Archives For Mental Health

How To Use Light Therapy – Only The Facts!

As you can most likely tell by now, we’re very much into light therapy. We’re strong believers in the theory that it can treat just about anything that you don’t want in your mind or body. Light therapy is commonly used for a wide array of conditions and disorders, from cancer, to depression, to acne. Because the scope of what light therapy can treat is quite large, there are many different forms of treatment. There are many different devices, schedules, and factors to consider before beginning treatment. We have narrowed all of these factors down to 3 key elements: duration, timing, and intensity. These elements will exist regardless of the condition or disorder that you are attempting to treat – so listen close!

The duration of the light therapy treatments refers to how long the treatment is conducted and the scheduling of it. This can range from once a week for two months all the way to five days a week for a year depending on the condition. The timing of the light therapy treatment refers to how long the treatment is conducted. For example, sitting in front of light box for 30 minutes, or keeping a body wrap around the back for 15 minutes. The intensity of light therapy treatments refers to the power of the light therapy device being used. For example, using a light box with 10,000 lux in order to treat seasonal depression. When these three key elements are accurately combined, the world of light therapy will open up to you. The treatment’s potential will be endless and you will find yourself on a path to a happier and healthier life.

Determining These Three Key Elements…

Light Boxes & Depression:

Seasonal Affective Disorder is a form of depression that occurs each year during the fall and winter. The depression occurs due to the lack of sunlight as well as day light savings. These tough months can seriously affect our circadian rhythm, which is the internal clock inside our brains. Normal depression, which can occurs during any of the 12 months of the year, is also very sensitive to light. Using a light box in a situation such as this has been proven extremely effective. If someone is struggling with Seasonal Affective Disorder, a light box will lift their mood and remind their brain what time of day it is in order to keep mood levels high. If someone is struggling with depression, a light box can help by effectively elevating the chemicals in the brain that make us feel low.

After much research, the ideal light boxes have been created to fit individual’s lifestyles. Light boxes come in all different shapes and sizes as well as different intensity levels. The method of treatment may vary depending on the severity of the seasonal depression as well as the device being used. The stronger the light, the less time should be spent in front of the light box. Most people use light boxes for a minimum of 30 minutes each morning. A morning treatment can start your day off right and keep your body’s internal clock in check. However, some people don’t have time in the morning and choose to do the treatment at a different time. This is okay, too. The more effectively you can fit the treatment into your schedule, the more you will benefit from it. Below is a list of light sources and how much light we receive indoors versus outdoors. Also, note that lux is a standard unit of light flow.

  • Bright moonlight – 1 lux
  • Candle light at 20 cm – 10-15 lux
  • Street light – 10-20 lux
  • Normal living room lighting – 100 lux
  • Office fluorescent light – 300-500 lux
  • Sunlight, 1 hour before sunset – 1000 lux
  • Daylight, cloudy sky – 5000 lux
  • Daylight, clear sky – 10,000-20.000 lux
  • Bright sunlight – 20,000-100,000 lux

Outdoors on a sunny day is 50-100 times brighter than office or room lighting.

(List borrowed from PsychEducation.Org)

With that being said, most light boxes are around 10,000 lux. It’s important to keep cost in mind as well. The higher intensity of the device, the more expensive it is going to be. However, if Seasonal Affective Disorder or depression are controlling your life, cost becomes less important, don’t you think?

Dawn simulators have also been proven extremely effective in scenarios such Seasonal Affective Disorder and depression and they are noticeably cheaper than light boxes. A dawn simulator mimics the sunrise and sunset in your home through a small lamp. A timer must be set and when it’s time for you to start waking up, the simulator will turn on, mimicking the sunrise. This can be left on throughout the day and then slowly shut off as your day winds down. Most people only use the simulator to wake up, acting as an alarm clock. But for people working from home or spending a lot of time in their home during the fall and winter months, it may be effective and helpful to leave the simulator on throughout the day.

Light Boxes & Other Mood Disorders:

Light boxes and dawn simulators are also extremely effective when it comes to mood disorders such as insomnia and jet lag. Seasonal changes, depression, medications, and stress, can all trigger insomnia. And for people who travel a lot for work or pleasure, jet lag can quickly control your life.

Using a dawn simulator for both of these conditions can be extremely effective. If you’re struggling with insomnia, a dawn simulator will help you wake up and go to sleep at appropriate times, helping create a proper sleep schedule and breaking insomnia. Also, because insomnia is also a side effect of depression, you could kill two birds with one stone. Using a light box could help, too. It could elevate your mood, thus decreasing your stress levels, ultimately letting you fall asleep.

