Understanding and Appreciating Vitamin D

With winter quickly approaching, we are always starting to feel not only the physical affects of a new season, but also the mental changes we all undergo. The sun is beginning to set far too early and our internal mental clocks are all out of whack. With this change happening, it’s more important than ever to make sure your body is receiving it’s proper amount of vitamin D.

This can be rather difficult in the winter, especially if you work a full time job, but it’s not something you can ignore. We know why vitamin D is so important but do you? Let’s get down to it.

It All Starts with Sunlight…

Sunlight, sunshine, the sun, daylight, sun rays, whatever you choose to call it, chances are you know what all of these terms mean, but do you understand the power of the sun? The sun is not only crucial to keep the earth alive and well, but also us! We need the sun to stay healthy!

Sunlight is a portion of the electromagnetic radiation that is given off by the all mighty and powerful sun. Using more specific terms, the sun gives off infrared, visible, and ultraviolet light. For us folks down on Earth, sunlight is filtered through the atmosphere surrounding the Earth, thus providing us with daylight. This means the sun is present above the horizon. When the sun’s rays are not being by blocked by clouds, which creates diffused light, they shine right on down to us. This creates sunshine, which is an unbeatable combination of radiant heat and bright light.

Too much sun isn’t always a good thing. It’s important to always wear sunscreen, protect your skin from overexposure, and always drink enough water. The sun is more than powerful and can easily control our bodies.

If you’re like us, you cross your fingers, pray to the weather gods, and hope with everything inside of you that every single day of the year will be sunny. This is because sunlight is known to have positive effects on the brain, can drastically improve your skin, can ease health problems, and most definitely raises energy levels. If we are smart about how we manage our time with the sun and how it fits into our lives, we can be exposed to a world of health benefits. For example, Vitamin D, which is crucial for our bodies to remain healthy, is activated within us when we are exposed to sun.

Understanding Vitamin D…

Vitamins are chemicals that our bodies require in order for them to remain healthy. They help us fight illnesses, keep us strong, help us heal, and keep our insides working well together. Vitamin D, which is most commonly known for helping promote strong and healthy bones, can be created by the sunlight or taken in pill form. It is pretty remarkable that sunlight, when exposed to the skin, can help our bodies create Vitamin D. This is the only vitamin that can make itself. We must get our other vitamins through our foods. Vitamin D doesn’t rely on our diet. It relies on our exposure to sunlight.

Why Is It So Important?

Our bodies need and crave Vitamin D in order to keep our bones strong and healthy. The Vitamin D Council, a website dedicated to all things Vitamin D related, took to their blog to explain why Vitamin D is so important:

“Vitamin D is very important for strong bones. Calcium and phosphorus are essential for developing the structure and strength of your bones, and you need vitamin D to absorb these minerals. Even if you eat foods that contain a lot of calcium and phosphorus, without enough vitamin D, you can’t absorb them into your body. Vitamin D is important for general good health, and researchers now are discovering that vitamin D may be important for many other reasons outside of good bone health. Some of the functions of the body that vitamin D helps with include:

  • Immune system, which helps you to fight infection
  • Muscle function
  • Cardiovascular function, for a healthy heart and circulation
  • Respiratory system –for healthy lungs and airways
  • Brain development
  • Anti-cancer effects

Doctors are still working to fully understand how vitamin D works within your body and how it affects your overall health.

If your body doesn’t get enough vitamin D to keep it healthy, this is called vitamin D deficiency. Severe vitamin D deficiency can sometimes cause a condition called rickets in children and a condition called osteomalacia in adults. Both of these conditions cause soft, thin, and brittle bones.

A lack of vitamin D has also been linked to some other conditions such as cancer, asthma, type-II diabetes, high blood pressure, depression, Alzheimer’s and autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s and type-I diabetes.” (VitaminDCouncil.org)

Could You Be Vitamin D Deficient?

Vitamin D deficiency is far more common than most people would ever think. How can something that is activated by a natural part of our world not being taken advantage of? There are many factors that can come into play when it comes to Vitamin D deficiency. For example, some parts of the world remain dark for extended amounts of time for specific seasons. Some states, such as Seattle, are gloomy and rainy for a high percentage of the year. Some people are afraid of too much sun, and some, just simply don’t make or don’t have the time for sun exposure. There are a whole slew of reasons why people could be lacking Vitamin D and the statistics that prove just how many people are struggling will blow your mind.

Healing Therapies, a website dedicated to medical studies, has a blog titled, “Vitamin D: Facts and Statistics.” In this article, the Vitamin D deficiency statistics are laid out.

  • 32% of doctors and medical school students are vitamin-D deficient.
  • 40% of the U.S. population is vitamin-D deficient.
  • 42% of African American women of childbearing age are vitamin-D deficient.
  • 48% of young girls (9-11 years old) are vitamin-D deficient.
  • Up to 60% of all hospital patients are vitamin-D deficient.
  • 76% of pregnant mothers are severely vitamin-D deficient, causing widespread vitamin-D deficiencies in their unborn children.

(HealingTherapies.Info)

But How Does Vitamin D Work?

Okay so now you know what sunlight is, and you know what Vitamin D is, but now you need to know how the two work together to keep us healthy. It’s quite simple…chemical processes!

The Vitamin D process begins with your liver. Whether you are exposing yourself to sunlight to receive Vitamin D or you are taking supplements, your body is going to send the Vitamin D to your liver. Once your body reaches this point, your liver is going to take that Vitamin D and change it into a different substance. This substance is called 25(OH)D. As the Vitamin D Council explains, “When your doctor talks about your vitamin D levels, he means the amount of 25(OH)D you have in your blood.” Hey, thanks liver!

From this point, the chemical is sent throughout your body and it’s ready to get to action! Our tissues turn it into activated Vitamin D and your body will begin to receive the long list of health benefits.The Vitamin D Council came to the rescue again to simplify what is definitely not a simple thing. The website explains, “From here, it gets a little complicated, but you can think of activated vitamin D working in two ways:

Manages calcium in your blood, bones and gut;

Helps cells all over your body to communicate properly.”

As you can see, Vitamin D deserves an article entirely to itself. It’s complex, interesting, and majorly beneficial. However, if we were forced to sum up vitamin D for you in just one short blurb…this is what we would tell you…

Our bodies need vitamin D and the sun can give deliver it. Why not take advantage of what this world has to offer? Your body will thank you! Especially during the winter!

What Everyone Needs To Know About Light Therapy

Light therapy is breaking ground all across the world and yet most people go through their every day lives having no idea what it is and how much potential it holds. Light therapy is going to blow your mind!

