From Transgender to Transhuman, part 2

Most transgender people desiring a biological sex change hope that something like this will be possible, and I believe that with the right knowledge and technology it will eventually happen.
As we discussed in our previous post, the human genome is made up of approximately twenty thousand genes, each made from one’s DNA, with four neucleotides (adenine, thymine, guanine and cytosine). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_genome Chromosomes contain various genes. A base pair is made up of two neucleotides, like G and C. A sequence is made up of three base pairs (GC AT CA). So you’ll have six neucleotides, which is called a codon. This is because each codon codes for a specific amino acid, which leads to the manufacture of a specific protein. A gene contains a series of several codons, which, when put together, make a protein. So a codon makes an amino acid, and a gene makes a protein. Using our knowledge of heat shock proteins, we can also use natural flavour enhancers. Did you ever notice how your left-overs tasted more savoury? It is due to this breaking down of proteins.
Scientists have been working with viruses to find a way to change a gene or a specific sequence using a myriad of techniques. For instance, DNA extraction and isolation can be done using various gels, electrical fields, certain membranes or enzymes, and more. After cells get expanded thanks to osmosis, some dye is added to make the parts of the cell more visible. Using a controlled manner, they can then insert bacteria and viruses to study how these cells will respond.
Mutations are a result of abnormal sequences in base pairs, which causes malfunctions in the production of proteins. These proteins are essential to keeping organ systems working cohesively. Lack of proteins can cause undevelop cells to stop developing, or they might cause developed cells to die out because they are not getting the needed nutrients from the protein. Mutations can be caused by viruses, environmental changes, and more recently, through epigenetics. This is where protein from meats we consume are used to change DNA for future children, as well as endocrine disrupting agents found in industrial processes. That is where most of our work with gene therapy is based.
Now, mitosis is the process of cell division. It is the reason why people don’t have different skins or different hairs, etc. When a cell divides, every new cell will be a child of the parent. This is the most natural form of cloning. Speaking of cloning, this process could be used to recreate the reproductive ducts in the prospective individual. Certain growth factors will allow this duct to develop into the desired reproductive tract, which would be inserted into the pelvis once it has been resculpted. The entire human body is replaced every seven or ten years through this process, so the gene therapies would have to target the cell division taking place. It would be great if we came up with an antigeria gene through this process, too.
Very few cells in the human body are static, as every dead cell is being replaced by new ones. Cancer is a result of a mutation in oncogenes that cause cells to continue living and proliferating rapidly. Back in 2013, a physicist made some presentations on what he believed was the mechanism of cancer, and how it first came about in animal-human evolution.
When humans reproduce, cells in the sperm and egg meet, which become gametes. At random, each gene from the pair of twenty-three chromosomes help to form the embryo, which becomes the foetus, and eventually, a human baby. There is an article I read, but I will not post it here because the writers decided to alternate between using male pronouns in one sentence, and female pronouns in another, rather than just use neutral pronouns consistently. Anyway, they used several kitchen items such as sesame seeds and certain kinds of nuts.
The first twenty-two pairs of chromosomes are not directly sex-related. They are numbered from largest to smallest, with number 1 being the largest, and number 22 being the smallest. They are called autosomes and are spaghetti-shaped. The llast two are the ones that will play a role in the development in determining a person’s biological sex. All humans have one X–shaped chromosome, but generally, males have a Y-shaped chromosome. Females generally have an extra x-shaped chromosome. Notice how I said generally in the last two sentences. This is because some people are born with abnormal number of chromosomes. Some people are born with XY-chromosome pairs, but still exhibit female traits and vice versa. Some people have an extra odd or even number of chromosomes. Some people are missing one chromosome, and some people are intersex, meaning that they are born with ambiguous reproductive organs. In Golden Boy, Max had a karyotype of a 46XX/46XY, meaning that he was either chimeric or mosaic. Either because of a faulty SRY gene, or because of the weird combination he had, part of his gonads developed into a testis while the other developed into an ovary. So, anything can go wrong when it comes to genetic development. Some can be predicted while others can go unnoticed. That is why so many so-called sex and gender tests people try to do on new athletes fail.
The mitochondria is always inherited from the egg cell. This bacteria enables us to convert oxygen to energy. More recently, scientists are transplanting healthy mitochondria from a third party egg cell to compensate for the diseased mitochondria in a foetus. Also, some researchers have found links to excessive dopamine due to damaged mitochondria, as well as Alzheimer’s, which has been dubbed as type III diabetes.
Here’s an interesting thing to note. Since females have two chromosomes of the same shape that code for the same thing, they generally have a more stable environment. So if the X-chromosome failled to code for something, the other one will usually take over. For males, however, their genetic makeup is more varied, since the Y-chromosome usually doesn’t code for what the X-chromosome failled to code. This might be a reason why males might have a different form of intelligence than females, and why the majority of mathematicians and scientists were male.
