January 15th, 2024
Welcome to Week 3 of our journey towards mental wellness! As a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Christian Integrative Therapist, I'm excited to dive into a topic that has become a significant part of my own mental health journey and daily routine – biohacking. In this blog post, we'll explore how biohacking techniques, combined with my experiences at the Five Elements Wellness Spa, have the power to transform mental well-being. We'll also discuss the science behind these practices, their benefits, and ways to incorporate them into a budget.
What is Biohacking?
In the quest for improved mental wellness, it's essential to understand the fundamental concept of biohacking. Biohacking is not some arcane or mysterious practice; rather, it's a dynamic and evolving approach to enhancing one's overall health and well-being. At its core, biohacking revolves around the idea of optimizing both our body and mind through a series of deliberate and science-based interventions. These interventions encompass a wide spectrum of strategies, ranging from lifestyle adjustments to cutting-edge technologies. The goal is to unlock our full potential and achieve a state of peak physical and mental performance. Imagine it as a personalized journey towards becoming the best version of yourself. Biohacking empowers individuals to take control of their biology, using knowledge, experimentation, and innovation to fine-tune their physical and mental faculties. As we delve deeper into this journey, we'll explore the science behind these practices, their profound benefits for mental health, and practical ways to incorporate biohacking into your life, regardless of your budget or resources.
Five Elements Wellness Spa Experience
My exploration of the Five Elements Wellness Spa began in August 2023, a deliberate choice to put my well-being at the forefront. Facing formidable challenges such as depression, anxiety and an auto-immune situation called CIRS, I was determined to avoid the pitfalls of addiction, which I had struggled with in the past, starting as early as age 12, and the reliance on prescription medications. My professional experience working with many teens in the community mental health field had taught me that medication, while sometimes necessary, should be the last resort, not the first option, in addressing mental health issues.
Instead, I decided to redirect my resources towards a sanctuary of well-being, reaffirming my commitment to nurturing my mental health.
Within the tranquil confines of the Five Elements Wellness Spa, a symphony of wellness unfolds, carefully designed to uplift both the body and mind. This comprehensive routine underscores the significance of self-care, with each component contributing to the improvement of physical and mental well-being.
Imagine this: a rejuvenating 20-minute session in the soothing steam room, followed by an invigorating 20-minute stay in the infrared sauna, infusing warmth and vitality into the body. These self-care practices are further enhanced by a therapeutic 20-minute session of red-light therapy, guiding you towards profound relaxation.
During these moments, often spent in solitude, I find solace in prayer and reflection. My mobile device safely stowed away in the locker room, I embrace the opportunity to be still and connect with my inner self.
But this journey doesn't conclude here. I venture into the tranquil haven of the salt room, where the serene ambiance seamlessly aligns with my mental wellness objectives. As a grand finale, I muster the courage for a brisk 2-minute plunge into the invigorating waters of the 45-degree cold plunge, embracing the transformative potential of cold exposure therapy.
As we delve into the scientific underpinnings of the remarkable benefits offered by each of these therapeutic experiences, I encourage you to contemplate embarking on your own journey of self-care and rejuvenation. Remember the wisdom from Scripture, "Be still and know" (Psalm 46:10), encapsulating the essence of these moments of introspection and reflection:
Steam Room and Mental Wellness
Science: Steam rooms work by raising the temperature and humidity levels, which helps relax muscles and open up pores. This, in turn, promotes detoxification and boosts circulation.
Benefits: Beyond the physical advantages, regular sessions in a steam room can reduce stress, improve sleep, and promote a sense of relaxation that is conducive to mental wellness.
Affordable Alternatives: If you don't have access to a spa, you can create a DIY steam room experience by using a hot shower with the bathroom door closed. Incorporate essential oils for added relaxation.
Infrared Sauna for Mind and Body
Science: Infrared saunas use infrared light to penetrate the skin and heat the body from within. This promotes detoxification, pain relief, and relaxation. Please click on the picture to listen to one of my favorite podcasters ever. Dr. Andrew Huberman is a distinguished neuroscientist and professor, known for his captivating insights into the intricate workings of the human brain. With a penchant for unraveling the mysteries of the mind, he combines his expertise in neuroscience with an engaging podcast to make the science of the brain accessible and intriguing to all. He is a big proponent of mental health and biohacking. You can learn tools and tips from his content. He has helped me so much in becoming the Christian Integrative Therapist I am today.
