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The United States Center for Disease Control estimates that the root causes of more than 80% of all illnesses are found in personal environments or lifestyles. In other words, the world around you can make you sick. It’s in the air we breathe, and in the food we eat. There’s very little we can do to reduce exposure. We can, however, use sauna detoxification as an effective treatment.

Why Is Decontamination/Detoxification Important?

The past 150 years have been a time of incredible progress in medicine, science and industry. Because of these advancements, we now enjoy longer, more productive lives. However, there are many who pay a tremendously high price for our modern lifestyle. The by-products of our chemical technology have resulted in ubiquitous contamination of our atmosphere, lakes, oceans and soil. Our natural environment is now permeated by a barrage of “unnatural” substances.

Many of the chemical sources have been in existence for centuries. However, today we are exposed to chemical concentrations far greater than were our ancestors. Although the human body is known to be accommodating, ecological alterations are now occurring at a faster rate than our bodies are able to adapt. We are now faced with a situation where inadequacies or uncertainties centering around the manufacturing, use, storage, and disposal of toxic chemicals have resulted in an overwhelming number of environmentally induced illnesses.

Since 1965, over 4 million distinct chemical compounds have been reported in scientific literature. Over 6000 new chemicals were added to this list between 1965 and 1978 alone. As of 1981, of over 70,000 chemicals in commercial production, 3,000 have been identified as intentionally added to our food supplies and over 700 in drinking water. During food processing and storage, 10,000 other compounds can become an integral part of many commonly used foods. Added to this list of potential body toxins, petrochemicals, industrial waste, medical and street drugs, radiation (X-rays, nuclear fallout etc.) and tons of pesticides, herbicides, and insecticides, the result is an incredible chemical avalanche to have befallen the human race in a relatively short period of evolutionary history.

There is currently a wealth of scientific evidence showing that thousands of drugs, preservatives, pesticides, and other pollutants remain stored in the body long after exposure. We know for example that an organochlorinated pesticide such as the metabolites of DDT has a half life of between 20 and 50 years in the fat deposits of humans. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over 400 chemicals have been detected in human tissue; 48 were found in adipose tissue, 40 in breast milk, 73 in the liver and over 250 in the blood.

“So many of the diseases and health conditions running rampant in our country are a result of environmental pollutants and toxicity, genetically-modified foods, lack of sun and earth connection, lifestyle stressors, and exposure to harmful electro-magnetic radiation from cell phones, WIFI, computers, and other technological devices. Depending on the health situation, I may not have the luxury of time to get the individual detoxed and replenished. These are the cases where the far-infrared sauna is CRUCIAL to getting the fast, exceptional results that I need to quickly get a case to the next level of healing. I am so in love with this sauna and the results on my patients … I would never have a clinic without one! Truly a life-changing tool!”

Ashley Stelter, BS

Master Nutrition Response Testing Practitioner, Owner, Organique Clinics

Bio-Accumulation Is A Big Deal

The process of bodily accumulation and storage of toxins is known as “toxic bio-accumulation”. Though the predominant storage site in the body is the fatty tissue, toxins may re-enter the bloodstream during times of physical stress (i.e., illness, fasting, excessive heat, exercise) or emotional stress. Every organ that is accessible to these chemicals, which have been mobilized or released from the fat, is being continually exposed at low levels.

As stated by Dr. William L. Marcus, Senior Advisor and Chief Toxicologist for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, “It’s a chronic exposure. That’s why chemicals like dioxin, even in small amounts, are extremely dangerous.” Unfortunately, the human body has no previous experience with these chemicals and there is no natural machinery in the body to break them down, much less eliminate them.

Human accumulation of such compounds as DDT, PCP, PCB, and dioxin, reflect biologically persistent chemicals which are partitioned in the body from water into lipids. Eventually the metabolizing of xenobiotics (chemicals foreign to the biological system) leads to the accumulation of the chemicals and/or their products in lipid deposits throughout the body, particularly in adipose tissue. The simple chemistry involved in this process can be illustrated by the fact that some chemicals readily dissolve in water, while others dissolve only in oil bases. Oil soluble chemicals, therefore, have a tendency to accumulate in body fatty tissue or lipids, which are also insoluble in water. There is no such thing as a fat “cell”…[rather] almost every cell has a fat component. The brain has a high fat content as does virtually every organ.

