Infrared Stimulation (LLLT)
LLLT stands for “Low Level Laser Therapy.” The technology we use does not, however, use lasers but LED lights instead, which are also very effective. We believe this technology is on the verge of having a major impact in many fields of medicine, where it is already used for many purposes, most commonly for pain relief. The application of infrared stimulation to the brain is relatively new, but has already yielded some very exciting preliminary studies showing its effectiveness and safety.
For instance, researchers at Harvard have begun studying it for depression, and the results so far have been very encouraging (Study 1) (Study 2) (Review). It has also been studied for traumatic brain injury (TBI) (Study). Possibly the most startling results of all were recently published, showing significant improvements in cognition in patients with mild and moderate dementia after receiving infrared stimulation (Study).
We use several infrared stimulation devices, one of which was used in the recent dementia study. Like everything we use at NeuroTransformation Center, infrared stimulation is very safe. After all, sunlight contains infrared, so it is something we get exposed to simply by going outside.
Michael Hamblin, from Harvard’s Wellman Center for Photomedicine, is one of the foremost researchers in this area. He is particularly excited by its potential applications for the brain, and its potential synergy with other brain-based approaches like neurofeedback, and has written a summary of why it might be helpful for a wide variety of concerns. If you are interested in this technology, this is well worth a close read (Review).
We think of LLLT as providing the brain with energy that it can use for its own internal processes of healing and growth, not as a medical intervention. For our purposes it seems to work very powerfully in conjunction neurofeedback.