Photo by Lucas Calado, courtesy of David Martin

Light Therapy Could Save The Planet (From Inflammatory Diseases)

A new facility in Evergreen wants to open its clients' eyes to the power of photobiomodulation.

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When David Martin, an avid ultramarathoner facing an arduous recuperation from surgery, heard about laser therapy—aka photobiomodulation—he thought it sounded like “something out of Star Trek.” Martin isn’t the first to suggest that its supposed pain-relief properties are more science fiction than fact. But a growing body of evidence indicates that the low-wavelength light both stimulates tissue regeneration (read: recovery) and temporarily disables pain receptors. The latter finding has positioned photobiomodulation as a promising nonaddictive treatment for pain; earlier this year, the federal government issued a $2.7 million grant to encourage nurses in West Virginia to promote the therapy as an alternative to opioids. For his part, Martin says the laser eased his postsurgical discomfort, and in June, he and two partners opened a storefront called Light Lounge in Evergreen to help others, well, see the light. Members get 24-hour access to the facility’s three custom-made, full-body photobiomodulation pods. Whether you’re looking to heal or manage pain, Martin suggests two to three sessions, lasting five to 12 minutes each, per week. Most light therapy treatments aren’t covered by insurance yet (they are FSA- and HSA-eligible). Martin, however, contends the $149 monthly fee is a small price to pay for technology that “could save the planet from inflammatory diseases.” Or at least help you recover faster between triathlons.

This article appeared in the 2020 issue of 5280 Health.

Spencer Campbell, Senior Editor

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