The Guide To Bio Hacking
Staying alive is always a good place to start but for biohackers “just living” simply isn’t enough.
While the practice has been around for decades, if not centuries, “biohacking” has currently climbed the ranks in popularity and many are flocking to discover what it’s all about – probably with the hopes of getting a piece of the pie!
Let’s face it, life is tough, to say the least, and many of us are hanging on by a thread as we endure the rat race and hope for the best. But what if we told you that it doesn’t all have to be so dreary – that you can grab life by the horns and in simple words, you can “own it”?
“Owning it” forms the core of what biohacking entails and if you’re here because you are about to take the first step into this wonderful world of self-discovery, then get ready for a life-altering experience!
What Is Bio Hacking?
In the nuttiest of nutshells, biohacking is the process where you make changes to your lifestyle so that you can feel happy and healthy. In essence, you can “hack” your body’s biology so that your physical, mental, and emotional state is at its peak.
For instance, let’s consider the age-old saying “you are what you eat”. We’ve been around the block often enough to know that greasy takeout leaves us feeling bloated and defeated while mom’s homemade organic cooking restores our vitality and makes us feel like we are, well, “home”. But have you ever considered the broader meaning of this phrase?
When embarking on a biohacking journey, the focus largely depends on everything that we put into our bodies – our food, our thoughts, how we move, what music we listen to – in correlation to how we feel and behave. Successful biohacking leads to a body transformation unlike any other. You can become the best possible version of yourself just by paying attention to what your body absorbs.
Which brings us to the next question.
Does It Really Work?
While many naysayers have claims that totally debunk the theory, others swear by the process and are ambassadors of “the proof is in the pudding”. There’s also much irony circulating the subject in that for biohacking to actually work, one needs to believe in its authenticity.
Since there is no actual scientific proof that biohacking does, in fact, hold true to its word, the answer to “does it really work” lies in the opinion of each individual who is willing to partake in a scientific journey that can’t do any harm.
So, are you in?
Where Does One Begin?
At this point, you are probably still feeling overwhelmed or like you are grasping at straws. When you read through the below list of fundamentals you will start to see the bigger picture, however, and the process will start to make more sense. Simply remember that the point is to “feed” your body in such a way that it becomes the ultimate “you”.
1. Start With Genetic Profiling
Many serious biohackers start their journey with DNA profiling. DNA profiling or genetic profiling is where individuals study their DNA to determine genetic strengths and weaknesses. With the introduction of DNA kits that have been approved for home use, this process has become much easier than you may think. You simply collect your sample, send it to the applicable laboratory, and then receive your results online. Depending on the brand you use, the results will come with all of the information you need to have a clear map of your genetic profile.
You can use this information to have an indication of which areas you should focus on in terms of health. For example, does your genetic history include a common pattern of cancer or cardiovascular disease? Perhaps you carry the gene for Alzheimer’s? By pinpointing what could happen with your body, you can stop diseases like these in their tracks and optimize your overall health.
2. Eat The Right Food
The saying “you are what you eat” still sticks in the literal form of the phrase. In fact, sticking to a nutritious diet is an essential component of biohacking, perhaps even the most important one. This process goes beyond consuming a good daily portion of fruit and veg, however, and has more to do with the science of eating in accordance with our APOE gene. Our APOE gene determines our body’s ability to process fat and depending on which of the three APOE gene variants you have; it may be more beneficial to go on a high-fat diet than a high carb diet, for instance.
And then there’s Ketosis.
Ketosis is currently the most popular technique that biohackers use when it comes to eating food that fuels our bodies both effectively and efficiently. It’s a diet that relies on fat to energise the body instead of sugar. Since 78% of the population has the APOE3 gene variant that allows their bodies to process fats more productively than other sources of energy, the Ketosis diet is one of the best strategies used to re-energize our bodies without any “down time”.
The focus is to eliminate sugar consumption and instead eat foods that are high in healthy fats. This way we can experience more stable energy levels throughout the day while we also nip cravings in the bud.
iSum draws the following picture:
“Fat burns like coal, long and steadily for many hours. Glucose (sugar), however, is more like jet fuel, it burns rapidly and uses tons of energy. The drawback is that the energy produced from glucose simply doesn’t last as long as we need it to” – Source
The Ketosis diet generally keeps to the following pattern:
Exercise is often the big white elephant in the room. We all know that it’s good for us but do we really want to wake up an hour earlier in the morning to do it? If you are serious about biohacking your life into shape then the answer is – yes!
Staying fit is another technique used for overall health. Whether it be light walks around your neighbourhood or vigorous training sessions, exercise and help us mentally, physically, and emotionally.
4. Rekindle Your Relationship With Nature
Often referred to as “rewilding”, this technique essentially involves resetting ourselves periodically by restoring our wild nature. This process stems from the idea that we are so lost in advanced technology that we forget about our biological roots and our natural habitats that have kept us healthy in the past. Yup – we’re saying that we need to consider how our ancestors lived yonks ago and practice de-evolution (this is indeed a thing).
