Struggling to kick their cigarette addictions, Santa Barbarans Sam Gross and his wife, Nicole Koon, looked to alternative medicines for a solution. While researching possible treatments, Gross, who also suffered from lower back pain, came across low level laser therapy, and decided to give it a try. The remedy worked; his back pain was eased and the couple has been cigarette-free for more than two years.

Inspired by the positive results, Gross and Koon opened Pacific Laser Therapy in 2007 to provide Santa Barbarans with a center where they could get treatment. “Low level laser therapy (LLLT) is a light source treatment that generates light of a single wavelength,” Gross said. The method has been used since the 1960s to stimulate cellular function, which increases the body’s natural ability to heal.

The effect of LLLT can include an improved metabolism, improved blood circulation, and the stimulation of wound healing, among other things. Laser treatment received FDA approval more than 10 years ago. Since then, many studies have been conducted providing evidence that low level laser therapy can be effective in aiding and treating conditions including neck and back pain, acne, eczema, sports injuries, migraines, temporomandibular joint disorders, scars, hearing loss, forms of arthritis, nicotine addiction, and many other injuries or ailments.

“Clients go through an initial consultation, working with our certified laser therapist to create a treatment plan,” Gross said.

If you’re hoping to kick cigarettes, for example, here’s how it works: “Clients go through an initial consultation, working with our certified laser therapist to create a treatment plan,” Gross said. “Pacific Laser Therapy Center’s staff is uniquely qualified to address the physical and psychological dimensions of nicotine addiction. In order to beat nicotine addiction, our therapists utilize laser light therapy in conjunction with practical and powerful cognitive behavioral techniques and emphasize the important role of how our internal thoughts influence how we feel and what we do.”

The first appointment includes a laser therapy session, behavior modification plan and assessment, and a nicotine detox. The second appointment is then scheduled for three days after the first. The client receives another laser treatment and the focus is “on reinforcement of the behavioral and detox protocol.” The third session includes a final review and brief laser therapy session. Gross explained that “the behavioral tools are so powerful and practical that you may utilize your new behavioral toolkit in other life situations!”

Gross and his wife are immensely passionate about helping people and bettering the quality of life for others, just as laser therapy has done for both of them. “We are helping our clients take back their mind and body by harnessing the power of light with LLLT,” Gross said.


Pacific Laser Therapy Center is in Paseo Nuevo at 735 State Street. Call 284-9468 or visit


Please note this login is to submit events or press releases. Use this page here to login for your Independent subscription

Not a member? Sign up here.