By Raymond Francis, M.Sc., republished from “Never Be Sick Again”
Not only do saunas feel good, they are good! Saunas get your heart beating and your blood circulating, helping the body to detoxify in unique and important ways. Toxins do the damage, and saunas help with damage control. Saunas or other treatments help to accomplish detoxification in the following manner: A layer of fat and oil exists just below the surface of the skin. Heat from the sauna increases skin temperature, causing those fats and oils to “melt” and ooze out of the skin’s oil glands. As sweat and oil are secreted, the toxins dissolved in them are secreted as well. By excreting these toxins and then washing them off your body, your toxic load is lowered and cellular health improves.
Choose a temperature that can be tolerated for an extended period of time-thirty minutes to an hour or more. The point is not to sweat out a lot of water, but to rid your body of oil-soluble toxins. Our skin contains sweat glands and oil glands, both of which help us detoxify. Sweat gets rid of water-soluble toxins, and even helps to eliminate toxic heavy metals such as mercury and cadmium. Oil glands help remove oil-soluble toxins that the body would otherwise have a difficult time eliminating. We have created a world filled with oil-soluble toxins such as gasoline, solvents, pesticides and ingredients in toothpaste and personal care products, and the body is not able to dispose of them efficiently. The longer the skin is heated, the more oil-soluble toxins are eliminated.
Be careful not to overheat! The challenge is finding an environment where you can keep your skin temperature up for an extended period of time without overheating or dehydrating. Overheating and perhaps feeling dizzy can happen easily if you stay in a steam room, a hot tub or the top bench of a hot sauna too long. Choose a “low temperature” sauna (35 – 45 degrees), and use it for an extended period of time-an hour or more is best-though you may have to work up to this duration gradually. Remember: Drinking adequate amounts of water before, during and after your sauna is essential in order to prevent dehydration.
A good supplement program, containing fat-mobilizing vitamins and essential fatty acids makes the sauna even more effective. Be sure to shower afterwards; prevent those toxins from reabsorbing back into your body by washing with a nontoxic Castile soap.
Taking saunas or other “heat treatments” is not a luxury, but like exercise, is a physical responsibility and an important element of the physical pathway.
Incorporating saunas after exercise is even better. Exercise begins to mobilize toxins and saunas continue the process. You may need to make a few sauna visits before you can tolerate extended periods of time, but the benefits of these heat treatments are incredible. These treatments feel good for very good reasons; they provide beneficial physical stimulation-including increased lymphatic and cardiovascular circulation, as well as the removal of toxins-all of which are good for the health and function of your cells.