The holidays are a great time to indulge in family time, relaxing afternoons, time off from work and ….
And of course, all sorts of tasty treats and food. This sudden change in eating behaviour and diet can disrupt our gut microbiome which can result in changed bowel habits, abdominal discomfort, bloating, and other health issues.
Does keeping a happy tummy mean we’ll have to turn down the Christmas lunch at Mum’s place or say no to the dessert platter?
Have no fear! Light is here!
Recent research has indicated that Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) can alter the gut’s microbiome in a potentially positive way. LLLT, also known as Cold Laser Therapy, Photobiomodulation, Light Therapy (and a few other aliases), is a drug-free, evidence-based therapy that uses light on the red to infrared spectrum to boost the body’s natural healing ability and decrease oxidative stress in injured cells. This not only allows the cells to repair naturally but also decreases pain, inflammation, swelling and muscle spasm in the process.
A reaction to the light starts in the mitochondria (the powerhouse of our cells) to produce more energy for the cells to start their repair phase. This includes stimulating the body’s immune response, increasing blood supply to the area of injury, reducing inflammation, pain, and swelling. It promotes healing at a cellular level which means the results are long-lasting and sustainable.
So how can it help our gut?
We now know that the gut microbiome of a lean and healthy person is very different from that of an obese person. It is now well established that a healthy gut microbiome means a healthy individual and any changes to their health are usually reflected in their microbiome. We also now know there is a microbiome/gut/brain relationship where the three components communicate via neurons (nerve cells). All of this is also linked with the body’s immune system and its ability to manage inflammation.
LLLT has been shown to improve the function of neurons, therefore strengthening the communication between our enteric (gut) nervous system and our central (brain) nervous system. At the same time, it can also reduce reduce inflammation in our gut system so our microbiome can thrive. With short 15 minute treatments we have seen reduced bloating, better digestion and improved vitality.
There is no pain or heat involved (hence the name “cold” laser) so it’s not the same as hair removal laser, IPL, or surgical lasers. There are no known side effects of LLLT, it is safe to use on most individuals and does not interact with any medication or supplements.