What I Learned at the 2019 Biohacking Conference

How we can use science to better our health

DrAfter123/ Getty Images
DrAfter123/ Getty Images

I was fascinated by “the show.” I had been researching a lot of the specific scientific areas highlighted in this conference, so the science itself wasn’t new to me. What was new and fascinating to me was how Dave Asprey has curated the science for the masses and arranged an immersive experience around this. Seeing non-scientists attending scientific talks and taking pictures of slides that are literally organic molecules was intriguing because some of the science presented was dense. In fact, I asked a gentleman who attended the talk on NAD+ whether or not he understood what the scientist was showing and he admittedly said that he did not. Yet, the crowd of lawyers, doctors, engineers, financiers, etc… clearly want access to the science whether they understand all of it or not.

· I was fascinated by the nature of the attendees, as I was really curious to know “Who is a Biohacker exactly” I loved hearing people’s stories. For example, I sat down for almost 1.5 hours with a couple who flew in from New Jersey. The husband and wife are in their late 50s. He had a career as an Industrial Engineer and his wife is very much into essential oils. Both of them have family history with medical issues and believe our current world is making them sick (ex. Blue light emitting devices, radiation, etc…). They discovered Dave Asprey’s podcast and have been ‘biohacking’ for at least 2.5 years. They even bought some of the technologies such as the red light charger for their house. I asked them “If you think about your biohacking journey as a movie, what would you title the movie?” Their answer was “Faith.” Faith in the sense that they hope their investment in Dave’s teachings give them healthy aging, but also because they are “bible believing Christians who believe our bodies were created as perfect machines that we must steward properly.” And being a good steward means making the right decisions to eat cleanly, sleep well, and use technologies such as the red light charger to counteract the ill effects of our technological lives.

· I went to Upgrade Labs and, in addition to experiencing some of the biohacks for myself, I just observed people, chatted with the staff, and asked a lot of questions. From my observations, I would bucket the people who went into Upgrade Labs into three different segments:

o Corporate Burnouts – Ex: A man walked in, told the nurse that he was feeling tired and that he had a presentation coming up so he needed a Liquid IV for quick energy. These people want “shortcuts” to rest, recovery, and refuel their energy/focus.

o Pain relief seekers – These people had injuries or inflammation issues and wanted faster recovery. They believe sessions on the PEMF system will heal them faster than traditional physical therapy or traditional medicine.

o Healthy aging – I observed a lot of older women and men come in to do PEMF, HIIT machine, etc… They believe these things will make their quality of life better as they age.

o Other – I was SUPER fascinated when I saw a woman bring in her grown autistic son. I actually asked the staff about him, such as how often does he come in and what biohacks does he use? They told me that he has been coming in since January and typically does PEMF, EEG Charger, and Virtual Float Tank. The staff claims the neurofeedback sessions have greatly helped him calm his mind.

Net – The common denominator I’ve learned from talking to and observing people at the conference and Upgrade Labs is that I believe these people feel that traditional health care is antiquated and possibly even untrustworthy. They are in need of “shortcut” personalized products, services, and lifestyle micro-steps that give them control over stress management, more restful sleep, and greater cognitive control, as well as “faith,” backed by science, that these things will lead to healthy aging.

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