Additional History and Uses of Light Therapy

Ancient Times

For some time, it has been known that light can affect the growth and metabolism of organisms, (i.e. simple unicellular microorganisms and multi-cellular plants and mammals) and offers a variety of beneficial therapeutic effects. The use of sunlight in heliotherapy dates to 1400 BC and has been practiced for several centuries in many countries, including ancient Rome, Greece, and Egypt.

Around 1900 AD

1900 AD
A patient is treated for Lupus using Heliotherapy. Approx. 1900

Light therapy transitioned from direct sunlight to the use of filtered sunlight and artificial light sources (I.e. fluorescent tubes and carbon-arc, quartz lamps, etc.). Early applications of light for therapeutic purposes included treatment of skin diseases, ulcers, syphilis, lupus, pellagra, wound healing, and tuberculosis.

NASA Space Technology Shines Light on Healing
(Release December 18, 2000)


“Dr. Whelan’s NASA-funded research has already seen remarkable results using the light-emitting diodes to promote healing of painful mouth ulcers caused by cancer therapies such as radiation and chemotherapy. The treatment is quick and painless.”

“The red light penetrates to the inside of the mouth, where it seems to promote wound healing and prevent further sores in the patient’s mouth.”

“They reported a 40 percent improvement in patients who had musculoskeletal training injuries treated with the light-emitting diodes.”

Current Studies and Uses of LED Light Therapy

Current Study
Plants grown on the Internatioanl Space Station

NASA, through the space program, prompted renewed interest in light therapy. Due to the lack of gravity that keeps cells from growing naturally in outer space, NASA used LEDs to enhance the growth of plant tissue. The plants grew, and – by coincidence – numerous zero-gravity induced symptoms found in the astronauts (i.e. loss of bone mass, atrophied muscles, unhealed wounds, etc.) were also reduced.

“NASA scientists have found that cells exposed to near-infrared light from LEDs, which is energy just outside the visible range, grow 150 to 200 percent faster than cells not stimulated by such light. The light arrays increase energy (ATP and nitric oxide) that speed up the healing process.” – NASA Press Release on LED Technology

“In addition to NASA, this technology has been used by both physicians and Navy Seals for muscle regeneration and the healing of wounds. The Navy Seals’ program found the return-to-service rate was 41% faster with LED light therapy. Additionally, many institutions such as John Hopkins, Stanford, and the Mayo Clinic have studied and used LEDs for various healing benefits.” – NASA Press Release on LED Technology

The Significant of Nitric Oxide on LED Light Therapy

Robert Furchgott
Robert Furchgott
Louis Ignarro
Louis Ignarro
Ferid Murad
Ferid Murad

Nitric oxide was named “Molecule of the Year” in 1992 by the journal ‘Science’ (aka Science Magazine), but it took another 6 years for those responsible for this major discovery to win the Nobel Peace Prize. Three US scientists – Robert Furchgott, PhD, Louis Ignarro, PhD., and Ferid Murad, MD – received the 1998 Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine.

Their research concluded that infrared photo energy stimulates nitric oxide from the hemoglobin and possibly from the surrounding tissue. Nitric oxide is a signaling molecule that is known to relax smooth muscle cells found in the arteries, veins, capillaries, and lymph vessels. When these muscles relax, they dilate blood vessels, thus allowing increased circulation. Nitric oxide has also been shown to be essential for wound healing, even if chronic or traumatic.

Nitric oxide is a chemical involved in many normal body functions and disease processes. Besides being a strong dilator of the blood vessels (which allows an increased blood flow), it is known to promote immune system function and wound healing. It is particularly useful because it is difficult for bacteria to develop resistance against it. Nitric oxide attacks a range of targets in bacteria, including DNA, cell wall lipids, proteins and enzymes. In order for bacteria to develop resistance, it would have to change at each of those attack sites.

“LED light therapy provides infrared photo energy to help facilitate the many benefits described above and many others.” – Drs. Furchgott, Ignarro, Murad and Burke

Make Your Own History with LED Light Therapy

The historical documentation is amazingly clear and resoundingly obvious: Photo-Bio-Modulation works. Start making your own history – Contact Quantum Light Academy today and let us know how we can help.