A dawn simulator can help fight off jet lag by keeping your body’s internal clock, or circadian rhythm in check. The simulator will help remind your brain the time of day and get you back to normal. A light box could definitely be effective too, if it is used in the morning. It will keep your brain in sync with the day, put a smile on your face and a glow on your skin.

Light Therapy Devices & Cosmetic Conditions:

Light therapy devices are commonly used to fight acne, slow down the cosmetic aging process, and even reverse hair loss. Handheld devices are typically used for acne and usually use either red or blue light. The device uses infrared lighting to penetrate into the pores on the skin to kill the bacteria that creates acne. The devices can also reduce the inflammation on the skin. This process can be done at home or in a dermatologist’s office. However, at-home treatments are going to be far less expensive. The devices are typically held to the skin for 10 minutes increments and the light is commonly between 400 and 1,000 nanometers in intensity.

Anti-aging is one of the most popular benefits of light therapy. Red light therapy is commonly use for skin rejuvenation. Treatments can reduce wrinkles, minimize fine lines, reduce cellulite markings, and leave you with a young and healthy glow. Handheld devices, similar or the same as the ones use for acne, can help achieve all of these goals. Red light therapy beds are also extremely common. Similar to a tanning bed, the person undergoing the treatment would lie in the bed for a certain amount of time on a set schedule. Typically 15 to 30 minutes one to several times a week.

Hair loss is treated with red light therapy as well. Whether the hair loss is due to old age, pattern baldness, stress, or a skin condition, red light is known to help. The patient will either use a handheld device or a light panel and set a schedule for themselves. The intensity is the same at the options discussed above.

Of course, for all of these things, reading instructions and taking your personal condition into account before beginning treatment will give you the best results.

Light Therapy Devices & Severe Skin Conditions:

Light therapy can help with more serious conditions, such as rosacea, eczema, athlete’s foot, psoriasis, and more. If you are currently taking medication for any of these conditions or similar ones, it may be worth discussing red light therapy with your doctor and finding a better option for your body. The treatments won’t take over your life and can be easily fit into your daily routine.

Red light therapy is used for just about all of these conditions. The same devices discussed above are used for these skin conditions. Blue light therapy is now being used to treat certain types of skin cancers and it is remarkable. A solution is put onto the skin and then blue light is applied to the cancerous areas. The light penetrates through to the skin, killing the cancerous matter.

As discussed before, depending on the severity and exact circumstance of the condition, the treatment’s length and intensity levels differ. These treatments, aside from skin cancer, can be done at home or at a doctor’s office.

Light Therapy & Pain:

Red light therapy is commonly used by athletes for pain management. Red light can treat aches and pains, reduce muscle and joint pain, help manage chronic pain, speed up the healing process for a wide array of injuries, and much more. Red light therapy beds, as discussed above, are commonly used for all of these conditions. Body wraps that use red infrared light are used as well and are much easier to fit to your lifestyle.

Starting A Treatment Plan…

As with all major lifestyle changes regarding your health, it is always important to first consult with a doctor who knows your history. The next step is to choose whether to do the treatments at home or in a doctor’s office. If possible, at-home treatments are usually the best route. Not only are they far less expensive, it is also easier to manage your time around the treatments if you only have to worry about your own schedule. It’s important to choose the right light therapy device. If it doesn’t fit your needs or schedule, you will never use it!

And lastly, but most importantly, keep an open mind. Light therapy is a natural form of therapy. If your mind is open and you stick to a schedule, light therapy can seriously be life changing. The treatment will not heal you over night, but if you are dedicated, you can witness wonders.

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.

Understanding and Appreciating Vitamin D

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

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

It All Starts with Sunlight…

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

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

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

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

Understanding Vitamin D…

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

Why Is It So Important?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Could You Be Vitamin D Deficient?

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

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

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

(HealingTherapies.Info)

But How Does Vitamin D Work?

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

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

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

Manages calcium in your blood, bones and gut;

Helps cells all over your body to communicate properly.”

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

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

What Everyone Needs To Know About Light Therapy

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

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

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

It Can Treat Seasonal Affective Disorder and Depression:

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

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

It Can Treat Other Mental Disorders Such As Bipolar Disorder:

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

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

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

It Can Treat Insomnia:

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

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

It Can Cure Psoriasis and Other Skin Conditions:

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

It Can Cure Chronic Pain:

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

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

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

It Can Treat Hair Loss:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Top 6 Forms of Light Therapy for SAD

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

Understanding Seasonal Affective Disorder…

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

What Are The Symptoms?