None of us are perfect, and honestly, more people than you would think struggle with serious disorders that affect their every day lives. Light therapy has been proven effective in a wide array of scenarios. A light box imitates outdoor light, which boosts energy levels and improves health, as well as multiple other perks.The process of using a light box and other forms of the therapy have been successfully treating all sorts of disorders. These conditions range from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), to depression, to hair loss, to acne that you thought you would never get rid of, to muscle pain, and a little bit of every in between.

Light therapy is powerful, easy to use, cost effective, all natural, harm free, and ready for you whenever you’re ready. Now lets learn what everyone needs to know about light therapy…

It Can Treat Seasonal Affective Disorder and Depression:

If you struggle with any form of depression, light therapy may be a cure for your struggles. Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD is a form of depression that usually strikes annually during fall and winter. For some people, symptoms for SAD occur during summer and spring, but it is rare. Symptoms for the disorder include irritability, trouble getting along with others, weight gain and major appetite changes, low energy levels, extreme sensitivity to rejection, oversleeping, and an achey, heavy feeling throughout the limbs.

For people with depression, aside from Seasonal Affective Disorder, light therapy can help by simply using a light box to bring their energy levels back to normal. Depression is usually apparent in conjunction with lack of sleep and Circadian Rhythm Disorders. Circadian Rhythm Disorders are changes in a person’s normal rhythm of their 24 hours cycles. When the patterns of the brain wave activity drastically change due to work, pregnancy, medications, time zone changes, routine swaps, and medical issues such as Alzheimer’s, it is hard for the brain to keep up. Making it is easy for depression to creep in. Light therapy can help bring your brain and energy levels back to a point that is difficult to reach without any assistance.

It Can Treat Other Mental Disorders Such As Bipolar Disorder:

More than three million people in the United States are diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, also referred to as Manic Depression each year. The disorder brings about episodes of mood swings ranging from depressive lows to manic highs. Most people struggling with the disorder undergo periods of elevated moods, either high or low, and increased irritability. A reduced need for sleep, depression symptoms, and loss of interest in passions are all common occurrences.

Unfortunately, Bipolar Disorder cannot be cured, but light therapy has been proven to show signs of improvement. Light therapy helps keep the biological clock on time in people with Bipolar Disorder and other mental illnesses. This clock can be easily agitated and can throw off sleep and wake cycles which are known to stir up symptoms such as mania and depression. Using light therapy aids in regulating biological patterns, in turn reducing mood swings and major brain wave changes.

People who struggle with SAD, depression, and Bipolar Disorder, often face other mental disorders such as Bulimia and Anorexia. The therapy indirectly improves mood, thus reducing the need to binge or purge.

It Can Treat Insomnia:

There are more than three million US cases of Insomnia per year. Insomnia can usually be self-diagnosed and the symptoms include difficulty falling asleep and remaining asleep. People who struggle with Insomnia are often overly tired, lack concentration, show signs of depression, are extremely irritable, and suffer from headaches.

Similar to Bipolar Disorder, insomnia doesn’t have a direct cure. However, light therapy shows major signs of improvement in people and for people who struggle with moderate to mild insomnia, light therapy can most certainly be the cure. The internal clock in people with insomnia is often off which causes them to struggle when it comes to sleep. By managing when the brain releases melatonin and seratonin, insomnia symptoms can be alleviated and the brain’s internal clock can get itself back on track.

It Can Cure Psoriasis and Other Skin Conditions:

Light therapy is extremely effective for skin conditions such as Psoriasis, Vitiligo, Scleroderma, and many other disorders. The process works by decreasing cell growth and inflammation that create skin issues. Psoriasis is a common skin problem that has seen results when treated with light therapy processes. Psoriasis occurs when skin cells build up and form itchy and scaly patches on your body. Using a light box in a scenario such as this would slow down your cell growth and bring this painful condition to a halt. Do you struggle with any of these skin conditions? Light therapy may be the skin treatment you’ve been looking for.

It Can Cure Chronic Pain:

Red light therapy is used every day to treat chronic pain. This form of therapy became popular when professional athletes began using it for pain relief as well as wound healing.

This most likely goes without saying, but no one wants to take pain killers every day. They’re dangerous, your body becomes overly reliant, and they make your stomach a wreck. An even better statement: it’s pretty difficult to lead a happy life when living with chronic pain. No worries. The cure is here.

Red light therapy is very commonly used for pain relief. It’s used in doctor’s offices all over, athlete’s swear by it, Chiropractor’s praise it, and it’ll be hard to find someone with a negative opinion on the matter. It’s gentle, drug-free, non-invasive, and 100% awesome. In most cases, it has proven extremely effective in reducing pains and aches. In some cases, red light therapy has actually totally eliminated aches and pains. Red light therapy can treat herniated and bulging disks, muscle related back pain, Osteoarthritis, pulled and strained muscles, Fibromyalgia, muscle spasms, inflammation, bone fractures, chips, and sprains, nerve injuries, neck pain, neck stiffness, and more.

It Can Treat Hair Loss:

When it comes to hair regrowth, red light therapy is making our jaws drop. Low Level Light Therapy or Low Light Laser Therapy (LLLT), are what specialists are using and it is directly creating hair regrowth for people who struggle with male pattern baldness, hair loss due to age, stress, and more.

These treatment sessions use red and near infrared light therapy. The treatment does not need to be in the form of a laser to work, but some people prefer it. Wavelengths in the range of 630 to 670 nanometers are most commonly used for this form of Light Therapy. The treatment works because visible red light is capable of being absorbed by the molecules in our hair follicles. When absorbed, this can stimulate growth of the hair thanks to a natural biological reaction. This only works if the light is absorbed, which is why lasers are usually preferred.

It Can Treat Acne, Scars, Wrinkles, and Blemishes:

Most people have struggled or will struggle with those not so pretty blemishes on our cheeks, our noses, our foreheads, our backs, and other unfortunate places. Acne is a skin condition that occurs when hair follicles plug with oil and dead skin cells. The bothersome condition results in pimples, blackheads, and bumps. It’s honestly a pretty difficult condition to conquer. Some people can lay off the greasy potato chips, change their pillow cases every single morning, and still end up with zits on their foreheads. Some people can apply all of the expensive creams in the world, try every homeopathic treatment, read every Pinterest article about how to get rid of their zits, and they will still struggle. Some people deal with terrible side affects with acne medications, or they just can’t afford to keep getting it refilled! This is where light therapy can kick acne right out of your life.

Exposing your skin to different forms of Light Therapy can help kill the bacteria in and on your skin that causes redness and swelling from acne. Using a form of Light Therapy will not be a quick kill for your zits. It will not just zap them away like a laser does. Instead, the treatment kills the bacteria that causes acne and reduces the amount of oil-producing glands on your skin. It givesyour skin a chance to recover by itself, without harming or damaging it for the long run. Depending on what is needed and wanted, the treatment will either use red light, blue light, or a combination of the two.

