HEALTH BENEFITS OF SAUNAS
Saunas have been known throughout history to help relax and improve one's overall health, and promote well being. Until now, saunas have been available through public or private health clubs, spas or resorts. Or, they have been built in private homes, at great expense to the owner. It is now possible to have a sauna of your very own-whether you live in a huge house, or small apartment-without a great expense. There are two types of freestanding saunas that are available for home use. The first one is the type of sauna that you may already be familiar with-it has a single heater with hot lava rocks, which you can throw water on to create a steamy effect. These saunas are made of high quality, non-aromatic white poplar, and glass, without the use of plywood, adhesives, varnishes, or strong EMF's. They also have far infra-red backrests as an option.
The second sauna is made of high quality, hand-crafted cedar, or white poplar, and has several built-in ceramic heaters, which offer even, surround heating at a comfortable low temperature. This is known as radiant heat, or long wave, far infra-red heat. This type of radiant heat can actually penetrate into the skin about an inch and a half, to two inches deep, and can have therapeutic benefits, such as helping to dissolve old, hard, stuck-on fat deposits under the skin. Since toxins may be stored in the fat, with the deep penetrating heat, they can possibly be eliminated, especially toxins such as heavy metals and acidic compounds. Other benefits include deep relaxation, stress relief, increased blood circulation, the reduction of cellulite, increased energy, weight loss, and an overall feeling of well-being. A person can easily burn 300 to 600 calories in a 20 to 30 minute session, just by sitting there. These saunas set up very easily and quickly, without requiring any tools, plumbing or special wiring. The smaller units require a 110v plug, and use the same energy as a hair dryer. The larger units require a 220v plug, also with a low electrical output.
The saunas can be placed indoors or outdoors. They have fresh air vents, which allow you to breathe easier. There is a very pleasant sensation experienced in these saunas. The sessions are tolerable, not suffocating, very refreshing, cleansing, and rejuvenating. They can be used at your own convenience, when you want. It's clean-it's your own. It's not a big deal to take a sauna. Just turn it on, shower quickly, and go in. Within five to ten minutes, you start to sweat. You can really relax, and escape in your own private hideaway. You can read, or listen to the sounds of music from the built-in stereo system, talk on the phone, or meditate. You can sweat profusely, effortlessly-just 15 to 20 minutes of sweating, and you're done. After you shower, your skin can feel smooth and clean like satin. You feel relaxed, yet energetic.
THERAPEUTIC DETOXIFICATION BENEFITS FROM SUPERVISED SAUNA BATHING USING TRADITIONAL SAUNAS WITH HEATED STONES AT LOW AND MODERATE TEMPERATURES
Increasing numbers of medical clinics use supervised sauna bathing for detoxifying the body of toxic chemicals. Programs typically follow the "Hubbard Method", a regime based primarily on nutritional supplementation, sauna therapy, and exercise. Other names used for similar programs include: BTR (Bio Toxic Reduction Therapy), Hyperthermic Detoxification, Sauna Therapy, the Physical Therapy/Detoxification Program, Heat-Stress Therapy etc. For simplification, they are referred to as "sauna therapy" in the various excerpts given below.
It must be emphasized that such therapy relates to medically supervised programs. One should not use a sauna for medical treatment without consultation and supervision of a licensed physician. Never use a sauna unattended if you are ill. Various references on the general benefits of sauna use are also cited.
#1) Therapeutic protocols involving serologic chemical analysis and medically managed detoxification may be considered major breakthroughs in the management of drug or chemically induced lupus-like syndromes. The capability of this therapy to safely reduce significant levels of fat-stored toxicity has been well documented through existing scientific studies.
It is evident that sauna therapy may effectively control chemical induced lupus flares. It is conceivable to control the progression of this condition by lowering the toxic levels stored within the body, thus restoring the body's detoxification capabilities. Indeed, this missing link has allowed further insight into the specific mechanisms involved in the development of lupus and other related autoimmune disorders as well.
Modern man is deluged with molecular species unknown even fifty years ago. Man has not yet fully developed specific and safe pathways to process and excrete all of the chemicals from this synthetic era. Research has shown that many commonly used drugs and chemicals have an affinity for fatty tissues and bodily substrates. They are not necessarily eliminated from the body through natural processes. Often the parent compound is excreted and toxic metabolites remain cumulatively stored.
