How to Safely and Quickly Biohack Your Way to Faster Healing

Do you dream of achieving optimum health while staying in control of how you achieve it? Now's the time to biohack your way to faster healing.

 

How to Safely and Quickly Biohack Your Way to Faster Healing

Biohacking is a technique that allows you to hack your body's biology to improve your health. It helps you understand what is and isn't good for you, which is a refreshing step away from using generic advice in the hopes that you'll see a difference.

If you're new to the concept, we're here to explain how biohacking works, what you can try, and ways to stay safe.

Biohacking: A Quick Overview

Biohacking involves using science and self-experimentation to improve your health. In a sense, it takes the power out of your doctors' hands and places it firmly into your own. By taking a strategic approach, you can manipulate your body's biology to heal rapidly and experience other health benefits.

Biohacking comes in many forms, including:

  • Nutrigenomics: Trying a better diet to optimize health.
  • DIY biology: Biological experimentation with the aim of improving your physical state.
  • Nootropics: Using focus-enhancing supplements or techniques to enhance your cognitive function.
  • Quantified self: Using technology to track biohacking techniques to continuously improve your biology.
  • Grinder: Augmenting the human body using technology in a robot-like manner.
  • Performance enhancement: Making lifestyle changes that improve athletic performance.
  • Mind-body techniques: Using meditation and similar approaches to improve biological processes.
  • Hormesis: Exposing your body to mild stressors to enhance your health.
  • Is Biohack Really Just a Fancy Term for Lifestyle Changes?

    While some biohack techniques build on basic lifestyle advice, others move beyond everyday health improvements and dig deep into scientific processes. Overall, biohackers take an individualized approach, whereas someone making simple lifestyle changes follows generic evidence-based proformas.

    How Do Biohackers Know They're Improving?

    A biohacker can only know they're improving by monitoring their own biology. They can do this by using wearable technology, having blood tests done, and more. 

    Are There Risks Involved in Biohacking?

    It's essential to approach biohacking from a balanced perspective, which means being aware of the risks involved.

    They include:

  • Unintended consequences: When you're unaware of the side effects of some techniques, they may have an adverse effect. For example, cold water therapy is a popular biohacking technique to boost circulation and even potentially reduce inflammation, but it also comes with the risk of hypothermia.
  • Allergies: Some biohacking supplements may contain ingredients that trigger an allergic reaction. Understanding your medical history and undergoing allergy testing may prevent such issues.
  • Technology dependence: Relying too heavily on fitness trackers and similar devices may make you lean too heavily on technology. 
  • Research: Various types of biohacking are lacking in evidence-based research. For example, grinder biohacking is experimental, with few clinical trials examining it directly.
  • Contraindications: If you have an existing condition or you take medication, you may need to exercise caution with certain biohack techniques.  
  • Using Biohacking to Heal Faster While Staying Safe

    From changing your body composition to offsetting chronic disease, there are many health problems that biohacking can tackle. We're focusing specifically on how you can biohack your way to faster healing.

    Nutrigenomics (Trying Healthy Foods)

    Nutrigenomics is the art of altering your diet to affect your gene expression and overall health.

    Common approaches include:

  • Anti-inflammatory diet: Consuming foods that are rich in anti-inflammatory compounds may reduce inflammation and promote healing. Evidence shows that eating a Mediterranean diet can reduce the inflammation that causes Alzheimer's disease. Harvard University also acknowledges that reducing inflammation via your diet encourages healing. 
  • Ketogenic diet: The keto diet is well known for improving blood sugar levels, and a small amount of evidence suggests it improves wound healing. A study conducted in Egypt revealed how those who tried a keto diet experienced increased cell proliferation and collagen production, enhancing the healing process.
  • Protein intake: Getting enough protein is one of the secrets to repairing damaged tissue, which is why athletes and bodybuilders prize upping their intake before and after workouts. This area of nutrigenomics is well-established in science, as protein increases collagen production, skin regeneration, and boosts your immune system.
  • Excluding foods: An elimination diet involves excluding foods that often trigger allergies, including gluten and nuts. After abstaining from them for two weeks, you reintroduce them and monitor for symptoms and reactions. This is similar to the FODMAP diet, which takes a similar approach to improve IBS symptoms. 
  • Intermittent fasting: Eating during set periods during the day and abstaining from food after may promote autophagy -- a process where the body removes damaged cells and encourages repair. 
  • The Positive Effects of Hormesis

    Hormesis involves exposing your body to different stressors to improve your health. One of the most popular biohack techniques is exposing yourself to extreme environments, including low temperatures.

    Cold water therapy is a popular way to improve your physical health, and evidence shows that it can tackle chronic pain, improve mental performance, and aid weight loss. 