Light therapy also works wonders by treating scars, reducing fine lines and wrinkles, and overall rejuvenating your skin to bring back youth and a healthy glow. All of these conditions can be cured with one light therapy device, but depending on your specific conditions and the severity of them, it’s best to do research and speak to a doctor before buying or using a device.

We barely cracked the surface here and we’re excited just talking about light therapy! Light therapy is still new. We learn more every day, and the possibilties are endless. It’s time to get on board!

Light Therapy is Boosting Libido in Men!

Light Therapy & Libido

The European College of Neuropsychology has released new research which is proving that light therapy can boost libido in men. Libido is a person’s sexual desire. It is often referred to as sex drive or sexual appetite. New research has proven that bright light therapy can actually improve libido levels in men. The more we learn, the more we come to realize that light therapy has endless potential.

Bright light therapy, which is the same form of therapy used for treating Seasonal Affective Disorder, is the form of light therapy being used for improving libido levels. Exposure to bright light therapy increases testosterone levels and can lead to greater sexual satisfaction in men who suffer from low libidos. The researchers from the European College of Neuropsychology are reporting that the 25% of men who have said they suffer from lower libidos can now put their minds to ease. There is hope!

The Proof!

In the study conducted at the European college, scientists gathered 38 men that were diagnosed with hypoactive sexual desire disorder, also known as sexual arousal disorder. This disorder refers to men who have a lack of interest in sex. All 38 men underwent an evaluation prior to the study to determine their baseline interest in sex and calculate their testosterone levels.

After this initial evaluation, the men were divided in half. Every single day for two weeks, the 19 men from each group sat in front of a light box early in the morning for half hour long treatments. One of the groups of 19 men was the control group. They were treated with an adapted light box that produced drastically less light than the other group’s light box. The men didn’t know this, of course.

Once the treatment was over, the researchers and scientists discovered that the testosterone levels in the men who were given the active light treatment increased. There levels skyrocketed from 2.1 ng/ml to 3.6 ng/ml after just two weeks. The control group that was given the weak light ended the treatment session with their testosterone levels around the same level as when they began. Which was about 2.3 ng/ml.

Andrea Fagiolini, who was the study author was documented discussing the experiment’s interesting results. Fagiolini explained, “Before treatment, both groups averaged a sexual satisfaction score of around 2 out of 10, but after treatment the group exposed to the bright light was scoring sexual satisfaction scores of around 6.3—a more than 3-fold increase on the scale we used. In contrast, the control group only showed an average score of around 2.7 after treatment.”

Bright light therapy is often used to treat Seasonal Affective Disorder as well. This is where we believe the connection lies. Previous research has shown libido levels changing with the seasons. Ambient light can contribute to sexual desire and testosterone levels. Andrea Fagiolini also explained, “In the Northern hemisphere, the body’s testosterone production naturally declines from November through April, and then rises steadily through the spring and summer with a peak in October. You see the effect of this in reproductive rates, with the month of June showing the highest rate of conception.”

Light boxes imitate what nature does to our brains by triggering our pineal gland. This gland is responsible for producing melatonin. Researchers believe that triggering the pineal gland can aid in the production of more testosterone. The way bright light therapy can treat the brain during Seasonal Affective Disorder is the same way it can treat the brains of people suffering from low libidos.

Are You Sold?

While light therapy isn’t technically is an official form of treatment for low libido in men quite yet, anyone can try it out! It’s important to speak to a doctor prior to conducting a light therapy session such as this on your own but once you’re told it’s okay, it’s worth a shot!

 

The NatureBright SunTouch Plus Light and Ion Therapy Lamp
Amazon for $51.99

Try starting your treatment with a bright light box such as this one. The NatureBright SunTouch Plus Light and Ion Therapy Lamp is compact, easy to use, and fairly inexpensive. Try sitting in front of this light box for at least a half hour each day. Mornings are typically the best time. Set it up on your kitchen table while you drink your coffee, eat your breakfast, read the paper, etc. If you don’t have time in the morning, set it up on your desk at work. Another option is to use the light box as your day is winding down. Eat dinner in front of it, read a book, watch TV. Whatever works for you! Light therapy is a wonderful alternative to medicine and can drastically improve your life. Why not give it a shot?

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Top 6 Forms of Light Therapy for SAD

Fall is here and winter is just around the corner! It’s getting to that time of the year where highly sensitive people begin to become affected by the changing of the seasons. We’re talking about the people who need the sun to thrive. The people who enter hibernation when the sun starts to set at 5 pm. We’re talking about victims of seasonal affective disorder, or seasonal depression. This is a condition that affects millions of people each year! Some people don’t even know they suffer from these “winter blues.” But no worries, there is a cure. There are actually 6 of them!

Understanding Seasonal Affective Disorder…

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), or seasonal depression, is a mood disorder and mild form of depression. Unlike major depression, SAD is temporary. It occurs at the same time each year, usually in the fall and winter months. Some people experience SAD in the opposite months…leaving them to struggle with depression in the spring and summer and not finding happiness again until fall and winter. This form of the depression is much less common. SAD is extremely frequent, affecting more than 3 million US cases each year. It is typically treatable and not a long term condition. The disorder usually resolves within months.

What Are The Symptoms?

Symptoms for winter and fall seasonal affective disorder may include…

• Irritability
• Tiredness or low energy
• Problems getting along with other people
• Hypersensitivity to rejection
• Heavy, “leaden” feeling in the arms or legs
• Oversleeping
• Appetite changes, especially a craving for foods high in carbs
• Weight gain

Symptoms for spring and summer seasonal affective disorder may include…

• Depression
• Trouble sleeping (Insomnia)
• Weight loss
• Poor appetite
• Agitation or anxiety

(Symptoms lists from MayoClinic.org)

Why Seasonal Affective Disorder Is So Common…

We do not know exactly why SAD occurs and what causes it. However, many studies have been done in attempt to figure it out. Our biological clock (Circadian Rhythm), is the main factor. Due to the increased amount of darkness and decreased amount of sunlight in the fall and winter months, our body’s internal clock is off. This can lead to feelings of depression. Another major factor is our serotonin levels. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter chemical in our brains that affects our moods. When the amount of sunlight that we are exposed to is reduced, our serotonin levels drop, prompting depression. The third reason is our melatonin levels. Melatonin is a hormone in our brains that anticipates the daily onset of darkness. When our light levels are off, for example, when it gets dark at 4 p.m. due to daylight savings, our brain gets confused and releases melatonin. This tricks our brain and body and messes up our brain waves as well as our energy levels.