In a recent study, scientists were able to remove an extra copy of autosome number 21 on a karyotype in hopes of getting rid of Down Syndrome. This same thing could be done by drawing some blood, removing the desired sex chromosome, and then make a duplicate of the X to make another X, or modify another to form a Y. Then the modified gene would be injected into the body, and the aid of a virus, or the swallow of a pill, could help it spread out to all the billions of cells. You may have heard of mosaics, hybrids, and chimeras. When you get a blood transfusion, an organ transplant, etc, you are basically taking the DNA of the donor into your own body. Pregnant females may take DNA from their foetus as well.
That will take care of the first half, but now we need to recreate the organs that were not developed. This is where stem cells and regenerative medicine will come into play, and this is the one that provide lots of promise if we remain optimistic about it. As a transhumanist, I believe that having the ability to analyse and make medical images of the patient, optimal results can be achieved to satisfy the client’s wish for aesthetic, functional, and sensational use. I have spent a lot of research on this topic that I could write a book on it.

From Transgender to Transhuman, part 1

In this post, I will be using terms that will be as broad as possible to include everybody, even if they do not identify within that given category, for instance, MTF, FTM, nonbinary, etc. Also, I am not trying to make you think that my way is the best and only way. There are possibly better and safer ways than the one I am going to describe to you.
I spend a lot of my time researching natural alternatives to allopathic (conventional) medicine. Of course allopaths and non-allopaths try to outdo one another on the treatments that they think work best, but as we all know, the pharmaceutical industry is primarily interested in making better profits and improving functionality without any care of how it affects the environment. A friend of mine conducted some catalysis experiments to help them determine if certain pesticides were causing more harm than others. As naturopaths, osteopaths, and chiropractors, we believe that the person is a lot more important than the profit we get from prescribing drugs and surgeries. We try to have a more holistic approach to finding the patient’s needs and wants. We also have naturopathic psychologists, psychiatrists, therapists, etc that work along the same lines as allopaths, but they are more open-minded. Of course, there may be overlaps, but allopaths have set up strict rules for transpeople to complete their transition. That’s why there are some people who choose to modify certain parts of their characteristics while leaving others intact. For example, a transwoman may not necessarily feel that giving birth is important, or having PMS for that matter. They are just happy with their body shape and size. For others, however, it certainly makes a difference. I asked myself, why. I’ve been looking for ways for cisgender women to be more immune to cramps and morning sickness by using the proper hormones, nutrients and gene modifications to balance the systems in the body. A simple and natural endogenous analgesic like oxytocin can help relieve the cramping caused by the uterus during menarche, just like it does during labour. Our Western diet consists of foods that are filled with poison, because a lot of what we eat affects our babies, particularly additives, preservatives, and saturated trans-fat, which then becomes a matter of epigenetics. This simply means above genetics. For those of you who aren’t familiar with genetics in general, think about the following concept. What we eat, that is to say, the animal meat we consume also has DNA and proteins, which gets in the way of ours. This could have impact on future gametes (a fertilised egg). Every human is equipped with a book of life, which contains two parts, each with twenty-three chapters. Each chapter contains a lot of stories. This illustrates the twenty-three pairs of chromosomes, one from each biological parent. However, not all the stories are being read in order. If they were, we would be a mess because not only would we be extremely healthy, but we would also be prone to contracting every virus and bacteria that was out there. It would be useless to study epigenetics with a DNA model, because of the lack in histones or something that could not be methylated. So, we could probably 3D print some epigenetic models to help us predict our future. I believe enzymatic things like genes are more constant, and they are there to differentiate humans from one another in general. The chemical messengers are meant to change people based on their environment. That is why people say that plastics are generally bad for you because they contain endocrine disrupters.
Now, when we eat certain foods, or when we are exposed to radiation, take certain medications, etc, we tend to change the layout or structure of these stories in random chapters, which can be genetic or epigenetics. According to http://www.evolutionofmedicinesummit.com/, the most ideal approach would be to optimise the stories of bliss (the good and healthy genes) and minimise the tragic (unhealthy) genes to treat chronic illnesses.
I’d like to discuss some methods that researchers are working on now and in a couple of future posts, one of which you can read more at the following URL: http://www.advocate.com/news/daily-news/2011/07/21/researchers-discover-sex-change-gene
First of all, let’s talk about whether someone is ready to transition. For several decades, the only way we could know for sure was if we got proof from a therapist. As a transhumanist (someone who supports the movement of human enhancement), I believe there is a better, more efficient manner to figure this out. By using things people have imployed in science fiction, we can make this science fact. It’s called using augmented reality, which is similar to the Voik Kampff Empathy Test invented by Philip K. Dick. This uses not only psychological diagnoses, but it also measures a person’s neuroendocrine system as they manipulate the images and language concepts in their simulated environment, which would evoke various emotional responses. The neuroendocrine system refers to the array of hormones, neuromodulators and neurotransmitters, which are specifically devoted to the development of one’s personality, such as emotion and intellect. We can also use memory implantation or oneirology (study of dreams) to work out a simulation of a person living in the body of the opposite sex while they were sleeping. This type of dream-state would be used to tell us how good their problem-solving skills were by analysing what they did in that dream. I believe that these practices would ensure a better chance that a person would not regret their transition, and that this could replace the need for a lengthy real-life test. You can learn more about that in an earlier post.
