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Instep Dance Magazine Articles

Reprints of monthly column as first appearing in Instep Dance Magazine (no longer in print).

June 2002

Healing Twisted Ankles Faster and Better

By Rick Allen, DC

"Better health leads to better dancing."

Back in January 1998, my article dealt with ankle injuries, in particular, sprained ankles. Ankle sprains are common. In fact, I recently treated one of our lady dancers, Miranda Willis, for a sprain about three weeks ago. Luckily, it was mild and responded very well to care. The care included two new, very effective points that were not in my repertoire three years ago. Let's take a look at these two exciting additions over the course of two months: Photonic Stimulation and Enzyme/Herbal Therapy.

Photonic Stimulation -- Safe, effective light therapy that helps you heal faster

Photonic Stimulation box

Light therapies have been used for healing since early recorded history. In ancient times, this "Heliotherapy" was based upon religious beliefs and superstitions. By the end of the 19th century, sunlight was proven to kill bacteria. Sun baths were used to treat scurvy, rickets, edema, rheumatic disease and depression. In the early 1800's devices were made to focus sunlight on the body for greater therapeutic effectiveness. In 1926 quartz mercury vapor lights were used to treat open wounds of surgical TB. Ultra-violet light has been recommended for seasonal affective disorder since the early 1980's.

Low intensity laser has been used to treat injuries and pain since the late 1960's. Research as shown this therapy to be effective for treatment of arthritis, soft tissue injuries, and pain. These lasers speed tissue healing by putting energy (photons) into the body. This energy is absorbed on a molecular level, without any heating of the tissues. This increased molecular energy helps speed normal body chemical reactions and assists in healing. Unfortunately, these devices are not approved by the FDA for medical use in this country.

There is, however, a new device using light therapy that is FDA approved for medical use in this country. The device is called a Photonic Stimulator (see attached photo). Like a laser, it produces a single wavelength of light, in this case in the infra-red portion of the spectrum (880nm). Unlike a laser, this light is not focused into a small, coherent beam. Instead, it is diffuse, more like a flashlight, and the energy is applied from a hand held wand. This device has been shown to have similar healing properties to low level laser therapy that has been used in Europe for the last 20 years. It certainly helped Miranda!

In addition, this Photonic Stimulator helps modulate the sympathetic nervous system, helping the body to normalize skin temperature regulation and reduce pain. Myofascial pain and RSD pain are transmitted through the body by the sympathetic nervous system.

Photonic Stimulation can be used to treat:

  • Back pain

  • Restless legs

  • Headache

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome (I am currently treating two patients for this. They are raving about the results)

  • Diabetic neuropathy

  • Wound healing

  • Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD)

  • Myofascial pain and trigger points

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