How Intranasal Photobiomodulation Works


Intranasal light therapy (or intranasal photobiomodulation) employs a nasal device that attaches to the inside of the nostril, emitting wavelengths of photonic energy into the bountiful network of capillaries inside the nasal cavity. This simple and non-invasive treatment benefits the entire body.

The photon emissions are absorbed by blood serum in the capillaries and distributed throughout the body and the brain, inducing systemic photobiomodulation.

What is photobiomodulation?

(Photo – “light” / bio – “biological” / modulation – “modification or alteration“) – In the visible region, when a photon is absorbed by a molecule, the electrons of that molecule are raised to a higher energy state. This excited molecule must then lose its extra energy by re-emitting a photon of longer wavelength(i.e, less energy), as in fluorescence or phosphorescence, or it can lose energy by undergoing photochemistry.

Photobiological responses are the result of a chemical and photophysical changes produced by the absorption of non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation.

Effects on Blood Viscosity

Numerous low level laser therapy (“LLLT”) studies provide positive evidence on LLLT as a successful method to treat a number of diseases. It has also been tested over many years as a successful method for pain management. Our own tests on blood irradiation through intranasal light therapy point towards the conclusion that this is beneficial against diseases and health disorders related to impaired blood circulation caused by high red blood cell aggregation, such as hypertension.

Scientific literature discusses the response of normal tissue cells, not red blood cells (“RBCs”) when explaining the mechanisms of LLLT. Normal tissue cells have mitochondria that respond to the light and subsequently get “bio-stimulated”. The RBCs do not have mitochondria and they constitute 95 percent of cells in the blood. Much of the rest of the blood consist of plasma.

Some literature suggests that notwithstanding, RBCs do react by stimulating the release of ATP. Something else is also happening that results in the positive outcomes that we are witnessing. Just focusing on RBC aggregation, it has been found that red light actually inhibits the kind of RBC aggregation we see in the figure below. The picture below is a 40x microscopy magnification of a blood sample taken from the subject before he was treated with the device.

Figure 1. Blood sample before the 25-minute treatment

There is a lot of RBC aggregation in this sample, which is an indication of a health disorder. After a 25-minute treatment of light therapy delivered with Mediclight’s irradiation device to the same subject, the next blood sample looks completely altered, also magnified at 40x.

Figure 2. Blood sample after the 25-minute treatment


Effects on Brain Stimulation

Research studies in photobiomodulation show that damaged neurons can heal with the presence of NIR light. The wavelength of 810 nm, pulsed at 10 Hz has been found to be effective for neuronal healing. To demonstrate neuronal response, Erlicher et al showed that weak light attracts the leading edge of growth cones of a nerve cell(Reference).

When a beam of light is positioned in front of a specific area of a nerve’s leading edge, this would draw its growth towards the direction of the light, as well as enhance its overall growth. This phenomenon would be repeated in later experiments.  In summary, nerve cells appear to “feed” on low energy light.


Neurite elongation

Figure 3. Neurite elongation experiment: in-vitro post-oxidative stress.


In the figure above, electron microscopy reveals that red light irradiation stimulates neurite outgrowth in cases of oxidative stress. Data suggests that the neurites of neurons that were shortened by oxidative stress would re-elongate(Reference).

Read more here – Link

See also : Why choose Intranasal Photobiomodulation?

Under the Microscope

While not directly related to photobiomodulation, these are several examples cellular reactions towards an infrared light source, which is rich in photons:

A cell detects and seeks out a pulsating infrared light source.

A cell reacts to a pulsating light source.

A cell aggressively moves past a less “needy” cell towards a light source.