NO MEDICAL CLAIMS ARE MADE FOR SAUNAS OR SAUNA THERAPY. The following article is an introduction to the subject of sauna therapy.
Warning: The material presented here is for educational purposes only. Sauna therapy is not intended to replace regular medical care. Always consult your doctor before beginning a sauna therapy program, as saunas are powerful devices and require that you be monitored. Saunas are not intended to replace any therapy for any purpose whatsoever.
Infrared Lamp Sauna Therapy
by Dr. Lawrence Wilson
Infrared lamp sauna therapy is one of the least costly, safest and most powerful ways to eliminate toxic metals, toxic chemicals and chronic infections.
The benefits include:
- Skin rejuvenation. Sauna use slowly restores elimination through the skin. The skin is the largest organ of the body and a major eliminative channel. In most people, it is inactive, congested and toxic. Sun exposure, use of synthetic clothing, bathing in chlorinated water and exposure to hundreds of chemicals damage the skin. Excessive sympathetic nervous system activity and emotions such as fear, anger and guilt cause blood to be withdrawn from the skin, contributing to inactivity of the skin.
- Enhanced sweating. Sweating in a sauna is a by-product of applying heat to the body. The sweating process gently and safely helps eliminate all heavy metals and toxic chemicals. Medical studies demonstrate that most toxins can be eliminated through the skin, relieving the burden on the kidneys and liver. Sweating increases dramatically in most people after several months of daily sauna use.
Sweating during exercise is not nearly as effective for detoxification because exercise activates the sympathetic nervous system. Sympathetic nervous activity inhibits toxin elimination.
- Exercise benefits. Saunas provide many of the benefits of exercise with much less expenditure of energy. These include enhanced circulation and oxidation of the tissues. Repeated sauna use can lower elevated blood pressure and improve the elasticity of the arteries. Saunas are most helpful for cardiovascular rehabilitation, arthritis, allergies, skin conditions and chemical sensitivity.
- Decongesting the internal organs. Heating the body powerfully shunts blood toward the skin to dissipate heat. This decongests the internal organs and greatly stimulates circulation. Sinuses, joints and many other tissues benefit greatly.
- Fever therapy (hyperthermia) for infections. Raising body temperature powerfully assists the body to kill bacteria, fungi, parasites and viruses. Many people have a low body temperature and, for this reason, cannot get rid of chronic infections. Common sites of infections are the sinuses, ears, eyes, bladder, throat and intestines.
- Tumors, radiation poisoning and mutated cells. Hyperthermia also helps kill other types of abnormal cells. Tumors, for example, tolerate heat poorly. Raising body temperature hastens their death. Though not a conventional method, hyperthermia is a well-researched therapy for cancer. Heat also disables or kills cells mutated by radiation or damaged by other toxins.
TYPES OF SAUNAS
Three basic types of saunas exist.
- Traditional saunas consist of a small room or space with an electric, gas or wood heater, or heated with hot rocks.
- Far infrared saunas use ceramic or metallic elements for heating that mainly emit in the far infrared range.
- Infrared lamp saunas use incandescent infrared heat lamps for heating. They emit mainly near infrared, some middle infrared and perhaps a tiny amount of far infrared energy. They also emit a small amount of red, orange and yellow visible light. This type also provides warming and stimulating color therapy. Red, orange and yellow assist the eliminative organs.
While traditional saunas require high temperatures for copious sweating, infrared penetrates the skin and heats from the inside as well as on the skin. This means the air temperature in the sauna can remain cooler, yet one sweats plenty at this lower, more comfortable temperature.
The infrared lamp sauna penetrates deepest, we believe, and we are waiting for formal studies to confirm or disprove this hypothesis. They may penetrate up to three inches or so, so the air temperature can stay coolest of all the types of saunas with the same effectiveness. Preheating is usually not necessary, saving time and electricity. While some people like the intense heat of the traditional sauna, many find it difficult to tolerate, especially those when feeling ill.
Infrared is an antioxidant nutrient, activates the cells, supports metabolic processes and decouples toxins from water molecules. Near infrared is helpful for wound healing and cellular regeneration as well.
SUPERVISION AND SAFETY
Supervision during a sauna therapy program is always needed. The presence of an attendant or friend close by is also most needed if you have any type of health condition.
In addition, follow the basic safety procedures below:
- Begin with only 20 minutes in the sauna. After a few weeks, only if you feel well enough to do so, you may increase to 30 or even 40 minutes. Never begin with sessions longer than 20-minutes once a day because this can cause massive healing reactions that are unpleasant and even dangerous.
- If debilitated or very heat sensitive, begin with 15 minutes or less in the sauna.
- Always rest for 15 minutes after a sauna session. Shower off and then relax after a sauna session to allow the body to readjust. Do not go right back to daily activities. It is best to use a sauna first thing in the morning or the last thing at night. These are the times one is most relaxed and it will be most effective. The more one relaxes, the more one will sweat.
- Always consult a health professional if one has a chronic illness.
- Pregnant women and children under five should avoid saunas. Young children must be accompanied by an adult.
- Continue prescribed medication while taking saunas, unless directed otherwise.
- Use a sauna twice a week to twice a day. If one is very debilitated, begin with once a week. Work up to daily use as you are able to do so.
- Healing reactions are temporary symptoms that occur as toxic substances are eliminated and chronic infections heal. Symptoms vary from mild odors, tastes or rashes are very common and usually pass quickly. Some people feel great fatigue after sessions and this is normal. Some people have bowel changes, aches, pains or headaches.
- Old infections may flare up as they are healed due to repeated sauna use. Usually only rest and natural remedies are needed to help infections resolve faster.
- Almost all healing symptoms are benign and will pass quickly. Consult a knowledgeable practitioner if any cause concern.
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