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Episode #28: Lasers in the UK with Dr. Jake Cooke

laser light show

Dr. Chad Woolner: What’s going on, everybody? Dr. Chad Woolner here with Dr. Andrew Wells. In today’s episode, we have a special guest, Dr. Jake Cooke from England, here with us to talk about some amazing experiences he has been having using lasers in his clinic. So, let’s get to it.                          



Dr. Andrew Wells

Dr. Chad Woolner

Dr. Jake Cooke


Dr. Chad Woolner: Growing up in Portland, Oregon, I used to love going to laser light shows at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. They would put on these amazing light shows with incredible designs synced up to some of my favorite music. From the Beatles to Pink Floyd to Jimi Hendrix and Metallica; they were awesome. Little did I know then that lasers would have such a profound effect on my life decades later. As a chiropractic physician, I have seen first-hand just how powerful laser therapy is in helping patients struggling with a wide range of health problems. As the leader in laser therapy, Erchonia has pioneered the field in obtaining 20 of the 23 total FDA clearances for therapeutic application of lasers. On this podcast, we’ll explore the science and technology and physiology behind what makes these tools so powerful. Join me as we explore low level laser therapy. I’m Dr. Chad Woolner along with my good friend Dr. Andrew Wells and welcome to The Laser Light Show. 

Explore the transformative benefits of Low-Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) for athletes in our blog, How Laser Therapy Helps Athletes Physically and Mentally. Learn how LLLT can accelerate recovery, reduce pain, and enhance mental clarity. Dive into the world of laser therapy now!

Dr. Chad Woolner: All right, welcome to the show, everybody, and a special welcome to Dr. Jake Cooke. Thanks for being here with us.


Dr. Jake Cooke: Thank you very much.


Dr. Chad Woolner: So you came all the way from the UK to here. How has it been so far?


Dr. Jake Cooke: Yeah, fantastic. Everything is bigger in America, right? Yes, it’s my first time in Florida, and it lives up to its reputation.


Dr. Chad Woolner: That’s Awesome. 


Dr. Andrew Wells: So, for a little context here, we’ve recorded a previous episode, but we’re currently at Erchonia’s annual business meeting in Florida. We’re recording this episode live at the business event. We have doctors from all over the world who have flown into either speakers or learners, all eager to engage with our incredible mission and product. We aim to facilitate the widespread adoption of low-level laser therapy among doctors and patients. We’re thrilled to have Dr. Cooke on the show here. His extensive expertise and unique perspective are likely to captivate our American audience and establish significant credibility for our podcast.


Dr. Chad Woolner: That’s right. I already feel smarter just by being on this podcast with you.


Dr. Jake Cooke: So, that’s what I’m aiming for. Before you ask, I don’t know that. Well, I was about to say I don’t know the queen. I don’t know now, but I don’t know the king either. Not many of those guys. It’s a question that comes up every time.


Dr. Chad Woolner: I wasn’t even thinking about it.


Dr. Andrew Wells: Well, you do know Americans think that if you have an English accent, you’re just a little bit smarter than maybe you actually are and more evil.


Dr. Chad Woolner: That’s right. That’s the German accent that I think sounds evil, right?


Dr. Jake Cooke: In every film, is the smart guy who is evil depicted with a British or German accent? I don’t know. Yeah, that’s for sure.


Dr. Chad Woolner: So, when I think of English culture, my mind immediately goes to my wife. She adores all things related to Jane Austen, period films, and England. She has wanted to visit England for quite some time. Therefore, we’re planning to make that trip happen. We had planned to go for our 20th wedding anniversary; the idea was to visit England and then travel via the Channel Tunnel to France, possibly exploring other European countries as well. From what I’ve seen, it seems like an incredible place.


Dr. Jake Cooke: It is amazing. I think we get so much of your media over here, and sometimes we assume the countries are very similar, like England and America being just the same place. But when you visit, you realize celebrities like Cardi B highlight how different things are. You guys have a lot of really fantastic stuff like this. We’re in Orlando right now, right? Yeah, it’s just a giant playground, isn’t it?


Dr. Chad Woolner: Yeah, pretty much. 


Dr. Jake Cooke: It’s a huge playground. We don’t have anything like that in the UK. But when you come to our place, you’ll see beautiful little villages, towns, and cities that you just can’t imagine. So yeah, you go to Paris, Bruges in Belgium, Amsterdam – it’s just good. I’ve got something that is very hard to replicate because they’ve been built up over such a long period. Yeah.


