Melatonin Tips For Production and Preservation

Melatonin is a hormone that is well established as a significant antioxidant, as well as an important hormone for healthy and restorative sleep.  It has also been increasingly implicated to have anti-aging and obesity benefits as well as mitochondrial function.  Suffice to say that healthy melatonin function is important to our health at any age, but particularly as we pass 50.  But where does it come from and how can we maximise it?

Production

To produce melatonin you need the raw building blocks.  This is the amino acid tryptophan.  It’s found in things like turkey, milk, nuts, and tuna.  Just eating the food with the tryptophan is not enough necessarily.  The following chart will help to explain.

melatonin production chart
From The Visual Textbook Of Nutritional Medicine by Dr. Igor Tabrizian

You can see down the left side of the chart that you have a list of nutrients.  Things like magnesium, zinc and iron.  You need these nutrients to convert the tryptophan into melatonin.  If they are deficient in your diet, you will have issues in converting the tryptophan to melatonin.

As a result, you will therefore not have enough melatonin for optimal function.  When you look at the literature it’s clear there are a lot of people with magnesium, zinc and iron deficiencies.

Toxic Metals

The next aspect to consider is across the top of the chart.  The toxic metals like mercury, aluminium and, in excess, copper.  What the toxic metals do is “block” the good nutrient from working.  This means that you could have the zinc present in the body in adequate amounts but if you have mercury present it will stop the zinc from functioning.

It gets worse.

Toxic metals have differing strengths of antagonism.  For example one mercury will block up to 1000 zinc.  That’s pretty strong antagonism.  Copper can block up to 6 zinc.  If you have high copper, mercury and aluminium, which is somewhat common, you will not be able to use your zinc.  As a result you will not be able to convert your tryptophan into melatonin and you will then have melatonin deficiency.

The pineal gland gets most of the recognition for producing melatonin.  This is not really accurate.

Red Light Therapy

A lessor known source of melatonin production is from exposure to red light and near infrared light which is known as photobiomodulation.  The paper titled Aging of lymphoid organs: Can photobiomodulation reverse age-associated thymic involution via stimulation of extrapineal melatonin synthesis and bone marrow stem cells? states that “a review of the literature suggests that not only retinal, but also whole body and intranasal irradiation with red light leads to a notable increase in serum melatonin levels in humans.”

Red light and near infrared light increases melatoinin production independent of the pineal gland.

This is important.

Traditionally, before electricity, we  only had candle light and fire after sunset.  We also witnessed every sunset.  The point being we were exposed to much higher levels of red light and this in turn would help to raise or maintain our melatonin level.  Think back to how well you slept on your last camping trip and you will know what I mean.

If you are wondering how to do this at home you can either use red LED lamps to light up your home or you can mimic sunset and fire at the same time with a near infrared sauna which is our personal favourite.

So far, we’ve looked at production.

  • You need to get tryptophan.
  • We need to have the right nutrients to convert it.
  • There can’t be toxic metals blocking the conversion.
  • You need to have adequate red light exposure.

Preservation

Now you need to keep your levels naturally high and not accidentally deplete them.

The main thing to be aware of here is blue light exposure.  This is the sort of light you get from overhead lights, TV’s, laptops, computers, tablets and mobile phones.  The light decimates our melatonin.  This is quite well documented and yet it amazes me that more people don’t pay attention.   Here is one quick example in the literature.  “Melatonin suppressions after 1-h and 2-h exposures to tablets viewed with the blue light were significantly greater than zero.”  Have a google search to confirm for yourself how important this is.

One solution is to turn you devices off.

A bit harsh…..yes, but very successful.

If this isn’t possible then consider using a pair of blue-light blocking glasses.  These filter out the blue light and only allow in the red which then does not interfere with your natural melatonin production.

Another home based thing you can do to help maximise your melatonin levels is to get a hair mineral analysis.  This test will assess your levels of nutrients and toxic metals in the tissues.  If you identify issues then you can address them.  It’s always best to work on root causes of problems and not go chasing our tails around.

Finally you can monitor your sleep.  You can use watch based apps or for best results consider a OURA ring.  If you can assess your deep and REM sleep you can then look for patterns that have interrupted your sleep and look to correct them.  For example, if I don’t wear my red light blocking glasses I notice a decrease in my deep sleep.  Another example is if I eat a meal too late I don’t sleep well.

Melatonin production and preservation is a critical piece to our overall health management.  Even more so as we pass 50.  Hopefully these tips and pointers will help you get a deeper and more refreshing sleep and help you to restore your energy.

Yours in Health,
Dr. Todd Lizon, (Chiropractor)
B.P.H.E., D.C.

Speaking of energy…………think you can handle a couple of articles every few weeks to help you get or maintain your health?  If you sign up for our newsletter we’ll be in touch!

