Can Sauna Use Help With Health?
What About Infrared Saunas?
From ancient times we’ve known that our bodies use sweat to get rid of toxins, which many cultures also identified with cleansing and purification rituals. Can it help with everyday pain, circulation, weight loss and more? What is real vs. what is hype?
While some claims of the health benefits of regular sauna use are tough to test, research has proven many health benefits such as arthritis and sore muscle relief, pain relief for many, increased blood circulation which can also speed natural healing processes, detox of some toxins via sweat, fighting infection and wait for it… reducing fat (lipids).
Finnish and German studies have found regular sauna use also leads to 30% less incident of colds and influenza, leading to the belief that it enhances the immune system.
Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimated that 80 percent of all illnesses are a direct reaction to our modern environment and/or lifestyles. A 2005 CDC study of over 2000 Americans found trace amounts of 60 different toxic elements in nearly all participants’ urine and blood. Can sauna use help remove most or all of those? That is unknown, but by testing sweat of many subjects toxins were found to have been excreted after sauna use.
While both the dry and infrared saunas provide health benefits, the infrared sauna has become increasingly popular in general use and by healthy and gym facilities because traditional dry saunas use temperatures as high as 185 to 195 degrees F, which can be tough for folks sensitive to the heat. Infrared saunas use a much milder temperature environment of between 120 to 150 degrees F. However because the heat of infrared saunas travels much deeper into the body, they are able to cause a more vigorous sweat at a lower temperature, states Dr. Richard Beever in the July 2009 issue of “Canadian Family Physician.”. Starting at shorter amounts, rehabs report helping the client build up to about 20 minutes of infrared use.
It is easily observed that very ill persons and addicts in detox sweat profusely as the body tries to rid some of the poisonous substance(s).
Mental health could be improved by taking the time spent in sauna use to meditate or ponder if you are happy, what changes in your life or your responses would make your life more peaceful and meaningful.
So, what conclusions can you draw from all these claims and the research? Talk to your personal physician and see if the many benefits are something you want to avail yourself of as part of your health plan. But do not use a sauna if no one is around to see that you are OK. And, please, always sit on a towel.
Nothing feels as good as being healthy feels.
By Sharon Valentino, CA LMFT, 7/13/19
Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.
Sharon Valentino, MA, ChT, CA LMFT, Psychotherapist, Behavioral Health
Calif. Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, MFC51746
Masters Level Registered Addiction Specialist (MRAS) & Level IV Certified Addiction Treatment Counselor (CATC IV), Masters Counseling Psychology
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