The Huffington Post took to their Healthy Living blog to discuss “10 Things Everyone Should Know About Seasonal Depression.” Lindsay Holmes, Healthy Living Editor, went in detail explaining how Seasonal Depression should be analyzed and discussed with a doctor. Holmes claims that sometimes Seasonal Depression is a sign of underlying depression. She also says the condition is not something to joke about and it’s an actual serious illness. For her eighth and ninth reasons on the blog, she explains where the depression seems to be the most prevalent as well as who seems to deal with it the most. Holmes says:

“It’s more prevalent in northern states. People who live in colder, cloudier climates may be more susceptible to the disorder. Northern states have higher rates of SAD than southern states, according to the University of California, Irvine.

SAD is more common in women. Studies show women have higher rates of depression than men, including SAD, the New York Times reported. However, that doesn’t mean men are immune. Depression doesn’t discriminate and can affect anyone, regardless of gender, ethnicity or any biological factor.”
(HuffingtonPost.com)

Light Therapy and Seasonal Affective Disorder…

Light therapy is a form of therapy that uses different forms of light to treat a wide array of conditions. Doctors of all sciences have been using light therapy on their patients for years. Thanks to the convenience of new light therapy products, it is now easy and accessible to use light therapy products at home. Light therapy has been helping to cure SAD on ground-breaking levels and there is no sign of it stopping.

Most people suffering from SAD don’t do anything to fix the issue. Instead of looking for an answer, they assume it’s normal. They sleep in a little longer, drink more coffee, and wait for spring to poke it’s head out. Some people don’t even know they are struggling with something that is actually medically recognizable. To them, it’s just the winter blues. But by ignoring the fact that they’re suffering, they’re missing out on some months that could be wonderful. With today’s modern technology, there’s no need to avoid the topic anymore. There are six forms of light therapy that have been proven effective at treating seasonal affective disorder.

Top 6 Forms of Light Therapy for SAD…

1. Dawn Simulators

Dawn simulators mimic the natural rising of the sun and are the most natural, authentic form of light therapy. There are two different types of dawn simulators. One option simulates the natural representation of dawn for a springtime sunrise. Another option simulates a sigmoidal shaped dawn that can last between 30 minutes to 2 hours. Dawn simulators are highly effective because early morning light signals are much more powerful in regards to our brains that any other light sources throughout the day. Our brains are sensitive to morning light.

Dawn simulators can be a stand alone light source that is a bit like an alarm clock or it can be an attachment that you plug into your bedside lamp.

2. Light Boxes

Light boxes are the most common form of light therapy. They are used in clinical studies and always promote positive results. They are flat screens that emit a full spectrum fluorescent light. The light box typically emits 10,000 lux.

These devices are used on a set schedule. Patients sit in front of them each day at the same time for between 30 to 60 minutes. These devices are easy and you can use them at your own convenience. For example, when you’re reading the newspaper or eating your breakfast each morning.

3. Natural Spectrum Light Bulbs

Natural spectrum light bulbs are simply an addition to a lamp at your home or work. They can be used on a set schedule just like a light box or they can be left on throughout the day, just like a normal lamp. They typically emit at least 10,000 lux and are known to be highly effective. Just like light boxes, these bulbs can adjust your circadian rhythm and boost your mood levels.

4. Bluewave Technology

Blue light, or blue wave technology, is another form of light therapy used to treat seasonal affective disorder. It is used in the form of a light box, just like the option  discussed above, but the light panel or bulbs are slightly different.

The only downside to this option is the blue light is extremely similar to the light that is emitted by technology such as your cellphone or computer. Studies have shown that using a cellphone, computer, tv, etc., before bed can effect your sleep in a negative way. So if you are planning on using blue light therapy, be sure to do your treatment session earlier in the day to avoid any potential sleep issues.

5. Bright Light Sun Visors

A light therapy hat! So fun, right? These personal light therapy boxes are worn as a hat. They are used for a set amount of time each day and can let you keep your light therapy box right on your head for easy convenience throughout the day. This is wonderful if you’re a busy bee!

Be sure to use bright light sun visors with caution and read all of the instructions on the packing first. Keeping a light source so close to your eyes is definitely something that needs to be monitored.

6. Light on a Timer

This form of light therapy for seasonal affective disorder is similar to a dawn simulator except it can be used at any time throughout the day. Also, the change in light is far more abrupt than a simulator. This form of therapy is helpful for people who struggle with getting out of bed in the morning or who often forget to do their light therapy treatment sessions.

Try setting the lights in your room on a timer. With the help of your alarm clock you will definitely wake up in time and have a great, serotonin filled day. Or perhaps the warm light in your office will automatically turn on for one hour each day, mimicking the outdoor light and keeping your circadian rhythm in check.

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Why You Need A Himalayan Salt Lamp!

Himalayan salt lamps are beautiful and a wonderful addition to any room. They’re also a form of light therapy. A genius, highly effective, scientifically incredible, form of light therapy, if we do say so ourselves.

Natural Living Ideas said it best when sharing with their readers why they love Himalayan salt lamps so much. The website reads, “You don’t know what you’re missing if you’ve never owned a Himalayan salt lamp. It’s like having an open window – a softly glowing natural source of fresh, clean air – on your desk, in your living room, next to the bed, or anywhere you choose to put it.” (naturallivingideas.com)

The lamps have a wide range of benefits from deodorizing the air in your house, to promoting better sleep, to saving the planet. The lamp is basically the best thing to hit the market since,well, let’s just say everyone needs a Himalayan salt lamp in every room of their house. To help you understand why we love these lamps so much, here are the Top 10 reasons why we think they’re the best.

10. Cleanse and Deodorize the Air

This is possibly the most common reason why Himalayan salt lamps are purchased. Salt lamps have a remarkable power to remove pollen, dust, cigarette smoke, and other contaminants from the air.

The lamps purify the air by means of hydroscopy. This means that they attract water molecules from the environment around them and then absorb them into the lamp, as well as any other foreign particles that may be floating around. As the lamp warms up from the light bulb inside of it, that water is evaporated back into the air. However, all of the bad particles of dust, pollen, etc., are trapped and locked inside the salt.

9. Reduce Allergy and Asthma Symptoms

People that suffer from allergies or asthma will be thrilled once they add a Himalayan salt lamp to their house. Because the lamps remove all unnecessary and harmful products from the air, people with allergies and asthma will notice a drastic decrease in their symptoms.

8. Ease Coughing

Aside from removing contaminants from the air, Himalayan salt lamps also have the ability to help our bodies filter air more effectively. The end result is when we do breathe in foreign particles, which is bound to happen, they won’t make it into our lungs.

