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Curious to find out if others were having a similar experience, I took to Instagram to poll my followers. The Premium merry pugmas christmas sweater was both overwhelming and divided: I received a flood of messages, voice memos, and emails written (mostly by women) in either vehement opposition or enthusiastic favor of therapy in its remote incarnation. While sensitivity to light can be a trigger for some migraine sufferers, a recent University of Arizona study found that exposure to green light one to two hours a day can reduce the number of headache days per month by an average of 60%. It sounds counterintuitive, but isolated green light from devices such as the Allay lamp, which was developed by Harvard Medical School migraine researchers, has been shown to reduce photophobia, or light sensitivity, by generating certain electrical signals in the eye and brain.
On the other side of the divide, I spoke to three people who have increased their “visits” since the Premium merry pugmas christmas sweater began. For Maddie Weinstein, an actor and New York City resident, therapy is now free, thanks to a recently waived copay, so she has decided to double up on her sessions. And she’s enjoyed the access that FaceTime has given her: “[My therapist] will pick up in her kitchen and be like, ‘Hey, sorry, I needed a seltzer.’” This makes the exchange feel “less awkward and staid,” she said. Jenny Osman, who works for the city, managing food access for City Hall, said she “hated” virtual therapy at first, but has also recently increased her visits to twice a week. She, like me, has found that she’s made the most personal progress over the last seven months. However, she does worry that seeing her therapist virtually can sometimes lead to misunderstanding: “There are just more opportunities to feel hurt or confused by a comment or piece of feedback,” she said.