Symptoms associated with chemical exposure may persist without a reduction or elimination of toxic residue from body storage sites. Of particular concern, the bodily storage of toxins can provide a persistent immune stimulus if the agent is not removed. Adverse health effects are likely to occur as toxic levels exceed individual tolerance thresholds. Sauna therapy utilizes heat stress and increased circulation to facilitate lipid mobilization and excretion of fat-stored toxins. It has been shown that this therapy, in conjunction with a number of various adjunct treatment modalities, is highly effective in reducing or removing significant levels of stores toxic residue.
#2) "The utilization of heat stress for removal of poisons from the body dates back to ancient times. Through a variety of non-invasive detoxification modalities such as sauna therapy, nutritional detoxification, and other supportive physical therapy procedures, toxic residues can be significantly reduced from the body."
Most environmental contaminants are fat soluble, thus they have an affinity for body lipids or fatty tissue. The body uses metabolic systems, particularly the liver, to convert fat soluble substances into water soluble chemicals to facilitate excretion. Sauna therapy enhances this process by mobilizing poisons from body storage sites into general circulation, where they are then transported out of the body through various excretionary pathways such as perspiration.
A recent study on 200 participants of sauna therapy revealed blood chemistry changes consistent with the detoxification process. Lab analysis included elevated liver enzymes, as well as decreased glucose, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels. Many cases reported an absence of chemical sensitivity following the program.
Patients often experience general health improvements upon completion, such as increased mental clarity, restored energy levels, fewer allergies, improved sleeping patterns, and lowered blood pressure. There has been demonstrable evidence of restored liver and immune functions as well. The most promising long range benefit of the program may be the aversion of future cancers and birth defects associated with known carcinogens and mutagens stored in the body. Pre- and post-program chemical analysis have consistently documented significant reductions and, in most cases, total elimination of detectable toxins."
#3 Elevated levels of commonly used chemicals are currently being detected in human sera. Many compounds have been shown to accumulate and remain stored in body tissues. The metabolizing of such compounds leads to the accumulation of oil soluble chemicals and their products into fatty deposits throughout the body. Since virtually every organ contains a fat component, including the brain, stored chemical residue can pose a serious threat to psychological health as these substances can be released into the bloodstream during physical or emotional stress.
An incredibly large population are suffering from toxic illness. For those patients, sauna therapy is the only medically managed detoxification technique which releases stored impurities from body storage sites. With vitamins, minerals, and oils, in conjunction with exercise and dry sauna heat, stored toxic residue is mobilized from the fatty tissue. Released toxins are then eliminated from the body by perspiration and through the intestinal tract.
This is the only method of detoxification evidenced in current nutritional, medical, and bio-chemical literature capable of significantly reducing or eliminating stored toxic residue with scientifically proven safety, according to Dr. David W. Schnara, Science Advisor to the Environmental Protection Agency. The efficacy of the program can be documented by serum biopsies and immune function assays. Patients often report a greater chemical tolerance following sauna therapy, as well as improved concentration and memory, commonly associated with reduced toxic levels."
#4 "There are over 50,000 foreign chemicals in commercial use. Hundreds have been identified in human tissue, including over 50 in adipose tissue. Most have been shown to cause subtle to severe health effects in man. Many are known or suspected carcinogens, alone or in synergy with other agents. According to the National Research Council, no toxicity data is available for over 80% of the chemicals currently in commercial use.
One detoxification method has been shown particularly effective in reducing body burdens of some persistent fat soluble organic chemicals. This method consists of aerobic exercise, extended sessions in a sauna, polyunsaturated oil, and nutritional supplements. The exercise, sauna treatment, and niacin aid in mobilizing fat-stored toxins, while the oil blocks reabsorption of the toxins excreted into the intestines by bile acids. The sauna induces sweating which brings about excretion of toxins through the sweat and sebum. Reports have shown the regimen to be safe and effective in bringing about substantial reductions of PCB's and various drugs and pesticides.
A 1982 study of the technique by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences examined Michigan farmers exposed to PBB, one of the most highly persistent and toxic organohalides. This work reports an average post-treatment reduction of 21.3% for the 16 organohalide chemicals tested. A further reduction of 42.4% was noted four months post treatment, leading some physicians to conclude that the treatment may rehabilitate the body's ability to throw off toxic materials. The PBB adipose tissue levels of these individuals, as measured by the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, had not been reduced in the previous 6 years since the initial exposure.
