Where to begin with light therapy? Let's just say that at first, I was skeptical. Then, after studying the solid research, applying the approved approaches and, most of all, seeing the remarkable improvements in my clients, I now wonder how any clinician can treat patients without first assessing for light deprivation. Light is also linked to our biological clocks and therefore has an impact on our sleep, mood, alertness, performance, body temperature, etc. This field of study is called chronotherapeutics and I will forever be its student as I offer keynote speeches to the general public, training to professionals and consultations to workplace leaders in order to allow more people to benefit from its advantages.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
"More than thirty years of clinical and neurobiological research support the diagnosis of SAD."(1)
"SAD is a type of clinical depression that regularly occurs in the winter, with normal mood in the summer. Light therapy is an effective and safe treatment for SAD. (...) Self-diagnosis or self-treatment of SAD is not recommended because there are other medical causes for depressive symptoms, and because light therapy may be harmful to people with certain medical conditions" (2)
IMPORTANT: Light therapy is used for much more than SAD (see below "Areas in Which Light Therapy Is Used")
- In Florida, SAD affects about 1.4% of the population; above the 38th parallel about 5%; it rises to over 9% in Alaska (3,4).
- Another 14% of adults suffer a lesser form of SAD known as the winter blues (5), and about one third of adults experience winter slumps (fall or winter gloom that could last until May) (4).
- A study found that 46% of women with SAD also suffered from premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMS) (6).
- Current medications are effective for treating depression, but do not help perhaps half of those seeking help (7).
- If used appropriately and with effective follow-ups by a professional, light therapy has a success rate of 60-80%, according to different studies.
- Light therapy can deliver its effects as rapidly as within 4-6 days, with few side effects and easy adjustments.
AREAS IN WHICH LIGHT THERAPY IS USED
WARNING: DO NOT USE WITHOUT CONSULTING A TRAINED PROFESSIONAL
- SAD, winter blues and winter slumps
- Depression (nonseasonal, recurrent)
- Chronic depression
- Depression during pregnancy and postpartum depression
- Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMS)
- Bipolar disorder
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Eating disorders (e.g. bulimia nervosa)
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Parkinson's disease
- Alzheimer's disease (mild cognitive impairment)
- Borderline personality disorder (sleep quality and daytime alertness)
- Shift work
- Jet lag disturbance
- Sleep-wake disorders:
- Delayed and advanced sleep-phase disorders, and non-24 hour sleep-wake disorder
- Age-related insomnia
all bullets above are taken from (1.) - see below
SERVICES OFFERED (nation-wide)
POPULAR SPEAKING and TRAINING TOPICS
- Winter Blues and the W5 of Light Therapy
- Let's Be Bright: Supercharging Our Brain with Light
- Chronotherapeutics and Light Therapy (for professionals)
Depression AND RESILIENCE
- Essential Steps to Beating Depression
- From Surviving to Thriving: A Lifestyle of Difference
MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
- How do I know if I need light therapy?
- How does light therapy really work?
- What type of lamp should I use?
- How, when, how long and at what distance should I use a lamp?
- What are the side effects and risks?
- What type of bulbs are used? Could I build my own?
- What if I have eye or skin issues?
- Can it be used jointly with medication?
- What about UV, vitamin D and omegas?
- Do I get the same benefits from the sun or through a window?
- Is this the same as a tanning bed?
- Do insurance companies cover costs?
- Should we get our work place assessed?
- How would employees/patients/clients/students/etc. benefit from improved lighting?
- Is this worth the investment?
- How do we know if this is working?
- Where do we start?
DR. FILION CAN ANSWER ALL OF THESE QUESTIONS. CALL TO SET UP A CONSULTATION.
FILION Psychology Professional Corporation has no financial interest in the companies that make these products, nor does it take any responsibility for these products.
- Wirz-Justice, A., Benedetti, F, Terman, M. (2013). Chronotherapeutics for Affective Disorders. Germany: Kraft Druck GmbH.
- Lam, R.W., Tam, E.M. (2009). A Clinician's Guide to Using Light Therapy, Clinician Resource Package. Vancouver Coastal Health: UBC Hospital.
- Rohan, K.J. (2009). Coping with the Seasons. A Cognitive-Behavioral Approach to Seasonal Affective Disorder Workbook. New York: Oxford University Press.
- Terman, M. (2013). Reset Your Inner Clock. The Drug-Free Way to Your Best-Ever Sleep, Mood, and Energy. New York: Penguin Group.
- Rosenthal, N.E. (2013). Winter Blues. Everything You Need to Know to Beat Seasonal Affective Disorder. New York: Guildford Press.
- Lam, R.W., Tam, E.M. (2009). A Clinician's Guide to Using Light Therapy. New York: Cambridge University Press.
- Levitan, R. CAMH Website: http://www.camh.ca/en/hospital/about_camh/newsroom/news_releases_media_advisories_and_ backgrounders/current_year/Pages/light-therapy-effective-general-depression.aspx