Directly or indirectly, toxic residues find their way into our air, food and water supplies. The net effect of this ecological overload is to alter the body’s balance or “homeostasis”. This interference with our natural biological tendencies to restore internal balance results in “disease” in one form or another. According to Professor Edward J. Calabrese of the University of Massachusetts, and author of Pollutants and High Risk Groups, “It is this homeostatic process which neutralizes the pollutant’s effect and returns the system to equilibrium.”

Marshall Mandell, MD, nationally renowned in the field of bio-ecologic medicine, wrote in a recent publication that the influx of chemicals in our society today “has resulted in a lowered threshold of resistance and subsequent inability to cope with the natural and unnatural environment due to altered body metabolism, enzyme dysfunction, nutritional deficiencies, and hormonal imbalances.” Health depends on the balance of both external and internal environmental forces.

The Results Are In—And Growing

There is a wealth of literature documenting illnesses in humans from exposure to chemicals. These illnesses include cancers of virtually every organ system of the body, as well as leukemia, liver disease, pulmonary damage, anemia and blood changes, nervous system disease, immune system damage, psychological damage, reproductive and fertility impairment, and kidney dysfunction. There are also many sub-clinical abnormalities that are suspected to result from presumed chemical exposure, and the list grows longer each year.

In response to the above facts, many health care practitioners have been recommending a vast array of decontamination / detoxification programs. Circulating toxins and toxic bowels need proper cleansing. The removal of these toxins is relatively well known and straight forward. But when toxins are deposited in fat storage sites throughout the body, this becomes much more complicated.

The only way to remove toxins from body-wide fat storage sites is to mobilize the toxic fat, dissolving the toxins, and then removing them via the bloodstream/sweat process. The heat generated by a far infrared sauna activates the sweating process, and is an effective method of removing fat-stored toxins from the body.

Decontamination Side Effects & Contraindications

When setting out to detoxify your body, it is also important to be aware of potential side effects. Dehydration, of course, is the #1 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. In that case, losing the toxins in their body is similar 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.

Tests can be done by your 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. As with any new health-related activity, see your doctor to see if it’s right for you.

The Importance Of Hydration

The human body is 66–70% water. Under normal circumstances, our body loses about 35–90 oz. of water a day through body waste, sweat and breathing. During normal athletic activity, the body can lose 8–16 oz. of water per hour. However, the extreme conditions of firefighting can demand more. Our bodies transport most of our nutrients in the blood. The blood is made up of 82% water. Our muscles are composed of 75% water, our brain 76% water, our lungs 90% and our bones contain 25% water. To say water is imperative for optimal health is an understatement.

Before, during, and after adding heat—add water

In all situations, proper hydration is a primary requirement for infrared sauna use. Drinking plenty of fluids is recommended before, during, and after each session. Never short-change yourself in this. And don’t forget electrolytes.

The proper functioning of the immune system depends upon electrolyte balance. Heavy-duty sweat can drain the system of electrolytes, so have a solid game-plan to replenish them. Restoring lost trace electrolytes (calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium) is very important after a sauna or workout. This will also normalize pH, further increase oxygen to the cells, reduce water retention problems, correct neuro-muscular imbalances, improve enzyme production, and increase overall energy levels. Electrolytes play an active role in helping to escort heavy metals out of the body—they are nature’s own chelators.

Another great way to restore minerals is throw a pinch or two of Himalayan Salt (not iodized/table salt) in your water each day. Himalayan salt contains the minerals that are necessary for your health, including macrominerals (calcium, chloride, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and sodium) and trace minerals (boron, chromium, copper, fluoride, iodine, manganese, molybdenum, selenium and zinc). The macrominerals are needed in relative abundance. The recommended daily amount depends of your age, activity level and general health. Calcium is the most common mineral in your body and is found in your bones and teeth, as well as playing a vital role in nerve and muscle health.

Regular vitamin supplements are an inexpensive way to accomplish electrolyte replenishment. (See Vitamin/Mineral section for sources).

“Jen Is very passionate about her work. I have done the sauna a few times and it is really wonderful. I have fibromyalgia among other things. It is a great way to remove toxins that cause inflammation in the body. I always love talking to Jen; always leave with some product. Never been disappointed.”


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