Now, onto the methods researchers are using to improve sex reassignment therapy. For many years, people, mostly allopaths, have been working on regenerating parts of existing tissue, or using tissue from embryonic stem cells, which has become controversial. What has also become more controversial is modifying the genes of each cell, but without this modification, the cell would not be able to divide into the desired shape (mitosis). With current understanding and technology, we can take a patient’s tissue during a biopsy (for males, a small penile, scrotal, testicular, or prostate sample), using those cells, and look at the chromosomes. If you remember from your biology class, each cell in the human body is equipped with forty-six chromosomes — a pair of twenty-three from one of the parents, and another pair of twenty-three from the other parent. Biological females generally have XX-chromosomes while biological males generally have XY-chromosomes (named so because of the Y-shape), though some people may have an extra in some intersexed conditions. Only biological females can give the offspring mitochondria, which is why you might hear something like a child having three parents. It is because scientists have started using donor mitochondria if it turns out the mother’s own supply is diseased in some way. First comes the organelle, then the cells, then the tissue, then the organ, the organ system, and finally, the organism. There are a lot of organ systems in the body, such as the skeletal, muscular, circulatory, respiratory, nervous, digestive, and endocrine system. All these systems communicate with one another and work together to keep the organism living. This is done by all the thousands of genes that instruct the cells that die and divide to carry out these instructions through hormones, enzymes, and other chemical messengers. When we have a person who wants to change their sex, we can artificially introduce a smorgasbord of hormones to bring out secondary sex characteristics (males assigned female at birth would develop hair growth, deepening of the voice, more muscle development, etc). As a naturopath, we try to look at ways to get the body to produce its own set of hormones by using supplements. And, as new scientists, we want to develop personalised pharmaceuticals based on a person’s DNA to maximise health and wellness and minimising side effects based on their metabolism and other things.
One interesting phenomenon I recently came across in a speculative science novel was how chromosomes could be manipulated. It made me wonder if an X-chromosome was made up of two Y-chromosomes that have been fused together. Think about this for a minute. If you draw a Y, which would look like a vertical line drawn on the Y-axis, hence the name, with two points on one end pointing up, and then the Y would start shrinking, but two more points would sprout from the other end of the line. The result would look like this: four points with a line running through the middle. Now, what if we made this line smaller and smaller until all four points met. It would look like an X-chromosome. The question is, would it be as functional as the one that formed naturally? Would it be possible to take one of the X-chromosomes and make one pair of the two points to shrink and a line to grow in its place until it looked like a Y? All of this could be done with nanotechnology or some form of genetic modification if we can’t use synthetic chromosomes, which is why it would be a lot more difficult. Still, we should not give up hope. You could possibly kill two birds with one stone. I recently learned that the Y-chromosome was dying out, and that people with two X-chromosomes are more genetically stable. So, if we wanted to repair x-linked diseases, we’d have to use a donor chromosome or something.
Many researchers believe that if we could snip out a tiny bit of tissue from a certain sex, we could find some way to change one of the sex chromosomes, and hope that those cells can divide into the new shape specified by the alleles that were changed. You must also remember that it will be nearly impossible to change every single sex chromosome in the human body, so researchers would have to come up with a virus or use nanobots, which I will discuss below, to change everything in the body. If this is not feasible, researchers hope to use a 3-D printer and or a special mould for the cell to grow in. It is very hard to grow blood vessels right now because those vessels would need to be grown into the right shape and put in the right place at the time of insertion. Plus, there are some blood vessels and capillaries, and even veins and arteries, that are as thin as the finest hair. I’ve wondered how we could reconnect nerves, especially those that were not meant to regenerate. Could we use a sophisticated form of electrocautery and soldering?

Researchers have had success with regenerating phalluses from rabbits, and the results were that they could use the new penis to reproduce. This brings hope to injured veterans and trans-identified males. As a quick note: We as naturopaths believe that many surgeries are unnecessary, and are instead used to rip you off. That’s why I believe that having SRS with an artificial organ is simply for cosmetic reasons, but it will hold no true function whatsoever. According to http://transhumanoid.wordpress.com/2014/04/12/real-vagina-grown-in-incubator/, not only could researchers grow vaginas, but they could also grow noses as well. This could be useful to just replace a new nose instead of spending a lot of effort to reduse a long nose. Update: After having read some articles on the Intersex Society of North America, I learned that our bodies actually develop side by side and then fuse together… like when you feel the seams on a plastic toy. In addition, I learned that all foetuses start out with the Mullerian (female) and Wolffian (male) ducts. So, if we could isolate these at the embryonic phase, we could give them our immune system so that when we transplant them, our body will recognise it as an ally rather than an invader. By the way, if you have a male reproductive system, then perhaps you’ve noticed a thin line running from the top of your scrotum all the way to your anus. If this makes you feel any better, that actually used to be your vulva and labias when you were still in the womb. This line is called a raphe.
