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IEET > Life > Health > Vision > Futurism > Staff > Hank Pellissier

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Nudity Is Healthy for Brains and Bodies


Hank Pellissier
Hank Pellissier
Ethical Technology

Posted: Mar 14, 2012

Is clothing crushing us? Are we trapped in tomb-like textiles, exiling our flesh from experiencing the environment? Are we atrophying our epidermis, our senses, our neuro-intelligence?

If you put a plaster cast on a broken arm the skin starves for Vitamin D, the muscles weaken due to strangled range of motion, the nerve synapses depress to a whimper of their former joy. Twenty-first century hominids? We shroud our entire skin palette except for face, neck and hands - we obliterate symbiosis with the planet.

We hide in cocoons, when we could be free as butterflies.

History reveals many cultures that were not clothes-minded. Spartans were basically bare and their victories in pan-Hellenic sports competitions enticed all neighboring Greeks to exercise nude, creating the word “gymnasium” (Greek gymnos = naked). Romans mingled in magnificent bathhouses, enjoying dense communal nudity as they drank, dined, defecated, bathed, read books, argued politics, and watched theater.  Adamists — naked heretics — performed stripped-down church services in North Africa, Bohemia, the Netherlands, and England. Pre-Hitler Germans were avid adherents of Freikorperkultur (“Free Body Culture”) with 70,000 attending co-ed Nacktkultur schools.

There’s naked Japanese in hot springs, naked Finns in saunas, “sky-clad” Jain monks in India, plus millions of nudists worldwide going to “Nakation” camps, beaches, and resorts. They’re still sporty as Spartans, eager to hike naked (“free bush rambling”), canoe naked (“canuding”), bicycle naked, ride horses naked, run naked, play volleyball, badminton, ping-pong and chess naked, swim naked, dance naked, do Naked Yoga, Naked Tai Chi, Naked Gardening, Naked Bowling, and of course, many of us, perhaps you and I, dear readers, are NIFOC — Naked In Front of Computers.

Many famous figures were bare-all aficionados; too many politicians to name, so I’ll just list sci-fi and scientists: Leonard Nimoy, Alexander Graham Bell,  Robert Heinlein, and seismologist Charles Richter. Nudism is prominent in Philip Jose Farmer’s Riverworld books and John Varley’s Steel Beach. Celebrities? Many movie stars skinny-dip at the French Riviera, trying to elude paparazzi seeking pix of Bruce WIllis’ willy or Natalie Portman’s port side.

Here’s evidence suggesting that skin-only can be superior:

Born Free.  Pediatricians agree that infants thrive with a daily dose of “naked time” because the unhampered range of motion aids brain development, stimulating neuron growth. Recent discoveries reveal that the “plastic” brain changes and develops throughout our entire lives. Neuroplasticity pioneer Michael M. Merzenich believes,  “Everything that you can see happen in a young brain can happen in an older brain.” Doesn’t this imply that “naked time” is equally valuable for humans of any age, especially the elderly?

Weakened Bodies. A 2003 University of Reading study entitled “A Naked Ape Would Have Fewer Parasites” posits that “humans evolved hairlessness to reduce parasite loads, especially ectoparasites that may carry disease.” Unfortunately, the garments we wear can be a breeding ground for filthy fungi and bad bacterium, causing yeast infections, urinary tract infections, rotting toenails. Lyme Disease deer ticks can grab onto our sweaters and sea lice can sneak into our bathing suit crotches. Cinched-up belts, ties, and clothes impede breathing. Men’s snug pants raise testicle temperature, lowering sperm count and fertility.

Barefoot Medicine. Going shoeless is now recognized as an anti-Alzheimer’s, brain-boosting activity because the sole sensation entices your brain into growing extra, efficient neuron connections. Dr. Norman Doidge (author of The Brain That Changes Itself) believes skipping shoes increases brain flexibility and youthfulness, and many podiatrists now advise going barefoot as much as possible. Bare feet are today’s prescription. Will tomorrow’s elixir take the next step: Bare Body?