Symptoms for winter and fall seasonal affective disorder may include…

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

Symptoms for spring and summer seasonal affective disorder may include…

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

(Symptoms lists from MayoClinic.org)

Why Seasonal Affective Disorder Is So Common…

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

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

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

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

Light Therapy and Seasonal Affective Disorder…

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

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

Top 6 Forms of Light Therapy for SAD…

1. Dawn Simulators

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

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

2. Light Boxes

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

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

3. Natural Spectrum Light Bulbs

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

4. Bluewave Technology

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

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

5. Bright Light Sun Visors

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

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

6. Light on a Timer

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

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

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Why You Need A Himalayan Salt Lamp!

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

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

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

10. Cleanse and Deodorize the Air

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

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

9. Reduce Allergy and Asthma Symptoms

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

8. Ease Coughing

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

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

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

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

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

7. Boost Energy Levels

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

6. Neutralize Electromagnetic Radiation

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

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

5. Promote better sleep

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

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

4. Improve Mood and Concentration Levels

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

3. Treat Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

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

2. Reduce Static Electricity in the Air

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

1. Environmentally Friendly Light Source – Save The Planet!

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

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Prepping For Fall And Winter With Light Therapy

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

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

What Is Seasonal Affective Disorder?

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

What Are The Symptoms?

Symptoms for winter and fall seasonal affective disorder may include…

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

Symptoms for spring and summer seasonal affective disorder may include…

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

(Symptoms lists from MayoClinic.org)

Why Does Seasonal Affective Disorder Occur?

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

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

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

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

What Is Light Therapy?

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

Light Therapy & Seasonal Affective Disorder…

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

The Options…

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

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

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

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

Light Therapy Linked to Dementia and Sleeping Habits

What Is Dementia?

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

The Symptoms…

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

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

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

The Cause…

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

Progressive Dementias:

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

Disorders Linked To Dementia:

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

Dementia Conditions That Are Reversible:

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

Light Therapy & Dementia!

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

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

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

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

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

Why Is It So Important?

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

Light Therapy, Chronic Pain, & Mice

What Is Chronic Pain?

Chronic pain is classified as persistent pain that can last for weeks to years. It’s usually self diagnosable and there is no known cure quite yet, although there are forms of treatment that can help. There are more than 3 million U.S. cases each year, making this a common condition.

Chronic pain is more than physical. It’s also mental and it can quickly take over your life. Constant physical pain can decrease energy and mood levels, leaving victims feeling low and even depressed. The most common form of treatment for chronic pain is medication. Acupuncture, surgery, electrical stimulation, and cognitive behavioral therapy are also forms of treatment. But with medication being the most common treatment for chronic pain, it’s obvious that another option needs to be found. Medicine is not a permanent fix and while it can help you mentally because you are feeling less pain, it’s also harmful in the sense that it is addictive. Solving one mental issue by adding another, addiction, is not a proactive form of treatment. This is why we are going to discuss light therapy.

The Symptoms…

The symptoms for chronic pain do not take rocket science to understand. Acute pain is a painful sensation that typically lets us know of an injury, or a bigger problem. Chronic pain, however, lasts for far too long. If the pain in the patient’s body lasts for more than 12 weeks, it is classified as chronic pain. The primary symptom of chronic pain is constant and persistent pain.

According to WebMD, a credible website dedicated to all things medical, chronic pain has other symptoms, aside from just pain. These symptoms are thought to arise due to the link between the mental state and the physical state during chronic pain. WebMD writes:

The symptoms of chronic pain include:

  • Mild to severe pain that does not go away
  • Pain that may be described as shooting, burning, aching, or electrical
  • Feeling of discomfort, soreness, tightness, or stiffness

Pain is not a symptom that exists alone. Other problems associated with pain can include:

  • Fatigue
  • Sleeplessness
  • Withdrawal from activity and increased need to rest
  • Weakened immune system
  • Changes in mood including hopelessness, fear, depression, irritability, anxiety, and stress
  • Disability

(WebMD.com)

Common pain areas are in the back, joints, mouth, face, muscles, bones, and neck. The sensory perception of this pain can be classified as pins and needles as well as sensitivity to pain. There are many different types of pain and these can be caused by psychological factors. Each patient has a unique form of chronic pain.

