Archives For Color Light Therapy

Don’t Believe The Myths About Light Therapy!

Light therapy is a form of all natural therapy that is changing lives around the world. During the basic and most common form of light therapy, patients sit near a special lamp that emits bright light for a set amount of time on a daily schedule. This artificial lighting is meant to mimic natural outdoor light with the goal of affecting the body’s internal clock. Our internal clocks, or circadian rhythms, regulate the way our brains react to energy during the daytime, sleep during the nighttime, and when our bodies become hungry. Melatonin, a sleep hormone, is naturally released in our brains at night when our internal clock is off. Serotonin, our mood altering hormone that provides us with energy, is supposed to be consistently being released throughout the day, while our internal clock is on and active. However, due to factors such as work schedules, seasonal changes, mental disorders, sleeping problems, and more, it is very easy for our circadian rhythms to be thrown off. This is where light therapy saves us!

Since our circadian rhythms are greatly influenced by natural every day environmental factors such as the sunrise and sunset, light therapy is a wonderful way to make sure our bodies are releasing melatonin and serotonin at the correct times. Doing so can treat mental disorders such as depression and seasonal affective disorder, increase energy and happiness levels, improve skin conditions, and so much more!

As with any medical practice, there is a long list of myths that follow light therapy around. We’re here to share some myths with you and provide you with the facts. Let’s get down to it.

Myth #1: All Light Therapy Is The Same

While we’ve been noting light therapy for mental conditions in this article, there are many different forms of light therapy. Aside from standard bright light treatments, there are also red, blue, and green light therapy devices. These devices can treat skin conditions such as psoriasis and acne. They are also wildly successful at rejuvenating the skin, reducing wrinkles and fine lines, and making you feel like your sixteen year old self again! Red light is also used for muscle and joint pain, wound healing, chronic pain, and more. Don’t stop at bright light, all of the colors are wonderful!

Myth #2: Light Therapy Is Only Used For Depression

It’s true, light therapy is most commonly used to treat Seasonal Affective Disorder and other forms of depression. However, light therapy has endless potential for our mental and emotional well being. It can also treat sleep disorders, dementia, bipolar disorder, jet lag, and more. Assuming that light therapy is only good for one thing is just silly!

Myth #3: So I Just Stare Into A Light Bulb For Hours?

Wrong! It’s easy to assume that light therapy treatments consist of sitting in front of light bulbs and waiting for the magic to happen. But in actuality, treatment sessions typically don’t last longer than 30 minutes a day. The sessions are easy to fit into your daily routine and most devices allow you to do other activities to pass the time or multitask. Try reading a book, knitting, or eating a meal while sitting in front of your light therapy device!

Also, you wouldn’t stare into the light – so take note of that. A light therapy device usually emits light that is 100 times brighter than most indoor lighting, since the treatments are intense and succinct, so you definitely don’t want to be staring into that bulb!

Myth #4: There Are No Side Effects!

It’s always important to talk with a doctor before starting any new medical treatment. Just because light is natural and we can’t necessarily feel treatment sessions when they’re occurring doesn’t mean that they are 100% harmless. Light therapy can have a negative effect on those with sensitive skin and eyes. It can also cause eye straining, headaches, nausea, or irritability. Most of these side effects are mild and short term, however it is still important to monitor the usage of your light therapy device and consider any personal conditions –such as bipolar disorder or a severe skin condition — before beginning treatment – for example

It’s easy to make assumptions about things that are not normal or common. Light therapy is a world changing treatment that deserves all of the praise and credit you can give it! Make no assumptions about light therapy, don’t believe the myths, and know your facts. If you follow these words, you will end up thanking us! We promise.

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.” (commonground.ca)

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.” (commonground.ca)

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 & 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

(GrowingUpEasier.org)

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.

(GrowingUpEasier.org)

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 & 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.” (Psychology.org)

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.”

(MyAspergersChild.com)

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?