Light Therapy & Tratak

How light can help cure various forms of depressions

IFSU Belgium, Breeyana Borum

Light Therapy & Tratak

The diffusion of light could help to cure "seasonal" depressions, but also "classic" forms of depression.

In 1903 the Dane Niels Ryberg Finsen was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine for his research in light therapy and its therapeutic results. He created the first device capable of producing synthesized "sunlight".

The light entering the eye stimulates the brain to produce serotonin, also known as the "happiness hormone". This hormone regulates mood and regulates the production of melatonin, which is responsible for sleep-wake cycles.

Light plays a fundamental role in the regulation of circadian rhythms (sleep-wakefulness, changes in body temperature, hormone levels, etc.). If these rhythms are no longer synchronised, we experience disturbing symptoms. Depending on the case, the rhythms can be put back in order by exposing oneself to light at a specific time of day.

A recent study has shown that bright light therapy could become a first-line treatment option for all depressions, not just those related to changing light levels.

This approach plays on an equal footing with antidepressants in characterized depressive episodes, concludes an analysis conducted by psychiatrist and sleep physician Pierre Alexis Geoffroy (Bichat-Beaujon Department of Psychiatry and Addictology, Paris) in the journal Sleep Medecine Reviews.

The researchers selected 7 trials, representing 397 patients with moderate to severe depression. "Following our statistical analyses, we concluded that there was no superiority of antidepressants over light therapy and that the combination of the two treatments was more effective than antidepressants alone. »

"The circadian rhythm is like a clock in the hypothalamus. But this rhythm is itself synchronized with other biological rhythms and under the influence of the environment."

"The clearest influence is the alternation of night and day, as marked by the light. People who have lost their eyesight or who - like the miners in Chile - are at the bottom of a mine, have a natural cycle of 24h40 (and not 24h)," explains Olivier van Reet, professor at the Centre for the Study of Biological Rhythms at the ULB's Faculty of Medicine.

The principle is therefore simple: to expose ourselves to light when it's missing, thus recreating a night-day rhythm closer to our taste. For light awakens us in the truest sense of the word. We still keep in the most intimate part of our brain a switch that turns on the light and off when it gets dark.



The explanation of the benefit of Tratak

For several reasons, Tratak is a very important exercise. In order to practice Tratak it is essential to sit quietly in front of a candle placed at eye level at a distance of about 60-90 cm. One sits comfortably and observes the flame for 3-4 minutes. It is not a question here of staring at the flame but simply observing it without tiring by blinking normally. Then close your eyes and visualize the flame for 3-4 minutes. This is the approach of Tratak. When the visualized image of the flame disappears, we open our eyes, observe again, close our eyes and visualize. This procedure must continue for 25-30 minutes. What is the advantage of this exercise that has been practiced for 5,000 years? First of all, it opens the third eye, i.e. the frontal Chakra. When the third eye is activated, one develops a greater perception of the environment. We no longer see with physical eyes only when the frontal chakra is activated, because our sight becomes more intense. The flower we usually look at appears totally different when we see it with three eyes because we are able to see more than the superficial nature of the flower. It then appears much more beautiful than before.

In all that we undertake in life it is important to concentrate. The difference between success and total failure depends on concentration or lack of concentration. Here we are going to develop concentration without really focusing on this idea. This means that all your mental energies will be directed to a point of focus. Having a focused mind is an extremely important spiritual exercise.

Science has shown that this exercise stimulates at the same time the pituitary gland, which is located below the brain and is the size of a pea. On the outside, the pituitary gland is located between the two eyebrows. The third eye is the subtle or hidden counterpart of the physiological pituitary gland. Western science has not yet explored the full range of actions of the pituitary gland because it can only be extracted after a person's death. After death, when the brain has been extracted, the pituitary gland is found to be very small and calcified. It is then very difficult to discover anything new about the pituitary gland itself. However, one discovery has been made, the practice of Tratak stimulates the pituitary gland, which then secretes a substance, melatonin, capable of regenerating our glandular system. In this way we find that Tratak has physical advantages because it develops greater intuition which is the first step towards clairvoyance. Psychologically, Tratak provides the concentration that allows us to get rid of negative thoughts. This would be impossible without a concentrated mind. Thus, Tratak has psychic, psychological and even physiological advantages if we take into account the secretion of melatonin.


(Why use a candle? Because the structure of the retina allows to keep an impression. This one lasts only a few seconds but it encourages the practice of Tratak)

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