Infrared Light Therapy: How We Got to Now

It has been almost three decades since the Federal Drug Administration approved Anodyne® Therapy’s first infrared light therapy device. In the past thirty years, Anodyne® products have been used by more than 10,000 healthcare providers to deliver pain relief to over 100,000 patients.

When did healthcare practitioners start using light therapy? A very long time ago!

Ancient Civilizations Recognized the Healing Power of Light

Healers in ancient Egyptian and Greek civilizations harnessed the power of light to help their patients. Heliopolis, a Greek city, was known for its light rooms inside its healing temples. Window coverings of blue and red fabrics produced colored light which was also believed to be medically beneficial.

Hippocrates, a Greek physician who lived from 460-370 BC, is sometimes referred to as the “Father of Medicine,” so great were his contributions to the medical field. Hippocrates documented the therapeutic properties of sunlight.

Before the Greeks and Egyptians, the Babylonians and Assyrians also understood that exposure to therapeutic amounts of sunlight brought healing. They encouraged sunbathing as a means to access light’s beneficial properties.

Light Therapy in the 1800’s

Some medical practitioners in the 19th century became known for the way they integrated light therapy into their treatment protocols and healthcare spaces. In France, Jean-Etienne Dominique Esquirol designed hospitals with open areas that allowed patients to be exposed to natural light.

In the 1850s, Florence Nightingale advocated “the use of clean air and an abundance of sunlight to restore health” (Nat’l Library of Medicine, March 2021).

Two sanitariums in Switzerland incorporated plentiful exposure to light as major components of their treatment regimens. The San Hospital in Sydney, Australia, has used light as a therapy for over 120 years.

Red Light & Infrared Light Therapy in the 20th Century

The use of red and infrared light became accepted as legitimate medical protocol components in the last part of the 20th century. Red light is most effective on treatments of the skin’s surface, so this modal is employed frequently in dermatology.

Infrared light penetrates the skin to an inch or an inch and a half below the skin’s surface. Reaching into cells in tissue and muscles, its presence activates a compound called nitric oxide. The activation of this compound facilitates circulation. In patients who suffer from inflammation-related conditions, their improved circulation combats inflammation and brings relief from pain and discomfort.

Anodyne Infrared Light Therapy Devices

Since the FDA approved Anodyne® Therapy infrared light therapy devices in 1994, the number of patients who have experienced pain relief through office or home treatments with Anodyne®  products has topped 100,000.

Anodyne®  Therapy’s Model 480 Pro is for use in professional office settings. Healthcare providers use this commercial model to treat more than one patient at a time or to treat one patient in several places at once.

Anodyne®  Therapy’s Model 120 Home is for patients to use either between office visits or on-demand for circulation stimulation and pain relief.

The Anodyne®  Therapy Freedom 300 is our product specially designed to relieve foot and leg pain.

All Anodyne®  products may be ordered by calling (800) 521-6664 from 8-4:30 EST Monday-Thursday and 8-noon EST on Fridays.