Similar results were achieved in a controlled study of electrical workers exposed to PCB's, published in 1985 by the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer. Significant reductions in PCB's were found in a treatment group which maintained their normal work activities, while levels continued to rise in a control group.
In 1983, D.C. Roehm reported in "Effects of a Program of Sauna Baths and Megavitamins on Adipose DDE and PCB's and on Clearing Symptoms of Agent Orange (Dioxin) Toxicity," similar observations of a Vietnam veteran with a history of exposure to dioxin and DDE, a persistent metabolite of the now-banned pesticide DDT. After 250 days DDE was determined to be 97% removed."
#5 "A body burden of petrochemicals can aggravate illness in chemically sensitive patients. A promising method for reducing such body burdens is sauna therapy shortly after exercise. Exercise mobilizes the chemical from body fat, and sweating in the sauna increases excretion. If a medical group does not reveal contraindications for exercise or sauna, I recommend a daily program of exercise followed immediately by sauna.
Building materials in a home sauna should be of minimal toxicity. Unfortunately, many commercial saunas are not so constructed. Any sauna purchased for home use should be designed for the chemically sensitive. A home sauna allows the patient to avoid commercial saunas that may be cleaned with toxic agents and have other contaminants from maintenance or use."
#6 Patients with silicone breast implants were treated with sauna therapy. All were treated for exposure to noxious chemicals and were noted to have implants at the time of their evaluations. All had improvement of symptomology and return to normal immunological profiles…Through sauna therapy we can remove or reduce the offending chemicals."
#7 It is apparent that the majority of those who have undergone the sauna therapy program (over 300) experience improved health for three main reasons: 1) lowering the overall chemical load reduces stress on the immune system and the body's own natural detoxification mechanisms therefore optimizing these vital body functions, 2) a reduction in overall symptomology allows the individual to "fine tune" their sensitivities and avoid offending substances, 3) reduction of toxic levels is often correlated with great chemical tolerance - offering a sense of freedom and the ability to cope."
#8 There is no other comparable medical treatment for the bio-accumulation of drugs and toxic chemicals. This program of detoxification is the only known method of safely removing significant levels of stored toxic residue. Conditions associated with chemical exposure often improve dramatically when the offensive substances are removed from body stores."
#9 The subject is a girl, first seen at the age of nineteen with severe steroid dependent asthma, recurrent urticaria, and spells of diarrhea and vomiting. Her symptoms did not clear with the environmental control, immunotherapy or anti-candida treatment. They cleared after sauna therapy.
Sauna detoxification is thought to lead to the removal of fat soluble chemicals from the body by encouraging their elimination through sebaceous and sweat glands. Excretion of lipophylic chemicals through the sweat glands has been documented for a variety of compounds including morphine, amphetamines, chlorinated pesticides, herbicides, PCB's, PCP's, and general volatile substances.
A dry heat home sauna was used. After 1 week of treatment her gastrointestinal and respiratory symptoms cleared completely and her color and vitality improved. After 3 weeks of treatment she reacted less acutely to inhalants such as perfumes and cigarette smoke. Retesting revealed that all of her sensitivities had diminished. Sauna therapy had resulted in a remarkable improvement. It was only after sauna therapy that her clinical condition improved."
#10 Renowned environmental scientist Rene Dubos noted (25 years ago): "The greatest danger of pollution may well be that we shall tolerate levels of it so low as to have no acute nuisance value, but sufficiently high to cause delayed pathological effects and despoil the quality of life."
Four million distinct chemical compounds have been reported since 1965. Of these, as many as 70,000 are in current commercial production. Human exposure to them is both direct and indirect: more than 3,000 chemicals are deliberately added to food and over 700 have been identified in drinking water.
A significant number of these toxic chemicals are lipid or fat-soluble and tend to bioaccumulate, particularly in the fatty tissues throughout the body. Over 400 chemicals have been identified in human tissue, with 48 in adipose tissue, at least 40 in milk, 73 in the liver and over 250 in blood plasma. By 1975, studies on adipose tissue levels of organohalides had shown that over 90% of the samples collected had detectable levels of DDT/DDE, Dieldrin heptaclor, epoxide, and PCB.
When a diagnostic assessment suggests a potential chemical exposure basis for symptomatology, a first-tier treatment can be used that has been show to reduce chemical burdens in humans. Three components - exercise, forced sweating in a sauna, and niacin - act as potent techniques for mobilizing fat, resulting in significant turnover in adipose tissue stores and consequent mobilization of the stored lipophilic toxic chemicals. A considerable portion of the toxic materials excreted through the body will come out through the sebaceous sweat."
