Have you ever thought of using light as therapy? It’s a therapy that pops up in alternative health news from time to time. The truth is that light has a very interesting effect on your body. Major physiological processes in your brain and body are switched on and off by the presence or absence of natural or artificial light. You probably don’t think much about this, but your body is responding to light and dark all the time. When you are exposed to light, a number of different things can happen. Here are eight potential health benefits light could hold for you:
1. Vitamin D is produced.
2. Melatonin (a hormone that affects mood) is inhibited.
3. Serotonin (a “feel good” brain chemical) is released.
4. Something called “norepinephrine” (a brain chemical that makes you more mentally alert) is stimulated.
5. Photoreceptors in your eyes convert sunlight into impulses that are sent to the brain.
6. Your endocrine system (a system of organs that release hormones in your body) is activated.
7. Your breathing, sleep, blood pressure, body temperature, appetite, mood, and immune system are affected.
8. The cerebral cortex in your brain (which controls learning, motivation, and creativity) uses light to function in a healthy way, as do your limbic system (the part of your brain that stores emotional impressions of the world), and your motor cortex (the part of your brain that coordinates movement).
That is a lot of different processes affected by the simple act of being in the presence of light! Now here’s one use of light as a natural therapy: for the treatment of psoriasis (follow this link for Chinese remedies that could heal this skin condition: http://www.doctorshealthpress.com/general-health-2/natural-remedies/six-top-chinese-remedies-for-this-skin-condition).
Researchers recently investigated whether narrowband ultraviolet B light therapy could heal patients with plaque-type psoriasis, leading to an improvement in the patients’ quality of life.
A total of 95 patients with psoriasis were recruited for the study. The research team found that administration of the light therapy to psoriasis patients significantly improved their quality of life and reduced the severity of their symptoms.
Interested in light therapy? There are many different ways that light may be used in therapy. Get your doctor’s advice about what type of light therapy is best for your particular condition.