By Jamie Ann Montiel, originally published at

All life on this planet evolved under the sun and all life, directly or indirectly, gets its energy from the sun. We, like other animals on the planet, should be spending most of our time outdoors, exposed to the elements, to varying environmental conditions with the natural cycles of light and dark regulating our biological clocks. Most of us spend too much time indoors, under artificial lighting which has a detrimental effect on our health. Lack of time spent outdoors in sunlight and fresh air impairs our physical and mental functioning. The ever-changing conditions outside challenge us, unlike the controlled and comfortable conditions we create indoors. It is our ability to control our environments with such precision in this modern age that weakens us and makes us more susceptible to illness. Sunlight is dynamic, unlike artificial lighting which is static and monotonous. It’s unnatural to be exposed to unwavering light for long periods of time. Sunlight has different intensities and brightness depending on the time of the day and the season and its interaction with clouds and nature to create a constantly changing environment that stimulates life all around us. Firelight, which is a natural light we evolved with over time and does not interfere with our biological rhythms the way artificial lighting does, is also ever-changing, its movement subject to the winds. There are no artificial light sources that can replicate the dynamic, full-spectrum light that comes from the sun.

We all know we need to get outdoors more but when some people do go outdoors in order to get sunlight, they may do it so suddenly, instead of gradually exposing themselves to the sun. For example, many people enjoy traveling to warmer climes in the winter for vacation and the acute exposure to solar radiation can cause one to get sunburned easily by lying out in the sun for as little as an hour. This is not a good way to compensate for the lack of sun, from being indoors, for most of the winter. Prominent heliotherapists such as Dr. Auguste Rollier and Dr. Henry Gauvain recommended gradual exposure to sunlight and the elements for preventing and treating diseases. They treated their patients in remote, pristine areas in the mountains or by the beach by gradually increasing their patients’ sunlight exposure over time. Care was taken to avoid getting a sunburn and tanning well was a sign of improvement in the patient’s condition. These and other heliotherapists observed that morning sunlight, soon after sunrise was the most beneficial, compared to other times of the day. They found that spring and early summer were particularly important times of the year for heliotherapy, though they exposed their patients to the sun year round. They recommended sunbathing in cool to cold air temperatures which is unlike how most people nowadays sunbathe, by lying out in the sun in the heat of the summer, oftentimes at midday. Cool to cold air temperatures (below 64 degrees Fahrenheit) were found by heliotherapists to be conducive to healing. Sunbathing in the nude once the body has acclimated to the sun was recommended by heliotherapists such as Dr. Niels Finsen but this wouldn’t be accepted in our society today. Clothing as well as wearing glasses, contacts and sunscreens interfere with our ability to absorb and utilize sunlight and therefore should be avoided to receive the full benefit of the sun’s healing light on the entire body surface once one has developed a good tan and has acclimated to the sun. Exposure to the sun has to be individualized according to a person’s health condition, skin type and location in space and time because the sun’s strength varies with altitude, latitude, weather conditions, time of day and the seasons. Air pollution and man-made electromagnetic fields also interfere with the transmission of sunlight to the earth which limits our absorption of the sun’s light. These things have become so ubiquitous nowadays that it is difficult to find remote, pristine areas in the world untouched by toxic chemical and electromagnetic pollution.

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Most of us today are very sun-deprived because of what mainstream media and conventional medicine says – that the sun is harmful. Nothing could be further from the truth. It’s how you expose yourself to the sun and your environmental conditions (such as excessive exposure to man-made electromagnetic fields from artificial lights and wireless devices) that determine whether or not the sun will help or harm you. Man-made radiation has different biological effects than natural solar radiation. Your body has its own mechanism for protection against supposedly harmful ultraviolet radiation. When DNA and melanin absorb UV light, it is dissipated as heat. Your skin was designed to be exposed to the entire spectrum of sunlight – infrared, visible and ultraviolet light. Gradual exposure to sun in cool to cold temperatures in the morning is beneficial for you. You can start acclimating yourself to the sun by exposing your extremities first for several minutes each day in the morning and increasing the time and amount of skin exposed gradually by wearing less clothing, paying attention to how your skin responds so you avoid burning. If possible, walk barefoot on the earth while doing this. You’ll find that once you start to get regular sun exposure and spend more time outdoors in nature, away from densely populated and polluted areas, your health will improve in many ways.

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The Healing Sun by Richard Hobday
Malignant melanoma of the skin – not a sunshine story!
Polarization: A Key Difference between Man-made and Natural Electromagnetic Fields, in regard to Biological Activity
Molecular sunscreen: How DNA protects itself from UV light