Shedding Light on Chronic Pain for Soldiers


Veterans Day is celebrated on Nov. 11 every year in the United States, but what are we doing every other day of the year to honor those who have given everything to keep us safe? These soldiers return home with a host of issues, including chronic pain. The good news—the spa industry can help and light therapy just might be the answer.

Since 2014, BioPhotas has worked with veterans and active military to provide them with drug-free pain management options.  We sat down with Denise Ryan, V.P. brand management for Celluma, to learn more about what BioPhotas is currently doing to help veterans and get some insight on how spas can make a difference for active and retired military with chronic pain.

Skin Inc. (SI): How did you discover the benefits of light therapy for veterans?
Denise Ryan (DR): Right from the inception of the company, our vision was to make an efficacious light therapy device at an affordable price so the masses could take advantage of the innumerable of benefits of light therapy. And so, Celluma was born.

While awaiting FDA clearances for skin and acne conditions, we primarily focused our efforts on pain management markets. It was at this early stage of the company that we became aware of the plight of our active and retired military personnel suffering from debilitating pain. In 2014, we were introduced to The Wounded Warrior Battalion at Camp Pendleton. Following a successful pilot project in pain management at Camp Pendleton, we entered into an agreement with The Semper Fi Fund who today provide Celluma devices to active and retired military at no charge.

SI: What are the major issues that veterans experience?
DR: Veterans face a myriad of issues and a serious one is access to affordable, drug-free pain control. As everyone is sadly aware, there is an opioid epidemic in this country and pain medication addiction is rampant among our military personnel where suicide rates are reported to be approximately 22 deaths per day. It is believed that there is a high correlation between these suicides and pain medication addiction.

SI: How does light therapy help address these issues?
SI: Light therapy is an effective and proven drug-free alternative for treating a variety of musculoskeletal conditions.

SI: How does Celluma partner with veterans?
DR: Celluma is manufactured by BioPhotas and provided to veterans through several programs. Since 2014, Biophotas has collaborated with The Semper Fi Fund who provide Celluma devices to military service members retiring because of wounds or injuries. BioPhotas also has a generous military discount on select Celluma models as well as a GSA schedule-number for selling Celluma devices to the government.

SI: Do you reach out to active service members too?
DR: All the programs mentioned above are available to both active and retired military.

SI: How does the type of light therapy play a role in efficacy?
DR: First of all, the light therapy device should be FDA-cleared for the treatment of pain and musculoskeletal conditions. This will at least ensure that the device has been reviewed for efficacy and for safety. Without FDA-clearance you don’t really know what you are getting. Then, look for a device with red and near-infrared wavelengths. These are the wavelengths required to reach the target tissue deep in the subcutaneous tissue layer to promote increased micro-circulation and attenuate pain. Celluma is particularly effective at treating pain because of its flexible and shape-taking design. This unique design allows it to be placed easily and comfortably wrapped around any joint complex or body part from head to toe.

SI: Do you think spas serve veterans well?
DR: I’ve seen many spas who have really generous veteran programs. Nevertheless, I feel that more spas could offer special services or discounts in order to thank our military who certainly have earned and deserve the ultimate in appreciation.

SI: How can spa professionals serve veterans better?
DR: I’m never keen to tell other professionals how to run their businesses. However, I do know that spas that ‘give-back’ enjoy blessings and gratitude from those who have sacrificed so much for our safety and freedom. As they say, it’s a win-win!


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