Exploring the Benefits of Light Therapy

Light therapy, also known as phototherapy, is a treatment that utilizes light to improve health. This emerging therapy shows promise for treating a variety of physical and mental conditions. Keep reading to learn more about light therapy treatment’s current and potential benefits.

How Light Therapy Works

Light therapy exposes a person to specific wavelengths and levels of light under controlled conditions. Different types of light therapy use various kinds of light, including natural sunlight, full-spectrum lights, colored lights, and lasers. The light can be delivered through light boxes, desk lamps, handheld devices, light visors, or controlled exposure to sunlight. The beneficial effects come from how the light interacts with cells in the eyes and skin.

Light therapy treatment, such as those sold at Dennis Gross Skincare, stimulates receptors in the eyes that regulate the body’s internal clock, hormone production, mood, and other bodily functions. The treatment also activates Vitamin D production and blood circulation. The stimulation from the light can produce targeted changes in the body and brain to treat issues like seasonal affective disorder, sleep disorders, sexual dysfunction, dementia, and pain management.

Treating Depression and Improving Mood

One of the most studied uses of light therapy is for improving mood and alleviating symptoms of depression. Research indicates light therapy effectively treats seasonal affective disorder, a form of depression caused by reduced exposure to sunlight in the fall and winter months. Light therapy may also help with other forms of depression, anxiety, and mood disorders.


Light therapy enhances mood by regulating serotonin, melatonin, dopamine, cortisol, and other hormones and chemicals in the brain. The treatment also corrects circadian rhythm imbalances that disrupt sleep-wake cycles and other daily biorhythms. Aligning these 24-hour cycles improves energy, sleep quality, and overall mood.

Regulating Sleep Cycles

Light therapy can successfully treat an array of sleep disorders, including insomnia, jet lag, and sleep phase disorders. Properly timed light exposure helps reset the body’s sleep-wake cycle and circadian rhythms. This regulates melatonin levels, body temperature, and other functions to improve sleep regulation long-term.

Improving Cognitive Function

Emerging research suggests light therapy may benefit cognitive functions like learning, memory, and information processing.


Studies show light therapy improves cognition in people with dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and stroke victims. Light exposure increases alertness and attention, providing short-term cognitive boosts for these populations.

Pain Management

Light therapy is growing increasingly popular for treating pain. Red and near-infrared light wavelengths penetrate tissue and stimulate cellular functioning, increasing blood circulation and reducing inflammation, muscle spasms, joint stiffness, nerve sensitivity, and other causes of pain. Light therapy is being used for back pain, arthritis, fibromyalgia, nerve injuries, and postoperative pain.

Other Potential Benefits

Medical and cosmetic light therapies show early promise for treating an array of other conditions like skin disorders, sexual dysfunction, hair loss, neurological disorders, and weakened immune function. The list of conditions that may benefit from light therapy will likely expand as research continues. The treatment’s effects are wide-ranging and depend on the wavelength, dose, timing, and delivery method of the light administered.

Light therapy leverages different properties of light to stimulate beneficial changes in the body and brain. Well-researched uses, such as treating seasonal depression, sleep disorders, and pain, show the promise of light therapy.