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Color and Light Matter in Medicine

Colors matter in medicine because humans are defined by the light they absorb and re-radiate. We are color. We are light!

Dr. Mark Sircus AC., OMD, DM (P)
Director International Medical Veritas Association
Doctor of Oriental and Pastoral Medicine
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Color and Light Matter in Medicine

Dr. Mark Sircus AC., OMD, DM (P)
Director International Medical Veritas Association
Doctor of Oriental and Pastoral Medicine
Published on October 11, 2019 (excerpted)
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Color psychology is the study of how colors affect human behavior, mood, or physiological processes. Colors are thought to influence our buying choices, our feelings, and even our memories. Ideas related to color psychology are heavily implemented in the areas of marketing and design. Companies choose colors that they believe will motivate customers to buy their products and improve brand awareness. Colors have even been used in color therapy techniques to treat various diseases.
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Colors matter in medicine because humans are defined by the light they absorb and re-radiate. We are color. We are light! God is light. We are the light of this world. Thus we are Gods or at a minimum have God shining his light in us and through us meaning we are the light of pure consciousness. Since God (pure consciousness) is everywhere it is in us as well as in everyone, even in the people we do not like. Understanding and respecting this facts of existence is terribly important and can be leveraged for our health and in the practice of medicine.
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The last thing we want to do if we are respectful of life is to poison it. Unfortunately that is exactly what pharmaceutical companies are into and that is what they teach in medical school. Doctors know nothing about the light and even do their best to keep people out of it, out of the sun, out of its life giving rays. A study of light and color psychology can lead to knowledge and understanding of the human condition and what to do when people get sick, mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically.
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There are two main areas of interest for us to explore, First has more to do with medicine. There is the sun of course, but many do not have easy access. Thus there are different light systems one can employ that can stand in for the healing sun. One can employ UV light, far-infrared, near-infrared, Red and blue lights in medicine and one can even use chromotherapy and use all the colors for different effects.
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Understanding Ourselves Through Color

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The deeper levels of color psychology lead us the the science of epistemology, which is basically the study of how we know what we know, the level of perceptual psychology or what Howard Gardner at Harvard University calls levels of intelligence. In medicine as in life, it pays to understand ourselves. And if we are in the business of helping others it helps to have a deep understanding of our patients and what’s going on in their inner worlds.
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The world of color psychology will take us on an inspirational journey of self-discovery through an understanding of the meaning and the intelligence that comes with each of the basic colors (ROYGBIV). Knowledge of how color affects our conscious and unconscious mind will change our lives and inspire us to discover more about ourselves. It will lead not only to heightened self-understanding but to deeper understanding of other peoples’ inner world of experience, which might be different from our own.
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So true is it that we are defined by color and light that there is even an empirical color test that you can quickly do online for free. The Luscher Color Test was devised by psychologist Max Luscher in 1969. Its effectiveness has been known in advertising and industry for years. It is uncanny what this test can reveal (consistently).
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Dr. Max Lüscher writes, “The Luscher Color Test, despite the remarkable ease and speed with which it can be administered, is a “deep” psychological test, developed for the use of psychiatrists, psychologists, physicians and those who are professionally involved with the conscious and unconscious characteristics and motivations of others. It is NOT a parlor game.”
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Levels of Awareness/Perception/Intelligence

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There are seven biological energy centers that are situated along the spine, which act as prisms to breakdown the background non-visible light into the spectrum colors. Each master endocrine gland is associated with a color as are different traits in our personalities.
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In ancient Egypt, color was considered to be an important part of the substance and being of everything in life. Egyptians understood things and people through colors, everything green represented life and vegetation, everything black spelled out death and doom. The world is full of color, and like everyone else, you have your own likes and dislikes. You may have noticed that certain colors can alter your mood. What you may not realize, though, is that color can affect you subconsciously as well.
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We are in fact all engulfed in light that affects our health conditions. The body is stimulated by colors and colors are responsible for the correct working of various systems that function in the body.
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Colors including red, yellow, and orange are considered warm colors and are thought to stimulate excited emotions. Cool colors are found on the blue end of the visible light spectrum and include blue, violet, and green. These colors are associated with calmness, coolness, and tranquility.
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All organs, cells and atoms exist as energy, and each form has its frequency or vibrational energy. Each of our organs and energy centers vibrates and harmonizes with the frequencies of these colors. Although all light has a frequency, the range of frequencies that our eyes are biologically tuned to see is known as the visible spectrum. The lowest frequency of light that we can see is red and the highest is purple.
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The visible spectrum is actually only one region in a much larger continuous band of frequencies known as the electromagnetic spectrum. So there are the same repeating pattern of frequencies up and down the spectrum, almost all of which we do not see. Meaning there are many reds we cannot see but our cells do, our glands do, our consciousness does but our eyes do not. Its like an endless piano with 7 notes and repeating 8th note.
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All living beings are technically electromagnetic, and every thought and emotion is a measurable frequency as well. As I said above we are light being, frequency beings that resonate to the color spectrum in profound ways.
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Heart Center of Feelings

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In the middle of all of these frequencies is our heart center of feelings/intuition that is connected to a field of information not bound by the classical limits of time and space. Ancient mystics, philosophers and great thinkers were on to the right idea about our deepest perceptual center. Both my work HeartHealth, and an organization called HeartMath teach us to become heart-coherent by practicing simple techniques that can change our lives by helping us access much more of our intuitive intelligence.
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There is a wisdom in the feeling heart, when connected to the intuitive center, that helps us discern our issues, communications and decisions that are becoming more necessary than ever in the age of confusion, conflict and disease we are passing through. The problem with psychopaths is they have no heart.

