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Regarding human research, a small trial with humans being treated for fibromyalgia or both fibromyalgia and migraine showed improvement.  A human trial using 21 adults to test green light for fibromyalgia pain showed that it did improve pain.  The subjects were exposed to green light emitting diodes or GLEDs for one to two hours a day, for a ten-week period.  The green light had an effect similar to some medications in that it blocked painful sensations by the sensory neurons in the central nervous system.  Green light also reduced hypersensitivity of the nervous system to pain (107).  Green light can also modulate serotonin production and help to regulate the sleep/wake cycle by modulating melatonin production (108).

A human study (25 people) for fibromyalgia related migraine showed a similar result.  Here the subjects exposed to green light reported a reduction in the intensity of migraine by more than 50% (106;108).  When the study started the subjects reported an average pain score of eight out of ten (8/10).  By the time it ended their average pain score was 2.8 out of ten (23/10). There were two conditions, the green light group and a placebo group (white light).  When the subjects were exposed to white light nothing changed.  In the green light condition subjects reported that their pain scores had dropped to an average of 2.8 out of ten (3/10).  Importantly, the subjects use of opioid drugs was almost halved (106).  The treatment also resulted in a drop in the number of headaches per month, from an average of 19 to an average of 6.5 per month.  The subjects reported quality of life went up significantly, from an average score of 48 to an average of 78 (108).  The white light placebo condition showed no improvement whatsoever.  Green light can also help to modulate serotonin and it can reset circadian rhythms via its impact on melatonin production (108). 

Treating anxiety by stimulating the opioid system naturally is now being looked at as a treatment for anxiety and emotional problems (109).  The way natural occurring opioids impact the brain is still not well understood.  But it is known that they strongly influence how fear related memories are developed and stored.  They also regulate emotional responses after a threat has passed.  Anxiety and other emotional problems may be the result of disruption in neural circuits meant to control emotions.  Natural opioids seem to play a role in anxiety, and the use of opioid medications designed for pain are used for anxiety, PTSD etc.  Animal research shows that disrupting production of enkephalin (a natural opioid) increases anxiety, aggressiveness, and fear.  This is probably because natural occurring opioids regulate neural circuits that are important to fear and anxiety.  And, boosting the natural opioids is an emerging treatment for anxiety disorders.  When enkephalin production is increased (or the breakdown of it slowed) the negative behaviors etc., are reduced.  It is known that when enkephalin binds to delta opioid receptors it decreases anxiety.  Keep in mind that opioids can, under certain circumstances, increase anxiety.  For instance, when it binds to mu opioid receptors it can increase anxiety (109).

How it works: green light stimulates activity in a certain part of the eye.  This triggers production of neuro-chemical (peptide) called Enkephalins that bind to opioid receptors, stimulating them.  To work a green light bulb must emit a wider wavelength range, ideally between 490 and 565 nanometers.  Some researchers suggest a band between 510 and 530, so as to ensure no other colour in the light spectrum is detected by the eye.

Green light bulbs in 4 packs can be bought online or in stores.  A regular green lightbulb is about $3.50 before tax.  Long lasting bulbs, or bulbs that are light changing (with a remote control or app) are more expensive, but last for many years. They are available on line for purchase.

Green light lamps can be bought on line.

This information is for educational and informational purposes only.  It is not to take the place of medical advice or treatment.   Seek out a qualified health care provider if you have questions or need help.  Dr. Grant is not responsible for any possible health consequences of anyone who follows or reads the information in this content.  Everyone, but especially those taking medication (over the counter or prescription) should talk with a physician before undertaking any changes to their lifestyle or diet (including taking supplements).

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