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My experience with green light therapy

Posted by Hugh on February 24, 2021, at 11:12:46

For the past month, I've been exposing myself daily to green light in an otherwise darkened room. The University of Arizona has been conducting animal and human studies of green light therapy for acute and chronic pain, and they've been getting remarkable results. Treatments that alleviate physical pain can also alleviate emotional pain, and I'm finding this to be the case with green light therapy.

The following is from a migraine study done at the University of Arizona:

On a scale of 0 to 10, with 0 indicating no pain and 10 the highest level of pain, migraine volunteers had an initial average baseline pain score of 8. After completing the green light therapy, their score dropped down to an average of 2.8. The frequency of headaches dropped from 19 to 6.5 per month, and overall quality of life climbed from 48 percent to 78 percent.

"The best part about it ... is the simplicity, the affordability and, most importantly, the lack of side effects," Dr. Ibrahim said. "It's a normal light. We're not using a high-energy laser or anything like that."

In another study done at the University of Arizona, this one with rats, the following was found:

Clues to the mechanism of action came when Dr. Ibrahim and his colleagues administered naloxone to green light-exposed rats. "Naloxone reversed the effects of the green light, suggesting that the endogenous opioid system plays a role in this," he said, adding that enkephalins were increased two- to threefold in the green light-exposed rats' spinal cords, and astrocyte activation was reduced as well.

This series of experiments also showed durable effects of green light exposure. In addition, the analgesic effect of green light did not wane over time, and higher "doses" were not required to achieve the same effect (as is the case with opioids, for example) (Pain. 2017 Feb;158[2]:347-60).

The benefits I've experienced with green light therapy are better mood, less anxiety, less ruminating, better sleep, more energy. My digestion, which I've had problems with for many years, has improved somewhat.

I've been using a green light therapy lamp developed at Harvard University called the Allay Lamp.

It costs $149. There are green light bulbs that are far cheaper, but these tend to have a much wider wavelength band that includes red and blue light, which might make them less effective. The Allay Lamp uses a narrow band of green light between 510 and 530 nanometers. I tried a green light therapy bulb called NorbRelief ($20). It helped, but I find the Allay Lamp to be more effective.

Green light therapy should be done in a room with no other sources of light. No sunlight, no other light bulbs, no TV. If you listen to music or podcasts or books on your computer or iPad or smartphone, the screens should be covered to block out their light. Sometimes I read books by the green light.

Here are some links about green light therapy:

The green light therapy studies done at the University of Arizona used LED flex strips purchased from (VT, USA).
LED flex strips specifications: #LS-AC60-6-GR, 525 nanometer wavelength (i.e., green), 8 watts, 120 Volts, 120 degree beam angle.




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