Dr. Andrew Wells: We have the cheap imitations of English towns. So, if you go to Universal Studios in Orlando, you’ll see the wonderful Wizarding World of Harry Potter, or whatever. It’s made to look like, yeah, that’s all English to me. I don’t know if that’s supposed to be London, or some other city in England, or whatever. But yeah, we have cheap replicas.


Dr. Jake Cooke: So I was teaching in Edinburgh, Scotland, a couple of weeks ago. You know, the city that inspired Harry Potter. You walk around the city, and it’s just stunning. So, I remember I took the bus into the city center, and as you approach, you get this superb view of the castle, the crowning jewel at the heart of the Royal Mile. Suddenly, you’re hit with this feeling, ‘This is amazing.’ Yeah, it’s something else. I mean, an architect today couldn’t just design something like that and replicate the same effect. So, you’ve got to go see it for yourself.


Dr. Chad Woolner: Isn’t there a chiropractic college in Scotland?


Dr. Jake Cooke: I think it’s in development. Okay, so I don’t think I’m going to get loads of hate mail, but I don’t think it’s been launched yet. Has it? I think it’s in development.


Dr. Chad Woolner: But there is a Cairo school in the UK, correct?


Dr. Jake Cooke: So, we’ve got the ACC, which is down on the south coast. It’s one of the oldest, over 50 or 60 years old now. Okay, we’ve got a new one in London on the South Bank. Okay, there’s one over in Wales. Okay. So, it’s expanding quite fast. From having one or two for a very long time, we suddenly have four. And then, I think there’s one in Spain. So, yeah, we are far behind you guys in terms of numbers. In the UK, we have the NHS, which provides healthcare free at the point of contact. This means you could get hit by a bus and feel perfectly fine about staying at a hospital because it’s covered. Not that we encourage that kind of behavior, of course. The British Chiropractic Association approached the NHS to try and secure contracts, and the NHS was like, ‘Great, we love what you do. But how many of you are there?’ When we said there are about 3,000, they were like, ‘Well, that’s just not enough. You can come back when you’ve got tens of thousands.’ So, I think that’s probably one of our missions now.


Dr. Chad Woolner: Wow, that’s amazing. Completely different here than in the United States. For sure.


Dr. Andrew Wells: That’s funny. When I first graduated from chiropractic school, I was going to apply to the state of Wisconsin. I remember getting some emails back saying, ‘No, we’re not doing any. We’re not letting any more chiropractors into the state.’ I was like, ‘What are you talking about?’ They were like, ‘Oh, yeah, we have too many chiropractors here.’ I’m like, ‘Is there such a thing? Why can’t I take the state exam if you’re not going to accept it?’ That’s interesting. So, people in Wisconsin, if you know much about the state, this is not true, but let’s say they’re all healthy. None of them have any kind of musculoskeletal issues. They’re all good. It’s refreshing to hear that a government-sponsored health organization wants chiropractors because that would never happen here. I don’t know. Hopefully, it will. But yeah, that’s interesting.


Dr. Jake Cooke: We’ve got a unique setup that’s truly interesting when we compare the pros and cons of both systems. The downside is that it’s been underfunded for a long time, leading to its near collapse. Some would argue it has already collapsed, which is why there’s a strong interest in exploring what can be done for improvement. Internationally, the treatment of back pain seems to have been largely unsuccessful. Considering that most people will experience back pain at some point in their lives, and there’s a 60% chance of recurrence within a year, we’d deem any other condition with such statistics a failure. This indicates a need to explore alternative solutions. In the UK, there’s hope for a more open-minded approach, which is one of the aspects that initially attracted me to the use of lasers.


Admittedly, I’m terrible at remembering names, but there’s a fantastic speaker currently discussing how the population is sicker than it has ever been. This is a stark contrast to 20 or 50 years ago when reading from the original chiropractors’ manuals, a single adjustment could often be a one-hit wonder for various ailments. Nowadays, it seems rare in my practice to achieve such immediate results with just one session. It’s becoming evident that many of us, like Andrew, who are exploring functional medicine, are doing so because traditional methods are no longer sufficiently effective on their own.


Dr. Chad Woolner: Yeah, it’s interesting to see—I can’t remember who you’re talking to. But it’s interesting to see that, when you set politics and social issues aside, and you look at socialized medicine, there’s a completely different objective versus the privatized or, you know, kind of more of a capitalistic model. In that, they’re very much of the mindset of necessity—that they’ve got to get results as quickly as possible, as inexpensively as possible, and as effectively as possible because that’s what drives costs down. Right, the metrics that they’re looking at are much different than the metrics associated with a for-profit system. Yeah, you know, it’s different.