In reference to the post on Advocate, scientists have located a gene that could have a potential to changing the target cells. In order for adult males to maintain their sex characteristics, a gene called DMRT1 is responsible to oversee the division of said cells. If this gene is removed or replaced with a female gene, the male cells would start dying out and they would be replaced by female ones. The same concept applies to females. If the Foxl2 gene is removed or replaced with the male gene, it would cause the female cells to change to male ones. This seems to affect the gonads such as the testes and ovaries, making it so that a person could stop taking hormones artificially. This breakthrough was definitely surprising, for many in the scientific community assumed that once two chromosomes were paired, that was it. This is no longer the case from what new research shows. Unfortunately, these genetically-modified cells won’t be able to produce egg or sperm yet. More research is needed. This will also give us a chance to know how animals and other species get their ability to change sex. If you’ve read Parrotfish by Ellen Witlinger, then you’ll have a better idea of what I was talking about. There are also certain species that have parthenogenic capabilities.
Now, the other kind of study, which won’t be available for quite some time, would involve scientists who will be working on a new line of practice called nanoscience–nano meaning below the microscale and above the atomic scale. It is hoped that one day, we can inject these tiny little machines called nanobots or nanosubmarines into humans and use them to manipulate the person into just about anything you could imagine that you could do in this universe, just by using microsurgeries. They can also be used as a vector or as a screening for all kinds of things. For example, if you were lost in the wilderness and did not have access to your medicines, you could have them delivered to you from within. Or, if you suddenly had a cardiac arrest, the nanobots would signal your location to nearby places so that someone can be dispatched. Nanosubmarines would be a lot more interesting, though, especially because of how they will navigate in the body. It could be possible to shrink bones to make a person smaller for people who wanted to be shorter, or make them grow for people who wanted to be taller. I once wathced an episode of the Magic Schoolbus, where everyone in it had shrunken to the cellular level. That could be a place to start. All these decisions have to be made by the person alone, as it is no one else’s decision but theirs.
For people assigned male at birth looking to augment their breasts or reduce fat without surgery such as liposuction and breast augmentation, several new lines of practices have broken through. The breast-augmentation procedure is actually not new, although the technology to use it is. This type of engineering is known as tissue expansion. According to http://www.mybrava.com, the Brava system allows one to expand their breasts, which would signal for further mitotic growth. This technology is also being used for penile enhancement by using pumps and vacuums. This could be useful in areas of restorative surgery, such as creating folds for the female genitals. As for fat and cellulite reduction, cool-sculpting (cryolipolysis) was recently introduce. It works by using controlled-cooling and a suction cup to freeze fat cells underneath the skin. Those frozen fat cells would die out and be converted to waste that the body would excrete over a period of time. You could also remove fat from one area of the body and transfer it to other areas, or donate it to people in need, or give it to medical science so scientists can develop new ideas for future research.
Finally, cryogenics, which is to say, freezing the body in extremely cold temperatures for preservation). If for some reason you end up dying and current technology cannot save you, you could be frozen until your entire metabolism stopped without your body decomposing. Actually, some of this is being done when major surgeries, such as heart transplants, are performed. I encourage you to look at Alcor Life Extensions http://www.alcor.org/ for further detail. Suffice it to say that as naturopaths, we think that brain transplants are a bit too extreme. If a person were in a terrible car accident or if they had terminal illness, the day would come when we would find the proper balance to increase growth factors to keep cells from dying due to lack of nutrients and or from being taken over by infected ones, like cancer. That’s why studying the evolution and the derivatives of infectious diseases are important. Be careful, though, for the world is currently overpopulated, and some people would argue that it was a good thing that certain diseases would never be cured. If they were, we’d have more people use up a lot of resources than the earth can withstand. Some day, it would be possible to put humans into hibernation as well, like when going out into deep space. Then of course, there is the possibility of cloning to start fresh.
One thing that disappoints me as a naturopathic advocate is that they don’t do as much research as conventional researchers do. I think that if we could be more flexible, we could change the world for the better. I hope you have found this post useful, and as always, comments are welcome. This will be part of a series, so look out for subsequent posts about some of the specifics, mostly aimed at people assigned male at birth.

