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Hormesis | Use Stress To Your Advantage

By October 21, 2020No Comments

What if we told you that you could take the bad things that happen to your body and turn them into useful things by doing them with caution? That practice is called hormesis, and in this post, we’ll examine exactly what it is and how to use it correctly.

RELATED: Adapting Your Body to Stressful Times


In This Article:

  1. What Is Hormesis?
  2. What Is Medical Hormesis?
  3. 5 Ways to Use Hormesis in Everyday Life


What Is Hormesis?

Hormesis is when a substance or process that would be harmful in large amounts is applied conservatively to cause a counter-effect that more than compensates for the damage being done.


What Is Medical Hormesis?


Let’s use a flu vaccine as an example. Flu vaccines are actually a very tiny bit of the flu that is injected directly into your bloodstream. When your body catches a tiny whiff of the virus, it familiarizes itself with it and begins to pump out antibodies that can bring down that strain of the flu quickly. And voila! You are now immune, thanks to the introduction of a negative stressor in extreme moderation.

Another typical example is chemotherapy. Radiation is obviously terrible for you in large doses, causing cellular degeneration. But administering just a little bit in a controlled dose triggers a response that actually strengthens cells after a little while, effectively warding off conditions like cancer that attack cells.

Hormesis is used in a wide variety of other medical applications, such as:

  • Anti-seizure medication
  • Anti-anxiety medication
  • Hair growth formula
  • Memory aids
  • Cardiovascular medication
  • Erectile dysfunction medication


5 Ways to Use Hormesis in Everyday Life

We can’t overstress that some of these things are dangerous and can cause serious damage if overdone. Please consult with a doctor or another knowledgeable professional before trying one of them.


Radical Temperature Exposure

Exposing yourself to very high or very low temperatures for a little while prompts your body to produce “shock proteins.”

The proteins produced when you expose yourself to cold temperatures for a short time combat inflammation and bolster the immune system. Because of this, cold exposure therapy is ideal for people facing inflammatory illnesses or muscle pains. The best way to try out the therapy is by finding a cryogenic studio near you.

The anti-heat proteins make cells age more slowly and combat stress. It’s an excellent choice for people who want to slow down the aging process.



couple working out together outdoors

Exercise doesn’t make you stronger instantaneously. Instead, it actually damages your muscles a little bit. But that little bit of muscular damage triggers healing mechanisms in the body that gets to work, making your muscles stronger than ever. The fibers grow back stronger and thicker than they were before.

A particularly good regimen for triggering hormesis is HIIT, also known as high-intensity interval training. It involves doing intense exercise in short bursts and taking breaks in between.



When you engage in intermittent fasting (IF), you trick your body into kicking itself into high gear. It produces more proteins and opens more pathways that facilitate cellular growth. Benefits of IF include:

  • Increased longevity
  • Strengthening of cells
  • Weight loss
  • Improved Cognitive function


Of course, you shouldn’t just starve yourself for a day and call it IF. There are specific methods for employing IF efficiently without suffering any negative ramifications.

RELATED: Biohacking — Improve Your Well-Being with Simple Health “Hacks”


Oxygen Deprivation

We’re, of course, not saying you should choke yourself out for health benefits. There are many more precise ways to deprive yourself of just enough oxygen to make the neurons in your brain create mitochondria. This organelle helps your brain process information more quickly and clearly.

For example, there are oxygen trainer masks that periodically alternate between letting in oxygen-rich and oxygen-deficient air. When combined with physical exercise, the mask is a great way to get those mitochondria flowing. There are also breathing exercises you can do.


Eating Fruit

Ever notice how some healthy fruits, vegetables, and other superfoods like raspberries or turmeric have colors that you don’t usually see in nature? That’s because they contain compounds called phytochemicals that are mildly toxic. If a small organism like an insect were to chow down on a raspberry, it would probably die.

Of course, humans don’t die from eating a raspberry. In fact, their bodies recognize the tiny amount of toxin and respond by bolstering themselves on a cellular level. This reaction leads to a lower risk of severe diseases in the future.

A few commonly consumed phytochemicals include:

  • Lycopene in tomatoes
  • Curcumin in turmeric
  • Caratines in carrots
  • Sulforaphane in broccoli
  • Catechins in dark chocolate
  • Resveratrol in red wine
  • Ursolic acid in apples
  • EGCG in green tea
  • Anthocyanins in blueberries


Hormesis is a textbook example of biohacking, and it’s an excellent way to live better and longer.

For a deeper dive into the dangers behind hormesis if it is done incorrectly (and to hear how the word is pronounced), give this video a watch:


We cannot repeat enough the importance of practicing hormesis in a healthy way. The quickest way to get started with your hormetic regime is by contacting our Florida-based medical staff at 352-209-4249.


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