(Health Secrets) Do you take saunas? Human beings have used sweat baths for hygienic and health purposes since the Stone Age. Our ancestors saw the value of sweating to flush out toxins and disease as a way to maintain optimal physical and mental health. Today in the U.S. the Finnish sauna is helping people achieve the same goal.
Cultures around the world have versions of the sweat bath: The ancient Roman thermae, the Japanese onsen, the Russians banya, the Native North American’s inipi, and the Turkish bath or Hamam.
The Miriam-Webster dictionary defines sauna as:
*A special heated room in which people sit or lie down in order to get hot and sweat
*A Finnish steam bath in which the steam is provided by water thrown on hot stones
*A dry heat bath; also a room or cabinet used for such a bath
The skin is the largest organ in the body, and it plays a major role in detoxifying toxins through the pores. To regulate the body’s elevated temperature, the skin produces sweat. Skin transforms toxins that are lipid-soluble into easier to eliminate water-soluble forms and flushes them out through the pores.
Our modern lifestyles can lead to inactive skin. Many of us don’t sweat, especially during the winter months. Modern synthetic fibers, tight clothing that doesn’t allow the skin to breathe, excessive prolonged sun exposure, and a sedentary lifestyle can damage skin and inactivate the natural ability to eliminate toxins.
Sauna is the fastest way to detoxify chemicals and heavy metals
We are exposed to hundreds of chemicals during the course of our lives and our health is negatively impacted. Physicians and scientists are now acknowledging that regular sweating is a safe and natural way to heal. Sweating can detoxify toxic chemicals and metals from the body faster than any other method.
Having a sauna can also eliminate the many toxins found in seemingly innocent personal care products such as shampoos, shower gels, fragrance, lotions and soaps to deodorants. Household cleaning solvents, detergent residues on clothes and chemicals from the bath or shower water also affect the skin.
Benefits of regular sauna use include:
*Release of built up body tensions
*Reduction of aches and pains
*Peace of mind
*Stimulation of the skin to produce white blood cells and strengthen the immune system
Sauna use increases and improves the rate of blood circulation and breathing, creating an effect similar to mild exercise. It burns about 300 calories per average session and combined with a healthy diet and moderate exercise helps you lose weight, stay fit, and be healthy.
By enhancing circulation, tissues and organs receive greater oxygenation. Oxygen increases the body’s energy and promotes healing. Heating the body’s tissues and speeding up the metabolism results in increased capability of cells to eliminate toxins effectively.
According to Dr. Julian Whitaker, “No matter how pure your diet or lifestyle, I guarantee that your body contains traces of hundreds, if not thousands, of chemicals such as pesticides, drugs, solvents and dioxins.” For him, sweating is an effective way to get rid of them, because the sweat glands put out about a quart of sweat a day normally, but in a sauna they pump out a quart of sweat in 15 minutes.
Responders from 9/11 greatly helped by saunas
The New York Rescue Workers Detoxification Project looked at the health of the firemen, policemen, and other rescue and cleanup workers who bore the brunt of this environmental disaster when the World Trade Center collapsed on September 11, 2001. As a result of the massive amounts of toxins that were released, they experienced acute respiratory distress and a wide range of health issues including gastrointestinal complaints, worsening pulmonary problems, depression, irritability and cognitive disorders.
500 of these rescue workers, mostly firefighters between the ages of 35 and 45, completed a sauna detox program with excellent results. After treatment, the number of missed work days per month dramatically decreased, symptom scores dropped dramatically, 84 percent of participants discontinued all their drugs because their symptoms had cleared up, and there was significant improvements in thyroid function, balance, reaction time and even IQ!
An study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, found that endothelial cells lining the arteries improved functioning by 40 percent when participants spent 15 minutes a day in a sauna a day for 14 days.
Researchers in Japan found that sitting in a sauna is very beneficial for those with congestive heart failure. Their subjects took daily saunas for four weeks. 13 of 15 patients had significant decreases in blood pressure, while all the subjects saw improvements in the heart’s pumping ability, exercise tolerance, and oxygen uptake.
Other conditions that benefit from sauna use are chronic fatigue, mild depression, rheumatoid arthritis, musculoskeletal pain, and conditions of the skin.
Some individuals prefer a far infrared sauna because it is part of the natural light spectrum. Many consider it to be more comfortable. Typical saunas heat the air which then heats the skin. Far infrared light heats up the core body temperature by penetrating tissues directly and deeply. Because the air in the far infrared sauna is much cooler it is easier to breathe, and this allows you to stay in longer and work up a better sweat.
When you begin saunas for the first time, the heat loosens stored toxins, which are temporarily deposited into the bloodstream causing some to experience a bad headache. This is temporary.
If you find yourself trapped in a sedentary lifestyle because of work, family commitments, or physical limitations, consider getting a home sauna and developing the sauna habit.
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