PSTEC Bulimia Nervosa: eating disorders can be tricky to treat successfully because of the complexity of underlying emotional, stressful and traumatic issues.
The Ancient Technique of Sungazing
Once you’ve kicked off your shoes and got yourself firmly grounded, here is another ancient practise which is also fast regaining popularity. Presumably, because it’s also healthy, natural, easy, simple to practise, sustainable and doesn’t cost anything.
The sun has always been revered and even worshipped by priests and shamans of ancient cultures like the Aztecs, Egyptians and even Asians, and for good reason too because the sun or sunlight is the source of all life and a basic nutrient. The ancients considered the sun vital for elevated vibrations, where joyful states of being or spiritual advancements would naturally occur, thus also aiding physical transformation and healing too.
The sun, directly or indirectly, energises, nourishes, recharges and revitalises all life, specifically the physical body. Think about why we enjoy being outdoors in the sunshine, and in particular those sun-drenched beach holidays? The sun can affect our moods. We generally feel happy and healthy when exposed to the sun (even in small doses), and gloomy after several consecutive cloudy, grey and rainy days.
Those who live in areas where sunlight is minimal suffer from ‘winter blues’, a type of depression also known as SAD (Seasonal affective disorder), and light therapy is often required. “Vitamin D, ‘the sunshine vitamin’ is critical nutrient for your body. Vitamin D is only produced in the body via the sun,” says Paula Begoun. Vitamin D supplements are a poor substitute for direct sunlight.
The daily practise of sun gazing provides the body with necessary Chi or Prana (life force energy) and when absorbed through the eyes can help to reduce stress, worry, anxiety, fear, anger, sadness etc. According to India’s Hira Ratan Manek (HRM) sun gazing can apparently balance emotions within the first 3 months (up to 15 minutes) of practising and heals the body of illness within 3-6 months (15–30 minutes), and from 6–9 months (30-44 minutes) regulates the necessity for large intakes of food. Obviously these results vary from person to person and are dependent upon where you practise, and the consistency of your daily practise.
In an article on Sun Gazing, Carolanne Wright writes: “Scientific research supports the advantages of sun gazing. According to Dr. Edward F. Group III of the Global Healing Center, a few perks of the practice include, enhanced production of melatonin and serotonin. Research has found when direct sunlight enters the eyes it moves through the retinohypothalamic tract and continues into the brain. The pineal gland is then stimulated to secrete both melatonin and serotonin, two hormones that regulate sleep/wake cycles and positive states of mind, respectively. Melatonin is also a potent antioxidant which slows the ill effects of aging.
Increased pineal gland size: bombarded by fluoride, toxins and electromagnetic pollution, the pineal gland shrinks and calcifies as we age - compromising melatonin and serotonin production. Sungazing has been shown to enlarge the gland. Brain scans of a long-term, 70-year-old practitioner revealed a pineal gland three times the size of an average man.
More energy - sun gazers report heightened vitality. Dr. Group believes this is due to the release of melatonin and serotonin. Sungazing also curbs the appetite and aids in weight reduction. When we don’t receive enough sunlight, vitamin D levels drop which leads to weight gain. Cravings for carbohydrates and sugar also increase due to low serotonin, triggering false hunger signals. The benefits of the practice are substantial, but it isn’t for everyone. As Dr. Group points out, “Sun gazing is an interesting practice that touches the spiritual and psychological realms, which are very personal things. Everyone is wired a little differently… If you choose to partake, do your own research, be careful, be cautious, and document your experience.”
If it isn’t obvious by now, sun gazing may well be an ideal daily practise for stress reduction for some people, though not all.
Here is my personal feedback after several months of sun gazing where I reached 45 minutes a day with no negative side effects. The positive effects received was the requirement of less sleep and less food intake, feeling decidedly less stressed, worried and fearful. I felt more balanced, calm and centred as a result of sun gazing. Unfortunately with summer weather conditions, my daily routine was interrupted by occasional rain, clouds, thundershowers, etc. Some weeks I’ve missed 3 or 4 days of sun gazing. When that happened, I simply picked up where I’d left off once the weather was more conducive for sun gazing. It is essential to keep a daily record of your times so you always know the exact and specific time of your sun gazing activities i.e. 2 minutes 40 seconds so the next sunny day will become 2 minutes 50 seconds.
How to practise Sungazing?
Sungazing is simply that; gaze directly into the sun as it moves over the horizon either within the first hour of the sun rising above the horizon, or within the last hour before the sun sets.
Standing barefoot on the earth, it is essential to start your first day of sun gazing looking directly into the sun for just 10 seconds. Then build up in 10 second increments per day thereafter i.e. (Day 1) 10 seconds, (Day 2) 20 seconds, (Day 3) 30 seconds, (Day 4) 40 seconds, (Day 5) 50 seconds and (Day 6) 60 seconds (1 minute), etc until you reach a maximum of 44 minutes per day, which can take approx 9 months if you have uninterrupted sunshine every day.
Practising sun gazing every day means you’ll reach 15 minutes within approx 3 months, 15-30 minutes within approx 3-6 months, and 30-44 minutes within approx 6-9 months. This methodology is based upon HRM’s protocol which I initially followed.
Golden rules to follow strictly when sun gazing:
The first two rules are to protect the eyes from irresponsible and unnecessary sun damage:
1. Do not increase your daily sun gazing activity by more than 10 second increments per day.
2. Do not gaze into the full sun after the 1st hour of sunrise, or before the last hour of sunset. Sungazing during these specific times is necessary because that is when the UV (ultraviolet) rays are minimal and therefore considered safe.
3. Stand barefoot on the bare earth when sun gazing. Do not stand on cement, bricks or grass. The bare earth is the best for effective sun gazing.
4. Sungazing is not recommended for everyone, in fact it is not recommended at all. Do your own thorough research. Satisfy yourself 100%, and take complete responsibility for your own actions and choices. The information supplied here is for entertainment purposes only.
Further information can be found below, which I discovered after many hours of independent online research, and a wonderfully enlightening discussion with renowened sungazer and author, Mason Howe Dwinell.
Please note: I do not endorse any of these people or their practises, but I'm merely sharing what I came across online, and this will save you many hours of time! It is essential that you continue to do your own independent research into sun gazing, and use this practise at your own risk:
Video - tips and protocol.
Solar Healing Centre - home of HRM (Hira Ratan Manek).
Sungazing with Mason Howe Dwinell, author of ‘The Earth was Flat: Insight into the Ancient Practice of Sungazing Insight into the Ancient Practice of Sungazing’ (available of Amazon).
A Fireside Chat - an interview with Mason Dwinell (2012).
Eat The Sun - 2011 documentary by Peter Sorcher (1h 22min).
Safe Sungazing - article
Healthy Benefits of Sungazing - article