Archives For April 2016

Light Therapy & Epilepsy

What Is Epilepsy?

Epilepsy is a disorder that occurs when nerve cell activity in the brain is disturbed. The troubling result of the disturbance is seizures. Epilepsy is the fourth most common neurological disorder and sadly, it can affect people of all ages. The intensity of the disorder varies from person-to-person and is chronic. This means that it can last from several years up to a lifetime.

Epilepsy is a condition of the brain. Everything related to the disorder stems from the brain even though seizures can affect other parts of the body. It’s important to note that a seizure and epilepsy are not the same thing. An epileptic seizure occurs due to abnormal excessive or synchronous neuronal activity in the brain. A seizure is an event and epilepsy is a disease that causes seizures.

The Symptoms…

There are more than 200,000 documented US cases of epilepsy each year. The victims of this disorder are faced with unpredictable and reoccurring seizures. These seizures can range in occurrence – from multiple times a day to just once a year. There are a few different forms of seizures and each person responds differently, with different symptoms. The seizures usually last from around a few seconds to a few minutes. Some people are conscious throughout the seizures; some people lose consciousness. Some people awake afterward and have no memory of the seizure.

It is easy to recognize a dramatic seizure – one that makes you fall to the ground and move your muscles aggressively and uncontrollably. However, many seizures are difficult to notice. According to WebMD, a credible website for all things medical, all seizures are different. According to the website: “Some seizures make you stare into space for a few seconds. Others may consist only of a few muscle twitches, a turn of the head, or a strange smell or visual disturbance that only you sense.

Epileptic seizures often happen without warning, although some people may have an aura at the start of a seizure. A seizure ends when the abnormal electrical activity in the brain stops and brain activity begins to return to normal. Seizures may be either partial or generalized.” (

WebMD continues to explain the differences between partial and generalized seizures:

Partial seizures
Partial seizures begin in a specific area or location of the brain. The most common types of partial seizures are:

  • Simple partial seizures. Simple partial seizures do not affect consciousness or awareness.
  • Complex partial seizures. Complex partial seizures do affect level of consciousness. You may become unresponsive or may lose consciousness completely.
  • Partial seizures with secondary generalization. Partial seizures with secondary generalization begin as simple or complex partial seizures but then spread (generalize) to the rest of the brain and look like generalized tonic-clonic seizures. These two types can easily be confused, but they are treated differently. Most tonic-clonic seizures in adults begin as partial seizures and are caused by partial epilepsy. Generalized tonic-clonic seizures are more common in children.

Generalized seizures
Seizures that begin over the entire surface of the brain are called generalized seizures. The main types of generalized seizures are:

  • Generalized tonic-clonic seizures (grand mal seizures), during which the person falls to the ground, the entire body stiffens, and the person’s muscles begin to jerk or spasm (convulse).
  • Absence seizures (petit mal seizures), which make a person stare into space for a few seconds and then “wake up” without knowing that anything has happened.
  • Myoclonic seizures, which make the body jerk like it is being shocked.
  • Atonic seizures, in which a sudden loss of muscle tone makes the person fall down without warning.
  • Tonic seizures, in which the muscles suddenly contract and stiffen, often causing the person to fall down.


Quick Stats…

To put things into perspective, we have gathered  statistics from all around the world. The Epilepsy Foundation lists these “Quick Stats” on its summary page for epilepsy:

  • 65 MILLION: Number of people around the world who have epilepsy.
  • 3 MILLION: Number of people in the United States who have epilepsy.
  • 1 IN 26 people in the United States will develop epilepsy at some point in their lifetime.
  • BETWEEN 4 AND 10 OUT OF 1,000: Number of people on earth who live with active seizures at any one time.
  • 150,000: Number of new cases of epilepsy in the United States each year.
  • ONE-THIRD: Number of people with epilepsy who live with uncontrollable seizures because no available treatment works for them.
  • 6 OUT OF 10: Number of people with epilepsy where the cause is unknown.

The Cause…

While there are a few risk factors for epilepsy, a cause for the disorder cannot always be identified. Some people are diagnosed with epilepsy due to a tumor, infection, or brain damage. It is possible for epilepsy to develop due to family history.

The mostly unknown causes combined with the statistics previously discussed are what makes epilepsy so scary. This is why we need a new way to fight it! This is where light therapy comes into play.

Light Therapy & Epilepsy

While there is still no absolute cure for epilepsy, there is groundbreaking research being done. Light therapy is looking like one of the best ways to treat epilepsy and it’s nothing short of mind blowing.

Optogenics is a new scientific field that is providing researchers with new tools that help them further understand how the brain works in times of health and disease. This method uses light to control events in living cells. The method lets scientists examine normal and abnormal brain cell functions. It also helps them discover new ways to treat neurological disorders. These new methods are breaking ground and changing the world for the better.

IFL Science, a website dedicated to publishing articles for true lovers of the sciences, recently did a piece on this new  science. The article explains exactly how the technique works:

“The technique involves inserting genes into specific groups of brain cells, or neurons, within a region of interest, usually by infecting them with a virus that has been engineered to contain specific DNA sequences. These genes, which are usually sourced from bacteria or jellyfish, then produce a light-sensitive protein which either switches the cells on or off in response to light. This allows scientists to scrutinize how cell types contribute to the function of neural circuits.

Additionally, because this technique can be used in living organisms, such as animal models of Parkinson’s, researchers are gaining new insights into various neurological disorders. And now, new research has hinted that one day, it could be used as a novel way to stop seizures in epileptics.” (

The Proof…

Recently, studies were conducted on mice that effectively stopped the seizures that they were scientifically manipulated to have. At first, the researchers used optogenics to activate the cells within the cerebellum. This structure controls body movement. The researchers found that firing these cells during seizures quickly caused them to stop, thus bringing the abnormal electrical activity back to it’s normal place. This led the researchers to conduct another experiment. They wondered whether inhibiting the same cells as before would make the seizures worse. They used the same technique once more but prevented the cells from firing during the seizure. Instead of making the seizures worse, as they had anticipated, it actually stopped them. This means that it doesn’t matter whether the cells are excited or suppressed. As long as you disrupt the existing pattern of firing, the seizures can be avoided.

Another experiment was conducted after the previous one showed so much promise. IFL Science explains,

“Next, the researchers examined the effects of stimulating a specific type of cell within a structure called the dentate gyrus, which forms part of the hippocampus, a region critical for learning and memory. Some lines of evidence suggested that these cells, called granule cells, may prevent seizure activity in the hippocampus, although no studies had investigated this in live animals before.

“Preventing these cells from firing during seizure was found to effectively stop the seizure, whereas stimulating them made the seizures worse. Activating the same cells in healthy mice also caused them to experience seizures.” (

In Conclusion…

These experiments suggest that this new method of using granule cells can represent a potential new target for getting seizures under control for victims of epilepsy. The world of medicine is changing every day thanks to light therapy.

50 Most Affordable Sunny Small Towns

Posted May 2016

It’s not unusual to need a constant flow of sunlight in your life. It’s common to feel the effects of rain, cloudy weather, and far too much darkness in your area. For some people, it’s easy enough to just wait out the rainy season, or hibernate for a few months until the winter darkness clears. But for a great deal of people, it’s hard to feel and act your best when those heavy dark clouds are weighing above you. Seasonal Affective Disorder and Seasonal Depression are serious issues and more common than most people have been led to believe. Some people don’t even know they’re struggling with depression or disorder. For them, it’s just a case of the “winter blues.” But if you have a chance to stop these lingering feelings, why wouldn’t you try? It may be time to pack your bags.

We’ve made a list of the Top 50 Most Affordable Sunny Small Towns in the U.S. These towns are almost always sunny. They have small populations and your mortgage is not going to break the bank. Most of these towns aren’t going to show up on the “must see places” list when you’re planning a trip. These towns are off the radar, quiet, and honestly, they’re kind of perfect!

Our list took some time. There were a lot of factors to consider. Yes, there are some affordable cities that see lots of sun each year, but a city is not a small town. And yes, there are some adorable and affordable small towns, but sometimes they rarely see the sun! So we needed to dig a little deeper. First we studied a list made by NerdWallet of the top sunniest cities in the country. This list included a whopping 174 towns. But what stood out was the fact that 10 states were on the list more than the rest of the states. Arizona, California, Texas, Nevada, New Mexico, Florida, Colorado, Louisiana, North Carolina, and Montana all rank higher in annual sunshine percentages than any other states.

Using our list of the top 10 sunniest states in the country, and with data from Sterling’s Best Places, we narrowed down our list and found the three most affordable small towns in each of these 10 states. Doing this gave us 30 towns on our list. To calculate the last 20 states, we included some states that don’t rank quite as high in annual sunshine percentage, but surely deserve some respect. The most affordable small towns in those states rounded off our list to an even 50.

