The United Nations International Day of Light, on May 16, commemorates the first successful use of a laser. This year, there is much to celebrate.
Awareness and acceptance of Photobiomodulation (PBM) Therapy have witnessed historic strides over the last twelve months, saving lives and bringing hope to millions.
PBM Therapy is the process where infra-red and near infrared light, when directed at parts of the body with the right intensity, stimulates mitochondria to repair and restore cell function and reduce inflammation. It is a natural process aiding a natural process within our body’s 37 trillion cells.
PBM Therapy’s efficacy is now supported by over 700 Randomized Clinical Trials (RCTs) and 4,000 lab research studies, many published in leading scientific journals, including the Lancet and the British Medical Journal.
During this past year, evidence of PBM Therapy’s viability as a pain treatment option was presented at medical conferences, to the U.S. Congress, and to the White House as a potential solution to the opioid crisis.
PBM Therapy’s use is rapidly expanding in three important medical areas.
On May 9, 2019, Admiral Brett Giroir, Assistant Secretary for Health at the Department of Health and Human Services, opened the Pain Management Best Practices Inter-Agency Task Force meeting by declaring, “We cannot solve America’s Opioid Crisis without solving America’s Pain Crisis”.
A National Institutes of Health (NIH) study estimated that over 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain. This is costing them $600 billion a year in medical treatments. Science Daily and the American Academy of Pain Medicine (AAPM) documented America’s annual costs of chronic pain at $635 billion, including lost productivity. Those turning to opioids and other pain medications, legal and illegal, encounter death and disabilities, adding another $504 billion a year to the cost of pain in America, according the Council of Economic Advisors.
PBM Therapy’s role in effectively managing pain and reducing the need for opioids, is being embraced by an expanding number of policy officials, scientists, and healthcare professionals. The legions of patients whose lives have been saved using light therapy are building the case for adopting this innovative technology.
The Opioid Crisis Response Act (OCRA) was signed into law on October 24, 2018. It mandated the federal government assess using technology solutions to manage pain.
PBM Therapy’s role in treating and preventing the terrible side effects of cancer chemotherapy and stem cell transplants is being officially recognized and accepted. The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center has successfully treated 850 cancer patients to significantly reduce oral mucositis, one of the worst side effects of cancer treatment. Patients who had to suspend cancer treatment to recover their ability to digest food, are now progression free survivors thanks to PBM Therapy. St. Jude’s Children’s Medical Research Hospital is currently implementing PBM Therapy for its pediatric oncology patients.
This June, the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer (MASCC) is officially recommending PBM Therapy as the Standard of Care treatment for side effects relating to high dose chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and stem cell transplants. This is the first international endorsement of PBM Therapy’s effectiveness.
PBM Therapy is becoming the treatment of choice to help America’s veterans.
PBM Therapy is successfully helping Veterans at the Boston Veterans Healthcare System. The ground breaking work of Dr. Marnie Naeser, has documented PBM Therapy’s effectiveness in treating Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), Post Traumatic Stress (PTS), and Parkinson’s Disease.
Based upon the results in Boston, the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center in Chicago, and the Martinsburg VA Medical Center in West Virginia, are implementing similar programs for treating pain, reducing opioid use, and treating neurological conditions. They, and other Veterans’ Medical Centers, are assessing PBM Therapy for improving wound healing.
On April 24, 2019, the television show “Seal Team” featured a veteran suffering from combat-related Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) asking a Veteran’s Hospital doctor about using “Photobiomodulation” to treat his condition. This was PBM’s first popular culture reference.
PBM Therapy is starting to move beyond the early-adopter circles of medical research to become an evidence-based treatment option for mainstream healthcare providers. The coming years promise further dramatic advances in research and acceptance.
The Day of Light is heralding the Age of Light.