Biohacking for Beginners

Before you begin bio hacking, there are a few things you should be aware of. Let’s start with an explanation of what biohacking is.

Biohacking is the use of methods to enhance biological function, physical and/or mental health, memory, and performance in order to extend life, decrease aging, and accelerate the body’s capacity to recover from sickness and disease. Biohacking may be utilized for health or for personal objectives such as increasing productivity. This may be accomplished in a variety of methods, including physical, chemical, and electrical techniques.

Biohacking is the practice of utilizing tools and technology to manipulate our biology in order to enhance our health and performance. Wearing a fitness tracker to measure our activity levels may be as easy as wearing a fitness tracker, or as intrusive as implanted devices that enable us to watch our health data in real time.

So, why do we need biohacking? Our bodies are continuously under attack in a society where we are continually inundated with environmental pollutants, stresses, and processed foods. We can regain control of our health and improve our well-being by hacking our biology. Furthermore, biohacking may assist us in identifying and correcting imbalances before they develop into chronic illnesses. Biohacking, when utilized appropriately, may be a powerful tool for reaching optimum health and energy.

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The benefits of biohacking

Biohacking has the potential to provide several advantages, including greater mental clarity, higher energy levels, better sleep, and improved physical performance. Biohacking may also assist to relieve stress, boost mood, and increase general well-being.

It might range from employing sensors to measure exercise objectives to genetic testing to tailor a diet plan.

Apps are an excellent biohacking tool. These may be used to keep track of your fitness (steps/activity), food, sleep, and overall health. These applications are most likely the best place to begin if you’re new to biohacking. Strava is a popular activity tracking app. It also has a social component in which other people remark on your run, walk, or cycling ride. This is a method of getting accountability and a boost to keep you motivated.

There are other dieting apps available, but for a novice, the free MyFitnessPal app is a wonderful place to start. You record your meals, and the app calculates the calories and nutritional value. You may also register activity on this app, however, the Strava app can be connected to MyFitnessPal, which increases the biohacking advantages. Both applications may also be connected to wrist-worn trackers.

They are another excellent bio hack for novices. They monitor your movements and sleep. They even vibrate to annoy you when you don’t move enough! This serves as a reminder to get up and exercise more, which is useful when considering fitness.

While some may consider biohacking to be a fringe activity, there is emerging evidence that it might have actual advantages.

One research discovered, for example, that persons who utilized biohacking equipment (such as applications that measure steps) were more likely to fulfill their fitness objectives than those who did not (1).

Nutrigenomics is another kind of biohacking. The combination of heredity and food may be a difficult process. However, it may be the connection that assists folks in losing weight. People who adhere to a tailored dietary plan based on genetic testing are more likely to lose weight than those who do not. For example, studies show that those with the risk form of the FTO gene (also known as the obesity gene) benefit from high protein diets. This was shown in a 9-month study of 195 participants. Those who followed the high protein diet lost weight quicker than those who did not follow the modified diet (2).

Biohacking has also been shown to benefit mental wellness. A one-week visit to The Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat resulted in improvements in 37 health indicators, including anxiety and depression levels, according to research (3). This kind of biohacking entails eating a primarily organic, plant-based diet that excludes dairy, alcohol, caffeine, and gluten. Although this retreat is in Australia (4), there is no reason why you cannot incorporate these practices into your own life. Biohacking may be as easy as following a diet identical to that offered at this retreat.

What are the risks of biohacking?

After discussing the positives, it is only fair to consider the concerns connected with bio-hacking. The extent to which you biohack your life is determined by the danger. Breathwork, for example, is a popular biohacking technique. Breathwork is intentionally changing your breathing pattern to achieve a certain result. Some individuals, for example, employ breath exercises to reduce stress (5) or enhance their sleep quality (6). Breathwork, on the other hand, may be utilized to raise energy levels or cognitive ability (7). While breath work has some great advantages, it also has significant hazards. Hyperventilation is one of the most serious hazards (8). This may happen if you breathe too deeply or too rapidly, and it can induce a variety of symptoms such as dizziness, lightheadedness, chest discomfort, and/or anxiety episodes (9). If you suffer any of these symptoms, it’s critical to discontinue deep breathing and get medical attention if the symptoms persist.

When tampering with skin-piercing equipment, there is always the risk of microorganisms entering the body and causing an illness. The gadget may also cause the body to respond, creating inflammation and the risk of tissue damage. After all, you’re inserting an alien body into your flesh (10).

The gadget should be embedded in the body by an expert to ensure optimal placement. Otherwise, it might seriously harm the surrounding tissue. There is also the possibility of electrical shock. When working with electrical gadgets, a biohacker should use extreme caution. While these hazards are minor, the biohacking community is actively attempting to reduce them (10).

Aside from the health dangers, it is important to examine the problem of privacy. Once something is implanted in your body, it cannot be removed or deactivated (10).

