s.a.d. light therapy box

Light therapy boxes, or SAD light therapy, are finally being taken seriously as an aid for lifting depression.

The National Institute of Mental Health has been been using light therapy with success since the early 1980’s. 

Many researchers in the U.S. and abroad have had much success with light therapy. A recent study has been published in the American Medical Association’s journal ‘JAMA Psychiatry’.

The Mayo Clinic states that Light Therapy is ‘a proven treatment’ for SAD, or Seasonal Affective Disorder. It has also been found ‘promising’  in the treatment of major depressive disorder, postpartum depression, and bipolar disorder. 

The American Cancer Society admits that there is some evidence that ultraviolet light therapy may be effective on certain types of skin cancer, as well as many skin conditions.

light boxes better than antidepressants?

Antidepressants are the biggest moneymakers for

the drug business.

This is Alarming in itself.

Funny that in the 1950’s when they first started to appear, pharmaceutical companies weren’t big on pushing them, as there were not that many people to market to - especially compared to the tranquilizer industry! 

Nearly everyone knows someone that suffers from depression, or major depressive disorder, as a mental illness. It is a worldwide epidemic.

  • Nearly 70% of long-term users of antidepressants are women. 
  • Antidepressants permanently rewire your brain.
  • They take time to work.
  • They can be expensive.
  • They do not always work the first time, but it takes a while to find that out.
  • They can make you sick if you suddenly stop taking them.
  • Different antidepressants have different side-effects in your body.
  • And, worst of all, antidepressants Can make a person Suicidal in the first few weeks of taking them, especially those under 25 years old.

I Do believe that antidepressants have their place in society. I am not knocking them. They have had their place in my own life. 

I just want to let people know that there are MANY ALTERNATIVES and Complementary Therapies to use when treating things such as depression and sleep disorders, and in a more Healthy and cost-effective manner! 

what is light therapy?

Light Therapy, also called Phototherapy (using light for physical or mental illness), or Heliotherapy (sunlight coming through windows are redirected to the person), consists of exposing oneself to either natural daylight, or a myriad of other light sources, for therapeutic reasons.

The lights can be low level wavelengths of blue or green, or can be up to 10,000 lux of a bright full-spectrum light.

how does light therapy work?

Light coming in strikes the retina of the eye and affects our circadian rhythm, our 24 hour natural cycle.

A disruption in that rhythm can contribute to mood and sleep disorders, along with SAD.

Not enough light can affect our melatonin levels, also important for anxiety relief and sleep issues. 

Bright light, especially when used in the early morning, can restore our circadian rhythms.

It can also aid in restoring certain neurotransmitter and synapse functions. 

The effectiveness of Light Therapy for treating SAD is because it makes up for lost sunlight, common in northern areas with little sunshine in winter months.

Light can reset the body’s internal clock, the 24 hour cycles, our circadian rhythms. 

Light therapy can reduce the depressive and debilitating symptoms of sleep deprivation. 

The light from a light box is usually set at a specific distance from the eyes, projecting downwards. It is not necessary to actually Look at the light, as long as the light source is striking the lower retina.

Light boxes generally filter out most UV rays, which can damage eyes and skin. 

Blue or green light is better than red light. 

Light therapy  is used most successfully in the early morning hours, and in some cases even Before one awakens, to reset your natural circadian 24 hour rhythms. 

It has been used successfully along with antidepressant medication, or as a stand alone therapy. 

A bili light is being used with success with newborns that have a certain type of jaundice, in which they are producing too much bilirubin. The blue bili light helps the newborn to excrete excess bilirubin. 

conclusion

Light therapy is a relatively safe and easy therapy, but some people Can experience some minimal side effects.

The correct type of light, wave lengths, distance and time spent should be properly prescribed to you.  

There are certain drugs and certain disorders where light therapy is NOT recommended.

Please consult with a health care practitioner before trying light therapy! 

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