Light therapy is an effective method of treating the seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and numerous other conditions by simply exposing your body to artificial light. More precisely, SAD is a form of depression that happens to affect us during a certain time each year, mostly in the fall or winter. (source: http://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/light-therapy/home/ovc-20197416)
During a session of light therapy, you can work or relax near a device that is called a light therapy box, which provides bright light that closely reproduces the natural outdoor light.
The pineal gland regulates the circadian rhythm of the body (the internal clock). This is affected by the presence or the absence of light is responsible for the control of specific functions such as hormone production, body temperature, and the sleep-wake cycle.
The circadian rhythm disruption leads to insomnia and other sleep disorders and depression.
The use of natural light and other light sources has proved that it can take effect in regulating the body’s natural rhythm.
The natural light contains a spectrum of wavelengths necessary for health. It triggers certain impulses for regulating the body functions. Artificial light, be it incandescent or fluorescent, lacks the spectrum balance that exists only in sunlight. Without specific wavelengths, the body cannot absorb some of the nutrients.
Inadequate exposure to sources of light may contribute to conditions such as fatigues, depression, stroke, hair loss, immune suppression, cancer, hyperactivity, osteoporosis and Alzheimer’s disease.
Bright Light Therapy
This therapy involves the use of white light at an intensity of 2000-5000 lux (a lux is the equivalent of the light produced by a candle). The bright light therapy proved to be effective in treating bulimia, delayed sleep phase syndrome (a disorder in which a person cannot sleep before midnight), and regulating menstruation.
Cold Laser Light Therapy
By using a beam of low-intensity light, the natural healing process of the cells is stimulated, helping to relieve the pain, mild trauma and the myofascial syndrome. This therapy has been used in dentistry, dermatology, and neurology.
Full Spectrum Light Therapy
Exposure to natural light and other forms of full spectrum light is effective in improving certain affections such as depression, hyperactivity, hypertension, insomnia, headaches and premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Over time, sunlight has been used to cure babies of jaundice. However, you should not expose your baby to sunlight to treat his condition; there are special lamps are found in hospitals.
Full spectrum light, as bright white light are useful in treating seasonal illnesses. The typical symptoms of these diseases, also called “melancholy winter” are depression, fatigue, overeating and low libido.
Photodynamic Light Therapy
This therapy uses drugs, which are called photosensitizing agents, in addition to light, in order to kill cancer cells. Depending on the body part that is being treated, the photosensitizing agent is either injected into the bloodstream or placed on the skin. After some time the drug is absorbed by the cancer cells. Then, light is applied to the treated area. The light determined the drug to react with the oxygen, forming a chemical that kills the cancer cells. The therapy may also function by destroying the blood vessels that feed the cancer cells and by alerting the immune system to counteract cancer.
Ultraviolet Light Therapy
It is used to treat diseases such as asthma and cancer, to balance cholesterol and premenstrual syndrome.
Light therapy is considered to be a safe procedure for many patients if it runs under the strict supervision of accredited experts. If you think that you want to resort to it, make sure you see your doctor first to check with him if this kind of treatment suits your health needs.