( Low-Level Laser Therapy )

Photobiomodulation (PBM therapy), or low-level Laser Therapy (LLLT), is a non-invasive procedure that utilizes a focused light to trigger photochemical reactions to promote tissue repair and reduce inflammation.

Photobiomodulation device on the shoulder of a women

What Is Photobiomodulation or Laser Therapy?

Photobiomodulation, which was previously known as low-level Laser Therapy (LLLT), is a type of light therapy that involves the use of red or near-infrared light on injuries and otherwise affected areas of the body. The term, Photobiomodulation, is used to describe the biological process taking place due to light sources, which include lasers, LED, and broadband light.  

In medicine, high-intensity laser light is used to cut through and break down tissue, but the concept behind low-intensity lasers is to administer it in low enough dosages to enhance cell function. However, if it is given at too low of a dose then it will not be effective. 

When done properly, photobiomodulation will trigger a photochemical reaction that will occur when the light has been absorbed by a chemical substance. This chemical is the cytochrome C oxidase within the mitochondria of a cell. The light will cause the cytochrome C oxidase to make ATP (adenosine triphosphate), which fuels all the functions of the cell, by reducing oxidative stress.

How Treatment Works

Photobiomodulation is performed through the use of a device that is specifically designed for this treatment. The PBM device is placed near or in direct contact with the skin so the light can penetrate the cells and create the photochemical reaction that will kickstart the healing process. Sessions can be done multiple times a week and there may need to be numerous sessions before there is a noticeable difference.  

Patients who are pregnant or have cancer should not receive this treatment. Photobiomodulation is generally considered to be a safe and effective treatment but receiving too high a dosage of light can potentially damage the skin tissue. 

Other than this potential risk, PBM has no lasting or harmful side effects and treatments are usually done within half an hour, with patients having no trouble going about their daily activities afterward. It is also a painless treatment since it involves a red light that is delivered at low enough levels so that it is not hot in any way.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Photobiomodulation FAQ's

What are the benefits of PBM?

PBM can help reduce pain and inflammation, improve circulation, accelerate healing, and promote tissue regeneration. It is also a non-invasive and painless treatment that has few side effects.

What conditions can PBM help treat?

PBM has been shown to be effective in treating a variety of conditions, including chronic pain, arthritis, neuropathy, wounds, and sports injuries.

Is PBM safe?

PBM is generally considered to be safe, with few side effects reported. However, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional before undergoing any new treatment.

What types of light are used in PBM?

PBM uses various wavelengths of light, including red and near-infrared light, to stimulate healing and reduce pain and inflammation.

What is an Integrative Medicine Approach?

Integrative medicine combines conventional medicine and alternative therapies to enhance a patient’s vitality, focusing on whole body wellness. An Integrative Medicine physician will address the root cause of your illness and not just treat the symptoms. By determining what the root is, you and your practitioner can devise a health plan to successfully treat the disease. At Shakthi, we take into account other factors in your life that may be preventing the root cause of your illness or disease from fully healing. We work closely with our patients to address their immediate health needs while developing a personalized wellness plan that encourages whole body wellness. You can learn more here.

What are the benefits of integrative medicine?

Integrative medicine’s biggest benefit is the fact it looks at the patient as a whole individual and addresses the root causes of illnesses by doing so. I went along with this though integrative medicine promotes a symbiotic and collaborative relationship between the doctor and the patient. This means that there is better communication. Another great benefit is that it utilizes every therapy possible to ensure that the patient gets the treatment that is perfect for them.


Where are you located?

We have two locations in Mount Airy and Elkridge Maryland.

Why is integrative medicine not covered by insurance?

Over the past decade or so, integrative medicine has been becoming more and more popular. Because of this popularity, there has been an increase in doctors that practice it. But even with all this popularity unfortunately insurance does not cover integrative health care. The lack of coverage from insurance companies is solely because integrative medicine often encompasses treatments that these health insurance companies degenerative treatments. Because these treatments like acupuncture, massage therapy, infrared sauna, and many others are all deemed alternative they are not covered.

What costs are involved? 

We offer two options:
• Yearly Membership
• A La Carte

How do I make an appointment?

