Health Alert 142
A steaming-hot soak feels good. It also has health benefits.
It’s an exceptional tool for detoxifying your body. Steam’s a good treatment for respiratory conditions, such as laryngitis, chest congestion, bronchitis and sinusitis. Sauna bathing helps relieve and ward off symptoms of cold or flu. It relieves the pain and stiffness of arthritis. And it revives tired and strained muscles after strenuous activity.
Today you’ll learn about this safe and enjoyable method of detox. I’ll tell you from experience how you can benefit from taking a sauna and how to do it safely.
* The Need to Sweat *
Perspiration regulates body temperature and rejuvenates your largest organ, your skin. Even better, it eliminates waste, pollutants and toxins. Periodic purges through perspiration prevent the accumulation of these toxins. Frequent sauna bathing also reduces stress and improves your circulation.
During a 10-20 minute sauna, your heart rate increases by 50-75%. This provides some of the same metabolic results as exercise. The heat causes blood vessels in your skin to expand and increase blood flow.1 Blood flow to the skin increases to as high as 50-70% of cardiac output (compared to the standard 5-10%). This brings nutrients to surface tissues resulting in healthier, younger-looking skin.2
Approximately 30% of your body’s wastes pass through the skin. Taking a sauna bath increases the detoxifying capacity of the skin by opening pores and flushing impurities from the body efficiently.3
When taking a sauna, skin temperature rises to 104°F and internal body temperature rises to about 100.4°F. This stimulates the immune system resulting in increased production of disease fighting white blood cells, antibodies and interferon.4
Tumors, viruses, and toxin-loaded cells are weaker than normal cells. These weaker cells don’t tolerate heat very well. Hyperthermia or fever therapy helps combat infections and even cancer.5 Saunas enhance circulation and oxygenate your tissues. This allows wounds and infections to heal more quickly. 6
* Just Sit Back and Relax *
Most reasonably healthy people can reap the health benefits of sauna. The main risk of a sauna is staying in too long and fainting from overheating. People who are most susceptible to this are those with heart disease or who have been drinking alcohol. It really isn’t a good idea to combine drinking with a sauna.7
If you have high blood pressure or heart disease, check with your doctor first.
Tips for a Safe Steam Bath:
• Drink 12 ounces of water before your sauna.
• The best sauna temperature range is from 102 – 106ºF.
• Relax in the hot water for 10 to 20 minutes.
• You can listen to music, read or talk at the same time.
• Take a cool shower afterwards. Gently scrub the toxins and sweat from your skin.
• Drink another 12 ounces of water.
• For best effect, repeat this practice at least once a week.
Repeated use of the sauna slowly restores skin elimination. Removal of toxic chemicals and metals through sauna is faster than with any other natural method of detox. So enjoy a good soak today.
Al Sears MD
5. Mercola, Joseph. “Detox in the Sauna” http://www.mercola.com/2002/aug/14/sauna.htm