There is a hefty scientific reasoning behind this incredible benefit. We think Natural Living Ideas, a website dedicated to helping people live healthy, natural lifestyles, summed it up perfectly. The site reads,

“When the Himalayan salt lamp heats up and begins its hygroscopic cycling of airborne particles, it also changes the charge of the molecules which are released.

The majority of homes are filled with positively charged ions which aren’t particularly good for a person’s health. The positive ions are created by a number of things, but the primary source for most of us is from our electronics.

One of the health detriments of breathing lots of positive ions in the air is that the cilia (microscopic hairs) which line the trachea (aka: windpipe) become sluggish and don’t work as well to keep contaminants out of our lungs. As a Himalayan pink salt lamp absorbs water and particles from the air, it also takes positive ions with them. Then, when the heated salt releases cleansed water vapor back into the air, it also expels negative ions which have the opposite effect on our airways – increasing cilial activity to keep your lungs clear.” (naturallivingideas.com)

7. Boost Energy Levels

Himalayan salt lamps expose us to a concentration of negative ions. Negative ions boost our energy levels and leave us feeling rested, invigorated, and ready for anything! Taking a summer drive with the windows down, jumping into a lake, reaching the top of a mountain, and drinking your first cup of coffee on the deck in the morning are all actions that send energy through our bones. They liven us up, leave us feeling invigorated. All of these activities expose us to negative ions. This is why Himalayan salt lamps work! If you’re feeling tired or down in the dumps, leave a salt lamp in your bedroom! You’ll wake up ready for anything. We promise.

6. Neutralize Electromagnetic Radiation

It’s 2016 and most of us live in a world of electromagnetic (EM) radiation. EM radiation flows from all of the devices that we surround ourselves with —  televisions, computers, cell phones, tablets, stereos, appliances, and much more. EM radiation may be invisible, but it can have some serious long term health affects on us. Over-exposure to EM radiation can be serious. This constant exposure leads to increased stress levels, chronic fatigue, decrease in immune system response, and more.

While generating negative ions and emiting them into the air, Himalayan salt lamps neutralize this EM radiation. Keeping a salt lamp next to your computer, tv, etc., can make a serious difference in your life.

5. Promote better sleep

Our devices, which we discuss above, emit so many positive ions that sometimes it’s impossible to get some shut eye. Himalayan salt lamps can help us in that department, too. Natural Living Ideas explains in their article about the lamps,

“Another side effect which results from over-exposure to positive ions in the air is that it robs you of quality sleep. This happens because those positively-charged particles can actually reduce blood and oxygen supply to the brain resulting in irregular sleep patterns. Himalayan pink salt lamps are natural negative ion generators, thus they can help to reverse this problem. Keep one or two around your bedroom to improve the air quality so you can get a better night’s sleep.” (naturallivingideas.com)

4. Improve Mood and Concentration Levels

We can basically thank negative ions for all of the benefits Himalayan salt lamps have. Salt lamps can help you naturally unwind at the end of the day and brighten your mood. They can also have an opposite effect and greatly improve concentration levels. Because negative ions improve blood and oxygen supply to the brain and other organs, as well as provide you with a serotonin boost (neurotransmitter that makes us happy), there is not much Himalayan salt lamps can’t do.

3. Treat Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

Light therapy has been a highly effective treatment method for Seasonal Affective Disorder for a long time. Himalayan salt lamps are most definitely a form of light therapy and we love that about them. The natural light that the salt lamps emit are so close to the warm glow of the sun that they can actually be used to relieve symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder. When winter rolls around and you just can’t seem to get yourself out of bed in the morning, turn on that salt lamp. It’ll work wonders!

2. Reduce Static Electricity in the Air

A reduction in static electricity may not be a “health benefit” but it’s definitely a benefit! Static is a pain in butt. It’s annoying, pesky, and frustrating. It gives us bad hair days, zaps us when we reach for a door handle, and you know, all of that other annoying stuff. Salt lamps are a natural and effective way to neutralize the airborne particles in our houses that cause static. Awesome!

1. Environmentally Friendly Light Source – Save The Planet!

Himalayan salt lamps are helping us save the planet! The reserves from which Himalayan pink salt is mined recently measured between 80 to 600 million tons and is predicted to last for at least another 350 years at the rate that we are currently extracted that. The base of the lamps is typically carved from neem, which is a sustainable wood. Also, some salt lamps use low wattage bulbs which consume a very small amount of energy and some are powered by a candle. These three traits make Himalayan salt lamps extremely environmentally friendly. Does it get any better than that?

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Prepping For Fall And Winter With Light Therapy

In this article, we explore fall and winter uses of light therapy, focusing especially on light therapy for SAD (seasonal affective disorder).

With fall and winter just around the corner, it’s time to start talking about season affective disorder, or seasonal depression, a condition that affects millions of people every year. If you think this condition could be affecting you, it’s time to start prepping for fall and winter now! Let’s get down to it.

What Is Seasonal Affective Disorder?

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), or seasonal depression, is a mood disorder and mild form of depression. Unlike major depression, SAD is temporary. It occurs at the same time each year, usually in the fall and winter months. Some people experience SAD in the opposite months, leaving them to struggle with depression in the spring and summer and not finding happiness again until fall and winter. This form of the depression is much less common. SAD is extremely common with more than 3 million US cases each year. It is usually treatable and not a long term condition. The disorder typically resolves within months.

What Are The Symptoms?

Symptoms for winter and fall seasonal affective disorder may include…

• Irritability
• Tiredness or low energy
• Problems getting along with other people
• Hypersensitivity to rejection
• Heavy, “leaden” feeling in the arms or legs
• Oversleeping
• Appetite changes, especially a craving for foods high in carbs
• Weight gain

Symptoms for spring and summer seasonal affective disorder may include…

• Depression
• Trouble sleeping (Insomnia)
• Weight loss
• Poor appetite
• Agitation or anxiety

(Symptoms lists from MayoClinic.org)

Why Does Seasonal Affective Disorder Occur?

We do not know exactly why SAD occurs and what causes it. However, many studies have been done in an attempt to figure it out. Our biological clock (our Circadian Rhythm), is one factor. Because of the increased amount of darkness, and decreased amount of sunlight in the fall and winter months, our body’s internal clock is off. This can lead to feelings of depression. Another factor is our serotonin levels. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter chemical in our brains that affects our moods. When the amount of sunlight that we are exposed to is reduced, our serotonin levels drop, prompting depression. The third reason is our melatonin levels. Melatonin is a hormone found in our brains that anticipates the daily onset of darkness. When our light levels are off, for examples, when it gets dark at 4 p.m. due to daylight savings time, our brain gets confused and releases melatonin. This tricks our brain and body and messes up our brain waves as well as our energy levels.

