Published: 06/18/2013 - Updated: 11/19/2016
Author: Miriam Reyes
Since the inception of man, the sun has been present every day of our lives. Many cultures have worshiped it and have agreed to consider the sun as a God. However, today due to environmental pollution, the sun has begun to pose a health hazard ande now know that exposure to its rays can be harmful, especially for the skin.
However, heliotherapy argues that the sun can heal if we sunbathe properly.
What is it?
Heliotherapy is based on the use of solar rays to treat different conditions. It asserts that the sun is essential for life and that it is capable of curing some ailments by sunbathing, if it is done correctly and with precaution.
Benefits of the sun
While we know the risks of sun exposure, there are some benefits it gives us that we should not overlook:
It contributes to the production of endorphins: Substances that make us feel "good", and therefore induce anti-depressant and positivist effects.
It is necessary for our bones: Exposure to sunlight promotes the synthesis of vitamin D, which is essential for bone health.
It relaxes blood vessels: Favours good circulation and activates the production of red blood cells.
It improves circulation in the skin: Because it dilates capillaries found in the skin surface, it can therefore help heal injuries from the skin faster, when exposed to the sun with proper precautions and the appropriate duration.
Induces sweating: This enables the body to release toxins and detoxify.
It boost the immune system: It increases the amount of white blood cells in the body which fight off infection and illness.
It is antiseptic and antibacterial: Several bacteria die or are simply unable to reproduce when exposed to solar radiation.
Sun exposure should be gradual and progressive, so that our skin can get used to it.
To sunbathe properly, it is important that you adhere to the following recommendations:
Avoid sun between 11 and 2 o'clock, which are the hours when solar radiation is generally more intense. Try to sunbathe in the early morning or late afternoon.
Begin with a session of 10-15 minutes to allow your skin to adapt, then add 5 or 10 minutes gradually, working up to a maximum of 50 minutes each time.
Another way to start sunbathing is by exposing only one part of our body: We can start with the feet and as the days pass, gradually increase the surface of the skin that is exposed until the entire body is exposed.
It is recommended to change positions every five minutes so that our whole body receives energy from the sun.
You can pause every 5 minutes, taking refuge in the shad before exposing yourself again, or, set a 15-minute break in the middle of the session.
In the last part of your solar bath, wrap yourself in a light blanket to promote sweating and thus expelling toxins.
Finally, rub cold or lukewarm water onto your head, working down the shoulders, arms, legs and finally the back.
You can also take a cold shower, or if you are at sea, swim.
- Moisturise your body during sunbathing: You can drink natural juices or water to avoid dehydration.
- Use sunscreen: Protect your skin with a sunscreen product and use a hat and sunglasses for extra protection.
- It is ideal to sunbathe in a temperate climate: Try to avoid sunbathing when it's extremely cold or hot.
- Do not wear make-up during sun exposure.
- Use as few clothes as possible.
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