So what exactly is biohacking? It’s the process of altering your chemistry and physiology though cutting-edge technology and self-experimentation, with the aim of optimising cell function and increasing energy, vitality and wellbeing.
You’re almost certainly biohacking on a basic level daily, whether it’s eating mindfully, tracking your step count or taking cold showers.
At Remedi, some of the therapies could be described as woo-woo, but all are said to have a positive effect on mind, body and/or soul.
Biohacking bootcampI kicked off with a session in the whole body cryotherapy chamber. This involves being subjected to temperatures down to -85 degrees for three minutes – temperatures which kick start the body’s release of endorphins, boost the immune system, detoxify cells and activate the healing processes.
Cryotherapy can also help those who suffer from migraines, inflammatory conditions such as arthritis and psoriasis, chronic pain, or mental health issues such as anxiety, stress or depression.
I’m not a fan of the cold so to say I was hesitant was an understatement. I was asked what music I wanted in the chamber, before donning socks, gloves, a mask (to protect my nose) and ear protectors. “Your fight or flight response is going to kick in, so do what you need to do to get through the time – some people sing, some dance,” my therapist advised.
Stepping in quite literally took my breath away. Then followed three minutes of near torture, as I locked onto the bar inside the chamber which tells you how long you have left. I did not sing or dance, in fact I didn’t really know what to do with myself.
Despite the extreme shock and panic, I felt good – unbelievably, I would even consider doing it again; it is a therapy that should be incorporated into your life regularly to accumulate and maintain the significant health benefits.
It was then onto the infrared sauna to warm up. Again, I’m not great with extreme temperatures so was slightly concerned about overheating, but was glad to hear that the heat could be adjusted.
The Sunlighten infrared sauna uses far, mid and near-infrared to optimise health and wellbeing by improving the cardiovascular system, detoxifying cells, and alleviating stress and anxiety.
Other benefits include an improvement in focus and concentration, elevated mood, help with insomnia, immunity, muscle recovery and weight loss as it helps a sluggish metabolism – it’s also said to help reduce blood pressure.
There’s a TV screen so you can watch Netflix or YouTube and the time goes quickly. The temperature was manageable, and I barely broke a sweat.
The Rebalance Impulse is a non-invasive stimulation and cognitive training device based on applied neurosciences – it’s said to fight stress and decrease blood pressure, aid sleep, and increase concentration, memory and brain agility.
This wasn’t my favourite therapy, in fact I found it rather disconcerting as you lie under bright flashing light sequences for 30 minutes. These are then graded in areas such as vitality, sleep quality and emotional balance. After a few (sometimes only one) sessions, each user is said to discover their ideal relaxation method and unlock the keys to controlling stress.
Time to breatheBefore I knew it, it was time for some spiritual Kundalini yoga. I’m not a regular yogi, and hadn't ever done this specific type before.
According to Remedi, “Kundalini yoga uses a combination of mantras, kriyas, mudras and meditations to awaken our “Prana,” the universal energy which flows in currents in and around our body.”
This allows us to tackle problems such as depression, anxiety, fear, anger and sadness; all of which have a significantly negative effect on our mental and physical states. It’s also said to reduce stress induced toxins such as adrenaline and cortisol.
While at times I felt a little self conscious grunting in front of strangers, you have to let yourself go and the rest will fall into place.
This form of yoga had a profound effect on me which took me by surprise – emotions ranged from sadness (yes there were a few tears) and disappointment, to happiness and calm. Remedi Founder Dr Nima told me afterwards that Kundalini yoga changed his life and I can see why. I could be a convert.
I stayed on the same mat for sound healing, which I have experienced before and found to be very effective and emotionally stimulating. If anything was going to break me it was this – or so I thought.
Sound healing is an ancient meditative practice that uses different musical implements to create healing vibrations around the body, inducing a meditative state. Singing bowl therapists use Quartz crystal bowls and gongs tuned at strategic frequencies for healing different parts of the body and mind.
Remedi's method of sound healing is ancient and sacred in Tibet, where it was first used around the 12th century for meditation and rituals. Other types such as vibro-acoustic, guided meditation and neurological music therapy combine frequency and mindfulness therapy to treat conditions like anxiety and depression.
Benefits include deep relaxation, reduced stress, healing and restoration, better sleep and improved mood.
While I did feel incredibly zen, my emotions felt a lot more stable than I’d predicted. Maybe it was because it followed the incredibly powerful Kundalini yoga session.
The following day I felt rested and positive. Even if you take on just one of the therapies I experienced, it could make a world of difference to your wellbeing.