Traditional and Infrared Sauna Detoxification
Both infrared sauna detoxification and detoxification by traditional sauna is something we’ve had extensive personal experience with (hundreds of days altogether). The improvements we gained in our health through this process were exceptional. Wanting to share what we learned with others is one of our main reasons for developing this site!
So here goes...
Sauna detox — everyone’s best bet to reduce the toxic burden of a lifetime
Jointly, we have undergone hundreds of days of sauna detoxification, both in traditional saunas and in the infrared saunas in each of our homes. We did it to reclaim our health, energy and clarity of mind.
As a result, we know exactly how sauna detox—including infrared sauna detoxification—is done, what it’s like, the pluses and minuses of the two most widely recommended protocols available, and how incredibly well it works.
Other than from books, we had no outside help from professionals with detoxification and sauna. We were highly successful anyway.
In our upcoming pages on infrared sauna detoxification (under development now), we’ll share our story and more of what we’ve learnt.
On this page:
• Few know about sauna detox, but they form an elite group
• The secret of sauna detoxification – why it works
• Why sauna detoxification is so unique and will become widespread in our lifetime
• What a sauna detoxification program involves – general overview
• The two leading sauna detoxification protocols – pick one to follow
• Are you a candidate for far infrared sauna detoxification?
The few who know about sauna detox are an impressive group
Infrared sauna detoxification is something very few people know about, including doctors. We never cease to be amazed by those who we’d expect to know about this indispensable tool for our times, but don’t. In fact, if you have learned what detoxification by sauna is about already, that’s impressive—you’re ahead of your time. We only stumbled upon it as a result of my mother picking up the book "Clear Body, Clear Mind" at Barne’s & Noble bookstore nearly ten years ago.
Those in the know about this powerful sauna therapy, however, include doctors at the Mayo Clinic, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the National Aeronatics and Space Administration (NASA), athletes like Lance Armstrong, and …are you starting to get the picture?
Of the first-responders who faced and became poisoned by the smoldering remains of the World Trade Centers after 9/11, more than 1000 have undergone weeks of medically-supervised sauna detoxification made available to them by a New York-based nonprofit organization pulled together for the purpose.
No, traditional and infrared sauna detoxification is not at all well-known, but it is the wave of the future. And by learning more about this topic you’ll be able to do something only a small number of people know how to do—rid your body of dangerous toxins that your body would not otherwise be capable of ridding itself of.
The secret of sauna detoxification – why it works
The answer to why infrared sauna detoxification can happen at all, is because your body has the ability to get rid of toxins in your sweat.
In reaction to becoming heated in the sauna, your body increases circulation to even the smallest blood vessels (and most poorly-accessed parts of your body). At the same time, body heating triggers your sweat mechanism. From there it’s simple – your body, recognizing a chance to dump toxins straight out of your body through this convenient channel, does so.
In fact, your body is programmed to get rid of wastes and toxins through any channel it can (bowel, sweat, tears, lungs, kidneys…and even breast milk, unfortunately), whenever it can.
We are all exposed to hundreds of chemicals a day in the air we breathe, the items we touch, what we apply to our skin, and what we eat and drink. Not all of these chemicals can be processed adequately by the body, nor can an endless amount or number of them be handled at one time. Some are even poisonous to– to the point of damaging – critical parts of the very detox systems (such as liver enzymes) that are supposed to detoxify them.
Detoxifying by sweat therapy (also called sweat depuration)
The toxins that find their way into your sweat during a sauna session can come from various places in your body:
• Some of these toxins were circulating in your blood, waiting for the liver and/or kidneys to process them, when they got re-routed out through your sweat pores or sebaceous glands (the skin fat glands that, when blocked, produce whiteheads)
• Others were drawn out of tissues where they settled in the past but don’t belong (like in your joints or the muscle of your heart)
• And still others – those that were stored in your fat because they are fat soluble – were drawn out of storage in your fat
Everyone…we repeat, everyone – as proven by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) – has dangerous toxins (like pesticides) stored in their bodies. (More on this in upcoming pages.) While that may be a frightening thought, it’s a lot less frightening when you know how to get rid of them. That’s where detoxifying by infrared sauna or traditional sauna comes in.
