BioScan Therapy – Interview with Professional Kelley Walker

Today we’re talking with Kelley Walker from Performance Horse Therapies Pty Ltd based in Victoria ( about BioScan treatments and how dressage horses can benefit from this treatment. Kelley is a qualified Equine Myofunctional Therapist, she has studied biomechanics and lameness analysis in the USA and has been working with the BioScan products, as well as being their Australian Distributor, for over 11 years. She travels all over Victoria and to Tasmania on a regular basis.

What Exactly is BioScan technology?

The BioScan technology has been around for a long period of time. In the human field its main title is photonic therapy, which has been used for over 60 years. There are different strengths of photonics which work on and impact tissue in different ways. The higher the strength of power/frequency used with photonics, the better and stronger the response within the body. The lower frequency works on trigger and acupuncture points and the higher frequency impacts tissue on a muscular / cellular level.

BioScan Treatment is made up of 2 parts.

Firstly we use a scanner on the horse. This machine scans the horse’s entire body measuring the electrical current, reading or locating any resistance. The scanner emits a micro current of electricity which neither you nor the horse can feel. That current is used to measure the resistance in the tissue it contacts. High resistance means normal, healthy tissue. Low resistance means there is something wrong in the area. The Scanner will measure the health of bone, ligaments, tendons and soft tissue. This rules out the guess work of where there may or may not be a problem. Where there is a problem the scanner beeps. No noise means no problem.

Once the entire horse has been scanned, we then use the treating machine. This is a machine made up of both infrared and red LEDs. There are 7 settings on the machine and each setting impacts tissue differently by using particular wavelengths of light which create a mass reaction and response within the area used. The validity of light therapy has been proven in clinical tests, as well as NASA being one of the largest researchers into the use of photonics for injury and insult to the body.

What are the biggest benefits of BioScan for muscle development over traditional massage?

BioScan works at the cellular level, assisting the damaged cell structure to repair with the use excess protein and enzyme that is produced due to the treatment. The body is stimulated for approximately 72 hours post treatment. The protein that is produced is something the body would normally produce, but at a trickle rate. The BioScan therapy mass produces blood, protein and enzymes to the sites where the blood is attracted to (due to the stimulation of the machine), which ensures that any damaged cells which in turn make up muscle fibre, is flooded with enough food to well and truly repair and so the tissue gets a massive boost to ensure that healing is well and truly assisted.

Massage is used to lengthen and open contracted muscle fibres allowing blood to move within an often compromised area.

Simply put - photonics works from the inside out, massage from the outside in. Photonics works at a deeper (and also different) level to massage. I personally like both modalities, but find that high level photonics is a harder, deeper fix and one that tends to bypass muscle memory and often doesn't need repeat visits to fix "a particular problem". Sometimes a body problem is like an onion, you peel back a layer to discover something underneath, but more often than not, a repeat visit is not necessary using the BioScan equipment to fix a tightness or restrictive problem.

You’re also a dressage rider – how do you use it with your own horses?

I'm so lucky that I have the equipment on hand. For me I use the products definitely as a preventative. Every couple of weeks I maintain my own horses with the products. This means that my training remains on an even keel and my horses can continue to train without any resistance coming from sore bodies. I find it invaluable with my youngsters as they don't learn to resist any training through body pain. I know that if the horse is misbehaving with my training, that it is usually because I have caused either confusion and/or conflict.

Is there a standard treatment regime you recommend?

Yes there is a treatment regime I suggest for horses.

As an owner of horses, I recognise that horses are a very expensive hobby/habit to maintain! With this in mind I am always mindful of how much money should be spent to maintain a horse body to ensure optimum performance. This is:-

Preliminary training to Elementary Training (first stages) - bodywork should be on an "as needs be" basis. If your horse has, for example, been cantering well to both reins, or flexing well to both reins, but suddenly struggles and becomes argumentative, bodywork should be done because it is likely something has occurred when you weren't about!