 

TheraBulb 300W Bulb Near Infrared Sauna Upgrade

TheraBulb 300W lamp

The TheraBulb 300W Bulb Has Arrived!

We are thrilled to announce the arrival of the NEW TheraBulb 300W incandescent lamp to the Lifestyle Integration group.

These higher wattage bulbs will provide more heat and options in the near infrared sauna than the 250W bulb which they are replacing.

To celebrate the arrival of this infrared sauna Australia upgrade we thought it appropriate to review some of the many benefits of TheraBulb incandescent near infrared bulbs.

TheraBulb 300W lamp

MORE HEAT

With more wattage you get more heat and power.  When it comes to an infrared sauna the more heat and power the better!

BETTER SAUNA

Speaking of saunas you have more options.  Our portable near infrared sauna has four lamps. You get to select if you want one, two, three or all of the TheraBulb lamps on at once.  This means you can choose the full effect of an incredible 1200W of heat or, if that’s too hot, you can turn one off and relax with a more comfortable 900W.

portable near infrared sauna

PLUG AND GO

A common question we get regarding our infrared sauna, which is also known as a full spectrum sauna is if you need any special wiring?  You do not.  With all TheraBulb incandescent lamps you simply plug them into a normal household socket.  No need for any expensive electrical modifications.  Plug and go!

PHOTOBIOMODULATION

To me the secret weapon of the Therabulb is the lab verified photobiomodulation benefits.  The bulbs are coated to ensure you are getting as much of the therapeutic mitochondrial stimulation band wavelengths as possible.  This ensures steady application of the healing near infrared and red light therapy.

mitochondrial stimulation band

THIRD PARTY TESTED

This is perhaps the most important factor in our decision to use TheraBulb in our portable near infrared saunas.  I think most of us now understand from a marketing perspective anyone can make a claim about something.  Not everyone can back it up with independent certified lab testing.  This is exactly what TheraBulb has done.  They use the same lab as the US military.

SAFETY COMPLIANT

TheraBulb bulbs are RoHS certified. This means that they are free of substances covered in the European Union Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive 2002/95/EC. These substances include lead, mercury, and Teflon.  TheraBulb bulbs also bear the CE mark, meaning that they meet the safety standards for their product category.

ZERO EMF

TheraBulb incandescent bulbs emit virtually no EMF by design. When submitted to an independent lab for testing, the following result was provided by the lab: “Due to the fact that these are incandescent bulb (sic), the EMF values are extremely low and at or below the resolution of the measurement equipment.”  TheraBulb’s LED bulb has been tested and its EMF emissions were recorded at .03mT.

THE COMPANY

I’ve worked with TheraBulb for many years and can say that they are a group of people that truly care about what they do and the products they produce.  They back their product and will go the extra mile to ensure you get what you are paying for.

If you are looking to reap the many sauna benefits that a near infrared sauna can offer such as hyperthermia therapy, photobiomodulation and red light therapy the TheraBulb 300W bulb delivers.  You can order them here.  300W TheraBulb

Want to know more about photobiomodulation, redlight therapy and sauna therapy?  Have a look at our blog or learning centre and have a think about joining our newsletter below.  Once every two weeks we will email what is new and exciting in these fields and more.

Yours in Health,

Dr Todd Lizon (Chiropractor)
B.P.H.E., D.C.

 

The Full Spectrum Sauna Low Energy Boost

a man with low energy

Eliminate Low Energy With A Simple Bio-Hack

“I don’t know what’s wrong with me? I feel so tired. I’m not even sure I can get out of bed. I just don’t seem to have any energy—not even for my family.”

As we pass 50, low energy and vitality can become a significant issue.  The good news is that there are bio-hacks you can do to increase your energy.  The more energy you have, the better you will heal, feel, and want to do things.

If you are still reading, I don’t need to convince you of the magnitude of the issue.

What can we do?

balance or bunout

First, you need to rule out serious problems. Consult with your doctor.  There can be issues such as thyroid health, or iron levels that may need to be properly assessed and managed.  Once these are ruled out, we can look at ways to hack our energy systems and boost our low energy.

Most low energy problems are the result of impaired energy pathways within the body.  To be blunt, these pathways are usually disturbed from our all too often poor choice of lifestyle and environment.

The good news is they can be easy to fix.  The bad news is we usually can’t or won’t actually fix them!  Change your diet.  Stop smoking and drinking. Get more sleep etc.

If this sounds like you this is where bio-hacks can benefit you.

In our experience the single most impactful bio-hack that can change your life regarding energy production is the use of a near infrared sauna.  This is also known as a full spectrum sauna.

There are two mechanisms at work with full spectrum saunas.

