Welcome to Live Forever Young Radio. Today we are back with Peter Forhan, a photobiomodulation expert. In the last show, we defined what photobiomodulation is and discussed the health benefits. If you haven’t seen it, be sure to go back and check it out. In our second of three episodes, we will learn about Peter’s company, JustLight, and how they have been able to develop new technology that can finally help to harness the powerful benefits of light. So sit back, relax, and get ready to live forever young.
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Healing With Light – Photobiomodulation Ep. 2
Featuring Peter Forhan Of JustLight.com
We are back with Peter Forhan, photobiomodulation expert. In the last show, we defined what photobiomodulation is, and discussed the benefits. If you haven’t seen it, be sure to go back and check it out. In our second episode, we will be learning about Peter’s company, JustLight, and how they’ve been able to develop new technology that can finally help to harness the powerful benefits of light. Sit back, relax, and get ready to live forever young.
Maybe you could now tell us a little bit about your company, JustLight, the mission and the culture, and maybe a little bit about some of the people that work there, maybe your advisory board, whatever you’re comfortable with.
Our mission at JustLight is to revolutionize healthcare through universal access to photobiomodulation, but we did not start as a photobiomodulation company. We actually started at a five-gallon bucket in my apartment while I was building a UV light laundry machine. Over the course of the summer of 2019, after becoming obsessed with how we can use UV light to kill germs, I began building a series of laundry machines starting with a five-gallon bucket, and working my way up to a grow tent that you would grow plants indoors with a retrofitted UVC light inside.
I started using this, and it would work really well in my clothing. It would deodorize it and kill the germs in a span of minutes without any water and a very low relative energy amount. With this pre-product, people would ask me, “Can you sit in that and clean your skin?” I would laugh because you could of course clean your skin with it, but it would also highly damage you and potentially cause skin cancer and sunburns.
As a curious scientist, I said, “How dangerous is it? Could I sit in it for a second and clean my potty and not suffer damage?” This was the first question that led to me to look at the biophysics of light, just not just the physics of light. What I found was extremely interesting and led to what I believe to be the longest running human experiment on UVC exposure. 967 days to today, I haven’t used body soap face wash or deodorant. I have only used UVC germicidal light, water and wash cloths.
The reason I started this experiment is I found amazing clinical studies showing that the dose of UVC germicidal light needed to kill germs was an order of magnitude beneath the dose that would cause lasting or even acute skin damage. When I had this insight with proper precision dose, human hands and human skin, to kill germs without lasting damage, I pivoted from a laundry machine company to a UVC hand-cleaning company. This came about four months before the COVID-19 2020 pandemic.When the brain absorbs infrared light, incredible things happen. Click To Tweet
March 2020 comes around, I spent four months in this product, and the phone starts ringing. I am able to onboard investors, start growing the team. At this time, our first employee joined, who is now our Chief Scientific Officer, Dr. Janet Price. She’s a PhD from the University of Michigan, who studied Microbiology. She was the first one that really took the product and did the rigorous evaluation of having people come in. We test their hands for microorganisms. They would use soap and water hand-cleaning, or they’d use Halo, our UVC germicidal light cleaner.
The results that we got in the summer of 2020 were incredible. They were so good that we were able to raise a major investment from a Japanese conglomerate named Asahi Kasei. That gave us our first major seed investment to make UVC light skin disinfection universally accessible. After receiving this investment from Asahi Kasei, I said, “I’m going to become the expert on the biophysics of light. I’m going to read everything that exists about UV light on skin.”
One of the first things that I turned to was I found the Nobel prize in medicine in 1903 was awarded to a man named Niels Finsen, who might sound familiar. Niels Finsen was using UVC light to treat Lupus Vulgaris. I bought his journal online and I turned to page 1, paragraph 1. On page 1, paragraph 1, he described how he cured smallpox with red light therapy. This was genuinely the first time I had ever considered red light therapy, infrared light, photobiomodulation.
I read his little journal, still to date my favorite book. I carry it with me everywhere. I said, “If he’s using red light in 1896 to reverse smallpox, what are we doing with red light therapy today?” Then I was so lucky to stumble across the massive clinical database of photobiomodulation that was created by one of our board advisors, a dentist out of Finland named Dr. Vladimir Heiskanen. He has spent ten years taking every peer-reviewed PubMed clinical study dealing with photobiomodulation, low-level laser therapy, red light therapy, phototherapy, you name it. Compiling them into one database, which is now indexed, searchable, and color-coded by safety and efficacy.