The Huffington Post, in its Healthy Living section, discuss “10 Things Everyone Should Know About Seasonal Depression.” Lindsay Holmes, Healthy Living Editor, went in detail explaining how Seasonal Depression should be analyzed and discussed with a doctor. Holmes claims that sometimes Seasonal Depression is a sign of underlying depression. She also defends the condition by stating that it’s not something to joke about and it’s an actual serious illness. For her eighth and ninth reasons on the blog, she explains where the depression seems to be the most prevalent as well as who seems to deal with it the most. Holmes explains:

“It’s more prevalent in northern states. People who live in colder, cloudier climates may be more susceptible to the disorder. Northern states have higher rates of SAD than southern states, according to the University of California, Irvine.

SAD is more common in women. Studies show women have higher rates of depression than men, including SAD, the New York Times reported. However, that doesn’t mean men are immune. Depression doesn’t discriminate and can affect anyone, regardless of gender, ethnicity or any biological factor.”
(HuffingtonPost.com)

What Is Light Therapy?

Light therapy is a form of therapy that uses different forms of light to treat a wide array of conditions. Doctors of all sciences have been using light therapy on their patients for years now. Thanks to the convenience of new light therapy products, it is now easy to use light therapy products at home. Light therapy has been helping to cure SAD on ground breaking levels and there is no sign of it stopping.

Light Therapy & Seasonal Affective Disorder…

Most people suffering from SAD don’t do anything to fix the issue. Instead of looking for an answer, they assume it’s normal. They sleep in a little longer, drink more coffee, and wait for spring to poke it’s head out. Some people don’t even know they are struggling with something that is actually medically recognizable. To them, it’s just the winter blues. But by ignoring the fact that they’re suffering, they’re missing out on some months that could be wonderful. With today’s modern technology, there’s no need to avoid the topic anymore. There is actually a cure for SAD.

The Options…

People suffering from SAD have a number of options for treatment when it comes to using light therapy for SAD. One option is a light box which provides a measured amount of light through fluorescent bulbs or panels. The light intensity is typically between 2,500 to 10,000 lux. The amount of light is different depending on what you deem necessary for your treatment. Typically the amount of light would be equal to that of the amount of sunlight you are exposed to on a nice spring day. The light box helps regulate the internal clock in your mind, keeping your brain on track and your energy level high. The light box is typically small to medium sized, easy to carry, and fairly portable, depending on the seriousness of the depression. People undergoing the treatment set aside around 30 minutes a day, sometimes twice a day, and sit 12 to 24 inches away from the light box. You would then carry on with whatever you choose. Reading, knitting, writing, eating, talking on the phone, etc. Be careful not to look directly into the light.

For people who have trouble waking up in the morning, have not seen results with light therapy boxes, or want to combine two methods, dawn/dusk simulators are recommended. The devices have proven effective for people with mild symptoms up to severe symptoms. The dawn/dusk simulator helps mimic the ideal lighting and darkness occurring outdoors. For example, if you have trouble waking up in the morning, the simulator can be set to slowly turn on at 8 a.m., or whatever time you choose. A bright light will appear in your bedroom, typically on a bedside table. The simulator leaves you feeling refreshed and ready for the day. Another case would be helping keep your biological clock on time by mimicking light throughout your day and then shutting down at the accurate outdoors time. For people who live in places that stay dark for a significant amount of the time each year, like Alaska in the winter, this simulator is perfect. It will mimic sunlight in your house all day, reminding you that it is day time. Once the time of sunset rolls around, the device will slowly shut off.

Seasonal affective disorder is not rare. It is not a joke, and it could be happening to you. It’s time we stop suffering winter blues and waiting for the fall/winter seasons to end.

It’s time to start adding light therapy into our lives and enjoying fall and winter!

Red Light Therapy For Skin

What Is Red Light Therapy?

Red light therapy is a form of light that that uses red LED infrared lighting and bulbs to treat a wide array of conditions and disorders.

Red Light Therapy is commonly associated with anti-aging. Skin Rejuvination, to be exact. And while this is true, Red Light Therapy can works wonders in that department, the treatment has a long list of benefits. Ranging from acne to chronic back pain, Red Light Therapy may be the new magical elixir…except this actually works.

Uses For Red Light Therapy:

  • Wrinkles
  • Skin rejuvenation
  • Age spots
  • Acne
  • Sun damage
  • Chronic pain
  • Joint pain
  • Muscle pain
  • Bites
  • Bruises
  • Minor burns
  • Collagen production
  • Cuts
  • Scrapes
  • Dry skin
  • First aid
  • Hair loss
  • Psoriasis
  • Red marks from acne
  • Stretch marks
  • Rosacea
  • Flushing
  • Scars
  • Wound care
  • Uneven skintone

Red Light Therapy For Skin…

Red Light Therapy devices can be used to help slow down our natural cosmetic aging. Treatment can reduce fine lines and wrinkles while also tightening and firming the skin. Proper treatment can rid of age spots and hyper pigmentation, which usually occurs on the face, neck, and hands. There’s no need for face lifts when you can go the natural route. Red Light Therapy can also diminish blemishes and red spots, along with acne. Thought you could never get rid of those blackheads around your nose? Or those zits that keep showing up around your chin? How about those scars that acne left you with? Regularly scheduled treatment can help you say goodbye to those.

How Does It Work?

Red light therapy uses infrared light which delivers a burst of energy to the body’s tissues and triggers a response for the body to heal itself from the inside. Depending on the affected area and what your body needs, the burst of energy will trigger different responses from your body and kickstart the necessary healing process. This form of light therapy is much better than laser technology because it doesn’t cut the body’s tissues! It’s also much safer and effective than the sun’s rays because it has no harmful UV components. It’s a win win.

Red light therapy effectively treats the skin in a few different forms. When it comes to anti-aging, wrinkles, and sun damage, the treatment is wonderful. Red light therapy produces elastin and collagen which prevents skin aging. It also increases circulation by relaxing the blood vessels in the specific treatment areas which allows blood to flow more easily. This helps to prevent and diminish wrinkles because increased circulation encourages the production of new skin cells. Can you believe that? There’s actually a safe and effective way to say goodbye to wrinkles.

As for treating and getting rid of acne, red light therapy is an extremely popular form of treatment. Facing Acne, a website dedicated to helping people get the clear skin they desire, wrote a wonderful article explaining light therapy and it’s effects on acne. They wrote a brief summary on how red light therapy can treat acne. The website explains,

“Red light reaches deep into the skin and activates hemoglobin. Red light treatment cuts off just enough of the blood supply of oil-producing sebaceous glands that pores don’t get quite as oily. Blue light penetrates pores and kills acne bacteria—but not all the pore’s acne bacteria. There are always some acne bacteria in the sebaceous gland that can’t be reached by blue light.” (FacingAcne.com)

Commitment…

It’s important to understand that any form of therapy requires commitment. In order to receive the best possible results from red light therapy, patients must stick to a set schedule, even if they are conducting the therapy by themselves in their own home.