Do Laser At Home Systems Really work? And more…. part 2

Next up, do state-of-the-art machines and at-home systems have the same amount of power? No. State-of-the-art machines are capable of doing serious damage if the power were cranked to the max, and its intensity can be so strong that people would be able to see the flash for more than several miles away. People are already using lasers as weapons against enemy planes to blind the pilots in hopes of bringing them down. The at-home systems only use enough power to treat areas and not cause accidental or intentional harm to oneself or others. So the question is, why would one need so much power to treat hair with a monstrous device? Many systems are already becoming more portable, especially those that weigh more than six hundred kilos on wheels. Some professional technicians can bring their equipment home and treat the client instead. http://www.innerbody.com/careers-in-health/how-to-become-a-laser-hair-removal-technician.html
Like electrology, a person has to undergo training to become a certified electrologist and or laser operator. If you are a self-motivated individual who is capable of administering your own treatment, go for it. I heard a lot about people doing self-surgeries and self-administrations in the medical industries, and many of them have been successful despite professionals frowning upon them. No one should tell a person what they can and can’t do, since they are not that person to begin with. Only that person knows what their abilities and limitations are. Some may require another person to do it for them simply because it just takes too much work. Doctors should generally never diagnose themselves and or their families, as there are ethical codes covering this. The same thing applies for any high-end profession, such as judges and lawyers. They usually need a fellow doctor to diagnose illnesses and other things for them. One reason people don’t do a good job of self-care is because people spend time looking rather than using their other senses and really thinking it through. As blind people, we learn to use those other senses. One of the things I learnt was that feeling outrules seeing. Tests and studies showed that our reaction time is delayed from a visual perspective more than it is from an auditory or tactile one.
I digressed big time in that last section, so I’ll get back on topic. People say that using both electrolysis and laser systems have side effects. There are many reasons why there are possible side effects, but I am convinced that many of these are preventable. Some of these are due in part to the person’s lack of response to treatment. Some are caused by mutations of both skin and hair problems that make up the cells of skin and hair, which can lead to serious problems if not treated. Another good example of how light can damage skin is through a disease called xeroderma pigmentosum. The side effects are endless, and there are so many risks factors that can lead to each one that it will take forever for me to write down each one and explain its’ possible origin here. Suffice it to say that people should normally be fine after a treatment, as long as they are in good health, and that the operator does the job well. Long-time operators will have a lot more experience than newer ones, obviously, so be wary of their credentials. Take a look at this article From The New York Times: Laser Hair Removal’s Risks
The treatments can cause severe burns and disfiguring injuries, and a rising percentage of lawsuits involve operators who are not physicians.

A quick question that popped into my mind was, why does it take eight weeks before you can get another treatment done, when you only have to wait a week or two at a time when using an at-home device? I suspect that this difference has to do with the fact that the professional machines have a lot more power than the little ones, as stated above.
Can laser surgery be used to remove ingrown eyelashes? Normally, I would not recommend that laser surgery be used on the eyes because you would have to be put under, otherwise it would be extremely painful. Some people are opting to have their eye colours changed from brown to blue. Electrolysis was invented when the doctor found out that it had a great effect for removing visible ingrown eyelashes. For invisible ingrown eyelashes, however, surgeons would have to use a small beam that would hopefully destroy the damaged area using CO2, Argon, Xenon, or such laser gasses. The latter can be used to treat other skin anomalies, such as spider veins, fighting effects of ageing, etc.
So, how do we know what is best for us? I believe in the KISS principle, so I intend on making this post as simple as possible for the average reader to understand. There are a few things that I will explain, which will hopefully make sense when you picture it in your mind. Laser works in terms of wavelength and heat intensity. What does it mean when someone says, this is set to seven hundred fifty-five NM with three pulses that covers a large area. I should point out that the larger the light guide, the more effective and the lower the energy you will need to perform a successful treatment. This is because if you used a smaller light guide, there is a chance that scattered light would escape the target area, and you would have to repeat the process on the same spot more frequently with a higher setting. If you used one big pulse of energy, this could damage the skin than if smaller, more rapid pulses were administered, which would gradually build up heat underneath the skin for the hair to burn. Lasering is not painful, but it is uncomfortable because of the very close heat. If the heat became too intense or if the hairs were very thick, then yes, it could be painful. This is because dark hairs will be absorbing the heat more than anything else. Light guides have a filter that only permit the red light to be administered through the glass, but the resulting flash becomes white in our eyes. If you ever used a magnifying glass to burn leaves or to kill bugs, the glass provides a similar principle. The sun’s energy gets compressed in the glass, and it would project the result on the other side. Imagine large mirrored solar panels, with sunlight pouring down on large boilers. The concentrated energy from the sun heats up the water, which causes turbines to spin, which results in generating electricity.
to know how wavelengths work, imagine one straight line with two points. Think about geometry, when you studied lines, and how you learnt if they were finite or infinite. To the left is point A, and to the right is point B. If you don’t already know, a nanometre is smaller than a micrometre, which is smaller than a millimetre, a centimetre, a decimetre, and a metre. There is usually a scale, or increment that is used as a way to demonstrate how many nanometres you have passed before you get to the next point. Below that line, you will see wavy lines that repeat over and over as it makes its way to the end of its journey. The number of waves determines the frequency. Since most laser systems use red light, this would be around 4.3*10^14 cycles per second, or 4.3 THz, wel over forty-two octaves higher than sound waves. Not to mention that light is electromagnetic and sound is mechanical, although we do have electromagnetic frequencies going way down into the very low frequency to extremely low frequency range. These waves are called whistlers. The length of this wave is able to start and stop at the desired target without going too deep into the skin to where it could do more damage.
