The Benefits of Light Therapy
Although the Yakima Valley enjoys bright, sun-filled spring and summer months, the fall and winter seasons can be the complete opposite. Precipitation may be slight, but the monochromatic grey skies are ever present. This lack of natural light can take its toll on our energy levels and, ultimately, our mood during these long, dull seasons.
It is easy to dismiss light therapy as a real solution to address such a problem. Yet, clinical studies suggest that this form of therapy does, in fact, help improve symptoms associated with what has become known as Seasonal Affective Disorder. Sufferers of other mood disorders, especially depression, have also shown extensive progress in their symptoms when light therapy was paired with their medication regimens.
The light therapy box is a device that emits intense levels of fluorescent light from a set of bulbs enclosed behind a diffusing screen. It is recommended that the use of the light be early in the morning or later in the evening at intervals of 30 minutes, however, the duration may be patient specific. Most users notice a marked improvement in their symptoms within a week or two of using the device consistently.
There are a few things that the user to do to maximize the likely of achieving a positive outcome from light therapy. First, ensure that your light box is using a bulb that emits 10,000 lux. This enables a proper concentration of light for therapeutic purposes. It is also important to position your light box at an angle and at either eye level or above your head (if possible). Be sure that you sit at least 2 feet away from the device.
If you are taking medications that make you photosensitive or you have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, it is important to discuss the use of light therapy devices with your general practitioner. There is a possibility that a light box may induce a manic episode if you are bipolar, while those who are photosensitive may experience discomforts of varying degrees and manifestations. Should you have an eye condition, such as glaucoma, it is important to consult an eye doctor before receiving light therapy.
Light boxes are readily available from a wide variety of retailers.