Biohacking – Part 1

Do you want to kick ass at life? I mean really take it up a notch and stop just feeling ok, or good, and feel amazing? Then it’s time to start biohacking.

What is biohacking? It is the practice of using science and epigenetics to transform your body using food, thoughts, movement, light, and more.

To truly optimize your health and increase energy, longevity, and productivity along with decreasing disease, you must first and foremost lay the foundation. You can’t build an impressive skyscraper without the foundation. Basic good health hygiene is that foundation. If you’re not sure where to start for that check out my post here on some key areas including sleep, movement, vegetables, and more: “Why Health Coaches Don’t Count Calories, and What They Do Count”.

Now, on to the skyscraper. The impressive, over the top vitality everyone is in search of. Here are some of my favorite biohacking modalities, what they do, where to get them, and how to do them.

1.Far infrared sauna

  • What is it? Not to be confused with a traditional Finnish sauna (the kind with the hot coals that your pour water over…those are nice but do not have the health benefits FIR does). Far Infrared saunas can be small and portable tent like contraptions, or larger walk in saunas.
  • Why use one? FIR saunas penetrate deep into the tissues to help release toxins from your body’s fat stores. To put it simply, the less toxic you become the more energy you will have. FIR also appears to act upon calcium ion channels and increases mitochondrial respiration, thus increasing mitochondria’s production of ATP (increased ATP = increased energy!). There are countless studies on the potential benefits of FIR such as this one, that shows it to be effective in both preventing and treating a wide variety of disease: Far-infrared therapy for cardiovascular, autoimmune, and other chronic health problems: A systematic review”
  • How do I get started? Many ND offices and health spas allow you to purchase sessions in their saunas. This is a great way to give it a try before making the big commitment to purchase a high quality FIR sauna (they’re not cheap!). Whether you purchase your own or do single sessions, make sure you are using a low EMF FIR sauna, otherwise you’re doing more harm than good. Some of the top low EMF brands are: Therasage, Clear Light, and Sunlight.
  • After loads of research I have to say my favorite is Therasage, so much so that I’ve partnered with them as an affiliate. If you’re interested in purchasing the easiest to use, highest technology and quality, and one of the smallest and most portable saunas on the market – click here.

2. 23andMe

  • What is it? 23andMe is a kit that will analyze your genes via saliva.
  • Why use it? If you don’t know your genes, how can you biohack your genes using epigenetics? Epigenetics is the study of how the environment affects genetic expression and as the saying goes, “the genes load the gun, but environment pulls the trigger”. Once you know your genetics, you can begin to work to optimize it through changing your gene’s “environment” (supplements, nutrition, etc). For example we all know we need Vitamin D but not many know there are certain genetic polymorphisms that affect the way the body utilizes Vitamin D, which changes how much one needs to supplement with, if at all. An interesting study published at Frontiers in Immunology studied the interaction between the VDR (Vitamin D Receptor) gene and the environment here to show just how important this interaction is. The full article can be read here. VDR is just one of thousands of polymorphism 23andMe will generate for you. One of the most famous snps (single nucleotide polymorphisms, often called “genetic mutations”) right now is MTHFR. This snp affects your methylation cycle and changes the type of folate you should take, changes the amount of detox your body is capable of, and much more. For a brief intro into MTHFR and epigenetics read my blog post entitled “MTHFR What Is It and Why Is Everyone Talking About It”.
  • How do I get started? Interested in using 23andme? Simply hop on their webiste, order a kit, spit in the tube, then send it back. That’s the easy part….the harder part is interpreting the genetics and figuring out what to do with it. Luckily there are several websites out there to help you do just that. Two of the simplest to follow is StrateGene and MTHFRSupport. Biology geeks can head over to Prometheus but be warned, the info you get from running your data through their site can be overwhelming to say the least. Want to take it a step further? Hire a functional medicine Dr or health coach to help you navigate your data and figure out how to hack it. Bob Miller at Tree of Life is one of the best in the biz for interpreting genetics if you don’t mind the hefty price tag.

3. Colon Hydrotherapy aka Colonic

  • What is it? A typical session is about 45 minutes long and consists of flushing approximately 15 gallons of water through your colon. Scared of having a tube of rushing water inserted into your colon? Don’t be, it’s not that bad. Once your brain gets over the shock of the idea, it’s really quite easy. Especially if you go for a closed tube colonic, in that case the colon hydroterhapist will do all the work, control the machine, and talk you through it. If you’re too freaked out to have a  person in the room with you, book yourself an open tube where you’ll be left to your own devices. The downside is you don’t have their expert guidance, the plus side is, privacy.
  • Why use it? Some of the top benefits of a colonic are maintaining regularity and preventing constipation, increased energy, increased absorption of vitamins and nutrients via GI tract once the excess waste is cleared away, improved skin, and more. It is estimated that the average person has about 9 pounds of old waste literally stuck in their colons. I think the reasons to remove it are obvious but in case their not, review the top benefits listed above. The colonic works by infusing this old, dried up, impacted waste with water and helps to flush it out. Worried it’s not safe? Colonics have been traced back to 14th century BC in Egypt, so I think you’re good…Still not convinced? Read Dr Axe’s article on the benefits of colon cleansing here.
  • How do I get started? The key is finding a reputable establishment. If you’re in the Portland area, email me and I’ll send you a few of my favorites. If you’re not Yelp is your best friend here. Don’t go for a groupon place, go for good reviews!

4. The Human Charger. 

What is it? The human charger (yes, that is actually what this thing is called) charges us humans just like your iPhone charger powers up your iPhone; but instead of using electricity it uses light. More specifically, it uses transcranial bright light to access photoreceptor proteins in the brain to help regulate circadian rhythm. In laymen terms: it shines a special light into your brain through your ears. 

Why use it? Circadian rhythm is crucial for health. When it gets out of whack, which it so often does (read more about how in my post on sleep here, your brain suffers the consequences. Regulating circadian rhythm using the human charger can increase energy and mental alertness, improve mood, reduce the effects of jet lag, and improve symptoms of SAD (seasonal affect disorder). For an insane amount of research on the topic, look here.

How to get started: This amazon link will take you directly to the best price available so you can buy it today and get started charging yourself up asap!

I titled this Part 1 because I have SO MANY MORE BIOHACKS. Too many to absorb in one sitting, so I’ll save that for another day. For now take this all in, see if anything interests you, check with your medical health professional (and read this medical disclaimer) to see if it’s right for you at this time, and give it a go. Stay tuned for part 2!

If you’re feeling overwhelmed and want to jump in but need more guidance? My books are currently closed to long term coaching packages but if you reach me before my single session spots are all snatched up we can get you started biohacking safely and easily right away! 

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