Self, Health And Wellness

5 Examples Of Biohacking & How It Can Completely Transform Your Physical And Mental Health

Photo: unsplash / Jonathan Borba
What Is Biohacking? Techniques & Examples To Improve Your Physical And Mental Health

Biohacking is a relatively new concept that has gained popularity over the past decade and it can help you deal with the various life changes you're going through.

There is so much talk about change these days — changing jobs, changing careers, changing your body, changing your partner, changing your identity, changing your mind, among other things.

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Of course, life will change, one way or another. The reality is that wanting change is one thing, but making the change is a whole other ballgame.

In fact, it’s one that many people will fail& to achieve because they don’t have the tools, information, or motivation required to get the results they say they want.

We live in a society that has accepted stress as the status quo. For many of us, when we aren’t moving toward our goals, when we are trying to relax and enjoy our lives more, we can’t shake the guilt or feeling that we should be doing something more.

We live in a culture of achievement that produces a continual pressure to be striving for more. More money, more stuff, more success — bigger, faster, stronger.

Our drive for success at an advanced time when almost anything is possible leads us to adopt a baseline level of stress that is extreme.

It takes shape in the form of physical and emotional manifestations — everything from chronic metabolic and autoimmune diseases to stomach ulcers, colitis, IBS and, of course, anxiety and depression.

With these issues continuing to rise and showing no sign of letting up, it should come as no surprise that the change that most people seek is to improve their physical and mental health and wellbeing.

Countering these issues is biohacking. The term is now ubiquitous, leading to confusion as to what it really means.

What is biohacking?

Biohacking is the practice of changing our body’s chemistry or physiology through science and self-experimentation to energize, enhance and or heal the body.

In other words, as a biohacker, you are optimizing your mental and physical performance through biology and modern technology.

There are 5 methods of biohacking that are highly recommended.

1. Grounding/Earthing

The earth puts out an infinite supply of free electrons. When we connect with the earth using bare skin contact, the charge from the earth to the body reduces free radicals in the body.

Free radicals are damaged atoms that contribute directly to inflammation, aging, and disease. With the connection to the earth, you reduce inflammation and start a healing process of joint discomfort, mobility issues such as osteoporosis among other things. Over time you can also experience calmness and improved blood flow.

Consider spending a minimum of thirty minutes per day barefoot in order to receive these benefits on either grass or sand.

If you are unable to go outside, there are now earthing mats and other products that you can give you the same results.

2. Sunlight exposure

Combine grounding with sunlight exposure and you get a nice bang for your buck.

Sunlight exposure can boost your mood and enhance cognitive function. The light spectrum from the sun gives you a more natural physiological and mental wake up. And, of course, the sun is a great source of vitamin D.

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3. Intermittent fasting

If practiced responsibly, fasting can offer benefits for the body and mind. For one, cellular clean-up is promoted which removes waste products from the body. There is also a connection between the healthy regulation of sugar and intermittent fasting.

Other benefits include lower blood pressure, reduced oxidative stress, and improved hormonal balance.

These benefits result in a more stable production of energy throughout the day, along with improved regulation of body weight, mitigating fat gain and even promoting fat loss, if that is your goal.

Be sure to consult with a health care professional before initiating an intermittent fast.

4. Hot and cold therapy

Cold water immersion has shown to lower heart rate and blood pressure while improving vasodilation (blood flow).

Another biological transformation is the white adipose tissue (white fat) converting into brown fat which is then used as an energy source along with fat burn.

Improvement in cardiovascular systems as well as lowering cortisol production have also been linked with cold water immersion.

Infrared sauna as a heat therapy mechanism has shown to aid in DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) and improve recovery time.

Studies have also shown that post-exercise sauna bathing over a period of three weeks substantially improved running performance, which can be attributed to an increase in blood volume.

It also aids in weight loss, immune system, heart health, and a general feeling of overall wellness and mental clarity.

5. Red Light Therapy

RLT, also known as photo bio-modulation, has shown many positive effects on the human body. This therapy is a natural, non-invasive process that delivers beneficial wavelengths of light to your skin and cells.

Improvement in skin tone and collagen production has been shown in clinical studies as well as a faster healing process in scars and wounds. RLT also provides an increase in ATP (adenosine triphosphate) production for more energy output.

Studies are being performed as well regarding depression calling RLT a possible antidepressant. Incorporating RLT, you may also benefit from the effects of improved melatonin production, sleep, joint pain, and inflammation.

It is a wonderful method of regulating your circadian clock.

Now that you're aware of how to biohack and the benefits of doing so, the results will definitely be life-changing.

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Samantha Benigno is a mental & behavioral wellness specialist.

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