Naturally as humans, we are drawn to the radiant light of the sun and the warming energy it fills us with as it hits our skin.
Our health and wellbeing is deeply linked to the sun, as all of nature and life on earth is solar powered. The removal of sunlight would cause the planet and its inhabitants to perish. It doesn’t take much observation to see how closely intertwined we are with the presence of sunshine.
Throughout ancient history, sunlight was relied upon as a healing modality as it was recognised for its ability to counteract bone diseases such as rickets, and infections such as tuberculosis. Prior to the age of antibiotics, sunlight was utilised for speeding up wound healing due to its germ killing effects. During the early twentieth century in Switzerland, Dr August Rollier successfully treated children with tuberculosis in his open air clinics, where the children were exposed to gentle sunshine in the mountains. In recent times, an article in The Journal of Cell Biology confirms how this treatment is actually effective due to UV light creating Vitamin D, and the Vitamin D activating an immunity to tuberculosis. Even if you aren’t suffering from a chronic disease, you can (and should) utilise the natural healing powers of the sun.
Unfortunately, in modern society we have been conditioned through fear to view the sun as something deadly and dangerous. Of course staying in the sunshine too long can cause our skin to burn, but with safe sun exposure that is individually suited to our skin tones and climate, we can receive the healing benefits without risk.
When we stay out in the sun longer than is required and our skin begins to burn and turn red, this is simply our bodies natural mechanism warning us to get out of the sun as we have had enough. Naturally we are meant to listen to this sign and seek shelter from the sun’s rays, however the application of sunscreen causes us to stay out in the sun far longer than the time our bodies actually require to utilise the sunshine for important tasks such as synthesising vitamin D.
Our body produces a pigment in the skin called melanin, which our body utilises as a natural defence against the sun as it absorbs the UV radiation and protects us. Antioxidants in the diet, including vitamins A, C, and E help to increase the melanin, as well as themselves protecting the skin from radiation.
The use of chemical sunscreen stops the body from producing more melanin, and as it causes us to stay out in the sun a lot longer than if we weren’t wearing sunscreen, this overexposure depletes the antioxidant stores in the skin leading to more damage from radiation!
The skin that belongs to somebody with a nourishing diet full of antioxidants, vitamin, and minerals will respond to the sunshine a lot better than the skin of somebody deficient in any of these things.
Sunlight delivers us every wavelength of the colour spectrum. Each of these colours (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet) has a unique healing effect on our body, almost like nutrients. If you are familiar with the chakras in the body, you can see how some gentle sunbathing would provide some powerful healing and energising to the chakras, as each colour of the light spectrum corresponds to a chakra.
Sunlight is the safest and most natural ideal way for our body to receive vitamin D. Vitamin D is essential for bone and teeth health and provides anti-cancer effects and immune support.
How to receive the benefits from the sun safely-
Begin exposing yourself to the sun slowly, for short periods of time initially and then gradually increasing the time you spend outside. Your skin will begin to adapt and produce more melanin over the period of a few weeks, providing you with natural protection.
Stay hydrated as you are more likely to burn if you are dehydrated.
The gentle morning sun rays are best for receiving the healing benefits whilst reducing your chance of burning.
Use common sense and listen to your bodies signals when it wants to get out of the sun to avoid burning.
Use natural toxin-free environmentally friendly sunblocks and wear a hat if you need to be out in the sun for longer than your individual skin can handle.