Shining A Light On The Sun Blog Series – Part 3

Sunlight Is Necessary On Every Level Of Life

Although most of the health-promoting benefits of sun exposure are thought to occur through vitamin D photosynthesis, there are other health benefits that have gone largely overlooked in the debate over how much sun is needed for good health.

The scientific discoveries of Dr. John Ott, the father of photobiology (the study of the effects of light on living organisms), confirmed that humans require the full-spectrum of light exposure to thrive similar to the process of photosynthesis; a process used by plants and other organisms to convert light energy into chemical energy. A pioneer in natural light research, Dr. Ott discovered the remarkable effects specific wavelengths of light have on all living things. In his book, Light, Radiation and You: How to Stay Healthy, he concluded that full-spectrum sunlight is necessary on every level of life, all the way down to our cell’s ability to properly reproduce.

Not only do we need sufficient sunlight externally on our skin, but also internally through our eyes. Human eyes evolved under full-spectrum sunlight. Eyes are the only organs in the body constituted to receive light. They feed on light. The retina is covered with millions of photoreceptor cells (light sensitive cells) called rods and cones that depend on stimulation by light. Without light stimulation they perish and vision dims. In an interview published in 1991, he noted: “There are neurochemical channels from the retina to the pineal and pituitary glands, the master glands of the whole endocrine system that control the production and release of hormones. This regulates your body chemistry and its growth, all organs of your body, including your brain, and how they function”. In other words, sunlight entering through the eyes regulates brain chemistry and glands that produce crucial hormones like melatonin, serotonin, insulin, cortisol and dopamine, all affecting our moods, daily rhythms and sleep cycles.

Mal-Illumination… The Silent Epidemic

“Mal-illumination”, a term coined by Ott, is an environmental condition characterized by the absence of full-spectrum light resulting in dire health consequences. Mal-illumination is a silent epidemic of sunlight starvation impacting the majority of the world today. It is a condition found primarily in industrialized countries when people’s lifestyles force them to be indoors for the majority of the day. Compounding the problem, when people are outside, many use sunscreens, which, if applied as directed, can significantly prevent the production of vitamin D in the skin. As a result, many of us experience decreasing vitamin D levels and the risk of serious health problems.

A landmark study published in November, 2016, in the journal Dermato-Endocrinology has world-renowned researchers calling insufficient sun exposure an emerging health problem in the United States. In their paper, The Risks and Benefits of Sun Exposure 2016, the authors reference major papers in the past five years in concluding that Americans are not getting enough sun exposure and that public health advice needs to be retooled to embrace moderate sun while focusing on sunburn prevention. “The message of sun avoidance advocated by our government, and some within the medical community, should be changed immediately to a recommendation of regular non-burning sun exposure for most Americans,” said lead author Dr. David Hoel, a member of the National Academy of Medicine and Distinguished University Professor at the Medical University of South Carolina, “The sun is essential for life and should be diligently pursued in moderation, not avoided.”

The authors are clear: sunscreen should be used as a tool to prevent sunburn, but the public should know that over-use of the product may have unintended consequences. They are calling for sunscreen labels to contain a statement explaining that sunscreen blocks vitamin D production in the skin. Labeling should also acknowledge that sunscreens have not been shown to be effective in reducing the risk of melanoma.

In conclusion, countless scientists and hundreds of peer-reviewed studies have demonstrated that chronic mal-illumination can create major imbalances in our mental, emotional and physiological health. Like every other organism on this earth, we have evolved under the full spectrum of sunlight, the most powerful nutritional source we have. We all need a minimum requirement of sunlight for our body to stay balanced and function properly.
For Part 4 of this blog series, click here.

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Distress or Chronic Stress

Distress or chronic stress is uncontrollable, prolonged, or overwhelming stress. Once stress becomes distress, the body manages to survive though not always to thrive. For example, when faced with periods of chronic stress, the body’s immune system function is lowered, and the digestive, excretory, and reproductive systems no longer function the way they should. In a state of distress, the cells of the immune system (and other body systems) are unable to respond normally and produce levels of inflammation which increase the risk of further health issues.

Homeostasis

Homeostasis refers to your body’s ability to regulate itself and maintain a comparatively stable internal environment despite external and internal conditions and events.

Your body is designed to be in a state of homeostasis, where all the systems within are functioning optimally.

Stressor

Stressor is anything that is perceived by the body as challenging, threatening or demanding.

Health Story

In the context of My Wellbeing Compass, your “Health Story” represents the combination of your dis-eases, conditions, symptoms and the history that binds them together. It is multi-layered and multi-dimensional. Unearthing and resolving the root causes at the core of your Health Story is the only way to truly rewrite this Story.

Natural Self-repair Mechanisms

The body is made up of intelligent, living cells that are dynamically connected. They communicate and just know what to do and when to do it in any given situation. They grow, replicate, repair, and age. Every 90 days, the body has a new bloodstream; every year, it manufactures billions of new cells; colon cells refresh every 4 days; the skin is entirely regenerated every 2-3 weeks; white blood cells regenerate in about 1 year; the liver renews itself at least once every 2 years; and the skeleton replaces its cells entirely every 10 years.

You are an incredibly complex, interactive, and dynamic living organism that is well-equipped with self-repair mechanisms that can fight infections, eliminate toxins, fix damaged DNA, destroy cancer cells, and even slow down aging.

This natural self-healing ability (also referred to as cellular intelligence or body’s innate intelligence) explains spontaneous remissions from seemingly “incurable” diseases.

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