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Wellness

The Art of Biohacking: Little Known Tricks to Improve Your Body and Calm Your Mind

By
Luz Garcia
on
May 12, 2017

If you're into health and fitness you've probably heard about the term 'Biohacking'. Here's what you need to know...

Biohacking refers to the act of using certain techniques in order to alter one's physiology.

Huhhhh??? 

Yes! YOU can use your body as a laboratory and experiment with techniques to aid and improve your health and well-being!

Interesting...right?

With modern civilization, the way we relate with our bodies and nature has changed exponentially when comparing how our ancestors once related to them.

Most of us live in noisy cities, filled with contaminants from smog to electromagnetic pollution. We have created an artificial environment where comfort is king.  

Unlike our Paleolithic ancestors, we are not nomads or hunter gatherers anymore.  Instead we are addicted to comfort. That's what cars, supermarkets and food delivery are for! We don't expose our bodies to fluctuation in temperature either.  Heat, air conditioning, and clothing are amazing technologies that keep our bodies "happy"....

But could this be what is making us sick?

You see, the human body comes from nature so it's meant to be in nature.

All these advances have disconnected us from our true essence. We have lost synchronicity with our circadian rhythms, our natural ability to wake up and go to sleep.  Artificial light destroys our bodies ability to know what season it is, let alone what time of day!

Should I sleep? Not with this flatscreen television blasting me in the face! 

Sadly, so much evidence is now being discovered through science that links all of the above to modern illness. Think: Alzheimer's, cancer, auto-immune disease, diabetes.

So who are the freaks who change their bodies to combat sickness and perform at peak levels? 

The "Iceman" Wim Hof, Bulletproof's David Asprey, Ben GreenfieldTim FerrisDr. Jack Kruse have become my new superheroes and don't forget Matt Wilson, Co-Founder of Under30Experiences. They've become a voice for us weirdos trying to achieve a better and healthier version of ourselves. All of them have podcasts and blogs where they share all those ideas and techniques that promote optimal health, all supported by a scientific studies for the skeptics. 

So, you wanna be a superhero?   Let me lay out some techniques.

Cold showers and cold thermogenesis

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Chilling in my cold vest + eating super foods

Cold is a powerful catalyst for burning fat and to accelerate metabolism, reduces inflammation, balance hormone function, helps with anxiety and depression, speeds recovery, and has anti-aging effects!!! So you might want to consider wearing shorts in a cold winter day. 

Sun exposure

We’ve been lied to! Our bodies actually need sun!  Start developing your bodies natural tolerance little by little without sunscreen. Even five minutes will do the work. Sun exposure actually makes you healthier by fixating the Vitamin D in your bones making them stronger. Over a 10% of U.S. population have Vitamin D deficiency resulting in diabetes, heat disease and cancer.

Take a look at this interesting article about vitamin d.

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Protect your self from radiation by wearing blue light blockers and going to sleep early.

Intermittent fasting

Intermittent fasting is an eating system where you alternate periods of eating and fasting. While fasting the body uses the energy that usually goes to the digestion of foods for self-regeneration and cell repair reducing inflammation and the risk of cancer and other inflammatory diseases like Alzheimer's. Insulin levels also lower making it easy to burn fat. Interesting right?!

Breathing 

 I feel that we don't give breathing the importance it really has! Have you noticed how your breathing patterns are? Is your breath short and shallow? Or is it full and long? Take the time to notice. 

I usually stop breathing when I'm upset or stressed and you probably can relate with this too. When I started practicing yoga my relationship with my breathing radically changed. I became more aware of the way I breathe. I also started practicing pranayama, which are breathing techniques to improve the air flow into my lungs. 

If you breathe fuller and longer breaths your whole body benefits from it specially your brain. More O2= more intelligence. So take a deeeeep breath!

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Breathing, inversions, meditation, and sunlight all at once! 