You can expect your first visit with Dr. Rao and our team to be more comprehensive than anything you have ever experienced. Our practice is not a revolving door, we won't just visit with you for 5 minutes, hand you a prescription and send you on your way. You can expect the initial visit to last approximately 60 minutes. In that time, Dr. Rao will spend time with you, listen to your history, ask questions, hear your concerns. We put great emphasis on the listening and hearing part of the consult. It is vital in developing a strong doctor, patient relationship and is the only way we can help you get on the right path to healing. After your consult, we will order your testing. Depending on your specific needs a number of tests will be administered. Testing is tailored to each individual. Schedule Appointment Here.

What are five alternative medicines?

There are many different types of alternative medicines but many of them can fall under one of the five main alternative categories. These categories are homeopathy, eastern medicine, naturopathy, and Ayurveda. Within these five types so there are many variations and so choosing one that works for you all relies on what exactly you're looking to gain from choosing alternative medicines.

What does Shakthi Mean?

Shakthi (Shuk-thee) means Strength, Empowerment, and Agent of Change.

Shakthi Digital Guide

At Shakthi Health and Wellness we offer a la carte and yearly plans that are more comprehensive and often cheaper than traditional insurance plans.

What To Expect

Lazer Therapy Experts

Meet Our Doctors 

Our team is composed of board certified medical doctors who are highly knowledgeable in the practice of integrative lazer therapies. Our Specialized Health Care model provides patients with in depth consults with each appointment without the restrictions of time limits and jumping through insurance hoops. 

Jyothi Rao


Dr. Jyothi Rao has been practicing medicine for over 20 years. She received her Doctorate of Medicine (MD) from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and completed her internship and residency at the prestigious New England Medical Center (Tufts) in Boston. Before opening Shakthi Health & Wellness Center, Dr. Rao practiced medicine in New York and Maryland.

Sudhir Rao


Dr. Sudhir Rao obtained his Medical Doctorate from St. George's University School of Medicine, and is the founder of Pain and Spine Specialists. Despite Dr. Rao's years of training focusing on traditional medicine, he developed a strong interest in Functional and Integrative Medicine to treat chronic illness with alternative methods after a personal experience with limitations in traditional medicine.

What Conditions Does Photobiomodulation Treat?

There are several positive applications for Photobiomodulation as part of the healing process. Currently, it is most popularly used for chronic pain relief and reduction of inflammation in the body. This form of treatment was first discovered in 1967 by Endre Mester and has been developed and adapted over the years, with a name change to Photobiomodulation in 2015. It is now a treatment for the following conditions:

Chronic Pain: 

Patients who are experiencing chronic pain from a musculoskeletal condition, which might stem from aging or an injury, may qualify for photobiomodulation if it is safe for that condition. The number of treatments that a patient will need to receive will be dependent on several factors, including the location of the pain, what specifically is causing it, how well a patient responds to treatment, and how severe the pain is. 

Photobiomodulation can be used to possibly help with acute neck pain, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, tendinopathy, neuropathy, fibromyalgia, soft tissue injuries, and several other conditions.  

Inflammation: Inflammation occurs as part of the body's response to try to heal itself from issues like injuries or infections. However, chronic inflammation can happen when this response does not go away, even after the body has healed, and it can cause a multitude of issues as a result. 

Photobiomodulation treats inflammation by increasing the size of smaller arteries and lymph vessels, which allows inflammation and swelling to ease at a faster, more efficient rate. Photobiomodulation can reduce the inflammatory cellular response overall.


The wound healing process is quite complex, but essentially involves destroyed or damaged tissue being replaced by healthy tissue. Photobiomodulation has been shown to help encourage wound healing by stimulating the injured tissue to regenerate quickly.

The near-infra-red light applied with low-intensity lasers promotes cellular proliferation, which leads to wounds healing faster than they otherwise would have. Medical conditions that can cause chronic, non-healing wounds include diabetes, arterial disease, infections, metabolic deficiencies due to older age, and more.  

Dermatological Conditions:

Photobiomodulation is also highly beneficial for the skin and evening out both skin texture and tone. As photobiomodulation improves circulation, it aids in generating collagen, which is important for healthy skin and is good for reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. This treatment is particularly effective for burns and scar healing. 