So here you have it. Start with number 50 and work your way down to the towns that really make our hearts flutter. Read it a few times, make a couple pros and cons lists, and start packing those bags – and don’t forget your sunscreen!

50. Enfield, New Hampshire


Sunny days: 200
Population: 4,582
Average home price: $200,000
Enfield is a small town near the border of Vermont. The New England style town is located along a river which connects to the beautiful Mascoma Lake. Enfield is the perfect spot to enjoy the outdoors, relax in the sun, and take advantage of all that New England has to offer. There are plenty of year round activities, from swimming and water skiing in the summer to ice skating, ice fishing, and cross-country skiing in the winter.

49. Lebanon, New Hampshire


Sunny days: 200
Population: 13,275
Average home price: $200,000
Lebanon may not have a teeny tiny population but the town still has a quaint New England charm. Nestled in Western New Hampshire, this town sits right on the Connecticut River, making it fun all year round. The town is historic, charming and affordable.

48. Brookfield, Massachusetts


Sunny days: 200
Population: 3,300
Average home price: $175,000
Brookfield is definitely not the most well-known town in Massachusetts but it sure is historic. The town was first settled in 1660 and the buildings and homes will remind you of that. With such a small number of residents, this town is the kind of place where everyone knows everyone and it’s a good thing. Bake sales, church groups, plenty of after school activities, and town meetings, make this a near perfect – and affordable — New England town. The commute to Boston is only an hour and fifteen minutes, making this a great place to enjoy Massachusetts.

47. Adams, Massachusetts


Sunny days: 200
Population: 5,344
Average home price: $145,00
Nestled in the Berkshire Mountains, this cozy town is the perfect place to enjoy all that Massachusetts has to offer. It’s an outdoor paradise, from swimming in the nearby lakes and hiking the mountains to skiing in the winter, to enjoying the New England fall colors. Adams is just the right size to feel cozy and right at home.

46. Brimfield, Massachusetts


Sunny days: 200
Population: 3,000
Average home price: $82,000
If you mention Brimfield to someone from Massachusetts they’re going to respond with “antiques!” And that’s very much warranted. Brimfield hosts one of the largest annual antique fairs in the country. It occurs for one week in May, July, and September and it will quite literally blow your mind. The fair started in the ‘50s and is the town’s claim to fame, bringing in thousands of vendors and over 250,000 visitors for each week of the event. Brimfield was founded in 1731, making it one of the oldest towns in New England. It’s quaint, adorable, and a great place to spend time outdoors.

45. Woodstock, Vermont


Sunny days: 160
Population: 3,000
Average home price: $250,000
Woodstock, Vermont could be summed up as “adorable.” Founded in 1761 it has the buildings, houses, churches, and charm to prove it. Everyone is sure to known your name at your favorite breakfast joint. Woodstock is known for its love of art and music so if you decide to live here, be ready for the town center to be filled with an art show every weekend. It’s also a wonderful town for outdoor lovers due to its central Vermont location. There are plenty of lakes, rivers, and parks in the area to get you outside in all seasons.

44. Chester, Vermont


Sunny days: 160
Population: 3,000
Average home price: $175,000
If you’re a fan of antiques, coffee, homemade cheese, genuine people, and sunny weather, Chester, Vermont is the perfect New England town to call home. The picturesque town has a small population and they’ve done a wonderful job of creating a warm and cozy downtown by taking advantage of their historical buildings. This is a great place to walk around, window shop, and get some sun on your face.

43. Idaho City, Idaho


Sunny days: 210
Population: 485
Average home price: $150,000
Idaho City is a quiet town just 36 miles from Boise. Idaho City was founded in 1862 during the Boise Basin gold rush amidst the Civil War. The town is now home to an adorable downtown, quaint farm land, and lots of happy people. Its scenic location makes it a great place to spend time outdoors.

42. New Albany, Mississippi


Sunny days: 218
Population: 8,000
Average home price: $110,000
Located in the rolling hills of Northern Mississippi just an hour south of Memphis, this quaint town is sure to win your heart. New Albany is known for its antique shops, annual festivals, downtown shops and restaurants, and lovely people. The number of residents in New Albany makes for a peaceful and quiet home, but there is still plenty to do out in the sunshine.

41. Holly Springs, Mississippi


Sunny days: 218
Population: 7,558
Average home price: $80,000
Right by the Mississippi Delta, this area was founded in 1836 for cotton plantations. However, the small town is now a center for trade and court sessions. The charming downtown is filled with history and style, making it a great area to stroll on those sunny days. There are also lakes, rivers, and ponds in the area for outdoor activities.

40. Farmville, Virginia


Sunny days: 214
Population: 8,349
Average home price: $164,000
Established in 1798, the town of Farmville is what most people expect when they think of a town in the south with far less than 10,000 residents. Centered in Virginia’s Heartland, Farmville is the hub of economic activity, growth, history and culture in the region. There are outdoor adventures to take part in, a great downtown to explore, and lots of people that you must become friends with. We’re pretty sure you’ll get lots of land for your buck, too. You’re going to need a yard to catch a tan in, aren’t you?

39. Abingdon, Virginia


Sunny days: 214
Population: 8,000
Average home price: $187,000
Abingdon is the county seat of Washington County and is a designated Virginia Historic Landmark. This charming town is nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of southwest Virginia. The Appalachian Trail is nearby, which makes this town a prime location for outdoor lovers. The famous Barter Theater is a great place to experience live music and other live performances. It’s also home to many concerts, events, and festivals each weekend, making it a fun and exciting place to live.

38. Colwich, Kansas


Sunny days: 260
Population: 1,327
Average home price: $160,000
The adorable town of Colwich was founded in 1887. The name was derived from the Colorado and Wichita Railroad, which runs through the state. This historic town is quiet and peaceful, but it is only five miles northwest of Kansas’s largest city, Wichita. Colwich is a great place to enjoy calm Midwestern living while also being able to experience nearby metropolitan life. The weather is ideal here which makes it a wonderful place to hang outdoors and walk about town.

37. Abilene, Kansas


Sunny days: 260
Population: 6,826
Average home price: $114,000
Abilene became home to Dwight D. Eisenhower when his family moved here from Texas in 1892. The Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidental Museum is located here as well as his burial site. But that’s not all this tiny town has to offer. Abilene is home to a small population of people and you won’t forget that when you’re here. The historic downtown looks like it’s straight out a movie, with horses crossing the streets and kids selling lemonade. Abilene is the kind of town where you spend hours reading a book in the sun in your lawn chair on your front lawn and many neighbors are doing the same.

36. Brunswick, Georgia


Sunny days: 219
Population: 15,813
Average home price: $154,500
Brunswick isn’t as small as some of the other towns on this list, who wouldn’t want to live in this city? It is the major urban and economic center of the state’s lower southeast, and the second largest urban area on Georgia’s coast after Savannah. It contains the Brunswick Old Town Historic District which creates a charm that’s hard to replicate. Not only is Brunswick located on the coast, making it the hub for all outdoor activities, but it’s also only 30 miles north of Florida and 70 miles south of South Carolina. The location is basically ideal and we could rant and rave about the weather forever!

35. Dahlonega, Georgia


Sunny days: 219
Population: 5,242
Average home price: $234,400
Dahlonega was the site of the first major gold rush in the United States in 1828 and the town has only gotten better since then. Dahlonega isn’t necessarily “cheap” but with a population size that will feel like your family, easy access to Atlanta, fun activities, and great weather, the cost of living is definitely affordable and worth it.

34. Grovetown, Georgia


Sunny days: 219
Population: 11,264
Average home price: $126,800
Filled with city parks, a charming downtown, river access, and more, Grovetown is a perfect place to call home. It is small enough to feel cozy, but definitely not small enough to keep you from adventuring, making friends, and enjoying the sunny days. Grovetown has a southern flare you’ll remember and a great cost of living to go along with it.

33. Tuscumbia, Alabama


Sunny days: 218
Population: 8,000
Average home price: $88,000
Founded in 1820, Tuscumbia is a city known for its history. Tuscumbia began as a center for agriculture, commerce and industry. It was home to the first railroad west of the Allegheny Mountains. Tuscumbia has since bloomed into a vibrant city with lots to do. It’s in a prime location with easy access to major southeast cities, highways, and airports– although we don’t know why you would want to leave!

