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Jan 23rd 2024

Saunas to the Rescue

REPRINTED FROM BEYOND HEALTH® News by Raymond Francis Modern living has created a problem the human body was never designed to handle—exposure to excessive amounts of environmental toxins, especially heavy-metal and oil-soluble toxins. Toxicity is one of our leading causes of disease, and the overall chemical load to which we are now exposed is unprecedented in human history. Toxic chemicals are bioaccumulating in our tissues faster than we can get rid of them, creating an unprecedented epidemic of chronic disease. Since our bodies were not designed to deal with the amount and variety of toxins we are accumulating—saunas to the rescue. Heat causes toxins to be released by cells, and hyperthermic (sweat) treatments have been used by cultures around the world for millennia (American Indians used sweat lodges). Hyperthermic practices are known to reduce levels of organic toxins such as pesticides and PCBs, as well as heavy metals like lead and mercury.
Our bodies were designed a hundred thousand years before the dawn of the petroleum age a century ago. Since then, our environment has become a sea of oil-soluble toxins. Never before exposed to them, nature did not design a way for us to get rid of them. As a result, the average person is bioaccumulating between 300 and 500 man-made chemicals, most of which did not exist at the time of my birth. Styrene (found in plastic drinking cups and food packaging) is now found in 100 percent of human tissue in America. PCBs, dioxins, para dichloro benzene (found in mothballs and deodorizers), sodium lauryl sulfate (found in soap, shampoo, and toothpaste), formaldehyde (found in plywood, particleboard, permanentpress clothing), triclosan (found in antibacterial soap and underarm deodorants), and many others are accumulating in our tissues and causing our cells to malfunction.
The effect of these hundreds of chemicals acting in combination is catastrophic to health. Eliminating as many of them as possible from our diet and environment is the first step to take. Careful selection of personal care products, clothing, household furnishings, and foods will substantially decrease exposure to these deadly toxins (read the Toxin Pathway chapter in my book Never Be Sick Again). Even so, driving our cars and just normal living in our polluted environment will put most of us into toxic overload. Avoidance is essential, but it is not the whole answer. Finding a way to rid ourselves of toxins is the other half of the equation. Fortunately there is a solution; it's called a sauna.
The skin is the body's largest organ and an important part of the body's detoxification system. Saunas melt the fat layer in the skin, allowing the oil to ooze out of the oil glands along with its cargo of accumulated fat-soluble toxins. Over time, it is possible to reduce one's toxic load substantially as well as to keep it low. In addition water-soluble toxins are lost in the sweat, including heavy metals like mercury.
Saunas are better than a steam room or wet heat because body temperature can be kept lower, enabling you to remain in the sauna longer. Longer is necessary because the oils take more time than sweat to ooze out onto the skin. After completing the sauna, it is essential to wash off with a good castile soap, such as Dr. Bronner's. This washes off the toxins so they do not reabsorb into the skin.
Saunas are available at gyms and health clubs. If you use one of these commercial saunas, lie prone on the lowest bench. This will expose your body to a manageable temperature, allowing you to spend more time. I recommend starting slowly and gradually working your way up to an hour or more. When I was recovering my own health, I would sauna four or five times a week. Saunas played a critical role in reducing my toxic overload and restoring my health. Many people sauna for 30 minutes five times a week as maintenance; I stay in for 60 minutes. You can use that same time to do other healthy things such as eye exercises or meditation.
For several years, I searched for a home sauna. I rightly believed that, absent the inconvenience of driving to the gym and competing for space in the sauna, having a home sauna would encourage more frequent use. I could not find a sauna that met my standards. Most home saunas are toxic. They are constructed of materials, such as cedar, redwood, poplar, plywood, particle board, and solvent-based adhesives, sealants, and lacquers, that offgas toxic chemicals. Since the purpose of the sauna is to get rid of toxic chemicals, sitting in a toxic sauna is counterproductive.
My years of searching have finally paid off. I have just approved and can now recommend a truly superior sauna that meets my standards for quality, safety, and effectiveness. This is an infrared sauna that is easy to assemble or disassemble. It comes in a variety of sizes from a 50 inch wide two-person unit up to an 85 inch wide six-person model. It is economical and works off 110 volt current. It takes only about 15 minutes to warm up. It can be kept indoors or outdoors. I keep mine in the garage.
