Light Up Your Life: A Conservative Approach to Dealing with Depression

We all know someone suffering from depression. Many of us have experienced it ourselves and understand how greatly it impacts every aspect of life. According to the most recent statistics presented by the CDC, antidepressants are the third most commonly prescribed drug in the United States. But what if we can be taking a more conservative approach?

Preliminary research on photobiomodulation (PBM) shows promising results in the treatment of depression. PBM is a type of low-level laser therapy that delivers light waves to the body. When administered transcranially, there is scientific evidence that depression symptoms may be significantly reduced. One study showed good tolerability of PBM with a significant improvement in depressed patients after just one treatment. The particular patients in the study were even suffering from treatment-resistant depression. The same study also found that patients suffering from comorbid anxiety and traumatic stress disorders showed a significant improvement after two weeks of PBM treatment (Schiffer et al, 2009).

Other researchers investigated the effect of PBM on insomnia, which is often a very disruptive symptom of depression. In this study, whole-body red-light PBM significantly improved sleep quality and raised serum melatonin levels after just 14 days (Zhao et al, 2012).

If you’re suffering from depression, anxiety, or insomnia, this preliminary research is very promising. Imagine reducing depressive symptoms and anxiety, and sleeping better without any medication or side effects. PBM may just be the solution you’re looking for.

If this approach is compelling to you, also check out our previous blog post about depression and whole-body cryotherapy. Primal Ice is here to help you feel better and live better!


Cassano, P., Petrie, S.R., Hamblin, M.R., Henderson, T.A., & Iosifescu, D.V. (2016). Review of transcranial photobiomodulation for major depressive disorder: targeting brain metabolism, inflammation, oxidative stress, and neurogenesis. Neurophotonics.

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