Light Therapy and Vitamin D – Excerpts from an article by Brian Cochran

by admin on July 2, 2015

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“Light therapy has a history that stretches back to the ancient Greco-Roman times, so it may seem ironic to dub it the next big thing in spa treatments. But the numbers don’t lie; light therapy is already very popular in Europe.  Japan, too, has caught the light therapy bug.

Why are spa owners choosing to install these machines rather than another wet room, massage table, or aromatherapy station? It helps to know the many benefits of light treatment. In part, the answer is our natural human connection to sunlight, which produces essential vitamin D in our bodies. In studies, vitamin D has been shown to be beneficial in cases of osteoporosis, arthritis, and some dental conditions. It also helps absorption of nutrients like calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium in our bodies. Beyond the benefits of vitamin D, sunlight also regulates the production of melatonin, a substance produced by the pineal gland in our brains that regulates our sleep cycle.

Lack of sunlight can have detrimental effects on our energy levels, moods, and sleep cycle. Depression, lethargy, and even aggravated medical conditions, like asthma and, again, osteoporosis, can result. In a culture that spends the majority of its time indoors, lack of sunlight may not only be unwelcome, it can also be unhealthy.

In 1980, Dr. Alfred Lewy and Dr. Thomas Wehr identified a syndrome called Seasonal Affected Disorder, or SAD, associated with the lack of sunlight in winter climates. They learned that shining bright light on patients who suffered from SAD helped to counteract the syndrome. Spa light therapy is based in part on their research, and a treatment of only about 20 minutes a week can make a huge difference in a person affected with SAD, according to light therapy proponents.

But light therapy machines are not limited to bright light for their therapeutic treatments. 

Light therapy proponents believe that our bodies are sensitive to different colors of light and that we take what we need from them. In brief, specific colors provide certain benefits as follows:

Red: Creates energy and strength, heightens sexuality, rejuvenates, adds vitality, stimulates blood circulation

Orange: Stimulates the lymphatic system, releases blocked energies within organs

Yellow: Stimulates, cleanses circulatory system and skin, improves concentration

Green: Heals, balances, purifies

Blue: Relaxes and reduces stress, calms

Violet: Calms metabolic system, controls appetite, and calms nerves

Full spectrum light is meant to mimic real sunlight with a pure, bright, white light. Though the light has all the benefits of sunlight, it contains no harmful UV rays that might harm the skin. This is the treatment most useful to those who suffer from SAD.”

 

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