Dark retreat has a number of healing physical and psychological effects on the body. In addition to environmental problems, the health of modern people is increasingly threatened by light pollution. Due to artificial (electrical) light, our body can no longer function in accordance with the natural rhythms of nature, and the brain and nervous system are exhausted by excessive light stimulation.
The common expression about the activity and pace of life of a successful person — “24/7” — has unfortunately also become a reality that we demand from our bodies. Even while sleeping, it is not possible to experience complete darkness in today’s urbanized environment, as street lighting and the indicator bulbs of the electronics in the room spoil it.
“By moving towards 24-hour living activity and reducing or ignoring the importance of darkness, we are effectively throwing away millions of years of evolutionary advantage,” said Russell Foster, professor of molecular neuroscience at King’s College London.
Researchers have found many reasons why a person should follow the natural circadian rhythm for their health, respect the lack of natural light, and seek darkness to improve their personal sleep hygiene.
An overstimulated body is stressed, the immune system is weakened, and in this connection, the risk of developing digestive problems, heart diseases, and several oncological diseases, not to mention neurological, psychological, and hormonal imbalances increases. To solve the problems caused by excessive light pollution, a person should strive for a rhythm of life and sleep in harmony with nature in his daily life. This is even in our winter dark northern region. But to compensate for the imbalances caused by excessive light, it is good to start by charging the body exhausted by light with dark.
Melatonin is a hormone that is produced in the human brain only during complete darkness. Many recent studies have shown that melatonin production is inhibited even by small light waves (used in artificial light sources common to us in households). However, it was previously thought that melatonin production ends only when natural daylight appears.
At the same time, experiments conducted in America have shown a direct link between melatonin deficiency resulting from constant light and the growth of cancers. The pineal gland of the brain produces melatonin in the dark, and in the absence of light, melatonin continues to be processed into tryptamine and pinoline. Melatonin and pinoline are both necessary to keep the body healthy. Like melatonin, pinoline has the ability to destroy free radicals (important in the prevention of cancers) and has an anti-addiction effect on opiates and stimulants.
In the dark, melatonin continuously accumulates in the brain, calming the sympathetic nervous system. Due to the effects of melatonin and pinoline, a person also falls asleep more easily and dreams. In the dark, the concentration of psychoactive tryptamines in the brain increases, which leads to the emergence of inner visions, dreams. The simplest psychoactive molecule produced by tryptophan metabolism is DMT. According to various studies, it is when it is activated that unusual joy, timelessness, confidence, and the experience of universal love and compassion are manifested. Of course, the body also needs high-quality daytime sunlight for serotonin production. Serotonin creates positive emotions and is directly linked to a longer life.
Therefore, it must be kept in mind that when creating a balanced and healthy lifestyle, the natural day and night rhythm, the rhythm of sleep and wakefulness, and the rhythm of light and darkness must be established after the blind tritium. Blind tritium should be treated as a temporary rest, “battery recharge”, “daily fast” or a calming stop to balance the problems arising from a stressful everyday life, poor sleep routine, and stressful environment, after which it is easier to return to a reasonable and healthy lifestyle. In India, seclusion in darkness is often called the Kaya Kalpa retreat. Kaya means “body” and kalpa means “timeless” or “immortal”.
All in all, this tradition is used to achieve an ageless body or to rejuvenate the body. It is an Ayurvedic method of rejuvenating the body in the dark, through meditation and the use of several herbal formulas:
*to slow down the aging process
*maintain perfect physical health and youthful vitality
*to postpone physical death until a person has achieved spiritual realization (enlightenment).