Sweating is one of the best ways to increase lymphatic circulation and detoxification. I have personally spent a lot of time with sauna therapy, and as a nutritional consultant, always hear glowing testimonials about the benefits of sauna therapy. Sauna therapy is very redeeming, especially if you live in colder climates during the winter months.
The Skin: A Living Organ
Many people think of the skin as only a covering of their body's inner contents. But the reality is that the skin is the largest organ of the body. The skin exfoliates, and will absorb much of what comes into contact with it. The skin absorbs natural sunlight, which eventually converts into vitamin D, whose function is that of a hormone.
The skin is also used as an organ of elimination. This is the primary purpose of sweating. Sweating is a means to regulating body temperature. However, studies conducted on the contents of sweat have determined that numerous minerals, trace minerals and toxic metals are excreted through the sweat as well. In fact, one studyindicates that cadmium and nickel were excreted in greater concentrations than through urine!
This is terrific news for people with heavy metal toxicity. Very often, the liver, bowel and renal detoxification pathways are inhibited and dysfunctional. Its hard to imagine anyone living in modern civilization who is not exposed to toxic metals and environmental chemicals. The more one can do to reduce their exposure to environmental toxins, and to help their bodies to eliminate them, the better.
Environmental Toxins: No One Is Exempt From Exposure
I will personally guarantee there is no man, woman or child with non-detectable levels of chemicals or heavy metals in their bodies. Period, end of story. You are breathing them, drinking them, bathing in them and eating them. If you are a woman, you are likely applying cancer-causing carcinogens on your face and dying your hair in them. You are living in an amazing stew of toxic chemicals, and you most likely are not aware of it. Most environmental-industry chemicals are totally unregulated by the EPA or FDA. Chemicals such as BPA and pthalates are known endocrine disruptors. BPA is a synthetic estrogen that causes changes in brain development of children.
The alterations of endocrine function affect the thyroid, parathyroid, pituitary, adrenals, spleen, pancreas, ovaries and testes. These endocrine altercations change the rates of cellular metabolism, augment growth and development as well as impede normal immune and brain function.sle
The combined effect of multiple toxins is one of the least studied, yet some studies indicate serious risks associated with the combined effects of toxins. For example, arsenic, a toxic heavy metal, will become 100X more toxic when exposed to alcohol.
My Experience With Sauna Therapy
About six years ago I bought an infrared sauna and used it daily for about 6 months. During this time I was heavily engaged in nutritional balancing strategies, detoxification and different dietary alterations. Some of the things i enjoyed about using my indoor sauna was that it was easy to set up, a great way to heat up the body during colder months, and was incredible for increasing sweating. But these were only a few of the benefits.
During regular, daily sauna use, I was more relaxed during the days, my skin had a much softer texture, the quality of my sleep was much improved, and overall I felt very good. Hair mineral analysis biopsies during this time indicated an increased mobilization of toxic metals, particularly aluminum.
Infrared Versus Dry Rock Saunas
Dry rock saunas have been used for centuries, perhaps longer. If one can tolerate the high heat that they produce, the benefits are many. However, many people don't tolerate the very high heat. Infrared saunas are a modern day alternative. Infrared is a light spectrum that is one of the closest to the natural light spectrum. Infrared saunas produce warm, soothing heat, which do not increase the ambient air temperature to more than 120-130F. Dry rock saunas can heat the air to as much as 220F.
One can build their very own sauna, including an infrared variety for less than $100. Steam saunas are less recommended due to the release of chemicals in the water such as chlorine, fluoride, metals and chemicals.
Its important to stay hydrated before and after sauna use, as many minerals and electrolytes are excreted through the sweat. High quality mineral salt added to clean water is an excellent way to replenish minerals lost through sweating.