Dr. Jake Cooke: Again, considering the pros and cons, one downside is that we may be a bit slow in conducting all the necessary investigations. In contrast, a potential con here is the overenthusiasm leading to excessive diagnostics. For example, instead of opting for a simple X-ray, there might be unnecessary expenditures on diagnostics, such as 5,000 pounds worth of tests including X-rays, ultrasounds, and MRIs. This contrasts with other systems where the financial structure doesn’t support such extensive testing, leading to a rise in the popularity of private care. Since COVID-19, the private healthcare sector, including functional medicine and laser chiropractic services, has seen significant growth. Patients, previously accustomed to receiving these services for free, are now turning to private care, making it an excellent time to be in practice. However, it’s also challenging due to patients’ high expectations based on past experiences, such as miraculous relief from back pain decades ago, which they unfairly compare against current treatments. Yeah.


Dr. Chad Woolner: So, how long have you been in practice?


Dr. Jake Cooke: I think it’s 13 years now.


Dr. Chad Woolner: Okay. And when did you start using lasers in practice?


Dr. Jake Cooke: Well, that’s a good question. It was probably about four years ago.


Dr. Chad Woolner: Did you get exposure to it in school?


Dr. Jake Cooke: That’s not the case anymore. I remember hearing about lasers in school, but it was just a casual mention. Then, there was a sports chiropractor. Again, I’m terrible with names and have forgotten his. He came to talk to us about professional cycling, mentioning that they use lasers and that he had a study showing it was comparable to NSAIDs for pain relief. I thought it was interesting, but no one had one, note my actual exposure was through a patient.

So, I work with chronic pain and chronic dizziness, meaning the vast majority of my patients present complex cases. A definitive complex case called me, saying she had severe fibromyalgia with all its worst aspects: not just chronic pain, but cognitive issues, digestive problems, and extreme fatigue. Her pain sensitization was so acute that even gently running a thumb down her spine caused pain, not from pressure, but from the lightest touch. It was truly awful for her.

She contacted me after being recommended, expressing interest in lasers and inquiring if I used them for chronic pain management. To be honest, I knew nothing about it at all. She was familiar with a particular technique and directed me to resources. Subsequently, I consulted with a team in the UK, and we purchased a laser device primarily for her treatment, to see what would happen.

This case was complex, and while I wish the solution was as simple as a single treatment, what the laser therapy provided was an opening. Before, any contact or movement triggered immense pain and inflammation, making any conventional treatment more harmful than beneficial. Simple adjustments would incapacitate her for days. With laser therapy, however, we observed a gradual decrease in her allodynia and pain sensitization. Remarkably, her widespread fibromyalgia pain began to centralize, allowing for periods where physical contact and joint movement became possible without exacerbating her pain.

This shift indicated that the laser treatment was reducing both peripheral and central sensitization, enabling the beginning of strength exercises and active cognitive movements. This, in turn, seemed to enhance pain inhibition from the brain, offering her a pathway back to a more normal life. This experience was my first real indication that the laser was effective, prompting me to further explore its potential and application in treatment.


Dr. Chad Woolner: Yeah, what a cool—yeah, well, several things that I think when I hear you tell that story that is cool. Some doctors might think, “Okay, I tried this laser, and it didn’t fix it. Everything rests upon this single solitary tool, and it didn’t fix it. And so, therefore, we’re going to toss it out.” Right? You have the sense, the clinical wherewithal—we’ll call it that—to recognize, you know, when you even kind of hinted at that, that you’re just using this as a tool, as a means to help facilitate other things that need to take place to help this patient. Yeah, absolutely. And so, that’s a huge, fertile ground for doctors listening, a huge clinical nugget that they can take in terms of how to use the lasers. Right? Because I think sometimes, at least for me, in my practice, since I have two lasers that we use at our practice, I think by default I sometimes want it to be more than that, not the way that you’re describing. It’s like, set it and forget it, and then let the laser do its thing, and then hope it works, you know. And you certainly can do that, because obviously, the clearances that have been done show that they have that ability. But again, like you’re talking, you’re not talking about your run-of-the-mill, you know, low back pain or neck pain case; you’re talking about somebody who’s dealing with a lot of other complexities.