#11 "Despite best efforts, large human populations are at times exposed to toxic chemicals. When these chemicals are lipid soluble and do not metabolize easily, they accumulate in the body and may present a health risk for the individuals' entire life. Reduction of chemical body burdens is one goal of treatment for the chemically exposed. Other goals include remission of reversible physiological and behavioral effects associated with chemical exposure.
We present the results of treatment in a controlled study of electrical workers with HCB and other chlorinated chemical body burdens. In addition, we summarize other research on body-burden reduction using the Hubbard method of sauna therapy. Previous work showed that persistent body burdens could be significantly reduced. Adipose tissue concentrations of hexachlorbenzene (HCB), four other pesticides, and ten polychlorinated biphenyl congeners were significantly reduced by enhanced mobilization and excretion through the method of daily treatment for 3 weeks, consisting of heat stress (sauna therapy), niacin administration, and polyunsaturated oil, with other components to provide protection from mobilized chemicals.
All 16 target chemicals were found at quantifiable levels in adipose tissue of all participants. At post-treatment, all 16 chemicals were found at lower concentrations in the adipose tissue of the treatment group, but 11 were higher in the control group.
HCB body burdens were reduced by 30% at post-treatment and 28% at 3 month post-treatment. Enhanced excretion appeared to keep pace with mobilization. Reductions in chemical body burdens after this treatment method had been confirmed earlier for chlorinated pesticides and polyhalogenated biphenyls. In 1983, large reductions were reported in patients exposed to pesticides and polychlorinated biphenyls and a continued reduction over a 9-month period in the absence of any other treatment."
#12 "Concentrations of zinc, copper, iron, nickel, cadmium, lead, manganese, sodium, and chloride were determined after collections utilizing a total body washdown technique (sweating in sauna). From our results, the concentrations of nickel and cadmium in sweat were higher than those reported for urine, and similar for lead. The loss of non-essential or toxic trace metals in sweat could be of toxicologic and therapeutic importance."
#13 "Give me a chance to create fever and I will cure any disease," said the great physician Paramenides, 2,000 years ago. Fever is one of the body's defense and healing forces. High temperature speeds up metabolism, and inhibits the growth of an invading virus or bacteria. Such giants of medical science as Nobel Prize winner, Dr. A. Lwoff, Dr. Werner Zabel, and Dr. Josef Issels, recommend and use fever therapies extensively.
A sauna is an excellent way to benefit from overheating therapy. In addition to an artificially induced fever, the sauna is specifically conducive to profuse therapeutic sweating. The skin is our largest eliminative organ. It is generally considered that the skin should eliminate 30% of the body wastes by way of perspiration. Taking sauna baths regularly will help to restore and revitalize the cleansing activity of the skin.
The therapeutic property of the sauna is attributed to the following facts: overheating stimulates the metabolic processes and inhibits the growth of virus and bacteria; all vital organs are stimulated to increased activity; the body's healing forces are aided and assisted; and the eliminative, detoxifying, and cleansing capacity of the skin is dramatically increased by the profuse sweating."
#14 "The story of Semic, a small town in Yugoslavia with a factory using PCB's in the manufacture of capacitors, resembles the environmental history of scores of other towns. In addition to direct occupational exposure, PCB's and other waste products were burned daily in open fires and used in the heating system of the factory. Surplus PCB was stored in nearby barns. Truckloads of empty barrels and rejected products were dumped into naturally occurring basins. During 24 years, some 70 tons of PCB was dumped into these sites. What has made Semic outstanding is the introduction of a positive treatment for affected workers - the utilization of the detoxification treatment developed by Hubbard. This procedure reduced both the body burdens and the symptoms of treated workers while no such improvements occurred in a control group of untreated workers. Our findings support sauna therapy treatment when dealing with individuals affected by toxic exposures."
#15 "A 23-year old woman was first examined in April, 1983, because of "chemical exposure," which she alleged had caused sore throat, eye irritation, hoarseness, extreme malaise and lethargy, interrupted sleeping pattern, and feeling "terrible all the time."