This innovative treatment is a science-based procedure that is designed to optimize your health. Ultimately, before incorporating any treatment into your wellness plan, it is important to discuss your goals and needs with a trained medical professional. Integrative medicine physicians can thoroughly evaluate your medical needs to address all aspects of your health.

Benefits of Having Photobiomodulation 

There are several benefits of having this treatment done, including: 

Reduced Inflammation 

In our lives, there are tons of environmental and physical as well as emotional stressors we're inundated with on a daily basis. This treatment helps clear those accumulations leaving behind a detoxified body. This will help reduce inflammation.

Improved Sleep 

The increase in blood circulation that causes the reduction in inflammation as well as detoxification of your body allows for stressors to be. The heightened level of relaxation that comes with this treatment can improve your sleep. In fact, results have shown that many that utilize this treatment feel less tired and experience deeper sleep.

Less Pain

The treatment utilizes near-infrared light and that helps improve blood circulation. The increased blood circulation will allow for areas that are sore or in pain to be repaired quicker. In other words, this treatment helps activate your body's defenses to combat inflammation more quickly. 

Higher Energy Levels 

The improved blood circulation also maximizes your cell’s use of oxygen. This oxygen is converted into a fuel that our body utilizes called ATP. With more ATP in your system, you're going to have a higher level of energy which will improve your overall life.

Faster Recovery After Exercise 

The same concepts that bring with it heightened energy and better circulation, as well as reduced inflammation, is vital to ensuring that your body’s systems to repair and replicate cells are at their highest level. This treatment encourages your body to activate efficiently and that means that you will have better recovery times after even the most intense workouts. Along with this, you're going to see that your muscles repair and heal faster which means you get back in the gym quicker.

Improved Sports Performance 

It goes without saying that with a faster recovery and healing time as well as a higher level of energy you're going to see a marked improvement in any type of sports performance. That coupled with the increased blood flow to the muscles which often gives them more elasticity and flexibility can lead to a much better performance overall.

Better Circulation 

Not only does the infrared light help heat your body and widen your vessels for better circulation but the removal of the toxins from your body also permits that circulation to improve. This boost in circulation has a direct effect on many different health conditions that one may be trying to address with an integrative medical treatment plan.

Symptom Relief 

Many people who have to resort to traditional medicine find themselves riddled with side effects from the treatment that sometimes are even worse than the disease itself. But this treatment is a noninvasive method that has no side effects. That means that individuals will have fewer side effects and more relief from their symptoms without invasive therapy to contend with.

Improved Mood 

Once again the increase in your blood circulation allows for many of your body's natural systems to kick in. With the relief of tension in the muscles and the relaxation that comes from this treatment, you may find that you have an improved mood and feel less stressed. This is partly due as we said to the relief of tension and pain that comes with the treatment, but it also has to do with the systems that trigger chemicals in your brain to be released in order to give you a boost in your mood.

Supported Immune System 

Increased blood flow helps promote the detoxification process of stressors in your bloodstream. This inevitably is going to affect your ability to stave off viruses and diseases better. So this treatment often winds up boosting your immune system so that you can live a healthier life.

More Even Skin Tone 

Improved circulation and removal of toxins from your body naturally are going to improve not only inside systems but the largest organ you have, your skin. This treatment often leads to improved texture and tone and can help remove fine lines and stretch marks as well as scars.

Get Started:  

If you are interested in learning more about our Photobiomodulation, or low-level Laser Therapy treatment, or would like to schedule an appointment with our office, CALL Shakthi Health and Wellness Center today! Speak with our dedicated staff to schedule your consultation with Dr. Jyothi Rao and begin optimizing your body’s vitality. Call (301) 703-5067 and speak to our integrative speciality care staff today! 

About Us

We believe in practicing medicine that focuses on whole body health. As integrative medicine doctors we focus our on root cause of your condition with comprehensive treatments that actually heal the body rather than just masking the symptoms of your illness. 

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Digital Guide

A comprehensive guide to our services, providers, and locations.

