top of page
Image by Jonathan Borba

How It Works

Varichrome® Pro

Proven therapy that prompts the body to heal.


How Does The Therapy Work?

The short answer:

The body heals itself; the therapy prompts a restart.


Red and infrared wavelengths remain the most studied; typically examining the effects of one wavelength per study. 5000+ studies show that many mechanisms may be involved in relieving pain, promoting relaxation, reducing inflammation, and a myriad of other improvements. Often cited, the wavelengths in the red and infrared spectrum may be selected for their ability to penetrate the skin to stimulate deeper tissues. The most frequently mentioned mechanism of action (MOA) is the cytochrome c oxidase pathway for improving mitochondrial functioning.

PhotoMed's variable-wavelength therapy introduces different ways to apply photobiomodulation therapy (PBM). The therapy was developed in feasibility studies that aimed to prompt improved physiological functioning and pain relief.


The outcomes-focused studies began in 2000 without the benefit of the discovery of many photo-transducing pathways. However, real-time recordings support retrospective examinations that may confirm pathways.  PhotoMed's outcomes likely result from the stimulation of multiple pathways in both serial and parallel time scales.

The desired return-to-normal functioning outcome appears to erase the history of the settings and pathways that prompted healing to resume. "Normal" implies that additional therapy is no longer needed and thus eliminates a dose-response relationship.

Fixed-wavelength Pathways

NOTE: PhotoMed's team of engineers offers these concepts for your consideration, comments, and suggestions. The goal is to promote explorations and discussions beyond the fixed-wavelength perspectives.

Exploring pathways

Conventional photobiomodulation therapies (PBM) typically deliver one or a few wavelengths during a session. Each pathway can be stimulated by a band of wavelengths. For example, the cytochrome c oxidase pathway is often cited for activation via red and infrared wavelengths.

Hypothesis-driven studies often aim to find a dose-response relationship between a wavelength and effects via a single pathway. To control the experiments, these methods may not consider parallel pathways that might occur or possible healing systems involvement in achieving the measured outcomes.

A review paper includes details of the effects for 53 discrete visible wavelengths (diamonds in the graphic below).

One or multiple?

The paper mentions multiple photo-transducing pathways:

  • Cytochrome c oxidase

  • Opsins

  • Flavins and flavoproteins

  • Nitric oxide (NO)-containing compounds and nitrite reductases

  • Nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NFkB)

  • Transforming growth factor-β (TGFβ) signaling

  • Nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) signaling

  • Mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling

  • Extracellular-regulated kinase (ERK) signaling

  • c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK)

Serrage, H., Heiskanen, V., Palin, W.M. et al. Under the spotlight: mechanisms of Photobiomodulation concentrating on blue and green light. Photochem Photobiol Sci 18, 1877–1909 (2019).

53 discrete wavelength chart 2022-12-27.png

The Varichrome Pro can deliver wavelengths across the visible spectrum, multiple pathways may be stimulated in parallel and/or serially. However, the patient measures success by their improved functioning or relieved pain.

The Serrage paper calls for studies to report exposure and treatment parameters that could enable direct comparisons between studies. Other challenges remain such as that each study examined a single pathway via cells from animals and humans in vivo and/or in vitro.

Apples and oranges

It is important to note that PhotoMed's feasibility studies focused on objective improvements of physiological functioning of the sensory, motor, skin temperature, and wound healing systems. The desired endpoint for the individual outcomes was the return to normal functioning. The therapy was typically applied with the wavelength sweeping a range of less than 100nm. The settings from the Varichrome Pro were distilled from the data over years of refinement.

The real-time recordings show the physiological responses, such as cold hands warming, after healing resumes. The recordings include the timing of the settings as they were applied; wavelength, frequency, and location. The recorded data can be reexamined to test ideas and hypotheses.

The data does not support a direct comparison with fixed wavelengths, intensities, or other factors.

2022 WarmingHandsWithChart.jpg

Thermal imaging of hands warming after a long period of abnormal coldness. No unique wavelength-to-outcome relationship has been found in PhotoMed's real-time recordings. The show cases when wavelengths from violet to red prompt the return to normal functioning.

Variable-wavelength pathways

PhotoMed's feasibility studies let the practitioner try different settings to prompt improvements in the impaired functioning of the individual patient. The settings could include wavelengths from the entire spectrum.

The desired return-to-normal functioning outcome appears to erase the history of the settings and pathways that prompted healing to resume. "Normal" implies that additional therapy is no longer needed and thus eliminates a dose-response relationship.

A different way to look at the variable-wavelength therapy is to consider how many pathways might be stimulated within a session. Could the stimulation of multiple pathways account for the efficiency for prompting the return to normal functioning?

Wavelengths during therapy 2022-12-28b.png

Depiction that compares the possible application of a fixed-wavelength therapy and a variable-wavelength therapy. The variable-wavelength therapy is about the process of finding the wavelengths needed by the individual patient.

Take-away concepts

The Varichrome® Pro opens new frontiers in photon-based therapies.

Now in a single device, the user has automated access to the visible spectrum (430-690nm), with no missing wavelengths. The varying wavelengths can activate multipath stimulation to unblock the healing systems.

We call that “unblocking” because we couldn’t find another term that can explain how a few photons might promote healing from many types of injury and pain.

The return to normal functioning appears to erase the history of the pathways that prompted healing to resume.

Could the demonstrated return to normal functioning simply be like running the first 4-minute mile?


What might happen if patients and their doctors believe that healing is possible?

Gravity Model 2022-12-16.png

Could a 10-second video be worth 10,000 words?

  • 7 pre-programmed ranges cover portions of the spectrum found to help the body improve impaired functions.

  • Like everything in medicine, you have try it to learn if it will "work" for the individual patient.​

  • Varying the wavelength during therapy efficiently improves the likelihood of prompting the body to resume healing.​

  • The practitioner monitors for a physiological response during therapy. Reports of pain relief often arrive later.​

  • The Varichrome Pro is now commercially available. Contact PhotoMed for details.


A few details about the Varichrome Pro

The Varichrome Pro selectively emits photons with wavelengths throughout the visible spectrum (430-690nm), a few wavelengths at a time.

With no missing wavelengths.

Its analog controls let the practitioner manually or automatically vary the wavelength and frequency during therapy.

7 Pre-programmed selections:

  1. #1-5 span the visible spectrum

  2. #6 yellow

  3. #7 spans 440-680nm

  • Adjustable-rate of wavelength variation in programmed selections: ~4 - 32nm/second

  • Manual range: 430-690nm

  • Frequency: continuous to 500Hz

  • Dimensions: L x W x H: 6.6 x 3.5 x 1.8 inches (Control unit w/o knobs)

  • Weight: <2 lbs

  • Charging Supply: 12VDC @ 18Watts,  charging time ~6hrs.

  • Operating time: 2hrs @ max intensity (external battery pack)

  • Working distance and diameter: 1.5 inches, 1.5 inches

The Varichrome Pro is a Class II physical medical device.

bottom of page