Have you heard of photobiomodulation?
Photo (light) + bio (life) + modulation (regulation or adjustment) is a popular modality because it really is a marvel. Basically, it’s a fancy way to say light therapy. There are a number of different ways to use illumination to effect healthy change. For example, LED (light-emitting diode) therapy can be exceptional for pain relief, injury healing, aesthetic treatments, and more. Did you know that light therapy can be part of a weight management protocol? Either as a stand-alone treatment or when combined with Chinese medicine modalities, LED therapy is wondrous.
You may have heard about LED treatments or seen Instagram influencers with their at-home masks. LED for beauty treatment is becoming more and more common because it is a relatively safer and non-invasive modality when compared to lasers or peels. It takes more than one treatment, but LED light can improve the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, age spots, sun damage, and/or dull skin. This is why LED therapy is often used by estheticians and dermatologists to support vibrant, healthy skin.
Acupuncturists, especially those of us who offer cosmetic treatments, use LED lamps for the same reasons with our patients. As part of a comprehensive program, we can boost collagen production, soften fine lines, and beautify skin. We also can reduce inflammation and ameliorate the suffering caused by acne and rosacea. When combined with other modalities of Chinese medicine, from acupuncture to jade instruments, LED therapy can be like magic for skin.
Do you want to learn more? Take a look at my blog post, “Skin Problems: From Acne to Aging (and Lot in Between), What Can You Do?” and “Jade Instruments And Ancient Traditions: Chinese Beauty Treatments That You Will Love” to discover the marvels of Chinese medicine for beauty and wellbeing. Now imagine how well these work with the addition of LED light therapy? So good!
Whether it’s a micro-needling treatment or a classical acupuncture for beauty and health, my patients love the LED therapy that is part of their experience on my treatment tables.
(If you have not ever considered LED light therapy and want to learn more about it, there are a number of online resources that provide a good basic outline of its uses and benefits from the perspective of Western medicine. Here’s one: “What is LED Light Therapy for Skin?“).
In earlier manifestations, NASA scientists looked at how LED light supported cell health, prevented bone loss, and promoted wound healing in astronauts, as you can see in in this article, “NASA Research Illuminates Medical Uses of Light.” A functional approach can be when you get an LED treatment as part of physical therapy or you work with a sports medicine practitioner. Maybe you’ve heard of people using red LED therapy for arthritis or other assorted aches and pains. More and more, chiropractors, PTs, and others who support active and movement-based wellbeing make use of this modality. Chinese medicine practitioners are no different.
How do I use LED therapy as part of a Chinese medicine treatment in my office? As my patients know, the winning strategy with LED light therapy relies on synchronicity with other modalities. What happens when we combine acupuncture treatment with light? Or add it to manual therapies, such as cupping or gua sha or tui na, which is very similar to massage and definitely akin to an acupressure treatment? The light is relaxing and adds to the holistic effects of the acupuncture or other modality. Patients love to snooze while getting their treatments and LED is a marvelous add-on to treatment. (It’s a great stand-alone too).
Just to cite some examples:
Patients with weak or sluggish digestion benefit from LED therapy on their abdomen or low back in conjunction with their acupuncture treatment. This can be especially helpful as part of a healthy weight program too!
A combination of blue and red light combats bacteria and helps to resolve acne. When added to an herbal regimen plus acupuncture, the results can be quite marvelous indeed. Any aesthetic treatment, be it for acne, wrinkles, dull skin, scars, or other issue can be enhanced by LED light therapy.
- Any of my pain or injury recovery patients can testify to the way acupuncture, tui na, heat therapy, and LED can combine into an efficacious and relaxing healing dynamic.
People are often surprised to learn that Chinese medicine is way more than just acupuncture. I wrote a blog post early on for people who are leery of acupuncture needles, “Acupuncture And More (Where to Start With Traditional Chinese Medicine if Needles Make You Nervous)” because I really wanted to get the message out that you do not need to try acupuncture if you’re put off by needles. We have a wide range of exceptional methods to nurture your wellbeing! And yes, all the modalities I describe in this blog post, from cupping to gua sha to tui na, can be enhanced by LED therapy.
Do you want to see about smoothing wrinkles, boosting circulation, and/or nurturing your digestive process? Are you interested in hair growth or pain relief? Would you like to relax in a soothing bath of light? If the answer is yes to any of these questions, then you, dear reader, will love LED light therapy!
Paula Bruno, Ph.D., L.Ac., is a licensed acupuncturist and herbalist, an AOBTA-CP traditional Chinese bodywork therapist, and a wellness educator. She maintains an active and growing practice at her Austin, TX office. Dr. Bruno is also available for distance appointments for wellness consultation or coaching.
In her first career, she was a Spanish professor.
Dr. Bruno’s specialties as a traditional Chinese medicine practitioner include: • Musculoskeletal health (acute or chronic pain relief; Ehlers Danlos syndrome & hypermobility support) • Digestive support, gut health, and weight loss • Aesthetic treatment, including scar revision • Men’s health • General preventative care and immune support for all persons.
When you are ready to discover what traditional medicine plus a vibrant and engaged approach to holistic health can do for you, either contact Dr. Bruno or book an appointment online.
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Note: Material on this web site site is not intended to diagnose, prevent, treat, or cure any disease, illness, or ailment. A TCM practitioner in Texas identifies syndrome patterns but does not diagnose illness. Material on this web site does not purport to identify syndrome patterns.