So I just got back from the Biohacker Summit 2023 in Amsterdam. This is Bart Wolbers from team Alex Fergus. And I'm already looking forward to the Biohacker Summit 2024 in Helsinki! But, before I go there next year, let's reflect on the most important lessons and phenomenal developments I've learned about during my Amsterdam stay. Welcome to the future:
Say goodbye to your Oura Ring! During this trip to Amsterdam and the Health Optimisation Summit in London 2023, I talked a lot to founders of a new company that have a health, sleep, fitness, and well-being tracker.
This health tracker is called "Vire", which, I assume, stems from the word virility. And, the product is totally unique because you wear it on your underwear. So, the Vire can be attached to your shorts or your bra. That way, the Vire tracks your health imperceptibally.
So, we're avoiding the "problem" that the Oura Ring has, in the sense that you'll have to tell everyone you know that you're wearing a health tracker. Of course, Oura has that same goal as well but you can still see the product.
And, Vire has an extremely smart science team behind them, Vire has developed a product that might eventually outcompete the Oura Ring.
I've talked to the founders and science team for hours and really see the fruitfulness of their approach. And, what's even more impressive is that some of the original founders of the Oura Ring are working on this Vire project and support it. You can check the LinkedIn page of Vire Health if you're interested. Vire also allows for preorders and will ship next summer of 2024.
You can see the Vire here:
So the VIre has the size of a normal ring. But, unlike a ring, you don't wear it on your finger but on your underwear. And that's a terrific innovation by Vire that revolutionizes the health tracker industry.
I put the VIre first on the list because a small change can have a huge effect - location of the wearable in this case. And, it's not just the location that's completely different about this wearable, also that you'll be getting updates about your energy levels and what to do to make them better throughout the day. So Vire aims to give you a lot more actionable advice than other health trackers, in part, because of the team of PhD researchers behind this project.
(Also, keep in mind that Oura totall revolutionized the health and wellness industry by being the thought leader on trackers. So this development is promising for Vire.)
So my good friend Matt Maruca of Ra Optics held a presentation about a topic that's very dear to me: mindset and health. Matt is in his early 20s and has a blue light blocking company called Ra Optics. He started that company initially as a teenager because there were no stylish blue light blocking glasses on the market in 2017 and 2018.
But there's a lot more to the story. As a teen, Matt developed some health problems. And, he then came across Paleo lifestyles as a teenager. Adopting that Paleo lifestyle, he got better but didn't fully fix himself. He then came across Dr. Jack Kruse and became great friends with him, adopting sunlight and dark nights (with blue blocking glasses) as key parts of his lifestyle. But something was missing still.
Matt's problem was that he had great health routines but he was still unhappy on the inside. And, that brings me to a topic that needs to be emphasized a lot more in health and wellness: mindset.
No matter how much biohacking you do, whether that's getting more sunlight, or eating a healthier diet, or exercising more and better, or ingesting the latest and best supplements, none of it compensates for the lack of a good mindset. As a human being, your mindset has a huge effect on your overall health. And, for that reason, one of my greatest teachers, Dr Anthony G Beck, has distinguished mindset as one of the four important health categories, next to environment, diet, and lifestyle.
So it's good to see the word is getting out about the importance of mindset!
So, Tallow Cosmetics has totally revolutionized skincare. The company offers healthy skincare products, opposed to the horrible stuff that's out there in the cosmetics market. And, as the name already implies, tallow - the fat that's mostly found around the kidneys in cows - is used as the basis of these products.
Tallow Cosmetics offers:
You may know that most common cosmetics are horribly laden with toxins such as heavy metals and endocrine disruptors (1; 2; 3; 4; 5; 6; 7). So it's great that cosmetic products are developed with only safe ingredients.
I got the skin cream by Tallow Cosmetics for my mom - I hope she's happy with it soon when she returns from her holiday! And, as always, I'm sorry for the crappy pictures in this article - I'll need Christa in the coming years to join Alex and me for the artistic bent, as you can see her wonderful photos in the Sensate article and others.
So here we go: green supplements have been recommended by almost any health coach since the year 2015! Or 2010.
Because we all eat too few vegetables. So, Athletic Greens has a solution for that: AG1. AG1 has been through 50+ reformulations to create the most perfect product on the market right now.
