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Sunlight as Medicine

By Emily Lindholm

Now that spring is here and summer is just around the corner, take advantage of one of the best medicines, coming to you straight from the sky above.  The sun has been given a bad rap, but as long as you're not overexposing yourself, it can be one of the best medicines. And, it's free!

After reading this, never forget to pack your sunscreen.  However, it's fascinating to see all of the benefits the sun can have on our mood and our health.  

Increases Serotonin

If there's one thing people can agree on across the globe, it's the fact that sunlight makes us happy!  Sunlight helps boost the amount of serotonin being released in our brain.  Serotonin is known as the happy chemical.  It can give you more energy and help you stay calm and positive.  Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as SAD, happens in the wintertime when we're spending less time in the sun. 

Good for the Skin in Small Amounts

Always be careful about too much sun exposure directly to the skin, and always use sunscreen. However, moderate amounts of sun exposure can be good for the skin.  Ultraviolet light in small amounts can help improve symptoms of eczema, psoriasis, and vitiligo.  

Prevents Eye Problems

Don't throw away your sunglasses, but small amounts of sunlight can be good for your eyes.  It can actually help prevent nearsightedness.  Don't use this knowledge by looking directly at the sun or overexposing your eyes to the sun in any way, but giving your eyes some exposure for a few minutes a day in non-direct sunlight can be a good thing.  

Can Be Used to Treat Jaundice in Infants

It is common for newborns to be affected by jaundice, an issue caused by too much bilirubin in the blood.  Filtered sunlight can be used as a treatment for this condition.  This must be done with a doctor's supervision, and never put a newborn out directly in the sun outside.  

Keep it Moderate

We all know the saying, "you can't have too much of a good thing."  Although it may sound ironic that the sun can be good for your skin in small doses, yet highly dangerous in high doses, this goes to show that balance is everything.  Just be sure to check the ozone levels in the summertime, and always remember your sunscreen.  Keep your Ray-Bans with you, but those times you pull them down to get a better look at a loved one could be a benefit to your eyes.  Stay away from tanning beds.  Go for natural sunlight.  Always remember that balance is key, and otherwise, enjoy the sun!  

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor in Goodlettsville, Tenn.  

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