Commentary on Low Level Laser (Light) Therapy

Welcome to my new blog posting about Low Level Laser (Light) Therapy, or now called Photobiomodulation. Low Level Laser Therapy is the use of light photons at specific wavelengths that when applied to tissues in the body create a healing response at a cellular level.

I have been interested in the study and utilization of LLLT now for almost three years, along with my business partner in Laser Therapy, Jeff Bickford. Together we have learned a tremendous amount (and continue to learn each day!) about this amazing technology and are witnessing better and better results in helping people with a wide variety of conditions.

I decided that I wanted to start posting information as I gather it for the benefit of others who might be interested.

We have learned that there is much confusion out there surrounding LLLT (especially in the United States as this technology was only FDA approved in 2003, so it is newer in this country comparatively).

We are beginning to have a better understanding as to the causes for this confusion:

  1. All of the valid research performed on the benefits of LLLT are done utilizing Class3B lasers. This includes research from Europe, Canada, Tel Aviv, and by NASA, Harvard, Boston University and Mass General in the U.S. Class 3B lasers are a lower power density: power ranges from a few mW to 500 mW maximum. Class 4 Lasers are much higher powered – some of them range from 15,000 to 50,000 mW of power! Research shows that when power densities become too high, there is a DECREASEDeffect of tissue healing at a cellular level. The research all points to the fact that LOWER POWER, LONGER DURATIONS yield effectiveness in tissue healing in the body.
    Conclusion: Class 3B Low Level Lasers work to stimulate a tissue healing response at a cellular level in the body. Class 4 Lasers do not!
  2. Unfortunately, many laser therapy systems manufactured and sold in the U.S. are very high-powered Class 4 lasers. They are heavily marketed to healthcare practitioners by the laser manufacturing companies as “better” than Class 3B lasers – they espouse that higher power and shorter treatment times yields the best results. But this is simply not the case if you take the time to pick through the research and actually look at the listed power densities, wavelengths and treatment times listed in the studies that are yielding positive results.

I cannot tell you how many people I have now encountered who had Class4 laser therapy at their chiropractor’s office, PT clinic, and even at some higher level athletic institutions in the U.S. who feel like it doesn’t work. That is because it doesn’t!

Class 3 and Class 4 lasers are like apples and oranges.

I recently learned that NASA uses a Class 3B Laser on the Space Station to help heal astronaut injuries – if NASA felt like Class 4 lasers were superior based on their own research and clinical use, then they would most likely be using a high-powered Class 4 on the Space Station! And if they didn’t feel like laser therapy worked, they would not bother to have one on board at all…

Here is a link to more information on this topic:
Clarification of Controversy – Class III vs. Class IV Lasers

More to come!

Spring 2014 Newsletter

An employee holds a gold medal for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games during a presentation for the public at a jewellery shop in St. Petersburg. The gold, silver and bronze medals for the Sochi Olympics weigh 531g, 525g and 460g, respectively. (Alexander Demianchuk/Reuters photo)
An employee holds a gold medal for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games during a presentation for the public at a jewellery shop in St. Petersburg. The gold, silver and bronze medals for the Sochi Olympics weigh 531g, 525g and 460g, respectively. (Alexander Demianchuk/Reuters photo)

Hot off the presses: our Spring Newsletter: Melinda’s Olympic Experience in Sochi.

Also, the February 2014 issue of PT in Motion features a story about Melinda. Correction to article: Melinda has worked for US Figure Skating for 15 years, not 5 years.

Photos From Team Processing (Finally)

I am finally able to access the photos from Team Processing way back in Munich on February 1st so you can see our Nike and Ralph Lauren clothing. I do get to march in the Closing Ceremonies tonight! Yippee!P1020393

Well, it took over 5 minutes for this one photo to load from my laptop, so I will post the rest of these photos when I return to Colorado Springs – sorry about that!


The Mountain Village Continued

The Mountain Olympic Village felt more like we were at the Winter Olympic Games than our Costal Village by the Black Sea where it is 55-65 degrees everyday!





We rode the gondolas down into the town at Rosa Khotur where they have built a ski village. None of this was here a year or two ago-it was all built for the Olympics (and now it will be a Russian ski resort). No wonder the Games cost Russia 52 billion!




Japan’s Tsunami Sends Local Physical Therapist to Moscow


Colorado Springs, CO

 “Japan’s Tsunami Sends Local Physical Therapist to Moscow”

PT to the Stars, Melinda Couch, to treat top athletes at World Figure Skating Championships!

 Event Details:

Melinda Couch, PT, will be serving as the expert US Team physical therapist at the Figure Skating World Championships in Moscow, April 24 – May 1.

Due to the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan on March 11, The Championship event slated for Tokyo, Japan was moved to Moscow. 

 Couch is the owner of Peak Performance Physical Therapy in downtown Colorado Springs. Since 2005 she has been chosen from a pool of 20 U.S. physical therapists to attend prestigious annual skating events. This is a tremendous honor and challenging responsibility.

 The elite of world-class figure skaters have been training for well over a year to compete on the world stage—and setting their sites on the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. These dedicated athletes skate a grueling 3-5 sessions per day 6 days per week, and do off-ice training such as strength training, ballet, Pilates, and yoga.

 Melinda Couch, PT will be with our U.S. Figure Skaters at every jump and spin—helping them avoid injury—or quickly healing their pain if they get hurt.

About Melinda Couch:

Melinda Couch
Melinda Couch

Ms. Couch has served as a physical therapist for US Figure Skating since 1999 when she worked at Skate America at the Colorado Springs World Arena. She also traveled to Korea in 2005, Slovenia in 2006, Tokyo World Championships in 2007, Los Angeles World’s in 2009, The Hague for the Junior World’s in 2010, and Moscow be her third World Championship event. She presented at the 2008 US Figure Skating’s Sports Congress meeting at the US Nationals on treatment of common figure skating injuries. She served on US Figure Skating’s Sports Sciences team performing musculoskeletal evaluations and testing to aid in the prevention of injuries, and athletic performance.

She has had the privilege of working with an impressive list of skaters over the past 13 years, including such notables as:

  • Sasha Cohen (Olympic silver medalist 2006 in Torino, US National Champion)
  • Evan Lysacheck (Olympic Gold medalist in Vancouver 2010, 2009 World Champion, US National Champion)
  • Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto (Olympic silver medalists in Torino 2006)
  • Meryl Davis and Charlie White (Olympic silver medalists in Vancouver 2010)
  • Rachell Flatt of Colorado Springs (Olympic team member in 2010 and US National Champion 2010)
  • Ryan Bradley of Colorado Springs (US Champion 2011)
  • Jeremy Abbott (Olympic team member 2010 and US National Champion 2009 and 2010)

 Melinda is the owner of Peak Performance Physical Therapy with two clinics. The main location in downtown Colorado Springs is near Colorado College, where the staff specializes in treating all age patients for acute and chronic pain and post-operative complications. They also offer a wide range of healing services such as therapeutic Pilates, the Feldenkrais Method, lymphatic drainage massage, craniosacral therapy and more. She has another clinic inside the World Arena Ice Hall for treating figure skaters on-site.