The formula contains vitamins, minerals, bacterial cultures that are healthy, and compounds that support the immune system, and energy creation, and that have anti-aging effects. Generally, AG1 is best used as a supplement for people who cannot consume sufficient vegetables regularly:
Should you take this supplement? No! Should you take it if you don't consume any vegetables or have difficulty doing so? Hell yes!
The list of ingredients of this product is decent, although, I don't like the fact that there are added vitamins and minerals in this product. A counterargument, however, is that people who need these vitamins and minerals the most, such a vitamin C, will do better supplementing with it instead of getting it from food.
Nevertheless, if you can eat a wholesome diet, do that first, before supplementing with AG1. We have to learn this lesson every year again. Even me!
Examples here are the Weberneedle® Endo and the Incredible Weber EndoLight® Band. Weber Laser Systems has some extremely innovative products for health that you've never seen before in the red light therapy space.
In fact, these products aren't even just red light therapy but encompass the entire visible light spectrum. The Weberneedle shines light directly into your blood. And, the Weber EndoLight® shines different types of light such as green, blue, yellow, red, and near-infrared, directly into your bloodstream. That way, you'll get the most direct effects of these wavelengths on your health. And/ scientists know that all color of light can have huge effects on human health. Sunlight has come into the picture the last few years and it's not just the ultraviolet light that is shown to benefit human health (1; 2; 3; 4; 5; 6).
As you may know, sunlight emits a balanced mix of ultraviolet, visible (violet, blue, cyan, green, yellow, orange, red), and different types of infrared light. The Weber EndoLight® Band emits blue, green, yellow, red, and near-infrared directly into your bloodstream.
I know people who can benefit from this approach. For instance, my dad will say he's getting zero results from a red light therapy session, so he's confident there is no effect. But, that conclusion is entirely wrong, if you know the science on red light therapy.
So, did you know you can use the AC electric effect for healing purposes? Well, for DC current, the scientist who was nominated for a Nobel Prize, Robert O. Becker, has taught us that the DC electric effect is extremely important for healing in biology.
And, it's not too far-fetched to believe that that same electric effect can be controlled for healing purposes. In fact, that's exactly what a company named "Best" does - using the AC electric effect for health promotion:
Apparently, the device stimulates healing and lowers pain for people. You may know that many people suffer from chronic pain in modern society - far more than diabetes and heart disease combined! So, help in this area is always great.
I haven't taken a deep dive into this topic, however. But, the device seems impressive and the AC current (with pulsing between 0.2 and 9,999 Hz, according to the B-E-St website. As a disclaimer, though, I'm far less convinced this therapy works well without digging deep into the science. So, I'm basing my decision on anecdotal experience right now, not my readings of science as in the other cases in this article.
But, I still wanted to mention this product because it might help some people. Go check this product out! People have reported great effect with it, and theoretically, because your body is not just a chemical system but an electro-chemical one, it's natural that electric currents affect healing and health as well. I also know that Dr Randy Beck uses DC current in Alex's son, for countering epilepsy.
Consider a B-E-St product
A microdose is if you take a dose of a product that's not perceptually noticeable. But, your day should still get a lot better!
So here's an interesting story:
A few years ago, in 2020, I took a bit more micro dosing supplements than the regular dose. And, I had a lovely experience. When I got to my parents' home, my dad's friend's face didn't really look the way it should have looked. Let's put it mildly like that.
I've taken a lot bigger doses than microdoses too. But, microdoses work big time. Your day is just a little bit better. You won't have a life-changing experience but still, perceptually, you'll break loose of the patterns that you've been following for years if not decades. And that's the power of microdosing.
But, many people seem to have great effects with microdosing truffels (the part of mushrooms that grows underground - the part that is legal in Holland).
I highly recommend doing your own research before trying microdosing though.
So, another mention of the topic of microdosing: My friend Govert Viergever, who is an Olympian in rowing, gave a talk about how to use psychedelics for creating new patterns in the brain. The argument basically comes down to this:
So, for instance, if you think you cannot run a 4 minute mile, you probably can't. And for a long time, that was precisely the case: people were unable to run a 4 minute mile because of self-imposed mental limitations.
How many records out there are affected by these self-imposed limits? Well, if you accept that fear, shame, and guilt are naturally part of the human condition (unfortunately), then fear, shame, and guilt naturally place limits on human performance. And, dealing with fear, shame, and guilt will help you as a person to perform better.
Unfortunately though, Govert didn't really go into too much detail on how exactly one should use psychedelics to improve human performance. But, we'll leave that one to your imagination. I won't recommend doing anything illegal though. But, in Holland, as you may know, microdosing is legal and you can buy psilocybin in shops.
