Around 7% of Americans have experienced depression, one in ten live with chronic pain, 38 million experience migraines, and 85 million are diagnosed with a skin disease. What do all these conditions have in common? It is thought that they can be treated using green light therapy. The simple act of placing green light near the skin may seem like alternative medicine nonsense, since it causes no pain and has no side effects like traditional treatment. However, an increasing number of scientific studies are backing claims made that green light therapy really works.
Benefits for the Skin
This is one area where the science is indisputable. Lasers have been used by dermatologists to treat skin conditions for years, with incredible rates of success. One trial conducted by the International Center for Cosmetic Medicine found that, after 12 weeks, 91% of patients receiving light therapy treatment reported improved skin tone and 82% experienced increased smoothness. It is now being recommended that green lights are used in homes and offices to maintain permanently healthy looking skin.
Potential Treatment for Migraines and Other Pain
Migraines are notoriously difficult to treat, with patients reporting that they struggle to identify their triggers or to find any way to reduce the pain once an attack begins. They simply have to wait until it ends hours later, with even the strongest pain killers failing to have an effect. A study from the University of Arizona found that the use of green LED lighting could reduce pain by 40-50%. This has been replicated in other studies looking to treat chronic pain, with rats bathed in green light less sensitive to painful stimuli than those who weren’t. The same studies show no side effects, including no reduction in motor or visual performance.
Mental Health Treatments
Green light therapy may also be useful beyond the realm of physical pain and cosmetic improvements. There is a growing body of peer reviewed research suggesting that it may help with mental health conditions including depression, seasonal affective disorder and sleep disorders. One of the major causes of sleep deprivation in the modern world is the blue light emitted from electronics screens, such as those on smartphones and laptops. This light stimulates the brain and inhibits the production of melatonin. A research team at the University of Oxford found that rats exposed to green light fell asleep in 1-3 minutes, while those exposed to blue light took 16-19 minutes.
Depression and seasonal affective disorders are more complicated and require a holistic approach, from antidepressant prescriptions to improved relationships, diet and exercise. However, by exposing patients to green light for two hours a day for a week, researchers from Jefferson Medical College were able to reduce their symptoms of depression significantly.
Green light therapy research is quite recent, but the results are promising. Tests on both rats and humans have shown significant reduction in skin conditions, chronic pain, while reducing depression and improving sleep. Green light therapy may not offer an instant or dramatic improvement, but the lack of negative side effects means that it’s definitely worth a try.
Guest Post by Writing Jackie