Why sauna detoxification will become widespread in our lifetime
Infrared sauna detoxification can help your body to rid itself of dangerous toxins that it has no other way to rid itself of.
Yes, for an increasing number of stored chemicals in your body, particularly the fat-stored ones, there is no quick and safe way the body can get rid of them other than through a sweating program in the sauna.
These toxins are those with which the liver and kidneys can’t cope. But they can safely be shown the door when accompanied by a bouncer (sweat). PCBs are an example of this. Without a sauna program, they simply accumulate in your fat.
What a sauna detoxification program involves
In a nutshell, sauna detox programs are designed to help your body dispose of as many toxins in your sweat as possible during the time spent in the sauna (which may be less than an hour—or hours—a day, depending on the state of your health and the program you choose).
(One of the advantages of infrared sauna detoxification over detox in a traditional sauna is that, once adapted, you sweat more profusely in an infrared sauna. This will cut down the time it will take you to detoxify yourself.)
The programs involve using various measures before and during the sauna to improve circulation to every part of the body. These measures are critical in order to help your body rid itself of even the most deeply imbedded, hard-to-reach toxins.
The programs also involve taking necessary supplements and eating well enough to make sure your body has the materials it needs to:
1. Support the sweating process itself
2. Detoxify the many chemicals that will be mobilizing into the bloodstream from the fat during the sauna sessions
Depending on your tolerance and whether you are using a traditional or far infrared sauna, anywhere from several minutes to four hours a day are spent in the sauna sweating during these programs (with appropriate breaks). These sessions go on for weeks, or even months, until your body has cleared themajority of trapped toxins.
How long the program will take you depends on your total toxic load and how intensive a sweating program you can tolerate (or have time for). It will also depend on whether you're undertaking detoxification in a traditional sauna or infrared sauna detoxification.
DID YOU KNOW?
In an astounding finding, Megan Shields, MD, discovered that even after a sauna program is complete, your body will continue to rid itself of toxins at an accelerated rate for many months afterwards. It seems that undergoing a sauna detoxification program optimizes your handling of toxic residues in your body thereafter. (More on this to come).
How sauna detox programs rapidly mobilize toxins and support your system in sweating them out
1) Sauna detoxification programs help the body mobilize as many toxins into the sweat as it possibly can.
To help mobilize toxins, sauna detox programs use a variety of techniques. Not every sauna detox protocol requires every one, but they can include:
• A short period of exercise before the sauna session
This helps get the blood circulating more intensively into even the deepest and most distant (from the heart) tissues of the body where it can pick up toxins and carry them off for disposal in the sweat.
• The use of vitamin B 3 (Niacin), in rising doses
Niacin helps open up your microcirculation – tiniest blood vessels – in order to allow access to the tissues supplied by these sometimes partially obstructed little vessels.
• The use of certain digestive enzymes
The use of digestive enzymes is a sludge-removing or breaking-up strategy. This allows formerly unreachably stored (or trapped) toxins to be accessed from tissues in the body that would have otherwise have been hard to clear out.
• Massage sessions
In some cases, experts make use of light massage to help promote circulation in the connective tissues where toxins may be sequestered away (producing pain, fatigue, and – when they leak into the circulation from their storage place – whatever symptoms the toxin is associated with).
2) A safe sauna detox protocol lets you know exactly what supplements you need to take to keep up with the demands of the sweat program.
The programs give you precise instructions on how to provide the nutritional and supplement support you need to keep yourself from becoming depleted of essential factors – including electrolytes – lost or used up in sweat production and detoxification.
In other words, the supplies your body will be using during the program to get the work done must be continuously replaced.
To detoxify by sauna safely, you must follow a tested, expert-designed protocol
• These expert-designed sauna detoxification and infrared sauna detoxification programs help you eliminate more toxins from your system, minute for minute, then you could ever accomplish without them
• The programs help you get to even the hardest-to-reach toxins
• Most importantly, these programs help keep you safe
No one should undertake lengthy sweating sessions for intensive traditional sauna detoxification or infrared sauna detoxification without following a tested protocol.