Superior Socialization. Self-actualization proponent Abraham Maslow believed “Nudism… is itself a kind of therapy.” Health benefits of social nudity include stress reduction, satiation of curiosity about the human body, reduction of porn addiction, a sense of full-body integration and developing a wholesome attitude about the opposite gender. Research at the University of Northern Iowa discovered that nudists have significantly higher body self-acceptance. Another study concluded that teens at a New York nudist camp were “extraordinarily well-adjusted, happy, and thoughtful.” It’s also excellent for children to grow up free of shame about the human body.

Tolerant Views.A University of Central Florida 2008 study of 384 participants concluded that pro-nudity students “were significantly more accepting of other religious groups and gays and lesbians” when compared to the anti-nudity students. They were also “less prejudiced towards ethnically dissimilar others.”

Soothe Away Your Crazies. Massage is recognized as a therapeutic treatment for mental health issues like depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, bipolarism, borderline personality disorder, learning difficulties, and low self-esteem. The skin stimulation of massage — improving blood flow and detoxifying the lymph system — is duplicated by the warmth, freedom, and improved circulation generated in nakedness.

Soak Up The Rays Vitamin D deficiency is currently soaring, with up to 75% of USA teens and adults receiving insufficient amounts of the “sunshine vitamin.” Lack of this essential health aid is a factor in numerous ailments, including cancer, heart disease, osteoporosis and diabetes. Anyone who bares all outside as a “naturist” harvests larger amounts of Vitamin D in a quicker time span.

Financial Liberation. Clothes are a huge money and time-suck with shopping, laundry, closets, dressers, and gazillions of hours wasted wondering what so-and-so looks like with their garments removed. The global markets for swimsuits alone is expected to reach $17.6 billion annually by 2015; our carbon footprint would shrink like a wool sweater if fabric was no longer manufactured.

Longevity (just joking!). Have you noticed that the furry Norway Rat only lives 2-3 years, while the Naked Mole Rat survives to be 28?

So… is the future going to be full frontal? Will the post-Singularity planet be stripped? Will everyone in a climate-controlled tomorrow choose to be nude, strutting around like the Nuba dancers and boxers of Leni Reifenstahl?

Trends point to an era where there won’t be a stitch to worry about. Many resort areas are are now offering nudism to increase tourism, and American naturist clubs claim their enrollment is growing 20% annually. The German airline OssiUrlaub.de offered nude chartered flights to a Baltic sea resort, and today’s lengthy luggage searches at airports are steering travelers to destinations where they only need carry-on towels and sunblock. Twenty million Europeans already go to nude beaches and spas.

Getting goosebumps imagining it, are you?


Hank Pellissier was IEET’s Managing Director on January-October in 2012, and an IEET Affiliate Scholar. He’s the author of two e-books, Invent Utopia Now and Why is the IQ of Ashkenazi Jews so High? He is currently at BrighterBrains.org
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COMMENTS


here’s an addendum—
http://gma.yahoo.com/wardrobe-woes-hidden-health-hazards-clothing-224843887—abc-news.html

tights pants lead to backaches and indigestion, neckties lead to neck and shoulder tension

take it all off





This is great in temperate climates. I could see a problem in my town where the temperature hit -40 in the winter, without the wind chill.

Personally, we do a lot of nude wandering. Unfortunately the floor downstairs is too darn cold to walk barefoot, but I do wear soft moccasins which is the next best thing.

I would think that if clothes made us all that stupid that the world would be falling apart around our ears… oh wait… never mind.





Any real nudists here ? Nudistkiss com I would like to recommend you to the world’s best and largest nudist dating site for world wide nudists , naturists and naked people to share nude photos and experiences and chat with real nudists Lots of fun on Nudistkiss com





It was fun to read this but almost every benefit Hank talks about here would work equally to just wearing smaller and looser clothes as I do every summer anyhow. So you know I dont need to be baring all to the world to get sun vitamins or massages. 20 millions go nude in europe Hank OK Im sure thats true but you know that means 680 millions europeans dont do that.





