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Bright Light Therapy Article

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The Body's Acceptance of Bright Light Therapy


There have been more than 15 medical agencies who have been doing research on Bright Light Therapy, that show success with light therapy in patients, manifesting improvements in about a week or so. The use of this therapy has shown the medical fields that therapeutic levels of illumination have now recognized physiological effects on the human body.

Tests on the hormone, melatonin which is known to be exceptionally high at certain times of the day, are rapidly reduced by levels of light exposure. This has shown that exposure to Bright Light Therapy affects daily rhythms of body temperature, hormone secretion and sleep patterns. To sum it up, the treatment can help individuals who suffer from circadian rhythm sleep disorders. A normal circadian cycle refers to a cycle of approximately 24 hours, where it pattern the individuals sleeping and waking hours. a circadian rhythm sleep disorder causes this natural pattern to overlap into an individualís awake activities such as work or school. This body clock is located at the brain in a junction where the nerves travel to the eyes called the SCN. This clock controls the circadian rhythms of the body.

The use of light therapy for sleep disorders, balances the body's rhythms, sets the internal clock by its exposure to bright light, similar to sunlight. But a combination therapy that includes healthy sleep pattern and an internal clock that works at the right time is the best combination therapy that will totally treat this problem. The exposure to Bright Light Therapy is just a part of the whole treatment plan. Part of the treatment is seeking a doctor who specializes in sleep disorders. At this time, there are four basic groups of products for light therapy:

1. The Light Box
2. The Desk Lamp
3. The Light Visor
4. The Dawn Simulator

There have also been studies that show the antidepressant effects of light therapy. And among the disorders that the Bright Light Therapy serves as a good treatment is the depressive phase of bipolar. Women with bipolar disorder that were examined by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicineís Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, who received treatments in the morning or midday, with exposure of 15 minutes, 30 minutes and 45 minutes over a period of two weeks, showed six of them with significant improvement. Several of them recovered 100% from the symptoms of the depression. And the ones with the highest rate of success were those exposed in the midday light range.

The bright light therapy is just one of the many light therapy products now being used by modern medicine. Among others include the blue light therapy which is widely used as an acne treatment. It works by directly exposing the entire skin area affected by acne to either a continuous or intense pulsed light which has been shown to have anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory effects.