The Health Benefits of Sungazing

by Dr. Edward Group DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM Published on , Last Updated on May 1, 2013


I recently saw the feature length documentary, Eat the Sun, and was inspired to explore the practice of sungazing.

The practice of sungazing closely resembles its name. At sunrise and/or sunset, when the sun is closest to the earth, sungazers stand barefoot on the earth and look directly at the sun for 10 seconds. Every day, 10 seconds are added and some sungazers eventually reach a duration of 44 minutes [1].

The theory is that the sun is the force of all life, and staring at it can infuse the body with large amounts of energy. So much so that one of the sungazers featured in the film, Hira Ratan Manek, claims to have gone eight years without eating. He has been “eating” a steady diet of solar rays, and claims that this is all he needs for nourishment.

Our ancestors understood the relation between the sun and health. From the Aztecs to the ancient Egyptians, many past societies revered sungazing as an esoteric practice for high-ranking priests and shamans. Today, it is experiencing a resurgence in popularity and sungazers claim it has its benefits.

  • Boosts production of melatonin and serotonin. Research shows sungazing stimulates the pineal gland as the direct sunlight hits the eye, moves through retinal-hypothalamic tract, and then hits the brain. This stimulates the pineal (“master gland”) and boosts the secretion of melatonin and serotonin, our “feel-good” hormones.
  • Increased energy levels. Modern day sungazers say the practice has boosted their vitality. This is probably related to the secretion of the aforementioned hormones.
  • Increases the actual size of the pineal gland. Not only can this practice boost hormone levels, it has also been shown to increase the size of the pineal gland. Normally, as we age, the pineal gland shrinks. However, brain scans of a long-term practitioner of sungazing show that this 70 year-old man has a gland three times as big as a normal man.
  • Promotes weight loss. One of the historical theories for sun gazing was that the body and mind could be nourished by the sun, reducing the need for food. Similarly, some modern day sungazers say they have lost excess weight, and some even report a total loss of the desire and need to eat.

Sungazing is an interesting practice that touches the spiritual and psychological realms, which are very personal things. Everyone is wired a little differently and this practice isn’t for everyone, nor is it something I recommend. If you choose to partake, do your own research, be careful, be cautious, and document your experience.

Please let me know your comments and thoughts below!


  1. How to sungaze. 2011.

  • Nicholas costanza

    I practiced sungazing for about one and a half years. About the only thing it did for me was i needed way less sleep. I quit practicing on a regular basic because i liked my sleep. I might ocasionally sungaze for a minute or two now.

  • tom brdar

    there is probably more potential if your system is up and running on good nutrition and lifestyle. Then again you might have to be free and clear of fluoride, mercury, chlorine, and processed foods-etc.

  • Kevin

    Avast wont let me access the website link because it found that the webpage had malware

  • jam mendoza

    Sungazing is possible.It can be be done but needs to follow careful and approprie measures so as not to get blinded by the sun. It should done slowly. In fact there are a lot of documentary films that are produce regarding sungazing.

  • oijoh8

    where are the sources for it increasing the size of the pineal gland????

  • Margeurita

    Well I have researched and have been sungazing every afternoon, 1 hour before sunset, for the past 3 weeks. I can’t say that there is a huge difference yet, but I feel a subtle change….however I guess its similar to when I learned Reiki then went to the second level one year later. I never had “earth moving” reactions from it, but those whom I have applied Reiki to have felt quite amazing things…heat, shifting of symptoms, visuals etc.
    ….so I just trust and the outcome is not for me to expect!
    Thank you for your wonderful information. I haven’t told anyone that I do it yet. I can just imagine the gasps….after all I do inversion techniques, meditation, vision boards etc.and many other ‘ab-normal’ things. I consider this the normal way of lifestyle maintainance in harmony with our earth.

  • Hmmm

    Very dangerous and massively wrong advice. Shame on you – kids might read this and do what your suggesting.

  • Eastofhere

    The sun isn’t closest to the earth at sunset or sun rise. Don’t lie to the people you make it harder for us to trust the site as a whole

  • Nikos Petridis

    Have been doing it for 3 months,works just fine as long as you follow instructions….