Elementary to Advanced Training - bodywork should be as regular as clockwork. Every 8 to 10 weeks! This is because from Elementary on, we start to teach a horse to collect and sit, but also we start to train the laterals. Simply put, collection is contraction of muscle fibres. Laterals are a sideways movement where both the stretching and contracting of different muscles allow for that movement to occur. Simply, we are teaching a horse to stretch sideways whilst contracting muscle groups - realistically working against its own body and our training desires. It is usually about the Medium Training level that horses who do not have regular body work start to have "mystery" lameness issues and they disappear off the competition scene, or where their behaviour starts to become argumentative. Problems start to occur with things such as the changes, where perhaps on one or both sides, the hind is slow coming through, or the horse kicks out at a leg aid, slowing the advancement of work down, or the horse breaks down full stop.

Advanced Training Upwards - bodywork, if maintained through the earlier training levels, at this point returns to on a "as needs be" basis. By this stage of training, if the body has been maintained and kept supple and lubricated, the horse is physically strong and can cope with its workload in a much better manner.

What are the most common problems you see recurring in Dressage Horses and what’s your advice to dressage riders to keep their horse(s) in top form?

Each horse has its own weakness and strength depending on its conformation and living conditions, i.e paddock or stable conditions. I find many seasonal problems such as falls in a wet paddock impact horses in a huge way. Or a horse kept on hilly terrain poses backend problems compared to that of a horse kept on flat terrain. Some horses are what I call "self harmers", whereas others are particularly good to their own body. Problems with horses are also greatly contributed to by their rider's weaknesses and strengths also. Fast-tracking training without establishing strength and basics to the horse contribute to body issues also.

Generally speaking, my advice to riders is to be mindful of how training is conducted and to ensure that they keep their horses body lubricated. My motto is "Prevention is better than the cure". Maintaining a healthy body is far easier and cheaper than waiting for something to be so broken that the body needs to be fixed and then started again. This is incredibly hard on the horse and harder on the owner's hip pocket also!!

What kind of cost would a rider be looking at for a standard consultation?

Initial consultation for me is around $120.00.   After that first consultation, as long as the horse's body is seen again within an 8 month period, the treatment cost drops to $95.00. That initial consultation usually finds that there are problems with the entire body when scanned the first time. Often this first treatment takes up to 2 hours (depending on size of the horse) to "blank the canvas". From that point on, treatments pinpoint particular problem sites rather than the entire body - this brings the treatment time down to just over an hour (again dependent on size). Not surprisingly riders after this initial consultation, realise how loose and supple their horse actually can be, so they tend to start on a regular regime of bodywork - how it actually should be! From that point the cost of treatment is also kinder on their hip pocket (and so kinder to their horse as the animal is in a more comfortable place!!!)

Are there any published results about the benefits of BioScan treatments that can be found on the internet?

There are many sites that you can Google with the words "photonic light therapy" "photonic healing" "cold laser" etc. To make it a little easier, below are some of the studies listed.

Case Studies

Studies are being performed all the time and so far, there are well over 4000 published medical studies that have discussed the benefits of red light therapy. Here are only a few:

Mitochondrial Signal Transduction in Accelerated Wound & Retinal Healing by Near-Infrared Light Therapy, J.T. Eells PhD, M.T. Wong-Riley etal, College of Health Sciences, University of Wisconsin

Use of Laser Light to Treat Certain Lesions in Standardbreds, L.S. McKibben DVM & D. Paraschak BSc, MA: Modern Veterinary Practice, March 1984, Sec. 3, P.13

Biostimulation of Wound Healing by Lasers: Experimental Approaches in Animal Models and in Fibroblast Cultures, R.P. Abergel, MD: J. Castel, MS; R. Dwyer, MD and Uitlo, MD, PhD: Harbor UCLA Medical Center, CA: J. Dennatol. Surgery Oncol., 13:2 Feb. 1987

Effect of Helium-Neon and Infrared Laser Irradiation on Wound Healing in Rabbits, B. Braverman, PhD: R.McCarthy, Pharmd, A. Lyankovich, MD: D. Forde, BS, M. Overfield, BS and M. Bapna, PhD: Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center: University of Illinois, Lasers in Surgery and Medicine 9:50-58 (1989)

