The much overlooked sauna removes toxins, such as heavy metals and salts, that accumulate due to sluggish elimination. It increases the eliminative, detoxifying, and cleansing capacity of the skin by stimulating the sweat glands.
It’s a Toxic World
Today more than 77,000 chemicals are in active production in this country! Our exposure to these chemicals is greater than at any time since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. More than 3,000 chemicals are added to our food supply, more than 10,000 chemicals in the form of solvents, emulsifiers and preservatives are used in food processing and storage. When ingested these chemicals can remain in the body for years, altering our metabolism, causing enzyme dysfunction and nutritional deficiencies, creating hormonal imbalances and lowering our threshold of resistance to chronic disease. We are continually subjected to poor air quality, chemically contaminated food and water, household cleansers, paint fumes, pharmaceutical drugs, pesticides, heavy metals (including mercury) and the
list goes on and on. Today, studies show that most of us have between 400 and 800 chemical residues stored in the fat cells of our bodies. These chemicals and heavy metals make up the “total toxic burden”. When our bodies exceed the limit that we can excrete, we begin to store these toxins. This bio-accumulation seriously compromises our physiological and psychological health and leads to chronic disease.
The following symptoms are often related to toxicity: allergies, acne, anxiety, burning skin, brain fog, chronic fatigue, chemical sensitivities, depression, eczema, frequent colds or flu, felling “sick all over”, insomnia, loss of dexterity, low body temperature, memory loss, mood swings, muscle and joint pains, poor concentration, and immune system overload.
The benefits of saunas are recognized by health practitioners worldwide as perhaps the most effective method of removing both chemical and heavy metal toxins from the body. Saunas are the detox method of choice for chronically ill patients as well as those that are well and wish to stay that way by reducing their “toxic burden”.
“A sauna used to be thought of as a luxury. But studies now confirm that diet and environmental chemicals cause 95% of cancers. Furthermore, as the first generation of man exposed to such an unprecedented plethora of daily chemicals, we have learned that stored or undetoxified chemicals can mimic any disease. “Incurable” chronic diseases that were thought to have no known cause often disappear once toxic chemicals are gone. Since the sauna is the safest, most efficacious and economical way of (eliminating) stored toxins, this makes it a household necessity.”
– Sherry A. Rogers, M.D., Northeast Center for Environmental Medicine Internationally known expert in environmental medicine Author of Tired Or Toxic? and Total Wellness
Therefore, our methods of eliminating toxins in the body are few. We are limited to the feces, the urine, perspiration and respiration. When the liver, kidneys and lungs have been damaged by chronic exposure to environmental toxins our ability to rid our bodies of toxins becomes severely limited. Through various methods we can cleanse the liver and kidneys, which will help us address future toxins, but we are still left with the fat-stored toxins and heavy metals stored in connective tissue and the brain.
Saunas assist in eliminating several types of toxins from the body:
1. They effectively reduces heavy metals and excess salts, which have been directly related to metabolic imbalances in the body, causing poor digestion and weight gain.
2. Saunas flush out excess subcutaneous oils and decreases fat stored toxins.
In summary, the sauna will remove excessive moisture, heavy metals, salt, and subcutaneous fat. Sweating is a part of the complex thermo-regulatory process of the body, involving substantial increase in heart rate, cardiac output, and metabolic rate, which consumes considerable energy. Weight loss is possible because body fat becomes less solid at 110°F and the body can sweat out fats, toxins, and heavy metal that it otherwise can’t dispose of.
Immune System Improvement
A typical sauna session will cause a brief 1 to 3 degree F increase in body temperature. Fever is the body’s defense against bacteria, microbes and consequent infection. This beneficial side effect triggers the production of white blood cells (leukocytes) by your bone marrow and killer T cells by your thymus. The result is immune system improvement.
Continuous strain on the autonomic nervous system often leads to a high level of stress, one of the elusive causes of many chronic diseases. By facilitating the expansion of capillary vessels thereby improving circulation and and sweating out chemicals the body produces in a stressful situation, stress levels are are greatly reduced. Saunas are a powerful method for stress reduction that creates a greater sense of well being.
Sauna heat therapy can aid in weight loss by speeding up the metabolic process of vital organs and endocrine glands resulting in substantial caloric loss in a sauna heat session.
Saunas increases heart rate and blood circulation, crucial to maintaining one’s health. The heart rate increases as more blood flow is diverted from the inner organs towards the extremities of the skin, without heightening blood pressure.
Infrared vs. Steam Saunas- How to Choose?
Both Infrared and Steam Saunas have their own unique merits.
Because the infrared saunas heat penetrates the body much deeper (up to 1 3/4 inches compared to the traditional saunas which only penetrates approximately 1/8 of an inch), your body can get a good detoxifying sweat going at about 120 degrees as compared to 180 degrees required from a traditional sauna. Therefore one can stay in the sauna for a longer period of time and achieve a better detoxification . The heat from infrared saunas pulls out toxins from deep under the skin. You can read more about infrared here.
However, some people with allergies and respiratory problems prefer steam saunas because they are much better for decongesting and clearing out the lungs.