We, as biohackers and health-conscious humans, are accustomed to putting things into out bodies in order to upgrade them. We’ve learned that things like supplements, additives, and so on can help us achieve higher performance and better wellness; And that is true to a certain extent, but by using supplements, for example we often neglect the largest organ in our body: our skin. In today’s world, we exile this significant part of our body and banish it from reaping the benefits our ancestors used to get daily. The average human in today’s modern western world spends more than 90% of their time indoors and therefore, out of the sun’s nourishing rays. This not only leads to low vitamin D levels, but to a whole lot of other health deficiencies. Then, when we do go outside, we’re often taught to take proper precautions such as sunscreen or sunglasses, as wrinkles or skin conditions might occur. We often believe that even the little bit of sun that we do see can’t benefit us that much.
Light as fuel
The use of Light therapy goes way back. Before randomized controlled trials, people intuitively knew that all of the light we were being exposed to each day had to impart some health benefits to us. Natural sunlight therapies have been around for the last 10.000 years. The ancient Egyptians called it “heliotherapy”; the ancient Greeks used frequent sunlight exposure for depressed people. Hippocrates also believed that Greeks were happier and more optimistic than people living in northern countries because of their higher exposure to light from the sun.
We, humans know that our body is a powerhouse that needs fuel to be healthy and functional. So what we surround ourselves with, put into our bodies, and work with daily impacts us more than we might care to admit. Under these circumstances, it is even more important to acknowledge this essential correlation and make it a strong one. We have always absorbed sunlight.
From Hippocrates to NASA
Hippocrates was right. Modern science merely is using/testing specific light frequencies (or wavelengths) with healing properties.
For more than 50 years, science (and NASA in particular) has been researching these specific wavelengths of light. They came to a conclusion, that red and near-infrared wavelengths which occur during sunrise and -set, where the sky is visibly red, are especially beneficial for us humans. The unique thing about these wavelengths is that they don’t contain harmful ones that can be dangerous. UV and blue light, for example, can majorly impact our sleep, circadian rhythm and cause sunburns and even skin cancer.
The good kind of light
Red-light therapy (RLT), also known as low-level laser therapy or Photobiomodulation, is widely used by pro-athletes to up their recovery rate and therefore, performance rate. Additionally, today there are more than 4000 studies on the topic which prove the diverse therapeutic effects. Research sparks new experiments beyond the professional world and reaches far into today’s anti-aging and biohacking communities. Companies on the market produce red light therapy devices for at-home use, which can be seen as a great addition to daily sunlight exposure.
This bandwidth of wavelengths is particularly powerful, as it doesn’t only penetrate the skin but reaches into our cells and alters their function. Specifically, with RLT, our mitochondria (also called the powerhouses of the cells) gets targeted. Mitochondria are located inside our cells and take in glucose and oxygen from the food we consume daily. They produce energy, packaged as molecules of so-called ATP (adenosine triphosphate). RLT boosts this natural effect by enabling the mitochondria to produce more ATP. You can see this as supercharging yourself to function even better.
Quarantined from the sun
In today’s world, we are faced with an unprecedented situation. Not only can we as biohackers, but also the general public can feel the effect of not getting enough light. We as humans now have to shine a light on how we can feel better. Especially with simple at-home methods, such as red-light therapy, no matter where you are, you can add the most beneficial wavelengths of sunlight into your daily life. There are tons of use cases specific to overcome quarantine, and the effects then come with our new COVID-19 life. A few examples are:
- Higher immunity through higher NO (nitric oxide) levels
- Better functioning glucose metabolism
- More efficient Vitamin D synthesis through magnesium
- Less inflammation in our bodies.
So even if we can’t go out as much as we want to right now or aren’t able to because we live in a big city, red-light therapy can be by your side through this. To sum it all up, light is an essential building block for health and well-being. It is crucial (not only today but every day) to get our bodies moving and outside into the sun – or in front of a high-quality red-light therapy panel.