Light therapy, also known as “phototherapy”, uses a combination of super luminous (visible) and infra-red (invisible) light to treat damage to skin, as well as problems with muscles, tendons, bones and ligaments.
The treatment works by stimulating the blood supply in the area, providing extra oxygen and nutrients to the damaged tissue. It also stimulates the lymphatic system, enabling waste products to be removed more quickly, reducing inflammation.
Light therapy increases the production of collagen, an essential protein in the repair of damaged tissue. Other reported effects of the treatment include stimulating the production of endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers, and increasing the body’s ability to replace damaged cells.
NASA is presently funding research at the Medical College of Wisconsin, USA, into the healing effects of light therapy. It has been reported that “remarkable results” have been seen in both patients and in the laboratory.
What is BioScan?
BioScan is a two-part system that has been designed to:
- Detect areas where there is a problem, without diagnosing what that problem actually is.
- Treat those areas using a combination of light therapy and magnotherapy.
The system uses the “BioFind”, a small metal comb-like structure, to pinpoint areas of damage by measuring the flow of electrical impulses around the horse’s body. When thereis an imbalance in the electrical flow, the BioFind emits a signal to register this. These areas are then treated with light therapy.
Reading the imbalances in the horse’s electrical impulses around the body can enable problems to be picked up before any outward signs are visible or the horse’s performance is affected. Imbalances will also occur where the horse has been compensating for an old injury.
Once the horse has been scanned and the problem areas noted, the light therapy can be administered.
BioScan treatment is applied through two hand-held circular “cluster heads”, each of which contain 30 LEDs (light-emitting diodes) between 8-40mm. The heads are held in place over the problem areas for between 30 seconds and one minute to stimulate the cells.
The BioScan heads also feature a PEM (pulsed electro magnetic) ring that can be turned on or off as required. This ring generates a pulsed electro magnetic field, which penetrates to a depth of around 7ins. This is used for treating areas with deep muscles such as the hindquarters.
Bioscan treatment can also be given through accessories containing LEDs such as hock boots, leg wraps and the light cap.
What problems can BioScan treat?
In more than 40 years of worldwide independent research, light therapy has been shown to have a wide range of therapeutic benefits. It is particularly suitable for treating the following problems in horses:
- Healing soft tissue damage
- Treating sore muscles
- Fighting infections
- Healing wounds
- Reducing pain
- Improving recovery time from injury
- Locating and treating problem areas before performance is affected
Who uses BioScan?
The BioScan system originated in USA where it is now used extensively by vets and trainers.
High profile converts to the system include Dr Gerhard Grenz of the Wiesenhof Veterinary Clinic for Horses in Germany, who worked with the German Olympic dressage team before the Atlanta Olympic Games.
The system is also gaining recognition in top racing yards in the UK.
Click here for more information on NASA’s research into the effects of light therapy.