This is part 3 of a multi-part series explaining energy medicine. I have written a detailed chapter on energy medicine. Below is the chapter text that relates to the video included in this blog.
Comparison of a reaction with and without an enzyme. The enzyme-catalyzed reaction will go about nine times faster. Increasing the temperature of the environment will cause the enzyme reaction to accelerate even more profoundly because the activation barrier is substantially lower.
Types of Light Energy
Where does light energy go in our body and what does it do? In general, there has to be a match between the frequency of a photon or wave of light and the molecule it is interacting with in order for it to be absorbed and have an effect.
Gamma-ray photons have the highest energy in the EMR spectrum and their waves have the shortest wavelength. They are very similar but stronger compared to X-rays which most of us have more familiarity. These photons can break apart substances with ease with which they interact.
X-ray photons are highly energetic and have enough energy to break up molecules and hence damage living cells. When X-rays hit a material, some are absorbed and others pass through. This feature of X-rays allows for imaging, but not without some level of damage created to the tissue with which it interacts.
Ultraviolet (UV) light is not considered ionizing radiation as are gamma and X-rays. UV light is critically important as it can damage and heal. DNA, for example, is a very large molecule that normally absorbs energy when interacting with UV light and then quickly converts or releases that energy, in some manner. Thus, when UV light interacts with a substance, it adds energy sending it into an "excited" state. All systems try to return to some type of more stable ground state by shedding that energy. In some cases, bonds are broken and the molecule is destroyed or modified. In other instances, heat or light may be given off.
It turns out that DNA is extremely effective at dissipating the extra energy quickly, so it gets damaged less than 0.1% of the time it is hit by UV light. However, this higher energy state also provides great benefits. Molecules circulating through the skin, when interacting with UV light, can easily undergo chemical transformations. Examples are the formation of vitamins D and melatonin. But, its action is probably much more profound than just this. UV light creates "free" electrons and electrons health oxidative damage.
Visible light is quite similar to that of UV but has lower energy. Visible light does speed up reactions by elevating electrons to an excited state. At the higher level, they are able to do more work. This is called "potential energy." This is similar to raising a heavy object up on a pully. Now attach the pully to another lighter object and let it go. The heavy object will fall and the lighter object will propel upwards. That is what visible light does - it raises up a molecule into a more reactive state so it can more easily be transformed into a new form of energy or give off its excess energy to some other substance. The most fundamentally important action of visible light is on the chlorophyll molecule.
Chlorophyll is found in virtually all photosynthetic organisms, including green plants, cyanobacteria, and algae. It absorbs energy from visible light and this energy is then used to convert carbon dioxide to carbohydrates. Plant chlorophylls absorb mainly in blue (between 400 and 500 nm) and red (around 650 to 680 nm) visible light wavelengths. Without visible light and chlorophyll, there is no life on our planet.
Infrared light is the most abundant form of light energy from the Sun.
Infrared light: As we go to lower energy along the electromagnetic spectrum from visible light, we next wind up in this form, that is, infrared light. Whereas X-rays break apart molecules and the UV and visible light (photons) elevate electrons to a more energetic state in molecules, infrared light interacts by causing chemical bonds to vibrate.
Motion is heat and thus infrared light causes molecules to heat up. After all, temperature is defined as the average of the molecular motion of the particles. If you want to get warmer in the winter, the solution is simple, make the air molecules go faster! Easier said than done. We normally have to rely on the earth to absorb infrared light and then radiate it back to the air as heat. When you feel the warmth of the sun, it is infrared light, not the more energetic forms of the EM spectrum. That is, visible and UV light do not make you feel warm.
The strict definition of what infrared wavelengths do to molecules is the following. "Infrared radiation absorbed by molecules causes increased vibration. Collisions between these energized molecules and others in the sample, tissue, for example, transfer energy among all the molecules, which increases the average thermal energy and, hence, raises the temperature." Simply put, temperature is movement.
In infrared light, bonds are not broken and no electrons are elevated. However, in chemistry, and thus in physiology, there is a fundamental concept called the activation energy explained previously (Part 2). In order for a reaction to occur, the activation energy must be overcome. This is a beautiful part of nature as reactions do not spontaneously occur. If they did, our world would NOT exist as we know it.
