This week, we have a combined post from myself and Leslie Kenny, who is a fellow Bulletproof Coach. Leslie and I have pulled together our biohacking gift guide for 2017. You can find Leslie at www.ridgepath.co.uk
At this time of year, the cold and dark mornings can have a significant impact on your mood and having a little bit of sun in your pocket can help beat the morning blues, as well as increase both your energy and alertness. To use the Human Charger, you simply put the LED earbuds into your ears and press the power button, at which point the bright light flows through your ears reaching the brain’s photosensitive receptors (positively impacting your serotonin, dopamine and noradrenaline). If you frequently travel across timezones, the Human Charger is particularly effective in helping you adjust to the new timezone and helps you to avoid jet lag. I've used it on several transatlantic flights last Summer and it was very effective in keeping my energy levels high. (£175)
This is without doubt one of the most sought after biohacking gadgets of 2017. and Oura have recently launched their new OuraRing, which is a significant improvement over the previous version with a smaller design, week long battery and on demand Heart Rate Variability tracking. The Oura Ring enables you to track activity, sleep and readiness for the day ahead. The data provided by the Oura Ring is impressive. Particularly at night, when it is able to track time in each of the sleep stages, body temperature and heart rate variability. The Oura Ring provides an overall readiness score, so you know how hard you can push yourself that day based on your activity and sleep scores from previous days. It’s on pre-order for delivery in April. ($299)
Floatation Tank Session
If your loved one is a fan of meditation or yoga then why not gift them a floatation tank session, so they can experience sensory deprivation and restore balance in their lives. Research consistently demonstrates that floatation therapy has a significant impact on mood enhancement. Suggested reasons for this increased level of happiness include elevated levels of dopamine and endorphins, through to the deep meditative state achieved during floatation therapy. The latest floatation therapy research shows that during floatation, the amygdala basically shuts off, ‘turning down’ anxiety in the brain. I’ve provided a link to Floatworks in London but there are many other options around the Country. (£50)
You’re probably wondering, why on earth would I gift broccoli seeds to my loved one? Well you would if you wanted them to live longer, right? The magic comes in the form of sulforaphane which is present in high quantities in Broccoli sprouts. Sulforaphane is a miracle compound that is scientifically proven to prevent the growth of many cancers and reduce the risk of heart disease and neurodegenerative diseases. Sulforaphane stimulates protective and detoxifying mechanisms in the cells, which allows the cells to eliminate environmental toxins and body and repair themselves. The easiest way to grown broccoli sprouts is by using BioSnacky from Avogel (£17.99)
Do you want to combat stress and put your head and heart into a state of synchronicity? If yes, then Heart Math has the answer … HeartMath is a scientifically validated system of techniques and technologies that will help you to transform your stress, boost your resilience and enable higher performance. Their Inner Balance technologies give you real-time insight into your emotional, mental and physical state and will help you develop the ability to self-regulate. It's easy to use; clip a small device to your ear and use the smartphone app. I’ve now replaced my meditation practice with Heart Math and really enjoy the realtime feedback. (£137)
Let's face it, no matter who the men in our life are - weekend warriors, dedicated dads or armchair footie fans - chances are that they could stand to be a little more flexible. Although ManFlowYoga has the name 'yoga' in it, think of this more as an online flexibility and core strength subscription for guys to do when and where they want. The program was created by the very ripped and fit Bulletproof Ambassador, Dean Pohlman, who Ben Greenfield says 'destroyed' him in an obstacle course competition, relying only on his yoga training. The online video library helps with everything from general toning to prevention of specific sports & weightlifting injuries, but without the usual yoga 'open your heart' stuff that can turn some guys off. Yoga has now been embraced by Dave Asprey, the All Blacks, Novak Djokovic, polar explorers and even Rhodes scholars, so why not the men in your life? I recommend the Guyoga program which comes in 3 different packages: US$17 for all the beginner videos; US$50 for the videos plus Dean's e-books, including his popular ripped abs formula and diet books and online forum access; or US$150 for all of the above and the ability to download videos to your phone to enable you to do your workouts when you travel.
At US$2100, these are a high ticket item, but their ability to grow muscle using only a few basic isometric exercises, means this is a great gift for the parents in your life who are looking to add more muscle without joining a gym or worrying about injury from using weights. In studies in Japan, they have been proven to put muscle on people as old as 104 by tricking the brain into releasing more circulating growth hormone to the spot where the exercise is happening and also throughout the entire body. They are also used by Navy SEALS and Rangers both for rehabilitation and while on deployment, as well as Olympic gold medalists and athletes from multiple countries around the world.
TrueDarks (glasses & dots for road warriors) -
Want to give the gift of better sleep and higher performance? Then look no further than blue-light blocking glasses to stop having junk light mess up your circadian rhythm by blocking your production of melatonin, the sleep hormone. The glasses come with lenses that are either amber (partial blocking) or red (full blocking) and both have little inserts that you can have made in your eyeglass prescription. They are brilliant on an airplane where you can't control the light you're exposed to but they also increase the amount of deep sleep you get if you wear them in the last hour before bed. ($99 each or on special now for $129 for both). If you have a loved one who travels a lot, I can also highly recommend the TrueDark Dots, which are basically re-stickable dots that cover those annoying lights in hotel rooms emitted by TV's, phones and touch-screen control panels. They will never have to sleep in a room that is lit up like a cockpit ever again, with the same deep sleep and enhanced next day performance benefits of the TrueDark glasses. (US$20)
Nuface Trinity with red light attachment
The NuFace personal electrical stimulation device has been around for years now, loved by Hollywood celebs like Jennifer Aniston, but last year they released an FDA-cleared infrared, amber and red LED attachment head for the NuFace Trinity handheld that allows you to increase collagen production and reduce wrinkles. An ex-Shiseido skin researcher I know told me that in order for these to be effective at reversing wrinkles, the red LED's have got to touch the skin, so this fits the bill. Each wrinkle will need to be targeted with 3-minute blasts of light, but done on a regular basis 5 times a week, the women in your life should see results in 8 weeks. It's also portable enough to take on holiday and does not have to be used only on the face, but can also target old scars elsewhere. In the UK, the basic Trinity costs £300 at SpaceNK, with the red LED attachment head costing an additional £135. That's about the cost of a few facials in an upmarket salon, so a good at-home investment. (£435)
The Five-Minute Journal
I've been using this journal for the last year and find it to be a great set-up for the day and wind-down to my evenings. The principle is simple: spend 5 minutes (usually less) every morning expressing gratitude for 3 things in your life and then move on to 3 things that would make that day amazing. Read the inspirational quote, close book and get on with your day. That evening, open up to your morning commentary and reflect: what 3 amazing things happened? What could you have done better? Job done! Go to sleep and let your subconscious work away while you sleep. No matter what, identifying 3 things for which you are grateful or that made your day, triggers endorphins, the body's natural pain-killers, and serotonin which is the body's natural anti-depressant. For only £19 including shipping, what's not to be happy about?
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