What is Photox Therapy and How Does It Work?

Photox is the application of often ozone and ultraviolet therapy to a patient at the same time.

The blood is withdrawn, being exposed to UV light on the way out and into the bottle. Ozone in an mixture of oxygen/ozone typically with 78 ug/ml ozone concentration is then bubbled into the blood and mixed briefly.  This mixture is then reinfused through the same needle. 

Photox therapy goals

·        Increases the oxygen carrying capability

·        Improve the mitochondrial energy deficits in the blood

·        Stimulate the lymphatic detoxification in the blood through the restoration of normal brownian movement

·        Activate immune system cells and cytokine production (interferon, tumor necrosis factor and IL-2) to aid in destruction of all types of micro-organisms: bacteria, viruses, and fungi 

·         Increase intracellular antioxidants against oxidative stress


Immunological / circulatory effects

A lower dose method had been previously researched and found in J Biol Regul Homeost Agents. 1997 Jul-Sep;11(3):104-10 to have some specific effects:

The re-administration of whole blood subjected to heat, ozonation and ultraviolet irradiation (VasoCare therapy) has been shown to elicit clinical benefits in individuals with vascular disease. Given that these stressors induce heat shock protein (Hsp) expression and that heat shock protein reactivity is implicated in the pathogenesis of vascular disease, this study assessed the effect of VasoCare on intracellular expression of Hsp60 and Hsp70 by treated peripheral blood leukocytes. Contrary to expectations, VasoCare induced a significant reduction (approximately 40%) in the proportion of peripheral blood mononuclear cells expressing intracellular Hsp60 and Hsp70, whereas it had no effect on heat shock protein expression by peripheral blood neutrophils. Cell surface heat shock protein expression was not detectable. The reduced expression of Hsp60 by mononuclear cells was concomitant with an increase in the levels of Hsp60 in treated plasma. Although the mechanism underlying the clinical effectiveness of VasoCare therapy has yet to be established, it may be that re-administration of treated blood or soluble factors derived therefrom modifies in vivo immune responsiveness to heat shock proteins or associated molecules.

Atherosclerosis. 2002 May;162(1):45-53:  VasoCare therapy, which involves the administration of autologous (your own) blood following the ex vivo exposure (outside yourself) to physico-chemical stressors, has been shown to modulate immune responses. Since immune mechanisms have been recognized to be pivotal in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis, we hypothesized that VasoCare treatment would inhibit atherosclerosis in LDL-R (-/-) mice. Three groups of LDL-R (-/-) mice were studied: a control group that was fed normal chow (Group I) and no other treatment; a control group that received a high cholesterol (HC) diet for 8 weeks (group II) with sham saline injections; and a third group (III) that received HC diet for 8 weeks and VasoCare treatment initiated after four weeks of HC feeding. Atherosclerotic area (AA), relative to total aortic area (TA), was assessed after 8 weeks of HC feeding by oil red O staining, and cross sectional plaque area at the level of the aortic valve leaflets was determined by quantitative morphometry. HC mice exhibited substantial aortic lipid deposition which was profoundly reduced in the VasoCare treated animals (AA/TA ratios in group II: 0.32+/-0.15 vs. group III: 0.17+/-0.06; P<0.05). This was associated with a significant decrease in cross sectional area of plaque in the aortic sinuses. VasoCare therapy also reduced the xanthoma formation and limb swelling characteristic of this animal model. However, cholesterol levels, measured by an enzymatic assay, showed similar marked increases in total serum cholesterol (CHO) in the animals receiving HC diet alone and those receiving the HC diet and VasoCare treatment [group I: 5.4+/-0.8 mM, group II: 46.7+/-3.6 mM, and group III: 44.7+/-2.8 mM (P<0.01 vs. group I)]. We conclude that VasoCare treatment inhibits progression of atherosclerotic lesions in a murine model of human familial hypercholesterolemia by a mechanism independent of cholesterol lowering.

 However, the lower dose method, when done as a single therapy, was not enough as a stand alone treatment for hard outcomes. The ACCLAIM trial looked at over oxidation of a small amount of blood, with no therapeutic benefit. A response with a more moderate amount of oxidation and larger volume of blood was suggested in Int J Cardiol. 2010 Mar 18;139(3):304-5.

Are These Therapies Safe?

A survey done in Germany of close to 5 million ozone treatments showed an accident rate of 7 serious incidents, all associated with direct IV injection of the gas (not done in our clinic).  There is a slight possibility of allergy to heparin, though this is a commonly used blood thinner. Some patients do not like the site of their own blood, but they quickly become accustomed to this.

In our experience, the most frequently seen (but still rare) side effect is a fainting reaction due not at all to the volume of the blood, but rather the needle experience as well as seeing the blood. Possible but extremely rare complications may include soft tissue infection (as with any injection / blood draw), or vein inflammation and clots.

One recent case study has been published on ozone therapy where a single patient with kidney failure had high blood potassium and subsequent arrhythmia. The authors had concluded that the ozone therapy (which looked to be done 9 days in a row) was to blame, but this is not at all clear. The authors did not think that red cell breakdown was responsible for the high blood potassium, but that is the only mechanism that would make sense if the ozone was done daily. Theoretically low grade red cell breakdown would release potassium, and if the treatment is overdone and the kidneys can not excrete this could accumulate.

