Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

Do you or someone you know experience Seasonal Affective Disorder aka SAD at some point throughout the year?


What is SAD?

SAD is a type of depression related to changes in seasons and begins and ends at about the same times every year. According to www.infraredsauna.com, "There is a lot of research on the topic, but most of them point to a disruption in our circadian rhythms due to changes in atmospheric lighting. When the winter months arrive, the days tend to get shorter, sunlight is in shorter supply, the environment is colder, and Seasonal Affective Disorder symptoms arise. These natural habitat changes reinforce the correlation between location and Seasonal Affective Disorder prevalence."



What are the symptoms of SAD?

Signs and symptoms vary from person to person, as well as season to season, but here is a basic list of symptoms that are typically experienced with SAD:

  • lack of energy

  • finding it hard to concentrate

  • not wanting to see people

  • sleep problems, such as sleeping more or less than usual, difficulty waking up, or difficulty falling or staying asleep

  • feeling sad, low, tearful, guilty or hopeless

  • changes in your appetite, for example feeling more hungry or wanting more snacks

  • being more prone to physical health problems, such as colds, infections or other illnesses

  • losing interest in sex or physical contact

  • suicidal feelings

  • other symptoms of depression.

If you also have other mental health problems, you might find that things get worse at times when you're affected by SAD.


How can Salt Therapy help with SAD?

Salt therapy releases negative ions. It is said that 45 minutes of salt therapy is equal to at least 2 days at the beach in terms of exposure to these negative ions. The negative ions help to improve mental and emotional health by making you feel happier according to many anecdotal reports. Halotherapy operates as an "antidepressent treatment" and is recognized in Europe as a means of treating SAD in a 100% drug free and natural way.


What about an Infrared Sauna?

Toward the end of December each year, our days get to their shortest point and some major cities in the US see only 9-10 hours of sunlight per day. Barrow, Alaska sees none! This is the time of year when most symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder develop, and understanding the value of light therapy can truly help to stave off the most debilitating side effects of SAD.


According to www.sculpttricities.com, "The sun has many types of rays, and infrared wavelengths are the GOOD ones which, when isolated, have been shown to provide many positive health benefits without the negative risks that UV rays bring. Infrared wavelengths are a wonderful and effective way of accessing only the positive benefits of the sun’s rays and harnessing the good, mood boosting benefits the sun provides. Infrared saunas emit far, near and mid infrared wavelengths that we cannot see but that our cells LOVE for energy production and that enhance our mood and outlook. One study showed that people reported improved mood ratings following near infrared exposure and that it didn’t just last a few hours after the infrared sauna session but for 6 weeks!


If you, too, find yourself feeling more down during the winter, an infrared sauna session can be a wonderful, safe and effective experience that you can add into your routine. And, bonus—infrared not only has been shown to boost mood, it also brings other positive side effects: promotes healthy skin, improves circulation, detoxifies, promotes cardiovascular health, reduces inflammation, provides immune system support, enhances weight loss, and more!


Embrace relaxing and enjoy being warmed up from the inside out as the cells in your body are soaking up mood-boosting energy. As you are infused with the happy rays, you can also release toxins. We are designed to use the sun to detox, and it has been proven that infrared promotes 7-10 times greater detoxification than steam sauna or exercise sweating –thus also detoxifying you from the inside out."


And Chromotherapy?

According to researchers at Harvard Medical School, bright light can stimulate cells in the retina that connect directly to the hypothalamus, a portion of the brain that controls circadian rhythms. By using light therapy to stimulate this part of the brain, a normal circadian rhythm can be obtained and Seasonal Affective Disorder will be minimized.


Many of today’s better saunas come equipped with built-in lights that are designed to deliver a calming and therapeutic effect. This process of light therapy for SAD is called chromotherapy, and refers to the use of lights to create changes in mood in the person using the sauna. If you find that Seasonal Affective Disorder is a reality for you or a loved one, try to find time to get in an infrared sauna with LED color lights that can help in a variety of ways. Each color has been shown to help elicit specific changes in the body and mind:

  • Red: Shown to boost energy and promote faster healing when used in tandem with infrared sauna therapy.

  • Orange: Sparks greater mental activity and can induce an uplifting sense of cheerful emotions.

  • Yellow: Shown to create feelings of optimism, good humor, and positivity.

  • Green: One of the best light therapy hues for combating Seasonal Affective Disorder, as it can calm one down quickly and directly counteract the side effects of SAD.

  • Blue: Minimizes the feelings of anxiety and depression. Blue light has even been shown to improve the look and health of one’s skin!

  • Purple: Delivers a calming effect that can even help to overcome feelings of pain. Purple is a tranquil color that stimulates white blood cell production.

  • White: By combining red, green, and blue, white light delivers a triple-threat of healing power.

If you are looking for an alternative option to treating SAD, give us a call at 307.333.6333 or book a session online today.

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