light therapy

Several years ago, we were at a conference where an Australian vet was waving around a little red light and claiming it could take horses out of colic in 20 minutes. While we were skeptical, it didn’t take long for us to “test” it out. We no sooner got home than one of our horses colicked. We started applying light therapy to acupuncture points from a hand-sketched drawing – and low and behold, it worked! We had the mare out of colic in about 20 minutes without any drugs, tubing or walking. We were hooked!


Fast-forward several years. After extensive research about this technology, we have discovered its therapeutic uses are very diverse. The most common questions are how does it work, and what can it do to help horses? Let’s start with the latter:

  • Pain relief
  • Colic
  • Wounds
  • Scars/brands
  • Acupuncture points
  • West Nile virus
  • Cold/sore back
  • Tendons/ligaments
  • Muscle relaxation


How can one therapy work on such a broad range of issues? From a simple scientific standpoint, every living creature is made up of cells. Each cell is constantly moving and vibrating. When the body experiences an upset, the cells will either slow down their vibration or die off completely. Photonic light therapy mimics the vibration level of a healthy cell. When the therapy is applied to cells that are not working properly, it jump-starts the mitochondrial activity (cellular energy) in the cell and the cell starts functioning normally. This activity promotes accelerated healing and pain relief.

Let’s go back to colic and why light therapy would work for it. As described above, when the light is applied to a cell, it stimulates the cell’s mitochondrial activity. When this occurs, serotonin levels increase in the cell. Serotonin is instrumental in gut motility. The combination of acupoint stimulation, muscle relaxation, and increased serotonin levels offered by the therapy creates a perfect environment for the elimination of colic in a short time.


There are over 4,000 published studies on light therapy as a therapeutic modality. It provides a scientifically designed, holistic alternative where traditional medicine falls short. This therapy has evolved from early research in the 1960s to a safe, affordable option for many horse owners.

While there are many light therapy devices to choose from, just like cars, they are not all created equal. When looking into a product, there are several things to consider. How many milliwatts of power (the strength of the light) does it have? Does the company offer a warranty, money-back guarantee, and an education and support system?

Horses are amazing creatures, but caring for them can sometimes be very challenging. Light therapy is a broad-based therapy that can eliminate frustration and ease the burden of vet bills in many horse-related issues.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for educational purposes only and not intended as a substitute for veterinary care.