Choosing the right infrared sauna detoxification program for you
Again, no one should undertake lengthy sweating sessions for detoxifying in the infrared sauna without following a tested protocol.
Fortunately, two such protocols – or guides – are easily had. One is described in Sherry Rogers, MD’s books on environmental toxicity, including "Detoxify or Die", and is designed for use with an infrared sauna. The other is described in L. R. Hubbard’s book, "Clear Body, Clear Mind".
(Hubbard was the first one to develop a highly systematic way to use the sauna as a purification tool, driving stored toxins out of the body quickly and safely. The success of this program has been confirmed in clinical studies in several countries.)
To help you choose a program, we will be describing each of these protocols in our upcoming sauna detox pages.
The Hubbard protocol can be adapted to the infrared sauna
Since Hubbard died before the infrared sauna became widely available, his program was designed for use with a traditional sauna. But the program can be adapted to an infrared sauna (and there are some great reasons to do so — see
benefits of the infrared sauna
and our upcoming Hubbard protocol page). We will tell you how the Hubbard program might be adapted for use in far infrared sauna detoxification, based on how others have done so.
According to a leader in the field of sauna detox, Narcanon is presently testing how to adapt its detox program – which is based on the Hubbard program and has until now used traditional saunas – to the infrared sauna.
Are you a candidate for infrared sauna detox?
The majority of people are candidates for detoxification by sauna (and it’s a good thing since the need for this type of detox is already very high and growing). You, too, could be a candidate if:
• You have the discipline to follow a proper sauna detox protocol exactly as it is designed
• You don’t have any of the conditions, such as those listed on our
dangers of the infrared sauna page
, that make sauna detoxification unsafe
• You run any conditions you have or medications you’re taking by an MD, naturopath or nurse-practitioner to make sure you can handle the effects of body heating involved in sauna therapy
Even some people – like those with multiple sclerosis – who are not normally considered candidates for detoxification may be able to undergo it under the supervision of a particular medical expert who has developed methods of working with the sauna and that particular condition.
The chemically sensitive
The chemically sensitive person has a special challenge in sauna detox. Namely, that during the program they will be mobilizing out of storage and into the bloodstream chemicals which they may have dangerous reactions to. People suffering from serious chemical sensitivities should be medically supervised during sauna detoxification.
What about children and older people?
Sauna detox is — using a protocol that has been modified specifically for children — safe for most children. Remember, though, that kids don’t respond to the sauna in exactly the same way adults do, and only an informed adult with an appropriate medical supervisor or advisor should put their child through sauna detox.
As for older age and sauna detoxification, the general health of the adult turns out to be more important than their age group. Sauna bathing in traditional high-heat saunas is common amongst people in their 80s in Finland. Of course, many of these 80 year-olds have been sauna bathing all their lives and have adapted to it over time. The point is, however, that advanced age doesn’t rule out sauna use or infrared sauna detoxification.
Finding medical supervision for sauna
Medical supervision is ideal for sauna detox – but, unfortunately, is not widely available.
Over time the number of centers offering medically-supervised infrared sauna detoxification will increase. There are programs out there, though, if you’re willing to go to where they are. (Try searching on the internet and check back with us soon on our upcoming sauna resources page.)
Meanwhile, please run your idea to undergo an infrared sauna detoxification (or traditional sauna detox) program by your doctor. If you suffer from any medical concerns, ask your doctor if your condition — or any medications you are currently taking — could be negatively affected by body heating (raising your internal body temperature) and increasing the work demand on your heart.
While your doctor is unlikely to be in the know about infrared sauna detoxification, perhaps your doctor will be willing to answer questions and concerns that might come up for you as you go through a program, should you choose to.
Move on from infrared sauna detoxification to dangers of the infrared sauna.
Accelerate the detox process by blending greens (collard, kale, spinach, chard...) into your smoothies with the best blender out there!