In conclusion, I would not say that all systems are suited for everybody, and that obviously encompasses do-it-yourself -at-home systems. Laser hair removal is definitely becoming more popular, a lot more than electrolysis because of how easy it is to zap hairs with light and or heat. As I said before, I believe it is up to the person who is self-motivated to learn how to operate and complete the necessary guidelines to become a beautician and being able to administer treatment on themselves and others. Many people aren’t willing or patient to help others these days, as I said before, according to John Locke’s philosophy, so it is important that we balance out how selfish or how unselfish we should be. One useful link that can be helpful can be found at http://www.oprah.com/style/The-Facts-About-Laser-Hair-Removal
I hope that you have found these links useful, and I hope you are able to make decisions that work best for you in the future. Remember, everyone is different, but there will always be commonality between people who share the same passion.

Do Laser At-home Systems Really work? And More…. part 1

This post was originally written on Wednesday, 14 May 2014.
As I’m writing this post, I am relishing this warm weather we are getting this month here in Oregon. It is not every day that we reach ninety or so until we get to June. To-morrow I am headed for my next laser appointment, and to stay on the safe side, I am staying away from the sun until I can get approval from the operator who will be administering the treatment.
So, the first question is, do laser at-home systems really work as well as the professional ones? Like electrolysis, people are trying to invent portable versions of the real thing, claiming that it’s light-weight flexibility will allow you to treat all areas without having your hands and arms getting tired. They also say that these devices can be used anywhere, any time. There are already systems that use Alexandrite and diode lasers, but some may still use Ruby (no longer used) or intense pulse light configurations, thereby making it harder to use on people with different skin-hair combinations. Some are using broadband laser technology, which is the best that one can get because they can be made to use in any kind of circumstance, including uses not related to hair removal. Currently, the most popular items being marketted today are the No!No! System, the Tria Beauty system, the Remington and Silk’n systems. Find the latest here: https://heavy.com/beauty/2018/10/best-at-home-laser-hair-removal/ and http://www.beyondtalk.net/home-hair-removal/#comment-41942 For the purposes of this post, however, I will only be discussing the Tria and NoNo systems.
No!No, by Radiancy, claims that it can treat all skin and hair types, but a lot of people in this video said that it was like using a lighter on their skin and buffing the result with a large sandpaper. http://youtu.be/NaSiTMLzUSE
Based on my previous laser treatments, I should point out that treated hair roots should be left to grow and fall out on its own. Manipulating the hair can be painful and will also result in other problems with the hair follicles, such as increasing the chance of getting ingrown hairs.
To find out what was real and what wasn’t, I decided to do some investigating to see how the mechanism of action worked for these items and compare them to professional machine configurations. You might be thinking, after having read my previous post, that it would be nearly impossible to install a five-hundred-pound machine in your house with an examining table when you could just rest in your own bed and use a smaller version of the same system. I had the opportunity to test out the Tria Laser Precision, and I examined the technical specifications on the back of the manual to look at the numberings as well. If I could interpret the schematic diagram on it, I would’ve known more about its limitations.
The Tria Beauty Laser Hair Removal Precision that I tested was equipped with three treatment levels, which determined the pulse intensity and duration that it would administer. On low, the device emitted a pulse that lasted about a hundred twenty-five milliseconds. On mediumm, the pulse was about two hundred fifty milliseconds long, and on high, five hundred. However, this device could not burn any hairs on or underneath the skin because it was not using the recommended principle of using small bursts of heat to gradually build up the temperature. For this reason, the Tria did not cause burnt hair odour.
I tried to use this device with a numbing gel called Greencaine, but the result was that the contact sensor, located underneath the treatment window was blocked, so that it caused the device to send out flashes even if it wasn’t placed on the skin. I could have inhaled nitrous oxide, but I read that sparks from one of these devices could ignite it. Plus, I didn’t have a canister available at the time.
This unit only had one button, which was used to activate it for the first time by counting the number of dits, power it up, shut it off, and change the treatment levels. The only way I could tell which treatment level it was set to was by placing it on my skin and feeling the pulse, which would not be the best way unles I wanted to risk getting burned. It would be useful if Tria made it more accessible by making it possible to hear the tones. For example, a low tone would indicate that you had it on low, and a high tone would mean that you had it on high. Another way would be to emit one tone for one, two tones for two, three tones for three, and so on.
I was surprised that the unit came with a USB cable, which made me wonder if it were possible to hack into it and change its parameters, but when I plugged it into my laptop, my computer didn’t make any sound to let me know that a new device was plugged in. Instead, it started charging the unit.
