By Lee Dobbins
Weakness and disease are inescapable facts of life. You could fall prey to a pathogenic bacterium that could eat away your skin. You could catch a deadly virus that could lodge in and weaken your lungs. You could be sick because of sunlight, or you could be sick because of depression related to the weather.
Sickness is inevitable, but suffering is optional. There are many therapies available to cure sickness, or to alleviate the pain of its symptoms. You can take medicines or be injected with them. These medicines are engineered in the laboratory to destroy infectious agents by either breaking open their cell walls, or targeting pathogenesis-related genes in their genetic material.
You can also be given vaccines to protect you from future infections. Vaccines are actually a mild version of the pathogen, and mimic the presence of the pathogen in your body. It is this mimicry that, in turn, triggers a mild immune response, which leads to your body producing cells that will keep you from succumbing to infections when you grow older.
Surgery is the last resort when trying to cure a disease. Parts of damaged organs can be removed, so that they do no further harm to the body. Whole organs may also be transplanted into you to ease the body of its burden of trying to use an organ destroyed by pathogens. You may be fitted with prosthetics, given chemical treatments, or tumors can be taken away for biopsy.
Thanks to modern technology and discoveries in science, these are not the only ways that diseases can be treated. Laboratory research has found that certain frequencies of light can actually kill pathogens or even rejuvenate cells. As a result, laboratories and clinics now specialize in research and applications in light therapy.
Certain wavelengths of light can have different effects on living organisms. Ultraviolet, or UV light, for example, can destroy bacteria. Lasers can change the configurations of molecules. Alternating periods of light and darkness can cause different plants to fruit or flower, and can change sleep rhythms in humans as well.
Light therapy exploits these properties of light and uses them to create regimens that can help cure, or alleviate the pain brought about by certain diseases. Light therapy can also be used for cosmetic purposes, and is often used in psychiatry to relieve weather-related depression.
Also known as phototherapy, light therapy involves exposing subjects to specific light wavelengths using light emitting diodes (LED), lasers, fluorescent lamps, or bright lights emitting all the colors of the spectrum. Such procedures will be prescribed for a short period of time, and are non-invasive. That is, they will not involve surgery or other penetrating therapeutics, and can thus ease the anxiety of the needle-fearing, scalpel-phobic patient.
What are the advantages of using light therapy?
- Light therapy is a non-invasive method that can kill acne-causing bacteria. Acne removal can be painful if done in a dermatologist's clinic, with only piercing equipment and syringes. Thanks to advances in light therapy, these bacteria can be destroyed when the light penetrates their cell walls, thus stopping them from causing more acne.
- Lack of light, as well as the gray air of winter, can trigger depression. Light therapy can treat depression disorders by giving patients various amounts of light, awakening the brain into thinking that the less gray seasons of summer and spring have come. This prevents patients from taking anti-depression medications, which can have side effects.
- Light therapy can work into the body's sleep rhythm, or circadian rhythm. Research shows that our sleep habits are governed by light, and light therapy exploits this fact by giving patients varying amounts of light at designated times of the day. This keeps patients from taking tranquilizers to get a good night's sleep. It can also alleviate the pain of jet lag for frequent travelers.
- Light therapy can treat skin diseases like psoriasis and eczema at a much faster pace than other therapeutics. Ointments and shampoos need months, even years to fully take effect.
- If you are miles away from the beach, but still want to get a tan, you can go to an accredited tanning salon for UV light therapy. At safe doses, UV light can give you the tan that you want without you worrying about overexposure to the sun's harmful rays.
- Light therapy users claim that light rejuvenates their cells and gives them a more youthful, glowing look. This means less spending on expensive ointments and elixirs promising to turn back the clock on skin.
- Light therapy has been shown to be largely effective for at least ninety percent of patients.
- Light therapy can be done at home, with special light boxes. Although expensive, rising demand can lower the prices of such light boxes.
- When done with the supervision of experts, light therapy can be controlled, and its effects monitored accordingly. That is, the amount of light, its intensity, and frequency can be measured and adjusted easily.
- Light therapy is safe for many patients, if placed under the control and supervision of accredited experts.
If you think that light therapy is for you, consult with your doctor, and find out what clinics are accredited and certified in your area. If you fear needles and scalpels, but want to get cured and get better, then light therapy might just be the answer you are looking for.
“It must be frustrating to survive the gauntlet that is our western medical schooling system only to one day come to the realization that you have been taught only to manage illness and disease instead of curing it.”
― Gary Hopkins