Dr. Jake Cooke: You know, if you were to write down all the processes that you’re fighting against, it’s complicated, right? Yeah, it’s not just, you know, and I think sometimes when I can be critical of laser therapy, sometimes I’m like, I just didn’t do what I wanted to do. But then, when I compare it to other stuff that we use all the time, like spinal manipulation, which we use all day, every day. But how many of your patients, when you do the adjustment, genuinely get up and be like, “Oh, my God, that was the most amazing thing, the pain is completely gone, I can do everything,” right? And if they do, often, they’ll have that response in the moment. But the next morning, they’re waking up, and they’re feeling stiff and achy again. And I feel like sometimes with the laser, you get that immediate effect. And then people ring up and say, “Well, I didn’t do anything because the next day I was so sore.” So, you have it; it’s a process, you’re combating a lot of complex physiology. And so, we’re just trying to stack tools and techniques to try and slowly shift the tide away from it. So, sometimes the way I describe it to patients and other chiropractors is to ignore the complex physics and all the clever stuff that these guys can talk about for hours, but very simply, you’re taking the cell, and you’re trying to shift it from a stress state into a healing state. That’s all it is. The laser works in a completely different way from any manual therapy, soft tissue work, or any strength exercise; it’s working on a completely different level. So, it’s a tool that’s going to help you physiologically take that cell and shift it toward a healing state. And, you know, if you’re looking at the research behind spinal manipulation for that, you have it. How long have I been studying spinal regulation? We can’t say a lot of stuff with confidence, you know, how does it work? We can talk about neural and anatomical pathways, but we don’t know for certain that is actually how it works. Yes, we can look at proprioception and going up the cerebellum, but those are a lot of actually quite theory-based stuff. Whereas when you look at the laser, there’s a lot of research saying, like, we know this is the heart of the mitochondria. Whereas with spinal manipulation, there’s a lot of stuff we think, we think, we think, you know. I saw a paper last week; we think there’s some opioid release. But it’s a, but it’s up in the brain, and there’s lots of other stuff going on, and just human contact can do that, you know, touching someone’s back, you know.


Dr. Chad Woolner: So, I think it’s a lot more challenging to develop or design studies around manipulation. We know that, right? You know, how do you differentiate a sham adjustment from a real adjustment? That’s a challenge. And I know they’ve done that; they’ve conducted placebo-controlled studies with manipulation, but it’s far more challenging to do than comparing sham laser versus real laser, you know, exactly.


Dr. Andrew Wells: And so, one of the neat things about lasers we talk about is that let me start by mentioning one of the negative aspects of laser therapy: you can’t feel it. However, in this case, and for your patient, the benefit was that she couldn’t feel it. My question for you is, if you hadn’t been clever and risky enough from a business standpoint to invest in a laser for this particular patient, would you have any other backup plan? Given that you couldn’t touch her or use many physical modalities, what would have been the next step without laser therapy?


Dr. Jake Cooke: Early on, we tried to make a difference. I’ve saved this for you guys and for listeners at home. I passed the American Chiropractic Neurology Board exams in 2014. Then, I went on to pursue a Master’s in Musculoskeletal Neuroscience, which I believe I finished last year. So, I have a unique neuromuscular approach. However, everything I did for her just relapsed. In the office, she’d be okay, but by the time she traveled home, she’d have a splitting headache. Honestly, I didn’t have any other course of action to consider. Even when I thought I hadn’t done much in the clinic, carefully checking for pupil dilation, changes in heart rate, pulse rate, and blood pressure, I realized we hadn’t done much at all. It almost wasn’t worth coming in; we did so little. Then she’d call and say she had a terrible reaction, having been in bed for three days. It’s probably the worst case I’ve seen, to be honest. It was just devastating, especially for such a young woman, just stuck at home in bed.


Dr. Andrew Wells: It’s a frustrating thing for patients who have fibromyalgia or have been diagnosed with it because they really get bounced around from provider to provider with really no answers, and they’ve likely already tried a lot of things. These patients often get lumped into the bucket of “well, it’s all in your head” or “it’s a mental issue. We can’t fix this issue.


Dr. Jake Cooke: Have you tried CBT? Have you tried essential oils? Have you tried changing how you think about that pain? So, yeah, sure. But stabbing pain is still a stabbing pain. I can decide it’s…


Dr. Andrew Wells: You’re right. Many healthcare providers, and I include myself in this, tend to avoid addressing that patient. Like, let’s just move on to the next patient. And maybe someone else has something that can help this person. Instead, he leaned into it and tried to figure out some solutions. How’s the patient doing now, by the way?


