Heat therapy an effective way to detox

The soothing effects of heat have been known for many thousands of years. Indians had sweat lodges, Mexicans had Temescals, Russians used banyas, and mushi-buros were popular in Japan. Each of these places was a meeting place for the local community, and was used for healing purposes. Ancient Egyptian texts also have references to the use of heat therapy in certain diseases.

Pioneers of natural therapies used the sauna as a therapeutic method. One of them was an American living in the 19th century – Dr John Harvey Kellogg. In his sanatorium in Battle Creek, Michigan, he thoroughly studied various types of hot dry and wet baths. This allowed him to assess their value as a healing method. He was most interested in “bathing in electric light” using incandescent bulbs, recognising the penetrating power of thermal radiation produced by electric lamps.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the use of heat therapy began to decrease in favour of new technologies of contemporary medicine. However, currently, for over 30 years, there has been a steady increase in the use of various types of saunas, particularly as safe and effective methods of eliminating drugs and other environmental toxins from the body. In recent years, a new type of infrared sauna has been launched, and it’s proved to be the most effective in detoxifying the body. The infrared wavelength is of crucial importance. There are short (IR-A), medium (IR-B) and long (IR-C) waves.

As Dr Lawrence Wilson showed, the best saunas are those with near IRA. They already work at relatively low temperatures (43-46°C), penetrating the skin up to 5-6cm deep (some sources claim up to 8cm), thus resulting in better therapeutic effects.

Nowadays, everyone knows the environment we live in and what pollutants we are exposed to. Household chemicals and even cosmetics that we use every day (e.g. antiperspirants) are a source of heavy metals. Most of us have an excess of toxic metals. Usually, they’re hidden deep in the brain, liver and many other organs and tissues. Some heavy metals replace essential elements in enzyme bonds, which prevents their proper functioning. Their accumulation (including lead, cadmium, mercury, aluminium and arsenic) contributes to hundreds of physical and emotional disease states.

Symptoms to watch out for if you suspect that the body is overloaded with heavy metals?

  • chronic malaise
  • chronic pain, mainly in the tendons, muscles or soft tissues
  • lack of concentration, forgetfulness, distraction
  • digestive problems (constipation, bloating, gas, diarrhoea, heartburn or indigestion)
  • dizziness
  • migraines or headaches
  • mood swings
  • blurred vision
  • depression or anxiety

How do saunas work?

The mechanism of the sauna has two phases. In the first, body temperature remains approximately at the basic level, and sweating is low despite warming of the tissues. This is because the body has the ability to disperse additional heat – it stimulates circulation, blood moves to the skin, and sweating begins. The result of the first phase is inhibition of the activity of the sympathetic nervous system, excitation of sweat, alleviation of pain, improvement of oxidation and enlargement of peripheral blood vessels, relaxation of muscles and increased flexibility of tendons and ligaments.

The second phase of the sauna mechanism starts after 10-30 minutes. The body can no longer disperse the heat. The body temperature is rising. The blood is forced to the surface of the body with more force, the heart rate rises and sweating intensifies. The result of the second phase is increased body temperature, accelerated death of weaker cells, neutralisation of pathogens, production of heat shock proteins, improvement of genetic material, increased heart rate and improved circulation, release of filtrates, oedemas and exudates (a filtrate is any substance in a tissue that is foreign to it, and exudates are fluids, cells or cell debris that are excreted from blood vessels and deposited in tissues), normalisation of enzymatic activity (which is weakened when body temperature is low) and stimulation of water molecule activity.

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The beneficial effect of the sauna has a special effect on the kidneys; liver; pancreas; spleen; immune, nervous, cardiovascular, endocrine and digestive systems; and the skin. The use of sauna treatments helps to remove heavy metals, harmful chemical compounds and chronic inflammation from the body, and to improve the blood circulation of fatty tissue, which usually has a poor blood supply, accelerating the breakdown of fatty deposits and helping get rid of excess weight.

An extremely useful tool for monitoring the progress of detoxification is elemental hair analysis. Thanks to EHA testing, we can control the changes that take place in the mineral management of every body. These changes can vary. Everyone is different, and we have different mineral and vitamin needs and require different support to improve our functioning and wellbeing. The result of the elemental hair analysis is, therefore, an excellent guide for the development of correct, tailored nutritional and supplementation recommendations, and it’s only these that can strengthen the final therapeutic effect.

Magdalena Kornacka, Terapia ciepłem: skuteczny sposób na detoksykację [Heat therapy: an effective way to detox], DietPoint, 1(2)/2019, pp. 14-17.