From Finland to India to North America, medical professionals recommend saunas as a safe and effective adjunctive therapy for detoxification. It is a practical means of stimulating the release of non-essential or toxic trace metals such as nickel, cadmium, and lead through sweat.
The therapeutic rationale for using sauna therapy is that overheating the body, and hence inducing an artificial fever, stimulates metabolism, inhibits the growth of bacteria, increases the ability of all vital organs, and increases the capacity of the skin to eliminate, detoxify and cleanse via profuse sweating.
Infrared saunas use radiant energy to directly penetrate the body’s tissues to a depth of over 3 cm’s. Its energy output is tuned to correspond so closely to the body’s own radiant energy that our bodies absorb close to 93% of the infrared waves that reach our skin. Infrared rays are selectively absorbed by the tissues needing a boost in their output. The internal production of infrared energy that normally occurs within our tissues is associated with a variety of healing responses, and may require a boost to a maximal level to insure the fullest healing response possible in a tissue under repair.
The infrared energy may exceed up to 2-3 times the sweat volume of a hot air sauna while operating at a significantly cooler air temperature range of 40° – 60° C vs. 70° – 90°C for hot air saunas. The lower heat range is safer for those concerned about cardiovascular risk factors. Infrared saunas emit 1/3 of their output in the middle infrared band from 2 to 5.6 microns for deeper penetration, and the other 2/3 in the long band from 5.6 to 25 microns. The band from 2 to 25 microns is the most therapeutic according the Chinese researchers. Japanese researchers have reported that infrared radiant heat antidotes the negative effects of toxic electromagnetic sources, i.e. high tension power lines or computer display terminals. These thermal systems have been free of such toxic electromagnetic fields and are not dangerous.
Sauna therapy is generally well tolerated by most healthy adults and children. This therapy has been shown to cause transient changes in hormones and cardiovascular, function. However, sauna therapy does not influence fertility and it is considered a safe treatment during uncomplicated pregnancies in healthy women. With regard to cardiovascular health, recent research shows that repeated sauna therapy regulates endothelial nitro oxide synthesis expression in arterial endothelium thereby improving the hemodynamics, endothelial function and clinical symptoms in patients with chronic heart failure. Further, some studies suggest that long-term sauna therapy may improve the left ventricular ejection fraction in patients with chronic congestive heart failure, and it may help lower blood pressure in hypertensive patients. Patients with chronic bronchitis and asthma may benefit from the transient improvements in pulmonary function that occur because of sauna therapy. Further, patients with rheumatic disease can safely employ sauna therapy as a means of improving joint mobility and relieving pain.
Contraindications to sauna therapy include:
- Adrenal Suppression
- Recent Myocardial Infarction
- Unstable Angina Pectoris
- Severe Aortic Stenosis
- Alcoholism or recent alcohol consumption
- Heart Disease
- Kidney Disease
- Pregnant Women should be monitored closely by a qualified healthcare professional
- Systemic Lupus Erythematosis
- Multiple Sclerosis
The major benefits of infrared sauna therapy include:
- Weight Loss: Burns 900 – 2400 calories in just one 30 min. session
- Release of accumulated toxins such as pesticides, PCBs, drug residues, acidic wastes and non-essential trace metals
- Improvement in symptoms of Atopic Dermatitis
- Improves skin tone and elasticity, softens scars / Essential for beautiful, youthful, glowing skin
- Increased oxygenation of the tissues and cells
- Greatly speeds any anti-cellulite program
- Increased circulation, oxygen and nutrient delivery within the body
- Improvement in immune function
- Improved cardiovascular function
- Improved pulmonary function
- Alleviation of pain and improved joint mobility / helps with sprains, strains, muscle spasm
- Improved psoriatic conditions
- Relief of symptoms of asthma and chronic bronchitis
- More recently, it has been used in cancer therapy and shows great promise
- It assists in resolution of inflammatory infiltrates, edema and exudates
- Sunburn – Infrared radiations are the only antidote to excessive ultraviolet radiation
- Relaxation and enjoyment – remove stress in comfortable warm temperature)