JM: Most of the original research was done with lasers. But there’s this massive trend in the
research now. Your great example of that is towards using light emitting diodes (LEDs), which
are more cost-effective. It seems to be more of an effective and efficient way to provide the
The key question is why is sunlight so much better up in the mountains? One theory was that it’s
got a lot more ultraviolet if you go up high, but that’s probably not the reason, in my opinion.
Ultraviolet will give you sunburn if you get too much of it. I don’t think it’s the ultraviolet. I
think that in high altitudes, there’s much less oxygen in the atmosphere and the mitochondria are
working at a different kind of cycle, right? The oxidative phosphorelation is more skewed
towards glycolysis because the oxygen availability is less at high altitudes. That’s just my pet
theory. But people used to get complete chronic wounds healed by going to these heliotherapy
clinics, just the same as you would do at sea level with our near-infrared LED array.
I think people like sunlight. Everybody likes sunlight. Provided that you take precautions against
getting too much ultraviolet, I think sunlight’s fine. But you know, we have busy lives and since
you can get a therapeutic dose of near-infrared from an LED array for maybe 10 minutes a day, I
think that’s probably the way to go.
MH: Yeah. I think a lot of people think that regular fluorescent lights, like most of us have in
our offices, are probably bad for you. By and large, certainly not good for you, possibly slightly
bad. I think the thing about LEDs is that generally you put them right next to your skin, relatively
we feel it, 10 minutes, 20 minutes, that sort of period. You can feel the benefit. Not all energy is
There’s a whole body light bed – James Carroll makes this – called NovoTHOR. It’s an amazing
thing. It’s 500 watts of LED power.
MH: You can lie in it for like 10 minutes. You can feel the difference. You really can. It’s kind
of expensive. Not many people have one at home.
JM: What’s the price range on something like that?
MH: Over 100,000 dollars.
JM: That is quite expensive. Yes. What type of LEDs do they have in there? Certainly the red
MH: It’s 660, 850, I think.
JM: That’s it? That’s the only two?
MH: Only two. Yeah.
MH: It’s probably equal, maybe a bit more of the near-infrared. A lot of people put one part of
red and two parts of near-infrared.
JM: Let me ask you sort of a tweaking question because it seems we never really addressed the
optimized wavelength for stimulating cytochrome c oxidase. There seems to be a range of about
810 to 830. You just mentioned 850. What would your guess be? Your studies show that that is
the ideal target. When you answer that we’ll talk about other components, too. I think that that is
a very narrow focus stream. I want to compare that to the analog exposure that you get from
something like sunlight.
MH: We’ve done a lot of studies over the years. We cannot really detect a difference between
red light, like 660, and near-infrared, let us say 810, 830 and 850. First of all, all the 800s seem
to be the same. Also something in the mid-600s, like 660, is the same as the near-infrared. A few
other folks have claimed to find some differences, but there’s not much difference really.
MH: I think that some wavelengths seem to be very good for relieving pain, blue light
particularly. We probably know that Philips is selling out a blue LED patch called the BlueTouch
for lower back pain. Other folks are starting to use blue light for painful conditions. People say
red light is good for relieving inflammation, inflammatory conditions. I think near-infrared is
good for regenerating things, possibly because things that need regenerating are usually deeper;
tendons, bones, cartilage. Things that need regenerating are usually deeper inside. It’s quite clear
that near-infrared penetrates better. Everybody agrees on that.
Obviously, one of the big growth areas is the brain. Again, this is really intriguing because folks
find benefits in the brain by putting all sorts of light on the head; high power near-infrared,
lasers, high power LEDs. But relatively, low powered devices that can go up the nose, they can
go in the ears, you can go different parts of the head. Everybody thinks, “Well, photons are going
to get in the brain. There’s going to be a certain power density.” But it’s not clear.
The photons can be absorbed in the blood. You have blood circulating in your scalp. You have
bone marrow in the bone of your skull. It’s known that light is very good at activating stem cells
in bone marrow. That’s one of the big deals. Clearly, photobiomodulation has huge effects on the
brain. Still, the jury’s out on what is the best way to get light in your head...
