Posted on 10-11-2012
A great new study from the September 2012 publication of the Scandinavian Physiological Society shows that light therapy is beneficial to everyone, not just individuals who suffer from seasonal depression, otherwise known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD). When bright light therapy is administered through the ear canal directly to the photosensitive brain tissue, it improved cognitive performance and mood in all subjects. Students who received a daily, 12 minute bright light treatment through the ear canal for 3 weeks improved their reaction time by 25-30%. When channeled directly to the brain, bright light significantly increases activity in the neural networks, especially in regions of the brain linked to visual perception.
This is a great new look at an ancient therapy that has traditionally been used in the lights. When light hits your eyes you ramp up a part of your brain known as the reticular activating system which controls your wake up and has a heavy influence on brain chemicals that affect your mood! I traditionally have to fight off the blues in the winter and have used broad spectrum UV bulbs to accomplish this. For those of you looking we carry the very best in our office for under $20!
Anyway, it will be interesting this season to add the light exposure to my ear canal and see just how big a difference or how much it adds to my regular routine. Keep in mind taking Vitamin D3 (generally at 5000 iu/day for most but not all people) also aids in feeling good during the stormy months. Beats the heck out of taking a medication!
Have a blessed day!
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