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What is light therapy ?


Researchers have proven that when bright light enters our eyes it causes chemical reactions to occur which control our daily rhythms and moods. In winter the reduction in light has an adverse affect on both the body and mind.

Light therapy is used by tens of thousands of people in Scandinavia, Northern Europe and North America to successfully overcome the effects of the winter blues and to re-establish the body's natural rhythm during the winter months.

The form of light therapy most commonly used today is known as bright-light therapy.

Bright light therapy involves exposure to high-intensity light under specified conditions. The recommended light therapy system consists of a device known as a “light box” (basically a set of non-flicker fluorescent bulbs installed in a box with a plastic or glass diffusing screen). The light box is set up on a table or desk top at which one can sit comfortably for the treatment session. Treatment consists simply of sitting close to the light box, with the light on and your eyes open. You don’t have to look directly at the light and you can do anything you like (such as read, eat or work on a computer) so long as you stay within the recommended distance. Unfortunately regular lights cannot be used for light therapy, as they are not strong enough. A minimum of 10,000 lux is required for effective light therapy, and the product must have a diffuser to eliminate any UV Rays. An example of this is an average office is 500 lux, so a light therapy unit is 20 times brighter!

The majority of people will start to feel benefits within a week of starting light therapy treatment.

Below is a short film from Proffessor Raymond Lam of the University of British Columbia giving a lecture on SAD and the benefits of light Therapy

Part 1

Part 2

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