In going through this database, I found the first thing that made me pause was Alzheimer’s disease. I saw that every single clinical on Alzheimer’s disease using photobiomodulation return safe and effective results. I couldn’t believe it. As someone who has lost a grandmother to dementia and many other millions of Americans who have lost loved ones, or are currently suffering from dementia, we know this is a disease without therapeutic options. Here I am looking at systematic reviews showing that red light therapy is actively reversing the decline.
We made another pivot as a company. We went from being primarily a UV light skin cleaning company to now being a photobiomodulation accessibility company. I stress accessibility because we are not inventing photobiomodulation. We are the researchers and scientists who have been doing the amazing work to put it there. We are simply connecting the clinical results to the average consumer. The way that we connect clinical results to the average consumer is we make photobiomodulation understood, accessible and friendly.
Understood by having wonderful scientific conversations like this, to talk in long form about the science. Accessible through our app that does all of the hard work behind the scenes. If you want to use it for your brain, you tap brain, and we take care by selecting the dose, wavelength, time, and all the other parameters based on clinical insights. Basically reducing down the need for a medical practitioner so that you can have these amazing results in your own home.
We’ve also made it friendly and familiar through our Sunflower product. Evoking feelings of what sunflower evokes in all of us. Taking that to heart, mimicking the biology, and the form factor of the sunflower, we found the best form factor of the product. A flexible stem that you can bend the photobiomodulation device towards yourself, directed at your knee or your neck or wherever you’re directing the light to. Then simply tapping the app, clicking “Go” to deliver that precision light.
As a company now, JustLight has gone from a UV light laundry company to a UV light hand and body cleaning company, to now a photobiomodulation company. The process of learning at every step is what makes us so excited to have these conversations, because we didn’t get into this to say what can work on Alzheimer’s. We came to Alzheimer’s only after finding that there’s already been amazing clinical results showing these impacts, and that we need to step in to make it accessible and understood to the wider public.
Tell us a little bit about what goes on in someone’s brain who is using the Sunflower, who has Alzheimer’s disease? Also, what are the importance of the different wavelengths, the distance to the person’s body and head as they’re being treated, and the duration and things like that?The reason we inflame is the body is signaling for more energy. The body says we have a disease. We have an energy injury. Click To Tweet
The longer the wavelength, generally speaking, the deeper into the body the light will travel. Red light is about 660 nanometers, and the infrared and the range of photobiomodulation is about 800 to 1,000 nanometers. That longer infrared light bypasses the skull and is absorbed by the brain. When the brain absorbs infrared light, incredible things happen. One, the cells directly synthesize energy from the photons. The intracellular water, both in the cell and in the mitochondria, trap photons and convert it into electricity. This electricity is then used by the mitochondria to power respiration or the production of ATP, the main energy molecule of the body. That water absorbing light also happens within the cell, not just within the mitochondria, that leads to direct conversion of photons to energy.
As the brain absorbs infrared light, we also see a marked increase in cerebral blood flow, especially microcirculation or capillary blood flow. As we age and as we live less healthy lives, one of the first things to fail is our microcirculation, or the last step of getting blood from our heart all the way to the cell.
As those capillary tubes absorb infrared light, we see capillary action happen. This is the exact same phenomenon that when you dip a napkin in a cup of water, the water runs up the napkin against the force of gravity. This looks strange and we dismiss it. That’s actually an electrical process that’s happening, as weird as it sounds to say. What’s happening in our body is just like dipping that napkin into the water. If that water was completely frozen, you wouldn’t see any water run up. We are living in an environment on Earth that’s at the perfect temperature that we’re at equilibrium with where water can exist in all of its phases.
As our capillary tubes absorb infrared light, they electrically pull blood into the cell through a really cool process that deals with the fourth phase of water, or hexagonal water or structured water, or the water that we find in things like Jell-O, not a solid ice, not a liquid water, not a gas, but actually the intracellular cytoplasmic water.
The third mechanism that happens, our brain synthesizes the energy from photons. Our brain increases micro-circulatory blood flow or capillary blood flow, and our brain reduces an inflammation. The reason we inflame is the body’s signaling for more energy. The body says we have a disease, an injury, an insult, we’re going to inflame ourselves as a request to the body to give us more energy, more blood, more attention. The way that we signal for this is we release proteins called inflammatory cytokines within the cell. These little proteins are the signals for inflammation.
What’s really incredible about red and infrared light is those cytokines have a bond, and that bond is broken apart by photons in the red and infrared range. Basically saying inflammation is also regulated by light exposure. It’s regulated by light exposure because inflammation is also signaling for infrared light exposure. This directly increases blood flow and the energy.
Those three mechanisms, while all of them are very important to happen, it’s almost simpler to think about instead of how does light help the brain, what happens to a brain without proper light? We know that a plant moved inside will begin wilting and we’ll say, “That plant needs more sunlight. It’s wilting.” Yet when we remove a human or any organism from solar exposure and put them inside of an industrial society for years and years on end, we begin wilting externally and internally.