Some of the features that make this particular sauna so special include its use of far-infrared as the heat source. Far-infrared has been extensively studied and has been found to have numerous health benefits. It is the same as the warming rays of the sun, and it helps the body to rid itself of toxins. Far-infrared easily penetrates human tissue, creating a natural resonance with water molecules having many beneficial effects. Infrared saunas require less electricity than a conventional hot rock sauna. They are more economical, they heat up faster, and the units will run on ordinary house current. The heating elements of this particular sauna are patented and unique. They are the largest in the industry and they spread heat more evenly. Their bigger size allows them to operate at a lower temperature, making it possible to emit more of their energy around the 9.4 micron range—the frequency at which water molecules vibrate. Causing water molecules to vibrate facilitates the release of toxins held by the water, making this an excellent way to get rid of toxins such as mercury, a contributor to many disease problems. All these factors and much more contribute to the superior performance I was seeking.
As mentioned before, most home saunas are toxic. The one I have identified is made of the most nontoxic hypoallergenic wood available. There are no toxic adhesives, sealants, or lacquers used in its construction; it is made of solid wood. The electrical cables are shielded in steel conduits to reduce exposure to electromagnetic fields and its heaters, controls, and cabinetry are guaranteed for life. As an option, you can even add a wonderful am/fm/cd stereo. This high-quality unit is competitively priced, offering an extraordinary value.
Since toxicity a major cause of disease, by reducing toxic load, saunas help to prevent and reverse diseases of every description. In addition to cellular detoxification, far-infrared saunas have been demonstrated to assist with:
• Pain Relief • Weight Loss • Cardiovascular Conditioning • Increasing Circulation • Lowering Blood Pressure • Lowering Cholesterol • Stimulating Immune Response • Reducing Stress • Speeding Injury Repair • Joint Stiffness • Skin Cleansing • Reducing Cellulite In addition, some alternative physicians use far-infrared saunas to reduce biochemical cancer markers in their patients. Beneficial results, similar to expensive European hyperthermic cancer treatments, have been obtained. It is important to keep hydrated when using a sauna. Drinking pure water before, during, and after is recommended. Excessive water loss can disturb normal heart rhythms and also cause dizziness, nausea, and fatigue. Many people do not like saunas, and many with health problems cannot tolerate them. Their experience with conventional saunas is that the excessively hot air is too harsh and uncomfortable. Even under these harsh conditions, the heat penetration from conventional saunas is superficial, penetrating only a few millimeters. Infrared saunas are a completely different experience. The infrared heats you rather than the air so the penetration is over one and a half inches deep. This is desirable for healing tissue and releasing toxins. Meanwhile, the air temperature is kept at a comfortable and controllable level-110 to120 degrees versus 130 to 180 degrees in a conventional sauna. Much more user friendly! Every American should sauna on a regular basis because the therapeutic value of this practice is absolutely enormous. Studies show that a combination of daily exercise, nutritional supplements, and a regular sauna has a powerful beneficial effect on health. With almost every American in toxic overload, a regular sauna is not a nicety, but a necessity for those who care about health. There is simply no other way to achieve the required detoxification. Weight loss is another issue. Most Americans are overweight and an infrared sauna can burn up to 600 calories in 30 minutes, without moving a muscle, providing an excellent weight-loss program. For those who can afford it, you should have one in your home, just as I do. If you hesitate at such an expensive purchase, consider this: toxic overload is one of our leading causes of disease and a sauna is cheap compared to the cost of having chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, heart disease, chemical sensitivity, cancer, chronic pain and so many other problems. For those who cannot afford one or do not have room for a sauna, then regular visits to a sauna facility is a must.   Raymond Francis is an M.I.T.-trained scientist and an internationally recognized leader in the emerging field of optimal health maintenance. Copyright 2003, Raymond Francis Reprinted with permission from: Beyond Health® News email: Copyright 2005, Beyond Health




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