- What is LIGHT?
LIGHT stands for Light-Induced Guided Healing Therapy, a novel mind-body intervention that has proven efficacious in a preliminary study involving persons diagnosed with a neurodegenerative condition. Patients using LIGHT showed a 75% decrease in depressed mood, a 24% decrease in fatigue, a 38% increase in physical quality of life, and a 30% increase in mental quality of life.
In a second pilot study using EEG readings, researchers noted that "a broad network of brain systems became increasingly engaged as individuals progressed through the visualization sequence." A simple understanding of how the brain functions may be stated as, "neurons that fire together, wire together." Among other benefits of using LIGHT, it addresses one of the key factors linked with healing in any respect that requires engineering new mental pathways to accommodate and anchor the improvements.
LIGHT users are able to receive the benefits of relaxation, meditation, and visualization all packaged as one, with targeted application of these improvements to specific challenges across a broad range of physiological, psychological, and spiritual areas of one's life.
More details are available at: http://getlightlessons.com OR UCSD School of Medicine
- The genesis of LIGHT: Paula's journey from MS diagnosis to developing and sharing a mind over matter, transferable therapy model.
Paula was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in 1999; following this, she developed a mind-body protocol to slow the progression and reverse the debilitating symptoms. Its success has continued to help Paula enjoy an active lifestyle for almost two decades now. Paula’s mother’s support and encouragement was vital during her own struggle and recovery. Then in 2011, her mother made the wish that she should share this knowledge with others in need, and Paula joined forces with Thomas George Thudiyanplackal to put the process through the rigors of science before introducing it to the world.
After completing two pilot studies and having a peer-reviewed paper published in a major scientific journal, LIGHT was introduced as an educational program open to the public at UCSD School of Medicine since 2018.
LIGHT co-founders Paula Marie Jackson and Thomas George Thudiyanplackal have combined their diverse experience ranging from research and innovation for medical devices to creative storytelling in films to assemble a unique hybrid of a number of techniques that make otherwise nebulous concepts accessible to every person. Principles from ancient philosophies of East and West blend seamlessly with contemporary scientific findings in psychology and neuroscience as the evidence-based LIGHT protocol to help the user navigate deeper states of their subconscious mind. New mental pathways are forged and greater control is established over interactions in everyday scenarios where one would otherwise be subjected to adverse subconscious programming.
- What is the evidence based on the data from the research?
Please refer to question 1 above
- How is LIGHT used in the clinical setting?
LIGHT instructors and practitioners work with students and clients in a non-clinical setting. LIGHT is a complementary self-care modality; it is not a diagnostic tool and does not claim to cure or heal any ailment. Individuals who may be diagnosed with any of the diverse disease conditions or even perfectly healthy persons are all likely to benefit from the use of LIGHT.
LIGHT is self-care tool that has shown to improve self-efficacy: a person's ability to visualize positive outcomes and take affirmative action to achieve one's life and health goals. Several LIGHT users have displayed improved responsiveness to their existing standard care regimen across a range of conditions. Some have successfully mitigated pain and depressed mood with staggering results. We continue to receive positive feedback and testimonials from LIGHT users with new breakthroughs.
- What disease conditions and symptoms may be managed or eased with the use of LIGHT?
Overall, we’ve had people diagnosed with a variety of chronic and autoimmune conditions, even cancer or general surgery; in every case, LIGHT has helped the individual brace up for the challenge with enhanced positivity and a solid goal. As was displayed in our pilot study with patients diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, across the board, LIGHT users show a decrease in depressed mood and fatigue, with significant benefits with pain and inflammation; additionally they experience improvements in their overall disposition, sleep patterns, and quality of life. We often receive gratitude from close family members and caregivers who recognize the advancements, and they acknowledge how LIGHT transforms their shared experience. This is further addressed in question 8 below.
- Where and how is LIGHT currently being offered to the public?
LIGHT is available to the public as an educational program offered at UCSD School of Medicine. We currently offer 8-week LIGHT Self-Efficacy courses available on weekday evenings and weekend afternoons, as well as a 3-day Weekend Immersive course. The schedule is made available on the website, and courses are generally announced about a month or so prior to the start date. You can sign up to the mailing list to get regular updates.
Individuals may also sign-up for one-to-one LIGHT sessions with a certified LIGHT instructor/practitioner. Depending on the severity of the stressors one may be required to do a complete course of 10 LIGHT sessions over 10 weeks or half that length of 4 LIGHT sessions over 5 weeks. This assessment varies from person to person, and a consultation visit is required to determine the need.
One-to-One sessions and the courses may be attended remotely via video conferencing, the eligibility is determined on a case-by-case basis.
- Secular and Inclusive: LIGHT benefits its user regardless of religious or cultural background. Atheists and agnostics, skeptics and believers, all may equally access its potency.