Are You Sold?

There are many different devices used for red light therapy treatments. From wands, lamps, bulbs, beds, pads, and masks, there is surely a device for everyone in need. As discussed, the lights penetrate into the skin, boosting the cellular process that your body is in need of. However, you need the right device in order to begin your healing. Red light therapy uses wavelengths of light between about 620 nanometers and 700 nanometers. At home devices are typically between 630 to 660 nanometers.

Treatment sessions can be done at home or in a doctor’s office. Treatment sessions range depending on the devices being used. Handheld wands and masks are usually held to the skin from as little as 30 seconds to 15 minutes. Tanning style beds are typically used between 10 to 30 minutes. Bulbs that are inserted into lamps can be stood in front of, set up above your place of need, etc., and are typically used for the same amount of time as the bed.



LED Light Therapy Skin System For Beautiful Skin
Amazon for $99.99

The LED Light Therapy Skin System for Beautiful Skin uses multiple forms of light therapy to target skin conditions. As you’ll see, this device is at a slightly higher price point. The reason being, you get more for your buck. This skin care package includes three detachable light heads which can be changed according to what your skin requires. The device is hand held, cordless when in use and charges with the included cord. The device is aimed to give you a 30 minute treatment per charge and has a built in timer to let you know when your treatments, which are typically 10 minutes long, are finished. The LED Light Therapy Skin Care System has wonderful reviews for not only treating acne. It can also tighten the skin on your face and body and reduce fine lines and wrinkles.

LEDs and Acne

What Is Acne?

Pretty simple question, right? We all know what acne is. It’s those bright red zits that always showed up at the most inopportune times when you were 16. It’s those pestering black heads all across your nose that you can never seem to squeeze out. It’s those patches of red spots showing up on your cheeks when you feel far too old for it. We know acne is, but why does our skin react the way it does?

Acne is an extremely common skin condition, according to HealthLine, a website dedicated to explaining medical conditions and the intricate details of them. In the Symptom Checker section of the website, HealthLine explains just what acne is.

“Acne occurs when the pores on your skin become blocked with oil, dead skin, or bacteria. Each pore on your skin is the opening to a follicle. The follicle is made up of a hair and a sebaceous (oil) gland. The oil gland releases sebum (oil), which travels up the hair, out of the pore, and onto your skin. The sebum keeps your skin lubricated and soft. If you develop acne, this may be because of one or more problems in this lubrication process. These possible causes include:

  • Too much oil or sebum is being produced by the follicle
  • Dead skin cells are accumulating in the pore
  • Bacteria has built up in the pore

An overabundance of oil, a pore clogged by dead skin cells, and bacteria all contribute to the development of pimples. A zit appears when the bacteria grows in the clogged pore and the oil is unable to escape.”
(HealthLine.com)

If your skin is repeatedly being affected by your pores being plugged, you may be struggling with acne. And no, you’re alone if you’re 40 years old and have acne. Acne can affect people of all ages. From young children just entering puberty, to residents in nursing homes. Life isn’t like the movies and sometimes you just get acne.

What Causes Acne?

Acne can be caused by a wide array of things. Hormonal changes, such as puberty or pregnancy can cause temporary acne. Certain medications can increase the risk as well. Birth control pills and corticosteroids are just a couple examples. Diet also plays a major role in developing acne. Unhealthy diets, diets high in refined sugars, and diets high carbohydrates such as bread and chips make the body more susceptible.

People assume that they’re just not washing their face enough, or they need a new face cream, but most of the time that’s not the case. Hey, maybe washing your face did the trick. But for most people, that’s just not the case. Most people need some medical treatment without the crazy costs. Light Therapy is known to treat acne, especially in the form of Blue Light.

What Is Blue Light Therapy?

Blue light therapy is form of Photodynamic Therapy or Light Therapy that uses UltraViolet LED lights to treat conditions related to the skin. Blue Light Therapy is proven to have treated some skin cancers. It also aids in minimizing superficial skin lesions, acne, wrinkles, and more. Blue Light Therapy has been working miracles such as warding off skin cancer, so I think it’s safe to say it can treat the acne-causing bacteria in your pores.

How It Works…

Blue light therapy treats acne by using blue LED light treatments on a set schedule for a solid amount of time. It works by means of a blue wavelength that has been proven to reduce p. acnes, which is a bacteria in your pores. The blue LED lights penetrate deep into the skin, stimulating the bacteria in your pores, ultimately making them work against each other and self destruct. The LEDS destroy the bacteria that causes inflammation during breakouts, reduce pore size, maintain proper oil production, and promote healthy cell growth.

How To Do It…

Blue light therapy treatments can be conducted at home or in an office. Regardless of the treatment plan you choose, a set schedule must be made and followed. You can’t expect changes over night. Anything worth having takes time! In-office sessions are typically more expensive than at-home sessions, but the devices are more powerful and they’re being conducted by an expert.

Refinery29, a lifestyle blog, has a piece about blue light LED therapy treating acne. When it comes to discussing in office treatment sessions the blog reads:

“When you receive a professional blue-light session, the first thing you’ll notice is that the “light” is actually multiple diodes attached to a flat-panel apparatus that looks similar to the metallic sun shades that were popular in the ’80s (think Magda in There’s Something About Mary). You’ll be fitted with a pair of protective goggles, the panels will be placed on top of your face, and then you’ll percolate for about 20 to 30 minutes.

“Professional treatments — Somerville uses the LightSlim device at her clinic — are more powerful and can cover a much larger surface area than handheld gadgets. One of the major differences between in-office and handhelds (besides the panels) is the power source. As Dr. Grossman notes, in-office machines have a stronger battery, which makes them able to work much faster than their at-home counterparts. Because of this, in-office treatments are ideal for those with moderate to severe acne — the type that covers large patches or the entirety of the face.

Somerville says another benefit of in-office visits is that, depending on the machine used, you can attack your acne on multiple fronts. “The LightStim combo light is phenomenal for treating acne, as it has five wavelengths,” she explains. Different wavelengths have different benefits: blue light, to kill bacteria; amber light, to build collagen and strengthen the skin; two variations of red light, to reduce inflammation and promote circulation; and infrared light, to accelerate healing. “Five lights in one treatment [makes it] stronger [and] more effective,” she says.” (refinery29.com)

At home light therapy devices may not be as powerful, but they come with a long list of benefits. They are far less expensive and typically a convenient and portable size. Sessions can be conducted in the comfort of your own home and you can create your own schedule.

