FAQ - General
PhotoMed’s Instant Verification System™ records the steps taken to achieve success, or not. The modular tools automate data collection in case studies (N-of-1) in real time or intermittently over weeks and months. PhotoMed’s real-time recordings include physiological responses and outcomes that don’t appear in texts.
The recordings present interesting phenomena that may demonstrate fundamental principles at work. We don’t know what, if anything, might be special about the switch from a chronically impaired state to back-to-normal function.. We use the term “back-to-normal function” as a descriptive placeholder until someone comes up with a better explanation.
We welcome suggestions for terms and language that might better convey the concepts that underlie the real-time recordings.
What is Pain?
According to the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP), pain is “an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage, or described in terms of such damage.”
Important note: the definition of pain does NOT include an “ouch” factor that many people associate with the feeling of pain. We prefer to use the the term “impaired functions” or “impairments” that provide objectively measurable attributes.
What is “treatment-resistant” or “nothing worked” pain?
“Treatment-resistant” and “nothing worked” pain suggest that previous attempts failed to bring lasting relief. We include pain that lacks a conventional means of treatment, such as phantom pain, impaired movement, or post-surgical pain. This type of pain frequently remains after an injury has otherwise healed. The pain may have no known reason for its presence or intensity.
The people with this type of pain seldom expect improvement any time soon. Their pain experience is typically measured on an imaginary 0-10 pain scale. A 10 is the person’s “worst imaginable pain”. Alternatively, smiley emoticons sometimes provide visual cues to the intensity. Can you really compare pain experienced by different people?
Note that the definition of pain does NOT include an “ouch” factor. For example, lost range-of-motion or loss of sensation. How might ouchless pain be measured?
What are impaired functions?
We use the term “impaired functions” for objectively measurable impairments of the innate sensory, motor, thermoregulation, and wound systems. For example, skin temperatures may be recorded using thermal imaging devices. Thermal imaging provides a non-contact means of recording possible physiological responses to therapy.
Note that perception of temperature may be more like an opinion than a fact. For example, the feeling of a constant temperature “normally” fades to a loss of awareness for constant temperatures. Such as in a shower or skin diving in cold water.
The impaired functions may provide symptoms or signs of a syndrome or clinical disorder. For example, cold limbs may associated with complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS or RSD), diabetic neuropathy, or be from an unknown cause. The failure for the experience of temperature to fade over time may lead to discomfort or pain.
What is “normal”?
This a challenging concept. We use the term “normal” for the functional state before an injury, frequently called homeostasis. For some, it is the absence of needing pain relief medications or therapy. For others, that state may not be achievable because an injury or stroke.
For example, Josephine’s brain-stem stroke left her totally paralyzed. PhotoMed’s therapy initially helped her to achieve some movement of her wrist and fingers after 14 years of non-use. Other impaired functions improved, such as breathing using her diaphragm, but not to her pre-stroke abilities. Josephine’s initial response from no-function to limited-function demonstrates her limited “back-to-normal” response.
What is the “back-to-normal function” response?
For people who heal without chronic pain after an injury, this response may be gradual and go unnoticed. Could this default process be considered “special” only because it didn’t happen on schedule?
Practitioners of physical medicine frequently adjust their therapy based upon their minute-by-minute observations. They look for a response in an impaired function, usually a symptom, such as the lost of range-of-motion. They may use multiple therapeutic modalities during a visit to get the job done, like a carpenter uses different hammers.
From a physics perspective, the response might mark the transition from an impaired state to the “normal” state that some call homeostasis. The response may complete in minutes (warming) or in the blink of an eye (realigning touch-maps). Longer times aren’t very useful for making during-visit adjustments to therapy.
Once started, the back-to-normal response appears to be entirely ordinary. Could the unexpectedness of the response and outcome make the event feel special? The years of delay? The acceptance of an abnormal state by calling it a “new normal”?
Could the methods for studying the “managed” abnormal state exclude the return to normal function as a valid endpoint?
Could the “placebo” effect describe the recordings of back-to-normal responses even if no one, even texts, don’t believe in the possibility? Check out Lois and her mirror-neuron synesthesia.
Why take so much data?
As software engineers, we have a problem understanding the 0-10 imaginary pain scale. We’re not very good at understanding emotions about imaginary feelings. We like to replay curious events.
We’re more comfortable when success is measured by objective improvement in functions. For example, measuring improved sensations using von Frey monofilaments to confirm the return of protective sensation.
Who says it works?
Development data was collected in real time at 6 unrelated sites. The physicians were primarily pain specialists who recruited from their own practices. They also welcomed people with multiple impaired functions, each of which was not expected to improve. Thus, each volunteer could contribute time-related data that might suggest possible associations among disorders, or not.
Re-examination of recordings by the Instant Verification System™ may help answer new questions without the expense of repeating the experiment. If we had to guess, the questions and answers will overturn conventional thinking. This may sound bold, but textbooks on pain and neuroplasticity don’t predict the recorded responses or outcomes commonly prompted by the Vari-Chrome® Pro. Could it be quantum biology in action?
How frequently does it work?
For treatment-resistant pain and associated impairments, nothing happened in 2 out of 3 cases during development of PhotoMed’s therapy and Triple 2 Algorithm. The good news about the bad news; beyond disappointment, there were no side effects.
In the 1 in 3 cases, a physiological response typically became measurable within two minutes of an effective application of therapy. If no response, then the operator could try different wavelengths or other settings. It’s like testing medicines, but 1000x faster.
Therapy for inflammation takes a few minutes longer and to objectively measure outcomes. PhotoMed’s studies did not examine the effects of fixed wavelengths over several visits.
Does this therapy replace pain-masking medications or spinal cord stimulators?
No, if the intervention is working to relieve your pain.
Pain-masking interventions typically relieve acute pain by diminishing or blocking pain signals sent from the injured body part. CBD oil and similar chemicals may act on different aspects of the pain experience.
Of course, PhotoMed’s therapy might provide temporary relief. You must try it to find out.
Counter-intuitive, “nothing worked” pain appears to respond best when there is no known reason for its presence or magnitude. That is, there is no target to shoot or signals to block. This is where physical medicine using light, electricity, vibration, or magnetism frequently begins.
How does it work?
We don’t know. It’s just visible photons, not chemicals.
Perhaps brain imaging will unlock the secrets. Could it be quantum biology in action?
After Robert Florin M.D. (neurosurgeon) examined recordings of bilaterally improved skin temperature, he suggested that the warming and pain relief result from unblocking processes in the brain before the left-right split.
For example, the bilateral return of comfortable hand temperatures after 30 years.
Why should I want to have access to all wavelengths from the visible spectrum?
Would you feel comfortable throwing away wavelengths that might help your individual patient?
Want to do research?
Could the Instant Verification System™ and its recordings save time and money for getting started?