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Dr. Mark Sircus AC., OMD, DM (P)

Director International Medical Veritas Association
Doctor of Oriental and Pastoral Medicine

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Shorter Days Can Make You SAD

Image result for less sunlight
It’s that time of year, the days are getting shorter and the nights are becoming longer. The sun is setting earlier in the day and rising later in the morning.
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Fall began with the autumnal equinox September 23 which means almost equal amounts of daylight and nighttime. We progressively lose more sunlight as we move toward winter solstice December 21.
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Spring brings energy and vitality and as such, winter brings lethargy and hibernation. For many, this annual change and reduced daylight brings with it a form of depression called seasonal affective disorder or SAD. SAD is often described as having a portable black cloud constantly following one around. Many sufferers report feeling sad, low, tearful or hopeless.
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SAD begins and ends at about the same times every year. Most people with SAD start to feel symptoms in the autumn, then all through the winter, sapping energy, making them feel moody and depressed. With a big chunk of our population suffering from this disorder, it is good to know the signs and get ahead of it.
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SAD signs and symptoms may include:

  • Feeling depressed most of the day, nearly every day
  • Losing interest in activities you once enjoyed
  • Having low energy
  • Having problems with sleeping or oversleeping
  • Experiencing weight gain and appetite changes
  • Craving high carbohydrate foods
  • Feeling sluggish or agitated
  • Having difficulty concentrating
  • Feeling hopeless, worthless or guilty
  • Having frequent thoughts of death or suicide.
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When light hits the back of the eye, messages go to the part of the brain that controls sleep, appetite, sex drive, temperature, mood and If there isn’t enough light, these functions slow down. Some people seem to need a lot more light than others. If you work indoors or simply don’t get outside much, this could increase the risk of SAD. 
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Although many transition the seasonal changes smoothly, unfortunately many others don’t. Due to the decrease in sunlight, our circadian rhythm (24 hour body/mind cycle) is disrupted. This disruption causes a reduction of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter responsible for regulating mood, memory, sleep, appetite and other body/mind functions. The change in season can also disrupt the balance of the body’s melatonin, which also plays a role in sleep patterns and mood.
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It’s estimated that between 2-10% of Americans are affected and suffer in varying degrees from feeling gloomy to depression. It’s diagnosed four times more in women than men, and is more common in those living farther from the equator.
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Additionally, while depression is more common among young adults (seven out of ten depressed people are under 45), it does not spare children or the elderly. In the elderly, it often goes unnoticed because the symptoms (fatigue, loss of motivation, isolation) can be attributed to aging.
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One study found that nine percent of those living in New England or Alaska struggled with SAD. As there is crossover between SAD and other depression, it is always wise to discuss any feelings of low mood with your doctor. There are a few different ways to address SAD including.
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Treatments:

  • Light therapy*
  • Exercising
  • Talk therapy
  • Meditation
  • Medication
Treatment should start in early autumn before symptoms start, and continue until spring. Light therapy, also known as phototherapy, is the main treatment and past research has revealed that it could be useful for treating other types of depression.
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Light therapy is effective in up to 85% of people. People with SAD need much more light to function normally than others do. The user sits in front of a lightbox so that bright light enters the eyes. Light treatment has to be used every day in winter. It usually takes three to four days to work and the effect wears off if it is not used for three to four days.
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Light therapy can also be used on dark days in summer. As a matter of fact, SAD is actually directly associated with a little known ‘contemporary’ epidemic caused by our indoor lifestyle.
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Unwittingly, the lack of natural light in conjunction with too much artificial light disrupts brain chemistry and circadian rhythms and is contributing to many adverse health issues and some are quite serious — obesity, depression, fatigue, sleep & eating disorders as well as breast, prostate and colon cancer. This silent epidemic is called Mal-illumination.

 

*People with age-related macular degeneration (AMD), retinal disease, photosensitive skin conditions or on medications should not use light therapy without checking with their doctor.
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Additionally, light therapy devices should also emit near infrared light in order to reduce risk of retinal inflammation and retinal damage caused by commercial LEDs.

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The Hidden Dangers of LED Lighting

There are major downsides to most LED lights that are not well known. If you choose to ignore these facts, it could lead to age-related macular degeneration (AMD). AMD is the deterioration of your macula which controls acute vision and is the leading cause of blindness.
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Additional health problems may occur in your cell’s vital mitochondria. Mitochondria, known as the powerhouse of the cell, make most of the cell’s supply of ATP (adenosine triphosphate), a molecule that cells use as a source of energy. Mitochondria primarily perform cellular respiration. This means it takes in nutrients from the cell, breaks it down, and turns it into essential energy.
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Understanding the Health Dangers of LEDs

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Understanding how LEDs can harm your health begins with the recognition that light emitted from an LED bulb is of a different quality than a natural light source.
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LEDs are fluorescent lamps, consisting of a blue LED (the pump) and a fluorescent sheet that covers the blue LED, transforming part of the blue light into longer wavelengths, thereby creating a yellowish light. The yellowish light from the fluorescent layer combines together with the residual blue light to form a whitish light, a large portion of which is an aggressive blue light.
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Blue light in the evening reduces melatonin production in your pineal gland, however you also have cells in your retina that are responsible for producing melatonin in order to regenerate the retina during the night.
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Blue wavelengths create ROS (Reactive Oxygen Species). ROS describes a number of reactive molecules and free radicals that have long been known to be a component of the killing response of immune cells to microbial invasion. When generated in excess, ROS can cause damage leading to mitochondrial dysfunction, lower energy production, and inflammation that can erode health over time if left unaddressed.
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It’s important to note that this ROS issue is not about the blue light emitted from natural sunlight because the sun provides a balanced, full-spectrum of colors. It’s about the artificial blue light, the singular high energy visual (HEV) blue light, which comes from most energy-efficient light sources. This is what causes a problem, not the blue light waves which come together with longer wavelengths in a natural balance that includes the beneficial near-infrared light (NIR) like the sun.
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The repair and regenerative part of the spectrum is not found in the blue wavelengths.

