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Improve Your Detoxification Program with Sauna Therapy
by Brian Beck

You are careful about your health: You eat right, take your supplements, exercise, avoid toxic chemicals, and you try to get enough sleep. However, are you doing everything you can for best health? Specifically, are you ensuring optimal detoxification?

Consider reducing your body's toxic burden by sweating. Detoxification is a necessary part of good health, of course. Your body struggles daily with dozens of waste compounds that must be removed from the body. But with today's toxic environment, your body may not be able to eliminate its toxic burden without sauna therapy.

OUR TOXIC ENVIRONMENT

Our environment, as a result of modern lifestyle and technology, exposes all of us to hundreds of man-made toxins and pollutants. These chemicals enter our bodies through the air we breathe, the food we eat, and the water we drink. We can't escape nearly constant chemical exposure, whether from the pesticides sprayed on our neighbor's lawn, new carpeting at the office, heavy metals in our tap water, or in the hairstyling products we use. Many of us are reaching maximum body burden. Avoidance and nutritional intervention are necessary, but may not be enough. Since the body doesn't always "know" what to do with artificial chemicals, it simply sequesters them, hiding them away in tissues, such as fat. Out of sight, but not out of body! The only way to remove these toxins may be by thermal depuration or … using a sauna.

HOW SAUNAS HELP WITH DETOXIFICATION

Saunas make you sweat. As you likely know, the majority of the sauna's therapeutic benefit comes from copious sweating. The body excretes unwanted waste products via sweat. Assays of sweat composition in laboratories have shown that sweat can contain a large variety of toxins, including such diverse chemicals as pesticides and heavy metals. When the body is heated, the heart rate increases and the skin blushes, bringing blood closer to the surface. Detox processes accelerate. A natural process called lipolysis accelerates the body's breakdown of fat tissues. Toxins that were locked in the fat tissues are then released into the blood stream in a process called mobilization. Some of these toxins are sweated out through the skin. Some are delivered by the bloodstream to the liver and kidneys, even to the colon, for elimination. So not only can sauna therapy increase toxin removal by sweating, it also mobilizes toxins, increasing elimination by the urine and feces. Nutritional support and ample hydration complements a sauna detox and will help the body to handle the process (see page 21).

THE BEST KIND OF SAUNA FOR DETOXIFICATION

In the past, there were only two sauna options: buying an in-home sauna costing thousands of dollars or finding a public sauna to use, perhaps at a local gym. Using a public sauna is not the best choice because they rarely employ the proper dry, far infrared technology and the correct settings. Users are exposed to the toxic vapors from other people, and fungal skin infections are rampant. Therefore, an affordable in-home solution was needed.

The consensus among researchers is that dry heat saunas can promote more sweating than conventional steam heat saunas. Steam heat feels hotter to the skin at the same temperatures as dry heat, and therefore it is not tolerated for as long as dry heat. You'll tire sooner and want to leave the sauna more quickly with steam heat. Another disadvantage of steam saunas is that they encourage mold and fungus growth more than dry saunas.

Dry saunas can use either of two heating sources: a traditional convective heat source, which uses hot air passing over the skin as in a traditional Finnish-style sauna or by infrared emission. The warmth of the sun on your body is from infrared rays. An infrared sauna uses infrared emitters to "shine" infrared rays onto your skin. You can't see infrared, but you can feel it, and it penetrates deeper into your body (safely) than hot air heating. With infrared saunas, the air is also heated, but to a lower temperature with the same sweating effect. So you suffer less and can tolerate longer sessions than regular convectively heated saunas. Most detox researchers now believe that infrared is the best sauna heating approach.

Infrared is specified by it wavelength. "Far" infrared differs from "near" or "medium" infrared. An optimum spectrum of far infrared occurs in the 5 to 15 um range of wavelengths, with the region around 9 microns being the optimal, just where the Sun's far infrared output peaks. The state-of-the-art in saunas today is to employ special carbon-fiber panels to emit energy in the correct far infrared band, centered right at 9 microns.

AREN'T SAUNAS UNAFFORDABLE FOR MOST PEOPLE?

Until recently saunas were available only as large wooden "rooms," costing thousands of dollars and out of the reach for most who needed them. They were not portable, did not use the proper heating technologies for detox, and were expensive to operate. But now, portable folding saunas using state-of-the-art carbon fiber technology to produce the optimal far infrared heat are available for hundreds of dollars. As an example, Healthy Heat, Inc. makes a very affordable portable unit with five carbon-fiber heating sources and an intelligent electronic controller that can be set up in minutes and, after use, can be folded for storage under a bed or in a closet.

Nearly everyone who is interested in healthy living in today's toxin-burdened world should consider a detox program. Proper diet, exercise, and supplementation, however, may not be enough to promote thorough detox. Adding sauna therapies (upon consulting with a health-care professional experienced in the field) will complete any detox regime. With high-tech sauna products now available at reasonable prices, there is no excuse to avoid sauna therapy.

SUPPLEMENTATION SHOULD BE CONSIDERED WHEN UNDERGOING A SAUNA PROGRAM!

This subject goes well beyond what can be fully addressed here. Ultimately, always consult a knowledgeable physician for advice on this important topic, but let's cover a few considerations. Since sweat eliminates "good" minerals with "bad" chemicals, re-mineralization via mineral supplementation (especially with potassium and magnesium), in pill or "sports drink" form, is necessary. Antioxidants such as vitamins A, C, and E may need to be increased to help "mop up" free radicals generated by liberated toxins, as well as to help reduce symptoms associated with detox. Since many toxins are lipophilic ("fat loving") and not water-soluble, you may consider increasing your intake of healthy fats, such as fish oils, flax oil, and also healthy forms of omega-6 and omega-9 fats, such as in olive oil, organic if possible. These fats are believed to create lipid "rafts," which help transport liberated chemicals in the body for eventual elimination.

NOTE: You must drink clean filtered water—lots of it, before, during, and after taking a sauna. Not only will you lose copious amounts of water from sweating (which must be replaced), but your kidneys will be working overtime to flush out toxins; so diluting the urine and increasing urination is helpful. For many, continuously sipping about 1 liter of water for each half-hour in the sauna is about right. A good guideline is to drink enough water to require urination immediately after taking a sauna.

MERCURY DETOX COCKTAIL

Recommended by Sherry Rogers, M.D.

1 tsp. pure vitamin C powder

Lipoic Acid, 600 mg.

Recancostat powder, 800 mg.

One capsule of Tyler's Mercury Detox (however, it is recommended that a physician monitor your selenium levels so they don't become too elevated)

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