When I was pregnant with each of my three children, I experienced extremely strong urges to sit in the sun with my belly uncovered. I did this as often as I could, typically 2-4 times a week depending on weather conditions.
This urge to sunbathe my belly was pretty much a constant thing from the very early part of the pregnancy right through to when labor started.
I didn’t understand at the time why I was wanting to sunbathe my belly all the time, but sometimes you don’t need to understand all the ins and outs about something to do it. You just figure that you instinctively know what you need and that the answers will come later.
My husband used to tease me a lot about my belly sunning habit.
“There she goes flashing the neighborhood again!” he would joke.
We would both laugh and scratch out heads and wonder about this strange obsession.
Once I learned about the importance of the fat soluble vitamins and Vitamin D in particular through the teachings of Dr. Weston A. Price, I figured the belly sunning thing might be simply a primitive urge to increase my Vitamin D levels for the benefit of the fetus.
However, I never fully bought into that notion as sitting in the sun with plenty of skin exposed but my belly covered did not feel the same.
It just felt so good to get that belly in the sun. It just wasn’t the same as my legs in the sun though that was certainly nice too.
What I was getting from the sun was much more than just Vitamin D as it turns out ….
Gut Problems Helped by Sun on the Belly
At the Wise Traditions Conference recently, I think I have finally gotten an answer to this long held question. The answer came unexpectedly while chatting with Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride MD, author of the groundbreaking book Gut and Psychology Syndrome.
Dr. Natasha was telling me about some very new research that indicates that certain wavelengths of the sun that have not been studied before actually pass right through the human body and have an energetically balancing and overall beneficial effect on the human physiology even helping to resolve longstanding gut problems.
And, in the case of a pregnant woman, these rays could energetically benefit the fetus as well when the belly is exposed to full spectrum sunlight.
What’s more, Dr. Natasha suggested that these deeply penetrating sunwaves have the potential to kill candida and other gut pathogens so as to help resolve gut problems and heal the gut environment as a whole!
This gut balancing effect would have especially positive implications during pregnancy, when the immune system is depressed due to pregnancy hormones giving any gut pathogens an easy opportunity to potentially take over dominance from beneficial flora.
Near Infrared Saunas Do the Same Thing!
Dr. Mercola touched on this exciting new area of research as well during his keynote address at the Wise Traditions 2011 banquet when he said that the sun has an antiseptic effect on the human body. He said that if a person has toenail fungus, for example, simply getting the affected foot out in the direct sun for a few minutes each day for a period of time would clear the infection!
He even went on to say that sunbathing the armpits would go a very long way toward eliminating body odor from that part of the body!
Incidentally, infrared sauna therapy does basically the same thing. 45% of the total energy received from the sun is in the near infrared range (1). None of the rays of the sun are in the far infrared range, which is why only a near infrared sauna mimics the sun’s energy. These healing rays penetrate up to 9 inches into body tissue beneficially stimulating the mitochondria of every cell that contacts it.
The implications of using the sun (or a near infrared sauna!) as a simple and inexpensive way to resolve gut problems by helping rebalance gut flora and improve health is nothing short of astounding and very encouraging to those who have long struggled with gut imbalance issues.
Even persistent body odor that requires the use of deodorants or anti-perspirants is frequently a sign of gut problems and overall imbalance, and may be improved with regular jaunts in the sun.
So get outside and let the power of the sun go to work for you today! Don’t forget to skip the sunscreen and flash that belly while you’re at it!
Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist
Sources and More Information
Sarah Pope has been a Health and Nutrition Educator since 2002. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Weston A. Price Foundation.
Sarah was awarded Activist of the Year at the International Wise Traditions Conference in 2010.
Sarah earned a Bachelor of Arts (summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) in Economics from Furman University and a Master’s degree in Government (Financial Management) from the University of Pennsylvania.
Mother to three healthy children, blogger, and best-selling author, she writes about the practical application of Traditional Diet and evidence-based wellness within the modern household. Her work has been featured by USA Today, The New York Times, National Review, ABC, NBC, and many others.