Among the list of conditions for which RLT is effective, there is one that deserves special attention because it is so debilitating and widespread, yet few have even heard of it – inflamm-aging.
Inflammation is one of the major processes your immune system uses to protect you. When your body experiences infection, illness, or injuries, your inflammatory response boosts the production of white blood cells, immune cells, and substances called cytokines that help fight infection.
Designed this way, inflammation works best as an acute (short-term) or first responder form of protection. It is triggered almost instantly, does its job of protecting and/or repairing tissue, then goes back into stand-by mode (much like a paramedic team), while it rebuilds itself to prepare for future attacks on the body.
However, as we age, our immune system gradually weakens for a variety of reasons. This causes the inflammation process to get triggered more frequently and over much longer periods than it was designed to function. So, what was designed to operate acutely (short-term) becomes chronic (long-term).
When the inflammation process is sustained for months, years, or even decades, it now does the opposite of what it was created for – it damages the very body it was designed to protect.
In fact, chronic inflammation is now recognized as a major contributor to most chronic diseases like heart disease, depression, cancer, Alzheimer’s and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
Many gerontologists (scientists who specialize in aging) now use the term “inflamm-aging” 1,2 , a term that was coined to express the idea that the system that controls inflammation may very well control aging and disease. The importance of this finding cannot be overstated.
According to the study, “inflamm-aging is a highly significant risk factor for both morbidity and mortality” (disease and death) in the elderly.
Fortunately, there is good news: RLT is quite effective at treating chronic inflammation. By reducing inflammation, RLT reduces or eliminates inflamm-aging which, in turn, reduces a significant factor for death and disease in us as we age. Bottom line:
RLT is a powerful tool to combat chronic disease.
Studies have even shown that RLT can be as effective as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) 3 for controlling inflammation and pain. (NSAIDs are drugs routinely prescribed for, or purchased over-the-counter by, people in pain.)
Note: In 2005, the FDA warned that the use of NSAIDs can increase the likelihood of heart attack or stroke. In 2015, they took the unusual step of strengthening their warning after new evidence came to light proving NSAIDs were even more dangerous than previously thought. (This warning excludes aspirin which many people take to prevent heart attacks and strokes as aspirin does not pose a danger.)
1 Franceschi C. et. al. (2014). Chronic inflammation (inflammaging) and its potential contribution to age-associated diseases. The Journals of Gerontology. Series A, Biological sciences and medical sciences. Jun (69) Suppl 1: S4-9.
2 Shijjin X. et. al. (2016). An Update on Inflamm-Aging: Mechanisms, Prevention, and Treatment. Journal of Immunology Research.
3 Tomazoni, S.S. (2017). Effects of photobiomodulation therapy and topical non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug on skeletal muscle injury induced by contusion in rats-part 1: morphological and functional aspects. Lasers in Medical Science. Dec;32(9):2111-2120.