How Does Light Therapy Work

If you suffer from depression or insomnia and you’re interested in holistic, medication-free treatments, you may have heard about light therapy. While somewhat controversial because of the therapy’s exposure to UV radiation, light therapy is widely used to alter your hormones. In turn, mood can be altered and the therapy can also alleviate symptoms of common ailments and diseases.

Phototherapy is administered by using fluorescent lights that are contained in a box. The box can be kept on a surface near where the person works or spends most of their day. Light is aimed at the person’s eyes. However, the box shouldn’t be stared at – otherwise, eye damage could occur. Ideally, the light should shine down from above and it should provide a broad field of light.

The lights mimic natural sunlight. Typically, light therapy works on at least 2,500 lux and sometimes the intensity is higher. This is equal to the sunlight’s intensity on a day that’s a bit overcast, which is the minimum amount of light required to successfully help people.

It’s best to use light therapy in the morning, when you would normally be exposed to natural light. Sessions start at 15 minutes and can last up to two hours – the session time will vary based on how intense the light is. Beginners tend to start with just a few minutes of exposure and work their way up to more time. Click to learn more about phototherapy.

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