32. Eufaula, Alabama


Sunny days: 218
Population: 13,086
Average home price: $129,300
Located along the Chattahoochee River, this cozy southern town is a picturesque Alabama experience. Eufaula is rich in history, has plenty of outdoor activities to keep your sunny days busy and has a pleasant downtown to explore. It’s also home to the Eufaula National Wildlife Refuge, a major tourist attraction. Eufala is also home to dozens of beautiful brick and vine covered buildings and mansions which will make your daily walks memorable. Has Alabama won you over yet?

31. Paia, Hawaii

Sunny days: 275
Population: 2,438
Average home price: $600,000
Paia is a beautiful town in Hawaii located on the northern coast of the island Maui. If you’re a fan of warm, sunny weather, no crowds, and no excuse to not go outside, this is the place for you. Now, we all know Hawaii is definitely not an “affordable” state, but it’s definitely a state that everyone has dreamed of living in. We found what seems to be the most affordable town and with its quaint and cozy vibe, Paia really won us over. The town has everything outdoor lovers desire – beautiful beaches, endless warm weather, a world of outdoor activities, a lovely downtown, outdoor markets for homegrown food, and much more.

30. Natchitoches, Louisiana


Sunny days: 219
Population: 18,264
Average home price: $125,900
Natchitoches is the oldest town in Louisiana. It was founded in 1714 as part of French Louisiana and it hasn’t lost any of its culture and diversity. It’s not a teeny town in terms of population size. The people here have done a wonderful job of preserving the city’s history. The beautiful brick lined streets are home to shops, boutiques, delicious food, and more. Natchitoches is the perfect place to call home if you’re in need of some sun.

29. Youngsville, Louisiana


Sunny days: 219
Population: 8,172
Average home price: $182,200
Youngsville is a small city in northern Louisiana. What this town lacks in its number of residents it makes up for in its history, culture, traditions, architecture, and nice people. Youngsville takes a great deal of pride in its family focused community. It has a wonderful school systems and takes care of its younger residents. Although the city has expanded and grown quite a lot since it was founded in the early 19th century, it still has a rural atmosphere and unique farm life, including its well-known sugar cane farms. With lots of room to roam and wonderful weather, this is a great town to spend time outdoors in the sunshine.

28. DeRidder, Louisiana


Sunny days: 219
Population: 10,586
Average home price: $120,400
DeRidderts is located in western Louisiana and slowly gaining lots of popularity. Its colorful downtown shows off its history and culture and serves as a wonderful location to enjoy this sunny state! DeRidder could be the place for you to get outside, experience some culture, and eat some delicious Louisiana food. What are you waiting for?

27. Helena, Montana


Sunny days: 201
Population: 29,596
Average home price: $181,100
Good old, Montana. Does it get any better? Helena, the Capitol city of Montana is not necessarily “small” but it does have a quaint, hometown vibe to it. The downtown is exciting and busy, the food is diverse, and there is always something to do. And because of the mountains close by, it is also a prime location for outdoor activities, including hiking, biking, hunting, skiing, and more. There is also a nearby ghost town of Marysville that tends to attract a lot of people.

26. West Yellowstone, Montana


Sunny days: 201
Population: 1,413
Average home price: $210,000
West Yellowstone is a small town with a lot of heart. The town is adjacent to Yellowstone National Park, making it a tourist destination for anyone visiting the park. Settled in 1907, West Yellowstone has an old west, cowboy vibe and it’s pretty remarkable. The downtown is lined with saloon style buildings, stores selling souvenirs, cowboy filled bars, gun stores, old time photo booth shops, and restaurants featuring “road kill” on the menu. The best part is the town’s proximity to Yellowstone National Park, where anyone in their right mind would want to spend every second of their free time!

25. Shelby, Montana


Sunny days: 201
Population: 2,864
Average home price: $150,000
Shelby, which was named in honor of the General Manager of the Montana Central Railway, is a small city in Northern Central Montana. Shelby is only 30 miles south of Canada and 80 miles east of Glacier National Park which gives the residents lots of land to cover for adventures. Montana is a four season state and Shelby is a wonderful place to experience everything that each season has to offer. From swimming in hidden lakes in Glacier National Park to snowboarding down huge mountains in Canada, this is the spot to be.

24. Saluda, North Carolina


Sunny days: 217
Population: 713
Average home price: $197,500
Saluda is made for people who enjoy a slightly slower pace in life. The tiny town has a population of just 713 people and each person works to maintain the enviable community. The beautiful landscape and architecture makes for peaceful downtown walks filled with Victorian houses, great food, fun shops, and so much more. The town is also booming with history. Before the town was founded, it was simply a crossroad for traders and herders. But once the railway was built, the people came. According to the town’s website, by 1896, the town had a post office, a drug store, a doctor, three general stores, one private academy, and three boarding houses. Since the 1960s, Saluda has been growing, making it a wonderful place to live for just about anyone.

23. Hillsborough, North Carolina


Sunny days: 217
Population: 6,114
Average home price: $200,000
Established in 1754, Hillsborough has become a tourist destination for lovers of history, art, food, music, and more. The town is filled with over 100 houses and buildings from the 18th and 19th centuries and has been preserved impeccably. It’s also centrally located in North Carolina, making it a great spot to explore the rest of the state…which you’re definitely going to want to do.

22. Boone, North Carolina


Sunny days: 219
Population: 17,261
Average home price: $200,000
Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina, Boone is something to write home about. This town is known as a mountain college town to anyone in the area, but it is so much more than just that. Boone is a great spot for challenging mountain sports, festivals of all sorts, art galleries, fantastic food, and oh so much more.

21. Wimberley, Texas


Sunny days: 293
Population: 2,639
Average home price: $200,000
Good ol’ sunny Texas! We bet you were waiting for this state to pop up. Wimberley, Texas works for just about everyone. The small town is known for its shopping, theater, delicious food and breweries, site-seeing, and wonderful array outdoor activities. Wimberley is an outdoor lover’s dream. There are plenty of places to go camping and while you’re out you can hike, bike, and swim. Make sure you pack a swimsuit so you can check out all of the local swimming holes!

20. Poteet, Texas


Sunny days: 293
Population: 3,000
Average home price: $100,000
Poteet is more than just the hometown of George Strait, although that is a pretty awesome fun fact to have about your town! This small town is located just south of San Antonio and is the strawberry Capitol of Texas. It may be illegal to live here if you don’t like strawberries. We would double check that one, though. The annual Strawberry Festival pulls in loads of people which only boosts the town’s love for the small red berry. This adorable town has a small population and deserves a country song in its honor.

19. Fredericksburg, Texas


Sunny days: 293
Population: 10,000
Average home price: $188,000
Frederickburg was founded by German settlers in 1846 and the residents have done a great job maintaining this small town’s charm and history. With a quaint downtown filled with historic brick buildings and ice cream shops, this town feels like it’s straight out of a Nicholas Sparks novel. The air is always warm, the sun is always shining, and there is plenty to explore.

18. Dunedin, Florida


Sunny days: 266
Population: 35,000
Average home price: $152,000
Dunedin isn’t a “small” town, but it’s always sunny, ridiculously beautiful, and strangely affordable! So we had to include it even though it has a population of about 35,000 people. Dunedin is on the western coast of Florida and home to many beautiful and peaceful beaches, including Caladesi Island State Park which is consistently rated one of the best beaches in the world. It’s easy to keep busy in Dunedin – great shopping areas, wonderful foods, lots of outdoor activities, water sports galore, scuba diving, and bird watching!

17. Temple Terrace, Florida


Sunny days: 266
Population: 24,000
Average home price: $133,000
This town may not be remarkably historic, but its beauty sure makes up for that. Located in Northeastern Florida, the town’s streets are lined with cypress and palm trees, making walking to every activity a preference. Similar to Dunedin, Temple Terrace isn’t necessarily “tiny”. But the weather in Florida is just so hard to beat so we had to share it! There’s a massive golf community here, great schools, and lots to explore due to its wonderful location right by Tampa.

16. Venice, Florida


Sunny days: 266
Population: 20,000
Average home price: $170,000
Located on the Western coast of Florida, Venice is the place to be if you love perfect weather, wearing a swimsuit all year round and any water sports. The town includes a nearby island just off the coast called Venice Island. Venice is a palm tree covered dream! When people think of quaint and peaceful parts of Florida, this town has to be what they imagine. Book your flight! Quick!

15. Grover Beach, California


Sunny days: 292
Population: 13,000
Average home price: $374,000
Beginning as just sagebrush and not much else, this beach town has come a long way since it was founded in 1887. Isaac J. Sparks was the first owner of the land that Grover Beach, which had yet to be created, sat on. Before 1887, the sagebrush covered land was a part of El Pizmo Rancho. But Dwight William Grover had his eyes on the land and purchased half of the property from Sparks, and over time, this beautiful land became Grover Beach. The town has since undergone a major transformation, gaining nearly 13,000 residents who have turned it into not only a tourist destination but also a wonderful place to live. The town’s prime California location is an ideal spot for lovers of the beach, warm weather, outdoor activities, and so much more.