Dr. Jake Cooke: I haven’t seen her in a long time. I hope she’s doing well. I hope that means she’s doing well and making slow and steady progress. So that was positive.


Dr. Andrew Wells: And you at least got to a point where you could use physical modalities, and it sounded like she was improving at the point when you were seeing her. Yeah.


Dr. Jake Cooke: Absolutely. And then, from having had that exposure, I think most of us who like using the laser have had a personal kind of impact. So, for me, the big one was when my wife was pregnant with our second child. Unfortunately, in the last 10 days of her pregnancy, she caught sinusitis, so she had this terrible, full headache. My wife’s tough; she gave birth twice without painkillers, so she’s a tough woman. Yeah, she was—I came down one morning, and she was on the sofa, head in her hands, basically couldn’t talk through the pain. It was like 10 out of 10, just horrendous, and the GP was really lovely but basically said, “Look, you’re due any day. There’s no medication we can give you. You’ve just got to hope it goes away.” And I know we’re not really meant to use it on a pregnant woman because we’ve got no studies saying it’s safe; we’ve got no studies saying it’s dangerous either. But I know technically you’re not meant to, but it’s like, this is just madness. I’m doing it. So, I’ve got the EVRL, so ultra-wide and red. We put it on the kind of infection setting, showing it around her sinuses for five minutes. And this is no exaggeration at all. At the end of five minutes, she sat up and said, “My headache is gone. I’ve got some throbbing next to my nose just here, but my headache is gone.” And that, for me, was my kind of first personal one. It was like, that’s really exciting. You haven’t touched, you haven’t done anything to her at all. We’ve just shone it around the sinuses. I think, because, you know, in the third trimester, they can get quite congested. It’s not the road.


Dr. Chad Woolner: Oh, edema.


Dr. Jake Cooke: So, I think I don’t know whether some aspects were infection and what aspect was maybe just edema, but whatever the laser did, it obviously drained some edema and reduced the pain. And we just used the laser two or three times a day for, I think, only two days. Symptoms all cleared. Wow. Quite miraculous. Yeah, I don’t use that word very often, but that was real. That’s incredible. So, and then we did the same for another, giving out all the little secrets, but she got mastitis as well when she was breastfeeding. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a woman with mastitis. It’s just awful. The pain is horrendous. You feel so sorry for them. And again, the chief advice was cabbage leaves. You know, I think it was like stewed cabbage leaves.


Dr. Chad Woolner: I have heard that. Yeah, I’ve heard stuff like that. Have you heard that before? 


Dr. Andrew Wells: Yeah. I’ll


Dr. Jake Cooke: Say that obviously didn’t do anything, but the laser did. So, she used the laser. And because I work with chronic pain, I’m used to seeing immediate changes, like the pain doesn’t hurt as much, or it reduces by half. For example, if someone has whiplash, they might have acute neck pain or chronic neck pain. So, we touch their neck, ask how painful it is, and they might say it’s seven out of ten. You do your laser treatment for a couple of minutes and then touch it again. Normally, they’ll say it’s dropped to about three. With her, when that paralysis occurred, she would use the laser, and at this point, I wasn’t doing the laser at all; I just left her in a room for five minutes. She’d come back and say, ‘Yeah, it’s shrinking again.’ So it’s not in such a wide space, and it’s more tolerable because that pain is horrendous. It just drives you mad, especially when you’re trying to breastfeed a child and look after them. She, in particular, really benefited from having that laser. I have my personal experience too. I like indoor rock climbing, and if you have kids, you know what it’s like trying to make new friends. There’s a guy who lives across the street with a child the same age, and we got chatting. I invited him to try climbing, and during my warm-up, I was being careless and didn’t warm up properly. I tried to show him some moves, but my foot slipped off the wall, and I strained my glutes. It was horrible. Normally, if I were on my own, I would have gone home, but since I was with my new friend, I decided, ‘Let’s climb for an hour.’ Getting home, standing up, sitting down, walking—I was yelping. The pain was like seven or eight, really awful. I went to bed thinking the next day would be worse. So, I lasered it about three or four times during the day. Honestly, I didn’t feel a difference after each session. I thought, ‘This is going to be horrible. I might even have to take my first day off from work ever.’ I’ve been very lucky not to have had an injury the day before. I went to bed with the pain at seven or eight and woke up in the morning, and it was probably a two or three. I could put on my socks and get dressed by myself. My wife had to take my socks off for me the night before. That personal experience was like, ‘Well, that shouldn’t have happened,’ in terms of physiology and stuff. It should have been a night of inflammation and swelling and just a horrendous morning. So, that was cool.


