A growing number of brands have begun tapping into the power of biohacking, believing in the efficacy and scientific advances that has been found during an era of convergence for wellness and technology.
Founded in 2016, one of the most recognizable brands in the biohacking space as a go-to for wellness-minded consumers is HigherDose. Created by Katie Kaps and Lauren Berlingeri, HIgherDose is named for happy chemicals (dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin and endorphins) and offers at-home technology designed to provide solutions that recover, relax, detoxify, heal and glow through infrared light, PEMF therapy, red light therapy and crystals.
“HigherDose’s overall mission is to bring efficacious wellness tech to the masses,” Kaps said. “My cofounder and myself decided to start HigherDose because we both absolutely fell in love with infrared saunas, and [through HigherDose] we focus on infrared, PEMF and red-light therapy and the best technologies and products in these spaces and bringing them to everybody.”
Originally, the duo started HigherDose in the form of sauna spas in New York, finding along the way that clients loved the portable wellness technology that they were able to bring to pop-up events — specifically the brand’s infrared sauna blankets. By shifting to focus on the products that people could bring into their homes, Kaps said, it made the business scalable and ultimately achieved the company’s goal of bringing wellness to the masses. In addition to the infrared sauna blanket, HigherDose offers an infrared PEMF mat, neck and face red light devices, supplements, a full spectrum infrared sauna and complimentary accessories.
Notably, like many wellness brands, HigherDose took off exponentially during the pandemic with the demand for its sauna blankets rising as people looked for a way to sweat and relax at home. Even though spas have reopened, Kaps said the trend has continued with consumers looking to get the most out of biohacking.
“Biohacking is a way to optimize one’s own mind and body using the latest research technology and age-old secrets and practices that are inspired by nature and ancient wisdom.” As such, in creating HigherDose technology, Kaps told WWD, much of the inspiration comes from the healing powers of nature, specifically the blue zones, where people are more statistically likely to live longer than average.
A common thread of the blue zones, which HigherDose looks to, includes a lot of exposure to the sun, the earth and the sea. Infrared replicates the healing power of the sun, PEMF replicates the healing power of the earth and magnesium replicates the healing power of the sea.
“As we all know we feel really healed and rejuvenated when we spend some time in the sun, but you have to worry about the harmful UV rays,” Kaps said. “Our sauna blanket will give you that same rejuvenated, warm detox feeling that you get from sweating in the sun but without the harmful rays. There’s also been a lot of research that shows taking a walk in nature reduces inflammation, and our PEMF mat gives you that exact same anti-inflammatory and healing effect on your body.”
At the same time, she said she “likes to think of it as discovering ways to get a disproportionate gain for the amount of time and effort you put into something.” For consumers who today are always looking for the most efficacious ways to get the results they want, biohacking technologies achieve this.
For example, Kaps explained, an infrared sauna is one of the most effective ways to detox from heavy metals, radiation and environmental pollutants. In fact, the company’s research finds that someone will see more results from using an infrared sauna just a few times than by doing a weeklong juice cleanse.
Breaking down the different technologies being utilized by HigherDose, Kaps described infrared as an invisible heat that penetrates your body three inches deep to vibrate water molecules under the surface of the skin to push out toxins that are stored deep below the surface and releasing more than with conventional ways of sweating. Infrared also heats the body, increasing heart rate to mirror the pace of a light jog. Anecdotally, some consumers consider it a “workout with out working out.”
Moreover, Kaps said, “infrared heat is different from conventional steam saunas because it penetrates deeper so whereas you know if you go into a traditional sauna or a steam sauna, it’s a very superficial heat that is not actually going to release as many toxins as the infrared. You actually sweat more at a lower temperature and with infrared you can stay in there longer and it feels gentler and more relaxing, but because you’re in there or you can burn more calories overall.”
What makes HigherDose products so addicting, she said, is seeing and feeling the results right away.
At the moment, Kaps and Berlingeri are continuing to focus on omnichannel approach to further goals of meeting as many consumers as possible. As reported by WWD, the company recently launched in Sephora.
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