Personal trainer uses red light therapy to heal horrific leg wound
Mark Bolitho was on the brink of losing his leg to the most formidable of all infections – the dreaded MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) – when he discovered red light therapy.
A qualified personal trainer and human movement specialist, Mark Bolitho has always been fit and active and at the age of 59 was the picture of health. Which lends even more surprise to the fact he was struck down following what seemed by all accounts to be a routine leg surgery – a high tibial osteotomy. Mark had been admitted to hospital for the surgery to relieve the pressure on his knee, thereby foregoing the need for a full knee replacement, when it all turned to custard.
All seemed to go as planned until three weeks into his recovery from surgery Mark was rushed to A&E with a throbbing, debilitating pain in his knee. A vicious infection, later confirmed to be MRSA, had taken hold in his operated leg and he was placed on a wide-spectrum antibiotic, formulated specifically to combat the aggressive bug. Further bad news came when Mark was told the infection was in his bone and not the tissue. After weeks spent in hospital fighting an uphill battle to save his leg, Mark was given the all clear to return home.
From then on he began a strict regime in a determined bid to return to full health, including fermented foods, probiotics, collagen supplements and of course, red light therapy. Having read and heard about the many benefits of red light therapy, Mark decided to put it to the test himself, targeting the wound on his leg where the skin had been ravaged by infection.
“I wanted to experiment and see if it really did make a difference. I focused on one side of the wound and not the other and as it happened the side where I was using the light healed remarkably faster,” Mark says.
“It’s difficult to tell what’s going on inside your body when you’re using something like red light, but having my leg as a visual reference point was mind-blowing. I would put the red light on the medial side of my leg for 10 minutes a day. My leg was horrendously scarred from cellulitis and the surgery scar itself, but this accelerated the healing.”
According to Mark’s doctors, around one in 30 people carry MRSA and the risk of contracting it is thousands to 1.
“It’s the risk you take when you enter hospital. The hospital that I was in had just one case a year. I was just the unlucky one.”
Having reaped the benefits of red light therapy on his leg, Mark is now exploring the many other uses including sleep and recovery.
And when it comes to his clients, Mark says red light therapy will certainly be on the menu.
“There are people that just want to focus on aesthetics, but when you start drilling down into what people truly want, it’s to have a better quality of life. It often comes down to movement, or if they’ve got pain, a niggling back, stiff joints, etc. That’s where red light therapy can really complement what I do. It fits in with my ethos to prescribe, rather than just trotting out a one size fits all programme.”
With just a fading scar as proof of his harrowing tale, Mark’s leg is now fully healed. If you’d like to explore red light therapy and its healing properties for yourself, head to our Benefits page and read our post on Skin Health.