How Does Light Therapy Impact Mental Health?
Research points towards light therapy as becoming a more prominent treatment for mental health disorders. These disorders may include seasonal depression, suicidal ideation, and potentially traumatic brain injuries.
Now you might be wondering, “How can light waves have such an impact on our emotions and overall mental health?” The magic behind light’s effect on the brain lies within its effect on mitochondria and blood flow through the vessels of the brain.
How Does This Benefit Overall Health?
We know that many individual’s mental health is heavily affected by the sun or lack thereof. SAD (seasonal affective disorder) is a mood disorder that is not only present in humans but animals as well. Mammals thrive on the presence of sunlight and can be impacted negatively when the sunlight is gone for prolonged periods of time.
The waves produced by PBM hold similar properties to that of natural sunlight. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that light therapy has shown incredible results in individuals who suffer from depressive disorders such as SAD, as well as clinical depression, suicidal ideation, and even PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).
What Science Is Telling Us
“In this study, we have demonstrated a modest improvement of SAD depression symptoms after a single light session”
“More importantly, any immediate mood improvement can help alleviate hopelessness in patients dealing with depression.” Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5336550/
Suggested Usage for Mental Health Improvement
How Often Should I Use Light Therapy?
3-7 times per week is sufficient unless otherwise directed by your primary healthcare provider.
How Long Should I Use it?
4-7 minutes at 6 inches away from the light
6-10 minutes at 1 foot away from the light
8-12 minutes at 1.5 feet away from the light
It’s recommended not to exceed a total of 15 minutes of light therapy per day.