Health Benefits of Sun Gazing for Chronic Pain Conditions

The Medical & Health Benefits of Sun Gazing

Sun gazing can have some exceptional health benefits. It will not only enhance your physical health but it has potential to improve your psychological and spiritual development.

 The theory behind sun gazing is that the sun produces the energy for life, so staring at it and absorbing its energy infuses the body with vitality. 

Our early human ancestors, including the Aztecs and the ancient Egyptians, all practiced sun gazing. They revered it as a helpful and mystical practice that inspired their priests and shamans. Sun gazing is currently experiencing a modern resurgence as its practitioners discover its health benefits.

 Post Update (2/19/16):  Since we posted this article, we have received a response from a New York City-based Physics professor who provided us an illuminating and scientific review of the benefits of sun gazing- click here to scroll down and read his analysis.

How to Sun Gaze

What are the common benefits of sun gazing?

  • Increased production of melatonin and serotonin,
  • enhanced eyesight,
  • stress and tension release,
  • energy boost,
  • decreased hunger pains,
  • pineal gland stimulation.

How does sun gazing work?

Sun gazing means to stare at the sun for short periods of time during safe hours of the day, which are during the first hour of sunrise or the last hour before the sun sets.

It is very important to note that if you practice sun gazing outside of these proper times your eyes can be damaged by the UV rays of the sun.

How to Sun Gaze
  1. Sun gazing practitioners advise that you should practice staring at the sun barefoot what is your feet on natural earth. When you first start, it is important that you try it for only 10 seconds on the first day.
  2. Try looking directly at the sun during safe hours for this period of time.
  3. On the second day try to stare at the sun for 20 seconds and for each subsequent day at another 10 seconds to the previous day.
  4. Keep doing this until you have reached 44 minutes which should take between nine and 10 months depending on weather conditions.
  5. After you have reached the 44 minute milestone, you should take daily walks of 45 minutes for six days following this 9 to 10 months of sun gazing.
  6. (Be sure to watch the video at the top of this article for the full sun-gazing methodology)

What does the research say about sun gazing?

A scientist named Vinny Pinto conducted a survey that included 56 participants called “The First Sungazing List Group Sungazer’s Survey“.

Some of the findings he disseminated included that:

  • 35 of the 51 research participants claim to experience “increased or greatly increased energy”
  • Individuals that had sun gazed for at least four times per week were much more likely to describe a reduced need for solid foods
  • Improved health was more frequently seen among the female research participants
  • Individuals that sun gazed during the middle of the day instead of the prescribed hour after or before sunset were more likely to describe experiencing adverse effects
  • The most common mental\physical\spiritual experiences the research participants described were joy, bliss, calmness and peace.

What do sun gazers say about the health benefits they experience?

  • Some people claim that sun gazing has become too scientifically regulated, when really all that one needs to do is to use common sense. Just let the sun into your eyes the first and last hour of each day as well as integrating barefoot living and walking into your daily practice.
  • Some people have trouble if they live in particularly foggy or cloudy areas. Unfortunately, there’s not an artificial light solution for sun-gazers.
  • One Sundays are over at commented that when she lived in San Diego built up her practice to the point where she sun gazed for 25 minutes at a time. As a result, she felt incredibly physically and mentally fit at the age of 59. However when she moved to Colorado, a land of snow and trees, her practice suffered and she was troubled by some lifelong physical ailments. She ended up moving to Arizona and resuming her practice, reporting a rebalancing of her endocrine system as well as improvements of her Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.
  • Many users also comment on the spiritual effect of the practice. They commented that often individuals are seeking medical relief from this alternative practice, but it is as much a spiritual ritual.
  • All users recommended that proper research be done prior to starting a sun gazing practice. Make sure that you are medically fit and able and that you make sure that your Sundays and only during the appropriate times to avoid eye damage.

A scientist responds


Read Dr. Rubin’s full response below

joel rubin

Light is an intrinsic and independent phenomenon in our universe. Intrinsic means it can, and does, exist anywhere and where, from the vast, empty vacuum of space to the surface of our Earth with its gaseous atmosphere, to virtually every form of matter and material that we encounter on Earth, whether solid liquid or gas, whether microscopic or enormous.