The Cause…

It is common for chronic pain to arise due to an injury. For example a back sprain or a car accident. It can also come from illness. And for others, there is no clear cut cause. This might be the most difficult “cause” to deal with.

No matter what caused the chronic pain to arise, it remains a part of the patient’s body due to either inflammation or dysfunctional nerves. The goal of treatment for chronic pain is to reduce the pain and improve functions so that the patient can live a normal life again.

Covering up the pain with medications (opiates) or using more holistic forms of treatment and not seeing results can ultimately make the situation worse. This is why we are promoting light therapy. This is why everyone should be pushing for light therapy!

Light Therapy & Chronic Pain

Red light therapy has been used to treat pain for awhile now. It can relieve sore muscles, heal wounds, relieve joint pain, and so much more. Infrared red light therapy is changing people’s lives every day. And while most red light therapy products are being advertised for treating chronic pain, the research needs to continue. While hand held devices from Amazon may work for some people, each chronic pain case is different. Some are far more intense than others. This is why light therapy is constantly being experimented with in regards to pain. If a cure for chronic pain is on the horizon, we cannot stop searching.

This is why researchers at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital of McGill University are taking their experiments so seriously. These researchers have been able to see pain relief in mice using optogenics, a new, extremely specific, non-invasive form of light therapy. During optogenics, a substance is injected into mice that induce them into a certain condition. For this experiment, they were subjected to chronic pain. The goal of optogenics is to treat the mice of this condition.

Tech Times has an April 2016 article about this light therapy experiment. The author, Catherine Cabral-Isabedra, explains:

“Once neurons were subjected to yellow light, the pain response to light and heat was inhibited. The researchers said that pain relief was seen to last for more than 24 hours in mice with 1 hour of inhibition.

Once neurons were subjected to yellow light, the pain response to light and heat was inhibited. The researchers said that pain relief was seen to last for more than 24 hours in mice with 1 hour of inhibition.

Senior author and professor of neurology and neurosurgery at McGill University Philippe Seguela explained that the opsins, which respond to light, can only be expressed if Cre recombinase is present.

“When we transfer these to neurons, we can control their responses simply by illuminating the skin with innocuous yellow light,” said Seguela.

“Opsins can be packaged in viruses and viral expression can be genetically restricted to specific neuronal populations allowing a higher cellular selectivity,” says Seguela. “This will allow chronic pain patients to benefit from a non-invasive and highly precise analgesic method to modulate their pain.”

The study aims to understand the physiology of chronic pain and provide groundwork for alternative pain management.”

(techtimes.com)

Why This Is So Important…

Given that medications, mainly opiates, are the main form of treatment for chronic pain, this recent discovery is groundbreaking. President Barack Obama has recently proposed new rules to manage the growing opioid use in our country. In United States alone, more than 2 million people are dependent upon painkillers. When painkillers are prescribed for chronic pain, the individuals suffering from pain develop a tolerance to the drug. Eventually they take more, and unfortunately for some, they take far too much and end up overdosing. Pain killers kill more than 40 people each day in the U.S. If chronic pain can be one less condition that is prescribed pain killers, we might be able to see an end in sight for this pain killer cemetery.

Optogenics offers great hope as an alternative to traditional painkilling medications. Because of it’s high temporal and spatial control on neuron activity, light therapy might actually win this battle.

Are You Sold?

Tendilite World’s Top Red LED Light Therapy Joint Pain Relief
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Optogenics light therapy is currently not being used on humans, but that doesn’t mean you can’t join the game. Red light therapy is being proven effective for treating a wide array of conditions, including pain. For some individuals, red light therapy has been successful in treating chronic pain, depending on what has caused the condition.

The Tendilite Joint Pain Home Therapy treatment package is FDA cleared, drug free and harm free. It is also highly reviewed and a fair price for the results it offers. The treatment sessions are fast and pain free. Patients simply hold, or have someone else hold, a small red light therapy device up to where the pain is for up to one minute at a time. The light should be shined directly at the joint or disc that is causing pain.

This Tendilite device can reduce pain, promote muscle relaxation, increase blood circulation, reduce swelling and stiffness and activate necessary collagen that is used to rebuild connective tissue.

This device is a small step towards big results. While it may not be what was used in the experiments in Montreal, it is still highly effective for lower grade pain. Give it a shot! And keep your eyes peeled for new light therapy research!

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