1. Photobiomodulation
2. Heat.

Photobiomodulation (PBM)is also known as red light therapy or LLLT and is the application of red and near infrared light to the body.

INCREASED ATP

When you apply near infrared light (photobiomodulation) to the body the most significant finding is that you increase the production of ATP within the mitochondria.  Mitochondria are in virtually every cell of your body.  An enzyme in your mitochondria absorbs this light and it increases the production of ATP.  The increased production of ATP is where you get your increased energy from. The ATP is equivalent to the battery of the cell.  The more charge you have, the more energy you get, and low energy becomes a thing of the past.

MELATONIN

Photobiomodulation has also been shown to increase melatonin production.  Melatonin is your primary sleep hormone and is essential to a good night sleep.  When you expose yourself to the red light therapy and near infrared light you increase your melatonin.  When you get a good nights sleep you will have more energy to take on the day.  Never underestimate the value of a solid night’s sleep when it comes to low energy.

THYROID

Studies have shown that photobiomodulation can restore normal thyroid function.  The application of the near infrared was able to get approximately 50% of the study group that had Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis OFF of medication completely.  With almost all they were able to dramatically reduce their medication.  Of note, once you stop the therapy the situation can reverse back to where it was. This implies we need this regular exposure to near infrared light to maintain our energy pathways and perhaps we are light deficient in a similar way to how most of us don’t get enough Vitamin D from sunlight.  A near infrared sauna is a fantastic way to get enough daily light and help you move from low energy to a more vital and energetic state.

STRESS

In the research article titled “Recovery from sauna bathing favorably modulates cardiac autonomic nervous system” it is made abundantly clear that the heat from a single sauna session can reduce stress.  They found a significant reduction in stress as measured by one of the gold standards when assessing this, heart rate variability.  Talk about sauna benefits….a single session can reduce stress, scientifically, by about 50%.  Less stress equals more energy.

CARDIOVASCULAR

There are multiple studies that show that both photobiomodulation AND the heat of the sauna tremendously helps the function of the cardiovascular system.  The heat and the photobiomodulation both work independently, and in different ways, but the combination of the two supercharges you to a more robust and healthy cardiovascular system.  When your heart functions better you will have the energy boost you are looking for.

EXERCISE ALTERNATIVE

The sauna can mimic many of the benefits of exercise.  It raises your heart rate, cardiac output, core temperature, sweating etc.  The research paper Sauna use as a lifestyle practice to extend healthspan shows that sauna use can be “an alternative to aerobic exercise for people who are unable to engage in physical activity due to chronic disease or physical limitations.”  I don’t think anyone would disagree that exercise will increase your energy over the long term.

DEPRESSION

In the same paper it states “elevated biomarkers of inflammation are commonly observed in individuals who have depression.”  Sauna use has been shown to reduce symptoms of depression and it may be because of the reduction in inflammation.

Interestingly, the use of photobiomodulation has also been significantly been noted to reduce depression as well as many other brain dysfunctions.

Using a near infrared sauna or full spectrum sauna will bring all the sauna benefits together in one place.  The benefits to the brain are significant and when you aren’t depressed you will have more energy and motivation.

LUNG FUNCTION

Finally, we look at lung function. The better your lung function the better your oxygenation and the more energy you will have.  Again, this is a system that benefits from both the heat and the photobiomodulation.

The sauna effects are related to “decreases in oxidative stress and inflammation associated with hyperthermia or via direct effects on lung tissue.”

Photobiomodulation has also been shown to reduce oxidative stress as stated in Photobiomodulation Therapy Decreases Oxidative Stress in the Lung Tissue after Formaldehyde Exposure: Role of Oxidant/Antioxidant Enzymes.  There are also many other studies looking at chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and the improvements it can have.

LOW ENERGY SUMMARY

In summary, it is clear from the research that if you are looking to fix your low energy problem both photobiomodulation and heat therapy from a near infrared or full spectrum sauna are a fantastic bio-hack.

A portable near infrared sauna provides both therapies at the same time.

At NIR sauna our units are versatile in that they can be used in almost any space and any place.  If you are looking to increase your energy levels, as well as address many other aspects of your health, we strongly suggest you consider having one of these in your home.

Being over 50 does not mean we need to struggle with low energy.  Address your lifestyle and environment and look to use proven bio-hacks to help you get your youthful vitality back and enjoy all life has to give.

Yours in Health,

Dr Todd Lizon (Chiropractor)
B.P.H.E., D.C.

 

 

Nearsightedness Caused By Sunlight Deficiency

child in sunlight

Is The Nearsightedness Epidemic Over?

We are in the midst of a light epidemic and you probably don’t even know it.  There is an overabundance of ultraviolet light (UV) and blue light (screens) and a deficiency in red and near infrared light.  We are also in the midst of a nearsightedness or myopia epidemic.  Up to a third of the world’s population by some estimates.  The cause is most likely light deficiency.  Specifically red and near infrared light deficiency.

