It’s also for sunshine. As we approach the warmer months I thought we could tackle the topic of sun, sun exposure, and sunscreen.
Let’s start off by discussing the sun’s relationship to the human body. Your body needs the sun for multiple reasons but we are going to tackle the two biggies . . .
#1 HARMONY. Ever heard of “circadian rythyms?” No? That’s okay, it’s not super popular. However if you’re going to take responsiblity for your own health, get comfy with this term! Why? Because circadian rytyhms have played a huge role in your existence as a human being! You just were never told . . . because The Man can make more money keeping you ignorant and dependent than he can educating you and training you to be an independent thinker. It’s as simple as suits, ties and drug commercials.
Circadian rhythm refers to the regulation of hormones. Now, stop here for a moment. As soon as we read “hormones,” we think “sex and mood.” That’s true. But hormones control EVERYTHING, including but NOT limited to sex and mood. Hormones control digestion. Sleep. Joints. Movement. Body temperature. Adrenal fatigue. The list goes on because our body goes on. I cannot take credit for this analogy but think of hormones like this . . .
The human body is a symphony of hormones and circadian rhythm is the conductor. . . of everything. The only hormones we hear about are estrogen and testosterone, right? But there are so many more conducting crazy, beautiful jobs inside of you! For instance, keeping you awake and putting you to sleep. Hormones regulate. Balance. Harmony. Symphony. We need to stop seeing our bodies as jigsaw puzzles and start seeing our bodies as tapestries . . . intricate. Woven. Indivisible.
What does this have to do with our body’s relationship to the sun? EVERYTHING. Near and “within” your eyes, you have been given photoreceptors. They do exactly what their name says they do, receive (recept) light (photo). Where does light come from? All around us. What kind of light is best? Blue light, the kind the sun offers us during the daytime! This blue light is received by our photoreceptors. Our PC (for short) communicate to our “circadian clock.” This “clock” is a host of brain cells (like a business owner) and it controls cortisol and melatonin (which are like business managers). Cortisol and melatonin regulate their fellow hormones and body system function (which would then be like shift workers). These “managers” and “workers” are responsible for proper digestion, mood, AND waking and sleeping. Think about it . . . circadian RYTHYM. It’s a rythmic function because your body is meant to coexist with the rythym of the sun. The sun comes up. The sun goes down. We wake up. We go to sleep. Our bodies are meant to exist in harmonious relationship to the sun. Our bodies need the sun! We need it’s blue light to tell our internal clock to “rise and shine.” We need the dimness of the moon and stars to tell our internal clock to “sleep tight.” Our body’s relationship to the sun is a vital realtionship. We NEED sun exposure for overall wellness found in harmoniously regulated hormones (which in turn creates happy tummies, balanced moods, proper energy, peaceful rest).
#2. THE BIG D. We also need the sun for vitamin D production. Have you seen milk jugs/cartons that say, “vitamin D” or “vitamin A?” That’s because the beneficial nutrients found in raw milk from happy cows are destroyed during the heating process (pasteurization). . . The Man goes ahead and adds synthetic forms of Vitamin A or D (which HAVE to work together mind you, and cannot be separated) back into the milk. That’s not cool. Your body needs natural forms of Vitamin D (along with Vitamin A and K!) for the function of over 200 genes and proteins. The Big D decresaes inflammation (inflammation = disease. Own this.), promotes cell growth (we’re constantly producing) and regulates the release of seratonin, another one of our forgotten hormones. Seratonin is responsible for gut health, joint health and mental health. Again, how does this relate to the sun? Our bodies make vitamin D as a response to ultra violet light . . . from the sun. No need to get vitamin D from “one a day vitamins” or lame-o milk (which contains puss as a result of over-milked utters, FYI). You just need to hang in the sun!
Like most of what I am posting, this whole sun thing goes against everything you have ever heard. I swear I don’t sit in my car at red lights thinking of ways to confuse you. I encourage you to own your health and start researching for yourself. Don’t spend time in the sun because some blog post said you should. Spend time in the sun because you know for yourself, that it is good for you (mind, body, and soul). But I’m not done freaking you out and for that I am sorry.
Let’s talk about sunscreen. I’m going to tell you that melanoma is found more in those who wear sunscreen than those who do not wear sunscreen. Why? Read your sunscreen label . . . would you put it into your body? No. So, why put it onto your body? What’s the difference? Your body is your body, inside and out. Interestingly enough, as sunscreen use has increased (please, ask your great grandparents if they wore sunscreen), skin cancer has increased.
Sunscreen contains synthetic forms of VA, which in turn accelerates cancerous growth. Pause. It also blocks UVB rays which provides our skin with the “ouch!” feeling when we incure a burn. So what? So, when your skin is burning, your skin can’t tell you. You’re “numb.” Pain isn’t bad, pain warns our bodies to back off, quickly. When we play in the sun without the safety found in UVB rays, nothing is telling us to back off (or in this case) to go inside.
Sunscreen isn’t in the Umble beach bag. Namely, because I believe diet hugely provides our skin with a natural screen. A diet high in red meat, fats and vitamin D, keeps our skin healthy and self-protecting. However, this takes time. Also, certain days call for certain measures. Maybe you are heading off for a day at the lake. In this case, I would recommend making your own sunscreen like the Wellness Mama or if you don’t mind looking a little silly, Badger sunscreen. I would also recommend wearing a hat or investing in a good umbrella. I’m not telling you to bake in the sun everyday! Can you overexpose yourself to the sun? Absolutely. Too much of a good thing can easily become a bad thing. Remember, it’s all about balance. Harmony. We’re striving to eliminate excess (overexposure) and deficiency (underexposure).
Our goal in “soaking up rays” isn’t to be Tour Guide Barbie (name that movie, anyone?) Our goal is to provide our body with necesarry properties for overall wellness . . . mentally and physically. The circadian rythym as well as Vitamin D, all play a part in mental and physical health. The sun is our friend!
Photo above is of Sandra Dee as Gidget . . . my favorite found here