In Conclusion…

It’s pretty easy  to understand how we feel about blue light therapy. We freaking love it. A harm free, drug free, non-invasive, alternative for killing acne? Count us in!

Light Therapy for Weight Loss

Light therapy…

is being used all over the world for a wide array of conditions and disorders. Among other things, the all natural treatment is:

  • curing acne
  • rejuvenating skin
  • diminishing wrinkles
  • curing skin cancer
  • treating chronic pain
  • curing seasonal affective disorder
  • easing depression symptoms
  • treating insomnia

Depending on the condition and the symptoms, the process differs. Some devices are handheld and used once a day. Some are table lamps that you turn on in the morning; some you use before bed. Some are full beds that resemble tanning beds. Some devices are portable light boxes that can sit on your desk at work. Basically, the options are endless! No matter what kind of light therapy device you need, it’s available.

Light Therapy for Weight Loss…

The newest breakthrough in the light therapy world is an LED light machine that is aiding in weight loss. The concept of losing weight without having to diet or exercise sounds pretty incredible, right? Most people diet like crazy, work out to a point where they want to die, spend too much money on supplements and herbs, get injections, take pills, and much more. The sad and silly part is that a lot of these methods don’t work.
A few companies have been exploring this concept, but there’s one invention in particular that is blowing everyone’s minds.

Developed under the Korean government via R&D support, AinA’s Smartron was created to promote weight loss with a few different methods in mind. The Smartron uses low frequency and infrared rays to ease muscular pain. The company says that the device was based on alternative medicine and and IT technology. The device combines the meridian pulse technology and an LED light system  to simulate body parts, specifically the hands and feet. Doing so promotes blood circulation, strengthens muscles, alleviates muscle pain, and deconstructs fat. The Smartron uses an abdominal belt with LED light to penetrate to the epidermis of the user’s skin. This deconstructs cellulites and rejuvenates cells.

Most medical devices are heavy and bulky. The Smartron is portable, light, and easy to use. The instructions on how to use it are simple and very straight forward. By being a positive, safe, and easy to use health managing device, Smartron is gaining tons of public attention. With so many diseases and unhealthy habits in the world, we need a device like this!

Smartron won the gold award at the Seoul International Invention Fair as well as the Taiwan International Invention Fair. It triple crowned in all three major invention fairs. The device is currently being sent to 15 countries in Asia, Europe, and America. The company is attending as many trade shows as possible to get their product out to the world.

The vice president of AinA, Dong-Oh Chung, was quoted saying, “In this age where people are living up to 100 years of age, AinA hopes to aide everyone to fully, healthily live their lives via our company’s technology and service.”

We are loving the Smartron and everything it stands for. What about you?

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Light Therapy Linked to Dementia and Sleeping Habits

What Is Dementia?

Simply put, dementia is a group of thinking and social symptoms that interferes with normal daily functioning. However, dementia is so much more than a simplified, condensed, one sentence long description. Dementia is chronic and persistent and affects not only the mental process of the victim of the disease, but also anyone else involved. Dementia is a general term and there are many different forms, levels, and stages. For example, Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia. This is a condition that most people know about. Dementia is an overall term that can describe a long list of symptoms, all of which are more than difficult to deal with.

The Symptoms…

The symptoms for dementia greatly vary but in order to have the condition, the patient must be significantly impaired by at least two of these specific core mental functions…

  • Memory
  • Communication / Language
  • Ability to focus and pay attention
  • Reasoning / Judgement
  • Visual perception
  • Some of the symptoms for dementia that are not one of the core mental functions are…
  • Difficulty handling complex tasks
  • Difficulty with planning and organizing
  • Confusion
  • Disorientation
  • Personality changes
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Inappropriate behavior
  • Paranoia
  • Agitation
  • Hallucinations

Due to the fact that dementia is a general term, the symptoms do vary greatly and depending on the exact form, there are different ways patients live and seek treatment.

The Cause…

Dementia is a result of damage to the nerve cells in the brain. This can occur for many different reasons. Depending on the part of the brain that is affected by this nerve damage, people are affected differently. The different forms of dementia are grouped by what they have in common as well as which part of the brain they are located in or affecting. Some forms of dementia are progressive, meaning that they get worse and worse over time, and some are brought about by medications, deficiencies, etc., and can be treated.

Progressive Dementias:

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Vascular dementia
  • Lewy body dementia
  • Frontotemporal dementia
  • Mixed dementia

Disorders Linked To Dementia:

  • Huntington’s disease
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease
  • Parkinson’s disease

Dementia Conditions That Are Reversible:

  • Infections
  • Immune disorders
  • Metabolic problems
  • Endocrine abnormalities
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Medication reactions
  • Subdural hematomas
  • Poisoning
  • Brain tumors
  • Anoxia
  • Normal pressure hydrocephalus

Light Therapy & Dementia!

Dementia can greatly affect it’s patients sleeping habits and increase their agitation levels. This is the last thing that someone suffering with a life changing condition needs to deal with. That’s why we’re going to talk about light therapy!

Ecumen, which is a senior housing and services provider, conducted a pilot study and came to the conclusion that light therapy can help dementia victims. They found that light therapy can improve nighttime sleeping and reduce agitation levels in their patients that have dementia.

In the study, almost 60% of the participants had fewer episodes of sleep disturbance and 32% had fewer behavioral episodes compared to patients that didn’t partake in the experiment. It’s important to note that antipsychotic medication usage decreased by 11%.

For the experiment, bright light tables were placed in dementia patient’s rooms as well as common rooms where they spend time for group activities. The residents were exposed to the bright lights for about 30 minutes each day during Daylight Savings Time and 1 hour after Daylight Savings Time. The experiment was conducted from April 1st to December 15th at three different Minnesota facilities. One in Chicago, One in Detroit, and one in Grand Rapids.

The company is greatly pleased by their results. Sonya DeSmith, an Ecumen Quality Improvement Nurse, supervised the experiment and then spoke about it in a press release. DeSmith said, “We’re very encouraged by the results. Our sample size was small, but based on the data and the anecdotal observations by our nurses, we plan to promote the therapy across all our sites. We view this as another tool in the tool box of evidence-based, non-drug interventions for residents with dementia.”

Why Is It So Important?

While light therapy isn’t at the stage where it could completely treat individuals struggling with dementia, it is making a difference. And if these patients who are greatly struggling can take two less pills or worry about a few less things, their path to recovery is going to be smoother. Every day is a battle for dementia patients. This study can help dementia patients slowly feel like themselves again without highly sedative drugs and that is so important.