14. Ojai, California


Sunny days: 292
Population: 7,461
Average home price: $500,000
It’s remarkable how much character is in this quaint city. Ojai sits in between the hills and mountains of Southern California. This city is filled with wonderful shops, delicious food, lots of outdoor activities, plenty of art galleries, music venues, and more. Ojai has made it a point to keep just about all of its businesses local, aside from the few gas stations in town. Doing so has helped maintain a close knit, home feeling vibe that will make you never want to leave.

13. Grass Valley, California


Sunny days: 265
Population: 12,000
Average home price: $268,700
Grass Valley was said to have been discovered and named because of settlers whose cattle wandered from their campsites across the way over to the “grassy valley” where the grazing was better. About 30 years later, the town was incorporated and hasn’t stopped growing since. Grass Valley is a go-to tourist destination for anyone visiting Northern California as well as a great place to call home. Why would you want to do your antique hunting, delicious dining, extensive hiking, and other activities anywhere else?

12. Burlington, Colorado


Sunny days: 245
Population: 5,000
Average home price: $116,000
Burlington refers to itself as “Colorado’s Backyard.” That’s a pretty fair label for this tiny town. Burlington is a combination of an old western movie, your grandma’s kitchen, and your best friend’s barbeque. The base of the economy is agriculture, with wheat and corn the top crops.. The town takes pride in its ability to give people the chance to live “the simple life.” The people here enjoy fresh air, wide open spaces, and a wonderful, safe community perfect for all ages.

11. Buena Vista, Colorado


Sunny days: 247
Population: 2,600
Average home price: $241,000
The name Buena Vista translates to “Beautiful View” in Spanish and we can’t think of any better way to describe this Colorado town. Buena Vista is located along the Arkansas River and sits in between some remarkable mountain views. Colorado is one of the sunniest states in the country which makes Buena Vista a wonderful location for getting outside. The town is filled with outdoor activities. The residents here as well as the visitors that are constantly pouring in enjoy skiing, snowboarding, whitewater rafting, kayaking, hiking, camping, and just about any outdoor activity you can think of.

10. Silverton, Colorado


Sunny days: 242
Population: 629
Average home price: $170,000
Silverton looks like it’s straight off a postcard. The downtown is lined with colorful buildings, symbolic of the old West, and when you stand in the street, you’re just waiting for a tumbleweed to roll by. Chances are it won’t but it’s still nice to pretend. Since it was established in 1874, Silverton has gained a population of nearly 629 people. I We know what you’re thinking. If this town is so great, where is everyone?! Well, it’s obviously one of the best kept secrets in Colorado!

9. Chimayo, New Mexico


Sunny days: 278
Population: 2,800
Average home price: $100,000
This New Mexico town is so picturesque that when you see photos of it you can’t help but think, “I have definitely seen photos of this before!” Who wouldn’t want to photograph it endlessly? Chimayo’s claim to fame is the El Sanctuario de Chimayo, a giant Adobe style shrine covered in colorful plants and flowers. The town’s history dates back further than 1816 and it is still an unincorporated town. It includes many neighborhood plazas, or placitas, each with its own unique name. The cluster of these plazas are located just miles north of Santa Fe. Is there a better place to sit in the sun and learn about the history of New Mexico?

8. Taos, New Mexico


Sunny days: 278
Population: 5,600
Average home price: $203,000
Taos is the town of your New Mexico dreams. It’s located in northern New Mexico’s high desert and surrounded by the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. It’s known for its historic Adobe buildings, such as the Taos Pueblo. The Taos Pueblo is a multistory Adobe complex that was occupied by Native Americans for centuries. It’s sure to blow you away. Taos is also a well- known artist colony. The town is filled with art galleries and museums so it’s definitely a go-to spot for lovers of history and art. The residents here, along with the annual visitors, enjoy plenty of outdoor activities. There’s skiing and snowboarding on the nearby mountains, lots of beautiful hiking, and incredible camping. Taos is also only an hour and a half from Santa Fe, making its location even more ideal.

7. Silver City, New Mexico


Sunny days: 278
Population: 10,000
Average home price: $188,000
What once was the location of an Apache campsite in a valley is now a sunny, beautiful city. Silver City was founded in 1878 and has been booming ever since. This small city is full of history. For example, the streets here originally ran north to south and the town was built on the path of normal water runoff. Lots of businesses were built and the residents became accustomed to the heavy summer rain. But one night, in the summer of 1895, the deforestation and unmonitored cattle grazing on the nearby hills left the town exposed. A heavy wall of water rushed through the downtown business district destroying all of Main Street. Businesses on Main Street began using their back doors on Bullard Street as their main entrances and the temporary fix just stuck. To this day, the incorrect odd/even conventions of normal street addresses are a constant reminder of the town’s history and soul. Along with the beautiful views, colorful downtown, thriving arts and music community, and loads of outdoor activities, this place is sure to make you feel right at home.

6. Elko, Nevada


Sunny days: 229
Population: 19,000
Average home price: $230,000
Elko is a city your brain won’t forget. Maybe it’s the views, maybe it’s the people, or maybe it’s the food. Maybe it’s a combination of all of it! Elko is the largest city for over 130 miles in all directions and there are fewer than 19,000 residents. What does this mean? You get the city vibe with the hometown feel. Elko is filled with all of the modern amenities one would need but you’ll still know all of your neighbors, have your favorite coffee shop, and probably have a friend to hike those beautiful mountains in the distance with you, or kayak down the Humboldt River. That’s right. Mountains and a river. Elko straddles the Humboldt River and residents and visitors get to admire the beautiful and majestic Ruby Mountains from just about anywhere in town.

5. Ely, Nevada


Sunny days: 240
Population: 5,000
Average home price: $127,000
Ely was originally a stagecoach station along the Pony Express and Central Overland Route. However, since the mining boom of copper in 1906 and the construction of the railroad running through town, it has blossomed into a wonderful place to live and visit. The town now has a decent sized population. The residents enjoy the quaint downtown, accessible outdoor activities, and beautiful wildlife viewing. Ely is also a popular tourist destination due to the Railroad Museum and the Ghost Train of Old Ely. This train is a steam engine passenger train that takes visitors along the historic tracks from Ely to the Robinson mining district. The historic six-story Hotel Nevada is also located in Ely and attracts many visitors. It’s located in downtown Ely and was opened in 1929 as the tallest building in Nevada. It remained the tallest into the 1940s and was also the state’s first fire-proof building. The hotel is a popular spot for lodging, dining, gaming, and shopping. Not only is Ely brimming with history, it also has a great music and arts community, assuring that your weekend nights will never be boring.

4. Virginia City, Nevada


Sunny days: 240
Population: 814
Average home price: $230,000
This tiny town may have peaked during the silver and gold rush, but it’s still a great place to live. Virginia City was home to 25,000 citizens when silver and gold was buried deep below the streets. Men, women, and families came from all over to live and work in this booming town. Miners pulled millions of dollars from shafts and tunnels below the ground and we’re pretty sure they got it all. Virginia City is also considered the “birth place” of Mark Twain. Samuel Clemens wrote for the Enterprise in town and began using his pen name here. Mark Twain became one of the most recognizable literary names of all time. Virginia City is not only a historic site, but also a quaint and cozy place to call home. There’s a multitude of museums, restaurants, and shops here, making it fun for just about anyone.

3. Cottonwood, Arizona


Sunny days: 264
Population: 11,000
Average home price: $146,000
Not only is Cottonwood the town of your Arizona dreams, it’s also a wonderful location to explore everything else that the sunny state of Arizona has to offer. Along with the other towns in the area, Cottonwood has a rich and lengthy history which you’ll see this as you walk down the streets of old town Cottonwood. The area has been home to Native Americans since the 1870’s and the culture from that time remains. Cottonwood has an exciting and attractive downtown filled with antique shops, art collectors, delicious food, and galleries. It’s also only 30 minutes from breathtaking Sedona, home to some of the best hiking trails in the country!

2. Winslow, Arizona


Sunny days: 276
Population: 9,600
Average home price: $89,300
“Standin’ on the corner in Winslow, Arizona…” The Eagles and Jackson Browne may have made this small town famous…but we’re pretty sure it would have happened anyway. Winslow is in central Arizona where the weather is ideal, there are dozens of outdoor activities, and so much to explore you could stay here for a lifetime. The downtown is bustling with fun shops, great restaurants, music spots, and more. The historic La Posada Hotel is a sight for sore eyes and attracts tourists annually. On the property is acres of flowers and vegetable gardens, a museum dedicated to the famous painter Tina Mion, and the Turquoise Room, an exquisite martini bar and restaurant. There’s also a famous impact crater, the Meteor Crater. And Standin’ On The Corner Park is a great spot for coffee drinking and book reading.

