When I was younger before I started using infrared saunas, I thought detoxification was a process to clean up water, or to help drug addicts stop the substance they were using. I didn’t realize that your body stores toxins like drugs, pollutants, preservatives, pesticides, and heavy metals, among other poisonous substances, in your fat cells.
I’m not alone in my lack of basic knowledge about detoxification. I’ve found that many of the customers I talk to about infrared saunas don’t know much about detoxification either, but many of them are interested in learning more, or correcting whatever misinformation they may have read.
How Infrared Saunas Detoxify the Body
Simply put, one of the best ways to get rid of many kinds of the toxins your body stores is to sweat them out. Now, your liver, kidneys, small intestine, and other organs are a great line of defense against toxins, but there are other hazardous substances that are best purged through your skin. That’s where sweating becomes invaluable. Sweating is your body’s natural way of purging itself to maintain a healthy state. The human body has millions of microscopic sweat glands that are infused with fluid brought there by the bloodstream. These glands empty that fluid to the skin’s surface as a cooling mechanism when the body overheats, flushing out any toxins and heavy metals carried there.
Now, when I first tried infrared saunas, I was a bit skeptical about the idea of detoxification, but I’ve felt the difference in my own body. I’ve felt energized and healthier, and I’ve also been able to focus and sleep so much better. I’ve had plenty of conversations with customers who say they feel much the same way. The reason, it turns out, is because of the effects that far infrared wavelengths have on the body. Far infrared wavelengths decrease the size of water clusters in the body, energize them, and help them to combine with toxins. Reducing the size of the water clusters and causing them to vibrate enables them to move out of cells and body tissue, carrying with them toxins that were previously stuck inside. These toxins are then removed from the body by the urine and feces, breath and through the skin!
Many of our customers have tried drugs or other methods to cleanse their body, but nearly all of them have told me that nothing feels as effective as sweating in their infrared sauna.
The objective of any infrared sauna is to cause the body to sweat over a long period of time (30+ minutes)–carrying with it plenty of toxins–due to a raised core body temperature. To make sure the body’s temperature is able to rise without the user becoming too uncomfortable, it is vital that the body be heated with an optimal wavelength of light. Far infrared is able to heat the body evenly and to maintain the body comfortably at that higher temperature. Many people prefer far infrared saunas because they tend to be more enjoyable and more effective–since they allow people to use them comfortably for longer periods–over near infrared or steam saunas.
The Risks of Unchecked Toxins
Detoxification is the single most common reason people I talk to want to buy an infrared sauna. Customers say the other benefits–the weight loss and pain relief, for example–are great, but there are other means of doing these things. Infrared saunas offer a uniquely efficient solution to detoxification that isn’t easily achievable in any other way.
The problem with having toxins in your body is that they interact with enzymes and confuse cellular receptors, which inhibits normal cell function. When cells are confused, their electrical receptivity becomes out of synch, throwing the human body into homeostasis. Now, when I first heard that, I had no idea what that meant or why it was bad. Don’t worry if you’re thinking that same thing. Just realize that disrupted homeostasis is dangerous for cells because all cells have jobs to perform, and being unbalanced make these jobs more difficult. When your cells aren’t performing correctly you can become fatigued, depressed, or unfocused. Such a state can also weaken your immune system.
The following illnesses are thought to be connected to toxicity:
Practical Health Benefits of Detoxification
Now that we’ve talked about how far infrared saunas detoxify the body, and why detoxification is vital to your health, let’s get down to the stuff that really matters in an everyday sense–how does detoxification improve your life? Well, for starters, you’re at a much lower disease risk. Your immune system is made up of white blood cells that are thought to function less effectively if toxins are present.
In addition to disease prevention, the following health benefits are also associated with detoxification:
- Weight loss. Toxins can actually interfere with natural body processes that regulate weight gain and loss, like the function of the thyroid. To facilitate this even further, I like to stick to a diet of organic fruits and vegetables so that my digestive system stays healthy and removes toxins that way as well.
- More energy. For new users of infrared saunas, this is the benefit I hear the most about. Some users report a major energy increase after only three of four days of use. I remember feeling that exact same way when I started. Again, this energy increase is due to the release of toxins which affect the function of the thyroid–which is partially responsible for how energized we feel–and the function of enzymes, which are involved in a huge number of bodily processes.
- Better sleep. Some experts believe toxins in the body are strongly linked with insomnia. I certainly had a lot of trouble sleeping before I began using infrared saunas. Our sleep cycle is a complex interaction that involves so many different systems and substances in our body, including hormones, blood sugar, metabolism, and mineral balance. Throwing off something like your mineral balance by having too many heavy metals in your body can put your sleep cycle in turmoil.
- Clearer Skin. This one is obvious. If water is passing through your skin regularly, it’s going to take some of the things that cause breakouts with it, like bacteria and dirt. It’s also going to naturally moisturize your skin and prevent flakiness. Some of my more beauty-conscious clients also say this skin improvement leads to compliments about how young they look.
- Mental and emotional clarity. Many of these benefits are tied so closely together that it’s impossible to say which one causes the other. For example, both sleep and energy levels have been shown to have an effect on how well we’re able to think and focus. Detoxification makes me think much clearer, possibly because my overall health is improved, I’m sleeping better, and I have more energy.
- Reduced joint pain, headaches, and digestive disorders. Toxins are believed to cause inflammation, which is your body’s response to stressful conditions, such as storing too many toxins. Inflammation can then cause conditions such as joint pain and arthritis, as well as digestive disorders and headaches. By purging the body of toxins, you can reduce inflammation and begin to alleviate other symptoms as well.
Over the years, I’ve also learned some tips for lifestyle changes outside of the sauna that will facilitate a faster detoxification process as well. These include eating a healthy diet to avoid ingesting toxins, drinking more water to help flush toxins out through the kidneys, and reducing exposure to obvious environmental toxins like smoke, smog, and pesticides.
Detoxification Side Effects
When setting out to detoxify your body, it is also important to be aware of potential side effects. Dehydration, of course, is always a concern while sweating heavily, so make sure to drink ample amounts of water. Some people who are undergoing intense detoxification also report feeling ill. This is especially prevalent with users who have the highest toxin levels when they begin. For them, losing the toxins in their body is akin to the withdrawal an addict might feel while detoxing from drugs or alcohol. In other words, the body has come to rely on the stored toxins inside of it. If levels of useful minerals in the body are low, it will compensate by using heavy metals, for example, by substituting lead for calcium. Once these metals are released through sweating, the body must readjust. By maintaining a proper diet–including eating plenty of nutrient and mineral-rich foods–and getting lots of sleep, unpleasant side effects can be reduced.
While everyone can benefit from having less toxins in their bodies, there are certainly some who can benefit more than others. If you’re having feelings of fatigue, trouble sleeping, joint pain, or just general discomfort, it’s entirely possible that toxins in your body may be to blame. And if you have a condition like arthritis or Lyme Disease, toxins could be making it worse. When a customer comes in asking me questions about detoxing, I always tell them that they can have a test done by their physician to determine how badly they may need to detox. Doctors can perform blood and urine tests to determine how much lead is in the body, which is a good indicator of whether someone is carrying additional heavy metals as well.
While there are different opinions on the best way to detox, as there are on many health and wellness topics, far infrared saunas like we sell here at SaunaCloud are the best way to go. A far infrared sauna evenly distributes light that heats you to your core while keeping the air around you cooler than traditional saunas. I can comfortably stay in an infrared sauna for 30 minutes or longer, reaping the benefits of the long and cleansing sweat I’m experiencing without feeling–as I do in a steam sauna–like I can’t breathe. If you’d like more in-depth information on how an infrared sauna can help you detoxify, my free book goes in-depth about how saunas work to make you feel better.