in particular. . . . . . ive been reading about NeHe lasers and GaA / GaA1A lasers. . . with varying powers measured in nm’s . . . . . .

    ive found this site which sells all sorts of lasers. . none of which are promoted for healing purposes but have very detailed specifics as to nm’s and mW’s http://www.armlaser.com/ . . . . and they have some very good prices. . . im curious about acquiring something in the 900nm / 300-500mW range. . . .

    do you know if the numbers of potency in regards to lasers are equally beneficial when using different types such as NeHe / GaA / GaA1A / solid state?. .

    ive emailed the company to see what they actually use as the site does not say. . .

    anyhow. . . any info is helpful. . . thx so much. . . .

    just



  12. JUSTIN – Whew, you’ve gone beyond my knowledge with this one! Best would be to phone both of the docs (their phone numbers are listed in the blog post) and ask them these exact same questions. I suggest asking both since then you can compare answers and possibly glean the best info.

    Please let us know what you find out!



  13. Hi. Has anyone ever used the vetrolaser for healing disc herniations? I’m currently seeing a massage therapist who is treating me with the TerraQuant Pro but its getting pricey to see him twice a week and his model sells for $3995. My son also suffers from muscle spasms (upper back) and acne and thought if the vetrolaser worked it would be a god send for us both.

    Thanks!



  14. Pingback: A New Treatment for Fistulas and Peri-Anal Abscess | Listen To Your Gut

  15. Pingback: Perianal Abscess – Natural Treatment | Listen To Your Gut

  16. Pingback: Natural Remedy for Fistulas and Perianal Abscess | Listen To Your Gut

  17. Hello,

    Would a laser which is mounted on a gun for aiming have the same effect, since it has a distance of 2000m. There are red and green. Any feedback on this? I was planning on putting in close to the skin to loosen fibrous tissue.



  18. Hi,
    What about the photon laser used in the beauty industry(facials etc). Are they strong enough to use?



  19. Opennes – to find out if a laser is strong enough and/or safe, you need to find out the nanometers and milliwatts of the laser and do NOT use a laser that is above 500mW.

    To have a healing effect, the laser has to be at least 635 nm, 5 mW.



  20. Hello

    Does this mean that the power(mW) is not as important as the wavelength(nm). Love your article BTW. I saw a scalar wave product on the market. But its too expensive(3k). Later I tried contacting Thor. Bad customer service.



  21. as long as it is 5 mW (which is very low power, think of a lightbulb at 40 or 100 watts) it is powerful enough. See the end of the post again (above) as I have added a link to another laser I found on Amazon that looks very good for a very reasonable price: Infrared Laser Pad (8 rows of 660 nm, 7 rows of 880 nm)



  22. I used to recommend my patients go to Staples for their laser pointer for $25 BUT RECENTLY FOUND A LASER FLASHLIGHT AT NAPA AUTO. I RECOMMEND MY PATIENTS BUY TWO TO CUT TREATMENT TIME IN HALF, 2MIN PER POINT.



  23. I have found violet lasers which are much more high powered than the one you reccomend, and they are only $50 – $80. How can this be? They certainly dont look as nice as the one you reccomended, they look like very simple pointer pens without the different heads, but essentially, It is the power of the laser we should be paying for? I really need some help as i desperatly need to do some laser therapy on a reoccuring abscess.



  24. Rachael – just follow the guidelines and the links to reputable sellers in the article above.



  25. Hi,

    I’m experimenting with the Doctors red laser and am thinking of trying the Violet laser too as I work on healing a perianal fistula. I see that Amy was using hers for 1-2 min per night and that it was less powerful than the Doctors red laser. I see that the pressure sore at the start of this article was treated for 10 min 2x per week with a laser of unspecified power. The instructions that come with the Doctors red laser say treatment should last 1-3 min.

    Any idea what a maximum safe dose/frequency of treatment might be for the Doctors Red laser and/or the violet laser? I see that it falls within the Category 3 “cold” type of laser and is at no danger of burning or overheating the skin. Does that mean that there is no safe maximum exposure limit? You can just use it as much as you want?

    Sincerely,

    Garth



  26. Hi Garth, I used the exact same Doctors red laser to treat a tear in my gum tissue and I used it for 10-15 minutes, once per day.

    I have no idea what the upper limit would be… let us know your experiments/results! And stay connected to your gut intuition.



  27. Thanks Jini!,

    So far I’ve used the laser on 4 spots in the fistula/abcess area at 3 minutes each in combination with your oil of oregano/olive oil protocol and an oral homeopathic remedy. Yesterday I performed my infrared routine three times and there are no noticeable negative effects today. Hopefully, it’ll help heal this fistula. It seems a little better today but it’s too early to be sure. I’ve had it for 2 years and it flared rather badly recently. I’ll let you know what happens. Thanks for your feedback.

    Sincerely,

    Garth



  28. Hi Jini,

    I found some additional information on the infrared laser pad from Light Therapy Essentials’ website (http://www.lighttherapyessentials.com):

    “This LED array is set up so you can operate
    the red and infrared leds separately or together.
    You can select which ones you want to use with the two switches.
    It has 120 LEDs – 8 rows of 8 LEDs each of the 660 red, and 7 rows of 8 LEDs of the 880 infrared. The 64 Red 660nm LEDs put out 4000 mcd each
    The 56 Infrared 880nm LEDs put out about 6.4 mw each
    Comes with a 12 volt power supply.”



  29. I am perusing your site for the first time and just bought your ebook and look forward to reading it. I have Crohn’s and an anal fistula. No sign of Crohn’s on an ultrasound a week ago (yay) but the fistula just closed up and became a painful abscess. Had to go to the ER, after waiting for about 10 painful days for it to drain on its own. No go, despite plentiful sitz baths. They don’t know why they close up. One thing that jumped out at me from the comments was that some of the people mentioned getting these nasty fistulas after having a colonoscopy. I did a little research and others on the internet are wondering about this connection, since they didn’t have one before a colonoscopy. Wonder if there is a connection. It wouldn’t surprise me at all. Of course, this would be denied by the medical community. Sadly, there is big money in colonoscopies.



  30. hello Jini i want to now what kind off protocol , routine is the best for fistula in case off vetro laser im alraedy on wild oregano protocol and just got the laser



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