If you’ve been into the clinic to see us, or even just taken a look at our website, you’ll know that we talk about cellular energy a lot. Usually when we are talking about this we are met with blank stares, so today we thought we’d explain a bit more in depth about what cellular energy is, why it matters, and how light therapy helps.
What is ATP
When we talk about cellular energy, what we’re really talking about is Adenosine Triphosphate, or ATP. ATP is all-important because it provides the chemical energy that all cells in the body require for proper functioning. Without ATP, molecules within the body cannot be made or broken down, cells cannot maintain their functions, and all life-supporting functions come to a halt. ATP provides energy for all cellular work and therefore we need a constant supply of it.
How ATP is produced
Within our cells, it is the mitochondria that produces the ATP. Because ATP is so important to our bodies, the mitochondria is considered the “powerhouse” of the cell. Metabolically speaking, the cells that are the busiest (liver, brain, muscles, etc.) require large amounts of ATP to function and therefore have tons of mitochondria, as opposed to cells that are relatively inactive (like unfertilized eggs) that have fewer.
Metabolism is an important thing to understand for our cells and cellular functioning. Metabolism is a broad term that refers to all chemical reactions that happen within the body and all its cells. This includes the breakdown of complex substances (like food) into simple building blocks (like simple sugars, amino acids, etc.), and using things like oxygen and nutrients to produce molecules of ATP.
Why it matters
In our body, ATP fuels the electrical energy of nerve impulses, the mechanical of contracting muscles, tissue repair, cellular division and replication, and more. Therefore, if there is a lack of ATP, we start to see disfunction and disease as inadequate levels of ATP leads to cellular aging and cellular death. Simply put, ATP is absolutely necessary for the proper function of our body at the cellular level. But as you may remember from high school biology, our body is entirely made up of cells. We have different types of cells with specific functions that combine to create our organs and body systems – all of which is working together to keep us alive and healthy. Without ATP functioning properly, this system starts to fall apart, and so do we!
ATP & Light Therapy
The reason we talk about ATP and cellular health in our clinic so much is because ATP is at the center of our ability to heal, and ATP production is stimulated by Photobiomodulation (PBM) Light Therapy. With the lights we have at Luminous Health Solutions, we can either use the Lightbed for a full body treatment or use the THOR Handheld Lights to target specific areas of the body that could use a boost of ATP production. This allows our cells to go back to functioning the way they were created to, allowing our bodies to heal naturally.
Other ways to support ATP production
Some other things that can support the production of ATP in our bodies:
- Deep breathing to increase oxygen intake
- Replace refined carbohydrates (white bread, refined sugar, pop, processed etc.) with complex carbohydrates (whole grain, fruits and vegetables, unprocessed beans and legumes, etc.)
- Maintenance of appropriate blood sugar levels throughout the day
- Eating healthy fats like avocado, nuts and seeds (especially necessary for ATP production in the liver)
- Make time for meditation and mindful practices
- Incorporate gentle movement and exercise into your daily routine
- Prioritize sleep and rest
What happens to our cells, happens to us and so it is of utmost importance to care for our cells!