Patient Testimonials

Patient Testimonials

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Susan Doyle

I started by seeing Dr. Sudhir Rao for my Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) Syndrome. I had an accident in July 2010 that caused nerve damage in my ankle. After treatments and surgery, it spread up the entire left side of my body. The only way to describe how you feel is by saying you’re a human pinball machine ? you just never know where the pain is going to be that minute. I had asked about acupuncture because someone had told me that it worked for them. I was at the point of trying anything to lessen the pain because it was getting worse every day.

Anonymous Patient

I am actually a relatively healthy 50-year-old woman. I try to eat well and exercise, but I (like many) felt the creep of age in the form a subtle pounds and decreasing energy. Dr. Rao helped point me in the direction of the correct detox program for me (Core Restore!) as well as the supplements I needed to boost my metabolism and increase my energy! I still need to eat what works for me and avoid the things that don't, and I still have to exercise every day, but my clothes fit better and I have more energy!!

- Shakthi Patients

Anna Smoot

I came to see Dr. Rao with symptoms of chronic fatigue, abdominal pains, depression, and weight gain. I had seen a couple other doctors and they had found that I had very high inflammation levels and over 15 food allergies/sensitivities. They wanted me to just take prescription drugs, but I wanted more than a quick fix. I wanted my health and my life back! When I scheduled the appointment, I was surprised how by helpful Kelly was on the phone. I didn’t know the details of my insurance coverage and Kelly offered to call my insurance for me. I’ve never had anyone at a doctor’s office do that before.

Debbie Helman

After visiting the Shakthi website and reading other patient testimonials, I was curious about the wide variety of treatments that were available. I have a very slow metabolism, was fatigued, had insomnia, back pain, and just didn’t feel as well as I wanted to in general. I had more allergic reactions and respiratory issues in the preceding months before coming to see Dr. Jyothi Rao. I had completed three courses of prednisone while under the treatment of my traditional doctor and was fed up with that cycle and was looking for another path.

- Debbie Helman

Linda J.

I was given the gift of Dr. Rao's integrative specialty care for Christmas in 2016. I didn?t take advantage of it until March of 2017. My mindset at the time was negative. I had heard about changing eating habits and I felt that I liked the foods I was eating and I was nearly 70, so why change now? After meeting with Dr. Rao and hearing her suggestions, I said I would take it one small step at a time and see what happens.

I was in the worst shape of my life

I was in the worst shape of my life with depression and anxiety. I had given up. Shakthi provided me with a manageable plan that included supplements, diet, and an exercise program that has transformed my body and given me a new outlook on life. Perhaps the most surprising outcome was learning how to be healthy and have a good relationship with my body. I am now more productive, energetic, and focused. The fog that had been clouding my thoughts has lifted.

- Shakthi Patient

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What To Expect

How Treatment Works

Our doctors and staff take time to get invested in your health and well-being. We've taken a step back from mainstream medicine and are challenging the norm. Everyone's healthcare needs are different. You are different. We believe patients shouldn't settle. Our practice is not a revolving door. We listen, and most importantly, we hear you.


Appointments are conducted on an as-needed basis. Patients can expect appointments to be more thorough and focused on their needs. As Integrative speciality care doctors, we see a limited number of patients which means each of our patients receives dedicated care without the concern of being “rushed” our of an appointment.

Diagnostic Testing

We offer patients scientifically backed health assessments to better understand the root causes of their health conditions. We evaluate any disruptions to your health and body to develop effective wellness plans to optimize your vitality. To learn more about the specific tests we offer visit this page here

Costs Involved

Patients receive personalized and tailored care in exchange for a flat fee. Overall cost will be discussed during your initial consultation. Each subsequent appointment will not need to be individually paid for. All patients receive unlimited access to their physicians which leads to better overall health and wellness.

Choose A Plan

Are you ready to make long wait times a thing of the past? View our plan options below:

Contact Us

Our Locations

Our patient care coordinators are available to answer questions Monday - Friday from 8:30 am - 5:00pm.

Mt Airy

2702 Back Acre Circle

Mt. Airy, MD 21771


6816 Deerpath Rd Elkridge, MD 21075

Get In Touch!

Main Phone

(301) 703-5067

Main Phone

(301) 703-5067



Fax #

(301) 703-8880

Fax #

(301) 703-8880

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