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Light Therapy

Saturday, 08 January 2011 19:24

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What is Light Therapy? (also known as phototherapy or classically heliotherapy)

Light therapy is the therapeutic application of light devices to treat illnesses. Light (or lack of it) can affect our moods, body weight, skin and even biochemical processes in the body (e.g the manufacture of vitamin D as well as hormone production). Different spectrums of light are commonly used to treat bilirubin in new born babies, psoriasis and depression.

Light therapy concerns full spectrum light which is designed to mimic both the visible and ultraviolet (UV) light radiated by the sun. It is, in effect, artificially generated sunlight.

The benefits of natural sunlight

Your body uses sunlight in a number of ways. Sunlight helps you to fight colds, tiredness and depression. Lack of sunlight causes an increase in the production of melatonin (the hormone which makes us feel sleepy) and a decrease in serotonin (the hormone which makes us feel happy).

Sunlight also produces and enables your body to absorb certain vitamins and minerals. Calcium builds strong , healthy teeth and bones, but your body can't absorb calcium with vitamin D (which is produced by exposing your skin to sunlight). All your body needs to manufacture sufficient quantites of vitamin D is ten minutes exposure to the sun.

A lack of sunlight has also been linked to obesity, hyperactivity and even cancer.

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