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If you use LED lights, especially after sunset, you reduce the regenerative and restoring capacities of your eyes that can lead to AMD. This condition is naturally countered with near infrared light that reduces retinal inflammation and AMD risk.
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LED light exposure that’s not balanced like natural sunlight which includes NIR wavelengths is always damaging to your biology!

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You cannot feel near-infrared light as heat, and you cannot see it, but it has a major beneficial impact in terms of health. Near-infrared is what’s missing in (non-thermal) artificial light sources like LEDs. This is why LEDs are so harmful for your eyes and overall health.
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 Notably, SAD (seasonal affective disorder) light therapy devices that do not emit near infrared light can contribute to age-related retinal inflammation and the risk of macular degeneration..

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NIR Plays a Critical Role in Your Body’s ATP Production  

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Light is the most overlooked essential for biological energy production at the mitochondrial ATP level. Chromophores are molecules that absorb light. Unique chromophores (cytochrome c oxidase) that absorb NIR light are found in your mitochondria and are the last step involved in the production of ATP.
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Absorbed light in a red – NIR wavelength range between 670 and 850 nm is able to boost ATP energy production, especially in cells when energy production is depleted. Amazingly, you produce your body weight in ATP every day. You can survive for several minutes without oxygen, however if  ATP production suddenly stopped… you would be dead within 15 seconds!
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Many signs of aging are the result of hampered mitochondrial functioning, The fact is your body’s energy production involves not just food intake.

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Amazingly, only one-third of the energy your body consumes comes from the food you eat. The vast majority of the energy your body needs to maintain the systemic equilibrium comes from environmental infrared light exposure and is critical for optimum metabolism.
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LED Bottom Line

  • This light quality is not found in nature.
  • Increases stress from the HEV blue short wavelength.
  • Reduces regeneration & repair from lack of NIR long wavelengths.
  • Near-infrared light is essential for eye health and ATP production.

Are There Any Healthy LEDs?

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The way to get a healthier LED is to look for a balanced full-spectrum LED that includes near infrared light (NIR) and a high color rendering index (CRI). Sunlight is the gold standard and has a CRI of 100. What you’re looking for is a light that has an R9 (full red spectrum) CRI of about 97 and a broad band of near infrared light.
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In terms of energy, sunlight at Earth’s surface is around 52 to 55 percent infrared (above 700 nm), 42 to 43 percent visible (400 to 700 nm), and 3 to 5 percent ultraviolet (below 400 nm).

.Balanced, Natural Light Exposure is Absolutely Vital to Your Health

SUNSHINE OUTDOORS / SOLSHINE INDOORS

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Heart Health & Light

The appearance of sunlight and the advent of oxygen on Earth were undoubtedly the most dramatic environmental changes during evolution. As a result, almost all organisms on this planet are equipped with light and oxygen sensing pathways. Light and oxygen sensing pathways are linked on a cellular level in mammals.
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Researchers at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus have found that intense light amplifies a specific gene that bolsters blood vessels and offers protection against heart attacks.
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“We already knew that intense light can protect against heart attacks, but now we have found the mechanism behind it,” said the study’s senior author Tobias Eckle, MD, PhD, professor of anesthesiology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.
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The scientists discovered that housing mice under intense light conditions for one week `robustly enhances cardio protection’, which resulted in a dramatic reduction of cardiac tissue damage after a heart attack. They also found that humans could potentially benefit from a similar light exposure strategy.
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In an effort to find out why, they developed a strategy to protect the heart using intense light to target and manipulate the function of the PER2 gene which is expressed in a circadian pattern in the part of the brain that controls circadian rhythms.
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By amplifying this gene through light, they found that it protected cardiovascular tissues against low oxygen conditions like myocardial ischemia, caused by reduced oxygen flow to the heart.
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They also discovered that the light increased cardiac adenosine, a chemical that plays a role in blood flow regulation.
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Mice that were blind, however, enjoyed no cardio protection indicating a need for visual light perception.
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Next, they investigated whether intense light had similar effects on healthy human volunteers. The subjects were exposed to 30 minutes of intense light measured in lumens. In this case, volunteers were exposed to 10,000 LUX, or lumens, on five consecutive days. Researchers also did serial blood draws.
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The light therapy increased PER2 levels as it did in mice. Plasma triglycerides, a surrogate for insulin sensitivity and carbohydrate metabolism, significantly decreased. Overall, the therapy improved metabolism.
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Eckle has long known that light plays a critical role in cardiovascular health and regulating biological processes. He pointed out that past studies have shown an increase in myocardial infarctions during darker winter months in all U.S. states, including sunnier places like Arizona, Hawaii and California. The duration of the light isn’t as important as the intensity, he said.
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“The most dramatic event in the history of earth was the arrival of sunlight,” Eckle said. “Sunlight caused the great oxygen event. With sunlight, trillions of algae could now make oxygen, transforming the entire planet.”
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Eckle said the study shows, on a molecular level, that intensive light therapy offers a promising strategy in treating or preventing low oxygen conditions like myocardial ischemia.
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He said if the therapy is given before high risk cardiac and non-cardiac surgery it could offer protection against injury to the heart muscle which can be fatal.
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“Giving patients light therapy for a week before surgery could increase cardio protection,” he said. “Drugs could also be developed that offer similar protections based on these findings. However, future studies in humans will be necessary to understand the impact of intense light therapy and its potential for cardio protection.”
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The study was published today in the journal Cell Reports.