    However, before you dive into an immersion tank or take up cold water swimming, it's worth examining the research further:

  • Recovery following sports: An extensive meta-analysis provides interesting insights into how cold water therapy promotes healing. Although therapy and immersion are both useful for sprints, they may not improve muscle soreness.
  • Depression: There's a small amount of evidence to suggest that cold showers improve mental well-being. It's thought that it achieves this by activating the sympathetic nervous system to boost endorphins. If you want to use this approach to boost your mood, you'll need to persist with daily showers for several weeks or months.
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    Another more controversial approach to hormesis involves exposing yourself to toxic compounds. As one of the riskier elements of biohacking subculture, this should be approached with caution.

    One piece of research looks at the way wounds respond to metal cations, low-level laser therapy, and turmeric extracts. Overall, it shows that this exposure results in more fibroblasts (cells that lay down connective tissue) and collagen at the wound site. This suggests that the body's response to hormesis is positive, but it's wise to seek expert advice before using it as a part of your DIY biohacking plan. 

    Anti-Aging

    Anti-aging biohacking techniques sometimes overlap with approaches that promote healing and recovery. In the short term, they may help you with injuries, and in the long term, they might result in life extension.

    Some of the more achievable approaches to anti-aging biohacking include:

  • Sleep optimization: It's no big secret that a good night's sleep cures all manner of woes. Alongside boosting your mood, it can enhance insulin sensitivity, prevent weight gain, and improve your concentration. It also boosts your immune system, allowing you to resist and heal from infections. If your sleep patterns are less than ideal, begin exploring ways to improve your sleep hygiene.
  • Supplements: Certain nutrients can resist the pollutants everyday life throws at you and heal from injuries. One way to augment your health is by adding collagen to your diet. Your collagen production declines after you turn 25, but it's an essential compound for looking young and healing all types of tissue. You can also try balancing your vitamin levels or eating more antioxidants to age gracefully and stay healthy.
  • Stress management: Heightened stress levels increase cortisol, which in turn hinders your immune system. Experimenting with different anxiety reduction techniques can result in better health and enhance your immune responses.
  • Genetic Testing

    Genetic testing is more accessible than ever. It moves beyond the realms of understanding the risks associated with conception and allows you to understand your predisposition to various adverse physical states.

    With genetic biohacking, you can learn more about collagen metabolism, giving you the chance to tweak your supplements to promote healing. You can also understand more about how you react to certain foods, allowing you to eliminate them from your diet.

    The right tests may also help you learn more about how you absorb nutrients, your detoxification capacity for certain pollutants, and your existing antioxidant defenses. All of this information could help you shape a high-level response to external threats and adopt a lifestyle that ensures longevity.

    Of course, knowing whether you're genetically predisposed to certain problems can become expensive. The testing itself isn't cheap, and you'll need to monitor how you respond to any lifestyle changes you make. If you can manage the challenge, though, this is an excellent way to take your biohacking to the next level.

    Different Ways to Track Biohacking Progress

    One of the key principles of biohacking is monitoring your progress. The idea is that you continue to make tweaks until you reach an optimum level of health rather than just stopping when you feel a slight improvement in your health conditions. 

    It may help to view your biohacking journey as one of continuous improvement. Adjustments will always be made but with the aim of becoming the best version of yourself.

    Set Clear Goals

    You can't measure each biohack until you identify what you're reaching for. Begin your journey by creating goals. They can be as simple as reducing your body weight by 5% or as advanced as seeing an improved blood test result every few months.

    Determine Metrics

    Try to understand what you're measuring. For example, you can try to improve cognitive function by measuring your reaction times. Or, you can monitor stress by looking at your resting heart rate and cortisol levels. Knowing what your metrics are helps you find the right technological advancement for tracking them.

    As an aside, always ensure you have a baseline (the figure you're starting with) before you start measuring your progress.

    Tracking tools

    Tracking tools can include wearable fitness devices, mood journals for stress, and apps for recording data. Where possible, try using a tool that allows you to view graphs. Being able to regularly review and analyze data helps you determine whether the changes you're making are resulting in the outcomes you want.

    Blood Tests

    Some biohacking approaches require blood testing to measure progress. For example, if you're trying intermittent fasting to improve insulin resistance, you need to measure your blood sugar levels.

    Self-Dashboards

    You can now access dashboards that help you understand how your lifestyle changes affect your health. A popular tool is Exist, which combines manual tracking with automatic syncing to identify whether you're achieving your goals. For example, if you begin eating more healthy fats to try and reduce your risk of heart disease, you can use the dashboard to create reports on your cholesterol levels.

    Pain and Recovery Monitoring

    Apps such as PainScale help you determine whether the changes you're making result in less pain, which may indicate that you're healing.

    Is Biohacking Worth It?

    At first glance, it may appear that biohacking takes a more exaggerated approach to lifestyle changes. In reality, it's much more than that. 

    Each biohack allows you to make advanced changes that continuously improve your physical and mental self. The adaptations you make aren't generic; they're finely attuned to you, your goals, and how you want to live. There's a lot of scope for achieving improvements you didn't feel were possible, as you'll employ the power of tracking and make adjustments according to data.

    As a quick aside, always consult a medical professional if you have an existing health condition or if you notice anything worrying in your trends. Biohacking is an empowering way to regain control of your health, but it's important to stay safe while doing it.