“Give me a fever and I can cure any disease.”
“Sauna is a poor-man drugstore.”
-Ancient Finnish saying
“When you take a sauna, the heat pumps up blood circulation near the skin and stimulate sweating. It helps the body rid itself of unwanted materials and improves general circulation. In medieval times, healers relied on saunas to cure illnesses.” (Dr. Andrew Weil)
Although often misunderstood as a symptom of disease, fever actually is a part of the body’s natural healing response. Steam baths, sauna, and other heat-inducing treatments elicit similar healing responses in the body, and consequently are often called “artificial fevers”.
Sweat bathing helps by stimulating the autonomic nervous system, the pituitary gland, and the adrenal glands.
Researchers aren’t clear about the exact role saunas play in prevention, but one 1989 German study found that people who steamed twice a week got half as many colds as those who didn’t. One theory: When you take a sauna you inhale air hotter than 80 degrees, a temperature too hot for cold and flu viruses to survive.
“If you have [tendency to] high blood pressure or heart disease, saunas may be good for you” (Dr. Andrew Weil).
In recent research provided by Japan scientists came to the conclusion: “Sauna baths help the heart the same way exercise does.”
“Repeated sauna treatment improves [blood vessel] function, resulting in improvement in cardiac function and … symptoms,” write study author Takashi Kihara, MD, and colleagues from Kagoshima University and Nanpuh Hospital in Kagoshima.
Sweat bathing acts as a general toxic eliminator. The heat produces an artificial “fever” and urges every organ of the body into action. While outwardly relaxed, your inner organs are as active as though you were jogging or mowing the lawn. At the same time, you are being cleansed from inside out by the skin, your body’s largest organ and its excretion, sweat. The utilization of heat stress for removal of poisons from the body dates back to ancient times. Through a variety of non-invasive detoxification modalities such as sauna therapy, nutritional detoxification, and other supportive physical therapy procedures, toxic residues can be significantly reduced from the body. This is the only method of detoxification evidenced in current nutritional, medical, and bio-chemical literature capable of significantly reducing or eliminating stored toxic residue with scientifically proven safety, according to Dr. David W. Schnara, Science Advisor to the Environmental Protection Agency. 20 minutes in the sauna equals 24 hours work by the kidneys.
There is evidence that artificial fever works as an immune system stimulant by increasing the number of white blood cells in the body. In a 1959-review of studies on the effects of heat treatments, Mayo Clinic researchers found that the number of white blood cells in the blood increased by an average of 58% during artificially induced fever. Researchers also have found increases in the activity of the white blood cells during induced fever. As production of white blood cells, the primary agents of the immune system, is increased, the rate of their release into the blood stream also goes up. The generation of antibodies speeds up, as does the production of interferon, an anti viral protein that also has powerful cancer-fighting properties.
In addition, as in the case of bodily-induced fever, the raised temperature during the artificial fever reduces the growth rate of most bacteria and viruses, giving the immune system time to mobilize its own forces. Indeed, many regular steam or sauna bathers have experienced that a good, long sweat bath at the early onset of a cold or flu can help ward off the disease before it manifests as an actual symptom.
With the strong increase in blood flow (not blood pressure) and the subsequent removal of excess lactic acid the pores in the skin are opened up and are deeply and thoroughly cleaned, clearing away oil, dead skin cells, cosmetics, blackheads and acne-producing bacteria. The skin will look healthier, fresher, and more youthful. The increased blood circulation also promotes the healing of skin cuts by bringing a greater supply of red and white blood cells to the surface.
Intense muscular activities cause muscles to become sore. This is due to the build up of large amounts of lactic acid and carbon dioxide in the muscles. The faster this waste is cleared, the faster the stiffness in the muscles disappears. In sauna, excess lactic acid which build up during exercise is removed, tired and sore muscles relax, and joint stiffness is relieved. Athletes often use saunas after strenuous exercise and physical activity.
Note: You should always check with your doctor or physician first. Your physician will notify you of any restrictions related to the sauna.
Visit our showroom at Spa Place and find the right sauna for you.