Laser Therapy | Dr. K. Andrew Shepherd

Cold laser therapy targets the mitochondria of the cells and many conditions respond favorably. We are seeing phenomenal results!  It is able to create mobilization into joints, soft tissues, synovial fluid, ligaments and tendons that no other type of therapy can.

How does Laser Therapy work?

Dr. Andrew Shepherd: Great question. Cold laser therapy or laser therapy is basically a form of phototherapy or light therapy. It’s going to produce a beam of light which is then applied over an injured area and that promotes homeostasis. Now, homeostasis is a term for balance. When the body is balanced, that creates a healing state. There is no pain involved in the treatment and there is noticed an immediate increase in circulation, a reduction in pain, promotion of endorphins which reduces pain and also creates a systemic healing effect in basically the whole body.

How it really works is the light penetrates deep into the mitochondria. The mitochondria is within all cells and it’s the energy cycle of the cell. It excites the mitochondria and that occurs when the laser light is absorbed by that living tissue and it triggers biological reactions into the cells. Chemical substances is produced. They are released and they are carried by the blood and the lymphatic flow to the other parts of the system. What we see are the effects of the laser light may not only be locally where they are actually being specifically treated. They can also activate wide, systemic physiological changes and responses.

Are there different types of Laser Therapy used in chiropractic care or just Cold Laser?

Dr. Andrew Shepherd: Great question because yes, there are different types and there are different effectiveness of the different lasers. The cold laser traditionally was the first one authorized by the FDA to be able to be used for soft tissue work and within chiropractic. That is what we call a Class 3 laser. It’s called cold because you don’t feel it. It has no heat associated with it and it does not generate any heat within the body. Its penetration, however, is not as deep into the body. It is able to make wonderful physiological changes and is phenomenal for soft tissue injuries.

The other class of laser that is used within chiropractic is a Class 4 laser – that does generate heat. This one has to be closely supervised, has to be monitored, penetrates much more deeply into the tissues and has different reasons why or why not that you would actually choose to use this. I suspect that most offices utilize a Class 3 cold laser. My office, I personally have both for different reasons.

What types of injuries or conditions respond best to Laser Therapy?

Dr. Andrew Shepherd: Because laser therapy is targeting the mitochondria of the cells, almost any condition responds favorably to laser therapy. That’s one of the beautiful things about it. What we’re going to see is it’s phenomenal with soft tissue injuries. If somebody has a bruise, a strain, you can literally see that melting in front of your eye.

If there is something like fixation … Like let’s use as an example I saw somebody last week who had frozen shoulder. They could not lift their arm out by the side of their body and it would certainly not go over their head. Well after a 25-minute laser session, they were able to fully extend that arm over their head. It is able to create mobilization into both joints, soft tissues, synovial fluid, ligaments, tendons that no other type of therapy can.

It’s also amazing for boosting the immune system. I will use it many, many times if I see a patient with a cold or a flu. The laser is capable of being programmed with many, many different frequencies. That enables us to treat a much wider range of conditions. For immune enhancement, we would set the laser on cold and flu settings and the duration of the illness is significantly decreased, as is allergy symptoms.

Whenever I see somebody who is completely congested, we’ll actually laser specifically on allergy and sinus settings within the sinus cavities and probably 60% of people within one treatment notice an almost complete resolution.

Is Laser Therapy used on patients of all ages?

Dr. Andrew Shepherd: Absolutely. Basically, if a tissue is alive, it can be used. As a matter of fact, I have a veterinary office close to where I am and the doctor there wanted to come and spend a week with me and just see how we utilized cold laser for healing within the office. At the end of the week with me he went and purchased 2 units for his office. Now he uses them on animals for post-surgical repair for same things – allergies, soft tissue injuries. It has made a massive difference to his practice as well which just goes to show that any living tissue can benefit from the positive healing effects of laser therapy, irrespective of whether it’s 1 day old or 100 years old.

If Laser Therapy is recommended, what can someone expect during the office visit and what is a typical course of treatment?

Dr. Andrew Shepherd: Now, that’s going to be extremely case specific. As I mentioned earlier, we are dealing with potentially anything from a cold to colic on a baby to asthma to someone with a headache or somebody that’s just broken their arm or somebody that had a joint replacement, a C-section where there is a lot of scar tissue. A lot of these different conditions can be resolved and in some cases almost scar tissue completely dissolved using the laser therapy.

If it’s a simple case like a sprain/strain, then we’re going to evaluate it. The treatment protocol would generally be 2 to 3 times a week in the infant phases. Then we would just continue to make sure that progress was being made. When the condition was resolved, that’s when we would stop.

The beauty of it is you can maintain clothing, it’s non-invasive, you don’t feel it. You will feel the heat one a little bit – it is just a pleasant warming sensation. It’s very easy for patients of all ages and all forms of mobility. We have multiple people in wheelchairs that were able to get some amazing results with using the laser therapy. They can stay in their chair, they can be comfortable. It works just very, very well.

If you are interested in speaking with Dr. Andrew Shepherd, you can either go online to or call 972-212-5725 to schedule an appointment.

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