Understanding Light Therapy

Do you enjoy basking in the heat of the sun? If so, you may not be surprised to learn light therapy is a popular way to combat many health concerns. There are several variations of light therapy available-each of which targets specific health conditions.

Cure the Seasonal Blues
If you find yourself affected by Seasonal Affected Disorder (SAD), you probably crave sunshine in the dark and dreary months of winter. While you'd love to spend those frosty winter months in Mexico, that probably isn't a reasonable way for you to handle the winter blues. Many people are turning to light therapy as a way to combat the depression and lack of motivation that can accompany seasons of gloomy weather.

Light therapy lamps (often nicknamed "happy lamps") deliver large doses of light, mimicking natural sunlight. You'll want to look for a lamp that delivers blue light, because the blue light waves are more targeted to relieving symptoms of depression. You'll also want to choose a lamp that emits few UV rays, since these can be harmful to your health.

Relieve Chronic Pain
If you find yourself dealing with chronic pain related to arthritis and muscle stiffness, light therapy may help relieve some tension. Light relief therapy uses infrared light to activate a response in the hemoglobin in your blood. Infrared light therapy triggers the release of nitric oxide, which reacts in such a way that your blood is able to deliver more oxygen and improve circulation. The damaged joints and tissues heal, resulting in less swelling, stiffness and pain.

Clear Up Your Skin
You may know that sunlight can help cure acne, but did you know that the application of blue and red light can also clear up acne-prone skin?  Blue and red light therapy are used in dermatologist's offices throughout the Western world. It is believed to kill the bacteria in the skin responsible for causing acne.

Light therapy does more than just make you feel cheery. Try a home light therapy box and see if it doesn't make you feel better!

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There's no reason too small to consider working with a therapist, but be sure to do some research to find a good therapist who's trained in the type of therapy best suited for your issues and remember that you're in control: if you don't benefit from your intial session, stop and choose another therapist.

If you are worried about choosing the right mental health therapist, take the time to find someone who is right for you.

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