skin cancer, ultraviolet radiation, sun exposure, Australia and skin cancer,  seasonal affective disorder (SADS)

The Pristine Glory of the Sun God - Part 3

Health articles > The Pristine Glory of the Sun God - Part 3

The Pristine Glory of the Sun God - Part 3

- Dr.Shirish Bhate

Australia has the highest rate of skin cancer in the world, due to a combination of tropical latitude, fair-skinned population, outdoor lifestyle, and a high amount of ambient ultraviolet radiation. Widespread opinions about tanning and the health benefits of sunlight lead many Australians to intentionally and unwisely overexpose themselves to the sun. State cancer councils have developed sun safety and awareness campaigns to educate the population about sun exposure and encourage early detection of skin cancers in an attempt to control this.



Over exposure to the sun may also cause over-activity of the parathyroid glands with associated health problems, also more applicable to populations beyond the tropics and towards the poles.Most cancer patients occupy houses which do not allow entry of sufficient sunlight and when this author researched the subject further he found that there is a strong negative correlation between the available sunlight and cancer death rates, i.e. living in a sunny area is associated with lower rates of cancer. Hence, the incidence of cancer is highest in the cities, where the concrete jungles, sky- scrapers and air conditioning in most offices do not allow sufficient exposure to the sun. Even skin cancer is inhibited by regular low- level sun exposure, only sunburn itself strongly increases the prevalence of skin cancer.

It has been stated that trends in epidemiological literature suggest that approximately 30,000 U.S. cancer deaths yearly could be averted by widespread public use of regular mild sun exposure. A study on electricity workers showed that those with the most sun exposure had the lowest rates of melanoma and skin cancer and vice versa. Other studies show a strong link between long-term exposure to fluorescent lighting and melanoma. Melanoma often occurs on areas of the skin that has not been exposed to sunlight. But most of the economic activity in developed countries such as U.S. and U.K. appears to take place in offices with tinted glass, fluorescent lighting and continuously used air conditioners. Unfortunately this western model is being adopted in developing countries too.

Sensitive individuals, especially those with low blood pressure and lack of energy, and those tending towards food allergies and chemical sensitivities, should expose themselves to full sunlight only for very short periods and preferably in semi-shade, such as under a tree. Those with a good tolerance on the other hand, with resilient skin and often a higher blood pressure would benefit from longer exposure. Skin develops its own filtering ability in the form of a gradual sun-tan. Locations of the individual's sun-tanning are an important lead in the diagnostic process of the Vaidya. The Vaidyas should take note of the areas that become tanned and their correlation to degenerative diseases such as rheumatism or arthritis. Several diagnostic tips given by this author arise from his experiences in meditation and do not necessarily form a part of ancient Samhitas.

The deficiency of ultraviolet radiation caused by the trend of living behind glass is a contributing factor in the development of degenerative diseases such as arthritis, cancer and leukemia, eye disease, hyperactivity and sexual problems. These harmful effects are reinforced if the glass is tinted inappropriately to block out part of the visible spectrum.

Ott (ref. already given earlier) showed that coloured lights have a strong influence on the ratio of male to female offspring when breeding animals. Especially undesirable are most kinds of fluorescent lighting, more so if they have a pink hue. Even more harmful is the light from the screens of color televisions and computer monitors. This effect is due to the artificial composition of the colors in addition to any radiation dangers. Consider this in the light of the ever reducing fertility in the modern young generation (20-35 age group) especially those who do shift work, or work in the IT industry in huge offices and call centres, etc. Other sources of radiation include the cell phone which the young almost always have at hand. The girls like to hang their cell phones close to navel where the effect on the ovaries can easily be predicted. How many of their doctors are even aware of, or warn them of such grave

If one has sensitive eyes, one should continue to wear sunglasses when the light is very strong and glaring and then gradually reduce their use when the eyes improve and strengthen. For instance, the glare of reflected U-V radiation from ice creates temporary blindness, as experienced by this author during Himalayan treks. The best sunglasses, if required, are of special composition of gray so that they reduce the intensity of all colors to the same degree. Most plastics, by the way, do not screen out ultraviolet rays so one can obtain the full impact from sunlight by living behind clear plastic windows. However one disadvantage of this is that one can still become sunburned, even behind plastic windows.

LLack of sunlight in winter or if we are bedridden for example, and therefore usually out of the sun, makes us more susceptible to depression. As discussed earlier, one can cure this so-called seasonal affective disorder (SADS) by looking into a bright light in the morning, preferably sunlight or otherwise a light with the full daylight spectrum. Sunlight is also required to convert cholesterol into vitamin D.

It is interesting to note that the prevalence of Multiple Sclerosis is inversely related to the amount of sunshine in the region, the closer to the equator, the lower the incidences of the disease. This is similar to the number of cancer sufferers which declines the closer we get to the />
Editing help from Jane MacRoss is gratefully acknowledged.

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