BOULDER, Colo. — For the last three years, Robert Wells has been using light therapy as a way to manage his physical pain and stress.
Wells is a veteran and also worked in law enforcement. Over the years, he's suffered multiple injuries.
“I’ve suffered a gunshot wound to the left shoulder, I’ve had an ankle rebuilt. I’ve got a lot of arthritis in my neck and my hands,” said Wells.
That pain led him to use opioids prescribed by the VA.
“I was on opioids and using them frequently and a little too much. It was changing my behavior patterns," Wells said. "When I started using [light therapy], not only did I get out the pain relief, that was surprising, my arthritis started feeling good, my mobility was up."
A Harvard-affiliated study examining the impact of light therapy found it may help treat traumatic brain injuries.
That's why David Martin decided to open Light Lounge, a light therapy business, in Boulder. He says light therapy's potential is limitless.
“I really believe that the biggest attribute to the light therapy is bringing down inflammation naturally in the body. Because when the body can heal itself, that's the best way to heal yourself,” Martin said.
He says one of the biggest barriers to light therapy is cost.
“The machines that sit in front of you are $130,000 medical devices," Martin said. "But what we're trying to do here at Light Lounge is make it as affordable as the cost of a cappuccino."
Martin says three out of five insurance companies cover light therapy. For Wells, the therapy has allowed him stop using pain medication and changed his life.
“I'm out and I'm active again," Wells said. "I have been so miserable for so many years. I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired."
Light therapy is something Wells hopes other veterans or anyone suffering from injuries will consider.