Light therapy is a standard procedure that treats various health concerns by exposing the skin to specific light wavelengths using polychromatic polarized light. Its effects are externally visible, unlike medication, which is ingested and works internally.
The patient sits or lays down under a device known as the ‘light therapy box’ while an authorized and certified medical professional operates it to ensure proper procedure is followed.
Light therapy became a popular treatment for seasonal affective disorder several decades ago. But it’s only in recent years that it has achieved the notoriety it enjoys today due to numerous studies showing its effectiveness and growing popularity among patients.
This popular alternative treatment has shown promise in helping with everything from depression to sleep disorders. In this article, we take a closer look and discuss its benefits. Read more to find out!
1. It May Help Treat Depression
For those living in a four-seasoned country, you’d know how the winter season can often be depressive and sad. The lack of exposure to sunlight and the cold will have your mood often leaning towards the negative. For those with a history of anxiety and depression, the lack of light exposure can often be a severe trigger.
So, if you suffer from the darkness of winter depression and you’re tired of relying on anti-depressants and other medications, then you’re a good candidate for light therapy. This treatment may help improve your symptoms of depression as it can increase your alertness when you would’ve otherwise just wanted to sulk and stay in bed.
2. It May Speed Up Wound Healing
Patients recovering from wound healing can also benefit from light therapy. Many patients who have tried it have experienced faster healing results and less inflammation. Other patients with injuries also use light therapy to help alleviate their pain.
This promising treatment can be better than the usual over-the-counter medicines as light therapy is more natural and doesn’t have the potential side effects of pain relievers.
Light therapy may be beneficial for many different types of wounds like cold sores, too. You may find more information here.
3. It May Improve Skin Condition
Some people who swear by the benefits of light therapy also use it even without any physical injury or wound since light exposure can also improve skin conditions and blemishes.
It rejuvenates and freshens up your skin by increasing collagen production, reducing the severity of wrinkles, increasing the circulation between blood and tissue cells, and reducing fine lines.
4. It May Help With Sleep Disorders
Sleep disorders are quite a regular occurrence since most people go through sleep disorders due to their biological makeup. They find it hard to sleep at night or perhaps even snore due to factors like stress.
Some common sleep disorders are:
• Delayed sleep-wake phase disorder (DSWPD). This is when a person sleeps two or more hours later than the typical bedtime, making them wake up later than usual too.
• Advanced sleep-wake phase disorder (ASWPD). This is the opposite of DSWPD, where one falls asleep and wakes up earlier than usual.
• Non-24-hour sleep-wake rhythm disorder (N24). This is when an individual’s body clock fails to follow the typical 24-hour day, so instead of sleeping at the same time every day, they tend to have different sleep times each day.
• Jet lag. This is a common but temporary sleep disorder that one suffers from after traveling across multiple time zones.
These sleep disorders are all caused by a disruption or abnormality in the sleeping patterns of your body clock. For many patients, the most common recourse is to reach out for sleeping pills.
However, the long-term side effects of sleeping pills aren’t a secret to many. Hence, natural alternatives like light therapy gain popularity.
When used consistently through your doctor’s recommendation, light therapy can help reset your body’s circadian rhythm. In effect, you’re going to experience noticeable differences in your sleeping patterns.
It’s common knowledge that exposure to sunlight is essential to keeping fit and healthy. Adequate light exposure during the day is needed to keep your health in check. When you step out of your home or office, sufficient light hits your skin in the form of ultraviolet rays. These UV rays are then converted into vitamin D by your body.
But what do you do if you don’t have enough access to sunlight? This is where light therapy comes in. When you lack light exposure, you need to supplement this through artificial light machines. So, if you feel you can benefit from this form of treatment, don’t hesitate to discuss the possibility with your doctor.