I haven’t been to San Francisco or NYC recently, but it is said “clothing optional” is legal in the former and “top freedom” (for women,too) is legal in the latter. I think, over time, events like the WNBR will teach people that a little harmless freedom is healthy AND fun.





@ Tom_B - Yes, I live in San Francisco and apparently it is a clothing optional city. I don’t see people walking around naked though, not often, except occasionally at an avant-guarde art event or at a public demonstration about anything, and of course, the Bay-to-Breakers race has dozens and dozens of naked runners. There is a nude beach section at the city’s Baker Beach.  Across the Bay, there used to be a Naked Man in Berkeley who never ever wore clothes, especially at City Hall meetings. Personally I only find nakedness comfortable if everyone else around me is naked. 

There is a nudist camp near San Jose and a nudist camp in the East Bay and a semi-retirement nudist resort near Sacramento where you can purchase property and never wear clothes again. I might end up there someday, partly because I absolutely hate doing laundry.





Check Out Young Nudists And Naturists America! Great Article smile

http://nudistnaturistamerica.org/





Great Article Hank ! Having spent 30 yrs of my life as a body therapist I agree with all You say ! No one is born ugly !
Our Birthday Suits are all gorgeous !

My favorite line to blowhards is “You are the same as everyone else in the Shower” ! No one is better etc when everyone is Naked ! Get Naked Now show me who you really are !

Why I live in Everglades of Fl… as just wearing a swimsuit is normal etc… Being in the clean water etc…of Gulf of Mexico feeling the wonderful sea life under feet ( sand dollars and star fish ) or brush up against me ! This is being ALIVE… not shopping or driving a car etc..Being in a restaurant etc.. Eventually I will get off the grid where have privacy to be naked..in this area outside.

Interesting thing I did when my son born is lie him naked on living room floor… rather then keeping him confined in blanket as traditional world says… I at first did it just to observe his body
( as a body therapist, alignment and proportion are winning elements ! ) Laid him naked on a big baby blanket… and studied my creature !!

But it is what he did in response to all that open space and his body being free… He started at 1 day old to explore the space with this body… I was amazed and grabbed the camera so I have all on film his slowly engaging with the space.. and feeling the freedom and then going for more…

Eventually he at 1 day old was in a clumsy fashion propping himself up with his arms body.. ( as on his stomach ) the more he could do the more his limbs and body came alive to eventually he turned himself on his back !! 

That is when the real fun began as he reaching with arms and hands clenching the air space… His legs like being on the Moon… slow motion like was going through a much more depth of space that we see with the naked eye in his body/limbs exploring this spatial world of open space he in.

I was lucky to catch on camera the first time he stood up on own and first steps he took.. I found it interesting that his movements were once again very much like the space around him was much thicker then the thin air we see as to way he engaging with it ! Again had that slow motion like walking on moon surrealism to it.

In early 1990’s I did a magazine article that talked about why people were sick is due to the lifestyle. They live in their plastic house, with their plastic stuff, they put on their plastic clothes ( most clothes since 1960’s are made from polyester and even Lycra now in all clothes both are plastics industry )get into their plastic cars to fight other humans for hour on the rat maze road breathing in the pollution into a city where they get into plastic elevator to take them up into the sky in a plastic building to get into their plastic cubicle to work on their plastic computer to eat their plastic type fast food and on and on !!

This is traditional American Life is the SAD world.. Standard American Diet Being Naked.. Mindfulness of feeling skin, selves is a huge step in right direction to reclaiming our place on Earth !





I am impressed with this article and the sources you quoted here.

I had wrote and published an article about twelve or so years ago called Ecologically Sound.  I re-posted this article on my Christian Nudist Blog page.
http://christiannaturism.blogspot.com/2012/04/ecologically-sound.html

I also put a link to this page from that blog post at the bottom.

I hope you enjoy it.

Boyd “Live Nude and Prosper” Allen





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