Mental Health

How Heliotherapy Can be Used to Treat Depression

heliotherapy Posted On
Posted By Alex Perez - Mental Health Writer, B.A.

Guest post by Olivia Sanders.

She is a Content Marketer at Heliotherapy Institute.

Depression is a debilitating mental illness that affects millions of people all over the world. There are many treatments, medications, and psychotherapy techniques available to help those who suffer from it. One treatment that has been proven effective in many studies is heliotherapy.

We will discuss what is heliotherapy and how it can be utilized to help with depressive disorders.

What is heliotherapy?


Heliotherapy is a form of treatment that uses natural sunlight to improve health. It can be used to treat a variety of conditions, including depression.

Sunlight is a natural source of Vitamin D, which is important for maintaining mental health. When people are deficient in Vitamin D, they can experience symptoms such as depression and anxiety. Sun exposure also helps to boost serotonin levels, which can improve moods.

Nowadays there are many other forms of heliotherapy available besides just exposing oneself to natural sunlight, such as lightboxes and sun lamps.

How does heliotherapy help with depression?


The use of heliotherapy for the treatment of depression is based on the idea that exposure to natural sunlight can help improve mood. Sunlight triggers the release of serotonin, a brain chemical that helps regulate mood. Serotonin is also involved in regulating other body functions such as sleep, appetite, and pain perception.

Exposure to sunlight also helps the body produce vitamin D. Vitamin D is important for overall health and has been shown to play a role in mood regulation.

Another way heliotherapy has been shown to help with depression is by improving sleep patterns. This effect may be due to the increased hours of sunlight during the summer months, which helps reset circadian rhythms and regulate melatonin levels (the hormone responsible for regulating sleep-wake cycles). Increased exposure to light can help people with Seasonal Affective Disorder, who experience depression during the winter months when there is less sunlight.

Heliotherapy has also been shown to improve sleep quality by reducing or eliminating insomnia and improving other symptoms associated with poor sleep (such as daytime fatigue). Sleep problems are common in persons suffering from depression and can make it more difficult for them to recover.

Pros and cons of heliotherapy


Heliotherapy can be used in mild to medium cases of depression.

It has some clear benefits that should be considered:

  • It is a natural treatment and does not require the use of medication.
  • The sun’s rays stimulate vitamin D production in the body, which helps to improve mood and energy levels.
  • Sunlight helps to improve the immune system, which means that people who suffer from depression are likely to be less prone to illness and disease.
  • Light therapy is believed by some doctors to have a calming effect on patients with anxiety disorders such as OCD or phobias.
  • It does not involve any unnecessary risks for your health (medications for depression, for example, can cause different side effects).

The main disadvantages are:

  • Heliotherapy should be used only when the weather allows it – you must wait for sunny days, or else your body will get insufficient exposure (sunblock usage can also interfere with the treatment). However, this can be solved by using a special lightbox.
  • The therapy is not suitable for everyone. For example, people with skin conditions like melanoma should avoid sun exposure.
  • It is not a quick fix – it usually takes weeks or even months before you start feeling the benefits.

Despite these disadvantages, heliotherapy can be a helpful addition to traditional treatments for depression and can provide long-term positive results.

How to do heliotherapy at home for treating depression?


There are a few ways that you can do heliotherapy at home. One way is to stand in front of a sunny window for about 15 minutes every day.

Another way is to use special light boxes that simulate sunlight. You can buy these lightboxes at most pharmacies or online. You should use the lightbox for about 30 minutes every day.

Some people also like to go outside in the sun for a few minutes each day, but you need to be careful not to get too much sun exposure. Too much sun can make your depression worse.


Diogenes heliotherapy

Heliotherapy can be used to treat depression or any illness which causes a feeling of sadness or hopelessness. It is a simple, natural, and affordable way to improve your health and well-being.

Heliotherapy involves exposing your skin to natural sunlight as much as possible. You can do heliotherapy at home, outside, or in a solarium (a special room with fluorescent lights).

Related article: 10 Benefits of Heliotherapy

Reference: NCBI, Benefits of Sunlight

Reference: Science Direct, Heliotherapy

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