 

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Worry about the amount of light at night more than the blue light

By MARK HALPER:
A top lighting research group has reported that the amount of light at night — light levels plus duration — can potentially disturb sleep much more than can blue spectrum in the light. The findings marked the second time in a year that the group has downplayed the detrimental sleep effects of blue compared to other factors, such as brightness.
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The study of 16 adults by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s Lighting Research Center (LRC) might call into question the growing commercial trend of toning down blue frequencies at night, which is often part of vendors’ so-called “circadian lighting” or “human-centric lighting” schemes.
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The study, published Mar. 1 in the Journal of Biological Rhythms, looked at the extent to which different light conditions suppress melatonin, a hormone associated with inducing sleep. Suppressing melatonin potentially disrupts sleep.
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In keeping with common wisdom, LRC had hypothesized that normal light with normal blue spectral power would suppress melatonin more than would light in which the LRC lowered the energy output of specific blue/cyan wavelengths between 475 and 495 nm — light known as “cyan gap.”
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But that did not turn out to be the case, not even when the LRC exposed subjects to light for less than an hour.
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“Contrary to our model predictions, our results showed that short-term exposures to ‘cyan-gap’ light sources suppressed melatonin similarly to conventional light sources,” the researchers noted.
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Translation: The low-blue light suppressed just as much melatonin as did normal light with normal blue spectral power.
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LRC had also hypothesized that light levels combined with duration — together known as the “amount” of light — would also contribute to melatonin suppression.
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On that point, they were correct.
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“As hypothesized, there were significant main effects of light level and exposure duration,” the study states. “But there was no significant main effect of spectrum. There were no significant interactions with spectrum.”
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Given blue’s growing villainous reputation in sleep, LEDs Magazine wanted to be sure that we were reading the scientific findings correctly, so we checked in with LRC director Mariana Figueiro, one of the four authors of the report.
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“Both amount and spectrum are important, but the impact of amount [of light] on melatonin suppression is greater than that of spectrum,” Figueiro told LEDs. “One cannot dissociate these two parameters. Blue light does suppress melatonin, but the key finding is that it is not just about blue light. If enough energy is emitted at other parts of the spectrum, we will see a response because the circadian system uses all types of photoreceptors to respond to light for melatonin suppression.”
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The study comes about a year after LRC reached a similar conclusion in a study of Apple iPad users, in which it observed that gadget brightness was a primary factor in suppressing melatonin, but that the gadget’s color settings were not. (In that case, the LRC used the term “brightness,” which is a term that describes human perception of light. It is different from “levels,” often measured in lux as in the LRC’s new study, although LEDs notes that it stands to reason that a higher lux level will be perceived as brighter.)
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Nonetheless, lighting vendors are increasingly marketing products that strip out blue frequencies at night. In a recent example, the Crowne Plaza Atlanta Airport hotel has installed such lights in its guest rooms.
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Circadian disruption has been linked not only to poor sleep, but also to depression, metabolic and cardiovascular disease, and cancer in night shift workers.
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MARK HALPER is a contributing editor for LEDs Magazine, and an energy, technology, and business journalist (markhalper@aol.com).

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Out with ‘human centric,’ in with ‘nutritional light’

Human-centric lighting is lighting devoted to enhancing vision, wellbeing, and performance individually or in some combination, according to Philips Lighting.
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Believing that the human-centric lighting movement is lacking momentum, a new advocacy group has emerged to help give things a kick, and has started by rebranding the concept as “nutritional light.”
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The non-profit Good Light Group, based in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, aims “to promote the importance of nutritional light on the wellbeing of people,” the foundation said upon its formal launch earlier this month on the International Day of Light, May 16.
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“Light is as important as nutrition for the body and brain as vitamins, proteins, minerals. Billions of people are now in light that does not stimulate body and brain. Our objective is that they can enjoy nutritional light…”
Jan Denneman
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Good Light Group founder and industry veteran Jan Denneman has been a longtime advocate of healthy lighting, having helped put human-centric lighting on the 2017 10-year roadmap for LightingEurope, where he served as president.
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Denneman left LightingEurope last year, about a year after leaving a 10-year stint as president of the Global Lighting Association. He also retired in January last year from Signify, then called Philips Lighting, after more than 42 years at the company.
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“We have finally learned that light is a nutrient much like food, and like food, the wrong kind can make us ill and the right kind can help keep us well.”
— DR. JOHN OTT
HEALTH AND LIGHT
3,000,000+ copies sold
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SOL is delighted to initiate an enlightened nutrition paradigmPhoto-Nutrition.

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This Indoor Pollution Can Cause Brain Fog

Would you swim in a pool of polluted water? Of course not. Not intentionally anyway. But every day, every one of us unknowingly “swims” in indoor pollution, some of it of our own making.

It’s called EMF and it stands for Electromagnetic Frequency. EMF radiation is all around us and it’s like an ocean of indoor pollution. It is generated from computers, laptops, tablets, cell phones, etc. What most of us don’t know is that it can actually cause brain fog, as well as other health issues (see list further below) because it restricts blood flow and oxygen supply to your brain.

I highly encourage you to watch this 2-minute video right now. It so clearly shows you how exposure to EMF radiation from your screened devices affects your blood and health!

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[Dr. Magda Havas, PhD (2:32) is not associated with Science of Light. This educational video is not an endorsement].

Artificial, non-native EMF (nnEMF) radiation currently surrounds us at levels never before documented until now. Our own ‘native’ electromagnetic signals are very weak compared to nnEMFs exposure, which can interfere with our body’s internal electromagnetic systems and may be causing or contributing to the following health issues:

  • Insomnia
  • Headache & Migraine
  • Muscle & Joint Pain
  • Depression, Anxiety & Irritability
  • Short Term Memory Problems
  • Nerve Pain & Eye Pain
  • Tingling & Numbness… and more

Shielding Mitigates nnEMF from the Outside

A common approach used to mitigate nnEMF radiation is shielding materials (paints, fabrics, films, etc.) that block or reduce radiation exposure from high level or direct / close proximity emissions. Unfortunately, shielding does not reduce the radiation from your WiFi, your neighbor’s WiFi, local cell towers and many other sources.

