Potential Benefits of Laser Therapy shouldn’t be Kept Secret

Potential Benefits of Laser Therapy shouldn’t be Kept Secret



Several articles written by Dr. Markus Thiel have been published in local newspapers and we are happy to share these with you to give you information on overall health and wellness as well as the remarkable benefits of  Low Intensity Laser Therapy.

Potential Benefits of Laser Therapy shouldn’t be Kept Secret

May 23, 2014

Potential Benefits of Laser Therapy shouldn’t be Kept SecretThough low intensity laser therapy (lilt) is relatively new to the Okanagan, its therapeutic applications have been around for over three decades.

I consider myself fortunate to have a laser clinic within my practice, as many patients have had profound improvements with its application. It seems to be one of the best kept secrets of Kelowna. The spectrum of maladies that it treats is vast.

One such pathology would be reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RDS). This usually develops from an injury or trauma and from that injury the individual will suffer from pain in the soft tissue, joints, muscles and bones.

So what the laser can do at and from a cellular level is greatly reduce these symptoms by promoting healing and lasting pain relief.

RSD can involve the interaction of the sensory, motor and autonomic nervous system; and the immune system, so it is thought that the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) control the various processes and somehow are changed, altered or damaged as a direct result of injuries sustained.

Research has demonstrated that low intensity laser therapy is successful in the regeneration and functional recovery of the soft tissue and nervous structures. Recent research has indicated that it alters the immune system’s response after a spinal cord injury. This is paramount for proper nervous and soft tissue healing.

The type of low intensity laser therapy we are using is most effective in reducing inflammation by initiating a healing response at a cellular level. When we reduce the amount of inflammation in the tissue in conjunction with increasing the amount of cellular fuel, known as adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the body’s ability to heal itself increases exponentially.

This is essentially how the laser works, by evoking a restorative response at the cellular level of injured tissue. It’s a neurological level. Laser therapy stimulates deep into the tissue to help maintain the functional activity of injured nerves, decreases the scar tissue formation, decreases degeneration in corresponding motor neurons and peripheral nerves, and significantly increases the axonal growth and restoration of injured nervous tissue.

When looking at what happens right down at the cell itself, we see accelerated migration of nerve fibers. Recent studies have demonstrated there is an increased amount of nerve cell and nerve fiber sprouting and re-growth. This is very important when one is in a great deal of pain.

So in essence, light energy is converted into biochemical energy. The result is that normal cell function is restored. It’s very much like increasing one’s ability to heal using their own pathways with no complications, side effects or drug interactions.

Originally this laser was being used to treat diabetic ulcers and other such associated soft tissue compromise. Since then, research has demonstrated how low intensity laser therapy is highly effective in treating many other degenerative and painful conditions. Because this treatment acts at a cellular level we are aiding the body in healing naturally.

On a daily basis, I have seen symptoms of pain, sensitivity from overactive nerves, inflammation, joint pain, tingling, and numbness disappear quite quickly considering the chronicity of the injuries. If you suffer from any form of chronic pain, low intensity laser therapy may be an option you can add to your toolbox.

It treats the cause of your symptoms, not just the symptoms.

Laser Therapy Turns ‘on’ Body’s Ability to Heal Itself

Laser Therapy Turns ‘on’ Body’s Ability to Heal Itself



Several articles written by Dr. Markus Thiel have been published in local newspapers and we are happy to share these with you to give you information on overall health and wellness as well as the remarkable benefits of  Low Intensity Laser Therapy.

Laser Therapy Turns ‘on’ Body’s Ability to Heal Itself

May 23, 2014

Laser Therapy Turns ‘on’ Body’s Ability to Heal ItselfI have had an awful lot of emails regarding my June 11 article about the use of laser therapy in the treatment of musculoskeletal injuries. It seems many people are as excited about this therapy as I am.

I received my certification in Low Intensity Laser Therapy application in Alberta so that I could bring this technology to my clinic in Kelowna.

I will attempt to give you a Reader’s Digest version of this new technology and its success. It is truly fantastic.

Here’s how it works.

