You’ve probably heard about light boxes. I think they are great to use in the summertime. Some people get depressed in the winter because they are stuck indoors without regular access to sunshine. Light therapy is an easy way to address this issue, and has been shown to be effective in many studies. But using a light box is potentially more awesome.

When we “spring forward” in March, many of us end up waking up to a dark or even pitch black sky. This is not quite natural–if you ever go camping, you might experience being waked up by a huge burning orb in the sky instead of an alarm clock. It’s only because of our evil bosses that we have to get up super early. Not exactly “rise and shine”, huh? The natural cycle of waking up to sunshine and falling asleep not too long after the sun sets is imprinted in our brains, and has effects on most body processes. Modern man has done all he can to circumvent circadian cycles with bright TVs, laptops, and iPads. Try naturalizing your light exposure not only in the morning, but also at night. Turn off the computer. Read a book.

So what’s up with this contest? Well, I’m giving away a pretty nice lightbox, which has excellent reviews on Amazon. Many reviews read like this one: “Within two days…my mood brightened and I started to get my initiative back.” Your chances of winning are extremely high, since not a whole lot of people visit this site (yet). To enter, simply do these two things. First, “like” this website on facebook (either using the facebook tab up in the right-hand corner or going directly to the site). Then comment under the post on that site which asks “What was your best vacation, ever?” with a description of your favorite vacation you’ve ever been on. Mine is Hawaii, spring of 2004. I love sunshine…a lot. I’ll pick the best vacation story on Friday, April 20th, get your contact info, and send the light box right over to you. Liking the facebook page will lead to absolutely zero spam or annoyances, guaranteed.

Let me also mention that I find marketing this website, and the skeezy hijinks of internet marketing in general, to be a rather painful process (har har, pun intended). But I’d love to get lots of people reading and contributing. From emails I’ve gotten so far, there are tons of people with pain who would like to read more evidence reviews of both standard and alternative medicine approaches. I’m not putting up ads or selling anything, so instead I’m going to occasionally give something away so that I feel like I’m tangibly helping at least a few people. Hopefully this will drive more people to this site, and eventually I’ll sell it to google and become a zillionaire. Until then, I will continue to dream of sandy beaches, clear oceans, lazy afternoons, and less pain. I hope you do the same (or something similar) once in a while.

Yours in pain,

Kamal Patel


  1. perfect, I will look forward to reading everyone’s story and writing my own. 

  2. Vacations? Not sure what they are anymore! Our vacations seem to be weekend trips up to see parents. But a few years ago (2003 to be exact), we spent q week on the Oregon coast with all our family for my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary. Dad didn’t want a big party…just a BBQ in the backyard with family. So we surprised my parents with this trip with
    all the kids and grandkids. And yes, we had a BBQ in the backyard of the rental home…which was right on the beach.

  3. My wife and I didn’t do a proper honeymoon; shortly after we were married my wife and I instead opted for a whirlwind trip to New Orleans for St. Patrick’s Day and Austin, TX for SxSW. The day before we left we bought a cargo van to haul some gear for a friend with us, which later resulted in us broken down with a flat tire on the longest bridge in the world. On the way home, during late March mind you, we hit a blizzard near Dallas that we drove through for hours on end.

  4. Best vacation ever- Rome Italy with my mom when I was 18, eating, shopping, it is so beautiful there.

  5. A vacation to Europe in 1999. I can still remember the days spent in Florence, and the wonderment at all the artwork. I still remember the evenings spent walking along the street eating gelato. I keep on thinking it’s time to go back over there!

  6. My favorite vacations was Cancun  May 2010. It was full of sunshine and relaxation!! 

  7. My favourite was a cruise in the Caribbean. I was 4 months pregnant with still horrible morning sickness and terrified of the ocean making it worse only to discover my body did not mind the ocean then. I felt great and it was just what I needed… sun, water, sand…. perfect!

  8. My favorite vacation was the summer of 2006 that was spent in Egypt. We stayed on the Nile for one week in Luxor visiting all the tombs and riding camels and such. We also took a day trip to Cairo to see the museum and the Great Pyramids of Giza. The next week we stayed by the Red Sea and relaxed a little more. It was the perfect mixture of cultural experience and soaking up the sun!


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