The Golden Healer - The Beginning of the Light Therapy
Light therapy, also known as phototherapy, has been widely used as a safe, noninvasive treatment option for several conditions, including skin disorders, insomnia, and depression. Today, light therapy is an FDA-approved cosmetic procedure and a skincare must-have, as it provides anti-inflammatory effects, promotes healing and helps increase collagen production, giving its users the fresh, glowing skin they’ve always wanted.
The History of Light Therapy
Some of the logic related to solariums began in China around 6,000 BC. At that time, Chinese architects began building homes to face south so that the sun would heat the interior, a practice that continues even today. While windows were likely no more than a gap in the wall at the time, you can still imagine families gathering around to soak up the light and heat. Finally, the trend of solar-heated homes began to catch on in Greece and even Rome.
If you’d like to geek out on this amazing health and beauty solution, let’s take a trip down memory lane and know how light therapy started, from the Chinese and Greeks to modern day discoveries.
Light therapy dates back to the ancient Greeks. The Greek city of the sun called Heliopolis was known for his healing temples that use sunlight spectrums (different colors) to cure specific medical concerns. This is also where the term heliotherapy, or the exposure to light, came from.
According to Socrates, the ideal house should be cool in summer and warm in winter and nowadays we still believe that. But, 2,500 years ago, in Greece, accomplish this was hard. No heating systems or any type of AC.
At that time, they ravaged the forest for wood to heat their homes and cook. Trees were also needed to fuel operations and build homes and ships. But, this was destroying the timberlands. Plato once compared the hills of Attica to the bones of a wasted body. Plato said:
“ All the richer and softer parts have fallen away…..and the mere skeleton of the land remains.”
With wood scarring and the supply sources getting farther and farther away, the fuel prices most likely went up. Fortunately, an alternative source of energy was available, the sun, whose energy is vast and free.
With time, the Greeks learned to build their houses to take advantage of the sun’s ray during winter and to avoid the sun’s heat during the hot summer. Individual homes were oriented towards the south and then entire cities were planned to allow citizens access to the winter sun. Citizens were saving money and resources.
Greeks venerated the sun so they were happy to create their solar-friendly houses. Theophrastus, a naturalist commented that Greeks believed that —
the sun provides life-sustaining heat in animals and plants. It also probably supplies the heat of earthly flames. They believed they were catching the sun when making fire.
It was commonly known that exposure to the sun nurtured good health. Oribasius, an ancient medical authority, wrote that south-facing areas were healthy places because of their exposure to the sun.
Dr. Niels Finsen, a Danish physician and scientist, received a Nobel Prize of Medicine in 1903 for his contributions in treating lupus vulgaris and other diseases using concentrated light radiation. His award was well-deserved as he has opened new doors and treatment possibilities for the medical industry. Finsen first talked about the preliminary results of the use of ‘the chemical rays of light’ in 1896. When he said ‘chemical light,’ he meant ionizing light or light that produces chemical effects, such as ultraviolet rays.
Decades of research have shown that light therapy produces impressive therapeutic benefits to living tissue. In fact, in the 1960s, it was distinguished in Europe that treatment tissues gained therapeutic effects from single wavelengths through photo-stimulation. One good example of this is the practice of providing light treatment to babies who are suffering from jaundice or yellow skin.
1980s - 1990s
Light therapy became more popular from the 1980s to 1990s, as more clinics, medical facilities, and companies start to discover how powerful light therapy can be in terms of treating conditions and diseases. In fact the cosmetic benefits of light therapy also came to surface during this time. Meanwhile, some sports teams, athletes and physical therapists discovered that light therapy can help relieve sports-related injuries. It was noted that an injured person who undergoes light therapy can recover 50 times faster than a person who doesn’t.
The development of light therapy has become unstoppable starting 2000. More companies started to produce various light therapy machines and devices for medical treatment and aesthetic purposes. These equipment come in different lights and sizes to help address or give solution to different types of conditions. Some researches even found out that light therapy, using red frequency, combined with topical cream, can kill certain kinds of cancer cells.
We hope this quick throwback on the roots of light therapy has given you more insights about the effectivity of this solution both for clinical and aesthetic use. If you’re in need of light therapy machines and/or supplies, we can do the job for you. Here at Kaiyan Medical, we see to it that the medical devices we manufacture for our clients are safe and are compliant to ISO medical standards. You can trust that your machines will be manufactured using the right tools, at a safe environment. To learn more about our light therapy products and services, click here.
- Solar energy — History. 2. Architecture and solar radiation — History. I. Perlin, JohnJoint author. II. Title.
- A GOLDEN THREAD- 2500 YEARS OF SOLAR ARCHITECTURE AND TECHNOLOGY by KEN BUTTI, JOHN PERLIN