COVID & How Light Therapy Can Help
This week I want to open up more in the conversation about COVID and light therapy. Many of you are exhausted with the paths that we’ve had to walk over the last two years with shutdowns, masks, quarantines, and the economic consequences of those actions. Many of us just want to reconnect with loved ones and get into the stable rhythms of life.
Like many of you, I’m in a place where I want to move past COVID and take on my life. Part of accomplishing that means healing from COVID and pushing through the remaining symptoms.
For those of you who are still worried with the continued surges of COVID (Omicron subvarients specifically) I want to share what I know with you that’s relevant to how light therapy can serve you in this space.
So what are the current COVID Symptoms?
Possible symptoms include (Article 4):
Fever or chills
Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
Muscle or body aches
New loss of taste or smell
Congestion or runny nose
Nausea or vomiting
What long-term impacts can COVID have?
Loss of Taste and Smell
Loss of Grey Matter in the Brain (Here’s an article if you want to learn more.)
One of the incredible things that happened during COVID and the shutdown of access to hospitals and medications was that many people had to find new ways and methods of taking care of their families. In this case, there was actually a rise in people using modalities like light therapy within their own homes. Essentially giving the power back to the people.
In fact, “the use of home light therapy was significantly increased after the COVID‐19 pandemic from 21.6% to 29.4%” of people. (Article 2) That’s crazy!
I’ve worked with many people to help them recover from COVID and take care of family members who were at risk and needed their full health.
For you, you’ll likely want to know why light therapy is effective.
What does the science say?
We’ll start here, these are the typical treatment focuses with COVID:
Preventing virus entrance or fusion to the host cell
Preventing replication of the virus’s RNA in the host cell
Boosting the host immune system (Light Therapy targets this).
Suppression of the severe inflammatory reaction in the lungs (Light Therapy targets this).
There has been a lot of research into COVID and potential treatments for it. Below I’ve included some important tid-bits of information on how light therapy helps with COVID. You can reference the articles below if you want to dive even deeper!
“Intriguingly, during the COVID‐19 pandemic, home light therapy could slow down the spreading of vitiligo and reduce symptoms of anxiety and stress.” (Article 2.)
“Because COVID-19 involves a “cytokine storm”, PBM (photobiomodulation, aka light therapy) delivered to the torso (chest and back) might not only allow some light to reach the lungs but might also reduce the systemic inflammation responsible for COVID-19 sepsis-like syndrome and disseminated intravascular coagulation that can be deadly. Moreover, PBM is more effective on hypoxic cells, suggesting it could be effective for COVID-19 infection, which seems to be characterized by severe hypoxia.” (Article 3.)
“Potential of light-based technologies to prevent COVID-19 infection and control its dissemination by direct viral inactivation and to treat COVID-19 by modulating the host immune system.” (Article 3.)
“One such potential treatment is photobiomodulation (PBM), also known as low-level laser therapy (LLLT). PBM is an alternative modality for local management of increased inflammation, which has been used from 50 years ago. It has shown promising results in reducing acute pulmonary inflammation, as they have a high potential for the local balance of immune responses.” (Article 1.)
“Accordingly, antimicrobial blue light has been explored in the treatment of infectious diseases and as a disinfection adjuvant in healthcare settings.” (Article 3.)
“Photobiomodulation (PBM) employs low levels of red or near-infrared (NIR) light to treat and heal wounds and injuries, reduce pain and inflammation, regenerate damaged tissue, and protect tissue at risk of dying. Instead of directly targeting viruses, PBM mainly acts on the host cells, which absorb light in the red and near-infrared spectral region “ (Article 3.)
There are so many beautiful things going on in the world and I want us all to reconnect with what brings us joy and hope. Keep taking care of yourself and focus on living your life well!
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Here are the articles I've referenced above:
Article 1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33241526/
Article 2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8242639/
Article 3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7435279/
Article 4. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html
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