We Are Sunshine

Mal-Illumination: The ‘indoor epidemic’

Wednesday, June 14th, 2023

Many experts believe that the deficiency of sun exposure as a result of modern indoor lifestyles is widespread enough to be considered a health epidemic. They call it “mal-illumination.” Put simply by Dr. John Ott, who coined the term in the 1980s, “Mal-illumination is to light as malnutrition is to food.”

The “indoor epidemic” is described in detail in a book by best-selling author Ari Whitten: The Ultimate Guide To Red Light Therapy: How to Use Red and Near-Infrared Light Therapy for Anti-Aging.

“Just as human cells need nutrients from food, light is also a necessary nutrient for our cells to function well. Certain wavelengths of light can help power up our cells, affect hormones and neurotransmitters, balance our mood, enhance physical performance, hasten recovery from stress, increase alertness, improve sleep, and positively affect the expression of our genes. Most importantly, you need to grasp that the human body needs light to be healthy,” Whitten writes.

“The vast majority of people living in the modern world are suffering from chronic mal-illumination and don’t even realize it. And it has widespread effects on our brain and organ function, immune system, energy levels, mood, neurotransmitter balance, and hormone levels.”

As Whitten details, mal-illumination isn’t just about a lack of UV exposure. There are four other bioactive types of light from the sun that are vital to human health.

“Most of us are deeply unaware of the fact that many different types of light are “bioactive” in humans (which means they affect the functioning of human cells), and that our health is largely influenced by the dosage of these different types of light that we get each day. These are the five types of bioactive light in humans:

  1. Blue light—sets the circadian rhythm in our brain, which in turn regulates numerous different neurotransmitters and hormones
  2. UV light—allows us to synthesize vitamin D from the sun
  3. Far-infrared—acts to heat up our cells (this is the part of the sun’s spectrum that you feel as heat) which stimulates changes in cell function, as well as circulation changes
  4. Red light—acts on the mitochondria in our cells to stimulate increased cellular energy (ATP) production (among other mechanisms discussed in this book)
  5. Near-infrared (NIR)—acts on the same pathways as red light—particularly in the mitochondria in our cells to stimulate increased cellular energy (ATP) production

It turns out that light is in fact an essential nutrient for humans and our health depends on getting the right dose of these five types of light. Our ancestors didn’t have to worry about all this living outdoors in the sun, they were able to get exactly what the body needed at the right dose. But in the last few generations, modern humans have made the switch to living indoor lives with electricity, man-made artificial lighting systems and limited sun exposure,” Whitten writes.

Just as those who want more UV exposure can turn to indoor tanning, artificial other sunlight wavelengths have been harnessed in artificial sources with advanced technology that provide precise, higher -intensity exposure. Scientifically, UV light from tanning equipment is very much the same as UV from natural sunlight, and equipment that includes other spectrums is no different.

“The key point is this: Red/NIR light are not some weird technology that benefits us for some random reason. These wavelengths of light come from the sun, and it turns out that our body has evolved over millions of years to be capable of utilizing red and near-infrared light from the sun to help power up our cells—literally enhancing the function of our mitochondria, our cellular energy generators—among many other beneficial effects,” Whitten writes.

The most advanced light therapy technology, SmartSun Therapy™ utilizes a combination of targeted light wavelengths, found naturally in sunlight, that have been clinically proven to stimulate positive biological processes supporting the body’s self-healing mechanisms. The carefully engineered combination of Red Light, Near-Infrared Light, and Blue Light found in the SST 28 SmartSun Therapy™ device works synergistically to increase blood flow targeting the skin, muscles, organs, connective tissue, and bones. news articles regularly report medical and scientific information to keep you abreast of current events related to UV light. This information is not intended to be used by any party to make unwarranted health claims to promote sunbed usage. Indoor tanning businesses are obligated to communicate a fair and balanced message to all clients about your products and services including the potential risks associated with indoor tanning. Contact your Smart Tan representative to find out more about what you can and can’t say in your tanning salon business.

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