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How Light Therapy Works!

light-therapy-sunshine-vitamin-d

What It Is…

Light therapy is a natural form of therapy that can treat a wide array of conditions and disorders through the power of light. With patience, dedication, and a schedule that fits your lifestyle, light therapy can make you feel at the top of your game at all times!

Light therapy can be used to treat mental disorders such as seasonal affective disorder, depression, insomnia, bipolar disorder, jet lag, and more. It is also used to treat physical conditions such as acne, skin rejuvenation, scar healing, chronic pain, joint and muscle pain, wound healing, and so much more. In this article, we are going to discuss how light therapy treats mental disorders. Light can cure your depression?! What?!

How It Works…

The main concept of light therapy is using a form of artificial light, such as a light box or lamp, which mimics natural outdoor light. The use of artificial light affects the brains chemicals, such as serotonin, which are linked to mood and sleep. Light therapy also targets the same brain structures that anti-depressants are meant to target. This opens up a whole new world for this all natural, drug-free, harm-free, cost-effective therapy!

Light therapy and our biological clock go hand in hand. Our body’s biological clock keeps our body rhythms and sleep-wake cycles in sync with the earth’s light-day cycles. Our biological clock, often referred to as our circadian rhythm, is located in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) in the hypothalamus, the brain’s hormone control center. It’s controlled by four neurotransmitters – dopamine, norepinephrine, glutamate, and GABA. These neurotransmitters are chemicals that enable function within our brain.

When our eyes are exposed to light, this part of our brain is activated and production of melatonin, a sleep hormone, is reduced. Reducing the production of melatonin in our brains allows a stable increase of seratonin, the hormone that keeps us awake and gives us energy. Exposing our eyes to light also releases a wide array of hormones for other mental functions and affects our body’s temperature.

 

“Human beings evolved under the day-night cycle. It is the natural time-keeper that sets our biological clocks within our brains and organs throughout the body.”

-Richard Schwartz, MD, associate clinical professor of psychiatry,Harvard Medical School

We are more linked with the earth than most people would like to believe. Our brains are extremely susceptible to light, the weather, and the natural cycles of the earth. Strangely, we are programmed to cycle naturally every 24.2 hours. However, because we are so linked to the earth’s rhythms and our exposure to light on a daily basis, our cycle changes. We are closely linked to the earth and that’s important to understand first and foremost when it comes to light therapy.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD):

Light therapy is used to treat Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, most commonly in the fall and winter months. When the sun begins to set way too early and/or there is very little sunlight throughout the day at all, it is very easy for SAD to creep in and take over your life. Being exposed to bright light for a set amount of time each day can help treat or reduce the symptoms of SAD.

Depression:

Just like Seasonal Affective Disorder, choosing a strict daily light therapy schedule is the best way to see results when it comes to treating or reducing the symptoms of depression. The main goal of light therapy in regards to depression treatment is to reduce the production of melatonin while increasing the production of seratonin. More seratonin = happy mind!

Insomnia:

The more bright light that is received during the day, especially earlier on in the day, the more likely we are to produce an adequate amount of melatonin at night. More bright light also reduces the brain’s sensitivity to small light exposure in the night time.

Bipolar Disorder:

Light therapy is not a 100% proven treatment for Bipolar Disorder, but it is on the radar and being used by many patients. Since one of the main symptoms of Bipolar Disorder is depression, light therapy is an extremely viable treatment plan. Plus it can reduce patient’s medicinal intake which is great due to the fact that bipolar medications often have awful side effects.

Best Brands for Mental Health Light Therapy…

  • Northern Light Technology
  • Nature Bright
  • Philips
  • Verilux

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.

New Light Therapy Mask Is Treating Jet Lag!

What Is Jetlag?

Jet lag, also referred to as desynchronosis or flight fatigue, is a major downside to traveling. When flying to a location with a time zone difference of 3 hours or more, passengers often find themselves feeling all sorts of weird once they land. They’re tired, irritable, confused, and often have trouble sleeping.

Jet lag occurs because our circadian rhythms, or biological clocks, are easily disturbed. Circadian rhythm is our body’s internal clock which controls the amount of melatonin and serotonin our brains release. Our circadian rhythm relies on the amount of light our brain senses each day as well as the timing of that light. When taking a long flight to the other side of the country at 12 o’clock in the afternoon, passengers could awake from their plane nap at 10 o’clock at night. Then they’re left wired and all out of sorts. Our bodies don’t understand what time it is, our brain isnwide awake, and there is usually only a slim chance of falling asleep. This is why jet lag occurs. Once our circadian rhythm is disturbed, it’s hard to get back on track.

Aside from feeling fatigue and suffering from insomnia, there are some other physical and emotional symptoms that passengers often face. These include…

  • Anxiety
  • Constipation
  • Dehydration
  • Confusion
  • Diarrhea
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty with concentrating
  • Indigestion issues
  • Sweating
  • Dizziness
  • Problems with coordination
  • Sleepiness during the day
  • The feeling of malaise
  • Memory loss
  • Heartbeat irregularities
  • Weak immune system

Anyone can suffer from jet lag – adults, children, babies. While it is not common to need to seek medical attention for jet lag symptoms, the symptoms can leave you out of commission. The recovery process from jet lag depends on the number of time zones crossed during traveling. Typically, passengers tend to recover from jet lag at a rate of one or two time zones per day. To put this into perspective – if you travel through 8 time zones, your body will typically need  5 to 7 days to recover.

The Neuroon Mask…

Traveling is supposed to be fun but it’s hard to have fun when suffering from jet lag. This is where the Neuroon Mask saves the day! A Polish start up company designed the groundbreaking sleep mask with travelers in mind. The mask is meant to shift your body’s internal clock in preparation for long trips.

How It Works…

The Neuroon Mask works by exposing the person wearing the mask to short bursts of light while they are asleep. The company claims that the mask helps reduce the effects of jet lag after traveling to a destination with a time difference of 3 hours or more.

The company decided to create the mask after research from Stanford University in California found that levels of melatonin, a sleep hormone, were greatly altered when patients were exposed to short flashes of light during their sleep. The researchers found that this discovery could be used to alter a person’s sleep schedule and keep their circadian rhythm, or biological clock, in check.

There are biometric sensors built into the Neuroon Mask that can measure the wearer’s heart rate and brainwaves. This records their sleep analytics, sleep architecture, phases of deep/light sleep, REM, and waking. All of these recordings can then be viewed on a smartphone application created specifically for the mask.

Jetlag Blocker…

Perhaps the most interesting and innovative part of the Neuron Mask is it’s “Jetlag Blocker” feature. You can actually enter your destination and the mask will adjust it’s settings and light therapy process to prepare your body’s internal clock for it’s new time zone location. The company recommends starting the light therapy process a few days before traveling. This will increase the chances of beating jet lag.

Why It’s So Important…

Most people brush things such as jet lag aside. They just assume it’s bound to happen. In this case, they either take sleeping medicines, get sick from exhaustion, or just get used to their generally low moods while traveling. This is not the way it should be!

Making light spectrum therapy easy to use is the best way to continually introduce the therapy to the world.

Neuroon Sleep Mask
Available for $299.00
Neuroon.com

The Neuron Sleep Mask is currently available on the company’s website for a pretty fair price if you tend to put your health first. The price includes the Lucid Dreaming cellular app which works for both Android and IOS. Do you travel a lot for work or just love to take off? Is your body extremely sensitive to time zone changes? Are you ready to try the world’s new innovative discovery? The Neuroon Mask is for you! Let us know how you like it.

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