LED Therapy Mitigates nnEMF from the Inside

LED therapy, also known as photomodulation (the modulation of the cell by light), is a scientific method that allows the use of specific wavelengths of the light spectrum for therapeutic purposes to stimulate the metabolic activity of cells.

Fullest-Spectrum LED Therapy uses low intensity LEDs (light emitting diodes) to create a process similar to plant photosynthesis whereby plants convert sunlight energy into chemical energy.  

An important discovery

More than 30 years ago, photo-biology pioneer Dr. John Ott was the first to discover that red blood cells clump together (rouleaux) when exposed to nnEMF radiation from computers and other electronic devices. Dr. Ott concluded that the clumping was caused by iron in the red blood cells being magnetized from EMF pollution.

Sunlight quality full-spectrum light Counterbalances Non Native EMF

Dr. Ott observed that when the clumped red blood cells were exposed to full-spectrum light that included invisible wavelengths, the rouleaux condition returned to a normal flowing cell pattern and the oxygen supply was no longer inhibited.

The sun is the primary source of natural, ‘native’ EMFs. When indoors, the full-spectrum of light that includes violet, red and near infrared light wavelengths are proving to be very helpful in balancing the excessive ‘blue light’ exposures from screens and electronics as well as other non-native EMF sources like the ubiquitous WiFi.

LIGHTEN UP… REDUCE YOUR RISK OF EMF POLLUTION

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How Sunlight Affects Sleep, Hormones and Body Fat

Since the beginning of human history, people have lived and worked outdoors during the light of day, absorbing light energy from the sky. An average of 10 hours outdoors each day, 70 hours weekly, was common.
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Following the advent of Edison’s long-lasting light bulb, over the last 100 years, people have moved indoors, away from the natural light that so faithfully regulated our circadian rhythms and energized our brain cells and bodies.
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Today, we spend an average of less than 30 minutes a day or a mere 3 hours per week in daylight, according to a study by Daniel Kripke, M.D., professor of psychiatry at UC San Diego. Scientific research has proven that our circadian rhythms are dependent upon light entering our eyes to regulate our body’s master clock. According to the quality and quantity of light received, key hormones and neurotransmitters like serotonin and melatonin are released in the brain to set our daily rhythms.
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Is it any wonder that we experience many of the symptoms of being out of rhythm? Weight gain, fatigue, depression, headaches, pain, hormonal imbalances, sleep disorders, PMS, lowered immune responses, vitamin deficiencies and lack of vitality are but a few of the many health problems that may be associated with being out of rhythm.
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Artificial Light and Obesity
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Since low fat diets and exercise have gone to war against obesity, the average American has actually gained 8.5 pounds. Increasing numbers of people are getting type 2 diabetes. Some people feel they exercise like maniacs but are always hungry, are overweight and gain weight if they even smell a cookie.
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Researchers T.S. Wiley and Bent Formby believe that the over consumption of fat and a lack of exercise do not cause obesity, heart disease, diabetes and cancer. They base their conclusions on more than a decade of research at the National Institutes of Health. They say that avoiding artificial fats can help, but completely avoiding artificial toxins is impossible. They believe the problems of obesity and cancer can be helped with a solution as simple as turning off a light bulb and paying more attention to the essential need for sunlight.
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Before the invention of the light bulb and the electric power grid, when the sun set, the environment grew dark. If people stayed up late, their activity was lit by the dim glow of fire or candles. When night fell, most people went to bed and slept. In the winter, people spent up to 14 hours a day in the dark. In the past, the abdominal fat pad now common year-round in insulin-resistant and type 2 diabetic patients would have kept internal organs warm and served as an energy store for the famine season of winter.
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In cold weather, the body increases cholesterol production to lower the freezing temperature of cell membranes. Chronic high insulin leads to insulin resistance. Blood sugar cannot enter muscle cells, so all sugar goes to fat cells for storage or gets turned into cholesterol. This makes insulation and “antifreeze” to prepare the body for the winter famine that never comes for many in the modern world. In the summer, the body gets the message to produce hormones that say, “Eat all you can and build up a fat pad so you will survive the dark winter famine.” The readily available annual supply of sugary foods at anytime during the day or night contributes to the hormone disruption cycle.
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Today, artificial light tricks the body into thinking every day, year-round, is the season to eat a lot and gain weight. Moreover, the flickering light of TV at night causes dopamine release telling the body to eat and store fat. Even if one sleeps eight hours a night, several hours may be spent sleeping in a room with artificial or outside light leaking in, interfering with melatonin production.
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Artificial light also provides an abnormal light spectrum. Staying up late also means insulin stays higher at night, when it should be low. Cortisol levels then fall so late that they interfere with deep sleep, and then cortisol does not come up normally in the morning. If cortisol is not high enough to enhance dopamine release in the morning, a person may feel rushed and have poor memory and trouble planning for the new day. Abnormal cortisol fluctuation can also cause the appetite to come roaring on in the afternoon and evening. Melatonin would have suppressed the appetite at night, but it will not be available to do so when the lights are on.
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Thus, after sunset, the later we have exposure to light bulbs, computer monitors, and TV screens, the more we are prompted to eat, especially carbohydrates. It doesn’t work to try to burn off the extra weight through exercise at night because that makes the cortisol levels go up even more.
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The natural hours of light and dark each day regulate hormones like insulin, serotonin and dopamine. Light curbs melatonin production at the pre-optic site connecting to the pineal gland. Research on rats showed that light, even less than that of a candle, in the dark phase (night), disrupts the production of the antioxidant melatonin and increases tumor growth. On the other hand, long dark nights change the metabolism from sugar burning to fat burning.
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Artificially long hours of light—every day, all year long—eliminate seasons, as far as the body can tell. This can be countered by reducing the amount of light in one’s environment at night and by getting adequate sunlight for good light hygiene.

