1870 - Edison and Electricity
Dinshah practiced as a physician in India and was familiar with the color therapy work of Dr. Edwin D. Babbitt and Dr. Seth Pancoast. In 1897, Dinshah dedicated his life to color healing after allegedly preventing the death of a young girl who was suffering from colitis by exposing her to light from a kerosene lamp fitted with a blue filter. She was also given milk that had been placed in a blue bottle and exposed to sunlight. In three days the girl was healed. Dinshah then opened Electro-Medical Hall in Surat, India, and began to develop his practice.
Post World War II
After World War II the use of antibiotics became prevalent and the pharmaceutical industry gained influence and power. The science-boosting competition of the cold war combined with increased understanding of biology and chemistry and the implementation of Ford’s assembly line methods enabled mass production of drugs and produced a ‘golden age’ of drug development during the post-war boom. Drug regulation demanding proof of efficacy and disclosure of side-effects for new medications increased in the early 60s after pregnant women were given thalidomide, resulting in babies born with severe deformities and thousands of infant deaths.
The American Medical Association determined the standards by which medical treatments were judged and the age of the ‘clinical trial’ arrived. Treatments that could not be supported by ‘scientific fact’ were immediately suspect and fields such as homeopathy, naturopathy, and light therapy were rejected as fraudulent..
1960’s - Discovery of Photobiomodulation
Laser light therapy was discovered by accident in 1967 by Endre Mester. Mester was trying to use a laser to cure tumors in rats however, his laser didn’t have enough power and instead of curing the rats with his low-power beam, he observed increased hair growth and improved wound healing. While not the results he was hoping for, it moved the study of photobiomodulation forward.
During the 1960s, new lighting technology sparked fresh interest in light therapies. With the advent of LED lighting and its ability to produce potent-specific wavelengths of light, new treatments were developed and researched to treat specific areas of the body, including soft tissues and skin.: 5
1970's and 80’s
In the 1980s, great advances in technology brought this therapy to the forefront of the field. Unlike UV light and blue light therapies that do not penetrate deep into the body, red and near-infrared light therapy can penetrate as deep as two inches. This is what separates red and infrared light therapy from other variations of light therapy – it’s the ability to affect a variety of layers of the body.
Fritz Hollwich discovered significantly increased levels of stress hormones in people working under artificial ‘cool-white’ fluorescent tubes. To further his findings, ‘cool-white’ fluorescent tubes are now banned in German medical establishments.
Harry Wohlfarth validated Hollwich’s findings and examined the effects of different lighting colors on classroom performance.
Laser-based light therapy was used in many clinical and experimental settings which led to non-invasive treatment of illnesses
In the 1990s, NASA conducted a series of studies to understand how various forms of light promoted growth in plants. After noticing that the researchers themselves were experiencing a reaction to light the testing moved to human subjects..
NASA began utilizing light therapy to treat astronauts for common health conditions while in space including bone loss, muscle atrophy and slowed wound healing. NASA scientists discovered that infrared light therapy helped stimulate cellular growth by a rate of 150- 200%. The studies concluded that infrared light expedites certain energy production processes in cells that involve ATP and nitric oxide.6
NASA’s research of this healing technology has prompted ongoing analysis from other research institutions including John Hopkins University, Stanford University and the Mayo Clinic.
LED Advances allow for changes in power and wavelength specifics. A study performed by the Navy Seals found that LED red light therapy increased recovery rates in participants by 41 percent.7
Robert Furchgott Ph.D., Louis Ignarro, Ph.D. and Ferid Murad, M.D. were awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine in 1996 for their discoveries concerning nitric oxide as a signaling molecule in the cardiovascular system.
In 1996, Michael J. Conlan, along with other contributors, published an interesting review on studies that conducted biostimulation for wound healing with near-infrared lasers.
- Ari Whitten. “The Ultimate Guide to Red Light Therapy.” 2018.
- F. Ellinger. Medical Radiation Biology. Springfield, 1957.
- Edwin D. Babbitt. Principles of Light and Color. 1878.
- “The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1903”. Nobelprize.org. Nobel Media AB. 2016-11-01.
- Won-Serk Kim and R Glen Calderhead. “Is light-emitting diode phototherapy (LED-LLLT) really effective?” Laser Ther. 2011; 20(3): 205–215.
- Pok Kee Min, MD PhD and Boncheol Leo Goo. “830 nm light-emitting diode low level light therapy (LED-LLLT) enhances wound healing: a preliminary study.” Laser Ther. 2013; 22(1): 43–49.
- Harry Whelan, et al. “Effect of NASA Light-Emitting Diode Irradiation on Wound Healing.” Journal of Clinical Laser Medicine & Surgery 19(6):305-14 · January 2002.
- Jacquelyn Cafasso. “Red Light Therapy Benefits.” Healthline. May 11, 2018.
Ghadiali Section References:
- Pater Havasi, “Dinshah P. Ghadiali, Harry Oldfield” Education of Cancer Healing Vol. IX – The Best Of (Electronically published on Lulu, 2012), 38.
- Weird NJ: Spectro-Chrome Therapy. May 10, 2015. Viewed at App.com website.
- Anon. 1954, pp. 1169-1170.
- Vázquez & Hanslmeier 2006, p. 189.
- Billings 1957, pp. 52-53.
- Anon. 1915, p. 1604.
- Hobday 1997, pp. 455-472.
- Alpert 2010, pp. 291-292.