Sauna Detox using Far-Infrared Therapy, by Bob Morgan
There are many valuable therapeutic affects from using saunas.
They can be categorized as:
1. Detoxification of toxic chemicals and heavy metals
2. Mild hyperthermia – “artificial fever” responses
3. Stimulation of immune responses
4. Increased blood flow benefits
5. Synergistic value – using saunas with another modality to make them both more effective
I’ll discuss each point briefly. The primary benefit is that they instigate sweating to deeply cleanse the body of chemicals and metals.
In an online article, DAN! Doctor Lynne Mielke said, “We know that children on the autism spectrum are genetically “poor detoxifiers”, so they are often more affected than most by the toxic soup. We can chelate heavy metals such as mercury out of the body, but we cannot chelate chemicals. They are harder to remove. Fortunately, there is a safe and natural way to remove toxic chemicals from your body. It is called Far-Infrared Sauna Therapy.
“The skin is the largest organ in the body, and so it is possible in a well-designed sauna that heats the body evenly, to generate a great deal of detoxification in a short amount of time. Another huge advantage is that sweating removes chemical and heavy metal toxins at the same time. No other treatment does that.”
I’ve underlined Dr. Mielke’s concluding phrase as it underscores the significant and unique value of saunas. Her statement reminds me of one made by Dr. Woodhall Stopford, Duke University Medical Center, in an article published in “Biogeochemistry of Mercury”, which I’ll also underline: “By far the earliest known form of therapy (to enhance mercury excretion), and possibly still the most effective, is the induction of sweating by the use of sauna or steam baths." Dr. Stopford used a dry sauna clinically.
Saunas boost immune activity. Researchers know that elevated body temperatures can stimulate the production of interferon and T-cells (white blood cell that fight off bacteria), increase enzymatic activities, trigger antibacterial and antiviral responses, and instigate the release of protective heart shock proteins.
Saunas utilize the body’s eliminative functions by inducing a state of mild hyperthermia. That simply means that the sauna raises body temperature like a very mild fever does. Interestingly, many parents have reported that their autistic child’s cognition and eye contact improves noticeably when they have a mild fever. The sauna induces what could be described as a brief, light, artificial fever.
Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, said: “Give me a fever and I will cure any illness.” For centuries, various cultures around the globe have used one form or another of sauna detox as a means of physical cleansing, spiritual purification, and renewal.
The primary aim of the body’s response to heat stress is to protect the nervous system and the vital organs from overheating. Circulatory changes are pivotal to this response. Warming blood is shunted outwards, away from the vital organs of the “core”, to the periphery, where blood vessels dilate to accommodate a suddenly increased load. The surge in blood flow facilitates waste removal from tissues while improving the delivery of oxygen, nutraceutical agents, and vital nutrients to the cells.
The increase in blood flow is very substantial, estimated as typically 2-3 times that of the resting state. This dramatic enhancement of the blood’s cell-delivery function may be the key to sauna bathing’s potential synergistic value with other modalities. One possible combination treatment that several DAN! Doctors are looking into is saunas and hyperbaric sessions. In her article, Dr. Mielke said, “Sauna therapy can be done alone, or is possibly even more effective after a session of hyperbaric oxygen therapy, which helps rev-up the metabolism and the detoxification machinery with oxygen, after which the sauna helps to “sweat it out”.
[Editor’s note: Author Bob Morgan is the owner of Heavenly Heat, a manufacturer of quality saunas. Their saunas are specifically designed for the chemically sensitive person. One nice feature is the inclusion of a weekly progress chart of children’s bathing for approval or modification by the child’s physician. Heavenly Heat is a trusted advertiser of AutismOne.]