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Two Forms of Melatonin?

Melatonin and sunlight are intimately linked and the relationship is unique in the fact that there are two forms of melatonin, circulatory and subcellular.  Both appear to be controlled by either the absence of sunlight or presence of sunlight. While circulatory melatonin may be the ‘hormone of darkness’ subcellular melatonin may be the ‘hormone of daylight’.
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The main point of this hypothesizes is that the subcellular melatonin is being produced in response to near infrared light (NIR) photons which make up the majority of natural sunlight.
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I’m happy to share a Melatonin Research article that my associate Scott Zimmerman co-authored with Prof. Russel J. Reiter. Melatonin and the Optics of the Human Body
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Sun Avoidance Is as Risky as Smoking

Recent research highlights the importance of sensible sun exposure, stating “Current guidelines for sun exposure are unhealthy and unscientific.”
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The research published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health in December 2018, calls for an immediate revision of public health recommendations, noting that moderate, non-burning UV exposure is a health benefit and should be recommended as such.

The authors warn that the public has been misled and misinformed about the health ramifications of sun avoidance.

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A press release by the Canadian Vitamin D Society notes: “The authors examined the current state of scientific research and found that severe sunburns are linked to an increase risk of melanoma but non-burning sun exposure is linked to a reduced risk of melanoma”.
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“This is a message the public never receive from current public health guidelines,” states Dr. David Hoel, lead author, department of public health sciences, Medical University of South Carolina. “The public is led to believe that all sun exposure should be avoided and that the avoidance of sun exposure is free of risk from a health perspective… that is not the case.”
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The paper warns an estimated 12 percent of all U.S. deaths may be linked to inadequate sun exposure, and that sun avoidance is as potent a risk factor for death as smoking.

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Compelling evidence supporting the idea that regular sun exposure benefits health and longevity was published in the Journal of Internal Medicine in 2014. In this study, led by Pelle Lindqvist, senior research fellow at Sweden’s Karolinska Institute, the sun exposure habits of nearly 30,000 Swedish women were evaluated in a 20-year-long study. According to the authors:
  • All-cause mortality was inversely related to sun exposure habits. The mortality rate amongst avoiders of sun exposure was approximately twofold higher compared with the highest sun exposure group, resulting in excess mortality with a population attributable risk of 3 percent.
  • The results of this study provide observational evidence that avoiding sun exposure is a risk factor for all-cause mortality. Following sun exposure advice that is very restrictive in countries with low solar intensity might in fact be harmful to women’s health.”
  • The take-home message of this study: Women who avoided the sun had double the mortality risk of those who got regular sun exposure..
There are not many daily lifestyle choices that double your risk of dying.
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Two years later, Lindqvist published a follow-up paper, in which more than 25,500 Swedish women between the ages of 25 and 64 were again followed for 20 years. Detailed information about sun exposure habits and confounding factors were obtained and analyzed in a “competing risk” scenario.
  • Overall, women who got regular sun exposure did have a higher risk for melanoma compared to sun avoiders, but again, they still had a lower all-cause mortality risk, likely due to their increased vitamin D levels.
  • Women with active sun exposure habits had a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and non-cancer death compared to those who avoided the sun. What’s more, sun avoidance was determined to be as hazardous as smoking, in terms of its effects on life expectancy.
  • Nonsmokers who avoided sun exposure had a life expectancy similar to smokers in the highest sun exposure group, indicating that avoidance of sun exposure is a risk factor for death of a similar magnitude as smoking. Compared to the highest sun exposure group, life expectancy of avoiders of sun exposure was reduced by 0.6 to 2.1 years.

Got Mal-illumination?

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Ancient New Medicine

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 these 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.
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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.
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Enlightened Health

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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 metaphor. Yet as early as 1903, the twentieth century embraced the whole area of light for healing once again.
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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 small pox and tuberculosis was surpassed with the advent of antibiotics which saw the demise of the use of light treatment on a wide scale.
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So where is the future of light therapy progressing?

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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 provides 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...
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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.
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Here lies the key.

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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.
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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 less that 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.
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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.

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Don’t be in the dark about your healthlighten up!

 

 

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Light at Night Linked to Depression

Not Enough Light

Many people are becoming aware of the fact that the lack of light in winter can cause seasonal depression known as SAD.
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SAD is mainly due to the fluctuations in daylight hours as the seasons change, disrupting a person’s circadian rhythm—or internal clock—which controls a person’s physiological response to light and darkness.
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Too Much Light?

Interestingly, recent LAN (light-at-night) research is suggesting that sleeping in a room with even a low level of light is associated with an increased risk of developing depression, even when the light did not cause people to awaken or experience other sleep disturbances during the night.
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In the study, bedroom light intensity was measured objectively, and depressive symptoms were assessed. Of 863 participants (average age = 71.5 years) who did not have depressive symptoms at baseline, 73 participants reported development of depressive symptoms during follow-up (median, 24 months).
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The researchers found that people who were exposed to five lux* or more of light at night had a “significantly higher depression risk” than those who slept in darker rooms.

*Five lux is approximately the equivalent of the light that falls on a three-foot-square surface that is about three feet away from five candles.

Previous studies have suggested the possibility that LAN induces sleep disturbances, impaired melatonin secretion and misalignments between sleep/wake behavior and depression is frequently accompanied by these conditions.
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Not Just Seniors

The researchers also point out that the association they found between LAN exposure and depressive symptoms is unlikely to be limited to older populations. In fact, quite the opposite may be true.
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Age-related cloudiness of the crystalline lens causes decreased light reception to the retina, even before cataract diagnosis and the capacity for light reception of a 70-year-old is one-fifth of that of a teenager.
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Conclusion.

Rresearch suggests that sleeping in total darkness may be a viable option to reduce the risk of depression.

