Biohacking: Concept and Features
Followers of modern biohacking are going to live as long as possible, being physically healthy and emotionally stable, by hacking their body. They implant various chips, refuse non-organic nutrition, undergo dozens of genetic and medical tests, as well as take a wide range of vitamins and drugs. The article reveals the concept and core features of biohacking.
Biohacking: Basic Definition, Key Trends, and Characteristics
Biohacking is a system approach to the exploration of body functioning aspects; various methods of correcting physical and mental health; a comprehensive approach to body state improvement.
Movement’s primarily goals:
- extending life span. Some biohackers believe that corresponding measures can help to live 120 or more years;
- acquiring special abilities. It is possible because of improving and changing cognitive, physiological, and genetic body functions;
- enhancing productivity;
- advancing both body and mind;
- preventing disease development;
- improving mental and physical health;
- slowing aging.
Biohacking is similar to preventive medicine aimed not at treatment but at detecting body changes that can lead to the development of various diseases and adopting preventive measures to preclude illnesses and injuries.
Therefore, biohacking is based on the full and regular body diagnostics. Due to health indicator monitoring, dozens of analyses, and genetic studies, movement adherents define their diseases, determine the underlying risk for numerous health problems, measure the level of antioxidants, heavy metals, microelements, etc. Consequently, these people consume biologically active additives, vitamins, and drugs to improve and support their health.
There are three types of biohacking:
- DIY-bio. This area unites independent amateur scientists who conduct various experiments at home. Some biohackers study animals or plants, while others carry out manipulations with human body. Meredith Patterson, an American programmer, embedded fluorescent protein in lactic acid bacteria genome and produced yoghurt glowing in the dark;
- modification of human body using implants and chips. For example, Moon Ribas, a Spanish artist, implanted a seismic sensor in her elbow in order to feel earthquakes via vibrations;
- nutraceuticals: optimization of the diet using nutrigenomics (the science of nutrition impact on genes).
Not all movement supporters dramatically hack their body by implanting any chips or taking investigational agents. The majority of biohacking fans upgrade their body and mind using traditional ways: healthy eating, sports, intellectual development, meditations, health control, immunization, certified vitamins, etc.
Biohacking Basic Principles
The biohacking term has become familiar to the Russian Internet after the article by Sergey Fage, a Russian entrepreneur. He told readers how to become healthier and happier due to sleeping optimization, nutrition, training activity, multiple medical tests, psychotherapist’s appointments, diverse drugs and vitamins. He spent approximately $200,000 on all these things.
Sergey Fage distinguishes six main principles of biohacking:
- Sleep hygiene. The businessman claims that one should regularly sleep and measure dream stages. People should rest in a dark and cool place (+18-19 degree Celsius). It is better to wake up at the same time.
- Ultimate nutrition. One should eat only healthy food. Sugar, alcohol, industrially processed goods are excluded. It is important to consume vegetable and organic food, preferring high-fat products with a small amount of carbohydrates. Besides, the biohacker practices cyclic abstinence from food. It is a kind of diet when people regularly refuse eating for 16 hours without reducing total dietary calories.
- Physical exercise. Fage recommends to warm up and sit less. Visiting the gym, one should prefer leg exercise and high-intensity interval training.
- Mental health. The author talks about the benefit of meditation, psychotherapy, and sex. He also urges people not to lie. According to the entrepreneur, such an approach increases stress tolerance and redeems from bad mood.
- Medical tests. It is referred to various blood examinations, and genetic research. They allow people to explore their body features and find vulnerabilities in order to remedy them.
- Biological additives and drugs. They are required to treat existing diseases and prevent potential ones.
Fage holds that all these aspects taken together will lead to a positive effect. For instance, good sleep is the result of appropriate nutrition, proper physical activity, and the absence of stress.
In general, biohacking is rather a life style than a single-use procedure. To achieve positive outcome in this aspect, people should regularly follow the certain rules. Otherwise, they will fail to get the desired effect. However, it is important to remember that diet, sports and particularly taking of diversified vitamins should be treated consciously and discussed with doctors.