Ask the Expert

“Saunas are a great way to prevent disease and promote a healthy, relaxed lifestyle!”

Q. What is the one of the biggest health issues facing us today?

A. The evidence is overwhelming. Toxins. Toxins are everwhere, in our water, air, food, soaps, shampoos, even in the clothes we wear. It has become commonplace to read about mercury in our fish, jet fuel in our lettuce, heavy metals in our air. Toxins have been directly linked with a host of diseases: cancer, lowered immune function, arthritis, autism, fibromyalgia, alzheimers, neurological and cardiovascular disorders, just to name a few. People living today carry within their bodies a chemical cocktail made up of industrial chemicals, pesticides, food additives, heavy metals, general anesthetics, and the residues of therapeutic pharmaceuticals, as well as toxins from alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, and illegal drugs. It is a problem that is not going way, at least not in our lifetime.

Sherry Rogers MD in her groundbreaking book, Detox or Die, says toxicity is a one-way street leading to disease; the key to healing the impossible is to reverse the toxicity. How do we detox?

The sauna method of detoxifying is one that can be used easily and effectively by almost everyone. Raymond Francis, in his fascinating book, Never be Sick Again, emphatically states, “Not only do saunas feel good, they are good! Saunas get your heart beating and your blood circulating, help the body to detoxify in unique and important ways.”

Sweating is an ancient tradition and a good method of removing toxins. Today there are many types of saunas from exotic built-ins to simple portable units. Some use conventional systems with heated rocks and others use infrared (or far infrared) heaters. The effectiveness of the detox will depend on the type of heat chosen and the protocol employed. The conventional “box of rocks” sauna is still very common today, but there are advantages of the infrared such as comfort in use, deeper penetration of heat, and more substantial detox.

A study analyzing the chemical composition of sweat found that the sweat of participants using a conventional sauna had 95-97% water, while the sweat of those using an infrared sauna was 80-85% water-the rest being composed of cholesterol, fat-soluble toxins, heavy metals (such as mercury and cadmium), sulfuric acid, ammonia, sodium, and uric acid. Admittedly, a conventional sauna unit has other benefits such as deep muscle heating, deep skin tissue cleansing due to the humidity in the air and the relaxation associated with the traditional sauna bathing experience it, however seems that the infrared saunas have an edge in toxin removal.

There is a growing consensus among healthcare professionals, as well as the general public, that infrared saunas are a safe, effective, and enjoyable way to detoxify the body. Putting a sauna in your home is a great way to prevent disease and promote a healthy, relaxed lifestyle.