She had been employed in a maintenance capacity at a large manufacturing facility where her job was to hose off the soot and ash that had accumulated in the exhaust stack of an oil-fired electrical generator. The washwater was corrosive enough to dissolve the paint on cars parked nearby. Mild to moderate pustular acne covered the lower part of her face and forehead, and many acne comedomes were noted on her upper back and chest. Many shotty lymph nodes were noted. Her continuing symptoms were diagnosed as low level toxic poisoning. Chemical detoxification using the method developed by Hubbard was prescribed to enhance mobilization and excretion of fat-stored xenobiotics (foreign chemicals). On the fourth day of treatment, a black substance began exuding from her pores. This substance kept oozing from her skin during the sauna component of each day's treatment. This occurred in a continuously diluting manner until the completion of the program.
A post-treatment evaluation revealed that a majority of the acne pustules on the face had cleared and only 3 non-inflammatory comedomes remained on her back and chest. Removal of the toxic substances from her system was accompanied by remission of her subjective symptoms as well."
#16 "A detoxification program has been found to be safe for use by individuals exposed to drugs and occupational and environmental chemicals. Patients with high blood pressure had a mean reduction of 30.8 mm systolic, 23.3 mm diastolic. Cholesterol level mean reduction was 19.5 mg/100 ml, while triglycerides did not change. The program resulted in improvements in psychological test scores. The mean increase in Wechsler Intelligence Scale IQ was 6.7 points. 103 individuals enrolled in the detoxification program and a control group of 19 was accepted.
The regimen included forced sweating by sauna at 140-180 F for 2 ˝ to 5 hours daily, for about three weeks. The regimen acknowledges the potential for storage of xenobiotics in human tissues, especially lipids. It is designed to promote excretion of foreign chemicals through lipid mobilization and increased circulation followed by sauna induced sweating.
The sweat excretion route for xenobiotics has been suggested for over a decade. A variety of chemicals have been identified in sweat, including n-alkanes, paraffinic hydrocarbons and amphetamines. The effectiveness of this pathway is significant.
A second dermal route of excretions exists. The lipophilicity of many chemicals can be exploited by increasing sebaceous gland discharge. The same high temperatures which accelerate sweating have been found to increase the excretion rate of sebum as well. Dietary hydrocarbons have been found to be excreted in this manner.
The effects expected from stored xenobiotics are usually chemical specific. However, there appears to be a common factor: chronic effect. For example, PCB has been show to alter lipid metabolism at levels of exposure and bioaccumulation insufficient to produce overt symptoms. Other similar biochemical alterations have been observed in individuals up to two years after PCB exposure. Dioxin has been show to cause similarly chronic effects up to ten years after exposure. It seems reasonable that such chronic effects would subside if the chemicals were cleared from the body.
Somewhat more egregious is the potential for cancer promotion. Investigators have found a relationship between adipose stored xenobiotics and cancer."
#17 "Fourteen firemen exposed to polychlorinated byphenals (PCB's) and their by-products generated in a transformer fire and explosion had neurophysiological and neuropsychological tests six months after the fire. They were restudied six weeks later after undergoing two to three weeks of an experimental detoxification program consisting of medically supervised diet, exercise, and sauna. Retesting following the detoxification program showed significantlyimproved scores on three memory tests, block design, and identifying figures."
#18 a. "Perhaps one of today's most overlooked hygienic practices for improving health is the use of saunas. German researchers recently studied 22 kindergarten children who partook of a weekly sauna and compared them with a control group that took no saunas. The children were followed for 18 months and a careful record was made of their incidence of ear infections, colds, and upper respiratory problems. Children who took no saunas suffered from twice the number of sick days as their counterparts. The conclusion: children who sauna regularly have an improved resistance to infections. The same probably holds true for adults."
18 b. "Saunas are being used by some doctors to stimulate the release of toxins from the bodies of their patients. They have found that a lower temperature sauna is most beneficial. The principle is summed up as follows: The body's fat must be warmed to increase its solubility; the warmed fat must be transported to the sweat glands which excrete fat; the process must continue long enough for appreciable "fat sweat" to occur; the temperature must be low enough that the person does not lose significant amounts of water or electrolytes; the sweat must be vigorously washed off. (This should be done under a doctor's supervision. Our discussion of it here is meant only to show the value of the procedure.) Using this method, doctors have been able to measure toxic compounds released in the sweat of their patients. These chemicals are often toxic to the immune system, nervous system, endocrine system, and liver. "Sweating it out" reduces chemical stress on the body and generally leads to improved health."
Written by: Heavenly Heat Sauna
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