Cold Laser Therapy
Dr. Aiello has been using cold laser therapy for 25 years and considers himself an authority in the field after authoring his first book The Conscious Canary: A complete Model of the Biophotonic Communication System in Multicellular Life. During the last 25 years Dr. Aiello has researched developments in the conventional field and incorporated the use of red light laser therapy in many orthopedic treatment protocols. In 2008 he discovered a very unconventional use of the red cold laser for the treatment of allergies. The Allergy Protocol Dr. Aiello developed was based on a homeopathic technique called NAET which Dr. Aiello modified to increase reliability. The proposed mechanism of action of the cold laser in the original NAET protocol is an energetic balancing of the bodies energy with the energy of the allergen. The treatment worked by using a cold red laser stimulus over acupuncture points while the patient had contact with the allergen inside a glass vial. Dr. Aiello for years could not explain how this worked for but it worked and he knew there was much more that could be gained by understanding the root of the mechanism behind this treatment.
Cold lasers emit a single frequency of light within the electromagnetic spectrum. The red frequency of light has been studied extensively with the consensus among researches being it benefits mitochondrial function. For this reason multiple companies are producing red laser units for the orthopedic setting as a healing modality for musculoskeletal conditions. The elephant in the room is none of these units can transmit the red frequency of light deep enough to reach the proposed target of the mitochondria within the muscles. Red light will penetrate just below the epidermis into the dermal layer of skin. Higher intensity cold laser therapy units do not penetrate deeper than lower intensity hand held lasers because penetration depth is wavelength dependent. Shorter wavelength light such as a blue laser penetrates the least amount into the skin while red light which is a longer wavelength will penetrate slightly deeper into the epidermis. The majority of all light within the visible light spectrum is absorbed into the pigment system of the skin or the hemoglobin within red blood cells.
After years of successfully implementing the cold laser in the orthopedic setting and reading countless studies about the anti-inflammatory and healing effects of cold lasers Dr. Aiello understood it must be working by a yet to be understood mechanism. Superficial absorption into the pigment system of the skin must be creating and indirect effect on a biologic system yet to be understood. The Allergy Protocol is also operating within this yet to be understood biologic system. For many years Dr. Aiello believed this illusive system to be the acupuncture meridian system. Dr. Aiello practiced acupuncture in his clinic for twenty two years until one day he made a discovery which was the starting point of a new model which describes the undiscovered system which explains the indirect mechanism of cold laser therapy.
Dr. Aiello was testing the allergy protocol points trying to understand why the combination of points chosen in the original NAET protocol were effective. What he discovered were the points had absolutely no significance related to acupuncture channels. The cold laser can be moved to any location along the nerve dermatome the original points were located. A nerve dermatome is the location which a single spinal sensory nerve innervates the skin. The acupuncture meridians do not follow the nerve dermatome so it was not related to stimulating different acupuncture points on the same channel. The cold laser must be stimulating the sensory nerves.
Dr. Aiello practices functional chiropractic neurology which is based on increasing sensory input to the brain via spinal manipulations. Functional chiropractic neurology believes that restricted motion of spinal joints decreases proprioceptive input to the brain which results in postural muscle weakness on one side of the body. The central evaluation tool for evaluation of his chiropractic patients is based on an assessment of postural muscle tone. Once the side of imbalance is detected spinal manipulations are performed on only one side to increase sensory input to the brain restoring proper postural tone. When a patient has postural muscle imbalance any sensory stimuli from the proper side of the body will have an effect on posture tone. For example if a patient has postural muscle imbalance on the right side of the body a light or sound stimulus from the left side will temporarily reverse the muscle imbalance. If this same patient had restricted spinal joints on the left side of the spine a chiropractic manipulation will restore the motion to the joints making a long term correction to the postural muscle imbalance. The average patient required 3-4 spinal manipulations to restore spinal joint motion which made a long term correction of the postural muscle imbalance.
To test the theory that cold lasers are stimulating sensory nerves Dr. Aiello experimented with cold laser of multiple frequencies on every dermatome and he found a pattern. Each spinal nerve dermatome when stimulated with the proper frequency cold laser had the same neurologic effect but even better than spinal manipulations. When done correctly only one visit was necessary to reverse the postural muscle imbalance. The book Dr. Aiello wrote elaborates how this system works and he proposes a model both anatomically and physiologically how this electromagnetic system within the nervous system functions.
Clinically Dr. Aiello uses multiple frequencies of cold laser therapy as a sensory nerve stimulus to restore normal postural muscle tone. Using this modality properly effectively reverses the root cause of spinal conditions which most chiropractors treat with manipulation alone. By combining spinal manipulations and cold laser nerve stimulus he has found most common conditions causing low back and neck pain can be corrected in 1-2 sessions. Chronic conditions within the muscular system require more sessions of deep tissue massage and dry needling which he provides in the clinic.
All of the cold lasers Dr. Aiello uses are extremely safe. All of his cold lasers used therapeutically are 5 mw or less class III A lasers. The only precaution associated with Class III A cold lasers is prolonged stimulus in the eye, which can cause retinal damage. Class IIIA lasers have no negative interactions with the skin. To put the safety of Class III A lasers in perspective by the time solar radiation in the visible light spectrum hits the skin it as 50 mw intensity. The single frequency of visible light produced by cold lasers interacts with the biologically produced electromagnetic system by a much different mechanism than full spectrum sunlight. The topic of laser interaction with the biologic electromagnetic system is very complex but is detailed in Dr. Aiello's book for those interested in learning more.