You may have heard mention of sungazing and been shocked that people willingly stare into the sun for up to 44 minutes each day. Throughout your life, you’ve likely been told time and time again that staring directly into the sun can lead to blindness as the insense UV rays can cause irreparable damage to your retina. This can happen rather quickly, and you may not even realize it since the eyes to not contain pain receptors to let you know that they are being damaged. So why exactly do people stare into the sun on purpose? Read on to find out about the dubious practice of sungazing.
What is sungazing?
Sungazing is an ancient health and spiritual practice that is said to infuse the body with large amounts of energy. Proponents of this act believe that the sun is the force of all life and that by standing barefoot outside and looking at it during the “safe hours,” you will unlock an incredible wealth of health benefits.
Supporters of sungazing suggest starting with 10 seconds of staring at the sun during the safe hours (the hour of sunrise and the hour of sunset) as these hours supposedly are most gentle on the eyes and will not cause damage. People then up their daily length of sungazing by 10 seconds each day so that at the end of 9 months, they are staring at the sun for a total of 44 minutes.
The main advocate of sungazing or solar healing, Hira Ratan Manek (HRM) asserts that 3 months (up to 15 minutes) of practicing will balance your emotions, 3-6 months (15-30 minutes) will heal the body of illness, and 6–9 months (30-44 minutes) will regulate the necessity for large intakes of food.
Is it real?
If it all sounds a little too good to be true…then you’re absolutely right. There is no respected scientific evidence that supports solar gazing. It is not considered safe or effective and is unlikely to heal your physical diseases and eliminate your hunger. In fact, though it would take an extended period of sungazing, you could actually go blind or experience other adverse effects.
While there is no debate about the benefits of the sun on the human body, there are some concerns regarding sungazing that make it a little too far-fetched to be a viable alternative health practice.
Why you need sunlight and good ways to get it
While sungazing may not be a way to eliminate your hunger or heal all diseases and should be avoided, simply spending time outdoors has marked health benefits that make it an important thing to do, even in the winter.
Vitamin D is critical, and our bodies need it to maintain strong, healthy bones, encourage skin growth and regeneration, and help boost your immune system. Plus, the sun is the best source of vitamin D, infinitely more effective than supplements or other sources.
The sun is also essential to help regulate your emotions and keep you level. If you live in an area that isn’t exactly known for its winter sunlight, you may experience a type of depression known as Seasonal Affective disorder that can sour your mood and leave you feeling worn out and unmotivated throughout the cloudy months.
Instead of staring directly into the sun and potentially causing permanent vision damage, go on a brisk afternoon walk or bike for your errands instead of driving. The extra boost of sunlight will help keep your skin healthy, give you extra energy, and ensure that you are getting an adequate amount of vitamin D. Plus, it will make you feel better, and you’ll get some physical activity out of it too.
Remember, any time you see an unsubstantiated health practice on the internet that could potentially prove harmful, it is important to do your own research instead of following “experts” with no real credentials. Science does back up alternative health, and when it doesn’t, it is probably best to avoid such dubious, unresearched “remedies.” Stick to real foods, real exercise, and listen to your body so that you can give it what it needs.
What do you think about sungazing? Let us know in the comments below!