MH: I get a lot of emails from folks, asking me what device they can buy to use at home. A lot
of these folks do not have a lot of money. I tell them to look for near-infrared security
floodlights. These are 850 nanometers and they’re sold so that various companies can have an
invisible security light with an infrared camera so intruders can’t see they’re being filmed. These
are powerful. You can get 70 or 100 watts of optical power for 1,000 dollars, a few hundred
dollars sometimes. If this was a laser, it would cost you 100,000 dollars. But these LEDs that are
produced in the Far East and made into these flood lamps, each single diode is 3 watts, right?
That is a chunky diode.
JM: Yes, it is. There are a lot of them. I’m wondering if we could go back and really address the
Goldilocks dose, because you mentioned that there’s a fairly significant band of therapeutic
efficacy, but at some point, it becomes actually counter-productive and actually causes more
harm than good. What do you think the window is with respect to the number of watts of these
LEDs that you’d be putting on your scalp?
MH: Right. Again, this is a good question. It’s the total amount of energy you’re putting in your
body, because these arrays – for instance, the whole body light bed is a huge area. The power
density is modest. It’s the same as anybody would use; 10 or 20 milliwatts per square centimeter.
JM: That is the power density on that bed. Okay.
MH: Yeah. But it’s the big area. If I did all the LED arrays, it’s 10 or 20. A lot of these devices
have the same power density because they’re big and there are a lot of diodes. You put more
energy into the body. What we don’t really know is can you overdose the body on total joules or
is it only when it’s concentrated? That’s what we don’t know. My gut feeling is that people are
not going to stay under these things forever. Ten minutes or half an hour does no harm at all.
MH: Maybe if you went to sleep all night, you would overdose yourself. It wouldn’t surprise
me. Mostly, I tell people they can use these things for 10 or 20 minutes a day and it’ll have major
benefits and extremely unlikely to have any ill effects.
JM: Let me also just comment that these security lamps or devices that you recommended –
thank you for that – because they’re 850 nanometers, that’s not a lot of heat. Whereas if you have
the equivalent 100-watt heat lamp, you could burn yourself. But you’re not going to burn
yourself with this.
MH: No. Virtually no heat at all. You can feel a little warmth but there’s like no heat there.
JM: It seems it would be a lot more effective dose if you used these security camera lights. Is
that what they’re called?
MH: Floodlights. I think they call them near-infrared floodlights.
JM: Okay. That’s a great strategy. To the best of your knowledge, no one’s really doing
experiments with these?
MH: No. I don’t think so. No.
JM: But the science suggests that it would work. The science has been done.
MH: Yeah. Several folks have got them because I recommended them. The feedback I get is
they work just great.
JM: Wow. Work great for what?
MH: A lot of people have problems with the brain. But other people have like orthopedic
problems, musculoskeletal problems, where typically, near-infrared photobiomodulation works
great. The question just is what’s the best way to deliver it to the body?
JM: Yes, indeed.
MH: I think that a lot of applications that are going to be great, but nobody’s really studied that
much. I’ll give you one example, which is kidney failure. Kidney failure is the third leading
cause of death. These are old folks who are dying from kidney failure. You can’t really give
them transplants because they’re elderly. You put a near-infrared LED array where their kidneys
are and it seems to work like a dream. It’s hardly been studied at all...
JM: It’s simple to do. At 600 and 850, is there any danger to looking at that light when you’re
standing in front of the bed, from your perspective? It’s probably healthy and beneficial, I would
MH: Red light can dazzle you, especially at 630. If you look at a 630 nanometer rate, you get
dazzled, but it’s not harmful for the eyes. It takes you a while to recover. Near-infrared is
actually very good for your eyes, things like 830 or 850. As I get older, I know that my eyesight
is not as good as it was. I quite often stick some 850 nanometer light in my eyes...
JM: That’s great, but you’ve shared with us the bio hack work-around that you don’t have to
wait for the FDA that you can buy today on Amazon with are 850 security camera infrared light.
The above has inspired us to engineer a therapy device. Initially, I thought of just building a box, sorta like a coffin, and cutting lots of little holes in it all around and installing the near-infrared floodlights. Because of the coffin shape, I referred to this plan as "The Dracula Option" - you know, you get in and receive eternal life...
Well, anyway, nobody liked that idea so it was re-engineered to be more like a tanning bed with a bottom and top part loaded with those LED near-infrared lights. Pierre was able to find them in strips in China and ordered a couple of roles of them. He'll have to give the details on the construction, but the new "Infra-Bed" is almost ready to test drive. We'll get some photos up and report on effects once it is put into operation.