Photoluminescence therapy (ultraviolet blood irradiation) was used extensively in the 30's to 40's before the advent of antibiotics and the vaccine for polio.  It has an extensive safety and efficacy record. For a great summary of this treatment, buy the book "Into the Light" at www.drdouglass.com.  An online article also available is “The Cure that time forgot” which summarizes much of the published experience.


How Many Treatments Are Needed and How Often Are They Given?

 In chronic conditions one to three treatments per week are common until response is obtained. Most patients, such as those with chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, or arthritis may take 2 treatments a week for 3 weeks and then once a week for 4 weeks.  In recurrent genital herpes and shingles a special unique protocol is utilized, as described by Frank Shallenberger. Daily treatments are given during an outbreak.  The treatment is given again if there is another outbreak.


·        Viral Infections 

·        Venom Poisoning 

·        Bacterial Infections 

·        Chronic Fatigue 

·        Poor Oxygen 

·        Toxicity 

·        Blood Poisoning 

·        Poor Circulation 

·        Low Blood Counts 

·        Allergies 

·        Asthma 

·         Emphysema 

·        Diabetes Complications 

·        Poor Immune Function 

·        Rheumatologic Diseases 

·        Arthritis-adjunctive conditions 



References: Ultraviolet Blood Irradiation


Hamblin MR. 2017. Ultraviolet Irradiation of Blood: "The Cure That Time Forgot"? Adv Exp Med Biol. 2017;996:295-309.


Wu X, Hu X, Hamblin MR. 2016. Ultraviolet blood irradiation: Is it time to remember "the cure that time forgot"? J Photochem Photobiol B. 2016 Apr;157:89-96.


Kuenstner JT, Mukherjee S, Weg S, Landry T, Petrie T. 2015. The treatment of infectious disease with a medical device: results of a clinical trial of ultraviolet blood irradiation (UVBI) in patients with hepatitis C infection. Int J Infect Dis. 2015 Aug;37:58-63.


References: Ozone


Bocci V, Zanardia I, Valacchi G, Borrelli E, Travagli V. 2015. Validity of Oxygen-Ozone Therapy as Integrated Medication Form in Chronic Inflammatory Diseases. Cardiovasc Hematol Disord Drug Targets. 2015;15(2):127-38.


Giunta R, Coppola A, Luongo C, Sammartino A, Guastafierro S, Grassia A, Giunta L, Mascolo L, Tirelli A, Coppola L. 2001. Ozonized autohemotransfusion improves hemorheological parameters and oxygen delivery to tissues in patients with peripheral occlusive arterial disease. Ann Hematol. 2001 Dec;80(12):745-8.


Valacchi G, Bocci V. 2000. Studies on the biological effects of ozone: 11. Release of factors from human endothelial cells. Mediators Inflamm. 2000;9(6):271-6.


Inal M, Dokumacioglu A, Özcelik E, Ucar O. 2011. The effects of ozone therapy and coenzyme Q₁₀ combination on oxidative stress markers in healthy subjects. Ir J Med Sci. 2011 Sep;180(3):703-7.


Wu XN, Zhang T, Wang J, Liu XY, Li ZS, Xiang W, Du WQ, Yang HJ, Xiong TG, Deng WT, Peng KR, Pan SY. 2016. Magnetic resonance diffusion tensor imaging following major ozonated autohemotherapy for treatment of acute cerebral infarction. Neural Regen Res. 2016 Jul;11(7):1115-21.


Smith NL, Wilson AL, Gandhi J, Vatsia S, Khan SA. 2017. Ozone therapy: an overview of pharmacodynamics, current research, and clinical utility. Med Gas Res. 2017 Oct 17;7(3):212-219.


Molinari F, Simonetti V, Franzini M, Pandolfi S, Vaiano F, Valdenassi L, Liboni W. 2014. Ozone autohemotherapy induces long-term cerebral metabolic changes in multiple sclerosis patients. Int J Immunopathol Pharmacol. 2014 Jul-Sep;27(3):379-89.



References: Ozone and Diabetes


Bocci V, Zanardi I, Huijberts MS, Travagli V. 2011.  Diabetes and chronic oxidative stress. A perspective based on the possible usefulness of ozone therapy. Diabetes Metab Syndr. 2011 Jan-Mar;5(1):45-9.


Bocci V, Zanardi I1, Huijberts MS, Travagli V. 2014. It is time to integrate conventional therapy by ozone therapy in type-2 diabetes patients. Ann Transl Med. 2014 Dec;2(12):117.


Bocci V, Zanardi I, Huijberts MS, Travagli V4. 2014. Diabetes Metab Syndr. 2014 An integrated medical treatment for type-2 diabetes.  Jan-Mar;8(1):57-61.


de Monte A, van der Zee H, Bocci V. 2005. Major ozonated autohemotherapy in chronic limb ischemia with ulcerations. J Altern Complement Med. 2005 Apr;11(2):363-7.


Braidy N, Izadi M, Sureda A, Jonaidi-Jafari N, Banki A, Nabavi SF, Nabavi SM5. 2018. Therapeutic relevance of ozone therapy in degenerative diseases: Focus on diabetes and spinal pain. J Cell Physiol. 2018 Apr;233(4):2705-2714.