Most of you have probably heard that it’s bookworms that get near sighted.  You know….the heavy readers.  This theory has been around a long time and it suggest that reading close up slowly changes the eyes.  It turns out this isn’t the case.

It is true however, that research has shown that there is a strong association between education levels and myopia.  What has now become crystal clear though is that this is a correlation, not a cause necessarily.

If you stop and think about it, the other thing that happens if you read and study a lot is that you spend time indoors.  Out of sunlight.

Natural Light is the Key

In a Nature article titled The Myopia Boom, they had this to say on outdoor light time.  “Based on epidemiological studies, Ian Morgan, a myopia researcher at the Australian National University in Canberra, estimates that children need to spend around three hours per day under light levels of at least 10,000 lux to be protected against myopia.”

child in sunlight

This was back in 2015.  However, they didn’t really extrapolate on the mechanism.  Just that more time in sunlight was beneficial in preventing myopia.

So what is the actual mechanism?

Three recent studies from 2021 and 2022 shed some further “light” on the likely mechanisms.

Nearsightedness Study #1

The study titled Effect of Repeated Low-Level Red-Light Therapy for Myopia Control in Children found that 69.4% slowing of axial elongation and 76.6% slowing of myopic refraction progression.  With nearsightedness the eye ball elongates, so if you can reduce this good things happen.  The refraction is the strength of the glasses you would need.  These are huge results showing how red light therapy can slow the deterioration of the eyes.

Nearsightedness Study #2

This 2021 study, Orthokeratology and Low-Intensity Laser Therapy for Slowing the Progression of Myopia in Children, also showed the benefits to red light therapy.  It was looking to see if the red light would work as well as orthokeratology (wearing a contact lens to flatten the eye).  They found that the LLLT worked better than the orthokeratology to control axial elongation and slow myopia progression.  LLLT is also known as red light therapy or photobiomodulation.

Nearsightedness Study #3

The final study from 2022, Low-intensity, long-wavelength red light slows the progression of myopia in children: an Eastern China-based cohort, had similar results.  They “underwent LLRT treatment (power 0.4 mW, wavelength 635 nm) twice per day for 3 min each session, with at least a 4-h interval between sessions, and a control group of 56 myopic children.”  They concluded that “repetitive exposure to LLRT therapy (photobiomodulation) was associated with slower myopia progression and reduced axial growth after short durations of treatment.”

So, it would appear, that red light therapy prevents the progression of myopia.

As with all new research there are limitations and more research needs to be done but intuitively this makes sense.

Take Home

Spend time outdoors.  Children ideally need to spend approximately 3 hours outdoors per day to prevent myopia.

Alternatives

You can get your red light at home with photobiomodulation devices.  However, you should seek advice from your health professional to ensure you are working within safe parameters.  We are not offering medical advice or advocating irresponsible application of red light therapy or photobiomodulation.

The two general ways you can get red light therapy at home are the following.

Incandescent Lamps

Incandescent lamps such as TheraBulb provide red and near infrared light similar to what the sun provides.  They have a full spectrum wavelength profile that includes red light and some heat.  These can be used in a sauna or as a single lamp.  Saunas should not be used for children under 6. Children should always be supervised around these lamps as they are a burn risk.

LED Lamps

These simple lamps are becoming increasingly popular.  You can purchase inexpensive lamps such as hand held units or more expensive panels.  They are simple to use and quite safe.  Staring directly into them is not advised due to the brightness of them.

hand held LED lamp

Myopia or nearsightedness is an ever-increasing problem.  Recent research in the photobiomodulation field is progressively showing that red light, and probably other wavelengths, have a protective effect on the eye. It slows and prevents the progression of myopia in children.  It is not clear if this light will reverse the problem.

Summary

Light deficiency appears to be the cause of nearsightedness.  I have been talking about light deficiency for years and firmly believe the public needs to be made more aware of it.  As humans we need to spend time outside.  We need to witness the sunrise. We should walk and play more.  Try to work outside when we can.  The benefits are becoming increasingly clear and now it seems that our vision might depend on it.

While this blog focuses on children there are many other reasons for us older folk should use red light therapy and photobiomodulation for our eyes.  Research shows it can help with dry eyes, diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, glaucoma, optic nerve injury and other conditions.

 

For more information visit www.lifestyleintegration.com.au or for here for everything about near infrared saunas

Yours in Health,

Dr Todd Lizon (Chiropractor)
B.P.H.E., D.C.