1. Bisbee, Arizona


Sunny days: 284
Population: 20,000
Average home price: $140,000
Bisbee is a free-spirited, outdoor loving, history-filled, kind and open community full of music and arts. Just like many other small towns in Arizona, Bisbee began as a mining town. It became one of the richest mineral sites in the world after mining in the Mule Mountains was so successful. By the early 1900s, Bisbee had a population of almost 20,000 and became the largest city in between St. Louis and San Francisco. Thanks to this boom, the town gained the most famous ball park in the nation, Warren Ballpark, the state’s first golf course, Turquoise Valley, as well as Copper Queen, the state’s first community library. All of these are still operating and open to the public. The now small city is still just as special as it was in the 1900’s. The town takes a lot of pride in its unique culture and diversity. Bisbee strives to be different and loves that about itself. Aside from the beauty inside the town, it’s surrounded by the magnificent Tombstone Hills, catching your attention every time you step outside. It’s a wonderful location for outdoor activities, sports, and adventures. The downtown is filled with wonderful shops, museums, galleries, fine dining, and a historic charm that’s hard to beat.

Are your bags packed yet? We’re coming with you!


Color Light Therapy & Why It Should Be Taken Seriously


Why is it that we understand the power and importance of light for the world around us, but we don’t appreciate the effect it can have on humans? We understand how light affects the world, the earth, the sea, the depth of the earth that we cannot reach, and just about anything we comprehend globally. But the medical field is yet to fully comprehend or embrace the power that light has over us as humans. Flavia Schlegel, Assistant Director-General for Natural Sciences spoke at the Internal Year of Light conference in Merida, Mexico in February 2016.. Schlegel discussed the importance of light therapy being cost effective and practical for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Julianne Bien, owner of Spectrahue Light & Sound Inc., is the inventor of the Spectrahue method of color light therapy. She owns a Toronto-based company that sells handheld light therapy tools and educational tools. Bien wrote a piece for Common Ground’s “health and spirit” section of their website. Bien discussed how incredible it is that light therapy is finally being taken seriously. Bien writes, “Health-related uses of light include diagnostics, surgery, psychiatry, psychology, revitalization, rejuvenation and emotional and spiritual makeovers. We have laser-based instruments, LED-based apparatuses, full-spectrum lights and various digital and analogue devices. Where we lag behind is in understanding how, exactly, our bodies respond to light. This is why terms such as chromotherapy, phototherapy and light therapy in general – although ancient in origin – very slowly progress toward full endorsement of the medical establishment.” (

The world inside of us is just as important as the world around us. Light therapy can help us effectively manage the world inside of us. Conditions such as emotional trauma, autoimmune problems, allergies, metabolic imbalances, seasonal affective disorder, jet lag, sleep and attention deficit disorders have been showing better results with the use of light therapy than other medical options such as medicines and surgeries. Bien claims that there are very good reasons for this, but the medical world hasn’t quite explored it yet.

Back in the 20th century, John Ott, a photo biologist, made an interesting discovery. Ott was assigned to document the effects that pharmaceutical drugs had on living cells. He used an electronic microscope and a special camera to do this. Ott discovered that when he changed the color filters on his camera lens, the cells’ behavior changed as well. Ott claimed that the color changes had even more of an effect on the cells than the drugs had. This is what inspired Julianne Bien’s company. Bien discussed this in her Common Ground article as well by stating:

“On the ‘ground level’ where life in our bodies unfolds, light and colour have more say than chemical compounds which we concoct. Our cells naturally understand the language of light and its messages – which the colours convey through their frequencies – to ignite, burn, sizzle, scorch, smoulder or go off. That’s the same cycle the stars in our universe undergo.

“I’m often asked how colour light therapy really works. It appears esoteric and mystical, bordering on magic. The best analogy I know – one we all know well – is fire.

“Fire is quirky. It is our species’ first tool, process and weapon. It gives off light and heat on demand, echoing our life-giving star in the sky, and we get to wield it at will. If you look closely, it varies in colour, depending on intensity. At first, it’s yellow and orange; green flame tips and blue-ish bursts will tell you it’s sizzling; you’ll want it bright white, though, if you wish to melt metal or bake clay.

“Still, starting and maintaining a fire is tricky, at best. It’s moody. It might flare up in an instant or just smoulder for hours. Sometimes, a trained hand gives up in frustration; another time a fire will light itself up. Too much moisture around it and it won’t even start; too little and it burns itself out.

“So it is with us. We are internal combustion engines, with trillions of tiny burners. Our cells burn up oxygen and produce heat. They use the resulting light as an ultra-fast messaging system. It all works to perfection – from toes to teeth – except when it won’t.

“When an imbalance sets in, our internal flame in an organ dies down. Or it flares up, past all safety limits, causing redness, fever and pain. We don’t know what triggers this any more than we can pinpoint the cause of a wild forest fire or control it.

“Knowing how tiny our internal burners are, it’s easy to see how fine-tuned and delicate any support we give them must also be.” (

Bien sells handheld color light therapy devices that she believes are even more effective than normal light therapy. Most light therapy devices output a bright light, with a wide surface being covered, in just one direction. Handheld color light therapy illuminators “work off the silent communication between the person sending faint light and the person receiving it”, according to Bien.

The concept of color light therapy is an ancient finding. Records exist from thousands of years ago that show conditions and disorders being effectively cured with color light therapy practices. This form of therapy is harmless and brilliant, but the world seems to have forgotten the importance of this discovery over time. If an equal amount of time and money that is used for chemical drug experiments was used to further research color light therapy, the world would quickly become a much healthier – and brighter – place.

Light Therapy & Huntington’s Disease

What Is Huntington’s Disease?

Huntington’s Disease is a devastating disease that currently has no cure. It is a complex neurological genetic disorder that causes motor, cognitive, and psychiatric symptoms. It is caused by a hereditary gene defect that damages specific nerve cells in the brain. This is a progressive disease. The symptoms and damage progressively worsen over time. The disease can affect movement, cognition, which is perception, awareness, thinking and judgement, as well as behavior. The disease ends with a loss of motor and executive function. It is extremely heart wrenching and difficult for anyone involved.

The Symptoms…

The symptoms for Huntington’s Disease vary depending on the person. While each victim ultimately ends up with the same symptoms, the first symptoms to appear can vary. Throughout the course of the disease, some symptoms appear to have a more dominant effect than others. Movement, cognitive, and psychiatric disorders appear in each victim. MayoClinic, a website dedicated to answering all of our medical questions and needs, wrote a piece on Huntington’s Disease. They accurately described the symptoms by writing,

Movement disorders

The movement disorders associated with Huntington’s disease can include both involuntary movements and impairments in voluntary movements:

  • Involuntary jerking or writhing movements (chorea)
  • Muscle problems, such as rigidity or muscle contracture (dystonia)
  • Slow or abnormal eye movements
  • Impaired gait, posture and balance
  • Difficulty with the physical production of speech or swallowing
  • Impairments in voluntary movements — rather than the involuntary movements — may have a greater impact on a person’s ability to work, perform daily activities, communicate and remain independent.

Cognitive disorders

Cognitive impairments often associated with Huntington’s disease include:

  • Difficulty organizing, prioritizing or focusing on tasks
  • Lack of flexibility or the tendency to get stuck on a thought, behavior or action (perseveration)
  • Lack of impulse control that can result in outbursts, acting without thinking and sexual promiscuity
  • Lack of awareness of one’s own behaviors and abilities
  • Slowness in processing thoughts or ”finding” words
  • Difficulty in learning new information

Psychiatric disorders

The most common psychiatric disorder associated with Huntington’s disease is depression. This isn’t simply a reaction to receiving a diagnosis of Huntington’s disease. Instead, depression appears to occur because of injury to the brain and subsequent changes in brain function. Signs and symptoms may include:

  • Feelings of irritability, sadness or apathy
  • Social withdrawal
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue and loss of energy
  • Frequent thoughts of death, dying or suicide

Other common psychiatric disorders include:

  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder, a condition marked by recurrent, intrusive thoughts and repetitive behaviors
  • Mania, which can cause elevated mood, overactivity, impulsive behavior and inflated self-esteem
  • Bipolar disorder, or alternating episodes of depression and mania

In addition to the above symptoms, weight loss is common in people with Huntington’s disease, especially as the disease progresses.