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Don’t Be SAD…

Lighten Up!

SAD (seasonal affective disorder), also known as winter depression, winter blues or seasonal depression, is a mood disorder subset provoked by reduced daylight hours during fall and winter. People who have normal mental health throughout most of the year experience depressive symptoms at the same time each year.
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SAD is characterized by irritability, oversleeping, increased tiredness, changes in appetite, and reduced motivation to participate in social activities. If you’re like most people with SAD, your symptoms start with the reduction of seasonal light and continue into the winter months, sapping your energy and making you feel moody. Less often, SAD causes depression in the spring or early summer.
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Although experts were initially skeptical, this condition is now recognized as a common disorder. The American Psychiatric Association Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV & DSM-5) was changed and is no longer classified as a unique mood disorder but is now a specifier called with seasonal pattern for recurrent major depressive disorder that occurs at a specific time of the year.
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SAD’s prevalence in the U.S. ranges from 1.4% in Florida to 9.9% in Alaska. Countries closest to the equator report almost no incidences of SAD, whereas extreme northern and southern countries have high incidences. This is mainly due to the fluctuations in daylight hours as the seasons change, disrupting a person’s circadian rhythm—or internal clock—which controls a person’s physiological response to light and darkness.
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To reiterate, if you have SAD, you may:
  • Feel sad, grumpy, moody, or anxious.
  • Lose interest in your usual activities.
  • Eat more and crave carbohydrates, such as bread and pasta.
  • Gain weight.
  • Sleep more but still feel tired.
  • Have trouble concentrating.
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Women are four times more likely than men to experience SAD due to the disorder’s association with female hormones. Individuals who have been previously diagnosed with depression, or those who have a family history of depression, are at an even higher risk for SAD.
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The reduction of daily light exposure causes shifts in hormone and chemical levels in the brain. The two main hormones responsible for SAD are serotonin—responsible for ‘feel good’ mood and melatonin—responsible for inducing sleep. Some people are more sensitive than others to the reduction of natural light during the day and will produce more melatonin and less serotonin during the autumn and winter months. These chemical shifts disrupt the circadian rhythm, worsen moods, and decrease energy.
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The most common treatment for SAD is light therapy, which consists of daily exposure to light that mimics outdoor light, leading to increases in serotonin levels in the brain that will help lift moods and relieve other symptoms. It is best to start light therapy early in the fall, before symptoms appear or they become to get too intense and interfere with school work and other daily activities..
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Interestingly, the symptoms of SAD are not limited to only reduced seasonal daylight. Similar symptoms are now common for millions of people all year round caused by our now predominant indoor life style that has unwittingly created a silent epidemic known as  — mal-illumination.”
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Mal-illumination is brought about by limiting our daily intake of full-spectrum daylight and supplementing it with too much artificial ‘limited-spectrum’ indoor light, especially blue light at night. Like malnutrition, mal-illumination causes deficiencies by depriving us of the sun’s vital ‘energetic nutrient’ wavelengths which enter the body through the eyes and skin. Light entering the eyes regulates vital circadian rhythms that control appetite, energy, mood, sleep, libido and other body-mind functions.
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Fact is — humans are photobiotic ‘solar beings’ — all of us are absolutely dependent on the absorption of radiant, solar energy. As with many forms of depression, exercise and frequent trips outdoors can help prevent or relieve SAD symptoms. Don’t brush off that yearly feeling as simply a case of the “winter blues” or a seasonal funk that you have to tough out on your own. Take steps to keep your mood and motivation steady throughout the year.
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free e-Book: MAL-ILLUMINATION… the silent epidemic.

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Accelerated Aging: The Importance of a Stable Circadian Rhythm

 

Circadian rhythms play a critical role in how fast we age.

 

 

 

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Once the circadian rhythms are disrupted aging is accelerated.

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Got Rhythm?

A circadian rhythm is an approximate 24 hour cycle that regulates all of the physiological processes of living beings, including plants and animals.
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There are clear patterns of:
  • brain wave activity
  • hormone production
  • cell regeneration
  • and other biological activities linked to this daily circadian cycle.
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As anyone who has spent wakeful nights suffering from jet lag will attest, the human body has a strong sense of time. When this cycle is disrupted, like in jet lag, sleep disorders ensue.
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According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, circadian rhythm sleep-wake disorders are caused by alterations of the circadian time-keeping system, its entrainment mechanisms, or a misalignment of the endogenous (internal) circadian rhythm and the external environment.
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The AASM reports that the most common presenting symptoms of circadian rhythm sleep-wake disorders are difficulty initiating and maintaining sleep, and excessive sleepiness.
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Left untreated, these disorders can cause adverse health outcomes; impairments in social, occupational and educational performance; and safety concerns.
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Long-term sleep loss may affect the cardiovascular, endocrine, immune and nervous systems with severe consequences including hypertension, obesity and mental health disorders, among others.
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Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s

Circadian rhythm disturbances are increasingly reported before the onset of Parkinson’s Disease, suggesting that they could be risk factors. Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s are two diseases that are characterized by an impaired circadian clock and compromised mitochondrial function.
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Mitochondria are small organelles that exist in almost all our cells and supply them with energy and play an important role in these cellular processes. Researchers have shown that the mitochondrial network loses its rhythm if the circadian clock is impaired, which causes a decline in energy production in the cells.
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Our circadian clock sets the rhythm for our cells’ powerhouses.

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COME INTO RHYTHM!

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Biological Enlightenment

Man does not live by food alone . . .  he also lives on light.

Human biology is absolutely dependent on balanced, natural light.

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Light helps regulate brain chemistry and circadian rhythms that control appetite, energy, mood, sleep, libido and other body-mind functions.
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Light helps us to stay alert and to be productive, as well as helps us to sleep, heal and regenerate.

