I think it’s high time we gave the color green a little makeover. It usually gets talked about in one of two different contexts.
The first is negative feelings. For example, we may be “green with envy” when we encounter someone we think is more fortunate than we are. Or maybe we feel “green around the gills” when we’re a bit under the weather.
And then there’s the green that’s become tied to what I like to call greenwashing. That’s when marketers try to sell us everything under the sun… from cars to toilet paper… by telling us it’s “green” and better for the environment.
Sometimes it may be true. But more often than not, it’s just a way to sell us more STUFF we don’t need.
I’m proposing we start thinking of green as HEALING instead. And don’t worry. If you know me at all, you know I don’t mean that in some sort of chanting, lighting incense, and dancing around a fire way.
No, I mean it quite literally. Because, believe it or not, there’s solid science behind the use of green lighting to significantly relieve certain types of pain.
Green light passes pain test with flying colors
If you’re a regular Healthier Talk reader, you may recall an exciting study I told you about last year. University of Arizona researchers cut migraine intensity and pain by 60 percent simply by exposing patients to green light-emitting diodes.
But the benefits didn’t end there. The green light also significantly slashed the NUMBER of the excruciating headaches the volunteers had to endure.
You can catch up on all the details of that study in my earlier report here.
Well, it turns out headaches aren’t the only kind of pain green light can help with. In fact, researchers say green light can help relieve one of the most difficult types of pain to treat, fibromyalgia pain.
The same team from the University of Arizona conducted the small but exciting crossover clinical trial. Three dozen fibromyalgia patients from the university’s chronic pain clinic were recruited to participate in the study.
Initially, volunteers were exposed to white light-emitting diodes. Then they were switched over to GLED for 1 to 2 hours a day for 10 weeks.
During the therapy, they avoided exposure to other light-emitting devices such as smartphones, computers, and televisions. But they were to remain awake and engage in some type of activity such as reading or listening to music.
Volunteers completed standardized pain questionnaires on their experiences. Plus, they were asked to evaluate their pain levels on a standard 10-point numeric pain scale.
When they were exposed to the white light, there weren’t any improvements in their pain. But all that changed when they were exposed to the green lights. When folks were bathed in the green light daily, they reported a significant drop in their pain intensity. And there were ZERO side effects.
“Going green” delivers bunches of benefits
A drop in pain alone is enough to get excited about. After all, fibromyalgia is notoriously tough to treat. Victims of this often debilitating pain disorder can suffer for YEARS before getting properly diagnosed, only to spend years trying out various often ineffective treatments.
But the folks in the study didn’t just experience some blessed pain relief. They also reported…
- better mood
- improved sleep
- increased ability to work, exercise, and complete chores
In other words, the green light greatly improved their overall quality of life. Incredibly, the therapy was so effective in some cases that 11 of the volunteers were able to cut back on their pain medications, including dangerous opioids.
Past research has found that green light can help with sleep by triggering our body to produce melatonin and resetting our circadian rhythm. In fact, we even have special photoreceptors in our eyes that are tuned to pick up those green light signals.
Studies have shown green light can affect our “feel-good” serotonin levels. And there are connections that run from our retinas through parts of our brains that control pain, right through to the spinal cord.
Target chronic pain at home without drugs
The UA team is exploring the use of green light therapy to reduce other sorts of pain. So we’re bound to see more research on this novel, affordable, and safe treatment in the coming years.
But why wait? There are ways for you to try out the healing, pain-relieving powers of green light for yourself now. The first is the Allay Lamp produced by a Harvard Medical School professor who was among the first to connect different light spectrums to migraine pain.
The Allay Lamp is available online and can found on Amazon. And while it’s not cheap, with the money it could save you on drugs and doctors’ visits alone, it could end up paying for itself within a few months.
If you’re not ready to make that kind of investment yet, green light bulbs and green therapy glasses are available for far less. And with no side effects, they may be worth giving a try. While more research is needed, they could end up helping to relieve some of your own chronic pain.