How to get started with biohacking

There are a few things to consider before embarking on your own biohacking path. To begin, it is critical to recognize that biohacking is not a one-size-fits-all strategy. What works for one individual may not work for another. It is critical to discover a method that is tailored to your individual objectives and circumstances.

Before beginning any new health regimen, including biohacking, it is also critical to speak with a healthcare expert. This is particularly true if you have any underlying medical concerns.

It is important to educate oneself in addition to seeking medical advice. There are many myths and misunderstandings out there, so do your homework. Once you have a basic idea of what biohacking is and how it might help you, you can begin investigating some of the numerous strategies that are accessible. For example, you may wish to experiment with a different food or supplement regimen, or with sleep hacking or cold treatment. The main thing is to figure out what works best for you and your lifestyle.

Myths and misconceptions about biohacking.

It is just not true that biohacking is reserved for the rich. On a shoestring budget, there are numerous DIY biohackers doing intriguing and new things. While biohacking may undoubtedly require costly gadgetry, such as installing an infrared sauna in your house, there are several easy (and inexpensive) methods to get started. According to popular belief, biohackers are rich individuals who can afford cutting-edge equipment and procedures. While some biohackers are affluent, you don’t have to be wealthy to get started with biohacking.

There are several easy and inexpensive methods to begin biohacking. You may, for example, improve your diet by eating more nutrient-dense meals, drinking more water, and avoiding processed foods. You may also hack your sleep by developing better sleep hygiene practices. None of these items are expensive.

Biohacking is only for persons suffering from medical conditions: Another widespread misconception about biohacking is that it is just for those with medical issues. Nothing could be farther from the truth. While biohacking may benefit persons with medical issues, it is not limited to them. Biohacking may help everyone. There is a bio-hack for everyone, whether you want to boost your cognitive function, energy levels, or physical performance.

One of the most prominent concerns about biohacking is that it is harmful. The prospect of experimenting with your body’s biochemistry might be unsettling. However, most bio hacks are really pretty safe. While certain biohacking methods are experimental and hence risky, the same can be said of any new technology. Biohacking, when done carefully, is no more harmful than using a microwave oven or driving a vehicle. However, like with everything, there are hazards connected with biohacking. However, for the most part, these dangers are modest and readily avoidable.

Another misconception that is just not true is that biohacking is reserved for scientists. Despite its rather technical term, biohacking may help everyone, regardless of their scientific knowledge. While you don’t have to be a scientist to start biohacking, having a fundamental understanding of biology and physiology is beneficial. Even if you’re not a scientist, there are lots of resources to help you get started.

Another misconception that is not accurate is that biohacking is unlawful or immoral. The vast majority of bio hacks are both legal and ethical. However, like with everything, there are others who go too far, particularly when it comes to gene editing. Ethical standards and regulations control this sort of bio-hacking, mostly to safeguard safety. There are often no legal or ethical consequences. When in doubt, do your homework.

Biohacking is a rapidly expanding movement with the potential to fundamentally alter how individuals live their lives. To profit from this new technology, you do not need to be affluent, have medical issues, or even know much about science. What exactly are you waiting for? Begin biohacking your health right now!

References

  1. Behavior Change with Fitness Technology in Sedentary Adults: A Review of the Evidence for Increasing Physical Activity https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5225122/
  2. Effects of a High-Protein/Low-Carbohydrate Diet versus a Standard Hypocaloric Diet on Weight and Cardiovascular Risk Factors: Role of a Genetic Variation in the rs9939609 FTO Gene Variant https://www.karger.com/Article/Abstract/441142
  3. Do Wellness Tourists Get Well? An Observational Study of Multiple Dimensions of Health and Well-Being After a Week-Long Retreat https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5312624/
  4. https://www.gwinganna.com/packages/
  5. How Breath-Control Can Change Your Life: A Systematic Review on Psycho-Physiological Correlates of Slow Breathing https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6137615/
  6. Effectiveness of Deep Breathing and Body Scan Meditation Combined with Music to Improve Sleep Quality and Quality of Life in Older Adults https://openpublichealthjournal.com/VOLUME/13/PAGE/232/FULLTEXT/
  7. Breathwork https://www.goodtherapy.org/learn-about-therapy/types/breathwork
  8. Hyperventilation https://www.peacehealth.org/medical-topics/id/hypvn
  9. Breathwork in body psychotherapy: Clinical applications https://www.nativeyogacenter.com/pdf/doc-daniela-breathwork-in-body-psychotherapy-clinical-applications-1619530149.pdf
  • Biohacking: An exploratory study to understand the factors influencing the adoption of embedded technologies within the human body https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7226663/
  • Biohacking: The Ethical Implications of Democratizing Biotechnology https://vce.usc.edu/semester/fall-2021/biohacking-the-ethical-implications-of-democratizing-biotechnology/

 

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