Monday, April 30, 2007

Heliotherapy Pt. 1- Benefits of Sunbathing

Since the dawn of time up until the past two-hundred years, people lived and worked outdoors in the light of the sun. We now wake up in our homes, get in our car and drive to the office. For most of us, the only time we spend outdoors is simply walking back and forth to our vehicles. We make this even worse by wearing sunglasses which keep our eyes from receiving any of the sun's beneficial rays.

Brief History

The first recorded instances of sunbathing are to be found in ancient Greece, Egypt, Rome, Babylon, Assyria, and Persia. The Egyptians, Babylonians, and Assyrians had their sun-gardens, and many of these people gave the sun the dignity of a god.

In the third century AD, sun worship, which at that time was called "Mithraism", practically became the universal religion. The introduction of Christianity put an end to the widespread practice of sunbathing for nearly a thousand years, as the Christians of the time deemed sunbathing to be a "sin."

The Romans used sunbaths in training their gladiators because it would strengthen and enlarge their muscles. The physicians of this time also considered the sun to be "the best food and medicine in the world".


Dr G D Babbitt, in his book, Human Culture and Cure, makes the following comment on sunlight:

"There is a vast array of forces of every kind, including iron, magnesium, sodium, carbon, and other elements conveyed by the sunlight, but why shall we not take these elements in their ordinary form from our drugstores, and not go to the trouble of taking sun-baths? Because when these elements are given us in so refined a form, as to come directly from the sun as an ether, or to float skywards and be driven to us by the solar rays, they must be far more penetrating, enduring, safe, pleasant, and upbuilding to the mental system than if they were used in a crude form."

Statistics done by Danish scientist Thorwald Madsen show that disease, particularly infectious disease, occurs most frequently during the seasons in which the people get the least amount of sunshine. He concluded: "The prevalence of disease corresponds to the amount and intensity of the sunshine. The more sunshine, the greater the resistance to disease; the less sunshine, the lower resistance to disease."

People who practice sunbathing have shown dramatically lowered blood pressure, regulated blood sugar, lowered cholesterol and an increased white blood cell count.


Heliotherapy utilizes the beneficial effects of the sun, air and light to make a person healthier. It is only recently that the medical profession has decided that the sun must be damaging and dangerous to our health.

What modern medicine does not understand is the sun does not cause cancer at all. The sun is simply an accelerator. If you are eating unhealthy and adding more toxins to your body, a large excess of sun exposure will maximize this towards an ill effect.

On the other hand, if you are eating a very healthy diet, the sun maximizes those benefits and actually accelerates your path towards health and longevity.

You do not have to be on a perfect diet to reap the benefits of sunbathing. You will just simply need to take a bit more precaution to make sure you do it right. My next article on this subject goes in depth on how to sunbathe properly. Here is the link to read part 2.

Keep your skin healthy while sunbathing

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