Star Trek fans are far ahead of most in understanding how the future could operate with Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT). A hand held device is used by doctors of the USS Enterprise to diagnose patients and to treat them without discomfort. That day is not so far in the future anymore. Laser light treatment is a reality now in the United States. Europeans have had the technology for more than 30 years and have written hundreds of professional papers on its use.
The hand held laser light or the free standing laser light has been approved by the FDA for use in the medical field. It has just become popular since the price has become more affordable to most doctors in private practice. The red light emitted from the laser does not burn the skin because the duration and settings for the treatment are safely determined through research. There is no pain caused by low level light therapy.
LLLT has been in use for three or more decades in Europe. The treatment is also called “cold therapy” because no heat is felt on the skin during the process. FDA in the U. S. Approved the LLLT devices in 2001 and 2002. Some were hand held while others were free standing.
A very exciting development for LLLT is its use to stimulate blood flow in the scalp which allow hair follicles to be restored and grow again. The FDA recognizes the success for hair regrowth due to the loss of hair from male pattern baldness. A comb which is hand held can emit LLLT for clients to use at home. The doctor can also do the treatment in office and either way, the gentlemen see results in 6 to 12 months.
Many medical conditions can be improved by LLLT especially if the original therapies required strong medication. The podiatrist uses light treatment successfully to heal toe nail fungus. Varicose veins can be easily remedied with a treatment called endovenous therapy. Dermatologists have found light therapy useful for acne, rosacea and others.
Veterinarians have come to recognize the benefits of LLLT on animals. Horses were the first animals to receive the therapy and vets have been trying the treatment on their dogs and cats with great success. There is no pain for the pet, just relief after the treatment.
Research continues to be done in every logical place healing is needed. LLLT is currently used in acupuncture instead of needles. Today researchers want to collect more empirical proof to back up the healing properties of light treatment. Research is hopeful to prove benefits to the musculoskeletal system, wound healing, and a real catalyst to decrease inflammation.
In conclusion, the success of LLLT is based on the right measure of time and power used on the patient. The future will see a growing use of low level laser therapies in many situations to heal patients as if we were in a science fiction movie. In fact, perhaps it will be much like the sick bay in Star Trek Enterprise with hand held devices and standing equipment used to emit something like laser light to complete the healing of their infirmed crew members.
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