Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Heliotherapy Pt. 2- How to Sunbathe

If you have not read part one in the sunbathing series, please read it here.

Sunbathing properly isn't as simple as just going out and laying in the sun. There are important things to consider to ensure you sunbathe only to receive benefits and not do yourself any harm in the process. Oh, and toss out that sunblock, you wont be using it.

Just as you would with any treatment, sunshine needs to be absorbed in moderation. Even the healthiest of things can be detrimental if taken in excess. The sun is extremely powerful and must be used with precautions set in place to protect your body from overexposure.

If you are very old, fair skinned or in bad health, a small amount of sunlight will have a more profound effect upon your body than someone who is young and darker skinned. Working up on your sun exposure needs to be done gradually, adding a few more minutes each session so you will not end up getting a sun burn.

It is best to sunbathe in the morning sunlight as opposed to the mid-afternoon sun. This is because there is much more beneficial ultraviolet rays in the morning, and by the time afternoon hits, the sunshine has changed to be mainly infrared rays which is very hot and doesn't do nearly as much good.

During the summer months it is always best to try and avoid sunbathing in the mid-day heat. The best time to go out and sunbathe would be in the hours of 10 AM- 12 PM when the sun is fully shining, but it hasn't gotten too hot yet.

Dr Herbert M Shelton says: "Weariness, fever, headache, inflamed skin, loss of appetite, sleeplessness, and such result from too much exposure or exposure to the hot midday sun, and are not desirable. This is the chief reason why the early morning hours of summer are better for the sunbath than midday, a thing observed instinctively by animals, birds, plants and so-called savage man."

The sunbathing rules change a bit during the winter. The mornings are way too cold to go out and sunbathe so the optimum time to go out actually peaks at mid-day. Even though the sun may be shining in the morning, during the winter the beneficial rays do not shine down until later on during the day.

Dr Zane R Kime writes: "Especially during the winter months (when the sun is low), sunbathing early or late in the day will not be very effective. Jogging in the early morning or evening will give some exercise and fresh air, but will miss the sun's healing rays."

Do not wear sunglasses while sunbathing, you need to close your eyes and let the beneficial lights seep in through your eyelids. This is very important in using sunbathing for health purposes.

Sunblock or Sunscreens should also never be put on your body. They do much more harm than good. The chemicals in these lotions cause damage and disease to develop in the skin when exposed to the sun. One of the worst of these ingredients is PABA.

According to Dr Zane R. Kime: "PABA, which is finding its way into so many sunscreen preparations, is running into trouble. Researchers have now discovered that the chemical causes increased genetic damage when exposed to sunlight. Damage to the genes and chromosomes composed of DNA is serious because the cells are not able to properly reproduce themselves if their genetic material is damaged. In a recent research paper, Dr Hodges states, 'In this paper we present results which indicate that PABA can increase the formation of ultraviolet induced damage to DNA at wavelengths which are present in normal sunlight'."

As far as duration goes, work your way up and let your body get used to the sun. Maybe start with 5 minutes the first day, 10 minutes the second day and so on, working up to about an hour per session.

Sunlight by Dr. Zane R. Kime
Human life its philosophy and laws by Dr Herbert M Shelton
Heliotherapy by Dr. John Fielder

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