The healthiest light——natural light

May 13, 2022

Under the sun, everything grows.

 

Our ancestors did not yet understand the mysteries of the sun, but they observed the nurturing and sheltering power of this luminous celestial body in their daily lives with the sun.

 

The eye of Ra, the supreme god of ancient Egypt, and later the right eye of the Eye of Horus, symbolized the sun in its fullness and integrity, which was the totem of the ancient Egyptians and was used to ward off evil and cure disease.

 

Egyptian wall paintings and statues in the Amarna style also record the "naturalistic'' lifestyle of the pharaoh Akhenaten and his queen Nefertiti, who believed that the sun's rays gave strength to life and brought spiritual and physical perfection. The ancient Egyptians were keen on skinny dipping and sunbathing to expose their bodies to more sunlight.

 

Indian Ayurveda is the oldest medical system in the world. The Vedas record the ancient Indian ritual of paying homage to the sun god at sunrise for vitality and health, which is the origin of the most classic yoga asana, the bhajana, passed down from ancient India to this day.

 

Mankind's use of sunlight to heal and strengthen the body began millennia ago. Hippocrates, the father of medicine, said that "the best physicians on earth are sunlight, air and exercise", and after he learned about the healing power of sunlight during his travels in Egypt, he began to use sunlight therapy extensively in the treatment of many diseases and built solariums for the treatment of skin diseases.

 

In the late 19th century, people gradually began to explore the health-promoting effects of natural light through life science research methods. The Swiss Arnold Rikli, known as the "sun doctor," was a pioneer in modern day heliotherapy when he developed the theory and practice of sunbathing to treat chronic diseases and dysfunctions of the body.

 

In 1877, Arthur Downes and Thomas Blunt in England conducted a series of test tube experiments to investigate the effect of sunlight on the growth of bacteria and microorganisms, they discovered the killing power of direct sunlight on bacteria, and concluded that the blue-violet region of the solar spectrum could have a bactericidal effect.

 

In early 20th century Europe, sunlight was heavily promoted as a new and progressive approach to medicine. More and more scientific practice proved that natural light plays an extremely important role and influence on human life and health.

 

The transformative development and integration of modern physics, biology, medicine, optics and other disciplines have opened up a broader space for the exploration and utilization of the healing effects of natural light.

 

From spectral composition, photothermal effect, photosynthesis, animal vision and other photochemical reactions, people have gained a deeper and more systematic understanding of natural light.

 

From participating in vitamin D synthesis, regulating biological rhythms, influencing hormone secretion to disinfection and sterilization, people more clearly understand the importance of sunlight in maintaining the health and stability of human visual, neurological, cardiovascular, endocrine, reproductive, immune and other systems.

 

Today, artificial lighting technology has developed at an astonishing rate, expanding the time and space available to humans, changing the rhythm and place of human life, and overturning the way of life.

 

People spend nearly 90% of their time indoors living, working, resting and playing. However, this lack of contact with daylight has disrupted the body's inherent biological rhythm and brought about a series of health problems such as myopia, metabolic disorders, immune decline and emotional disorders.

 

The old but novel research topic of "embrace sunlight and reap health" has received a lot of attention again. Health experts have advocated that people should get out of the house and get in touch with the sun. Urban planning and architectural design are paying more and more attention to returning to nature and introducing sunlight. Artificial lighting is also moving closer to natural light, and research is being conducted based on the association between sunlight and human health to establish a more friendly relationship between humans and nature.

 

In medical buildings, daylight reduces the need for pain medication and shortens the recovery time of hospitalized patients; bright and comfortable natural light in classrooms enhances students' learning performance; and daylight in offices becomes the single most important factor in improving working conditions and job satisfaction.

 

 

 

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