Sun Stories: Seasonal Affective Disorder and Tanning Salons

“The problem is primarily caused by the lack of sunlight. It has been scientifically proven that sunlight favors increase in serotonin levels and favors vitamin D accumulation. Besides having anti-osteoporotic, immunomodulatory, anticarcinogenic, antipsoriatic, antioxidant properties, vitamin D is also a mood-modulator.”

UV rays exposure favors vitamin D synthesis in the skin. That’s why people who go to tanning salons have noticed mood improvement and keep the habit in order to maintain the state of well-being.

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Now that we’re heading into winter, we’ve had a few people come into the salon saying they want to hop in a sunbed to help combat SAD. People suffering from seasonal affective disorder report feeling better after a visit at the tanning salon for a tanning bed session.

With the arrival of the cold season, besides cold-driven nuisance, some people experience drawbacks regarding the general state, lack of energy and depression of unknown origin. It was scientifically ascertained that the lack of light favors the production of melatonin by the pineal gland, a hormone inducing sleep. That’s why, during the cold seasons when days are shorter and the sunlight is scarce, we often feel sleepy or drowsy. Also, even during spring and summer, if the tendency is to keep most of the time indoors at home or at the office, the effect may be similar, though not as severe.

Well, if drowsiness were the only impact generated by season changes, things would be easier to solve (with a little coffee maybe!). The problem is that melatonin secretion is synchronized with the production of a neurotransmitter, serotonin, which is involved in several physiological processes such as temperature, blood-pressure regulation and in neuropsychological functions such as appetite, memory and mood. The two do not work together at the same time. When melatonin is secreted, serotonin production is inhibited. Lack of serotonin causes disorders such as chronic fatigue syndrome and reflects its effects on mood also, triggering depression in some persons.

Melatonin is active at night and serotonin is active in the daytime. Also, there is the age factor that contributes to the balance of the two chemicals: the secretion of melatonin decreases with age. There has been established that the link between serotonin and melatonin along with their dependence on the body clock may explain the depression experienced by the people suffering from the disorder called Seasonal Affective Disorder – SAD. Depression, sleep problems, weight gain, anxiety, joint pain, irritability, stress, headaches are some of the symptoms that may appear when we suffer from SAD.

The problem is primarily caused by the lack of sunlight. It has been scientifically proven that sunlight favors increase in serotonin levels and favors vitamin D accumulation. Besides having anti-osteoporotic, immunomodulatory, anticarcinogenic, antipsoriatic, antioxidant properties, vitamin D is also a mood-modulator.

UV rays exposure favors vitamin D synthesis in the skin. That’s why people who go to tanning salons have noticed mood improvement and keep the habit in order to maintain the state of well-being.

Light therapy represents a way to treat SAD. Light operates on the body in two ways: through skin impact or by entering your eyes. Only UV light has effects on the skin, while the light that has effects by entering your eyes needs not be UV, it just has to be bright. Its energizing effect comes from the fact that it stimulates the production of serotonin. The simplest way to get enough bright light is to spend an hour a day or more outdoors, where the light levels range from 1,000 to 50,000 lux or more, compared to room lighting, which is about 50-200 lux.

If your schedule or the weather does not permit it, an alternative is to purchase a light therapy device. For optimum effects, the light source either has to be very bright – 5,000 lux or more – or it has to be in a particular spectrum – around 460 nanometers, which is in the blue range. According to new research, blue range light will provide benefits even if at a dimmer level. Most companies producing light bulbs make full spectrum lights that may successfully replace sunlight.

Yet, there are side effects that bright artificial light may induce, namely it may interfere with sleep (especially when exposure is made in the evening hours) or even trigger in some people a mania – condition called bipolar disorder (known as manic depression).

The safest remains the natural outdoor light, on condition that UV protection is used.

 

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Sun Stories: Olivia – Flirt – Part I

Another tale of one man’s journey navigating his way through the dating scene in Philadelphia.

I work part-time at a spa. The spa owner was an advertising client of mine for about nine months. I’d go to his place of business every week to drop off proofs and chat with him. He was always complaining about his staff, which was basically a bunch of irresponsible chuckleheads. Or as I call them teenagers and kids in their early twenties. I told him that I like to stay busy and his clientele was easy on the eyes. All attractive, fit women. I started working a couple of nights a week and then people left and some got let go, and I ended up working 5 to 8 every night and Sundays 11-4.  It’s easy work, the clients are nice and the cash flow is good.

