Light therapy is a treatment mainly used to treat SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) and depression. But it is now recommended for a number of other complaints including chronic pain and chronic fatigue.
Exposure to the light is thought to alter your Circadian Rhythms and suppress your body’s natural release of melatonin which is a hormone that helps regulate sleep. Based on NASA ‘research on healing’ using LED lights, it is safe, effective, affordable, soothing, relieves stiffness, chronic pain and is a safe alternative to drugs.
The light can help to increase circulation which helps to alleviate joint stiffness as well as reduce some of the swellings that may be causing your pain. It uses specific wavelengths of light or even daylight, to help relieve pain. Other benefits include experiencing pleasant warm and tingling sensations, a stimulation of collagen production and an increase in energy.
Beurer TL40 Daylight Lamp SAD Light from £43.99 is
- Compact daylight lamp
- Combats Seasonally Affected Disorder (SAD)
- Handy desk top size, also suitable for wall hanging and Intensity of light approx. 10.000 Lux (at a distance of 15 – 20 cm)
- Certified medical product
- No UV rays or flicker
The Lumie Brightspark – SAD Lightbox for SAD Light Therapy at your desk is ideal for work especially if the light is not daylight and you don’t get outside much. It’s £115 and
- Lumie Brightspark lightbox to lift your mood, boost concentration and restore your natural energy
- Proven to treat the symptoms of SAD (seasonal affective disorder) and winter blues
- Slimline design to use at your desk or in the office – typically 45-90 minutes treatment
- Certified Medical Device (class 2a), producing 10,000 lux at 20cm, independently measured
- Manufactured by Lumie, Europe’s leading light therapy specialist, 3-year warranty
Infrared Light Therapy for pain is being called ‘The best-kept secret for pain relief’. Natural and safe, infra-red therapy is recommended for the relief of muscular pain, sore muscles, arthritis, bursitis, backache, tennis elbow, joint pain and related pains.
All you do is aim the light to the painful area, then the deep penetrating infra-red energy will be felt as gentle warmth in the treated area. Taut muscles will then loosen up to give much-needed relief.
Its 200w infra-red warmth is very comfortable and penetrates deep into the skin, improving blood circulation, and this begins the healing process as pain is relieved.
Philips makes a 150w infra-red light for £39.00, which states: ‘
- Deep penetrating infrared light warms the muscles, stimulating blood circulation to effectively relieve aches and pains
Another plus point, of course, is that there are no side-effects, but just like anything else you might try, speak with your GP before buying one of these units.
Top Ten tips from the Huffington Post on how to use light therapy are
1. Make sure your lightbox is 10,000 lux.
2. Your lightbox should provide the full spectrum of bright white light but block ultraviolet rays.
3. Position the box at eye level or higher.
4. Place the light box about 2 feet away from your eyes.
5. Keep the lightbox at an angle to the left or right — at about 2 o’clock or 10 o’clock.
6. Use the light box in the morning for 20 to 60 minutes, depending on your individual needs.
7. Consistency is important — use the lightbox daily from early fall to winter.
8. Do not use light therapy if you’re taking medications that are photosensitive.
9. Monitor your mood to see if it’s working.
10. Combine light therapy with other effective approaches for seasonal depression-like cognitive behavioural therapy.