Microwaves are lower energy, thus lower frequency, when compared to infrared radiation. Microwaves cause certain types of chemical bonds to rotate whereas infrared light causes chemical bonds to vibrate. The net effect of microwaves is the generation of heat, similar to that of infrared light. Heat is motion. Microwaves can be used in treatment in which body tissue is exposed to this type of radiation to generate high temperatures to damage and kill cancer cells, as the most prominent current medical usage. It is called microwave thermotherapy.
Besides treatment for cancer, microwave energy has been successfully exploited to treat microbial infections via ablation therapy. As with all treatments, including light, the dose makes the poison and the cure.
Microwaves are commonly used to heat food while reducing the microorganisms found within. Microwave heating reduces the number of microorganisms within food via direct thermal killing of cellular targets that render the bacteria either dead or inactive and therefore unable to replicate. The microwave heating process relies on the interaction between polar molecules and microwaves. In a microwave oven, the microwave energy is the right frequency and high enough intensity to cause water molecules in the food to rotate at a speed that generates heat to cook food.
All light energy, including microwaves, can potentially change the nature of the substances with which it interacts. That is, light energy may affect an immediate change that is often transient. Microwaves are known to change the physical bonding between water molecules but do not change the structure of a single water molecule. This structural change in the network of weak bonds between individual water molecules is not permanent and the so-called "recovery time" is dependent upon the entire mixture exposed to the microwaves. There are many articles indicating that using microwaves to heat food has no harmful effects. This area has not been studied in a truly scientific way. However, microwaves of light are naturally occurring and probably cause minimal, if any, harm.
Dr. Gerald Pollack is a renowned expert on structured water. He indicates that "structured water cannot form without light, whether it is sunlight, ultraviolet or infrared light. Pollack has found infrared light to be the most effective. When impacted by infrared light, structured water continues to build and sustain itself."
"First principles" is a scientific approach to determining fact from fiction. Microwaves are everywhere. If you are concerned about heating food with a microwave oven, consider getting one that is low in power and use the "power" setting to reduce the "dose" of the exposure to the food.
Infrared and Microwave Light Energy Create Heat
In chemistry, we use a "rule of thumb" for how quickly a reaction will proceed. That is, how easily we can get the reactants to obtain enough energy to get over the activation energy hump to form products. This "rule of thumb" is based on the average activation energies required to get molecules to interact. In general, for every increase in 10 degrees Celsius or 18 degrees Fahrenheit, the rate of a reaction doubles. Therefore, infrared energy matters. It speeds up reactions.
On your skin, infrared light probably supports the visible and ultraviolet light in converting molecules in the skin into new products like vitamin D and melatonin. That is potentially bad news for those far from the equator where the intensity of light is low due to the angle between the sun and the surface of the earth in those regions.
You are probably thinking; 18 degrees Fahrenheit is a big temperature change considering that normal body temperature is around 98 degrees and a high fever is 104 degrees. This is only an increase of 6 degrees. However, we have enzymes in our body that reduce the activation barrier that normally slows reactions.
The figure shows the difference in activation needed to push a reaction to happen with and without an enzyme or catalyst. In this case, the enzyme reduced the activation barrier by about two-thirds. This translates to a reaction happening nine times faster in the enzyme reaction compared to the reaction without the enzyme. This is due to the log linearity of nature. This means that even a two or three-degree increase in your internal temperature, coupled with an enzyme-facilitated reaction, will lead to a potential doubling of reaction time.
In physiology, reactions run your energy and healing so adding heat by any means including red and infrared light will increase your energy and shorten healing time.
There is not a sharp line of demarcation between infrared and visible light. Red light, the lowest energy visible light, provides some warmth, and near-infrared light, the closest to visible light in energy, probably provides some electrons. It all depends upon the energetic profile of the substance interacting with the light. To go further into this concept would require a detailed chemistry lesson which most people reading this do not want. Linus Pauling, the two-time Nobel Prize winner, was awarded the Chemistry Nobel Prize for his work on "the nature of the chemical bond."
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