Tanning Linked to Easing Chronic Pain
A North Carolina dermatologist, Wake Forest University's Dr. Steven Feldman, is recommending indoor tanning for some patients suffering with chronic pain. Feldman conducted a research trial of fibromyalgia patients which revealed that those who used a tanning bed actually had their pain decline as compared to those who weren't exposed to UV light. He attributes the relief to the release of endorphins that results from exposure to ultraviolet rays. The study lasted a month and a half.
One of his patients, Laura Hemrick, first tried exercise and drug therapy to treat her chronic fibromyalgia - an illness that reveals itself with symptoms such as loss of energy and mental clarity, as well as lots of pain. However, she reveals that the only action that's brought relief for her is indoor tanning. Her therapy has consisted of using a tanning booth three times a week for 12 to 15 minutes per visit. She much preferred that to the increased sickness she felt when trying to take prescription medicine for her symptoms.
Beyond fibromyalgia, Feldman also acknowledges that indoor tanning equipment has been used to treat the skin condition psoriasis.
The use of indoor tanning as a form of therapy was also a topic of discussion among doctors when a study of people "addicted" to tanning revealed that participants were tanning indoors to aid with back pain. In another study, UV light recipients noted their arthritis conditions were improved.