The Effects of Low Energy Laser on Soft Tissue in Veterinary Medicine, L.S. McKibben & R. Downie; The Acupuncture Institute, Ontario Canada: J. Wiley & Sons

Effects of Low Energy Laser on Wound Healing In a Porcine Model, J. Hunter, MD; L. Leonard, MD; R. Wilsom, MD; G. Snider, MD and J. Dixon, MD; Dept. of Surgery, University of Utah Medical Center, Salt Lake City UT, Lasers in Surgery & Med. 3:285-290, 84

A Study of the Effects of Lasering on Chronic Bowed Tendons, Wheatley, L.S. McKibben, DVM, and D. Paraschak, BSc, MA; Lasers in Surgery & Medicine, Vol. pp.55-59 (1983) Sec. 3

Low-Energy Laser Therapy: Controversies & Research Findings, Jeffrey R. Basford, MD; Mayo Clinic; Lasers in Surgery and Medicine 9 pp.1-5 (1989)

The Photobiological Basis of Low Level Laser Radiation Therapy, Kendric C. Smith, Stanford University School of Medicine; Laser Therapy, vol.3, No.1, Jan-Mar 1991

Beyond Gravity, National Geographic Jan 7, 2001, p2-29. Sir Arthur Clark reports that Dr. Harry T. Whelan of the University of Wisconsin Medical School has successfully treated wounds, third degree burns, and brain cancer with LEDs.

NASA Space Technology Shines Light on Healing, Marshall Space Flight Center press release 00-336(12-18-00) describes how LEDs are being used to heal hard to heal wounds such as diabetic skin ulcers, serious burns, oral sores, and musculoskeletal training injuries.

Effects of Skin-Contact Monochromatic Infrared Irradiation on Tendonitis, Capsulitis, and Myofascial Pain, J Neurological Orthopedic Medical Surgery (1996) 16:242-245

Other Resources

Photonic Acupuncture: A Model to Explain Acupuncture from Phylogenesis To The Multiplicity of Methodologies And Results: D. Brian McLaren (1996)

Holistic Horse issue 79 Jun/July 2012, Infrared Therapy by Christina Reguli

Real World Esthetics: The Healing Power of LED Light Therapy by Pamela Gentry (06-14-2011)

Biomedical Photonics Handbook, Tiina Karu, PhD, Tuan Vo-Dinh (2003)

Bioelectromagnetic Medicine (2004)

Biochemistry by D. Voet & J. Voet, John Wiley & Sons (1995)

Physics, Kane & Sternheim, John Wiley & Sons (1988)

Bioenergetics 2, Nichols & Ferguson, London Academic Press (1992)

Medical Neurosciene, Pritchard & Alloway

Chemical Messengers: Hormones, Neuro-transmitters and Growth Factors, D. Hardie, Chapman and Hall, London (1993)

Body Electric: Electro-magnetism And The Foundation of Life, R. Becker & G. Selden, Wimmiam Morrow NY (1985)

Laser Acupuncture: Its Use in Physical Therapy, J. Kleinkort & R. Foley, American Journal of Acupuncture, 1984, 12:51-56

The Photobiological Basis of Low Level Laser Therapy, K. Smith , Laser Therapy 1991; 3:19-24

The Use of Low Level Laser Therapy In the Management Of Chronic Pain, L. Laasko, PhD Thesis, University of Queensland, 1995

Low Level Laser Therapy as a Medical Treatment Modality, P. Pontinen, Tampere, Art Urop Ltd. 1992

The work of Nobel Prize winner Peter Mitchell (1978) on Chemiosmotic Theory

The work of Nobel Prize winners Deisenhofer, Huber & Michel (1988) on the precise atomic structure of the reaction center within protein

You are a highly sought after practitioner and travel interstate regularly to work – which other States are you working in?

At this point in time I really only travel to Tasmania every 8 weeks to work in both Hobart and Launceston. My full-time work in Victoria, as well as trying to consistently train my own horses, simply doesn't allow time to travel elsewhere. Also the cost of travel makes working in other States too cost prohibitive - adding the cost of flights to the treatment cost makes it too expensive to travel interstate any great distance.

Many thanks to Kelley for all the great information and insight!

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