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Light-based health initiative demonstrated January 24

Clockwise from left: Workshop leader James Carroll with a PBM device; nursing students at the PBM workshop; and Carroll, CEO of THOR, and Dr. Sharon Mailey, acting dean for and chair of the Department of Nursing Education.

Shepherd University, in partnership with the PBM Foundation, announced a new strategic health education initiative promoting the use of light-based health treatments, also known as photobiomodulation (PBM), during a daylong workshop on January 24.

The workshop introduced PBM to Shepherd’s advanced practice nurses and is the first step in bringing the science and application of light-based treatments into the nursing curriculum.

“PBM is important to West Virginians,” said Dr. Sharon Mailey, acting dean for and chair of the Department of Nursing Education. “Our state leads the nation in opioid overdose deaths. PBM’s effectiveness in treating pain can create a viable alternative treatment that will help reduce dependence on addictive and dangerous medications.”

“PBM is the future of health and treating aging disorders,” said Dr. Scott Beard, acting provost. “Shepherd is committing itself to becoming the center of excellence for PBM.”

The PBM light activates the body’s own innate healing and pain relieving mechanisms to reduce pain and allow faster healing. There is mounting evidence from more than 500 human clinical trials of PBM’s positive effects on acute trauma as well as degenerative diseases, such as macular degeneration, osteoarthritis, dementia, back and neck pain, shingles, and other neuropathic pain syndromes.

An evening reception was held honoring pioneers in the new field of photobiomodulation for their leadership in developing light-based health treatment equipment. Honorees included James Carroll, founder and CEO of THOR; Clark Tedford, founder and CEO of Lumithera; Dr. Praveen Arany, University of Buffalo; and Dr. Juanita Anders, Uniformed Services University.

“Light-based health treatments are the wave of the future,” said Dr. Robert Bowen, president of the PBM Foundation, a nonprofit organization devoted to the adoption of photobiomodulation, its science, technology, and procedures, as the preferred treatment for healing and the relief of pain.