How Light Works on the Body
Grade school science tells us light energy enters the eye, hits the retina and rod and cone cells. It is converted into patterns of electrical energy. It travels along neurons in the optic nerves to the brain’s visual cortex at the back of the head producing a visual experience.
The Ancient Egyptians
In ancient times, light therapy was called Heliotherapy after the Greek god of the sun, Helios. The ancient Egyptians knew that sun was essential to growth and life everywhere. The sun god was Ra. The pharaoh included this name - pha-Ra-oah. They saw the sun as the primary source of life. All growth on the planet comes from the sun.
The Ancient Chinese
The ancient Chinese knew each organ had active times. The heart is more active at midday when we move around. Our digestive system is awake after meals. The organ clock deactivates the kidneys during sleep so we don’t have to urinate.
Around the early 1900s people who had smallpox were treated with red light, wrapped in red blankets and had red balls put in their bed. In Japan the SAMe was done. The children were given red toys as well.
Blue Light for Jaundice
This is the yellowing of the skin and eyes when the liver of the newborn is immature. It is caused by the chemical bilirubin (from the bile, produced by old red blood cells when they break down), builds up in the body. Eventually they found that by exposing the baby’s skin to sunlight acted on the blood and brought it back to normal. Blue light is also used. If jaundice is left untreated, the bilirubin builds up in the body causing permanent brain damage.
Russian Scientists Discover
In 1979, Russian scientists in Moscow showed our bodies are filled with numerous light sensitive chemical switches and amplifiers. Different colours or wavelengths of light have different effects. Some colours stimulate bodily enzymes to work more effectively and can turn processes in our cells on and off affecting which chemicals they produce.
In 1984, Dr Norman Rosenthal found exposing depressed patients to sun exposure could be as efficient as medications with fewer side effects.
The Body Clock
In 2002, another pathway was discovered. Alongside the retinal cells we are seeing, over rods and cones, other light sensitive cells were found that send electrical signals on a separate neuronal pathway, also in the optic nerve, to a clump of cells in the brain that regulate our biological clock, the supra chiasmatic nucleus (SCN). It controls when major organ systems turn on and off during the day. It is a clock and a conductor, and regulates hunger, thirst, sexual longings, cravings for sleep, by adjusting our hormones. They also influence our levels of arousal and our nervous system.
In the evening this SCN sends messages to the pineal gland, the third eye, which releases melatonin, the hormone that makes us sleepy.
Different wavelengths of light have different effects on organisms. This means that light frequencies carry energy and different types of information. Extraordinary sensitivities to colour exist in cells and proteins of our body.
Surgery and Sunlight
In 2005, they found that placing patients recovering from surgery in a sunlit room, as opposed to an artificially lit one, significantly reduced their pain.
I am a trained Natural Therapist, Teacher, published Author and Artist who lives on the south eastern coast of Australia.
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The topics on this site are the opinion of the author and as such are only for research and educational purposes. Any products used or statements made are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
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