Unleashing the Healing Power of Sunlight

Reduced Pain, Enhanced Immunity, and Radiant Health

We often forget just how powerful the sun's warm rays can be. They hold remarkable healing powers, including natural pain relief.

In our modern world, many of us have become wary of sun exposure, fearing its potential dangers. But did you know that ancient yogis and various cultures throughout history embraced healing power of the sun? They used a practice known as the "Atapa Snana" or sunbathing, to treat illnesses and promote vibrant health.

I found this article in Scientific American: “In the late 19th century, Florence Nightingale revolutionized hospital design in what became known as Nightingale wards. The signature innovation of these wards was large windows that allowed cross-ventilation and abundant natural light. Nightingale believed that the light and air quality in a hospital environment plays an important role in speeding patient recovery.”

Let's highlight the healing power of sunlight:

Kills Bacteria: The soldiers would use sunlight to help disinfect and heal their wounds faster. Ultraviolet light has antiseptic properties, healing wounds and clearing up such skin conditions as eczema, psoriasis, acne, boils, athlete’s foot, and diaper rash.

Lowers Cholesterol: Sunlight converts cholesterol into usable substances necessary for proper hormone production, assisting with thyroid balance, fat metabolism, sex hormone regulation, blood sugar stabilization, etc.

Lowers Blood Pressure: Researchers at the University of Edinburgh found that exposure to ultraviolet light decreased volunteers’ blood pressure. Scientists believe that UV rays in sunlight cause nitrogen stored in the body to be released into the bloodstream, relaxing blood vessels and lowering blood pressure. On the other hand, medications prescribed to lower high blood pressure make the skin very sensitive to sun’s rays, so people on these medications advised to take special care of their skin.

Strengthens Immune System: Sunlight has a remarkable impact on our immune system. It stimulates the production of red and white blood cells, which is essential for strong immune response, thus bolstering our body's defense against illnesses and infections. Additionally, sunlight increases metabolism, promoting overall well-being and vitality.

Helps with pain: Sun exposure can have a beneficial effect on pain relief for some conditions. One of the primary reasons is the sun's ability to stimulate the production of vitamin D in the body. Vitamin D is essential for maintaining healthy bones and healthy muscles and has been associated with pain relief in various studies.

Adequate levels of vitamin D have been found to reduce chronic pain symptoms, such as those experienced by individuals with fibromyalgia or arthritis.

Moreover, sunlight exposure can also promote the release of endorphins, which are natural pain-relieving chemicals produced by the body. Endorphins are neurotransmitters that interact with the brain receptors, reducing pain perception and creating a sense of well-being. This effect is particularly beneficial for individuals experiencing mild to moderate pain, such as muscle soreness or tension headaches.

Produces Vitamin D: When your body is exposed to the sun's ultraviolet rays, particularly UVB rays, it naturally produces vitamin D3. It plays an essential role in maintaining healthy bones, but its benefits extend beyond bone health. Vitamin D has been shown to have a positive effect on various illnesses, including multiple sclerosis, colon cancer, inflammation, depression, and seasonal disorders.

Daily sun exposure is advised to obtain vitamin D, as it allows your body to receive approximately 90% of this essential vitamin. However, for sunlight to convert into vitamin D, it is fundamental to have an adequate supply of good fats and oils in your body.

Applying moisturizer, sunscreen, or other lotions can hinder the absorption of UV rays and the subsequent synthesis of vitamin D. Therefore, it's advised to avoid covering your skin with such products during sun exposure to maximize the production of vitamin D. By considering these factors, you can optimize your body's natural ability to convert sunlight into valuable vitamin D.

The issue of skin cancer is directly correlated to the introduction of increased consumption of hydrogenated oils in our diet.

Interestingly, we have seen how often people blame the sun for their skin problems when, in reality, the culprit may be the personal care products they use every day. Many of these products, like moisturizers, makeup, and even sunscreen, contain harmful ingredients that can have long-term effects on our health. Instead of pointing fingers at the sun, we should be looking at the chemicals we put on our skin.

The issue of skin cancer is directly correlated to the introduction of increased consumption of hydrogenated oils in our diet.

Hydrogenated oils have replaced the good healthy oils that naturally occur in foods to prolong shelf life and the ease of manufacturing, distribution, and preservation of appearance concerns, all at the expense of our overall health.

In addition, most of the cooking oils (such as corn oil, safflower, sunflower, and sesame oils) on the market are so high in omega-6 fats (virtually 100%) that it distorts the healthy omega-6 to omega-3 ratio balance. This ratio is important in resistance to cancer and particularly skin cancer.

The ideal ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 should be about 1:1, while the typical American is about 15:1.

This 2016 article talks about the Potential Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer

Homer S. Black1,* and Lesley E. Rhodes2

Lindsay Brown, Academic Editor, Bernhard Rauch, Academic Editor, and Hemant Poudyal, Academic Editor

When hydrogenated oil consumption is limited and there is a high dietary intake of high-quality essential fatty acid oils such as high-quality extra virgin olive oil or grade 10 coconut oil, (see earlier newsletter on coconut oil) the health benefits of sunlight are enormous.

Here are some Sun Safety Tips

While the sun has many healing powers, it is essential to take safety measures to protect your skin from its harmful effects. Here are some tips to consider for sun safety:

Limit sun exposure

It is advisable not to stay in the sun for long periods, especially during the peak hours when the sun's rays are the strongest, typically between 10 am and 4 pm. During these times, the sun emits intense ultraviolet (UV) radiation, which can significantly increase the risk of sunburn and skin damage.

Wear protective clothing

If you have fair skin or are particularly susceptible to sunburn, it is imperative to wear light-colored, long-sleeved clothing that covers your arms and legs. This clothing acts as a physical barrier between your skin and the sun's rays, reducing direct exposure and the risk of sunburn.

Seek shade

When outdoors, seek shade under trees, umbrellas, or other structures that protect from direct sunlight. Staying in the shade can help minimize exposure to UV radiation and reduce the risk of sunburn.

Wear a hat and sunglasses

Covering your head with a wide-brimmed hat can provide additional shade to your face, neck, and ears. Additionally, wearing sunglasses with UV protection helps shield your eyes from the harmful effects of the sun, including the risk of cataracts and other eye conditions. AT the same time, don't forget to let some light in.

Use sunscreen

Applying sunscreen is an essential part of sun protection. When choosing sunscreen, please select a healthy and effective product. Look for broad-spectrum sunscreens that protect against both UVA and UVB rays. The Sun Protection Factor (SPF) should be at least 30 or higher for adequate protection. Apply sunscreen generously to all exposed skin and remember to reapply it every two hours or after swimming or sweating. Not all sunscreens are created equal. Some sunscreens contain ingredients that have been linked to potential health concerns, including hormone disruption and cancer risks. Consider opting for mineral-based sunscreens and contain ingredients like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, as they are generally considered safe and effective.

Conclusion: In a world where sunlight is often seen as the villain and met with fear, it's time we rekindle our appreciation for its healing potential. By dispelling misconceptions, recognizing the impact of personal care products, and adopting preventive measures, we can unlock the extraordinary benefits of sunlight for pain relief. So, let's courageously step into the light, soak up its soothing warmth, and harness the sun's incredible power to elevate our lives and nurture holistic well-being. Embrace the sun and let its radiant embrace light the path to a healthier, happier you. 

About the author 

Ani Papazyan BS, CN, LMT, LE

As a Pain Resolution Practitioner, I empower individuals to conquer body pain, reclaim their lives, and embrace personalized wellness based on their unique genetic makeup, offering tailored solutions, self-help techniques, and transformative strategies.

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