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Does Red Light Therapy help with PTSD?

Updated: Nov 27, 2023



What is PTSD?

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that can occur after experiencing a traumatic event, such as a natural disaster, an assault, or military combat. Symptoms of PTSD include intrusive thoughts, avoidance of triggers, changes in mood and cognition, changes in physical and emotional reactions to triggers, nightmares, flashbacks, anxiety, depression, and difficulty sleeping. These symptoms can be debilitating and interfere with daily functioning.


Red Light Therapy at The Wellness Center


At our wellness center, we take pride in our specialized approach to holistic well-being, featuring cutting-edge full-body pulsing red light therapy. Distinguishing ourselves from the rest, we harness the power of four distinct wavelengths of red and near-infrared light. Our unique pulsing technique sets us apart even further, employing different frequencies that have been scientifically proven to facilitate the release of trapped emotions. This personalized blend of photobiomodulation, also known as low-level laser therapy or red light therapy, extends beyond mere treatment – a transformative experience. Research indicates that our approach to photobiomodulation may be particularly beneficial in addressing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), showcasing the comprehensive nature of our commitment to your well-being.


How does red light therapy help?

Several studies have investigated the use of photobiomodulation for the treatment of PTSD. A study published in 2021 found that LLLT can be effective in reducing the severity of PTSD symptoms, including anxiety, depression, and insomnia. Another study conducted in 2021 concluded that, "PBM can modulate brain activity in response to traumatic and stressful events and that early PBM intervention can prevent the occurrence of PTSD-like comorbidities."


How does PBM work for PTSD? Here is what the science says, "we found that PBM treatment differentially regulated Arc and c-fos expression in the hippocampus and amygdala, two PTSD-related brain regions. Additionally, PBM boosted ATP production and regulated protein expression in the hippocampus following stress." PBM also helps to reduce inflammation and increase blood flow to the affected areas of the brain, leading to improved brain function and a reduction in symptoms. PBM also helps to regulate the production of neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, which play a role in mood and anxiety.


10 to-do's to help manage PTSD

In conjunction with red light therapy, here are ten things someone can do at home to help cope with PTSD:


1. Establish a Routine: Creating a daily routine can provide a sense of structure and predictability, which can be comforting for individuals dealing with PTSD.


2. Mindfulness and Meditation: Practicing mindfulness and meditation exercises can help ground individuals in the present moment, reducing anxiety and promoting relaxation.


3. Physical Exercise: Engaging in regular physical activity has been shown to have positive effects on mental health. It can help reduce stress, improve mood, and enhance overall well-being.


4. Journaling: Keeping a journal allows individuals to express their thoughts and feelings in a private space. Writing about traumatic experiences can be a therapeutic outlet.


5. Connect with Supportive Individuals: Maintain connections with friends, family, or support groups. Talking about experiences with trusted individuals can provide a sense of understanding and comfort. Additionally, find a therapist skilled in Accelerated Resolution Therapy (A.R.T.). This is a fresh and effective therapeutic process for the most severe cases.


6. Create a Safe Space: Designate a specific area in your home as a safe and calming space. Fill it with items that bring comfort, such as soothing colors, textures, or personal mementos.


7. Limit Exposure to Triggers: Identify and minimize exposure to triggers that may worsen symptoms. This might include certain movies, news stories, or specific environments.


8. Practice Breathing Exercises: Learn and practice deep breathing exercises to manage stress and anxiety. Controlled breathing can help regulate the nervous system.


9. Engage in Creative Outlets: Pursue creative activities like art, music, or writing as a way to express emotions and channel energy into positive outlets.


10. Educate Yourself: Understanding PTSD and its effects on the body and mind can empower individuals. Knowledge can demystify the experience and help in developing effective coping strategies.


Remember, seeking professional help is crucial for managing PTSD as well. These home-based strategies can complement therapeutic interventions and provide additional tools for coping. Always consult with a mental health professional for personalized advice and support.


Conclusion

Overall, the evidence proves that PBM is an effective adjunctive treatment for PTSD. It is generally considered safe and well-tolerated, with few reported side effects. It is important to note that PBM should be used as part of a comprehensive treatment plan for PTSD, which may include therapy, medication, and other approaches.


Go check out our youtube channel where we are reviewing all the most recent science regarding Red Light Therapy. Here is our most recent episode.


If you're affected by PTSD and would like to try Red Light Therapy, your first session is 100% free and you can schedule an appointment either in Huntsville or South Ogden. If you want to understand red light therapy better, here is the science.

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