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Detoxification and infrared sauna


Written by:
Søren Wolff
Body-sds therapist. Stud. BSC (Hons) Nutritional Therapy

You have to have been buried the last year or so, if you has not heard about cleansing, detoxification and detox. If you watch the media you will quickly find out that various experts and health authoritarian people disagree on whether detoxification of your body is common sense or not.
This article will try to shed some light on the arguments for and against cleansing. It will also bring into focus excretion of toxins, which are harmful to your health, by the use of infrared sauna with the patented Solocarbon® heat technology.

Detox or not?

There are many arguments for and against cleansing of the body. Whether or not there is any case for claiming that the body is stressed by toxins is often the first critical reference point. If the body is not stressed there is no need for cleansing it. Another part of the dispute is based on whether the body is sufficiently able to handle various detoxification processes by means of the natural detoxification systems such as the liver, the intestines and the kidneys. Some critics also claim that they have not seen any proof that toxins, which are harmful the the health, can be driven out of the body by means of cleansing.

Are you exposed to toxins in your daily life?

The awareness with regards to man-made chemicals in our daily life has increased. This is what we also refer to as being environmental toxins, which includes groups like dioxins, PCB's, heavy metals and pesticides. Numerous studies conducted by for example Greenpeace and WWF have shown that everyone is exposed to a broad spectrum of these toxins on a daily basis. The reason for this is that many of these chemicals are found everywhere – in the air we breath, the food we eat, the clothes we wear and the perfume we use. Many of these chemical substances are emitted from various consumer products like for example toys, furniture, textiles, paint and electronic appliances. This is well-documented and it is proven further via analyses of dust found in houses. This contains many of these chemical substancens that are inhaled on a daily basis. Therefore is it not only the particle pollution in the big citites and close to heavily trafficked roads we should be aware of, since many people spend most of their time indoors.

Can toxins be accumulated in the body?

Unfortunately it is far from all toxins, which are harmful to your health that the body can either excrete or excrete in amounts that correspond to the daily stress. Since many chemicals are hard to disintegrate they are accumulated in the human organism, where they are stored in fat deposits, organs and bone marrow. Studies, where human blood is examined, thus documents that we all carry several different environmental toxins in our body. This might not be very surprising when there are over 100,000 registered chemicals in the EU – and every year several tons are released into nature all over the globe. Environmental toxins are spread quite effectively by air, water and food chains. This is why you can find environmental toxins thousands of kilometres away from the places, where they are produced or released into nature.

Are accumulated toxins harmful to your health?

Studies show that certain environmental toxins can be carcinogenic, disrupt the hormonal balance, damage the nervous system and the immune system, damage your fertility, and have numerous other negative effects. However, several factors come into play here: How often you are exposed, the severity of the exposure, what chemical substances you are exposed to, individual biochemistry and sensitivity, geopgraphical movement (the inner city versus the country), the indoor climate in your home and workplace, age (a child versus an adult) and so on. Of course you should not miss that many environmental toxins are harmful to nature as well.
In many cases there is little or no documentation that proves that the daily amount of environmental toxins we are exposed to, under normal conditions, is harmful. But the lack of evidence because of the lack of studies does certainly not prove that a certain chemical substance is harmless. You cannot know before you investigate it, but only to study a single chemical substance and its possible harmful effects does not pay regard to the combination of the total sum of chemical substances a person is exposed to. And it is a fact that everyone will be exposed to a number of different chemical substances i.e. environmental toxins. Moreover, you will only find what you choose to look for. Thus, you do not discover the long-term effect of one or more environmental toxins if you only study it for 8 weeks – and the long-term effect of the collected sum of environmental toxins is also one of the major questions, which still remains unanswered. People are exposed to a number of environmental toxins their entire life – even before birth where the mother transmits a portion of it to the fetus – and it is difficult to tell if it will become harmful after 1, 20, 40 or 60 years.

Can toxins be cleansed from the body?