Dr. Chad Woolner: Yeah, that’s amazing. Yeah, so, I mean, that’s the thing I would say that’s so cool about these. I mean, among other things, it really opens up a window of opportunity. Right, you know, that here, you were able to, you know, we, I think, sometimes set unrealistic expectations with what we’re expecting in terms of outcomes and things like that, for what we define as successes. And clearly, you’re active, really active, you know, rock climbing, and things like that. But put this into perspective. For the average patient, let’s just say, if they’re dealing with pain that is sufficiently debilitating to where they can’t put their socks on, a huge win for them is being able to put their socks on unaided, you know what I mean? That’s a huge win. And that’s very meaningful to people, especially when we’re dealing with people in an older population, where all of a sudden, mobility is it and, you know, just basic ambulation is a challenging thing for them. They’re not looking to, you know, compete in a marathon or a triathlon or go rock climbing or anything; they’re just looking to function, you know, if you can help restore function, that’s a huge thing. Yeah.


Dr. Jake Cooke: A big part of what I’m trying to do at the moment is ask patients what they called us for. You know, if there’s one thing I could do for you, what would it be? Or what is your goal for coming here? What are you hoping to achieve? The immediate answer is always “get rid of the pain” or “get rid of the dizziness.” What I’m trying to do now is dig into that a bit more. Okay, great. So if I had a magic wand, bam, done. Is there anything you’d be doing tomorrow that you’re not doing today? Then again, they’ll give you some wishy-washy answer, but I’m trying to find out what the deeper reason is. Why are you paying for healthcare now rather than just waiting for the NHS? Why is this so important? I get that the pain is unpleasant, but what is it stopping you from doing? Normally, it comes down to “I can’t play with my kids.” So dads say, “I feel old, I can’t lift my kid up, I can’t play football with them—I mean soccer. I can’t play soccer with them.” And moms say, “I feel like a terrible mom, you know, I can’t look after my kids properly.” Older people say, “I can’t go for a walk outside. You know, I feel old. I didn’t feel old.” I think that’s something the laser is very good at. It just shows them the potential very quickly. And that’s what we’re going to be doing over the next few weeks or months, especially with acute injuries. You know, someone who’s got acute low back pain, you can make a difference quite quickly. It can be quite exciting. And you’re right about managing expectations, but it’s quite exciting when you can palpate something and it really is a nasty, sharp pain, and then you shine a laser on it, do nothing else, give it another poke, and they’re like, “Does that same place hurt?


Dr. Chad Woolner: Yeah


Dr. Jake Cooke: It’s putting graduates.


Dr. Chad Woolner: So, what do you foresee in terms of the future for your clinic using lasers, beyond musculoskeletal pain? What are you currently using them for, and what do you foresee?


Dr. Jake Cooke: So I think when you’re in the clinic, you get pulled in many different directions. I try to be primarily a clinician before a researcher, but I also make time to conduct extensive literature reviews regularly. When I see a patient I’m struggling to help, I use that as a critical clinical question to guide my research. One of the reviews I’m currently conducting is on migraine progression, specifically, the factors that convert episodic migraine into chronic migraine. We define chronic migraine as experiencing a headache more than 15 days a month, which is quite severe—essentially having a headache every other day. Now, I understand what the laser does for pain, and I want to explore its effects on migraines and other conditions. I work a lot with dizziness and see many patients with vestibular migraine and conditions like vestibular neuritis. I’ve been using the laser through the ear to reach the vestibular system, but I haven’t thoroughly researched the scientific support for this approach. It seems to be working well, but I’m interested in delving deeper into what the laser can do for these various conditions. Sometimes, I think it improves metabolism, right? It enhances mitochondrial function. It’s not a cure-all, but almost; it doesn’t matter what the condition is because you can try this one.


Dr. Chad Woolner: It’s going to be the foundational premise and mechanism of what makes it work that is part of what makes it so exciting. And I dare say I understand exactly what you’re saying; I dare not claim that it’s a panacea by any means. But the mechanism is so foundational that there is a solid rationale for using it for a very, very wide range of different types of conditions and problems that people present with.


