Heat Shock Proteins, De-Stress, Pain Relief

The Definitive Guide to Infrared Saunas and Cancer [2020]

Lose Weight, Feel Great & Detoxify

Christopher Kiggins

Infrared Saunas and Cancer Infrared Saunas and Cancer

A very interesting word that I just learned is called autophagy, (from the Ancient Greek word autóphagos, which means “self-devouring” and kýtos, which means “hollow”) which is the mechanism of a cell to remove dysfunctional/unnecessary components within itself. ‘Auto’ means cell and ‘phagy’ means eat. This is the body’s method of removing damaged cells and regenerating newer, healthier cells. 

This self-devouring might sound cannibalistic but it happens to be a very normal activity of our cells to keep the body healthy. It’s a great self-preservation instrument by which the body effectively cleans and recycles its own cells.

Autophagy may play a role in the prevention and treatment of cancer. As we grow older, our cells don’t perform their normal functions as well and may turn into cancer cells which, if left unchecked, can multiply (which is what cancer cells like to do). 

While nearly all cancer cells begin from a defective cell, the body usually recognizes and removes them through the autophagic process. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance to keep the autophagic processes working at the highest level around the clock. Infrared saunas may help.

Infrared saunas can play a very big role in the prevention and reversing of cancer. In 2004, Dr. Lawrence Wilson wrote and article stating that “If I were to single out one method to combat cancer, it is the sauna. It assists removal of chemical toxins and heavy metals, increases oxygenation, enhances the immune system, and reduces the radiation burden in the body.”

There are many cases in modern medicine where cancer patients who were exposed to whole body hyperthermia (the rise in core temperature after taking a sauna) sometimes went into remission. This is because heating the body stimulates the immune system and may cause cancer remission. In fact, there are cancer clinics in Germany which use hyperthermic infrared sauna therapy with their patients. Additionally, more than twenty United States hospitals offer some form of hyperthermic treatment for their cancer patients.

The main principle of whole body hyperthermia for cancer treatment is that cancer cells are sensitive to extreme heat. Malignant tumors, which are lumps of cancerous cells, do not have the ability to adapt their blood circulation to high temperatures.  

Cancer cells are weak compared to healthy cells; thus, heat stress effects them greater than normal functioning cells. In fact, according to the National Cancer Institute, heat stress at a high temperature can kill cancer cells without damaging healthy cells.

In a 2009 clinical study in the Journal of Cancer Science and Therapy, it was found that thermal radiation (infrared heat) reduced tumor volumes in mice by 86 percent over the span of 30 days. The study then focused on cancer cells in vitro and had a very similar effect—infrared energy in the far infrared spectrum reduces the size of cancerous tumors.

In a similar study in Japan, researchers discovered that raising one’s core body temperature with infrared heat inhibited growth of breast cancer tumors in mice.



Improved Circulation

Infrared saunas open your body’s blood vessels, venules and arteries through the process of vasodilation. As your body relaxes into the parasympathetic mode of relaxation, your blood vessels, venules, arteries and capillaries all expand, allowing more blood to pass through them. Additionally, because your body rises in core temperature, your body begins to sweat—which is your body’s natural mechanism to cool itself. In order for this to happen, your heart needs to pump harder and faster. When open pathways for circulation is combined with a boost in cardiovascular rate, circulation is increased.

When this happens, essential oxygen and nutrients to the cells of the body. This also increases cellular perfusion, which is the carbon dioxide/oxygen exchange in your cells. Because cancer often forms in tissues with poor circulation and poor nutrition, improved circulation means less cancer cells.

Elimination of Toxins


What is really interesting about using a sauna is that this rise in core temperature, and subsequent boost in cardiovascular rate, essentially routes this extra blood flow to the skin; as a result, your body effectively shunts the blood which normally goes to your internal organs which flows to your skin to get rid of heat trapped in the body. This helps to clear your skin, move toxins out of your body and boost your immune system.

Infrared sauna treatments greatly assist the purging of toxins (plastics, heavy metals and chemicals) from the body. Removing copper, lead, mercury, arsenic and cyanide will help the body get back to homeostasis and balance the body’s pH levels.

Most people don’t sweat nearly enough to utilize the epidermis as a mechanism to remove toxins. By sweating, you are essentially cleaning the body from the inside out by using an infrared sauna.