We close every night at 8pm. Last session is 7:45. If anyone comes in after that we can’t help them because then we literally won’t get out of there until after 8:30. But in stumbles this really beautiful young blonde girl at the stroke of 8pm. She’s a little tipsy and apologizes profusely that she’s arriving late. Saying she was walking around Harbor Park earlier that evening. The weather is warm and Harbor Park is a great spot to hang in the summer. On a side note, named one of the best places to visit in Philadelphia by national press, Spruce Street Harbor Park presented by Univest/Valley Green Bank features colorful hammocks, floating gardens, beautiful lights, refreshing craft beer, and food from popular Philly restaurants, making it a summer gathering space for locals and visitors alike. It’s open May through September.

Anyway, obviously I give in because I can’t say no to a pretty face. There’s the rules and then there’s hot chicks. Let’s face it. If you’re beautiful, you get the hook up everywhere you go. It’s just the way life is. I tell her I have to mop and fold some towels, so it’s okay that she’s here now. She has big, bright flashing blue eyes and extraordinary naturally long eyelashes. Her hair is like ribbons of flax. She is slender and all of 22. Very sweet and charming and of German decent. I know she went to Temple but not what she studied or if she still goes there or has her degree. I do know that this lovely girl works as a bartender and sometimes hostess at a bar in Fishtown.

Olivia thanks me and goes back for her session. I am taken by her beauty. I settle the register, fold some towels and mop out the rooms. When she comes out she is in a low-cut black cocktail dress and heels. She looks stunning! I don’t know where this outfit came from but she must have had it in her bag. Probably heading out to the club with her girls. She thanks me again for letting her get a session in at the last minute. I’m so smitten with her, she could have pounded on the door at 8:15 and I would have let her in. In my heart I wish I were going with her to wherever that destination may be, but alas it is not to be.

I walk back to wipe up and mop the floor of that room. I pick up the towel from the little table and there curled up is a delicate little necklace with the letter “O” on it. I have a reason to contact her now! Or…did she leave it behind for me to retrieve it knowing I would have to call her and she would have to come back? No. I’m imaging things. She doesn’t give a crap about me. What am I thinking? Creating scenarios that don’t exist in my head. Desire does some strange things to the mind. It’s like I’m some sort of beauty addict. My father always said I liked beautiful things. Apparently beauty is nothing more than symmetry. But I believe it’s something more. Much more.

I pull up her account on the system up at the counter. I grab the house phone and dial her number. It rings and rings, and then goes to her voicemail. I take a deep breath as I hear her sweet voice. I leave a message that states who I am and the salon, and that I found her necklace in the room she was in. I tell her it will be in a baggie with her name on it, safely locked in the drawer behind the counter. I hang up. I want her to know that I care enough to call and I have her necklace and its super safe and she can get it anytime. I hold the chain of this delicate piece of jewelry between my index finger and thumb. The gold “O” spins, twinkling in the light. Just like her lovely blue eyes.

Unfortunately she comes in to pick up her necklace on a night I wasn’t working. I can’t control that but I knew because the next night I worked the baggie was gone. I would have liked to have seen her and received the accolades and attention, but no dice.

Some weeks later I was walking towards the counter from cleaning one of the rooms in back and she comes through the door. Looking amazing of course. My heart leaps. She goes: “There’s the man of the hour!” Comes up and hugs me. Her hair smells like Heaven. “Sorry I’m a little sweaty.” she says. (Like I care about that.) “Thank you so much for finding my necklace! My mother gave that to me. I have like two them, and this has happened twice already! Crazy right?” I love this delicious little fraulein. We send her back to the room and go about our business. When she comes out as she’s leaving she sweetly blows me a kiss, which is wonderful, but I have to assume she does this to everybody. I’m not getting my hopes up in any form.

You know what’s weird though? If you’ve been reading these stories for a while you’ll notice that I don’t like that the wallets have not been coming out as of late. It’s 2017! Going out is expensive! What’s wrong with these women? I notice the feminists want equality but when it comes to dinner and drinks it’s the 1950’s again. Anyway, the point I make is moot if it were to come to a date with Olivia. I would completely lay down and pay for everything just to have the honor of sitting in a restaurant with this gorgeous, slender legged beauty. Yea. Total 180 for Olivia. Just slap down the credit card. Yep…I’m an idiot.

Go Team PhicklePhilly!

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every Monday at 9am EST.

I publish new Dating content every Monday at 9am EST. I publish Updates and bios and stories about Non-Dating related characters, such as male and female friends, on TuesdaysWednesdays at 9am EST.