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Light Up Your Life

June 27, 2016

Eve Brannon

‘Atapa Snana’ is the yogic phrase for the healing science of sunbathing: “Using solar energy, a sun-bath is taken during the hours when the sun index is low. Diseased parts of the body, usually skin ailments are exposed to the sun’s rays, whilst the remaining parts of the body are kept in the shade. Once the affected area becomes hot, it is brought into the shade and the part of the body is massaged with oil and then cooled down.”

As a species, humans have evolved over millions of years under the warmth and love of the sun. In today’s modern society we have been made overtly aware of the dangers of the sun’s rays and how over-exposure to the sun can be detrimental to our health. However, it may be useful to recall and learn from other cultures: ancient Greeks and yogis for example, who used the natural sunlight as a remedy to heal all kinds of ailments and illnesses.

With summer holidays in full swing, we take a look at the possible benefits of getting a moderate, safe amount of daylight exposure:

The sun’s rays help build the immune system. White blood cells (or lymphocytes), which increase with sun exposure, play a major role in defending the body against infection.

Sunlight can lower blood pressure. Even a single occurrence of sun exposure can noticeably lower blood pressure in individuals with high blood pressure.

The sun has significant beneficial effects on skin disorders, such as eczema, acne, psoriasis and fungal infections of the skin.

It has been medically proven that regular sunlight exposure increases the growth and height of children, especially babies. Many cultures throughout history have acknowledged this fact and, in turn, ensure young infants spend a percentage of the day outdoors.

Exposure to the sun is necessary for bone health. Vitamin D, (of which production is increased in sunlight) is an essential nutrient. When you don’t get enough Vitamin D, you create a deficiency. This can lead to brittle bones and osteoporosis, as well as rickets in children.

The sun has a positive effect on fitness, stamina and muscular development. Sunlight increases the oxygen content in blood and enhances the body’s capacity to deliver oxygen to the tissues, very similar to the effects of exercise.

Sunlight can help combat depression. Sunlight deprivation can cause Seasonal Affective Disorder (or SAD), a form of depression. When we sit indoors or in offices for the majority of the day, under artificial lights, we deprive ourselves from one of nature’s greatest healers.

Like many of the best things in life, the sun is free; beaming rays upon us each day. With care, go ahead and soak up a little healthy dose of sun, just remember be mindful in practicing safe sunlight exposure.

By Eve Brannon

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Please note: Exposure to the sun should be done slowly and with care, using an approved SPF Factor.

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