 

Sunburn and Natural Sunscreen Protection

natural suncreen alternative

A Natural Sunscreen Alternative

We all know that the suns UV rays can be damaging causing sunburn and skin cancers.  Slip, Slap, Slop is a common catchphrase around the application of sunscreen and any visit to the beach or time spent in the outdoors. The reality is that many of us have decided that the sun is bad and to be avoided.

This is a mistake.

Yes, spending too much time in the sun is detrimental to the skin and overall health. But mounting research is showing that the benefits of time in the sun are vastly outweighing the negatives.

One of these benefits is natural sunscreen protection.

Pre-Conditioning The Skin

Barolet writes in the 2016 article Infrared and skin: Friend or foe that when you pre-condition the skin with a dose of near infrared light that you get “a SPF-15 like sun protection factor effect.”

natural sunlight skin protection

Some background information is needed here to fill in the gaps on how to reduce sunburn and get this natural sunscreen protection.

The field of photobiomodulation (PBM)  is where red and near infrared light are applied to the body to increase energy production, decrease inflammation and speed up healing in brief.  Infrared light is NOT ultraviolet light.  Near infrared light is invisible but is not ionising.  UV light is ionising, and this is what causes skin damage.

Barolet explains in his research paper that when you apply near infrared light to the skin BEFORE you are exposed to UV light that you get the sunscreen SBF-15 protective effect which they call photoprevention.

In other words, near infrared light (photobiomodulation) protects against UV damage and sunburn.

This is not surprising. Of course, nature has protection against sunburn naturally built in to the system.  We just aren’t using nature correctly and to our benefit.  We don’t pre-condition our skin we just run out in the middle of the day, burn, and then say the sun is bad!

Another piece of the puzzle to understand is that the ratio of UV light to near infrared light is lower when the sun is rising and setting as this figure from Barolet paper shows.  The most harmful time to be in the sun is mid-day. Conversely the most beneficial time is when our shadows are long.  The mornings and the evenings.

ratio of PBM to UV light

If we were more in tune with natures rhythms, we would be up at the crack of dawn and WITNESS the sunrise. We would be outside soaking up the beneficial photobiomodulation light and pre-conditioning our skin so that we would have natural sunscreen protection against sunburn.

Natural Sunscreen Protection

The sunrise is our natural sunscreen.

If you look at the image above you will also see that the sunset is where PBM repair occurs.  Should you damage yourself with too much UV light during the day the sunset is natures way of repairing this with photobiomodulation.

The sunset is our natural repair system to UV light damage.

I realise that not everyone will be able to witness the sunrise.  The good news is that there are other ways to get your photobiomodulation dose and your natural sunscreen alternative.

Sunscreen Alternative

You can use a near infrared sauna.  This will very closely mimic the sun in that you are getting the red light therapy and near infrared photobiomodulation with full spectrum light and some of the warmth of the sun.

using a near infrared sauna

Alternatively, you can use a LED panel which will provide single wavelengths in the red and near infrared spectrum.  Just be careful not to have the irradiance level too high.  You want to mimic the sun which is about 20 to 30mW/cm2

Ironically, the sun that you are so scared of is actually what you need to protect yourself.

To learn more about near infrared saunas and photobiomodulation you can visit www.nirsauna.com.au

Don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions either.

Yours in Health,

Dr Todd Lizon (Chiropractor)
B.P.H.E., D.C.

Prostate Cancer, Saunas and Sunlight

prostate cancer

Natural Prostate Health

As a male over 50 I need to be concerned, or at least aware, of my prostate function.  When you consider the facts, it really is a no-brainer.  According to the Cancer Council “it is estimated that 18,110 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed in Australia in 2021. One in 6 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer by the age of 85.”  Let’s look at some novel research and some common sense applications of this knowledge that might help reduce the chances of us developing prostate cancer.

In a 2019 study titled Sun Exposure: Beyond The Risks they state “in the last few years, several connections between solar exposure and prevention and/or treatment of several diseases have been discussed, with studies suggesting that regular solar exposure may be beneficial for conditions such as …… prostate.”

Sunlight Therapy

Initially the benefits were thought to come from the UV light and its corresponding increase in Vitamin D.  This might not be the entire picture.

In a 2016 article titled Regular Sun Exposure Benefits Health they found when looking at diseases like prostate cancer that “it became evident that immunomodulation, the formation of nitric oxide, melatonin, serotonin, and the effect of (sun)light on circadian clocks, are involved as well.  So it’s not all about Vitamin D.

What you might not know is that the regular use of saunas provides you with most of these very processes.

