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To Sweat or Not to Sweat? Saunas and Detoxification

  [ 259 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ] • December 21, 2005

SAN ANSELMO, Calif./EWORLDWIRE/Dec. 19, 2005 --- Toxins are everywhere, in the water, air, food, soaps, shampoos and even clothes. Toxins have been directly linked with a host of diseases: cancer, lowered immune function, arthritis, autism, fibromyalgia, alzheimers, neurological and cardiovascular disorders. It is a problem that is not going away, that is why people need to detoxify.

Sherry Rogers MD, in her book, Detox or Die, says toxicity is a one-way street leading to disease; the key to healing the impossible is to reverse the toxicity. There are several methods being used today: chelation, where enzyme preparations are injected into the bloodstream, binding toxins as they pass through and are excreted; fasting, with or without herbal and mineral preparations and/or colonics to help to remove toxins; and saunas, removing toxins through sweating.

Whereas the first two methods are suitable for persons with a high degree of dedication and/or discipline, the infrared sauna method is one that can be used easily and effectively by almost everyone. And it can be used in conjunction with the other methods of fasting, colonics and chelation. Raymond Francis, in his book, Never be Sick Again, states, "Saunas get your heart beating and your blood circulating, helping the body to detoxify in unique and important ways."

Today, there are many types of sauna and steam available for almost any budget and location. Some use conventional steam, some use heated rocks and others use efficient infrared heaters. The effectiveness of the detox will depend on the type of heat chosen and the protocol employed. In her book, Some Like It Hot, Nicola Rajala describes the major difference between the steam room and the conventional sauna.

Although the steam room feels hotter because of the high humidity, the body actually has a harder time sweating because of the relatively low temperature (120 Fahrenheit). The water on the skin is primarily condensation rather than actual sweat. The conventional "box of hot rocks" sauna is still very common today, but it seems to be losing ground due to the many advantages of infrared saunas such as energy efficiency, comfort in use, deeper penetration of heat and more substantial detox.

A study analyzing the chemical composition of sweat found that the sweat of participants using the box of hot rocks sauna had 95-97 percent water, while the sweat of those using an infrared sauna was 80-85 percent water - the rest being composed of cholesterol, fat-soluble toxins, heavy metals (such as mercury and cadmium), sulfuric acid, ammonia, sodium and uric acid.

In the book Beyond Antibiotics, Drs. Michael A. Schmidt et al. state the following: "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 (105-110 Fahrenheit) sauna taken for a longer duration is most beneficial. These low temperatures stimulate a fat sweat, which eliminates toxins stored in fat, as opposed to the high temperature sauna, which encourages a water sweat."

As with any regimen, always consult with a doctor first, and it is important to start out slowly, drink enough water, and take a good multi-vitamin and multi-mineral and to wash off any sweat after the session to prevent toxins from being re-absorbed.

SOURCE: Sauna Works

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