Independent means that light is self perpetuating- after it has been produced, it has a natural tendency to propagate through space which is completely independent of the source that it was produced by.

The basis of sun gazing contradicts this principle. One can only sungaze when the sun is lower on the horizon and thus dimmer. It is dimmer because the light is attenuated by scattering in the atmosphere and therefore you are not looking at “pure” sunlight.

It is in principle the same effect as if you would look at the sun through dark glasses to attenuate the light. There is nothing physically different or special about waiting for the sun to be attenuated through a natural process.

Actually, the light at sunrise or sunset is in a sense even more artificial than midday sun viewed through a dark lens, because atmospheric attenuation changes the composition of sunlight instead of dimming it uniformly.

The reason for the red sun at sunrise or sunset is because the atmosphere has scattered away the blue colors of the light, leaving only red. Thus the reddish sunlight is not “true” sunlight because it has a drastically different spectrum of colors than the light produced by the sun and that which reaches Earth at midday.

Additionally, sunlight is not only dangerous to eyes because of invisible UV radiation, but because of its sheer intensity. The sunlight absorbing cells in our eyes are very sensitive and can be permanently damaged by high intensity light.

Our pupils shrink in order to limit the amount of light they absorb, which means that if you are capable of sun gazing it is because your eyes have self adjusted to attenuate the incoming light, a process which, while “natural” is once again is not intrinsically different than an artificial means of attenuating light.

The claim that light is the energy of life suffers from similar problems. The ability for plants to generate energy from sunlight is due to their chlorophyll which strongly absorb blue and red light while reflecting green light, which is the reason for the green color of plants. The light at sunrise or sunset has already been filtered of blue components, so it is precisely lacking in one of main components of the “energy of life”.

The idea that humans can somehow absorb this life energy is wrong not simply because we aren’t plants, but because it ignores the special place for humans in the grand scheme of nature. The flow of energy from the sun to plants to animals to humans is an elegant and symbiotic cycle in which life on Earths functions like an enormous rechargeable battery.

Plants take in CO2 and water, and use the energy from sunlight to convert these simple compounds to O2 and more complex organic compounds that serve as food for animals and humans as well as fuels for energy. When humans or animals eat, or fuel is burned, the process goes in reverse.

Humans eat (or fill engines with) the organic matter produced by plants and breath (or inject into an engine) the O2 emitted by plants. We (and engines) then expel CO2 and water, reproducing the original matter that had been transformed by plants.

The reverse process, instead of requiring energy, releases it to power the biological processes that humans need to function and work.

This energy is not necessarily in the form of light, but the quantity of energy is the same as that in the original light that plants took in (however, inefficiencies in the process mean only a fraction of this energy gets put to practical use).

It is really a beautiful process, but we are on the discharging side of the battery. As long as we are breathing in air and exhaling CO2, we are generating energy from food, not sunlight.

As for psychological and spiritual effects, the sun does have important role in maintaining hormonal balance and circadian rhythms, which affect our mood and state of mind.

But once again, not only will sun gazing not enhance these effects, the actual facts are much more interestingBlue light from the day sky inhibits the production of melatonin, which helps maintain a proper sleep cycle by promoting wakefulness in daylight and sleepfulness at night.

Interestingly, this evolutionary adaptation is still with us despite the fact that artificial light in the form of fire was discovered at least hundreds of thousands of years ago, before anatomically modern humans even existed. As it turns out, fire contains mostly red-yellow light as opposed to blue, and therefore does not disturb circadian rhythms.

Thus the red light of sun gazing will have no effect on circadian rhythms either.

Melatonin is a precursor to serotonin, which is widely known for its role in happiness and depression. A hormonal imbalance of melatonin is thus hypothesized to play a role in seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Moreover, the independence of light from its source suggests that even artificial light can be used to correct SAD, and there is evidence of this.

Sitting under an artificial light that produces a similar spectrum to the sun during the day has been shown effective in treating SAD, as well as wearing blue-filtering goggles in the hours before sleep.