Sauna therapy, which dates back to ancient times and is touted in the healing traditions of many of the world’s great cultures, is one of the most relaxing ways that you can improve your health.
It is the only detoxification treatment that has been proven to release fat-stored toxins from the body. Fat tissues and cells are where much of the body’s toxic overload occurs because in order to protect itself, the body encapsulates toxins in fat, quarantining them from other cells and tissues.
Unfortunately, chronic toxin exposure and buildup soon defeats this purpose, enabling the encapsulated toxins to wreak havoc.
When properly administered, sauna therapy temporarily elevates the body’s core temperature in much the same way that your body will generate a fever to kill invading bacteria and viruses. As this occurs, fat cells begin to release toxins, which can range from acidic wastes to heavy metals to pesticide and drug residues to chemicals such as dioxin and PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls).
The toxins are then eliminated through the sweat glands, which are very active due to the intense perspiration that sauna therapy induces.
Research has shown that regular sauna therapy can provide beneficial effects for a wide range of body systems, including the cardiovascular, circulatory, endocrine (hormone), immune, neurological, muscular, and respiratory systems.
In the last few decades, a new form of sauna therapy has proven to be even more effective for eliminating toxins and improving overall health than traditional sauna. Originally developed in Japan and South Korea, this type of therapy is called far-infrared (FIR) therapy.
Today, there are a range of far-infrared devices people can use to obtain detoxifying benefits, from stationary and portable, tent-like units, to FIR blankets and pads. The stationary and portable units provide the most benefit for most people.
FIR units emit a dry, radiant infrared heat, similar to the sun’s infrared light. This radiant energy penetrates to a depth of between 1.5 and 3 inches inside the body, depending on the unit. The sweat volume produced by the infrared radiant energy can exceed that produced by traditional saunas by 200 to 300 percent.
Studies have shown that the energy output from FIR units is closely tuned to the body's own radiant energy, enabling the body to absorb as much as 90 percent of the far infrared waves.
By comparison, conventional saunas rely only on indirect means of heat — convection (air currents) and conduction (direct contact of hot air with the skin) — resulting in far less absorption.
In addition, the benefits that FIR units provide can be achieved in as little as 20 minutes inside the unit, whereas traditional saunas usually take longer than that.
There is a growing body of research attesting to the benefits of far-infrared sauna therapy, including:
• Significant detoxification of heavy metals, chemicals, and other toxins
• Improved overall cardiovascular function
• Improved circulation and increased oxygenation of cells and tissues
• Improved metabolism and healthy weight loss
• Improved energy production
• Improved immune function
• Improved pulmonary (lung) function
• Improved skin tone and elasticity and reduction of cellulite.
Because of the health benefits, the use of FIR units has become increasingly popular in the United States over the last decade. Today such units can be found in a growing number of doctors’ offices and health clinics.
Although the units are also available for home use, at least initially we recommend proper medical supervision, along with appropriate medical tests, before using FIR units, as excessive use of can result in a too-rapid release of toxins, which can have an adverse effect on organs such as the kidneys and liver.
Whenever using any form of sauna therapy, be sure to drink at least 24 to 32 ounces of pure, filtered water before, during, or immediately after each session to avoid dehydration.
Once your session is finished, immediately take a shower in slightly cool water to rinse away toxic residue on your skin that is left by perspiration.
(Adapted from "Outstanding Health: The 6 Essential Keys To Maximize Your Energy and Well Being" by Michael Galitzer MD and Larry Trivieri Jr. For more information, visit www.outstandinghealthbook.com)
Posts by Michael Galitzer, M.D. and Larry Trivieri Jr.
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