Seasonal Affective Disorder

The shorter days and changes in weather may throw many of us off balance. This might affect our mood and behavior. In fact, ten percent of us may be diagnosed with a common problem called Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.).

People suffering from S.A.D. may have a few or all of the following symptoms:

  • changes in appetite
  • weight gain
  • cravings for sweet and starchy foods
  • a tendency to oversleep and have difficulty in waking
  • fatigue
  • low energy
  • decreased libido
  • aches
  • pains
  • difficulty focusing

These symptoms can be severe enough that our lives will be completely disrupted. We may even try to avoid social situations and become a recluse this time of year.

Treatment options

Traditional treatments involve mood altering drugs. However, while they may be effective, drugs can have severe side-effects. Instead, many people choose to use natural remedies to combat S.A.D. such as exercise, herbs and light therapy. Light therapy involves sitting in front of a light unit equipped with specially designed bulbs. In short, these bulbs duplicate the normal light spectrum of the sun on a cloud-free spring day. Since lack of sunlight is a factor in S.A.D., this therapy works quite well.

Light therapy requires an exposure to these special bulbs for at least 30 minutes a day. But, be cautioned, just like the sun, you can’t look directly into the light. There are many resources on the internet for this.

Another approach is to keep body and mind balanced with acupuncture care. Bodies can be easily thrown off balance with just about everything we do in life. The seasons have a direct influence upon the health of our mind and body. Acupuncture treatments can rebalance body systems, calming the mind, lifting the spirit and turning on our internal light switch!

Just another reason to keep your body and mind in tip top shape!