Now let’s look at infrared saunas and it’s influence on these processes. In particular we’ll look at near infrared full spectrum saunas.

using a near infrared sauna

Nitric Oxide

Infrared saunas and regular Finnish saunas are well established to increase circulation of nitric oxide (NO).  In this article, PDE5 inhibitors in the treatment of LUTS(lower urinary tract symptoms),  they state that NO “affect LUTS by decreasing smooth muscle cell proliferation in the prostate, and relaxing smooth muscles in the prostate and in the bladder neck.  It is very likely that NO is playing a large role with our prostate health.  The heat of the sauna may be a very convenient and productive way to ensure this pathway is optimised.

Incomplete Emptying

An interesting finding in  “sauna bathing and lower urinary tract symptoms – the heat is on?” was that the ‘feeling of incomplete emptying’, was less common in frequent sauna bathers. This particular symptom is well known to men with prostate issues.  This is an observation though, and the study goes on to say that sauna bathing does not affect LUTS development.  There are weaknesses in the design of the study though and more studies should be done to look a bit deeper.

Inflammation

All types of sauna will have a significant affect on inflammation in the body.  If you decrease inflammation systemically good things happen. Laukkanen found in 2018 that saunas had a substantial affect by decreasing inflammation when saunas are used regularly.

Let’s shift now to near infrared saunas, and the unique EXTRA sauna benefits they bring to help with prostate health.

Near Infrared Sauna

These will provide all the benefits mentioned so far from far infrared saunas and traditional saunas.  They have the added benefit of a healthy dose of red and near infrared light.  This is called photobiomodulation.  If you don’t know what this is google it along with a health condition you are interested in such as Alzheimer’s, and be prepared to be amazed.

portable near infrared sauna

The impact of the photobiomodulation will help with your prostate health in several ways.

Increased Energy

Photobiomodulation works by increasing adenosine triphosphate (ATP) in your cells.  This is energy your body uses to do things. When you have more energy available to you more healing, repair and other good things can occur in your prostate cells.

NO

It also has a significant impact in raising nitric oxide and the benefits of that have already been explained when it comes to prostate health.  Regular saunas will boost your NO but near infrared saunas will boost it even more.

Melatonin

The use of this red light therapy and near infrared light has been shown to boost melatonin independently of the pineal gland.  Above we established that melatonin was playing a factor in prostate health and here we have a good way to ensure high levels of this important hormone. As an added bonus your sleep will improve.

Here’s an added bonus.  Did you know that melatonin is the precursor to serotonin?  It is, and serotonin was one of the other factors that has been shown to be involved with prostate health.  More things are linked in the human body than we tend to believe and most things don’t exist in isolation.

Circadian Clock

Finally, when you use your near infrared sauna you are getting the red light therapy and near infrared light that you are designed to get from natural sunrise and sunsets.  Our eyes need this light to help set our circadian clocks, and our circadian clocks have been shown to be involved in prostate health as well.  A sauna in the evening or morning can have many far reaching benefits.

Summary

We know that prostate health is complicated and that there is no single therapy for the prevention of prostate cancer or other problems.

However, we do know that regular solar exposure appears to be beneficial for conditions such as prostate health. We also know when looking at prostate cancer that the formation of nitric oxide, melatonin, serotonin, and the effect of sunlight on circadian clocks, are involved as well.  All of these things are provided by sunlight in one form or the other. And by near infrared saunas.

We also aren’t saying if you use  your near infrared sauna regularly that you won’t develop prostate cancer.

You’ll want to address toxins, diet and ensure you do have optimal Vitamin D levels from sunlight or a high quality Vitamin D supplement.  And it goes without saying you will need to seek and listen to medical advice.

What we are saying is that the use of a near infrared sauna has huge potential benefits for our prostate health.  I prefer to look at it from the perspective that I will do my regular saunas because of the overall sauna benefits. Health, relaxation and stress management benefits to mention a few, and then IF it helps my prostate great!

If you have any questions on near infrared saunas feel free to reach out to us

Yours in Health,

Dr Todd Lizon (Chiropractor)
B.P.H.E., D.C.

 

The Sitting And Rising Test Can Help Determine Longevity

sitting rising logevity test

How Long Will You Live?

We are living longer.  Unfortunately, what can sadly be missing with this gift of longevity is a high quality of life.  The ability to fully enjoy our time walking this Earth.  Studies have unequivocally shown that a lower level of fitness is predictive of a higher risk for all cause mortality in middle aged people.  Fortunately, there are tests that can give us indicators as to whether our longevity will be a blessing or a curse.

Over the last number of years a few screening tests have been developed that give us an idea if we will age gracefully and be able to enjoy a high quality of life.

First, a disclosure.  As with any test there are limitations.  These are indicators only and not guarantees.  Injuries, disabilities and other factors can all influence performance on these.  If you do not score well on any of these tests do not automatically assume that you will not age well.  However, you may wish to work on your overall fitness and health to build as much of a base as you can.

Sitting Rising Test

The first test is called the sit to stand or sitting rising test.

