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Dr. Lynelle McSweeney offers holistic chiropractic care to patients here in her Reno practice, and among her many tools and techniques is cold laser therapy. It’s a versatile technology that can be used for medical and cosmetic procedures, running the gamut from pain management to fat loss treatments. But you may be wondering what it really is, and how it actually works. Here’s what to understand about the many applications of cold laser therapy.


Cold lasers use safe, low levels of light to stimulate and repair tissues on a cellular level. This FDA-cleared technology is non-invasive with no downtime or side effects. While traditional lasers use around 300 watts, cold lasers use somewhere between 5 and 500 milliwatts. That means they don’t burn the skin or cause any pain. In fact, they’re classified by the FDA as NHN, or non-heating instruments.

Different cells in the body can be stimulated by cold laser therapy, including muscle, nerves, cartilage, ligaments, and fat. Similar to the process of photosynthesis in plants, the light energy from cold laser therapy is absorbed and interacts with light-sensitive components in the body. It’s a process that promotes the body’s natural healing through the stimulation of mitochondria.

More than 2,500 studies on the safety and efficacy of cold laser therapy have been conducted since 1967, and many of them recommend it as a non-invasive technique for pain relief and other benefits. Some of the most common uses of cold laser therapy include:

  • Pain management: Minor injuries can be treated effectively, minimizing pain and boosting healing times. Think issues like tendonitis, ligament injuries, muscle sprains and strains, etc.
  • Chronic pain: For Dr. McSweeney’s patients navigating chronic neck and back pain, as well as pain in the shoulders, knees, and elbows, cold laser therapy can offer much needed relief.
  • Inflammation and autoimmune disorders: Cold laser treatments can help address pain and repair cells to help reduce inflammation in some autoimmune disorders. These diseases have varying symptoms and conditions, but pain and inflammation is common, and cold laser therapy can help.
  • Skin conditions: The body’s largest organ can benefit from cold laser therapy too, which offers relief from skin issues like rashes, psoriasis and eczema. It can also help treat dermatitis and acne, relieve edema and swelling, and speed healing times.
  • Fat loss: Cold laser therapy was originally used in conjunction with liposuction surgery, until it was discovered that the therapy alone was so effective. Cold lasers are applied to areas of excessive fat in the body. Instead of destroying tor removing fat cells, which can have an adverse effect, the therapy open pores in the cells, allowing them to drain and shrink in size. That’s an important distinction, because the number of fat cells in the body doesn’t change with weight loss or weight gain. Instead, it’s the cells themselves that shrink or grow in size. By shrinking fat cells, the therapy preserves them for healthy bodily functions. And that doesn’t just mean a slimmer appearance, but a boost to overall health as well.


Patients in Dr. McSweeney’s practice are enjoying the many benefits of cold laser therapy for myriad issues. If you’d like to learn whether you’re a candidate for cold laser therapy, contact us today. We’re happy to help!