This technology utilizes superluminous laser and laser diodes to treat abnormal tissue with light photons. These particles of energy affect a variety of cells and tissues resulting in the conversion of light into biochemical energy. In essence, it is turning ‘on’ the ability of the body to heal the injured structure by allowing the cells to function and restore normal physiology. This process is curative and it eliminates symptoms such as pain, swelling, and bruising of injured tissue.

The physiological effects of laser therapy include an increased production of DNA.These are the protein building blocks that are essential in the process of cell and tissue regeneration. In addition, it increases collagen production which increases the strength of muscles, tendons and ligaments.

We get all of our energy from a cell called mitochondria. Mitochondria’s function is to produce a fuel called ATP. Laser therapy increases the amount of ATP produced in the mitochondria, thereby greatly accelerating the healing process using your body’s innate curative pathways.

It also has been demonstrated to increase the immune response, promote lymphatic drainage which reduces swelling and most impressively it produces a process called angiogenesis. Angiogenesis is the formation of new blood vessels to injured tissue which will improve circulation and tissue oxygenation, thereby giving this dormant tissue life.

Treatments last typically between 30 minutes to an hour and in a recent clinical review involving 1,000 consecutively treated patients the average number of treatments required was only 9.4.

Here’s the most amazing aspect of laser therapy:

There are absolutely no adverse effects, there is no pain or sensation felt during treatment and very few contra-indications for treatment. It is non-toxic, non-invasive and in over one million individual treatments no adverse side effects have ever been reported.

Conditions that respond very well to laser therapy include carpal tunnel syndrome, tennis elbow, repetitive stress syndrome, rotator cuff injury, ligament and tendon tears, herniated discs, tendinitis, plantars fasciitis, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, neuropathies, and muscle tears to name a few.

This may seem like shameless self-promotion but I assure you it is not. In all my years of research and clinical therapy, I’ve never seen a modality that is so effective with lasting results. I’m very excited to offer this to my patients as it can give them hope in what may seem to be a hopeless situation.

This therapy has been around for 20 years and I feel it will be around for another 200.

Open Your Eyes to the Need for Sleep -by Dr. Markus Thiel

Open Your Eyes to the Need for Sleep -by Dr. Markus Thiel



Several articles written by Dr. Markus Thiel have been published in local newspapers and we are happy to share these with you to give you information on overall health and wellness as well as the remarkable benefits of  Low Intensity Laser Therapy.

Open Your Eyes to the Need for Sleep -by Dr. Markus Thiel

January 16, 2018

Open Your Eyes to the Need for Sleep -by Dr. Markus ThielWhenever I have a new patient come to my clinic, I like to spend at least 45 minutes with them. I want to get an idea of what it is like to live in their skin. I believe talking with your patient is the most important part of determining if you can help them or not.

                I fondly remember a surgeon that I conducted my residency with. He said that 90 percent of the patient’s diagnosis will come from clinical history. If the doctor is doing all the talking then he is not listening.

                Routinely, people will come in with headaches or back pain in search of a solution. Many are surprised at some of the questions I ask them. Some of these questions include: How much water do you drink? Who do you have to talk with about your most personal questions? What hobbies do you have? How many meals a day do you eat?

                 Invariably, I always ask some of my most important sleep questions. What positions do you sleep in? How much sleep do you get a night? Do you wake frequently? Do you wake feeling rested or telling yourself that you will go to bed early tonight?

                I am amazed at just how sleep-deprived our society is. Many of my patients do not understand the vital importance of allowing proper time for rest and recovery. Sleep is that all important elixir of health. It is in that slumber state that your body repairs itself and recovers from the day’s events. Sleep keeps your immune system in line and allows you to make healthy, optimistic choices the following day.

                Many studies have clearly demonstrated the necessity of appropriate sleep. When one is deprived of enough sleep, they can exhibit signs of psychosis and agitation. Their memory becomes impeded and they are more susceptible to depression. Have you ever noticed that after you burn the candle at both ends, live in stress and burn yourself out, that you later come down with a cold or the flu?

