The concept of light
as a therapeutic agent against depression and other psychiatric ailments dates
to many years. Environmental light was considered to be important for one's
welfare, along with proper nutrition, fresh air and sufficient rest. The use of
light baths was commonplace in Europe early this century and books were devoted
to the subject. Since the mid-1980s, "phototherapy" -- light therapy
has regained scientific scrutiny and it involves exposing the eyes to light
containing only a little ultraviolet light in patients suffering from specific
Phototherapy has been
reported to be effective for patients with recurrent winter depressions, know
generally as seasonal affective disorder (SAD) syndromes.
The replication of positive results worldwide has led to a general
acceptance of light therapy as a viable treatment for the condition. What is now
undergoing scrutiny is the development of an optimum protocol (intensity of
light, nature of light -- full spectrum or not , duration, timing -- morning
rather than evening, administration -- eyes only or skin also). No long term
adverse effects of phototherapy have been reported, when properly administered.
There are some reports of irritability, eye strain, headaches or insomnia, which
can all be redressed with modification of treatment.
SAD syndrome affects
about 12 million people in North America who become clinically or dangerously
depressed with the coming of winter. SAD can induce lack of focus or goals,
inability to "pick oneself together". Other SAD syndromes include
anxiety, irritability, inability to tolerate stress, withdrawing from others.
Studies show that fewer cases of SAD occur as one approaches the Equator:
15 - 20 % of Canada's population with only 1.5% in Florida or Mexico. Overall,
up to 75% of Canadians are adversely affected in one way or another by the
seasonal lack of sunlight.
The core of the SAD
syndrome lies in the cyclic production of melatonin in the pineal gland. The
body's timing mechanism, or biological clock, is linked to the absorption by
this gland of light in the night/day cycle of no and varying availability of
sunlight. The light energy is received by the gland in the form of generalized
electromagnetic energy. Research shows that the melatonin hormone can inhibit
the growth of several cancer cells and proper secretion enhances immunity.
Melatonin is produced during darkness. Changes in its secretion -- as can occur
in variations of availability of light or the presence of above-average
electromagnetic field pollution -- affect the production of still other hormones
(many of which affect emotional behaviour).
Changes in secretion also alter the proliferation of cancer cells.
Another aspect of
sunlight is the presence of ultraviolet. Two research teams, one at the London
School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and the other at the University of Sydney in Australia were surprised to learn that there
was a much higher correlation between the incidence of malignant melanomas (skin
cancer) in office workers than those occupationally and regularly exposed to
sunlight. In fact, exposure to fluorescent light was associated with a
relatively high risk to melanoma. The findings were regressively analyzed without challenging
these two studies by two others conducted by two departments of the U.S. National
Institute of Occupational Safety and Health.
The nature of body
intake of sunlight is dependent upon multi-frequency interaction. Dr. John
Nash Ott, the world's foremost photobiologist, describes this interaction
as, "absorption and reflection frequency characteristics, including the
frequency harmonics of all matter or forces interacting between two or more
substances or forces) will influence the overall electric potential of the
combined mass." In simple
terms, when the level of sunlight is properly administered, that is, sunbathing,
healthy affect arise supporting growth and well-being.
However, if one suffers overexposure -- such as when the tissue becomes
red, or is under drug medication, or has a very unusual diet, adverse effects
can be anticipated.
This also means that
"sun-blocker" chemicals, which are unstable when exposed to sunlight
actually can promote skin cancer.
Limit exposure to
sunlight not more than one hour per day in sunbathing, with 15 minutes per side.
Exposure time in higher altitudes may be even shorter due to the intensity.
Skiing at 10,000 feet above sea level may double the rate as compared to
sunbathing on the beaches. Avoid potentially hazardous ointments advertised to
protect you. Investigate first.
Remember, the benefic
effects can be obtained even in the shade -- provided that the full spectrum is
penetrating the eyes -- without being blocked by glasses, unless they permit the
penetration of the full spectrum of visible light.
Light and sun
radiation affect body cells the same way that sunlight effects photovoltaic
cells used to convert to electrical energy. Dr. James Yehl, specialist in environmental medicine, suggests that the
body does not utilize proteins, carbohydrates for their calorific value, but
instead converts the electrical, light energy from food to electrical radiation
which generates life. It appears that life has electrical properties since every
body function can be reduced to an electrical wave signature, as EEG, EKG, etc..
In fact, he states that electromagnetic wave forces (mode, amplitude and
frequency) affect the electrical dimensions of all living cells in such a manner
as to either support health and life or adversely influence pathological
disorder. The life essence of the
human cell structure appears to be most affected within a band of frequency from
near infra-red through visible to the shortest waves of UV-C -- the full spectrum of light. Each cell can be considered as a wet-cell
Dr. Ott has developed
over the decades improvements in full-spectrum products which block out by
shielding the adverse electromagnetics in lighting fixtures and vision aids
while enhancing to the technological limits the positive, full spectra of all
the colours of light. Only some fluorescent systems can recreate the
sunlight-at-noon emissions and these have to be particularly well built and
shielded from undesirable radio frequencies. These developments are now
merchandised under the trademark, OTT-Lite.
Users report such benefits as visual acuity and ergonomic.
Pure colours can have
important corrective and stimulative effects on both the physical and the
psychological systems. Before being
ridiculed by the medical authorities, over a quarter of American doctors worked
primarily with colour therapy and many of the most effective and respected
surgeons would forego invasive surgery protocol in favour of specific colour
exposure to major pathologies. An amazing case involved the complete recovery of
the then America's worst burn case (almost 100%) with no other treatment than
projected colour. Colour was able to compensate to the kidney and liver their
inability to excrete toxins via the none-existent skin.
We also know that colours play an important role in advertising -- from
the "all are welcome" yellow arches of McDonald's to the
"elitist, upper class" green in the American Express Card.
They are also used in abating violent behaviour in prison pink rooms ..
effects of light -- and specific frequency bands of light -- on our glands and
lympathic system is so well established that endocrinology Professor Richard
Wurtman at the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology wrote in Scientific American, "Light is the second most important
environmental input after food in controlling body function."
Clearly, light -- in
its full spectrum and in its specific colour bands play a key role in our
well-being and we should, in our Northern clime, be particularly careful to
adapt our ways to its availability.
Guy. Ultraviolet light needed for
good health. Sarasota Report. March, 1993. p. 1-5.
Robert. Let there be light:
scientists show how light affects health. Tampa Tribune. July 30, 1989. p. 1-2H
Darius. Let there be light:
practical manual for spectro-chrome therapy. Malaga, New Jersey. Dinshah Health
Society. 1985-1993. 160 p.
Andrew. Bioeffects of weak
electromagnetic fields. Ottawa.
Planetary Association for Clean Energy. 1994. 70 p.
John Nash. Health and light. 1973-1995. Ariel
Press. 228 p.
John Nash. Light, radiation &
you. 1982-1990. Devin-Adair. 199 p.
Norman E.. Light therapy. In:
Treatments of psychiatric disorders, Volume 3. Washington. American Psychiatric
Association. 1989. Chapter 174. Folio. 6 p.
Bary W. and Larry E. Anderson. ELF
electromagnetic field effects on the pineal gland. In: Extremely low frequency
electromagnetic fields: the question of cancer. Bary W. Wilson et al editors. Columbus. Battelle Press. 1990.
Bary W.. Chronic exposure to ELF
may induce depression. Bioelectromagnetics. Volume 9. 1988. p. 195-205.
James E.. Ultraviolet bio-effects:
question of multi-frequency interaction. Planetary Association for Clean Energy
Newsletter. Volume 8,1. September 1994. p. 12-14.