What Is Biohacking And Does It Work?
You may have heard the term thrown around in various contexts, but what exactly is biohacking - and what can it potentially do for your mind or body?
To (very broadly) simplify the term biohacking, the end goal is to ultimately advance our mind, body and health to their peak performance levels.
This is achieved through conscious and defined cybernetics, practices or activities, based on science and self experimentation.
Just how far people choose to go down the biohacking rabbit hole is up to them - it can include dietary or exercise changes, wearable technology (think a FitBit), or even pushes genetic engineering all the way to its limits with things like implant tecnnology.
Source: The Biohacker
It’s worth noting that the term “biohacking” is a new phrase that also encompasses some very old traditions. As the word covers a dizzying range of pursuits, the definition of biohacking will vary depending on who you ask. You might already be engaging in everyday activities that would be classified as biohacking, often without even realising it. Common examples of moderate biohacking - or tweaking the way your body works - include antidepressants, the consumption of superfoods, and even consciously spending time outside in the sunlight.
However in recent years, it’s become a buzzword popularised by Silicon Valley types touting the benefits of biohacking - and some of them are considered to be extreme.
What are some common examples of biohacking?
What you put into your body has an enormous impact on how we feel and think, there’s no denying that. There are some tried and true methods of biohacking that actually work, and are reasonably easy methods you could use to tweak the “engineering” in your body.
Our minds and bodies need light to function at optimum speed. Ever felt “off” when you’ve spent too much time indoors? That’s because our bodies need that hit of Vitamin D, along with the proven psychological and emotional benefits of spending time in the sunlight.
As humans developed though, we’ve unwittingly domesticated ourselves - we’re not as resilient or fit as we used to be. If you live in the city or don’t have the time to go frolic in the nearest field, these same benefits have also contributed to the development and popularity of infrared light therapy.
In terms of changing the way your body works, the food you choose to process is of course a hot topic of conversation. We often discuss what we eat, but not when we eat it.
Intermittent fasting is the process of allowing your body to increase it’s metabolism, reducing insulin resistance and keeping cholesterol levels in check. The concept may also improve cognitive function, lower levels of inflammation and prevent certain cancers. There are a number of different ways to navigate intermittent fasting, as the best option for you will often depend on your lifestyle.
If every one of the 100 billion neurons in your brain are talking to each other at the same time, then it can be incredibly hard to concentrate or focus. Brain activity is affected by activities you are undertaking at the time, what you’ve just eaten or drank, and what else is happening around you. Music has also been proven to have a huge affect on our brain activity.
By weaponising music as a biohack, we have the power to quite literally change our brain waves. Applications like BrainFM can help users accomplish tasks by using music. This could include anything and everything from getting a better quality sleep, focusing on particular tasks, or even retraining your brain on how to relax.
Does biohacking actually work?
That depends on which avenue of biohacking that you opted to undertake, and what goals you were hoping to reach. Some aspects of biohacking are very new and experimental, and others are tried and true.
Anita Flego is a Transformational Health Coast and Lifestyle Entrepreneur. Based on the Gold Coast, Anita is a passionate advocate of the power of natural medicine. She believes that biohacking is not at all a new concept, but rather an evolving movement.
“Biohacking is essentially changing our chemistry and physiology through science and self experimentation - with the purpose being to better energize and enhance our overall health. It’s a very broad term, but can be used for just about any aspects of life. When people go down the path of biohacking, some people want to be as smart or as strong as they possibly can be. Others just have a desire to be overall healthier for as long as they possibly can.”