Light Therapy & Huntington’s Disease…

In recent studies of Huntington’s Disease, scientists have discovered that there are other non-motor symptoms that are associated with the disease. These symptoms are related to sleep and circadian rhythm abnormalities. This is where light therapy comes into play.

While it is still unclear whether the sleep and circadian rhythm abnormalities are caused directly by Huntington’s Disease or they are simply a result of the neurodegenerative disease, this is still an impeccable discovery. Looking at it from the disease victim’s point of view, it doesn’t necessarily matter what is causing the sleep-wake changes. These disturbances affect the quality of life whether someone is struggling with a disease or not. This is why it should be treated in people with Huntington’s Disease. It is important to note that these abnormalities in Huntington’s Disease victims will make their symptoms worse and exaggerated, ultimately leading to a faster decline in health. Why make something that is already bad, even worse, when there is an option to fix it?

With light therapy, it is easy to take the proper steps towards getting a good night’s sleep. It is important to be logical and treat the symptoms that can be prevented.

The Treatment…

Using a light therapy box is the best way to treat sleep disorders in people struggling with Huntington’s Disease. Patients are told to spend thirty minutes to an hour in front of a light box each morning. A standard light box emits 10,000 lux of light at about a 14 inch distance. To understand these forms of measurement better, it’s important to understand how the sun works. On a bright sunny day, brightness levels will range from 10,000 lux (normal) to 100,000 lux (direct sunlight). If patients spend a chunk of their morning in front of a light box, there body’s internal clock will be regulated. Regulating patient’s internal clocks, or their circadian rhythms, will help them feel energized and more productive throughout the day. It will also allow the brain to shut down easier when it’s time for bed, allowing for a full night’s sleep. Once again, light therapy is making the world a better place…saving people one disease at a time.

Light Therapy & Children

When discussing light therapy, children aren’t typically brought up in conversation. It’s easy to assume kids are primarily happy.  Children would seem to have  far less to worry about day-to-day. They can power through just about anything, have endless energy, and they wake up ready for the day. Most of the time….

But kids are sensitive to the world around them, too. In fact, some things may be more difficult for children to deal with because they are not old enough to understand what’s happening. Children can be just as easily affected by the outdoor weather, seasonal changes, jet lag, depression, and skin conditions. Light therapy is equally as important and ground breaking to children as it is to adults.

Seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, is a form of depression that occurs in the fall and winter months as the days become shorter and the nights become longer. When this seasonal change occurs it’s hard to keep our body’s internal clocks or circadian rhythms in check. The change typically results in decreased moods, low energy levels, trouble sleeping, and more. The depression begins to subside in the spring when the days start to become longer again. Anti-depressants prescribed for depression are dangerous for children and not recommended. This is where light therapy comes into play. Drug-free, harm-free, all natural treatment sessions can raise children’s energy levels when they need it the most.

Color light therapy has a wide array of benefits for children as well. This form of light therapy shines different colored lights into children’s eyes to stimulate the brain and enhance it’s functions. Unlike light boxes used for SAD and similar conditions, colored light therapy is medically supervised. Doctors guide their patients through a series of therapies involving many different colors of light. This form of therapy has been proven successful in treating many different conditions and disorders from allergies, to vision improvements, to speech problems, and more.

Growing Up Easier is a website dedicated to helping parents and guardians raise their children in the best way possible. John Downing, PhD, a contributor to the website, wrote a piece about light therapy for children and youth. In his piece, he lists all of the ways that light therapy has helped children:

  • Allergies
  • Anxiety
  • Arithmetic difficulties
  • Arthritis
  • Attention Deficit Disorder
  • Hyperactive Disorder
  • Autism
  • Balance problems
  • Behavioral problems
  • Borderline personality structure
  • Brain damage
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Conduct disorder problems
  • Coordination
  • Depression
  • Developmental retardation
  • Digestion problems
  • Disorganization
  • Down’s Syndrome
  • Dyslexia
  • Epilepsy
  • Headaches
  • Hyperactivity
  • Learning differences
  • Learning disabilities
  • Rage
  • Reading difficulties
  • Seizures
  • Short term memory deficiency
  • Speech problems
  • Stress
  • Wandering eye problems


Downing also explains how light therapy can directly affect a child’s lifestyle and well-being in five different categories. Downing has been researching light therapy in children for some time and strongly believes in the treatment’s powerful effects. The website reads…

Body: Light Therapy eliminates physical problems such as fatigue, insomnia, hyperactivity, poor coordination, balance difficulties, autonomic and endocrine imbalances.

Spirit: Light Therapy gives the soul back its light and helps the spirit soar. It takes the innate energy of the child or youth, which the mind sends out into the world, and grounds it more deeply into the soul. It allows the child or youth to control their energy instead of the energy controlling the child.

Mind: Intellectual difficulties are lessened; including poor reading comprehension, pronunciation, concentration, memory, organizational ability, and mathematical ability.

Emotions: Emotional problems are reduced or eliminated; including low self-esteem, depression, fears and anxieties, SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder).

Social: When the body, mind and emotions of a child are functioning optimally and the spirit is soaring, social interactions will be appropriately smooth and rewarding.


Light therapy is safe for children and is a wonderful and effective alternative to medication. If your child or someone you know is struggling with any of the disorders or conditions discussed, light therapy might be a good option. Give it a shot!

Light Therapy & Jaundice


What Is Jaundice?

Jaundice is a common condition in newborn babies. It affects full term and pre-mature babies and usually occurs during the first week of a baby’s life. The condition is temporary and usually harmless but treatments still must be conducted to cure the condition.

Jaundice occurs when there is a build up of bilirubin in the baby’s blood. Bilirubin is a naturally occurring substance, but of course, too much of anything can be dangerous. This substance is an orange/red pigment in the blood. According to to the University of Michigan’s Children’s Hospital, “Bilirubin is produced by the normal breakdown of red blood cells. It is normal for everyone to have low levels of bilirubin in their blood. As bilirubin begins to build up, it deposits on the fatty tissue under the skin causing the baby’s skin and whites of the baby’s eyes to appear yellow.” (

What Causes Jaundice?

There are several causes for Jaundice. The University of Michigan’s Children’s Hospital also discussed this topic in the health and education section of their website. We have borrowed the list of causes from them…

  • Physiological jaundice: This is the most common cause of newborn jaundice and occurs in more than 50% of babies. Because the baby has an immature liver, bilirubin is processed slower. The jaundice first appears at 2 to 3 days of age. It usually disappears by 1 to 2 weeks of age, and the levels of bilirubin are harmless.
  • Breast-feeding jaundice: Breast-feeding jaundice may occur when your baby does not drink enough breast milk. It occurs in 5% to 10% of newborns. The jaundice symptoms are similar to those of physiological jaundice, just more pronounced. The jaundice indicates a need for help with breast-feeding.
  • Breast-milk jaundice: Breast-milk jaundice occurs in 1% to 2% of breast-fed babies. It is caused by a special substance that some mothers produce in their milk. This substance causes your baby’s intestine to absorb more bilirubin back into his body than normal. This type of jaundice starts at 4 to 7 days of age. It may last 3 to 10 weeks. It is not harmful.
  • Blood group incompatibility (Rh or ABO problems): If a baby and mother have different blood types, sometimes the mother produces antibodies that destroy the newborn’s red blood cells. This causes a sudden buildup of bilirubin in the baby’s blood. This serious type of jaundice usually begins during the first 24 hours of life. Rh problems formerly caused the most severe form of jaundice. However, they are now preventable if the mother is given an injection of RhoGAM within 72 hours after delivery. This prevents her from forming antibodies that might endanger other babies she has in the future

Light Therapy & Jaundice…

Phototherapy, which is a form of light therapy, is used to treat Jaundice in newborn babies. Phototherapy is the most common treatment used to reduce the high levels of bilirubin  found in newborn babies.

For this treatment, a baby lies in a bassinet or an incubator, which is an enclosed plastic crib. The baby is exposed to a fluorescent light that is absorbed by the baby’s skin. Throughout this process, the bilirubin in the baby’s blood is changed into another form. This form is easily excreted in the stool and urine. The time frame for the phototherapy treatment ranges depending on the intensity of the Jaundice. Some babies require several days under the phototherapy light. WebMD, a credible website for all things medical, explain the specifics of the treatment:

“During this type of phototherapy:

  • The baby is undressed so that as much of the skin as possible is exposed to the light.
  • The baby’s eyes are covered to protect the nerve layer at the back of the eye (retina) from the bright light.
  • Feeding should continue on a regular schedule. There is no need to stop breast-feeding.
  • The bilirubin level is measured at least once a day.”


