The Positive Benefits of Sunlight

The Positive Benefits of Sunlight

Ever since I was a child, I chased the sun. I was ecstatic in the summer and miserable in the winter. My parents would have to chase after me to wear a hat and long sleeves because I wouldn’t think about sunburns or skin cancer at all, all I could think about was JOY.

Sunlight brought me instant joy. I couldn’t put my feelings into words, I just felt wonderful anytime I spent a lot of time outdoors under the hot sun. My favorite travel destination was a beach with hot temperatures and I made it my duty every year to find my way to a white sandy beach, to spend most of my time laying on a towel and swimming in the refreshing ocean.

The Powers of The Sun

The ancient Egyptians clearly understood the powers of the sun because one of their most important gods was associated to the Sun, the god Ra. In the 25th century before Christ, Ra had become a central god for the Egyptians. Life came from Ra and humans were called the “Cattle of Ra” because they supposedly came from his tears and sweat. Ra was a male god associated with the falcon or hawk.

The pharaohs of the 5th Dynasty worshipped Ra to the point of building temples, obelisks and solar temples in his honor. They were seen as the sons of Ra. Ra was usually depicted as having a human body, the head of a hawk, a solar disk around the head with a serpent coiled in the front. Other forms included a phoenix, a ram, a beetle, a cat, a lion and a bull. For Egyptians, sunlight was crucial for good agriculture which was central to their way of life. The sun made everything grow and expand, allowing for life to continue. Sun was growth, life, rebirth, transformation and power.

The Health Benefits of Sunlight

Modern science has done a lot of research concerning the health benefits of sunlight. It is said that if someone exposes themselves to sunlight for several minutes a day (research varies on the exact time), the brain will stimulate a hormone called serotonin which will enhance our moods and make us feel more calm and more focused. Serotonin is also known as a key factor in alleviating depression, anxiety and panic attacks. Studies have revealed that lower serotonin levels can create SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) commonly associated with long dark winter days, thus light therapy has become a popular therapy in our generation.

Also exposure to the sun’s UVB rays helps our bodies produce Vitamin D. Researchers say that although Vitamin D can be taken orally through supplements and provide good benefits, nothing beats the power of sunlight in this department. Vitamin D reinforces our bones and teeth, preventing diseases such as arthritis and osteoporosis. Scientists recently recommended taking 4000 IU Vitamin D3 daily if people are not exposed to sunlight or 2000 IU daily if people can absorb 12-15 minutes of sun daily.

For a long time, medical experts have been debating whether exposure to ultraviolet rays could cause more damage than good because of the possibility of developing skin cancer. Recent studies show that daily exposure to sunlight, in moderate doses, actually prevents certain cancers such as colon cancer, Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, ovarian cancer, prostate cancer and pancreatic cancer. Thus people living in the southern parts of the world might have slightly more cases of skin cancer but a lot less cases of other cancers.

How Much Sun Exposure?

Moderate sun exposure means to limit your direct sun time to about thirty minutes a day and to avoid exposure when UV rays are at their highest, which is between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Being out in the sunlight all day definitely requires protection such as wearing a hat, natural sunscreen (there are quite a number of chemicals in regular sunscreen that might actually cause more harm than good!), wearing sunglasses and light clothing that covers the body.

I personally never suntan after 10 a.m. or before 3 p.m. and I limit my tanning time to thirty minutes daily, just to be sure I am not damaging my skin. During winter I take Vitamin D tablets and don’t exaggerate with doses.

I encourage you all to discover or re-discover the natural healing powers of sunlight this summer and be moderate in your sun therapy!

About the Author

Nora CaronNora Caron has a Masters degree in English Renaissance literature and speaks four languages. After struggling through the academic system, she realized that her true calling was to help people live from their hearts and explore the world through the eyes of their spirit. Nora has studied with various spiritual teachers and healers since 2003 and she practices Energy Medicine as well as Tai Chi and Qi Gong. In September 2014, her book "Journey to the Heart", received the Living Now Book Award Silver Medal for Best Inspirational Fiction. Visit her website at: www.noracaron.com

Watch a video with Nora: New Dimensions of Being

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