                How much sleep is enough? There is no magic number. Children and young adults who are growing require more sleep than one who is elderly. Make healthy choices about the amount of time you sleep. I recommend a good number to start with is eight hours dedicated to sleep, not watching TV, or dosing in the tub.

                I often talk about something called sleep hygiene. This is the routine you follow before going to bed. For some, it may include a hot bath with Epsom salts, for others it may include writing in a journal for 30 minutes before retiring for the day. In any event, it should be a time specifically set aside for you and your debriefing from the day.

                Sometimes I have to suggest to my most difficult sleepers that they may want to try meditation or prayer before they go to sleep. Simply put, just calm your mind. Sometimes the hardest thing to do in the world is to relax. It takes no effort, yet only a few can achieve it.

                There are many good reasons why the sandman may be ignoring you. They include unresolved issues that are personal to you or a bad mattress that is as old as the underwear you had when you were in high school.

Some major “no-no’s” to avoid:

  • Avoid over stimulation (yes, this includes your cell phone!)
  • Don’t drink caffeinated drinks after 2 p.m.
  • Avoid alcohol before bed
  • Avoid exercise too close to bed time

                These things rob you of the most important phase of sleep recovery called the REM phase. I never watch the evening news because I find it too upsetting just prior to bed.  Don’t go over your finances or bills just prior to sleeping because there is nothing you can do about them until the next day.

                One of the most common causes of loss of sleep is some sort of pain. My clinic is a chronic pain clinic and I see a lot of people who are in a lot of pain a lot of the time. There is no way in the world you can convince me that a significant amount of pain does not sap you of your precious energy. I see it every day. When the pain is at a certain level, it becomes all consuming. It affects your energy, your immune system, your work and your relationships.

                If you are suffering from pain, ask for help and get it! Do not accept that you are going to have to live with it. There are many forms of help out there but the answer will always be “no” to the questions you don’t ask.

                Your sleep hygiene is vital to your health and well-being. It is one of the most important things you can do for yourself today. Ask yourself these three questions:

  1. Do you wake feeling rested?
  2. How many hours of sleep do you get each night?
  3. Do you dream at night?

                          If you are not dreaming, you may not be entering that all important REM phase of sleep. Allow time for your sleep. It is the most critical part of your healthy day.


Can Vitamin D Prevent Diabetes? -by Dr. Markus Thiel

Can Vitamin D Prevent Diabetes? -by Dr. Markus Thiel



Several articles written by Dr. Markus Thiel have been published in local newspapers and we are happy to share these with you to give you information on overall health and wellness as well as the remarkable benefits of  Low Intensity Laser Therapy.

Can Vitamin D Prevent Diabetes? -by Dr. Markus Thiel

January 22, 2018

Can Vitamin D Prevent Diabetes? -by Dr. Markus ThielResearch demonstrates that higher vitamin D levels are linked to lower diabetes risk. Vitamin D may play an important role in preventing diabetes by improving insulin secretion and insulin sensitivity in those patients that might otherwise be at risk for diabetes.

Dr. Anastassios Pittas, from the division of endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism at Tufts New England Medical Center in Boston, Mass. recently presented his findings to the American Diabetes Association.

The study involved 2,039 people and took over three years to complete. The study also focused largely on people who were considered pre-diabetic.

In the study, Dr. Pittas found that individuals with the highest serum level of vitamin D had the least chance of developing diabetes whereas those with the lowest vitamin D levels develop diabetes more than twice as frequently.

They determined that this was a dose-dependent ratio, meaning the more vitamin D you have in your daily intake, the better your odds of not contracting diabetes later in life.

The authors were cautious to state that it would be premature to recommend vitamin D specifically for prevention of diabetes until the randomized placebo-controlled trial of vitamin D for the prevention of type II diabetes can be conducted.

Though the study was validated as per the patient’s lifestyle and a placebo was used in its methodology, the results still seemed favourable for the use of vitamin D and its implications towards treating patients that are considered pre-diabetic.

The Mayo Clinic states that Vitamin D is found in many dietary sources such as fish, eggs, and cod liver oil.