This test was first published in 2012 in the European Journal of Cardiovascular Prevention. Simply put it’s an assessment of your ability to sit down and then stand up unaided. You can view the test HERE

The reason the sit to stand test is predictive of quality of life and longevity is because to do it you need a high level of strength, flexibility and balance.  The authors state a high score can “reflect the capacity to successfully perform a wide range of activities of daily living, such as bending over to pick up a newspaper or a pair of glasses lying under the bed or table.”

It also “likely indicates a reduced risk of falls”.  As we know falls are a major risk as we age.

In brief, they found that over the study period 159 people died.  Of these deaths the majority were in people who scored low on the test.  Only two of the deaths were in people who scored 10/10 on the sitting rising test.  You can read the study here. Sit to Stand Test

Push-up Test

In 2019 a study called the “Association Between Push-up Exercise Capacity and Future Cardiovascular Events Among Active Adult Men”  was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

how to do a push up for longevity

They looked at over 1000 men with an average age of 39.6 years.  They found that men who could “complete more than 40 push-ups were associated with a significantly lower risk of incident cardiovascular disease event risk compared with those completing fewer than 10 push-ups”  A 95% lower risk!

At Lifestyle Integration we have written about cardiovascular disease before and as a man over 50 we need to pay attention as it is the leading cause of death. If you want quality of life and longevity you need to pay attention to your heart health and if doing a few push-ups might make a difference I’m all in.

Walking Test

A third test that can help to predict our quality of life as we age in walking speed.

It was found that “of the 34,485 adults in the studies, people with average life expectancy walked at about 0.8 meter per second. For those with a gait speed of one meter per second or faster “survival was longer than expected by age and sex alone.”

Lifestyle Integration is all about your health, well-being and longevity.  We hope these simple little tests can start to give you a baseline or indicator of where your health might be.  Remember they are only indicators not guarantees.

For other tools and products that can help with your quality of life visit our website or click on the links to see more about things like fish oil, Vitamin D, near infrared saunas or Hair Mineral Analysis

Stress And The Three Stressors

Stress and Three Stressors

Stress. As simplistic as this may sound the cause of your problems primarily comes down to one of, or a combination of, these three stressors; physical, emotional or chemical.

Let’s back up a little. In Bruce Lipton’s sensational book The Biology of Belief he illustrated how it is the environment (stress) and not our genetics that are the cause of our problems unless you are one of the 5% who can legitimately claim genetic issues.

He did a fantastic experiment where he removed what we would consider to be the brain of the cell, the nucleus. He found that the cell did NOT die as we would have expected if it was well and truly the brain of the cell. It continued along with its business.

Genetics Are Not The Key

Months later however the cell did die. When they removed the so called “brain” of the cell (the nucleus) what they actually removed was the DNA. The role of DNA is reproduction and repair of the cell! Therefore the cell died because of an inability to repair the ongoing damage of day to day stressful living.

What this means is that it is not our DNA that is running the show. Genetics are not the only key to good health.

What is key is our ability to manage our stresses.

So going back to the beginning, unless you are one of the legitimate 5% who can claim genetic defects then it is our inability to cope with stress that causes damage and disease over the long term.

It is our stressful environment that tears us down. Let’s assume your DNA is not broken. If you can minimise the three stressors, you should be able to optimise your health. This is referred to in loose terms as epigenetics.

This chart summarizes the various forms of stress in the broadest of strokes and is well worth memorizing. Notice how the arrows point to each other? What this means is that in addition to being the cause of degenerative issues when you work on one you improve the others!

The Three Stressors

stress and the three stressors
The Three Stressors

This is great news for a chronically depressed person for example. If they are having trouble with the emotional they can improve by going for a walk (physical) or by taking the right supplements (chemical). If someone is very fatigued and tired all the time (physical) they can improve by speeding up the metabolism with specific supplements which is chemical in nature.

Your health is able to be reclaimed. Just because we are over 50 doesn’t mean we can’t thrive.

This article focuses on stress, the three stressors and understanding how it’s our environment that is key to reclaiming our health. However, there are even things you can do to help with the dna as well. Things like stem cell therapy.

At Lifestyle Integration we are continuously looking at you and your stresses, and helping you thorough personalized lifestyle and supplement programs to help you live a long healthy, vibrant life. Get your stresses optimized and good things happen!

A Near Infrared Sauna Duplicates Exercise Benefits

men running for exercise benefits

Over 50 with health issues that prevent you from exercising the way you would like to?  This is surprisingly more common than you might think. Unfortunately, it can lead to inactivity, blood pressure issues, obesity, lung issues, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and more. 

New research shows that the use of a sauna may provide a substitute or alternative to exercise when you can’t get the exercise yourself for whatever reason.