Studies have shown that regular use of infrared saunas with the patented Solocarbon® heat panels has a positive effect on the human organism. One of the positive effects is excretion of harmful toxins by sweating.
When you use infrared saunas, the excretion of environmental toxins primarily happens by sweating, which protects the liver and the gall bladder, which are typically already congested. This is especially the case with people who are already suffering from one of more conditions, which can be related to the build-up of toxins. This was for instance seen in connection with a project, where infrared saunas were used to treat rescue workers, who should be cleansed of harmful toxins after the terrorist attack in New York, 11th of September, 2001.
The collapsed buildings from 9/11 resulted in a massive cloud of dust and small particles. Thousands of people, especially rescue workers and volunteers, came into contact with large amounts of toxic dust and small particles – either by inhalation or by direct touch (absorption). This meant that many were poisoned and as a result of that they began to suffer from fatigue, headache, problems concentrating, uneasiness, depression, coughing, respiration, skin eruptions, joint and muscle pains as well as impaired vision and hearing. Because of these problems a 3 week long detoxification project was set in motion in order to help some of the affected.
The result of the 3 week long detoxification by means of infrared saunas was quite convincing. All the participants experienced that the symptoms were alleviated, and after the project ended 84% of the participants were able to stop taking the medicine they took because of the symptoms from 9/11. Other improvements were seen in the participants' thyriod function as well as cholesterol number.
Jim Woodworth, the leader of the project, stated that ”the patients had black goo coming out of their pores when they were sitting in the sauna”. ”The towels were coloured black, blue, purple, orange and yellow by their sweat. They reported that their faeces was blue, green og smelled like smoke – in spite of the fact that they had not been near a fireplace for months”.
The 9/11 project is not the only one of its kind, and because of the infrared sauna treatment there has been observed secretions of environmentally harmful toxins like dioxins, heavy metals, pesticides and PCB's at several occasions. It also shows that the content of toxins in the sweat of people who use an infrared sauna is four times as high as the sweat of people, who use a traditional sauna. In addition, the infrared sauna is more comfortable to use since the temperature lies between 40-65 degrees Celsius, whereas a normal sauna is between 85-100 degrees Celsius. Lots of people can only stand to sit 10-15 minutes in a traditional sauna, but it is not uncommon that you can sit in an infrared sauna for over an hour without problems. This is because of the infrared heat technology which is used to heat the cabine – a technology that is highly reliable and it is used as a heat source in incubators.
The radiant heat in a traditional sauna cannot get as deep into the skin as the infrared heat waves. This means that the temperature in the deeper muscle and skin layers are heated more thoroughly in an infrared sauna. The body tries to prevent the temperature from rising by expanding the blood vessels and increasing the heart rate. This increases the blood flow and the oxygenation of the tissue , which in the end leads to a higher excretion of lipophilic toxins. The increased blood circulation is especially important to patients who are unable to move very much – for instance because of pains caused by arthritis or fibromyalgia.
Excretion of toxins by means of infrared saunas can be quite helpful with regards to weight loss. When you lose weight, accumulated toxins from the body's fat deposits are released and these toxins can in some cases have a negative impact on the function of the thyroid. The toxins can reduce the thyroid's production of T3 which means that the metabolism's ability to burn fat is reduced. By cleansing the harmful toxins from your body, you can improve the thyroid's function, and this is exactly one of the positive effects which was documented at the 9/11 detoxification project.
Infrared saunas have also been used to detoxify drug addicts and alcoholics with great success, but it should only take place under expert guidance.
The conclusion is that an infrared sauna is a documented remedy when it comes to excretion of environmentally harmful toxins from the body, but the story does not end her.

Are all infrared saunas alike?

The answer is quite simply no. Therefore you have to be extremely alert if you consider buying an infrared sauna, because your eyes and the sauna experience will easily deceive you. People think that the infrared sauna is working like it should, if they as a result of using it begin to sweat. But in principle you can do the same in an oven if the temperature is low enough and you can get in there. So what is the crux of the matter?
There are certain biophysical conditions which have to be met in order for the body to absorb and benefit form the infrared waves via an infrared sauna. All objects emit infrared waves and the optimum wavelength for human beings is around 7-14 micrometres, where the human body emits an infrared wavelength of approximately 9.4 micrometres. The sauna's heat panels should therefore emit a wavelength within the mentioned area – but does it do that?
Cf. something called ”Wein's Law” the wavelength is dependent on the temperature: The higher the temperature, the shorter the wavelength. For an object, in this case the sauna's heat panels, to emit infrared waves on 9.4 micrometres it requires a temperature of approximately 35 degress Celsius. If you used that low a temperature you would not get the benefits from the heating of the body as well as the sweat effect. By increasing the temperature a bit, for example to 50 degrees Celsius, the primary wavelength will be around 9 micrometres. Clinical tests in Japan has documented that Solocarbon® heat panels emit the correct wavelength, and that the heat panels will never get so hot that you cannot safely touch them.
The problem with most of the infrared sauna's is that they are built with ceramic heating elements, where the surface area is quite small compared to the size of the sauna. The consequence is that the heat panels' temperature needs to be higher in order to heat the entire sauna. Thus, the temperature often reaches 200 degress Celsius and when the temperature is higher the infrared wavelength gets shorter. Therefore you will not attain the wanted wavelength, which is beneficial to the body. In practice you often see that the heat radiation in the sauna is uneven, because the temperature near the ceramic heating elements is way too high, which makes it feel 'burning' and unpleasant.

Should you want to experience and perhaps try an infrared sauna you can do this at Reif & Wolff. These infrared saunas use Solocarbon® exclusively, which produces a pleasant warmth and an infrared wavelength, which suits the human organism perfectly. Read more at www.reifwolff.dk

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