There is also an at-home alternative for phototherapy. A fiber optic blanket or band can be wrapped around the baby and used for treatments. While fiber optic phototherapy has been proven to show results in treating Jaundice, it is not necessarily as effective or as powerful as in-hospital treatment sessions. The at-home treatment take more time to show hospital level results. This is a great option for babies with mild cases of Jaundice or babies who have no other health issues besides Jaundice. It’s important to fully understand everything related to phototherapy and Jaundice before performing treatments at home.

Phototherapy is a highly effective form of light therapy that is gaining more recognition each day. If light can save our baby’s, what else can it do?

Light Therapy & Veterans


Veterans struggle more than most people understand. Life after war is a never ending battle. From depression, to sleep disorders, to post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), to chronic pain, the war is never truly over. All of these conditions can result in a lack of sleep and insomnia, the last thing a suffering veteran needs. However, new help is being found with light therapy. Light therapy is enabling veterans to get the daily sleep they need in order to remain healthy.

Nearly half of returning veterans suffer from chronic pain. Veterans are four times as likely to develop sleep disorders. 19% of veterans have traumatic brain injuries. 31% of veterans suffer from post traumatic stress disorder and 50% of veterans with PTSD do not seek treatment.

These statistics are sad, but true. For decades, doctors have been treating these suffering veterans with medications. But new studies are regularly surfacing whichshows that light therapy, an all natural, drug free, harm-free treatment, can help veterans.

Our world has 24-hour days. For humans, the sun rises, our days begin, the sun sets, our days come to an end. But depending on where you’re located in our world, sometimes it’s difficult for our bodies to understand this schedule, known as our circadian rhythm, our bodies’ natural clock. Our circadian rhythm helps control the release of Melatonin to our brains. Melatonin is essential for a good night’s sleep but difficult to power through if released at a time other than bedtime. This is when we need Serotonin.

King 5 News in Washington recently covered a story on Lisa Smith, a war veteran who has been dealing with sleepless nights for nearly 30 years. Smith claims that she can fall asleep for about 15 minutes each night. She falls into a deep sleep but is woken up after 15 minutes and the rest of the night is spent tossing and turning. Smith explains that this all began when her tour of duty came to an end. While her duty was over, her body’s internal military clock wasn’t. Smith explained to King 5 News, “I’m still getting up early in the morning, 4:30, 5 o’clock in the morning, getting ready as if I’m going to stand in the 6 o’clock formation.” She also developed back pain due to her sleep disorder which is making everything even more difficult.

Smith is currently undergoing light therapy treatments and not only is she sleeping through the night, her chronic pain has also subsided. Smith, along with other patients who are part of a study at Rush University, are spending about an hour a day in front of a light box. This form of light therapy is UV free and drug free, a healthy alternative to sleeping medicine. As soon as Smith wakes up and sits in front of her light box. She reads the paper, eats her breakfast, talks on the phone.

Spending an hour a day in front of a light box helps keep our bodies’ circadian rhythms in check. The light box mimics the outdoor sunlight, creating a sunny day no matter where you are, regardless of the weather or time. When it’s time for bed, Smith says that her body is tired and ready to sleep. She recalls memories of being a little kid and crashing into her bed after a long day outdoors playing with friends. She says the light box creates a very similar feeling.

Light therapy is constantly surprising the world and consistently making it a better place. This medication free treatment is changing the world for veterans. Isn’t it time for you to get on board?

Light Therapy & Autism Spectrum In Children


What Is Autism Spectrum Disorder?

Autism spectrum disorder or ASD is a term used to describe a group of disorders. These disorders include Aspberger’s syndrome and pervasive developmental disorder, known as atypical autism. The most commonly occurring form of Autism spectrum disorder is autism. The symptoms that are brought about by ASD are seen early on in childhood which is why it is called a developmental disorder. The word spectrum is used to describe the disorder because the symptoms, severity, and intensity can greatly differ between children. On average, 1 in 160 children will be diagnosed with ASD. Boys outnumber girls 4 to 1. 75% of these children have low intelligence levels while around 10% show high levels of intelligence typically in mathematics and computer sciences. Some children have incredible abilities in fields such as music and memory.

What are the causes?

While there is vivid explanation for the cause of autism spectrum disorder, research is constantly being conducted. According to the Australian Psychological Society, “There is no clear explanation about what causes ASD. However, family studies have shown that genes play a role. For example, if one identical twin has autism then the other has around a 75 per cent chance of also having autism. In non-identical twins, there is a five to eight per cent chance that both twins will have autism. ASD also tends to occur more often than expected among people with certain medical conditions. Researchers are investigating the link between children whose mothers had problems during pregnancy or delivery, as well as the contribution of viral infections, dietary imbalances, and exposure to environmental chemicals.” (

Light Therapy & Autism Spectrum…

Children with autism spectrum disorder do not have easy lives. Consider most people’s daily struggles and then add ASD to it. When the natural ways of the world weigh on their shoulders, life can get tough. Light therapy is known to treat conditions such as seasonal affective disorder, depression, insomnia, chronic pain, skin conditions, and more. When children struggling with these conditions are also battling ASD daily, they need a little help. This is where light therapy comes into play.

My Aspergers Child is a website dedicated to helping parents of children with aspergers and high functioning autism. The website is run by Mark Hutten, M.A., a counseling psychologist, home-based family therapist and online parent coach. Hutten claims that his website is education and counseling for individuals affected by ASD. Hutton wrote a blog about light therapy being used for children and teens on the autism spectrum. Hutton writes,

“Phototherapy (also called “light therapy”), which involves exposure to artificial light, is quickly becoming a popular way to treat seasonal affective disorder (SAD) in children on the autism spectrum. SAD is a type of depression that occurs at a certain time each year, usually in the fall or winter. During phototherapy, your child sits near a device called a light box. The box gives off bright light that mimics natural outdoor light.

Phototherapy is thought to affect brain chemicals linked to mood, easing SAD symptoms. Using a light box may also help with other types of depression, sleep disorders and other conditions. You may want to try phototherapy on your child for a number of reasons:

  • If the child is on medication for depression, it may allow him or her to take a lower dose of antidepressant
  • It’s a proven treatment for SAD
  • If the child has another condition (e.g., OCD, anxiety, insomnia)
  • If you want to try a treatment method that is safe and has few side effects

Generally, most children with SAD begin treatment with phototherapy in the early fall when it typically becomes cloudy in many regions of the country. Treatment usually continues until spring when outdoor light alone is sufficient to sustain a good mood and higher levels of energy.

If your child typically has fall and winter mood problems, behavioral issues or depression, you may notice symptoms during prolonged periods of cloudy or rainy weather during other seasons. You and your physician can adjust the light treatment based on the timing and duration of your child’s symptoms.

During phototherapy sessions, your child will sit near the light box. Many children use this time to complete homework. To be effective, light from the box must enter the eyes indirectly. Your child can’t get the same effect merely by exposing his or her skin to the light. While the eyes must be open, your child should not look directly at the light, because the bright light can damage the eyes. Be sure to follow your physician’s recommendations as well as the manufacturer’s directions.”


How It Works…

Light therapy treatments are most effective when there is a perfect combination of three key elements. These elements are timing, light intensity, and duration.

Timing is most effective when done in the morning. It is recommended for children to begin their light therapy treatment session as soon as they wake up. Eating breakfast or reading in front of the light box is a good option to keep this a routine. When it comes to intensity, light boxes are measured in lux. Lux is a measure of the light received from the light box from a certain distance. Boxes usually range from between 2,500 lux and 10,000 lux. The distance the child can sit away from the light box depends on the level of lux as well as the session time required. For example, a light box that emits 10,000 lux will probably only require a 30 minute treatment session. A light box that emits 2,500 lux will probably require a session close to two hours. It’s important to consider a child’s energy and patience levels before purchasing a light box. The third key element is timing. It’s important to discuss this element with a doctor. During the beginning stages of treatment, a shorter time frame is typically recommended. For example, 10 minutes. As daily sessions continue, the time frame can lengthen.

Light therapy requires time, routine, and scheduling. It’s important to find a light therapy box that fits complacency into a child or teenager’s lifestyle. While phototherapy/light therapy doesn’t necessarily cure seasonal affective disorder, depression, insomnia, or any other similar conditions, it does ease symptoms, raise energy levels, boost confidence and increase happiness in children. But most importantly, it can improve the quality of life for a children struggling with ASD. Is it time for someone you love to try light therapy?

Light Therapy & Alzheimer’s Disease


What is Alzheimer’s Disease?