 When you’re in a good sauna routine every day, you are forced to drink water before during and after your session. This means that during your sauna session you will sweat up to a pint of sweat during a 30 minute period.

Alongside cleansing the largest organ of your body (your skin), regular infrared saunas also help to eliminate toxins from your other organs. 

When the skin is frequently opened through sweating, the normal organs of detoxification are unburdened. Your liver, kidneys and small intestines allow for better function which in turn help for even further detoxification. This helps cancer patients immensely. 

Weight Loss

The American Institute for Cancer Research states that one of the biggest risk factors for cancer is obesity. The reasons for this is that lipophylic carcinogens are stored in fat cells, which have no means of escape without proper diet, exercise or infrared saunas! Infrared saunas burn fat through a rise in cardiovascular rate.

During a 30 minute sauna session, a sauna user is able to burn up to 300 calories. While this is not the 600 calorie in 30 minute b.s., it is still significant and will add up over the span of months. You will want to make sure you are doing regular sauna sessions in conjunction with a healthy diet and exercise. If you do this you will see a noticeable difference almost immediately. Your risk for forming cancer will also fall significantly as well.

Immunity Activation

Conventional cancer treatments suppress your immune system, which is your body’s natural mechanism to fight back. Whole body hyperthermia actually does the opposite. Regular infrared sauna sessions help to boost your white blood cell count, boost heat shock proteins, and reduces inflammation—all of which greatly boost your immune system.

Heat shock proteins attack cancer cells which makes them more vulnerable to being destroyed by the immune system. Dr. Gurdev Parmar, from the Integrated Health Clinic agrees. “Heat weakens cancer cells which makes them stick out to your immune system.” This is because heat shock proteins attack and damage cancer cells which ‘marks’ them for death by the immune system and natural killer cells. This activates macrophages and dendritic cells which are then sent to the tumor.

By heating the patient with whole body hyperthermia the dendritic cells migrate to the body’s lymph nodes. This is where T cells (Cytotoxic T-Lymphocytes) activate against cancer cell proteins, killing them.

This is based in science. At the Clifford Hospital Hyperthermia Center, which is the world’s largest whole body hyperthermia center in the world, doctors found that raising the body’s core temperature to over 107°F can activate T-Lymphocytes and the activity of T and B-Lymphocytes and the anti-cancer natural killer cells. This also helps to redistribute the body’s white blood cells to improve the body’s immune system.

Stress Reduction

Infrared saunas are a peaceful place—a sanctuary, if you will. There is an inherent calm; no distractions, no sounds, just gentle heat. When you take an infrared sauna your body goes from the fight to flight; or from the sympathetic to the parasympathetic mode of your autonomic nervous system.

In other words, infrared saunas reduce stress. 

Excessive stress, or a hyperactive nervous system, contributes to many forms and cases of cancer. When the body’s autonomic nervous system is activated in the muscles, brain, adrenal glands, and thyroid all become overstressed. This inhibits digestion, immune response and normal eliminative organ function. This is the opposite of what a cancer patient needs. 

Infrared saunas sessions promotes rest, relaxation and recovery through parasympathetic dominance. This is good for less stress, better digestion (toxin removal) and a better immune system which is great for cancer patients.

When the body feels that it is under attack, the sympathetic nervous system function is engaged. This draws the blood to the core (trunk) of the body to prepare for blood loss. Saunas do the opposite by activating the parasympathetic function, drawing the blood away from the core and into the periphery. This allows for the free passage of blood, healthier cells, reduced stress, boosted immune system and reduces acidity in the body; all of which inhibit and even prevent cancer.


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I am glad infrared saunas have developed the way they have, because I couldn’t imagine my life without the benefits they provide, like deep sleep, lower blood pressure, less joint pain, weight loss, and a boosted immune system. Here at SaunaCloud I sell saunas that are some of the best history has offered. My far infrared saunas use advanced ceramic-carbon combination heaters for an amazing sauna experience. For more information on how SaunaCloud’s infrared saunas work and how they can improve your health, download my book The Definitive Guide to Infrared Saunas. Just give us a call at SaunaCloud 1.800.370.0820.

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Christopher Kiggins | Sauna Enthusiast

Christopher Kiggins | Sauna Enthusiast

I have been writing, learning, educating and generally pointing people in the right direction infrared sauna wise since 2012. Let me know how I can help: chris@saunacloud.com - (530) 417-1220