The Tria Beauty Laser Hair Removal Precision was shaped like a cylinder, with a rounded treatment window that was curved, making it easier for one to put on their skin. It also came with a cooling fan, which was turned on immediately when I unlocked the unit with the skin sensor, also located underneath the treatment window.
When I looked over the No!No quickstart guide, it stated that topical preparations and any other skin products should not be applied prior to treatment. The thermal discharge could spark many flammable objects like alcohol-based sanitisers. It also indicated that having a stubbly area to begin with would be preferred than an area full of hair.
I asked myself this question. Could an experienced laser operator use a professional laser system and treat themselves with it? Yes, they can, according to my laser operator. So, what kind of configuration do these lasers use? Take a look at the web site to learn about the different kinds of configurations that are out there. I don’t know if it lists any particular manufacturers that make state-of-the-art systems, but you can at least begin from there. http://www.realself.com/question/whats-best-laser-hair-removal
From what I can gather, the No!No uses special thermicon tips, which are capable of administering thermal energy within the infra-red spectrum–I may be wrong on this, but here is another link that can explain more in depth. It’s not a professional resource, so I cannot guarantee its accuracy. http://www.slideshare.net/KennGee/the-thermicon-effect-a-nono-hair-removal-secret-find-out-how-it-works It’s primary focus is compressing the heat into as much as possible before delivering the pulse to the hair. I am convinced that the No!No is no more painful than lighting hair on fire, especially since their web site claimed that the procedure would be painless, but nothing is painless unless a person was immune to pain itself. Another disadvantage of the No!No is that it is so small that I cannot imagine that it would last long if one were to use it for quite a while. The thermicon tips certainly don’t last long at all. If you wanted to replace your tips, you would end up having to buy an entirely new No!No system. I do not recommend this product to anyone, unless they wanted to test it and make modifications to it. Like always, professionally-tested equipment tends to work better than cheap and little ones, since the primary focus is on making money by preying on anybody who would be foolish to believe anything without proof. No!No can burn your hair with smoke and give you that familiar burnt hair smell. Hair is made up of proteins just like meat, and this is one of the reasons why this kind of material releases aroma particles into the air that we breathe when it is set on fire. That protein, by the way, is called kerotin.
Why do we have different skin colours and types than other people? If you look back at the time you studied anatomy and physiology of the skin, you might remember that sunlight is mainly the reason people adapt, and depending on the regions of the world, people will have more resistance to ultraviolet radiation than others. Obviously, people with darker skins have better resistance than those who have lighter skins; they produce more melanocytes. Those with higher melanocytes produce more melanim, which gives the skin a tan. Those with fair skins do not produce as much melanim, and therefore they would burn more easily. Human skin is never black and white, according to Neil Harbisson’s Human Colour Wheel. It is always between red and yellow, or light and dark shades and tints of orange. Bone structures and shapes are also dependent on racial backgrounds, all of which get genetically predisposed into future gametes. It is believed that all of humanity derived from Africa, so we’re essentially coloured in some way.
So, light amplification by stimulating and emitting radiation uses compressed photons to target only the dark areas, but at the same time, leaving the light ones intact. With newer equipment, broadband lasers and IPL’s can go deeper into the skin and target dark and light hairs, and a somewhat dark or olive-coloured skin combination. For a person to understand this concept, one must know a bit of physics involving how atoms and molecules work, in terms of nuclear fusions and eventually come up with a raport between the client and the laser technician.
As stated in Mom, I need to Be a Girl, electrolysis and laser hair removal are more of an art practice than a science, but I would say it is both, hence the term STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics).

Recent Updates, part 2

As I said before, I had my first laser hair removal appointment, and I would like to talk about what my particular experience was like. Please note that there may be some variance, so they may not always be in this order, and the equipment being used will most certainly differ widely, as well. I will say that the machine that was used is a multi-purpose state-of-the-art five-hundred-pound machine with a hand piece attached to a light guide that come in several sizes. It uses a broadband configuration that configurable via the system, and comes with several safety features. This machine was made in Israel by a company named Lumenis Aesthetics. The purpose of laser hair removal is to use light amplification by stimulating and emitting radiation to focus the beams of light into as small an area as possible, hence why it’s called concentrated energy. Once the button is pressed, a complicated sequence of nuclear fusion takes place via a number of mirrors and reflectors where the thermal energy is directed into the desired area covered with gel. This particular machine discharged three distinct flashes at a rate of forty-fifty-two point five hertz, which, for hearing aid users, can be heard as a pitch. It is also due to the light bouncing inside as it heats the air, much like how the sound of thunder is produced. These frequencies in hertz are dependent on how long the pulse is and how wide the delay or gap between each pulse is, as well. The reason people with hearing aids would hear these clicks is because an RF disturbance is evoked in the electromagnetic spectrum, and the telecoil simply picks them up, similar to how a guitar pickup works. This is why it can be a good thing for people to perceive things no one else can. Electronic sweepers or bug detectors use this same technology, and if you are a ham operator, you would’ve most likely had experience in dealing with this type of interference. So, a good way to tell if the laser is working is by the feel and sound of the rapid expanse and collapse of the air in and around it.