  • Humans are photobiotic ‘solar beings’ — absolutely dependent on the absorption of vital solar radiation.
  • We are human photocells whose ultimate biological nutrient is sunlight.

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We can now say emphatically that the function of our entire metabolism is dependent on light.

— Dr. Fritz Albert Popp
International Institute of Biophysics
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Every metabolic process, every enzyme reaction, muscular movements, the digestion of food and the burning of fat are all biological processes that are augmented by sunlight energy.
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A reduction of ‘natural light energy’ causes a slowdown in these processes that leads to decreased metabolism, reduced burning of fat, reduced vitality and compromised immunity.
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Photosynthesis in Plants Metabolism in Humans

  • The human body functions much like a green plant, collecting energy from the atmosphere.
  • The nervous system may be described as a network of electrical wires which conduct photons of light energy.
  • Light energy is collected by the skin and eyes; converted into photo-current and channeled throughout the body.
  • Photo-current (voltage) is distributed by nerves and fascia (fibrous connective tissue found throughout the body) that act like an electrical wiring system.
  • In addition to activating sight in the visual cortex, photo-current travels to the brain’s control center, the hypothalamus.
  • Informed by photo-current, the hypothalamus helps regulate brain chemistry, essential hormones and circadian rhythms.
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Light Energy is Life Energy!

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Photobiology

The current science of photobiology, the study of the effects of light on living organisms can be traced to ancient cultures through their use of color and light for healing.
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More recently, light (therapy) for healing and health was in vogue until the discovery of penicillin and the world of pharmaceuticals. As a matter of fact, Niels Ryberg Finsen, a physician and scientist of Icelandic descent was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine and Physiology in 1903 in recognition of his contribution to the treatment of diseases with concentrated light radiation.
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Today light for health and disease prevention is again being rediscovered as a natural prevention intervention.

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Every day, more people become interested in the potential benefits of light and dark and its effects on human health and well-being. Lighting characteristics that are effective to the circadian system are different than those effective to the visual system.
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Biological rhythms that repeat approximately every 24 hours are called circadian rhythms. Light is the main stimulus that helps the circadian clock, and thus circadian rhythms, keep a synchronized rhythm with the 24-hour solar day.
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Humans need to be exposed to a sufficient amount and quality of light for the biological clock to remain synchronized with the solar day.
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If lack of synchrony or circadian disruption occurs, we may experience decrements in physiological functions, neurobehavioral performance, and sleep.
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Good temporal entrainment allows for optimal performance at the right time of the day, because being able to anticipate future tasks allows the appropriate physiological and psychological preparation. However, our modern society often imposes deviations from the natural light-dark cycle which results in problems with entrainment.
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Failure to adapt to environmental and societal time cues (being out of rhythm with nature) leads to misalignment of internal biological clocks. This disentrainment comes with enhanced risk of errors, accidents, low productivity, and health risks such as increased risk for cancer, depression, sleep disturbances, gastrointestinal, metabolic and cardiovascular disorders, decreased immune responses and even life span.
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The fact that so many are literally in the dark about light’s vital relationship with health is a cause of serious concern and the cornerstone of our non-profit mission to raise awareness of mal-illumination.
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Mal-illumination is brought about by limiting our daily intake of balanced, full-spectrum daylight and supplementing it with too much artificial ‘limited-spectrum’ indoor light.
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Mal-illumination silently contributes to many health issues, some quite serious —obesity, depression, fatigue, sleep and eating disorders as well as breast, prostate and colon cancer.
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Like malnutrition, mal-illumination causes deficiencies by depriving us of the sun’s energetic nutrient wavelengths referred to as photo-nutrition.
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MAL-ILLUMINATION IS TO LIGHT AS MALNUTRITION IS TO FOOD

— Dr. John Ott

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Photobiomodulation and Your Health

Light Energy is Life’s Energy . . .   It’s Your Energy!

One third of the energy your body consumes comes from the food you eat. The vast majority of the energy your body needs to maintain systemic equilibrium comes from environmental infrared light exposure.
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Dr. Alexander Wunsch, MD, PhD
World Class Expert on Photobiology
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The 2017 Nobel Prize in ‘Physiology or Medicine’ was awarded for the discovery of how plants, animals and humans optimize their health by harmonizing their circadian rhythms with the daily cycle of light and darkness.
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This discovery when applied as therapy is called Photobiomodulation (cellular modulation by light) and is also known as, LED Phototherapy or LED Therapy.
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This therapy is a scientific method that allows the use of specific wavelengths of the light spectrum for therapeutic purposes to stimulate the metabolic activity of cells.
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Amazingly, all of the blood in the body circulates through the eyes approximately every two hours.

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SOL’s Fullest-Spectrum LED Therapy is unique in the fact that it primarily targets the “eyes” and utilizes low intensity LEDs (light emitting diodes) to create a process similar to plant photosynthesis whereby plants use chlorophyll to convert sunlight energy into cellular building blocks.
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SOLshine Photo-Nutrition stimulates the body to heal itself and helps to maintain the ideal internal body environment (homeostasis). The event is systemic rather than directed at any particular condition. And in the process, many conditions are addressed.
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Entering the eyes, the light emitted by the LEDs helps to regulate brain chemistry and is absorbed by the blood cells producing an amazing cascade of events.

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  • Every metabolic process, enzyme reaction, muscular movement, the digestion of food and the burning of fat are augmented by sunlight energy.
  • A reduction of natural light energy causes a slowdown in these processes that leads to decreased metabolism, reduced burning of fat, reduced vitality & compromised immunity.
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Photobiomodulation therapies are now helping people with a wide range of conditions including, but not limited to, skin conditions, pain, mood disorders, macular degeneration, cognitive decline and many other conditions.
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What’s equally amazing is that the type of lights that elicits these benefits, are available without prescription and can be safely used in the comfort of your own home..

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