The term “biohacking” originated in the late 1980s but began to surge in popularity in Silicon Valley in 2005. While I have used biohacking for several years, the biohacking routine I followed after rupturing the tendon in my quad made me truly believe in the process.
What Is Biohacking?
“Biohacking” is a way to improve people’s health, well-being, and performance through strategic interventions and practices. Biohacking involves a broad range of approaches and treatments to achieve various outcomes. Here are a few examples:
- Intermittent fasting for weight loss and longevity
- Dietary supplements for optimal health
- Meditation for mental, emotional, and physical well-being
- Blue-light exposure for better sleep
- Cold therapy for immune system boosts
How My Biohacking Routine Helped Change My Life
Now that we’ve covered the basics of biohacking, I want to share how it helped to improve and change my life. First, I’d like to give you a quick backstory of why I needed to implement this unique biohacking routine.
Like every other day, it was dark when I woke up at 5:00 on a warm August morning in 2021. I was running late, so I was trying to play catch up. Unfortunately, I missed the last two steps on the way downstairs. I had my phone and a glass of water in my hand, and both went flying. I jammed my leg into the floor and dropped to the ground. I felt the most pain I had ever felt and thought I had broken a bone. I looked down and saw a bulge in my quad, which was squishy to the touch. I couldn’t get up, no matter how hard I tried.
Later, when I got to the hospital, the doctor said, “You ruptured the tendon in your quad. It’s not attached to the bone anymore, so you need surgery.” My mind immediately went to the marathon I had scheduled in two months. I asked the doctor if he thought I could still do it, and he looked at me like I was crazy. The reality of my situation began to sink in when I discovered that my recovery time was estimated to be from six to eight months.
No one would blame me if I wanted to take it easy and recover, but I decided that was not the approach I wanted to take. Instead, I decided I would run the upcoming marathon on crutches.
I knew this came down to proper preparation for the race, including physical therapy, chiropractic visits, massage regiments, and… biohacking!
I put together a special biohacking routine, including the specific therapies I will outline below. While the process was not easy, and the 60 days leading up to the marathon were a whirlwind, I completed the marathon – on crutches – on Columbus Day 2021!
The Biohacking Routine I Followed After My Injury
Pulsed electromagnetic field therapy works by directing a small amount of energy to certain parts of your body via a magnetic device, improving circulation and cellular function. PEMF therapy is excellent for acute pain from injuries, chronic pain, and more.
A cold plunge is just like it sounds – plunging your body into cold water for a specific time. While there are many benefits to cold plunges or cryotherapy, I used it (in the 60 days leading up to the marathon) to reduce inflammation, swelling, and pain.
Red Light Therapy
Red light therapy uses red low-level light wavelengths, which are believed to produce a biochemical effect in your cell’s powerhouse. RLT has many benefits for the skin, and I utilized it to promote tissue repair and wound healing.
Infrared Sauna Therapy
There are two ways to enjoy an infrared sauna session: by using a traditional infrared sauna or lying in an infrared sauna blanket. These treatments help extract toxins, improve circulation, and reduce joint pain and muscle soreness, which are essential to faster injury recovery.
Acupuncture treatments are effective in assisting with injury recovery. My sister is an acupuncturist and worked with me a couple of times weekly leading up to the marathon. This treatment helps to stimulate energy, promotes better circulation, repairs tissues, and detoxifies the body.
Leg Compression Treatments
Leg compression treatments work well for treating various conditions. But I used my device to help with better blood flow, muscle healing, decreased inflammation, and pain relief while I recovered from my injury and surgery. They are also great for post-workout recovery!
Hot Tub Sessions
Lastly, hot tub sessions were helpful when I was recuperating from my torn quad. Soaking in a hot tub is excellent for increasing circulation, soothing pain, relieving muscle spasms, and improving flexibility.
Expert tip: If you’re unsure how to begin your healing biohacking routine, the following websites and treatments were beneficial throughout my journey:
How Creating a Your Own Biohacking Routine Can Optimize Your Health and Happiness
While I use biohacking as a part of my daily life, it was extra helpful during my injury recovery. The results speak for themselves: I completed a marathon on crutches only 60 days after a major injury and surgery!
So, how do you create your own biohacking routine? Simply put, you should plan your regimen according to your personal goals for your mind, mood, well-being, and life. You may not have an injury you are recovering from, but there are still ways that biohacking can optimize your health and happiness.
Begin by writing down what you’d like to accomplish with biohacking. Do you want to gain control of your nutrition, athletic performance, cognitive function, emotional health, or something else?
Next, dive into research! There are countless resources online – backed by scientific research – that will help you along your biohacking journey.
Lastly, create a plan that works uniquely for you. Don’t overwhelm yourself with dozens of biohacks all at once – try one at a time and stick to it. Then, add more as needed to help you reach your goals. You will begin to see positive, life-changing results in no time!
Quick note: Always consult your physician before beginning any new biohacking routine.
Read More About My Journey
To read more about how I ran the marathon on crutches, my recovery journey, and the silver linings I experienced through the process, check out my latest book, Thriving in the Storm: Nine Principles to Help You Overcome Any Adversity.
Also, visit my free resource center and blog, which include helpful podcasts, workbooks, articles, and more!