Dr. Jake Cooke: Yeah, absolutely. I think I am in my clinic. So, I always look at what other people are doing. For the first ten years of my career, I basically went and observed a lot of people and asked many wiser and more successful individuals, ‘What would you do if you did it again?’ In the UK, it’s a very different market compared to America. The answer that always came back was, ‘Go solo, and be really lean for maximum profits with really no fat,’ or ‘Open three or more clinics.’ So, you either want lots of clinics and people, then you’ve got enough income that other people can do work for you, and you’re not, you know, working at both clinics if you have only two, running between both, answering the phone sometimes, and doing the marketing and stuff like that. They’re like, ‘Three or more clinics.’ So, I went lean, which has been great. But I think probably in the next few years, we’ll get to the stage where we’ve maybe outgrown that space. And that’s where I think maybe having something like the FX, you know, having something where we can have one room come in laser for however long treatment and other rooms, something like that. I don’t have the space for it where I am now. But maybe, I think that’s probably where I’d like to go. Yeah, my wife’s accountant. She was also, when we got married, our best friend. So, we did such a cliché. My best female friend got married, and it was her oldest friend. So, basically we met at a wedding, and then got married. So, our best friend gave a speech at our wedding. And she called us the dreamer and the planner. And I’m the dreamer, and my wife is the planner. So, the one frustration we have with each other is I’ll get really excited. So, after this weekend, I can tell you, I’m gonna go down this path: ‘This guy, that guy, this guy. Oh, what do we do?’ and she’s gonna just get it straight away. And she’ll start firing for perfectly reasonable reasons why we should not be doing that. And then I get frustrated because I’m like, ‘Yeah.


Dr. Chad Woolner: Yeah, she keeps the parameters in place. Yeah,


Dr. Jake Cooke: We’ll say a long time ago. 


Dr. Chad Woolner: That’s good expectations. That’s good. That’s amazing. Well, it sounds like you’re doing some incredible things at your clinic and helping a lot of people over there in England. And yeah, it’s been really cool having you here.


Dr. Andrew Wells: Dr. Cooke, Erchonia is making a push to have a bigger presence with low-level laser therapy in the UK and Europe. Are you seeing the use of laser therapy pick up? Or do you see it as being a bigger part of not only the private sector in UK healthcare but also, do you ever see this becoming a part of the National Health System?


Dr. Jake Cooke: And I see what a digression it is becoming more popular. So, you’re definitely hearing about more clinics having lasers. I think one of the difficulties we have at the moment over there is the confusion between LED and laser. Same here in the US. Yeah, yeah. And so, you know, I had a patient the other day say, “I’ve had a laser.” I was like, “Okay, which clinic did you go to?” And you look, and it’s one of these full-body LED things. Um, like, it’s not saying that doesn’t work, but it’s not the same. You know, and the research is different, you know, if we’re looking at one working through heat, and one working through light, and they have different mechanisms involved. I think that’s probably where we have the difficulty is that you know, a patient the other day used the laser, and then he sends me an email saying, “I found one on eBay.


Dr. Chad Woolner: Oh, geez.


Dr. Jake Cooke: No, you haven’t. It looks the same, right? No, it’s not. 


Dr. Andrew Wells: Does it admit a color of light?


Dr. Jake Cooke: Yeah, that’s literally a torch. A torch is not the same. Yeah. And I think that’s the challenge we have, and I actually think the accounting team in the UK is very good at pushing research. They’re really good at it. So Simon always says that we don’t care what you decide to purchase; we don’t care. You know what, but we just want to educate you on why you’re purchasing that one, you know, the difference between them. So, I think it is more popular, but I don’t think there are as many true lasers; I think the majority of them are cheap LEDs, and they have their time and place, but they’re not the same. Whether it’ll be on the NHS or not, the NHS is very slow to adapt to new things. I can’t remember the time frame. It’s something ridiculous, like 20 years from research to application or something like that.


Dr. Chad Woolner: Yeah, there was a study that we’ve cited. I think it was Cambridge, if I’m not mistaken, wasn’t it? The title of the study was “The Answer is 17 Years. What’s the Question? The Lag Between Research and Implementation in an Actual Real-World Clinical Setting.” And so that’s exactly right. You know, I don’t think that’s just a UK thing. I think that when it comes to seeing the translation of what is understood from a research level to being adopted into mainstream medicine, just globally and in general, we tend to see those same types of lags. So, unfortunately, that’s just the way it is, to a certain extent.


Dr. Jake Cooke: I think part of the difficulty we face, as well as when looking at the research, is that it’s quite muddy. This is because researchers have done such a poor job differentiating between the different wavelengths and frequencies and all that kind of stuff. So, when you look at a paper stating there was a positive or negative correlation, you realize the range of devices used, or different methodologies, complicates matters. For example, systematic reviews in laser research are quite hard to derive value from due to these inconsistencies.