The sun also contributes significantly to the daily production of vitamin D. Vitamin D is synthesized by humans in the skin when it is exposed to ultraviolet B (UVB) rays from sunlight. As little as 10 minutes of exposure daily is thought to be enough to prevent deficiencies.

The major biological function of vitamin D is to maintain normal blood levels of calcium and phosphorus. Vitamin D aids in the absorption of calcium, helping to form and maintain strong bones.

Recent research also suggests vitamin D may provide protection from osteoporosis, hypertension (high blood pressure), cancer, and several autoimmune diseases.

Rickets and osteomalacia are classic vitamin D deficiency diseases. In children, vitamin D deficiency causes rickets, which results in skeletal deformities.

In adults, vitamin D deficiency can lead to osteomalacia, which results in muscular weakness in addition to weakened bones.

Populations who may be at a high risk for vitamin D deficiencies include the elderly, obese individuals, exclusively breastfed infants, and those who have limited sun exposure. Individuals who have fat malabsorption syndromes (e.g. cystic fibrosis) or inflammatory bowel disease (e.g. Crohn’s disease) are also at risk.

The importance of vitamin D supplementation cannot be ignored as it has been proven time and time again that this vitamin is essential to normal physiological function and important in boosting the immune system and preventing disease.

Water, Water, Everywhere” – by Dr. Markus Thiel

Water, Water, Everywhere” – by Dr. Markus Thiel



Several articles written by Dr. Markus Thiel have been published in local newspapers and we are happy to share these with you to give you information on overall health and wellness as well as the remarkable benefits of  Low Intensity Laser Therapy.

“Water, Water, Everywhere” – by Dr. Markus Thiel

February 13, 2018

Water, Water, EverywhereThe Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge has a quote that starts, “Water, water, everywhere…” and it might want to finish, “…and for good reason.” The degree to which you are hydrated dictates your overall state and health. In fact, few things in this universe perpetuate life as well as water.

Insert boring facts here:

  • The human body is comprised of 72 to 83 percent water.
  • We can live for only three days without water.
  • There are approximately 30,000,000 chemical reactions happening in the human body every 10 seconds of the day.
  • Ninety-two percent of these 30,000,000 reactions rely on water as a part of that reaction. If there is no water, there will be no reaction.

Now let’s look at the nervous system and its responses to a well and poorly hydrated state. Remember the nervous system monitors and regulates every system in your body from your immunity to your heart, digestion, aging, etc.

There are two parts of the nervous system, one conscious that we directly control and one unconscious, or your auto pilot. The conscious one is what we use to move an arm or type a text. It is about movement. The unconscious one regulates things in our body without our direct influence. Some examples would include digestion, temperature, growth, repair, mental state, energy, clarity of thought, immunity, etc. This second system is known as the autonomic nervous system or ANS. This is the system that we use approximately 90 percent of the day. The ANS is most important to our well being.

I believe it best to drink about two to three litres of water per day. Not only does this amount of water keep us healthy, but it detoxifies our system as well. Anything less than that would have us in a state of dehydration.

In a dehydrated state, the ANS is intensely impacted upon. When we do not get enough water, our nervous system becomes more irritable and fires in a poorly regulated way. Our systems become somewhat dysfunctional and more erratic. Dehydration causes the system to be constantly ‘on.’ This could be considered being stuck in a mild ‘fight or flight’ scenario.

The dehydrated person is easily irritated; they concentrate poorly and feel rather aggravated. The body and mind are in a mild state of stress. Subsequently, the fragile system that runs all our other systems becomes uneven in its performance. The cruise control is altered and your engine revs and slows constantly.

I can describe at great length the neuroanatomy and neurophysiology of this, but I will spare you. Simply know this: your nervous system is comprised of two switches: on and off. In a well-hydrated state, these two systems function in perfect harmony, in concert with one another. In a dehydrated state, these allies are at war. To not drink enough water is like trying to light a room using a lamp without a bulb.

Try this simple experiment — drink two to three litres of water a day for the next few days. See how you feel. Observe how you operate. “Water, water everywhere…” a simpler solution for whole body wellness has never been more available.