We notice intuitively that if you take a human and put them in a cave for a year with no solar exposure but plenty of food and water, a year later, when they came out of that cave, we would identify what’s wrong with their body. We could see their skin paling, their hair falling out, their muscles atrophying, their brain and organs withering. All these phenomena we know, but we don’t recognize that they’re happening to ourselves on our own body, especially on the regions of our body that are covered from sunlight.
One kind of question that I come to people when we’re talking about Alzheimer’s is, “Do you think that any patient in a nursing home or retirement facility suffering from Alzheimer’s is getting plenty of daily sunlight and plenty of daily water?” If a plant were wilting and withering, we would say get it plenty of daily sunlight and daily water. With humans we say, “What’s the best drug we can develop? How can we solve for this on a biochemical point of view without recognizing the physics at play?”
A brain without proper light restricts in blood flow. It’s a lot harder for blood to flow all the way to the cells. It has a lot lower energy because instead of directly converting light into energy, the body is responsible for making all of the energy. The brain is inflaming itself saying, “Warning, alarm, something is wrong, something is missing. We don’t know what it is. We’re just telling you we’re inflamed.”A brain without proper light is going to wither and break down. Light helps a brain thrive and regenerate. Click To Tweet
The same reasons that a brain without proper light is going to wither and break down, are the exact reasons as to why light also helps a brain thrive and regenerate. We’ve even now seen, clinically speaking, the regeneration of neurogenesis. This is something that we’ve previously thought would be impossible and is observed by using red and infrared light on the brain. It’s an extremely exciting revolution in science.
Thank you so much. We have an episode called The Importance of Circulation For Your Health. This is a very good furtherance of the information about circulation. We also have a podcast about Limitless Brainpower, and likewise this will be an enhancement for that. Can you tell us a little bit about what you mentioned earlier called a light bath, what it used to be back in the Roman times, and now how do you create a light bath today?
In Roman times and everything else, we would have waters called solariums, which were filtered or red and blue panes of glass that would filter sunlight coming through. While things like jaundice are better treated with blue light, things like degenerative disease are better treated with red light. People would get color-diagnosed and get these sunbaths of filtered sunlight.
What we have now is one, you can absolutely still take filtered light baths. In fact, doing filtered light baths by using the incredible power of the infinite energy source of the sun, and a material that only let certain light colors through is a wonderful way to take advantage of this principle. Simply sunbathing with exposed skin for more time every day is going to cause pronounced health impacts.
If you’re worried about UV exposure, there’s good news. Every weather app now has the UV index listed. There are many hours of the day, mostly morning and evening, where there’s zero UV light present. You can’t develop any UV light burns. You can’t develop UV light and have skin cancer when the UV light is zero.
If you have the ability and the privacy to take completely nude, full-body baths to maximize surface area of exposure, I highly recommend doing it in the morning and in the evening, every day as consistently as you can. This will lead to circadian rhythm regulation, something hugely important for sleep and mood, serotonin-melatonin balanced. It will directly lead to more energy production within the body. As our skin absorbed this light, we can store that light energy as electricity through the capacity of water, and use it throughout the rest of our day.
Naked sunbathing, that’s what I’m talking about. If going all natural isn’t for you, be sure to check out the third and last video with photobiomodulation expert, Peter Forhan. He’s going to explain how to build an inexpensive indoor light bath, so you can get all the benefits of light therapy without scaring the neighbors. Thanks for reading.
- Dr. Janet Price
- Asahi Kasei
- Dr. Vladimir Heiskanen
- The Importance of Circulation For Your Health – Previous Episode
- Limitless Brainpower – Previous Episode
About Peter Forhan
Peter is an avid inventor; obsessed with the biological impacts of Light. His investigation into Light began in 2019 after graduating from the University of Michigan with a degree in Materials Engineering.
Before the pandemic, Peter invented Halo, an ultraviolet hand sanitizer. At the onset of COVID-19, he quickly scaled the invention into a company. Through a deliberate and recreational review of clinical reviews, Peter stumbled across an old discovery that changed his life. Sunlight is a physiological requirement for human cells and modern humans are Chronically Sunlight Deprived.
Today, Peter is committed to building the vision of Niels Finsen; Phototherapy access in every home. “Nevertheless, I believe implicitly that in the future use will be made of this new therapeutic agent [Light], and the proof experiment once made, it will be easy to carry it out practically under the form of Light Baths; and lastly, to determine whether they are to be blue, violet, or red, the variations in their strength and duration, and whether natural or artificial.” – Finsen, Phototherapy, 1896