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Exploring Red Light Therapy as a Treatment for Depression


Unfortunately, depression is something that many of us have dealt with in our lives — and as we look ahead to the future, it’s a constant struggle that lingers over our heads like a dark cloud. We aren’t here to pretend like there’s some kind of easy solution because that isn’t the case, but if there’s anything at all that can be done to ease the burden, we’d like to think that mentioning it would be beneficial.

A term you may have heard of before is red light therapy. While there’s a lot of trepidation surrounding it, largely because people aren’t sure they can trust it, there are constant studies coming out that highlight how effective it can be. Of course, instead of just talking about it, you have to use it in order to get a better feel for the ailments it can help with.

Today, we want to take a look at the connection between red light therapy and depression. We aren’t here to promise some kind of overnight solution because we all know that’s not how it works, but it can’t hurt to explore a new option.

Either way, though, for anyone out there who’s struggling right now, just know that you’re not alone. It’s okay not to be okay.

 

What is red light therapy?

Red light therapy is still seen as a taboo subject, and we think it’s going to be a while before that feeling subsides. Still, even with that being the case, it is largely recognized as an important form of photomedicine in the medical community. From reducing wrinkles and scars to solving your acne, RLT is there to provide assistance with a parade of illnesses and other physical issues.

Red light therapy uses wavelengths transmitted to parts of the body that need fixing, predominantly because they’re injured in some way. It can go all the way through to deep tissue problems, and although you may be nervous about using a product like this on your skin, it has been proven to be safe to use over years of research.

These low-level wavelengths truly are tremendous in the way they work, and unlike blue light therapy, it isn’t just skin deep. It can even extend to dental problems and hair loss, but the majority of people seek it out due to any concerns they have with their skin.

Regardless of which way you look at it, many are seeing their quality of life improve every single day.

 

How red light therapy can help depression

Depression is a common mental disorder, and across the globe, the WHO estimates that as many as 5% of the adult population suffer from it. As such, it’s become a pretty big topic of conversation within the realm of mental health. Hopefully, that discussion continues to become more prevalent, because there are few things more critical in the modern age.

Furthermore, we’ve decided to run through three of the big benefits that can be gained by using red light therapy to help.

 

1. Improving sleep

We’re always told that we should aim to get eight hours of sleep every single night - and, as it turns out, that’s actually a pretty solid piece of advice. If you can’t manage that every single night, it isn’t the end of the world. However, if you’re struggling with your sleep on a consistent basis, that can prove to be really detrimental to your overall health.

That’s where red light therapy steps in. In addition to being generally quite helpful for those trying to drift off, RLT can improve some genuine sleep disorders. A 2020 study found that light therapy had a big impact on cancer survivors who suffered moderate to severe insomnia, and in addition, it’s been shown to reduce the effects of sleep apnea.

 

2. Physical exercise

There are so many physical problems and injuries that adults and children alike have to deal with. It’s actually quite exhausting to keep up with it all, but the good thing about red light therapy is that it can serve as the silent teammate you never knew you needed. Whether it be arthritis, wound healing, or inflammation, RLT is ready to get you on the road to recovery.

From there, you can start to implement some physical exercise into your daily routine slowly - and we can’t even begin to tell you how useful that is. Even if it doesn’t seem like your cup of tea, physical exercise improves your mental health, gets you out of the house, and gives you an outlet to use up your energy. It seems obvious to say, but trust us, it’s worth listening.

 

3. Seasonal affective disorder

Winter is a month that can bring a lot of joy and celebration, but at the same time, the cold weather and the short days can make it difficult for many. This is a period that makes up 25% of our lives, and as it turns out, the impact it can have on our mental health is severe — leading many to suffer from SAD, also known as seasonal affective disorder.

The lack of natural sunlight is another primary cause that can leave us feeling down in the dumps. Alas, red light therapy has sprung to the rescue once again, with a study indicating that red light therapy can be effective as an antidepressant for treating SAD. In fact, the results can reportedly be seen after just a handful of sessions, and sometimes even quicker than that.

 

Final thoughts

Once again, we want to reiterate that depression is as serious as it gets, and it needs to be treated with care and respect. If you feel like you’re suffering from symptoms of depression or you’re noticing it in those closest to you, make sure to seek out help. It’s never too late, and even though it’s hard, talking does make things easier - and it does get better.

As for red light therapy, that’s an area in which we have a lot of expertise. Here are NovaaLab, we have a string of great products available for you to try. While we are a business, our priority is to lend a helping hand, and we’ll do that in whichever way we can.

If you’re interested in learning more, check out our FAQs. If you still have a few lingering questions, feel free to get in touch!