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I discovered an amazing new type of treatment that works extremely well for seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
Knowing myself just how miserable SAD can be, I am posting up the details of this treatment I discovered myself in the hope it will help other people with SAD as much as it has helped me.
The treatment simply involves sitting in front of a far infrared ceramic heater, and letting the infrared rays warm you for around 20 minutes or so every day. That's it!
Every time I gave myself a good dose of far infrared like this for around 20 minutes, it would immediately make me feel VERY HAPPY AND ENTHUSIASTIC – like you feel on a hot summer's day – even though in fact it was the middle of a cold, dark, miserable winter, a time when I would normally have winter depression.
The infrared rays work even better if you take off your shirt, sitting two or three feet in front of the infrared heater. I usually have my back facing towards the heater, letting the heat penetrate nice and deeply into my muscles and bones (it helps melt away backaches also). Unlike ultraviolet light, infrared rays are actually healthy for the skin, and your whole body. You may start perspiring a little after 10 minutes in front of this warmth, but this is fine, and a good sign that your are being warmed.
These far infrared ceramic heaters use the same heating elements that you find in regular far infrared saunas. In fact, the treatment method I am describing here is just like having a far infrared sauna, except that you don't enclose yourself in a cabin, but instead bathe directly in healthy infrared rays by sitting right in front of the infrared heater. You can do this in any room in the house. The room air does not get hot, so you breathe easily; but the body soon gets warmed up in these infrared heat rays.
These far infrared ceramic heaters are very cheap compared to buying a home infrared sauna: you can buy an far infrared ceramic heater for around £100 or less. These heaters typically output around 1400 Watts or so. (Note, there are also quartz halogen far infrared heaters that you can buy for around £20, but these do not work as well; you really need the far infrared ceramic heater, as the ceramic type emits a deeper infrared which can penetrate further into the recesses of your body. Also, don't confuse these \"far infrared ceramic heaters\" with fan heaters that are sometimes called \"ceramic heaters\".)
I know that SAD is often treated with full spectrum light boxes that are designed to produce bright white light with some ultraviolet light too, but the infrared treatment I am describing has nothing to do with this. You don't shine the infrared rays from the heater into your eyes, but rather let these rays penetrate deep in your body.
Believe me, even in the middle of a dark winter, after just 20 minutes of this infrared treatment, your mood will really soar upwards. You will suddenly find yourself becoming enthusiastic for life, as if it were summertime, rather then being a recluse within your winter blues.
If you know somebody that has a far infrared ceramic heater (many homes and workplaces have them these days), you might ask to borrow it, and try out the treatment described. If it works for you too, then perhaps you can consider getting one yourself.
This far infrared ceramic heater treatment worked like a dream for me, and I think it will benefit anyone with SAD.
What is the mechanism behind this far infrared therapy for SAD? Those with some scientific background may be aware that SAD has been associated with a lack of a factor called BH4 (tetrahydrobiopterin). BH4 is a crucial factor the body needs to make the all important serotonin. Low serotonin causes depression, so when you don't have enough BH4 to make serotonin, you will feel depressed.
Fortunately, far infrared will strongly increase your body BH4 levels, which then increases your serotonin levels, which in turn rapidly banishes your winter blues. So this is how the far infrared ceramic heater treatment most likely works to treat winter blues: by raising BH4 levels.
There are not really any effective dietary supplements or drugs that you can take that substantially increase your BH4 levels, but fortunately the far infrared approach works well.
The summer sun provides an abundance of natural infrared light to make BH4, so all you are doing by sitting in front of your infrared heater is getting the warm, infrared rays that you are so desperately missing during those long, cold winters.
Unfortunately in the northern hemisphere winter is now coming to an end, so you may have to wait until next year to test this infrared treatment method for SAD.
But do try this infrared treatment. It may greatly improve your life.
Please post up your experiences with this treatment, because I would like to see just how well infrared treatment works for other people with SAD.
Note that I am just putting this information up for the benefit of others. I found great improvements in my own SAD using this simple infrared therapy, and I really hope that this treatment works well for everyone with SAD.
15th April 2011.
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