AustinPUG Health

AustinPUG Health

Light therapy, as the name implies, is a method of treating SAD affected individuals with the help of artificial light. SAD is a kind of depression that is seasonal in nature and affects individuals during fall and winter months of a year. When undergoing light therapy, you are made to sit near a box that gives off bright light similar to natural sunlight. This therapy is based upon the premise that bright light alters the mood of the individual by correcting the imbalance of certain chemicals inside the brain. This therapy using artificial light may also ease symptoms of other medical conditions such as sleep disorders and other types of depression. This therapy is known by other names also such as Phototherapy, Bright Light Therapy or SAD light therapy.
SAD light therapy SAD Light Therapy: Treating Seasonal Disorder Lightly
Making Preparations

Light therapy is no rocket science so you can try it on your own also. However, it is always better to consult a doctor or psychiatrist as to how to go about it. This ensures you take precautions if they are necessary in your case. Under the guidance of a medical practitioner, you can derive maximum benefits of the light therapy. In the market, there are all sorts of light boxes being sold by drug stores and hardware retailers. You can also buy a light box suggested by your doctor. Once you have talked to your doctor about the equipment and bought it from the market, learn how to use it after studying its features. Just make sure you buy a good quality light therapy box so as to enjoy its benefits for a long time to come.

Starting with Therapy

Most people who are affected by seasonal affective disorder start to take light therapy with the beginning of fall. This is when the weather becomes cloudy and dark in many parts of the country. They continue to get exposure till the arrival of spring when the outside light is sufficient to maintain a good mood and to have high energy levels. If you are an individual who starts to feel depressed during winter months and fall, you must have noticed the symptoms of your depression during long stretches of dark and cloudy weather conditions. Reveal your symptoms and your doctor will tell you how to take light therapy from the light box to find relief from them. If you are depressed otherwise also, your doctor can suggest other ways to use light therapy in your condition.

Through the Therapy

As expected, you will be made to sit or work near the light box during the light therapy sessions. To produce best results, the light from the device must enter your eyes in an indirect manner. You cannot expect desirable results if it is only your skin that is exposed to the light of this light therapy box. However, make sure not to look at the source of the light inside the box as this bright light has the potential to cause damage to your eyes. Always follow the directions given by the manufacturers and also the instructions given by your doctor to derive maximum benefit from this light box.

3 Factors to Keep in Mind

There are three factors that are crucial when using light therapy to treat seasonal affective disorder. These are the duration, the intensity of light, and the timing of the session.

Duration pertains to the time period for which a session of therapy lasts. In the beginning, your doctor will suggest you to expose yourself to bright light for short time intervals such as 10-15 minutes. With passage of time, you can increase this duration to 30 minutes or even more. Depending upon the intensity of light of the light box, victims of SAD are recommended to take therapy for as long as 3 hours daily.

Timing pertains to the time of the day when one should take light therapy. Majority of people prefer to take this therapy early morning as they feel it is most effective soon after getting up. It is better to follow the recommendations of your doctor in this regard.

The intensity of the light box is the power of the light rays thrown out by the box. This intensity is measured in lux. Most light boxes available in the market produce intensity in the range of 2500-10000 lux. Obviously you would require a much shorter session with a high intensity light box than with a low intensity light box.

To obtain best results from light therapy, you need to be consistent and patient. You can place the light box near the table where you sit or work at home or in the office. You can indulge in a lot of activities while taking therapy from this light box. Just make sure that you take the therapy at the right time and for the correct duration every day. There are also available light boxes with visors but their authenticity cannot be verified.

Remember, light therapy will not treat your SAD, it will only alleviate the symptoms to make it easier for you to cope with this disorder

Image Source:


Leave a Reply