Written By Anita Ginsburg / Reviewed By Ray Spotts
Light therapy is a method of treatment that has previously been used primarily in the treatment of mood disorders and certain medical conditions such as jaundice. As this therapy was used successfully, people started using light therapy as a treatment method for other conditions such as skin disorders and adjusting or resetting circadian rhythm.
Positive Effects on Mood and Health
Light therapy relies on the basics of sunlight exposure. The body requires some sunlight to regulate the production of specific hormones such as melatonin and serotonin. The body also produces its own vitamin D with regular, short exposure to sunlight.
Melatonin works to regulate sleep cycles, while serotonin provides an overall feeling of calmness and focus. Both hormones are known to affect mood. Vitamin D is a necessary nutrient the bones need for strength.
Depression and Seasonal Affective Disorder
Depression is a mood disorder. Light therapy can be used to help alleviate it, though this therapy is commonly used in conjunction with traditional medications. Light does not pose the same potential side effects as pharmaceuticals, so some people may choose light therapy when medications are not effective or when they cause undesirable side effects.
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that affects people more during the late fall and winter months. Bright light imitates the sun and can help decrease symptoms.
There are several types of skin conditions that may benefit from light therapy. Conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, severe acne, and scleroderma are a few conditions that may be treated with light therapy. Treatment, depending on the device used, can target germs under the skin. It can also target skin cells and trigger regeneration, which in turn promotes healing.
Types of Light Therapy Devices
Light boxes, natural light bulbs, blue light, red light, and dawn simulators are common types of light therapy devices. Many devices can be purchased for use at home to supplement office visits. Natural light bulbs are one of the few devices that can be used in your lamps at home without taking up space, while other light therapy devices require dedicated space.
In the office, your doctor may also use light therapy devices, such as The Visum Light. Some devices may focus on one type or color of light, such as red light or green light. Each color of light has different benefits, so if you are focusing on one type of healing, your doctor may simply use the color of light suits that.
Other devices may expose you to a fuller range of colored light. They may do this simultaneously, or they may have multiple options for light colors that you can switch between. This makes it easier if you are trying to treat multiple issues or if multiple types of light may help treat the issue you are dealing with.
The light therapy device you choose should be the most appropriate for the condition you are seeking to treat and your health goals. If you are using light therapy to seek mood and overall health improvement, for example, you will not need as intense a device as you would if you were trying to treat eczema or depression.
It is also beneficial to use light therapy at the same time everyday for maximum results, especially if you are using it to help with sleep issues.
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Anita Ginsburg is a freelance writer from Denver, Colo. She studied at Colorado State University, and now writes articles about health, business, family and finance. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family whenever she isn't writing. You can follow her on Twitter @anitaginsburg.
Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at www.rayspotts.com.