At its most basic level, biohacking simply boils down to the desire to be better than your best self.
Dave Asprey, “the original biohacker”, described biohacking as “the art and science of changing the environment around you and inside you so that you have full control over your own biology.”
In our opinion, biohacking doesn’t mean having to go through extreme scientific measures to optimize yourself. Far from it, it is simply about making small lifestyle changes that utilize natural bodily processes to increase your health, productivity, or whatever results you’re after. Put another way, biohacking is a way to optimize performance, outside the realm of traditional medicine.
Some popular modern biohacking tools include supplements and wearable devices. However, some biohacking techniques have actually been around for centuries, like meditation and fasting. In fact, fasting has been used therapeutically since at least the 5th century BCE, when “the father of medicine” himself, Hippocrates, recommended abstinence from food or drink for patients who exhibited certain symptoms of illness. On the other hand, historians believe that meditation (Vedantism) was practiced in India as early as 3000 BCE.
What makes biohacking different is not that it’s a different type of activity, but that the activities are undertaken with a specific mindset — that we don’t need to accept our bodies’ shortcomings and we can overcome them using science and technology. And we can start to transform our lives right now.
Below is the morning routine we use to feel better after going through burnout (both mental and physical). The best part is that anyone can do it and reap the rewards. All it takes is some minor changes to your (existing) morning routine to improve your ability to conquer your goals for the day.
Expose Yourself to Sunlight (10 minutes)
Exposure to early-morning sunlight helps you sleep at night, improves your mood, and enhances your health. Prioritizing morning sunlight does wonder for our health and moods.
According to an article in the National Library of Medicine entitled Benefits of Sunlight: A Bright Spot for Human Health,  “As diurnal creatures, we humans are programmed to be outdoors while the sun is shining and home in bed at night. This is why melatonin is produced during the dark hours and stops upon optic exposure to daylight. This pineal hormone is a key pacesetter for many of the body’s circadian rhythms. It also plays an important role in countering infection, inflammation, cancer, and autoimmunity… When people are exposed to sunlight or very bright artificial light in the morning, their nocturnal melatonin production occurs sooner, and they enter into sleep more easily at night.”
Exposing yourself to morning sunlight right after waking up truly sets your circadian rhythm because the light signals to your body that it is “time to wake up“. Through sun exposure, your body slows down melatonin production (the sleep-inducing hormone) to wake you up. Likewise, when the sun goes down, by decreasing our exposure to bright light (blue light), our body increases melatonin production as we prepare to go to sleep.
Aside from melatonin, sunlight also causes our bodies to produce serotonin, a feel-good chemical, that improves one’s mood throughout the day and sleep at night.
Additionally, sunlight stimulates vitamin D production in our bodies, which helps the body maintain calcium and prevents brittle, thin, or misshapen bones. Vitamin D is also critical for your immune system, thereby reducing your risk of infections and diseases.
Meditate (20 minutes)
There are several ways to meditate, and you have to find a method that works for you. One way is to have a single point of focus, like breathing. You can use this technique alone as a meditation to calm your mind and reduce distractions. Simply focus your attention on your breath, the inhale and exhale. Another way is to do a guided meditation, where there are instructions and music to help you relax and focus. A quick Google search will give you tons of resources for this.
Practicing meditation lessens the inflammatory response in people exposed to psychological stressors, particularly for long-term meditators. A Harvard study also showed that meditating can help decrease stress and anxiety levels which in turn will diminish inflammation in our bodies, reduce blood pressure, improve attention, sleep better, help us make smarter choices, and regulate our thoughts, so we don’t react automatically.
Get your body moving at the right intensity (10-15 minutes)
Spend a few minutes doing an exercise you enjoy and will sweat from. You don’t need to do anything that is high intensity or exhausts yourself. The important thing here is to get a light sweat to decrease cortisol and release BDNF.
Sweat releases BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor), which repairs brain cells and speeds up the creation of new neural pathways. Sweating also decreases cortisol, the hormone responsible for stress and fear. If you want to improve brain function and cognition, add some light exercise to your day.
Have a Cold shower (5 minutes)
Hop into a cold shower! You either jump in or can ease in by slowly lowering the temperature. Get the water cold enough that you start to feel uncomfortable. Then, stay underneath the water for 2 or 3 minutes.
Cold showers provide a wide range of benefits such as:
- Activating your sympathetic nervous system to provide your body and brain with endorphins and noradrenaline
- Improving your immune system through an increased metabolic rate, results from the body’s attempt to warm itself up, activating the immune system and releasing more white blood cells in response.
