Top of the summer season’s questions and one of the most controversial, is can a natural approach to sun exposure be safe? This is a tough question to answer – start doing your research and the deeper you go, you’ll find a plethora of conflicting information and a minefield of scientific gobbledygook.
Holistic approach, anyone? Surely, for the everyday natural woman/man/child, we need information that addresses our lives from all angles, and not just the narrow slices of scientific studies that add to our confusion?
The first question I asked to try and uncover some answers was;
How Harmful is Sun Exposure?
Dangerously Harmful Sun
In most recent years, the message has very definitely been that sun = danger. Is that really the case? The most prevailing viewpoint you’ll read about is that exposure to sunlight (even on cloudy days – it is the ultra-violet (UV) light that does the alleged damage) without protection can be extremely harmful to your health. It makes for some scary reading…
According to recent news from Cancer Research UK;
- 2 young adults are diagnosed with skin cancer every day;
- Men’s skin cancer death rates double in last 30 years;
- Deadly skin cancer rates soar for baby boomer generation …
Read on and you’ll discover that the danger lies most specifically with painful sunburns. This results in DNA damage which can lead to mutated cells forming into sometimes deadly skin cancers.
Aside from the dangers of sunburn, the common view is that the cumulative effect of normal everyday activities in the sun can also lead to greater risk of skin damage. The advice is
- cover up
- avoid the sun, especially during peak hours between 11am and 2pm
- slap on the sunscreen (SPF factor 15+).
Therapeutic Healing Sun
Far back in ancient history, it was believed that sun exposure is a healthy undertaking and vital for physical and mental health.The Egyptians were believed to practice heliotherapy (sunlight therapy), and there is firm evidence which points towards them understanding the role of sunshine in their medicinal practices. It has also been demonstrated that the Greeks used sun therapy in therapeutic medicine, treating metabolic disorders, rickets and more.
Rickets is a disease of soft bones that was common in Victorian times but has since receded, primarily with the fortification of foods with….