Recently, I received an unsolicited communication critiquing the contents of Meditech’s three volumes on Laser Therapy published June 1st, 2008. Without question, there are always differences of opinion with regard to any printed material and these texts are no exception. The process may even be beneficial provided that the reviewer is completely conversant with the nature of the subject matter.
The critic in this instance happened to be a physiotherapist, who has been established in practice for thirty years and pointed out that he was extremely proud of his profession and his accomplishments. At the same time, it was apparent that his knowledge of the contents of this material was limited and based on established concepts, which are invariably behind the times.
We are all aware of the axiom, that once a text is published it immediately proceeds to obsolescence. Moreover, original work, where the focus of research must be placed, is generally not published or accepted by the academic community, for many years after the work has been completed.
The reviewer expressed his enthusiasm with regard to other texts he had read in the past, with all of which I am quite familiar. The publications to which referred had compiled a significant database and established a useful library of the current consensus. At the same time, the authors had limited experience in the clinical application of laser therapy and their efforts were largely restricted to the definition of terminologies and established concepts in this field. Whereas this is commendable, it does not advance the frontiers of the technology, nor is it cognizant of the fact that change is occurring at an accelerated pace.
Our publications, in essence, record the evolution and observations of almost twenty years of original work, including the development of the BioFlex series of systems and their highly successful application in the treatment of many thousands of diverse and challenging medical conditions. The results achieved are based on the combination of appropriate synergies, including basic research, innovative engineering and extensive medical knowledge. Only through this process can optimal objectives be obtained.
It is encouraging to note that many of foremost physiotherapists in North America and around the world have integrated Low Intensity Laser Therapy successfully in the scope of their practice. Traditionally, physiotherapists have relied almost exclusively on manual techniques and a variety of established modalities such as ultrasound, interferential current etc., which may preclude researching other potentially more effective solutions. Moreover, as in the health care sector in general, the focus appears to be primarily on the modulation of symptoms, rather than curing the pathology. At a time when medicine is moving into the molecular/cellular age of healing, I believe that the utilization of more productive therapies requires emphasis.
Almost twenty years ago, when I began to explore the Laser Therapy field, educational opportunities were limited. The research available was often documented in foreign languages which were difficult to translate. In the course of my self-education, I consulted many basic researchers, manufacturers and a variety of therapists involved in this relatively novel field of endeavour, all of whom were acknowledged to be the leaders in their particular area of expertise. Upon completion of this process, I arrived at the conclusion that more original and independent thought and work were necessary. While deriving significant benefit from the knowledge of these pioneers, I recognized that departures from the prevailing concepts were indicated and even more important, today I realize that this process needs to be intensified as we move forward.
At Meditech’s certification seminars I always state to those attending, “Over the next three days you will be exposed to the history and current understanding of this technology, however our educational programmes are directed to enable you to become a proficient student of this science; hopefully, your views will be flexible and open to change, while the frontiers of the science continue to advance.”
At our clinics, at least several times daily, patients will inquire, “Why does my healthcare professional/physician not know about this therapy? Prior to attending here, I have been following many courses of treatment recommended and my condition has continued to deteriorate; yet, after less than three weeks of treatment at your clinic, I no longer require analgesics and am able to carry on with most normal activities.”
This question is easy to answer. Medical care today is more focused on delivery systems and control of the mode of treatment, rather than what may be most effective. These sentiments should be a clear indicator that all professions must re-examine their teachings, their knowledge and preconceived concepts – frequently, otherwise, they will fail to adopt more effective therapeutic approaches which may benefit the patient.