Light therapy has been popping into my mind quite a lot lately and perhaps it's a sign to look into it further and start incorporating it into my practice.
And we should all start incorporating light therapy into our lives. How, you may ask? very easily... go outside more often with direct exposure on as much of your body as possible! The signal your brain gets from the sun through tells your body what time of day it is, so when it is closer to the evening, your body understands it needs to wind down for the night time. Unfortunately, we spend most of our time indoors with artificial light which isn't nearly as strong as natural sun light. Not only is this brain signal important, sunlight aids vitamin D production, and contains red/infrared light waves to aid health.
I have had amazing personal experience with red/infrared light.
From the moment I had my ears pierced, they have been very sensitive - the earring holes, that is. It doesn't help that I got into a habit of playing with my ears due to a loose butterfly causing me to check my earring is still there about a thousand times a day. About 2 years ago, I took my earrings out and my right earlobe was red, hot and swollen. So, I tried my usual clean it with alcohol, apply antiseptic (at that time it was bactroban, but recently I've fallen in love with calendula healing ointment or BuchuLife first aid gel) and let it breathe for a few days. I knew that it would go away but that this mild dirt-related irritation would come back.
A few days later, I visited my friend and fellow naturopath who used his red/infrared light machine on my ear... After about 10 minutes we were done and my ears haven't been sore/red/inflamed ever since! AND I've worn those loose butterfly earrings regularly.
So whats all the hype about red/infrared light? and how does it work?
Red light is able to penetrate deeply through the skin to the tissues whereas other light wavelengths (ultraviolet, blue etc) cannot, and they are absorbed in the outer layer of skin. When red/infrared light is shone onto an affected part (think my swollen, inflamed earlobe), there is an improvement in the malfunctioning of the tissue and an added anti-inflammatory effect. The fact that it penetrates deep into the skin allows a long term systemic affect on the body and not just a localized one.
Red light will activate an enzyme inside your cells which will help improve mitochondrial respiration, oxygen consumption and ATP formation. Essentially it allows your cells to work at their optimal, therefore, repairing affected tissue. Because it goes to a cellular level, we are able to sustain the healing and repair that the red light causes. Depending on the problem or ailment, more than one light therapy session may be required, but that is up to your health care practitioner.
Doing this deeper research has definitely got me itching for a light therapy device - I think it will add so much value to my patients.
In the meantime, go spend some time outside - no suncream (DON'T get burnt!!), as little clothes as possible and soak up the sun!
If you want to increase your health and are looking for a personalized health assessment and plan, tailor made for you, come see me at my practice :) you can email me on email@example.com
Keep smiling! Yours in health, Dr Shavit
~ Love Health & Wellness ~