You can reach Govert Viergever coaching online if you're interested. Also, here's a picture of Govert with tons of mushrooms:
Govert's message is wonderful. And he's been under a lot of pressure because his TV show on biohacking has caught a lot of criticism.
So there's a long discussion about whether red light therapy inside a sauna works in the first place. I'll be very direct about this topic, I absolutely do believe that this combination works and I don't think that heat takes away from the effects of red light.
And, I will say that I'm also affiliated with Clearlight Saunas as a writer for their UK infrared sauna website. Alex also interviewed Johannes Kettelhodt, the CEO of the non-USA part of Clearlight Saunas, in part, about their red light therapy product that can be used inside the sauna:
You can see the Red Light Therapy Tower besides Alex. This Clearlight Red Light Therapy Tower is actually the first red light therapy product that can be used inside a sauna - Alex has reviewed the PlatinumLED Sauna Max Pro also, which is the second on the market currently.
The Red Light Therapy Tower is only made to be used inside a Clearlight Sauna, however.
But, here's my own argument why I think this therapy works and the heat inside a sauna is not a detriment.
First up, red light can travel up to a dozen on meters into ocean water, which is full of minerals like sweat. Blue light can travel up to 200 meters deep while that number is around a dozen meters for red light. So, a maximum of one or two millimeters of sweat will barely have an effect.
Secondly, for the people who say that heating is the problem that makes red light therapy useless, the counterargument is that you'll be very hot in sunlight and it will still have health benefits. Anyone who has ever been in the tropics or near the equator knows that it's extremely hot during the entire day. And, nobody claims that the 660nm or 810nm of the sun is useless because of that heat.
Heck, when I'm in Mexico or Peru, in the hottest areas, I'll be sweating like crazy early on in the morning. And, that sweating doesn't mean that the red or near-infrared parts of the sun don't have a biological effect anymore. Instead, I will assume here that the effects of heating and that of red light therapy (specific effects of wavelengths) are cumulative and don't cancel each other out.
But let's get back to the topic I was talking about:
It's really innovative to use red light therapy inside a sauna. You'll be saving time, which is what many people are after. I'm also aware that doing red light therapy inside a sauna isn't perfect, because you're only receiving the light from the front of your body. But, still, for the time poor people out there it's a way better choice than doing nothing!
Yes, yes, I kept the best for last! Our very own Alex Fergus gave a presentation on red light therapy! This presentation was about Alex's lessons about red light therapy from the last few years. You can see Alex presenting here:
Alex did wonderful! And, we "red-pilled" tons of people into red light therapy during the conference. We can clearly see that the industry is growing like crazy and we're extremely fortunate to be a part of this trend.
If you're a regular viewer of our YouTube channel, however, then there's nothing new under the sun for you from that presentation. Alex talked about some common issues in the industry, such the fact that power readings are generally misrepresented, or that we've got the best shopping tool for red light therapy on the planet right now.
The room was packed and people even had to stand at the back of the room! This development does signify to me how extremely important light therapy is getting in the last few years.
I had a great time during the Biohacker Summit 2024. And, thanks to companies like Karmaceuticals for offering us alcohol-free options during the stay to relax and let go (they have IG too). We still ended up with Booze during the night though, in Amsterdam, after the event! We still ended up with booze anyway though, sorry, Karma, despite the fact that I love your products!
Hopefully, in the coming years, many other team members of Alexfergus.com and from Light Therapy Insiders will join us as well. Oh yeah, and as a completely shameless plug, if you didn't know already, here's our red light therapy Facebook group!
What else is there to say?
I'm a very fortunate human being. To see these developments in the health industry live. I'm conscious I'm part of the problem in a way because many of these developments are totally incremental from year to year.
Forgive my language, but holy shit! It was only a few years ago that I sent a message to Alex on Facebook that he should do an article on red light therapy. And now we've become some of the thought leaders in the field. And, it was years ago that Alex first reviewed the Oura RIng and heavily promoted it. And now, we soon will have a far better alternative, theoretically.
This is a post by Bart Wolbers of team AlexFergus. Bart finished degrees in Physical Therapy (B), Philosophy (BA and MA), Philosophy of Science and Technology (MS - with distinction), and Clinical Health Science (MS), has had training in functional medicine, and is currently the main science writer at AlexFergus.com.
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