Alzheimer’s disease is quite possibly one of the most heart-wrenching diseases that people all over the world struggle with every day. It is the most common form of dementia, which is a general term for memory loss and other mental abilities which are serious enough to affect people’s daily lives. Sixty to eighty percent of dementia cases are Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease. It slowly destroy’s people’s memories along with their crucial mental functions. It most commonly affects people around 65 years old and above. In the most recent years, Alzheimer’s feels as if it is a normal part of the aging process, with more than 3 million U.S. cases being reported each year. Even though most cases begin around the age of 65, Alzheimer’s is not just a disease for the elderly. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, “Up to 5 percent of people with the disease have early onset Alzheimer’s (also known as younger-onset), which often appears when someone is in their 40s and 50s.” (

The Symptoms…

Dementia symptoms gradually become worse as the years go on, meaning that Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease. During the early stages, memory loss is mild and not necessarily life changing. However, during the late stages, individuals lose most of their memories, cannot carry on conversations, and have trouble responding to their environment. Alzheimer’s is the sixth most leading cause of death in the United States and most people only live around eight years past the point where their symptoms become recognizable to the people around them.

There are mild, moderate, and severe cases of Alzheimer’s. Depending on the stage of the disease, the symptoms vary. The National Institute of aging explained the symptoms for each stage. We have borrowed their words below…

Mild Alzheimer’s Disease:
As the disease progresses, people experience greater memory loss and other cognitive difficulties. Problems can include:
  • wandering and getting lost
  • trouble handling money and paying bills
  • repeating questions
  • taking longer to complete normal daily tasks
  • losing things or misplacing them in odd places
  • personality and behavior changes

Alzheimer’s disease is often diagnosed at this stage.

Moderate Alzheimer’s Disease:
In this stage, damage occurs in areas of the brain that control language, reasoning, sensory processing, and conscious thought. Symptoms may include:
  • increased memory loss and confusion
  • problems recognizing family and friends
  • inability to learn new things
  • difficulty carrying out multistep tasks such as getting dressed
  • problems coping with new situations
  • hallucinations, delusions, and paranoia
  • impulsive behavior
Severe Alzheimer’s Disease:
People with severe Alzheimer’s cannot communicate and are completely dependent on others for their care. Near the end, the person may be in bed most or all of the time as the body shuts down. Their symptoms often include:
  • inability to communicate
  • weight loss
  • seizures
  • skin infections
  • difficulty swallowing
  • groaning, moaning, or grunting
  • increased sleeping
  • lack of control of bowel and bladder


The Cause…

Alzheimer’s is caused by brain cell death. It is a neurodegenerative disease. This means that there is a progressive brain cell death that happens typically over a slow amount of time. The total brain size actually shrinks, leaving the tissue with progressively fewer connections and nerve cells. It’s quite morbid when you think about it. This disease leaves people feeling helpless and as of right now, there is no cure. But what if there a possible cure on the horizon? What if we could see the light at the end of the tunnel for Alzheimer’s disease?

Can Light Therapy Treat Alzheimer’s Disease?

Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have been conducting experiments on mice that are leading them to believe that light therapy can actually bring back memories in people suffering from early-onset Alzheimer’s. Although this is currently just a proof of concept, the world of possibilities that can follow are endless. This is notable, important, and life changing.

The scientists at MIT have successfully activated feelings from lost memories among mice with the use of light stimulation therapy that was developed in 2012. These mice are genetically engineered to have early on-set Alzheimer’s disease. This form of therapy is referred to as optogenetics and although it can currently only be performed on mice, these studies show extreme promise for the future.

How It Works…

Fox News’ health department covered this remarkable story on March 18, 2016. They explained how the light therapy process works by stating,

“Study authors put healthy mice and mice with Alzheimer’s into a chamber where they received a foot shock, an experience that caused them to sense fear one hour later when placed in the chamber again. But when the two groups of mice were placed in the chamber a few days later, only the normal mice were fearful, while the Alzheimer’s mice appeared to have forgotten about the experience. However, the memory of the fear was still there among the Alzheimer’s mice; the memory just couldn’t be activated with natural cues.

By using the light therapy they developed in 2012— whereby the relevant engram cells were tagged with a light-sensitive protein then activated with light— the researchers activated those memories.

“Directly activating the cells that we believe are holding the memory gets them to retrieve it,” lead study author Dheeraj Roy, an MIT graduate student, said in the release. “This suggests that it is indeed an access problem to the information, not that they’re unable to learn or store this memory.”

Study authors also identified that the engram cells of the Alzheimer’s mice experienced disrupted signaling from other neurons, which affected the natural cue that should have reactivated their memory.

“If we want to recall a memory, the memory-holding cells have to be reactivated by the correct cue,” Tonegawa said in the release. “If the spine density does not go up during learning process, then later, if you give a natural recall cue, it may not be able to reach the nucleus of the engram cells.”’


A Game Changer…

Conducting optogenics on people at the stage that it is at is far too invasive and it requires extreme precision. However, knowing what we know now and carrying this research into all future Alzheimer’s experiments is a complete game changer. Far too many individuals suffer from this severe, heartbreaking and devastating disease each year. Seeing a light at the end of the tunnel is the first step to success.

Get Ready For Summer With Light Therapy!


With summer right around the corner, now is the time to get your body in tip top shape! We’re not just talking about a great bikini body, we’re also talking about your mindset! The key to happiness and confidence is a healthy body, inside and out.

Light Therapy is capable of helping people achieve greatness for all aspects of their minds and bodies. With the help of Light Therapy, skin rejuvenation is simple and easy. Regular treatment sessions can cosmetically enhance all parts of your body, not just your face. A body that is capable of being active and energized starts with freedom. Chronic pain, wounds, joint and muscle pain, and more can make you feel trapped inside your body. Light Therapy treatments targeted towards pain relief can free your body and have you ready for summer adventures in no time. Similar to external pain, internal pain and stress can have us feeling trapped as well. Whether it’s depression, insomnia, or another mental condition, Light Therapy is constantly being proven effective in lifting mood and energy levels. Treatments leave patients feeling refreshed and energized, which is necessary to fully take advantage of the best season of the year!

Glowing Skin…

Many factors can contribute to your skin not being on it’s A game. Lack of sleep, a depressed mood, acne, and other skin disorders can all leave you looking tired and in need of sleep. There are two different forms of light therapy that can give you the glowing skin you want and deserve. Fighting insomnia and depression is one of the first steps to having perfect skin. Light therapy boxes and lamps are used to treat Seasonal Affective Disorder, depression, and insomnia. Spending part of your morning in front of a light therapy box/lamp can help raise energy levels as well as allow you to sleep more. Both of these results can lead to glowing skin.

Acne makes it hard to have glowing skin. Using a light therapy device targeted towards treating acne, such as a red, blue, or green light wand can kill the acne causing bacteria in your pores. Each color light has it’s owns benefits so using all three in your treatment process is going to have the best results and leave you with healthy glowing skin.

No More Wrinkles…

Light therapy can also reduce wrinkles and fine lines which will increase your confidence and have you running for the beach. The same products that are used for treating acne can be used to treat wrinkles and other cosmetic appearances that arise with age. Just because you’re getting older doesn’t mean you have to look your age, right?
Cellulite Free…

While the cosmetic appearance of your skin doesn’t actually affect your physical health, it can raise your confidence levels and have you ready for summer. The first step to the perfect bikini body is a healthy mind and body. Light therapy is proven to effectively reduce unwanted lines and markings. Red light therapy wands, lamps, and beds can be used to smooth cellulite and stretch marks anywhere on your body. Red light therapy works in a a couple different ways. In one instance, the red light increases circulation by forming new capillaries. These new capillaries speed up the healing process in damaged skin. Red light also stimulates the production of collagen. Collagen is a high elasticity protein that repairs damaged skin.

Active Body…

How are you going to feel your best for the summer if you can’t be active? Summer activities require energy and a youthful body. When fighting chronic pain, your body feels low and useless. Red light therapy is being used to treat chronic pain, joint and muscle pain, heal wounds, and more. Red light therapy wands, beds, wraps, and lamps works to treat these forms of pain in the same way it treats cosmetic details. The red light penetrates deep into the skin, all the way through to the tissue and can heal damage that is causing physical pain.

Right Mindset…

While fighting mental conditions and disorders can leave you with glowing skin, as discussed above, it also creates a healthy and long last mindset that will have you summer ready. Light therapy boxes, simulators and lamps for Seasonal Affective Disorder, depression, insomnia, jet lag and bipolar disorder work by raising seratonin levels and decreasing melatonin levels. Increasing seratonin levels in the brain is proven to effectively lift your mood, leaving you energized and ready for anything. Especially summer!

The best way to experience summer is to feel your best. Treating these 5 categories can result in confidence inside and out and energy for activities. Both of these results are crucial for the best summer ever!