First you need to wrap your head around this concept.  Without doubt, sauna bathing and aerobic exercise have both, individually, been shown to positively affect cardiovascular function.  Things like blood pressure and arterial stiffness.

The second key thing to take on board is that direct comparisons of the results between a single sauna session and the combination of exercise and sauna, or exercise alone are sparse. 

This study is attempting to change this and matched the time of a sauna (30 minutes) with the time of a sauna followed by exercise (30 minutes total).

The Study

Standalone sauna vs exercise followed by sauna on cardiovascular function in a non-naive sauna users A comparison of acute effects.

It looked like this.

study flow chart

They used a Finnish sauna, which is a hot air sauna, but a near infrared sauna would provide similar results.  Realistically, it would most likely provide even better benefits as you will get both the heat benefits as well as the light or photobiomodulation benefits.  Here is a link for more on the benefits of a near infrared sauna.

Results

The results show that both the 30 minute sauna alone, and the 15 minutes of exercise followed by the shorter 15 minute sauna were able to reduce both systolic and diastolic blood pressure along with mean arterial pressure.

There are some limitations to this study, but this is encouraging work. 

It’s encouraging because not everyone can exercise and we need alternatives.  A portable near infrared sauna, or any type of sauna, can provide many of the benefits of exercise without the exercise.  This is an important area of research and one that needs to be further explored.

If you are in a situation where you can’t exercise it is strongly suggested you look into a near infrared sauna. Not just for the exercise benefits but also for the energy, inflammation, wound healing, sleep, detoxification, relaxation, heart, brain and other benefits.   A portable near infrared sauna in your home may be the tool you are looking for to help get your health back on track.

Full Spectrum Sauna: How To Choose A Sauna

using a sauna

Purchasing a sauna for your home may be one of the most important health decisions you make. We have been in the industry for over 10 years and know it can be difficult to sort through all the features of the different types of saunas.  This is why we have put together this series.  To help you learn what a near infrared sauna is and how it compares to traditional and far infrared saunas.

Part 1 Full Spectrum Sauna

First, let’s define what we mean by full spectrum infrared light.

Infrared light is divided into 3 types based on their wavelengths.

infrared bands

When you use a near infrared sauna you are getting visible red light, near infrared light, as well as mid and far infrared.  Hence, we can call it a full spectrum sauna.

So why does this matter?

Near infrared (and red light) is fundamentally different from mid and far infrared in that the light is absorbed by the mitochondria in your cells, not water.  This is called photobiomodulation.  The key point here is that there is essentially no heat felt.  Red and near infrared are heat-less as they are not absorbed by water.

How Can You Have A Sauna Without Heat?

You can’t.  This is why, if you are going to have a sauna with all these wavelengths, you need some of the mid and far infrared for heat.  The red and near infrared light, and their photobiomodulation benefits, are best thought of as a bonus.  A two for one deal.  Heat benefits as well as substantial photobiomodulation benefits.  Google photobiomodulation if you aren’t sure.

There is a little bit more to consider with full spectrum light though…….

If we go back to our chart, you will see that near infrared light ranges in wavelengths from 700nm to 1400nm.  If you only were to get one of those wavelengths, would you consider this to be FULL spectrum?  Or would you consider FULL spectrum to have all these wavelengths? 

I think most people would consider all the wavelengths to be full spectrum. This is what a near infrared sauna ONLY provides. 

full spectrum wavelengths in a near infrared sauna bulb

You can see in the diagram it has a wavelength distribution that includes a little bit of all the wavelengths.  This is more in line with how nature provides this light via sunlight.

How does this compare to far infrared saunas and traditional saunas?

Traditional Sauna

Traditional saunas don’t have any red or near infrared photobiomodulation effects so they can’t be considered full spectrum.

Far Infrared Sauna

Far infrared saunas will often put a LED panel in their units that typically have a red light at the single frequency of 680nm and a near infrared light at 850nm.  This is good.  But, would you consider this full spectrum?  It depends how you define it.  To me it’s not truly full spectrum and nature has all the wavelengths for a reason.

One final point.  To get a therapeutic dose of near infrared light you will need to spend time in your saunas.  Fortunately this is how saunas are used! 

Consider that in a traditional photobiomodulation session with an LED panel you are very close to it and the strength (irradiance) of the light is much greater. As a result, your time in front of the panel is much less.  The sauna will work…..it just takes longer so make sure you use your sauna regularly.

Near Infrared Sauna

portable near infrared sauna
www.nirsauna.com.au

A near infrared sauna provides the best of both worlds. Heat and photobiomodulation benefits. There are other factors to consider to determine the best sauna for you but if full spectrum benefits are important to you the NIR sauna might be best. Our portable near infrared sauna is designed so you can use it in any space or any place. For more information visit www.nirsauna.com.au