Constant knee pain makes it hard to be active, so in mid 2015, I did a lot of sitting and reading. One of the books was Norman Doidge’s The Brain’s Way of Healing.
Chapter 4 covered the effect of red and near infrared light on the brain and spinal cord, and there were some remarkable stories told. In passing, Doidge mentioned the positive effect of red and near infrared light on arthritic joints and damaged tendons.
I went hunting on Google Scholar and found some medical journal articles that Continue reading “The Beginning”
A flowerpot was the inspiration.
It was cut down and turned into a very effective light hat.
It is so good to hear about the increasing population of Eliza light hats, and variations of Eliza light hats.
A number of people have made contact to say that taking on the task of making such a bizarre device was a challenge.
But having started, often with huge trepidation, it was not as difficult as it initially seemed.
The sense of achievement was itself therapeutic. And wearing a DIY Eliza gives enlightenment and amusement.
All power to DIY, eh?
Today I had a lovely email from Vladimir Heiskanen, a young dental student in Finland.
Vladimir has a wide range of interests and his blog has some very good and well-organised information about red lights and photobiomodulation.
Check it out: click here
Photobiomodulation, shortened to PBM, is defined as the use of low level red and near-infrared light on the body. The intention is not to hear or burn the tissues, but to give a bigger dose than you would get from just sitting in the sunshine.
PBM is also called LLLT (low level light/laser therapy).
Reading medical journal articles is like doing battle with a big dictionary. Lots of polysyllabic words, and lots of abbreviations.
Photobiomodulation, shortened to PBM, is defined as the use of low level red and near-infrared light on the body. The intention is not to heat or burn the tissues, but to give a bigger dose than you would get from just sitting in the sunshine.
PBM is also called LLLT (low level light/laser therapy). The very earliest experiments used laser lights, but it has now been realised that LED lights are just as good, and in some ways, better than lasers. Laser light is coherent, meaning that it is in a highly concentrated beam and doesn’t scatter. This is fine if you know exactly where to point it. LED lights are non-coherent, meaning that they happily scatter. When you don’t have a specific target then this is the best approach. As well, there is good evidence that the more that the head is bathed in red/infrared light, the deeper the penetration of the light. So LED lights are increasingly selected for PBM research – it helps that they are cheaper and easier to use.
Red and near-infrared light works in two ways – the direct effect and the indirect effect. In some articles, the term “systemic” is used instead of “indirect”. For those who use Eliza light hats, the indirect or systemic effect is working hard, but there is some direct effect as some of the light will penetrate into the top of the brain tissue.
I’m attaching an article January 2017 called Photobiomodulation and the brain: a new paradigm by Madison Hennessy and Michael Hamblin.
It covers the new research areas in PBM, and gives some interesting summaries of the findings to date.
Yesterday I caught up with one of my mates who uses an Eliza light hat for his Parkinson’s. He told me, with some quiet delight, that his grey hair had been slowly resuming its previous brown colour.
It reminded me of another mate, also using an Eliza for Parkinson’s whose previous bald head is now populated with a triumphant fuzz of hair.
Most Australians would have seen the advertisements starring Shane Warne promoting lasers as the way to rejuvenate hair. Ignore the adverts.
It seems that the hair-growing effect is nothing to do with the laser, and everything to do with the wavelength used in the laser. And of course, you can get the same wavelengths in LEDs. The Very Visible Red wavelengths (630-670nm) are the way to go.
If you have already made your Eliza with nice red LEDs, then daily use might just get that hair regrowing…
Red and near infrared lights are complex. We know only a little, but we do know about the importance of wavelengths, dose and comfort.
I’ve just added a new page – Caution .
Check it out as it collates some of the words of warning from various blog posts.
A few people have asked how long a light hat should be worn.
A previous post about the Goldilocks Effect is really important to read, as it describes the research on the odd effect of too much red light.
More red light is not better – it can make things worse. Neurones are finicky fellows and we must respect this.
So how long should you wear an Eliza light hat, or any kind of red/near infrared light on the head? As everyone’s light hat is different, it is impossible to give absolutely firm advice. But based on what I’ve observed over the time of making many and varied light hats, I’d suggest the following considerations.
This photo is one of many remarkable images produced by neuroscience researchers at the University of Queensland. More.