What is light therapy?
Bright light therapy involves daily, scheduled exposure to intense doses of white light in order to regulate seasonal mood swings, improve sleeping patterns, and produce a general sense of well-being. According to medical researchers, bright light therapy systems with fluorescent light tubes is the preferred device for bright light therapy, with a recommended starting dose of 10,000 LUX for 30 minutes per day. (LUX is the unit of measuring the illumination intensity of light.)
If you experience sleepless nights, fatigue or depression during the autumn and winter months, regular use of this lamp (15-30 mins start off per day is recommended time may vary depending on each individuals needs) can help ease these symptoms.
However, this is based on the assumption that the condition is caused by a lack of light and the effect that this has on the hormones that are released in your brain.
Is light therapy effective?
Many people see an improvement in symptoms within 3-4 days of starting therapy & is kept up as long as the individual keeps up on the treatment on a day to day basis. In certain cases it may take 4-6 weeks to notice a improvement, it does not work in every case but light therapy is believed to help 8-10 people who have S.A.D. You may also benefit from using a light if you are a shift worker, or frequent flyer.
Color therapy is based on the idea that colors create electrical impulses in our brains that stimulate hormonal and biochemical processes in our body; these processes either calm or stimulate us. Each of the colours in the spectrum is associated with specific healing properties. Thus, by using different colours, one can trigger changes towards better health and overall wellbeing. It is a known fact that the human body needs light for certain metabolic functions such as absorption of certain vitamins.
Red – ENERGY
– called “The Great Energizer.” It loosens, releases stiffness and constrictions. It is excellent for areas that have become stiffened. Red is the first visible colour we see after the infrared band is passed. It promotes cellular growth, stimulating the “will” aspect, or the circulatory system. Red links with and stimulates the base of the spine, causing the adrenal glands to release adrenalin. This results in greater strength. Red causes haemoglobin to multiply, thus increasing energy raising body temperature conditions as it stimulates sensory nerves such as hearing, taste, smell, and activates metabolism.
Good for – all colds, sluggish or dormant conditions, such as pneumonia; arthritis; anaemia or blood related conditions; as a liver stimulant; an energy builder and for increasing circulation.
Blue – CALMING
– can be used for any type of ailments associated with speech, communication, or the throat. Blue has a pacifying effect on the nervous system encouraging great relaxation. It is ideal for sleep problems. Blue light connects us to holistic thought, and gives us wisdom and clarity enhancing communication and speech. Relaxing, soothing blue rays bring great calm and peace to the mind that is worried, excited, or in a constant nervous state. It is a very positive colour, indicating loyalty and reliability, as expressed in the sentiment of being “true blue.”
Good for – inflammations; fever; high blood pressure; bleeding; headaches; anger; aggression; hysteria; soothing nerves
Green – BALANCE
– is the universal healing colour. Green is midway in the colour spectrum; therefore, it contains both a physical nature and a spiritual nature, in equal balance and in equal harmony. Help relax muscles, nerves, and thoughts. The colour green cleanses and balances our energy, to give a feeling of renewal, peace and harmony. In a more practical sense, green affects blood pressure and all conditions of the heart. It has an energizing effect, moderating or soothing effect.
Good for – stress reduction; heart conditions; decreasing and stabilizing blood pressure; ulcers; cancer; headaches; blackheads; pimples; acne; nervous disorders and influenza, and acts as a general tonic.
Purple (Blue & Red combo) – STRENGTHENING
– is the last colour we can see before light passes on to ultra-violet. It purifies our thoughts and feelings giving us inspiration in all undertakings. The energy connects us to our spiritual self-bringing guidance, wisdom and inner strength, and enhances artistic talent and creativity.
Good for – neurosis, diseases of the scalp, sciatica, tumours, rheumatism, cerebral spinal meningitis, concussion, cramps and arthritis.
Turquoise (Green & Blue combo) – INTUITION
-increases intuition and sensitivity. It helps to calm the mind and is cooling to the nervous system, assisting immunity and is one of the colours for throat chakra. Tones the general system. It builds the skin and relaxes sensation of stress.
NB. This is general advice and not to be taken as medical advice for any conditions.
Consult your doctor before using if you:
- Suffer or suffered with severe depression
- Hypersensitive to light (eg; diabetics and epileptics)
- Suffer eye complaints (ie cataracts or glaucoma)
- On specific medication (ie; certain antidepressants, psychotropic drugs or malaria tablets)
- Have high blood pressure
Avoid use of light therapy if you have the following:
- Retinal disease;
- Macular degeneration;
- Medication that can increase your sensitivity to light.
Possible side effects may include;
- Mild agitation or irritability;
- Sleeping problems (avoid using light therapy during the late evening)