Benefits: In addition to physical benefits, regular use of an infrared sauna can reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, enhance mood, and improve overall mental well-being.
Affordable Alternatives: Look for community centers or gyms with infrared saunas, or consider portable infrared sauna blankets as a budget-friendly option.
Red Light Therapy and Mental Health
Science: Red light therapy uses specific wavelengths of light to penetrate the skin, promoting cell regeneration and reducing inflammation.
Benefits: Beyond the skin-deep benefits, red light therapy has shown promise in improving mood, reducing symptoms of depression, and even addressing Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
Affordable Alternatives: Portable red light therapy devices are available for home use, providing a cost-effective way to harness the benefits.
Salt Room Therapy and Mental Serenity
Science: Salt room therapy, also known as halotherapy, involves inhaling fine salt particles. This helps open airways, reduce inflammation, and promote relaxation.
Benefits: Beyond respiratory improvements, salt room therapy can provide a tranquil environment that reduces stress, anxiety, and promotes mental clarity.
Affordable Alternatives: Some salt lamps or salt inhalers can mimic the benefits of a salt room at a fraction of the cost.
The Cold Plunge Challenge
Science: Cold plunges, like the one I've been gradually working up to, trigger the body's cold shock response, which can enhance circulation and mood.
Benefits: Cold exposure has been associated with increased resilience to stress, better mood regulation, and a sense of invigoration that can positively impact mental health.
Affordable Alternatives: You can start with contrast showers, alternating between hot and cold water, to experience some of the benefits without the need for specialized equipment.
Biblical Inspiration for Wellness
No discussion about mental wellness and biohacking would be complete without grounding it in faith. Here's a verse that resonates with our journey:
This verse reminds us of the incredible design of our bodies and minds and the responsibility we have to care for them.
Incorporating Biohacking on a Budget
For those looking to embrace biohacking without breaking the bank, consider these tips:
Explore free or low-cost mindfulness meditation apps to enhance mental well-being. I use https://www.pauseapp.com/
Opt for outdoor cold exposure experiences, like cold showers, swimming in cold water, or winter hikes.
DIY red light therapy can be achieved by using red LED light bulbs in your living space or watching the sun rise and set.
Practice deep breathing exercises and progressive muscle relaxation techniques at home. I use https://breathly.app/
Conclusion and Invitation
Incorporating biohacking techniques into your life can be a transformative journey toward enhanced mental wellness. My own experiences at the Five Elements Wellness Spa have shown me the power of these practices. Remember you will pay either way. Prevention or intervention. If you don’t take time for your wellness, you will be forced to take time for your illness. If you're inspired to embark on this journey or seek guidance from a Christian Integrative Therapist, I invite you to reach out and join me on the path to mental wellness. Remember, you are fearfully and wonderfully made, and investing in your well-being is a beautiful act of self-care. May this voyage serve as inspiration to prioritize your well-being and embrace the profound impact of becoming a biohacker.
And on this special day, as we contemplate the importance of mental wellness, let us not forget the wisdom of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who once said:
"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."
This quote reminds us of the transformative power of positivity and love, not only in the world but also within ourselves. As we explore biohacking and its impact on mental health, let us remember that by nurturing our inner light and practicing self-love, we can drive out the darkness of stress, anxiety, and depression, leading to a brighter, more fulfilling life.
Dear Heavenly Father,
We come before you with gratitude for the wondrous creation that each one of us is. As it is written in Psalm 139:14, 'I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.' Lord, we thank you for the wisdom and inspiration shared in this information and those like Dr. Huberman who freely teach us. I pray that those who read these words will be moved to embrace their uniqueness, recognizing the beauty in their own design. May they find strength in your love and the knowledge that they are fearfully and wonderfully made.
Guide them, Father, to apply the lessons from Liberation Lunes in their lives, fostering self-care, self-love, and self-acceptance. Help them to understand that by taking care of themselves, they honor your divine creation within.
In Jesus' name, we lift up this prayer, asking for your blessings and grace upon all who read these words. Amen.
In Service, Faith, Hope, and Love,
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