Professionals and patients alike have welcomed changes in healthcare over the past few decades. In the scientific world, there has been excitement over breakthroughs, with research highlighting the efficacy of a variety of treatments. Some of this harness the most modern, state-of-the-art techniques, while others draw on natural resources and mechanisms as old as time. Many of the most successful interventions are based on marriages of ancient and modern.
Now, as the medical profession finds itself exhausting the valuable resource of antibiotic therapy through its overuse, many doctors are looking for viable alternatives. An ancient ‘new’ therapy is beginning to shine bright. Light therapy is rapidly finding its place once again amongst the armory of the modern physician.
The history of light therapy dates as far back as the ancient Egyptians, Romans, and Greeks, all of whom created healing temples based on recognition of the therapeutic actions of light for healing the body as well as the mind and soul. However, many of the elements of such healing potential were attributed to religious metaphors. Yet as early as 1903, the twentieth century embraced the whole area of light for healing once again.
The date 1903 is notable because it was in this year that physician Dr. Neils Finsen was given the Nobel Prize for medicine for both his investigation and clinical application of light therapy. Up until the end of the 1930s, various forms of light-related therapies found widespread use in hospitals and clinics throughout the Western world. His discovery of sunlight as a means to cure certain types of smallpox and tuberculosis was surpassed with the advent of antibiotics which saw the demise of the use of light treatment on a wide scale.
So where is the future of light therapy progressing?
The scientific mechanisms underlying various light therapy treatments are finally being explained. Years of systematic research carried out in centers of excellence all over the world now provide not only a better understanding of the cellular mechanisms which respond to light therapy but also various biological effects that can be achieved as a result of light stimulation. Medical science is discovering that humans need a wide range of light frequencies for physical, emotional, and mental well being…
Light therapy is developing well into the millennium as more and more research takes us even beyond the cellular level, and molecular biologists explain features of an unimaginable world of energy medicine and quantum physics as the science of light unfolds. At this point, it is important to understand one fundamental element, that light therapy, in whatever form it is applied, does not cure anything.
Here lies the key.
The attractive element of light therapy is that when applied in the correct doses and relevant specific wavelengths, light actually stimulates the body’s cells towards balance or to re-regulate themselves, resulting in cellular regeneration.
Natural light is tremendously important for health and vitality, yet its benefits are often lost in today’s busy and usually indoor world. Today we spend an average of fewer than 30 minutes a day or a mere 3 hours per week in daylight and often much less according to a study by Daniel Kripke, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry, UC San Diego.
In a mere one hundred years or so, humanity has gone from outdoor hunter-gatherer and farmer to indoor contemporary cave dweller. Due to this radical shift, most people are utilizing less than one-tenth of the ‘sunlight voltage’ that our genes were originally programmed to depend on..