As the pursuit of extreme life extension gains traction, healthcare is taking on a high-end boutique approach, attracting the ultra-wealthy to lavish biohacking clubs. The trend, which was already growing before the pandemic, has seen the emergence of new biohacking gyms worldwide.
Gone are the days of partying at nightclubs; now, the wealthy and well-connected are booking cryotherapy sessions and vampire facials with their social circles. Elite clinics around the globe cater to the rich and famous, offering ostensibly advanced biohacking techniques to optimize health and reverse aging, although not all techniques are proven.
One individual making headlines in the biohacking world is Bryan Johnson, founder of biosciences firms Kernel and Blueprint. Johnson experimented with blood swapping with his 17-year-old son but ultimately reported no tangible benefits from the practice.
Biohacking’s popularity is surging, and the masses are exploring “DIY biology” alongside the concurrent boom in artificial intelligence, seeking ways to enhance and extend their lives. While Silicon Valley executives embrace intermittent fasting and fringe anti-aging technologies, average individuals experiment with implanted NFC chips and personalized vitamin packs.
For the privileged class, living forever is the ultimate goal, and they spare no expense to achieve it. Clubs like New York’s Remedy Place offer extreme health makeovers for a monthly fee of $595, providing access to oxygen pods, infrared saunas, and IV vitamin drips for socializing. Melbourne’s upcoming Saint Haven offers a “whole new level” of pampering starting at $1,000 per month, claiming to provide cutting-edge fitness tech used by celebrities to improve health down to the cellular level. Meanwhile, Toronto’s Longevity House offers anti-aging diagnostics and therapies typically reserved for pro athletes for a one-time fee of $100,000, creating an exclusive community for investors and entrepreneurs interested in the intersection between health and technology.
The trend is not limited to North America; it’s spreading globally. Indian biohacking startups are gaining investments from Bollywood stars like Suniel Shetty, while Brazilian enthusiasts are embracing biohacking conferences and meetups.
In the quest for vitality-maximizing routines, some biohackers adopt fasting for up to eight days straight or practice the cold-hot shower technique, favored by Hollywood stars and athletes. Others rely on a vast array of supplements or embrace unconventional methods, like the use of newborn babies’ foreskin for facial rejuvenation, as seen with Sandra Bullock.
Biohacking, however, comes with risks. Long fasts can lead to hypoglycemia and kidney damage, while extensive pill consumption can produce unexpected results, affecting different parts of human metabolism. Implanting electronic devices into the body also poses potential risks.
As the elite toy with exotic elixirs and cutting-edge interventions, biohacking’s benefits are increasingly sought beyond the privileged class. While money may buy advanced gadgets and interventions, true happiness and guaranteed longevity remain elusive for everyone. The pursuit of immortality through biohacking continues, but its ultimate success remains uncertain.