  • Brady

    I have many problems with this article. First and most importantly, it ignores the dangers of solar retinopathy (permanent blindness) and damage that comes from the radiation of the sun. I hope nobody will practice sungazing without really researching beforehand. This article does not count as research. Where are the citations?

  • Janet Irwin

    I have Sungazed for years! You do not go blind, Brady. It is a simple matter of understanding the energy of the Sun and gradually uping your time gazing while grounding to mother Earth. One has to strengthen their eyes over time with practice. You wouldn’t swim in a deep pool without first learning to swim in the shallow end. Similarly, you have to exercise your Sun eyes and your feet with practice over time. I’ve seen amazing things as a result of Sungazing (formations such as the flower of life in the sky, etc). I learned from HRM (Hira Ratan Manek) years ago how to do this ancient technique. I gained greater knowledge of how it affected people by running an online forum for him for about 2.5 years. I don’t need a citation. I KNOW how it affects me. I lose weight till I reach my right weight when I do this (I gain weight if I do not Sungaze regularly). My mind is sharper, and I sleep better. How many things do you now that do that for you?

  • Divne King

    Intriguing…I’ll give it a shot…

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  • vishakha

    Hello Edward, I’m from southern coastal India with a LOT of access to the sun. I’ve recently begun sungazing and have so many questions about it. Would you help answer them? Do let me know.

  • ghc_health

    What are your questions?

  • Shine

    i have started sungazing. I like it..feels like I am being introduced to an old friend. :)

  • vishakha

    Hello, thanks for responding to me. I guess I write on so many sites and blogs without a response that I did not expect one here too. My apologies.

    I do find I am more energetic than usual the days I sun gaze but I’ve also found that my acidity levels are higher too. Could this be because of sungazing?

    I also had a long gap in sun gazing and restarted. I’ve started from scratch. Is that OK or should I continue where I left?

    I sun gaze on the beach. This is fine?

    I have a short temper and an issue concentrating on one thing especially if I’m not too interested in it. Can auto suggestion help during sun gazing?

    More questions later.

    Thanks again and I look forward to hearing from you.


  • Global Healing Center

    An energy boost seems to be a common benefit that most people mention. I’m not sure about the acidity… I doubt it has any connection but perhaps another reader can offer some input?

    If you don’t sungaze for a while, you should begin from square one again.

  • Vishakha

    Thank you for your response. Another rather important question. My daughter is seven. Can she start sungazing too? What’s the beat age to start?


  • Global Healing Center

    7 might be a little young, it can be unhealthy if not done properly. May want to wait until they’re more developed.

  • Bloom

    Ya know people have been doing this for thousands of years before it was called sun gazing. Some people just call it watching a sunset.

  • Rorschach

    Sun gazing is stupid and dangerous.

  • Carl @ Deeper Thought

    Great article. I found this interesting while I was doing my own research on Sungazing. You raise some very interesting questions.


    If I am starting at 10 seconds, and increasing by 10 seconds each day… What happens if I miss a day? Do I pick up where I left off? Or do I add 20 seconds the next time? Thanks!

  • Michele Zucal

    where are the sources for it increasing the size of the pineal gland?

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  • Bill

    type it in Google you will find it don’t be lazy

  • Bill

    why do other people have to do your research for you if you are truly interested you can find all the references you want on google

  • Michele Zucal

    if I write a scientific text, it’s me that I have to give the sources of my statements.

  • Shashank Shiromani

    As much knowledge as I have gained on sun gazing, if you miss a day or two, you should start from where you left, just don’t count those missed-day. Try not to make bigger gap.

  • j havirlak

    Look up NASA research on this. They studied HRM 247 for about 200 days straight. They answered any skeptic thoughts u May have

  • sam

    I have come to one conclusion in life regarding any health or spiritual matter and that is –every body is different and it benefits or harms in different ways.
    The bottom line is LISTEN TO YOUR BODY and go about any practice slowly ,steadily with caution.

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