I am getting off-topic, so I’ll get back to how this particular laser worked. The light being used was a dark red frequency, about six hundred ninety-five to a thousand nanometres (4.2-4.5 THz), depending on the type of hair and skin being treated, and each pulse had a duration of 2.8 milliseconds long, with a delay or gap between each pulse about 20 milliseconds long. These numbers could be adjusted to meet treatment requirements. Most laser machines make an audible noise, which is probably caused by the fan inside to keep it cool. There are also other noises, such as the three clicks that the light creates when it causes the air inside to be expanded, like it does in a lightning storm. The other kind of noise you would hear is when the machine makes an audible beep, telling you that it is okay to fire another charge. You see, one of the safety features is that once the button is pressed, you have to allow up to two or three seconds before you can continue. It will not let you go any quicker than that. To prevent accidental firing, you have to let the machine know you are ready to start treatment via the graphical user interface.
The purpose of laser hair removal is to heat up and kill as many hair roots and cells that make up the hair as possible, without burning the skin at the same time. This is, after all, a very tricky thing to do… sometimes. Most laser systems work best with light skin, fair complexion and dark coarse hair, but newer systems are beginning to be use on darker skin types. Sometimes a melanim inhibitor may be needed to control the production of skin and hair cells, and some amount of genetics is involved. Also, people with lowered androgen levels, such as in transgender female patients, could have their skin lasered, and the chances of the hair growing back would be substantially reduced. Many inexperienced laser operators use hormone change as an excuse when they say that the hair is coming back. Of course, an experienced operator would say that if the treatments were done properly, things like that should not be used as an excuse. People who undergo laser treatments should also think about their growth phase. That’s why it is important to get treatments done when the growth phases are synchronised, which would make it a lot more effective. Some laser systems utilise a vacuum and cooling plates to better take the edge off the pain.
Hair does not fall out immediately once it is treated; it usually takes a few weeks before anything is noticeable. There is, however, an interesting observation I made. Since laser is heating up the hair similar to thermolysis, it burns the hairs on or under the skin, leaving behind a burnt hair smell that reminds some people of burnt popcorn. To me it smells like gunpowder. What lasering feels like depends on your temperature and pain sensitivity threshold, and how close the hair was shaved. You see, the longer in length you leave the hair, the more you are going to feel the pulse than if it were closer or all the way down to the skin. A patch of refrigerated ultrasound gel is applied on the skin to numb it a little, and then the guide is dipped into the layer of gel. Sometimes, the operator will ask you if you are wearing anything that could prevent the light from entering the desired area, such as sun block or other skin products. If this is the case, a skin cleanser may be needed. To anticipate the possiblity of pain, the operator may count to three, and then they will press the button on the handpiece, and you will see a white flash of bright light on the side of your tanning bed goggles, and you might feel three quick bursts of heat before it’s gone instantly. Note that although this is technically three quick flashes, to us it appears as one because the flashes are so quick in succession. Some operators will also ask you to shave the hair right before you come to your appointment, but just in case you forget, they do keep an assortment of clippers, trimmers and razors handy. For a test treatment, operators will look for any side effects and reactions by raising the energy a little higher than what you would normally get when you do the actual treatment. One thing to note: It is advised that you shave with a razor that doesn’t shave too close to the skin, because this would expose several nerve endings, thereby making your treatment more intolerable. If you must, try to shave a few hours before, or use a trimmer.
Since there is hardly any regulation in the United States and in the world as to who should operate a laser machine, it is up to the consumer to take on the riskss. Since I enjoy researching, I would ask complex questions that only an experienced operator would be able to answer. If it were an amateur operator who just did the job, then I would know right away if they could be trusted. Laser hair removal, which is similar to intense pulse light, rejuvenates the skin, along with the consumption of oestrogen for transgender people. However, the secret to getting rid of rough skin is to know your skin type and colour. Using the right cleanser to remove dead skin cells is very important. In future posts, I will talk about the benefits and drawbacks of using at-home laser treatments or laser pointers versus having it done professionally. For more information about laser hair removal in general, go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laser_hair_removal After the treatment, the operator will give you a bag full of cold ice cubes that you should use in case your skin feels hot afterword. If you ignore this, your skin could swell and break out, so this is something that needs to be avoided. In the future, the operator will increase the fluence of the laser output, sort of like when you increase the amount of weight you lift on a weight machine. They may also decrease the delay to make it feel more comfortable.
Next time I blog I’ll cover some of the following. How ketogenic dieting can kill cancer, how consuming the right nutrients can kill cavities in the teeth, and more research on epigenetics. I might cover how our fear level works, and how we challenge ourselves in life to overcome fears that we have, such as going on a challenge course or going sky-diving, and how that can be compared to every-day activities.