Dr. Chad Woolner: Such a vast array of different types of settings. And, but that’s..


Dr. Jake Cooke: Saying it’s all you know, does it work for a literature review on TMJ I was doing not so long ago? Does it work? And then one systematic review says yes, analysis, no. And you look at what papers are included, they’re all over the place. So, you kind of feel like the industry needs to have stricter definitions of this is what this one does. This is what we call it. And then when you do research, you know, maybe the laser guys stick with phototherapy.


Dr. Chad Woolner: Yeah, even just having a commonly accepted nomenclature in terms of names and terms would be helpful. So, thank you again for taking time out of your schedule to be here. We’re excited. This is going to be a really fun weekend. And it has already been a ton of fun chatting with you about this and hearing your experiences firsthand. Anything else you wanted to add, Doctor?


Dr. Andrew Wells: No, just thank you. Thanks for being on the show. This is great. And we’d love to have you on again for another episode sometime down the road. So thank you very much for your time.


Dr. Jake Cooke: Hey, thanks for having me. It’s been a real pleasure. And I’d love to come back. 


Dr. Chad Woolner: We will definitely have a yes. So, alright, doctors and patients, thanks for listening. I hope this has been valuable. We’ll talk to you guys in the next episode. Have a good one. Thanks for listening to The Laser Light Show. Be sure to subscribe and give us a review. If you’re interested in learning more about our Erchonia lasers, just head on over to Erchonia.com. There, you’ll find a ton of useful resources, including research news and links to upcoming live events, as well as our Erchonia e-community where you can access for free additional resources, including advanced training and business tools. Again, thanks for listening, and we will catch you on the next episode.


About The Guest(s):

Dr. Jake Cooke is a prominent figure in the field of chiropractic care from England, recognized for his innovative use of laser therapy in his practice. He has a background in chronic pain and dizziness management, making him particularly adept at handling complex cases. Dr. Cooke’s career spans over 13 years, with the last four dedicated to integrating laser therapy into his treatments. His academic achievements include passing the American Chiropractic Neurology Board exams and obtaining a Master’s in Musculoskeletal Neuroscience. Dr. Cooke’s unique expertise and approach to patient care, especially his use of laser therapy for various conditions, including fibromyalgia and migraines, underline his significant contribution to chiropractic medicine.


In episode #28 of “The Laser Light Show,” hosts Dr. Chad Woolner and Dr. Andrew Wells interview Dr. Jake Cooke, exploring his groundbreaking work with laser therapy in the UK. Dr. Cooke shares his journey into the world of laser therapy, beginning with a challenging patient case of severe fibromyalgia. His successful integration of laser treatments in clinical practice showcases the potential of low-level laser therapy (LLLT) in addressing chronic pain, inflammation, and a host of other conditions. The discussion also touches on the differences between healthcare systems in the UK and the US, the expansion of chiropractic education in the UK, and the potential for laser therapy to be recognized and adopted by the National Health Service (NHS).

Key Takeaways:

  • Innovative Use of Laser Therapy: Dr. Cooke’s application of laser therapy, particularly in complex chronic pain conditions like fibromyalgia, illustrates the versatility and effectiveness of LLLT in clinical practice.
  • Challenges and Solutions in Healthcare: The conversation highlights the challenges faced by the NHS in adopting new treatments like laser therapy, contrasting with the more rapid adoption in private healthcare sectors.
  • Education and Expansion: The growth of chiropractic education in the UK, including new colleges and programs, suggests an expanding field with increasing opportunities for practitioners.
  • Personal and Patient Success Stories: Both Dr. Cooke’s personal experiences and his patients’ success stories serve as compelling testimonials to the benefits of laser therapy.


  • Before any contact or movement triggered immense pain and inflammation, making any conventional treatment more harmful than beneficial… With laser therapy, however, we observed a gradual decrease in her allodynia and pain sensitization.” – Dr. Jake Cooke
  • It’s a process, you’re combating a lot of complex physiology… you’re taking the cell, and you’re trying to shift it from a stress state into a healing state.” – Dr. Jake Cooke
  • What I’m trying to do now is dig into that a bit more… ‘What is your goal for coming here? What are you hoping to achieve?’ Normally, it comes down to ‘I can’t play with my kids.’… I think that’s something the laser is very good at. It just shows them the potential very quickly.”- Dr. Jake Cooke