What is biohacking?
By Lindsey Benson
This article is a repost which originally appeared on NEWSANYWAY
Edited for content.
Biohacking is body modification, human augmentation or human enhancement aimed at enhancing abilities, improving performance, health, and wellbeing through intentional interventions. Biohacking is a practice of changing the chemistry and physiology of the body by self-experimentation to energize and enhance the body.
The concept is constantly evolving. It focuses on self-improvement, by incorporating numerous ways and methods working beyond traditional medical or scientific research environment. The concept is rooted in the idea that by changing the body and brain, one can become healthier, smarter and efficient human beings.
Biohacker use science and technology to make their body function more efficiently by:
- Implementing lifestyle changes and adopting a healthy diet to improve the health and well-being of the body.
- Using wearable technology such as smartwatches or fitness-tracking bands to track and monitor body functions.
- Using implant technology and genetic engineering to monitor and regulate physiological function.
What are the Types of Biohacking?
Typically, biohacking is categorized into three types: nutrigenomics, do-it-yourself biology and grinder biohacking.
Nutrigenomics explores how different nutrients in food affect the body’s genetic expression and how a person perceives, reasons and behaves. Nutrigenomics companies’ evaluate the DNA for certain genetic markers and prescribe a personalized diet plan.
Nutrigenomics may benefit the body in numerous ways, such as:
- Attaining physical, mental and emotional well being
- Decreasing risk of genetically predisposed disease
- Losing weight
- Optimize body function
- Reducing depression symptoms
Though the food one takes has an influence on genes, everyone respond in different way to dietary changes or routines. Other factors such as exercise, stress and weight also play a role in how the body responds to food.
- DIY Biology
DIY biology is a type of biohacking directed by people with scientific knowledge and experience. They share tips and also techniques to help non-experts conduct self-experiments on themselves outside experimental environment, such as labs or medical offices. There can be dangerous or fatal consequences if one not trained. Exposure to harmful biological agents could also cause health complications or break international bioterrorism laws.
Grinder is a biohacking method that considers every part of the human body as hack-able. In general, grinders turn themselves into cyborgs, with a combination of implants, embedding magnets, chips or computers, devices, injections and other inserts under their skin, to make the body work the way they want it to. Though the grinder idea may sound innovative and futuristic, it can be dangerous. Implanting foreign objects into the body can cause inflammatory reactions, chronic infections and may also increase risk of developing cancer.
How do you do Bio-hacking?
Bio-hacking can be done through one of the following methods:
Cryotherapy or cold therapy is a method of biohacking which exposes the entire body to very cold temperatures causing vasoconstriction throughout the body. When the body returns to normal temperature, blood rushes back to the tissues with lots of nutrients and minerals as well as endorphins rush which increases the feeling of well-being and reduces pain and discomfort. This biohacking technique takes only three minutes and is becoming popular.
- Red Light Therapy
Studies show that the red and near-infrared wavelengths of sunlight, which ranges from 600 to 900 nm are absorbed by the skin after which the mitochondrial chromophores absorb the photons activating various nervous system and metabolic processes. Red light therapy has become popular because it is a non-invasive and non-chemical form of biohacking.
Some of the possible benefits of red light therapy include:
- Anti-aging effects on skin
- Enhanced muscle recovery
- Improved skin tone
- Increased circulation
- Reduced depression
- Relieves pain
- Reduces inflammation and restores function
The lymphatic system removes the waste and lactic acid that builds up in the body due to from natural bodily processes and working out. Compression therapy increases blood flow to certain parts of the body which in turn flushes out toxins, cleanses, detoxifies and speeds up recovery.
A decrease in bone health and bone density over time makes people susceptible to developing osteoporosis when older.
OsteoStrong, is a non-pharmaceutical biohacking technique for improving bone density, strength and balance. OsteoStrong utilizes the Spectrum System, which is part of the Robotic Musculoskeletal Development System (RDMS).
This biohacking technique improves bone density (4-12% per year), posture, balance, athletic performance, reduces join pain and enhances overall health by providing extra support to the skeletal system. OsteoStrong takes only about seven minutes per week and can be done by anyone at any age.
- Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is a common biohacking method intended to control blood sugar and a healthy weight. Intermittent fasting is more of an eating pattern that, alternates between fasting periods and eating window, allowing one to reap the benefits of a true fast. During the fasting state there is an increase in levels of growth hormones which boosts metabolic rate. There are many versions of intermittent fasting. The most popular include:
- 16/8 method
- Alternate day fasting
- The 5:2 method
Intermittent fasting can reduce insulin resistance, which lowers blood sugar and burns more stored body fat. Intermittent fasting may also have other benefits including improved cognitive function, reduced risk heart disease, cancer prevention, increased cellular autophagy and lower levels of inflammation.
- Functional Music
Music has an amazing effect on the brain. Things which can affect brainwaves include the current activity, rest, food and drink. Audio entrainment is a type of music biohacking in which binaural beats and tones are used to harmonize with brain waves, resulting in a peaceful, contemplative state.
How we view life has a huge impact on our moods and levels of fulfillment. When a person has an abundance mindset, they’re consistently grateful for everything that comes their way and are always positive.
Changing mindset is nothing more than practice. One needs to consistently refocus the brain to see the positive in every situation until it becomes second nature. These biohacking techniques and tools can help:
- Maintaining a gratitude journal
- Taking a gratitude walk
- Write a weekly letter of gratitude to someone
- Begin the day with a ritual, such as meditating.
People often don’t get all the vitamins and minerals needed for peak performance through diet. Biohacking incorporates high-quality supplements can close the nutritional gap and help boost performance, detoxify the system, increases energy and help the body benefit from the available nutrients.
Caffeine is a well-known productivity booster. One can start with drinking 8-ounce of black coffee, green tea or eating caffeinated foods like dark chocolate. Have caffeine at the same time every day and keep a journal on its effects on focus, anxiety and tiredness. Try tweaking the dose of caffeine intake until finding the amount that works for individual goal.
- Elimination diet
Elimination diet, removes something from the diet and then slowly re-introduces it to see how it affects the body. This is especially a popular option if allergic to a food or are concerned that a particular food may be causing inflammation.
There are two primary steps in elimination diet:
- Remove one or more foods from the diet completely.
- After about two weeks, reintroduce the eliminated foods slowly back into the diet.
Keep a close eye on any symptoms that develop during the reintroduction phase, such as:
- Other abnormal symptoms
- Stomach pain.
Appearance of symptoms may mean that one is allergic to that food.
Biohacking with PEMF
PEMF therapy or Pulsed electromagnetic field therapy is a safe and effective biohacking treatment method that promotes wellness and improves the quality of life. PEMF therapy offers several health benefits that can improve life, such as:
- Improves blood flow and circulation
- Improves mood
- Improves overall quality of life
- Improves recovery times
- Increases cell metabolism
- Increases energy levels
- Increases mobility
- Increases nutrient absorption
- Promotes natural healing processes
- Promotes wellness
- Reduces healing times
- Reduces inflammation and swelling
- Reduces pain
- Reduces stress and anxiety
- Strengthens immune system
- Treats migraine headaches
Some biohackers push medical procedures such as harvesting stem cells from bone marrow and inject those cells into every joint in the body in their quest for health and longevity.
Some dangerous biohacking methods include people trying out young blood transfusions or injecting themselves with genes edited with CRISPR technology.
Does Biohacking work?
Different people react differently to biohacking methods. Biohacking makes lasting, positive change to the body, health and brain to reach individual goals and achieve an enhanced state of mind.
Some forms of biohacking may be safe and effective. Some biohacking methods maybe unsafe or even illegal.
Biohacking has some merits but one has to be careful. Some methods of biohacking are easy to do at home and maybe easy to reverse when something goes wrong.
Self – experimenting without taking proper precautions can leads to unexpected side effects. One should talk to a doctor before making any significant changes to diet and ensure to do sufficient research before putting any foreign substance into the body.
If you are looking for a PEMF tool for Biohacking, please visit the website: