Detoxification That’s More than Skin Deep: Saunas


When’s the last time you worked up a good, rich sweat? Most people run for the comfort of an air conditioned home, office or car and hate to sweat. Yet our skin is an important organ of detoxification, and it accomplishes this task through sweat.  Saunas can be a powerful method of detoxification.

The Ancient Practice of Sweating

Just about every culture can point to a tradition of sweating as both physical and spiritual purification.  The Native American sweat lodges, Scandinavian saunas, Russian baths and others use steam, dry heat or other heating methods to encourage the body to sweat out its toxins.  Even the ancient Romans, famous for their elaborate baths, encouraged saunas for health.

Why Everyone Needs Detoxification

Even if you’ve eaten raw, organic foods for years, you still come into contact with pollutants every day. From jet engine exhaust to the remnants of coal fired electrical plants, the very air we breath contains unavoidable toxins. Personal care products, polluted or chlorinated water, and fire retardants and other chemicals used to build homes, cars and office buildings add to the toxic load.

While some toxins are dealt with and expelled quickly by the body, others are packed into the body’s fat cells inside walls of fluid to store away from vital organs so they don’t damage anything. It is these accumulated toxins that saunas release through sweat.  Other methods to release these toxins include drinking ionized alkaline water, which encourages release of fluids surrounding stored toxins and fats, and fasting.

The Infrared Sauna

Although ancient people used heated rocks to create dry heat for their own saunas, the modern equivalent is an infrared sauna that appears to be even more effective in releasing toxins.  An infrared sauna used infrared heaters to generate radiant heat. This infrared radiant heat is absorbed directly into the body. Unlike steam or traditional rock-based saunas, infrared saunas are believed to help the body release deeply accumulated toxins.  You can purchase infrared saunas for home use or find natural health centers that offer infrared saunas.

Home Methods

Not everyone can afford an infrared sauna. And many people live in rural or suburban areas without access to saunas. If that’s the case, you can still benefit from the detoxifying effects of a good sweat and similar methods to release toxins by trying the following:

•    Hot baths: hot baths encourage sweating, and while not as effective as dry heat, are better than nothing. The same goes for hot showers. If using municipal water sources, fit the shower head or bathtub faucet with a good quality filter to remove chlorine from the water so you’re not breathing in chlorine fumes in the steam and mist.

•    Exercise and other activities that generate perspiration also aid detoxification.

It’s amazing how many methods the human body has evolved over time to rid itself of toxins. But the body evolved to deal with nature’s toxins from foods, digestion, assimilation and other natural processes. It was never intended to deal with car exhaust, jet engine exhaust, chlorine, pesticides, second hand cigarette smoke, and all sorts of toxins found in modern life. Give your body a helping hand by encouraging a good sweat to remove accumulated toxins.

These statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration.  The preceding information and/or products are for educational purposes only and are not meant to diagnose, prescribe, or treat illness. Please consult your doctor before making any changes or before starting ANY exercise or nutritional supplement program or before using this information or any product during pregnancy or if you have a serious medical condition.

Written by:  Jeanne Grunert
Copyright 2009 All rights reserved