Some of the ideas that biohackers are implementing include:
- Eating wild and living foods.
- Drinking unprocessed spring water.
- Getting a good dose of fresh air.
- Exposing one’s self to sunlight.
It’s all about going back to basics. Eating food straight from the stem without it being cooked, drinking water as is from a natural source, focused breathing, and a good soak in the sunlight.
While the above does sound like a wonderful solution, the only problem is that all of these natural resources are tainted with pollution and what once worked for our primitive brothers and sisters could possibly have a negative effect on our more evolved bodies. So, “rewild” wisely.
Perhaps traditional Buddhists have been right in their practises all along and mindfulness and meditation is indeed the solution to a happy and healthy life?
It all makes sense, really. If you want to focus your attention on something like biohacking, then you ultimately need to become more aware of your attention. This will then help us to consciously create our desires, our feelings, and our overall behaviour.
You can practice self-meditation at home, you can start right now, in fact! Or you could follow more rigorous practices like neurofeedback and 40 Years of Zen. Either way, when we consciously focus on and observe our emotions and thoughts, then we clear a path for rational thinking. We can now create solutions to our problems instead of continuously being clouded by tons of irrational thoughts, feelings, and emotions.
6. Work On Your Posture
Human beings were not designed to sit for hours on end but if you find yourself behind a desk for a living then sit you must. Sitting for long periods of time does take its toll, however, and can lead to ailments and more serious health problems, including diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
So, one easy way to start hacking your way into a healthier life is to work on your posture. Trust us, this is harder than it sounds!
We are so used to slouching that getting into the habit of correcting our posture can be quite the hassle – at first, that is. With biohacking, the objective is to remove the chances of impairing your muscles and joints by sitting and walking correctly.
The following practices will help to alleviate muscle tension and perfect your posture:
- Foam rolling
- Engaging your abs while you walk and sit
- Keep your neck in a neutral position (raise your monitors)
- Keep your shoulders straight
- Stretch your muscles frequently
When we maintain a good posture, we allow blood to move more freely through our bodies – a requirement for a healthy body and mind.
7. Hack Your Brain
Similar to meditation, brain “hacking” refers to more purposeful thought processes – or thinking positively, if you must. Psychologists and spiritualists have been running with the idea of “positive thinking” for centuries and lately, biohackers are adopting the same idealism.
By “thinking” your way into health and happiness you can “trick” your body into being happy and healthy. Whether you practice affirmations, create a visualisation board, or simply turn every negative thought into a good one, many have claimed that positive thinking has, indeed, worked.
This leads us to gratitude.
8. Show Gratitude
Similar to meditation, gratitude should be a daily practice. It simply entails looking at the glass half full and each time you start with a negative thought, you change it to see everything in a more positive light.
For example, in a scenario where you have had to listen to someone try and sell you insurance over the phone you could have one of two reactions:
A negative reaction: “Why did I just waste 5 minutes of my life listening to someone I do not know ramble on about an insurance policy I am not interested in”
Gratitude: “That call took some time but at least I gave someone the opportunity to communicate their message and I did learn something new for future reference”
The idea is the more grateful you are, the more you will have to be grateful for. Like meditation, gratitude will become natural over time but to get the ball rolling you can focus on the following techniques:
- Keep a gratitude journal where you write everything you are grateful for each day
- Write a letter of gratitude to someone important to you
- Take a walk and think about all of the good things you have going for you
9. Resist Stress
Easier said than done, we know, but if you have overall health in mind then stress is one factor that must be eliminated. The good news is that stress will automatically start diminishing when you practise meditation and gratitude. Exercise also helps!
Begin by resisting stressful situations until you feel like you are more capable of handling them without turning into a tight ball of anxiety. Remember to take moments to breathe, focusing on the bigger picture.
If your body can become resistant to stress, then the mental and physical health benefits can be astronomical.
Biohackers live by the philosophy “sleep more live more”. If you are not getting enough sleep at night then your body simply cannot cope effectively, it can also make all of the other effort put into hacking your body null and void.
The first step is to get into a good rhythm of going to bed at the same time every night and then setting an alarm for the mornings. This might be difficult at first but after a few weeks, your body will automatically adjust to this new routine.
If you battle to fall asleep, try a few techniques and see what works for you. We suggest removing electronics from the room (they can be distracting) and use essential oils and meditative music to bring on the Zzzz’s.
Make sure you get a good 7- 9 hours of solid sleep.
While this might all seem like a lot to take in, it’s important to remember that biohacking is a lengthy process and you will not see results overnight, in fact, it might be a couple of years before you start to feel the full effects. You also do not need to jump right into every technique, instead, introduce them slowly so that your body doesn’t go into shock with all of the new and sudden changes.
For biohacking to really work you need to be dedicated to the process and you need to ensure that you are following healthy practices. If you take this life-altering concept to the extremes then the results could be far from what you had hoped for.