We’ve had to deal with this question over and over. People who conform to a specific religious practice worry if such this mind-body protocol would interfere with or contradict any of their beliefs or rituals. Contrarily, atheists have expressed worry that they may be introduced to ideologies that may threaten their existing non-belief. A whole gamut exists in between these two extremes, of agnostics who have their own concerns. What if their uncertainty would hinder or undermine the overall demands of the protocol? These are all legitimate apprehensions.
- As our researchers have observed on various occasions, LIGHT provides the blueprint and foundation for the user to bring their own constructs and beliefs to examine and explore those without judgment or blame, while staying focused wholly on formulating affirmative, forward-looking solutions. Religious figures, deceased ancestors, fictional entities, all these constructs may be implicated using one’s creative imagination, provided it serves the purpose of reconstruction and expansion of a person’s life purpose.
- Psychotherapy or traditional hypnotherapy uses regression to carry the person back to the origin of persistent trauma until they may find a way to heal and move forward. Often this process of revisiting early phases of one’s life involves rumination or counterfactual thinking to question authority figures and strictly enforced beliefs that one retaliates against and repels from in later years. This aversion subconsciously keeps the person from fully experiencing life or embracing perspectives that may even remotely resemble those early associations. LIGHT is a forward-looking protocol that propels one toward realizing the full-potential vested in each of us, thus old wounds are no longer scraped open. The person designs and models his or her future goals unshackled from old, limiting beliefs.
- LIGHT functions as a reliable transportation that carries a person to their destination, whether one chooses to go to church, the library, or the beach, that’s entirely up to them. The individual gets to be in the driver’s seat.
- How or why does LIGHT work?
Human health is a complex issue. What may seem as one thing on the surface (a symptom) is often the manifestation of a number of underlying, interlinked factors (lifestyle, environment, genetics). Topical approaches in standard care are highly effective for acute trauma in the short-term. Sadly, this compartmentalization of medical approaches to treating a person part-by-part for chronic issues still leaves a lot unanswered; additionally, they cause other unintended side-effects down the line.
LIGHT looks at this problem through a different lens: we acknowledge the whole human as one integral system that exists as a part of its environment. When there is disharmony within this environment, a person may be subjected to recurring stressors without any respite or lasting solutions, this leads to sustained disease and injury. We have noted these commonalities across a broad range of chronic and autoimmune conditions: depression, fatigue, anxiety, pain, and insomnia.
Our aim with LIGHT is to address the underlying stress factors, intentionally avoiding the wild goose chase of shifting symptomatology. Stress is rooted deeply in one's unconscious mind. We are governed by the unconscious in over 95% of our daily interactions. This is why others may notice our harmful behavior and habits, but we may continue without ever acknowledging it. Awareness techniques including meditation, mindfulness, cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), and exposure therapy are all geared toward addressing this debilitating absence of self-awareness.
While traditional meditation and some of its contemporary variations remain focused on non-striving and awareness, LIGHT goes deeper with specific intentions to achieve defined goals. Stress often becomes a blanket term for every discomfort one faces across a lifetime, and this takes the shape of something overwhelmingly insurmountable. Using a range of tools acquired through the LIGHT protocol, a user may inspect and verify his or her world-view and self-assessment to identify specific stressors, delineating each into a unique thread for future investigation and abatement. Every thread is anchored with an intention to reach a certain goal. There will be overlapping threads across sessions, but these usually help propel each intention in a forward direction.
A LIGHT session is started with one of these predetermined intentions, and when a breakthrough is achieved, the user is able to place a bookmark to later call upon it in real-time when faced with the underlying stressors. In this way, the LIGHT user combats old stressors with a new, modified outlook that is affirmative and empowering. Each time they perform this self-correction, a new mental pathway is forged and strengthened, until it overpowers and replaces the old, regressive response.
This is obviously a simplistic overview, there's a good reason why it takes 20 hours of training plus 5 hours of weekly reading and practice for 8-weeks of the LIGHT program to acquire this protocol for self-care. To be certified as a LIGHT instructor, the length of training is much more exhaustive and rigorous.
- Some case studies and testimonials.
Refer to both the web links provided under question 1.
- Background information on the LIGHT core team members.
Please refer to individual bios and website links for every LIGHT instructor. Everyone has a different background that somehow adds a unique perspective to what each person brings to LIGHT. Paula worked on clinical trials for medical devices, Tom worked in advertising and films as a creative head and director, Kate has been an HR director for top life science start-ups, and Athena has managed direct marketing and team administration responsibilities for various small to mid-sized businesses across industries.
- LIGHT innovation and dissemination partners.
Paula and Tom have formed numerous programs based on the LIGHT protocol with an emphasis on improving self-efficacy. These programs are currently offered at UCSD School of Medicine and at ADAPT.
A special program has been developed for individuals diagnosed with neurodegenerative diseases and spinal cord injury; this program is offered through Adapt Functional Movement Center in Carlsbad.
Future LIGHT research will be conducted in partnership with UC San Diego Center of Excellence for Research and Training in Integrative Health led by Paul Mills, PhD.