Light Therapy for Anxiety
Anxiety is a human emotion characterized by feelings of worry, fear, and unease about future events or uncertain situations. It is a natural response to stress and can motivate individuals to take action and cope with challenges. However, excessive or persistent anxiety can interfere with daily functioning and quality of life, and may be indicative of an anxiety disorder.
Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health disorders, affecting approximately 40 million adults in the United States alone.
These disorders are characterized by excessive fear, worry, and anxiety, and can significantly impair a person's daily functioning. Common symptoms of anxiety may include:
- Excessive worry or fear: Feeling worried or fearful about everyday situations or events, even when there is no apparent threat.
- Restlessness or feeling on edge: Feeling constantly restless, agitated, or keyed-up, and having difficulty relaxing.
- Irritability: Feeling easily irritated or having a short temper.
- Sleep disturbances: Experiencing trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or having restless sleep due to anxious thoughts or feelings.
- Fatigue: Feeling constantly tired or lacking in energy, even after adequate rest.
- Difficulty concentrating or mind going blank: Having trouble focusing, experiencing memory problems, or feeling like your mind is going blank
- Muscle tension: Having tense muscles, trembling, or experiencing physical symptoms of stress.
- Avoidance behavior: Avoiding situations or places that trigger anxiety, or engaging in excessive reassurance-seeking behaviors.
- Changes in appetite: Experiencing changes in appetite, such as loss of appetite or increased appetite.
- Physical symptoms: Experiencing physical symptoms such as headaches, stomachaches, sweating, shortness of breath, or a rapid heartbeat.
There is growing evidence that tPBM may be an effective treatment option for anxiety. Please look into the studies below on PBM for anxiety:
Significant reduction in anxiety scores in people with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
A study by Maiello, M. et al. (2019) showed that there was a significant reduction in anxiety scores in people with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) after being treated for 8 weeks with transcranial photobiomodulation. Their sleep also improved and there were no side effects.
Light therapy improved anxiety symptoms in a study from 2009
A research treated 10 people with anxiety with NIR light therapy, or with a placebo treatment. The results showed that after 2 weeks, 7 out of 10 had improvements in their anxiety symptoms and the patients reported feeling better immediately after the NIR light therapy.
Continue reading below to learn more about photobiomodulation on a cellular level and understand the difference between wavelength and frequency.
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