We had the privilege recently to meet with NFL head athletic trainers. Our goal was to get a better understanding of their treatment protocol for recovery and overall athletic performance for their athletes. We were curious about the equipment they were using, feedback they are getting from the players on what was working for them, and which recovery modalities fit into their rigorous training and practice schedules. It was great to pick their brains on their current perspective PBMT (red light therapy) and Cryotherapy. Here are some questions I posed going in and what I took away from these conversations:
Are athletes using Cryo regularly? Do they like or dislike like their current units and would they upgrade to an Arctic fully enclosed unit if they could?
Overall, we are seeing a mix of different teams and trainers incorporating this modality into their recovery arsenal. Currently, I would say there are more teams still utilizing the old school cold tubs for inflammation and injuries. We did meet with a few NFL teams that have Whole Body Cryotherapy implemented in their facility, but were generally disappointed with the performance of the equipment they had chosen. Some said the units would cause irritations to the athletes' skin and was just a bad experience all around. The athletes were not lining up to get into whole body cryo like they had initially. They also had some mild concerns with their players being exposed to the gasiform air without built in ventilation systems. This gave us the opportunity to educate them on the CryoNiQ and Arctic and how these devices utilize either a built in evaporation chamber and ventilation system or a breathable air technology system that never exposes the athlete to the pure evaporated nitrogen in the gasiform state. Furthermore, they were interested in something that could target the neck due to neck injuries and “stingers” being very common on the field. After looking at the Arctic and even experiencing it for themselves, I had almost all of them requesting us to buy back their current machine and upgrade them to the CryoArctic.
What is their initial impression of PBMT (Red Light therapy)? If it is working, what benefits are they seeing? If it isn’t “working”, what is the biggest problem they see with their devices? (Are they using it just because it was sent to them for free?)
Red Light is very interesting due to it being somewhat new and gaining traction in pro and collegiate sports market. We brought a TheraLight360 bed for them to see and try in person. We initially felt some real hesitation from the trainers on the topic of red light therapy. Hearing their feedback and experience so far with other red light therapy devices helped us realize a few things. I personally had numerous head athletic trainers come up to me telling me how they were given a red light device for free to use in their facility. Here’s one of the problems. They were all complaining how they could hardly see any results and the “absurdly long treatment times”. I heard more than once, “My athletes do not have 20-40 minutes to get treatments and I don’t have that much time either when I have 5-10 guys dealing with injuries”. Most importantly, the devices that they received weren’t even producing good results. This is what bothers me. This shines a bad light, pun intended, on the efficacy of true PBMT. This stifles and hurts the brands and manufactures in the industry who have spent countless hours developing equipment that produce actual results in a reasonable treatment time, typically 10-12 minutes every other day. We know from our clients that use our red light beds that they all love them and their athletes are lining up to use them.
Would TheraLight and/or Novothor help solve these problems?
TheraLight and Novothor most definitely address the issues brought to our attention here. Time spent in recovery is both vital and limited. Trainers need to have access to the modalities that are fully effective and efficient in treatment times. Due to proven results from a significantly shorter treatment time, both NovoThor and TheraLight would provide optimized recovery sessions for both the trainers and athletes. Not to mention, TheraLight has the ability to adjust the wavelength ratios and has the Pulse option, making it even more efficient at targeting specific issues an athlete might be dealing with. These specifications really grabbed the attention of the trainers. Every athlete is different and more times than not, they each have a wide variety of injuries or issues they’re dealing with. The ability to offer customized protocols that athletes can choose for themselves from a touch screen before they start their own session is a game changer! TheraLight also offers preset protocols for:
- Pain Management
One of the greatest advantages to using the best equipment out there is that you know you are getting the required dose every session, you know what outcomes to expect, and you are getting a full body treatment and benefit every single session in only 10 minutes.
How do you see PBMT being able to optimize performance and recovery. If they should add/make room for one recovery modality, what should it be?
I tell all my trainers/clients, if you only have room for one treatment modality, the red light beds we handpicked for our product line are by far my number one choices. Why? It targets the full body on a cellular level. By supercharging the mitochondria of the cells, we’re able to drastically increase ATP production, cellular respiration, reducing muscle fatigue and boosting performance. This is going to create a positive domino effect of many beneficial factors that will allow the athlete recover, perform, and feel better overall. With the RIGHT red light therapy devices, we are not only creating immediate results, we’re playing the long game. We are looking out for our athletes' long term health and future, even beyond sports. They are more than just a number on the back of a jersey.