- Improving blood circulation. When exposed to cold water, our arteries and veins constrict or tighten (“vasoconstriction”). The temporary tightening helps blood to flow at a higher pressure as now there is less space for the blood to flow, resulting in improved circulation.
- Boosting metabolism. Exposure to the cold naturally stimulates the production of brown fats, which are involved in burning energy. These cells burn glucose to produce as much heat energy as possible. Having a higher amount of brown fat leads to more weight loss because there is more energy being burned per second.
- Alleviating depression. Cold water has a stimulating effect on the brain’s “blue spot”, which is our body’s main source of noradrenaline, a chemical that might be used to help alleviate depression.
- Improving lymphatic movement. The lymph relies on the contraction of muscles to function properly, which can be caused by cold showers.
- Deepening breathing. When you take a cold shower, you begin to inhale very deeply to try to combat the stress. This deep breathing helps to open up the lungs much like strenuous physical exercise does, and results in a higher average intake of oxygen.
- Increasing Energy. By getting your heart pumping, a cold shower can leave you feeling invigorated and energized and can shake off any feeling of grogginess.
- Keeping skin and hair healthy. Cold water can make our hair look shinier and our skin looks healthier by tightening cuticles and pores, preventing them from getting clogged, thus reducing blemishes like acne. Cold water also contributes to detoxification which results in the squeezing of toxins and waste products out of the skin.
Get Some Red Light Therapy (5-20 minutes)
With red light therapy, you position yourself (skin exposed) in front of a lamp, panel, or device with red light for a few minutes, depending on what result you’re after.
Once red and NIR wavelengths are absorbed into your body, it essentially stimulates your cells to increase energy production and anti-inflammatory responses. Red light therapy increases the production of ATP (adenosine triphosphate), which is used to fuel every bodily function.
It also creates hormesis, which is a low-dose temporary metabolic stress that causes both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant responses in our cells. Hormesis creates the same body response as exercise.
As a result, red and NIR light therapy can improve cellular health, boost immunological response, reduce inflammation, and improve cell regeneration.
In particular, red light therapy is well known for improving and enhancing longevity. The most fundamental and far-reaching benefit of red light is increased cellular energy. It’s the start of a positive chain reaction that starts with increased cellular function and ends with improved systemic function. Essentially, red light therapy biohacks the body, providing it with multiple healing properties which can extend your life.
When you incorporate red-light therapy into your daily life, along with other aspects of a healthy lifestyle such as circadian rhythm optimization, a nutritious diet, proper sleep, exercise, and stress reduction, you can keep your cellular energy production and your immune system working at an optimal level. This will help your body to respond more effectively to viral and bacterial threats.
Note: Red light therapy cannot replace morning sunlight, but it can be a great addition to it.
Other Benefits of Red Light Therapy
Thousands of studies and scientific reviews have been conducted to investigate the physiological effects of red light therapy. The main benefits include collagen production, repair and recovery of muscles, and relief from symptoms of illnesses that stem from some type of inflammatory response.
Other benefits include:
- Skin rejuvenation, wound, and scar healing;
- Muscle growth, performance, and recovery;
- Weight loss;
- Hair growth;
- Cognitive health;
- Immune health;
- Hormones and sex drive;
- Pain and inflammation;
- Mental health and depression;
- Sleep disturbances;
- Eye health;
- Oral and dental health.
How to Use Red Light Therapy at Home
There is no hard and fast rule for the duration of sessions. For some, 5 minutes is enough, while others may need longer sessions. As a rule of thumb, 10 minutes per day is a good amount of time to treat a variety of health concerns.
Generally, the closer you are to the light source, the deeper the light penetrates. For skin and other surface issues like hair growth and eye health, it’s best to position yourself a little further from your device, ideally 12-18 inches away. For deeper issues, a distance of 6 inches will be more effective.
As to the frequency, red light therapy is safe to use every day. In fact, many people like to incorporate it into their daily routine. For the best results, we recommend having 3 sessions per week.
The key to success is consistency and patience. It’s important to remember that red light therapy is an inside-out approach that treats the root cause of health issues.
With a Lumousred at-home device, you can now commit to consistent red light therapy sessions from the comfort of your home, and for a fraction of the price compared to spas and clinics.
You can either focus on small areas such as the scalp with a small, portable LED panel, or you can choose a full-body treatment to help improve your health from head to toe. Whatever your goals or budget are, we can help you find a device that fits your needs. You can shop Luminousred here.