Meditation

Oooommmmmm. Meditation has being practiced for centuries for the amazing benefits it has. Reduces anxiety, stress levels, depression, increases awareness and helps you have a more positive outlook in life. Take as little as one minute a day to calm your mind and get centered. This will make a difference in your day for sure. 

Start sitting for one minute every day with your eyes closed focusing on your inhalations and exhalations. Let the thoughts pass as they come. Do it for a week. Little by little start adding more minutes to your meditation. If you practice one minute a day by the end of the month you have meditated about 30 minutes!! 

Visualization

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Vision board example

This technique is a powerful way to program your brain to succeed. Create a vision board where you see yourself succeeding in your goals and life. Don't hold yourself back! Imagine yourself succeeding in whatever you want to achieve. Put it somewhere visible so you see this images as much as you can .

Imagine yourself happy, confident, winning in your business, working out. The power is in your mind and the sky is the limit!

If you don't believe me read this article about 8 successful people that uses the power of visualization to reach their goals.

Grounding exercises

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Grounding exercises at the beach

With the advances of civilization came the use of shoes. Don't get me wrong I love a cute pair of shoes but the more bare foot you are the better. Why? Our bodies are made up of about 60 percent water, which is great for conducting electricity.

 The earth has a negative ionic charge. Going barefoot grounds our bodies to that charge. Negative Ions have been proven to detoxify, calm, reduce inflammation, synchronize your internal clocks, hormonal cycles and physiological rhythms. The best places to get some negative ions through your feet are by the water. Everyone knows how good it feels to be barefoot on the beach – now we know why!

Positive affirmation/mantras

You are what you think. If you repeat to yourself that you are not worthy every day, you'll feel not worthy and you'll end up saying no to a great job opportunity.

Try this! Right down a list of positive thoughts, like I am amazing! I can do this! Put it on your mirror or fridge and so every time you see it your are training your brain to think positive!

Inversion therapy

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Simply put, go upside down!

Inversion therapy helps to lengthen the spine, increases blood circulation in the discs and towards the brain. It helps reduce inflammation, increases immunity, and calm the nervous system.

Head stands and hands stands are popular in the yoga community because of their amazing benefits. If you are not a yoga practitioner and you prefer an easier and safer way to invert you could try the inversion tables and boots from where you can safely hang from. There are certain contraindications that should be observed so as not to cause or exacerbate previous injuries or illnesses. Please note: unmedicated high blood pressure, some heart conditions, neck injuries, recent stroke, detached retina, glaucoma, and epilepsy are common issues that should be addressed before inverting.

Yoga

Yoga is a physical practice that aims to calm the mind. In other words is moving meditation where you not just get the benefits of a regular workout but also of the meditation. Yoga improves posture,  increases flexibility, strengthen the muscles, helps you to stay fit and be in a healthy weight, increases confidence, lifts and calms the mood, detoxifies the body among many others! So get your yoga on!

Super foods diet 

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Super foods smoothie

There are so many studies that show the healing effects of certain foods like coconuts, matcha tea, quinoa, kale, maca, turmeric, avocado, mushrooms, nuts, cacao, and berries. Start adding these in your diet and feel the difference!

Yes! YOU can use your body as a laboratory and experiment with techniques to aid and improve your health and well-being!

There are many other techniques but I wanted to share the ones that I know and practice daily! I am seeing the benefits that they do in my own health.

In order to reconnect with nature we need to do start somewhere, so don't feel overwhelmed by this list. Pick something and play with it. Notice how you feel. Add another technique. Have fun and enjoy the benefits! 

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If you want to learn and practice some of this tricks and reconnect with your own wild nature come to my next yoga retreat in Costa Rica this July 8th to 13th or Bali in October 1st to 7th!

Luz Garcia
Luz is a 1500hrs Yoga Alliance certified Yoga Instructor, dancer, reflexologist and colon hydrotherapist. She was born and raised in Chile and studied yoga in NYC for 10 years. She's a green juice addict and you'll always find an avocado in her bag.

Edited by:  Miles Demars-Rote

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