As mentioned on a previous blog post, sweating can effectively release toxins through our largest organ, the skin. One effective means to induce sweating is through use of a sauna.
Saunas generally fall into three categories: wet heat, dry heat (i.e., a dry sauna that uses electrical heating), and an infrared sauna. A wet sauna, as its name implies, heats the air using both water and heat, resulting in steam and humidity. In this example, you can toss water on the rocks and hot steam is generated. A traditional dry sauna heats the room but does not produce increased humidity, and tends to heat you up from the outside in, like an oven. An infrared sauna works, conversely, by heating you up from the inside out, and this works by using infrared rays using lower temperatures, which in turn gets your tissues hotter, faster, and deeper than a traditional dry sauna.
Some of the purported benefits from the heat, sweating and detoxification of a sauna are:
- Kills viruses and bacteria which cannot survive temperatures above 98.6 degrees F.
- Improves blood circulation and prevents further heart problems.
- Improves muscle relaxation.
- Lowers inflammation and blood pressure.
- Reduces pain for patients suffering from fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, or Lyme disease, for instance.
- Weakens asthma, bronchitis, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
- Produces growth of brain neurons and may even lower the risk of developing dementia.
Despite the benefits, some precautions before getting into a sauna include drinking plenty of water before entering the sauna, using a cool rag over your head if you get a headache, limiting your time in a sauna, or going in a sauna with another person, or avoiding a sauna altogether in cases of pregnancy. In the event that you do not have access to a sauna, use of a hot bath with Epsom salt is likely to produce a similar benefit.