Here Is The Proof That You Can Detox And Vastly Improve Your Health With Sauna

July 21st, 2021

(9 Minute Read)

Cleanse your body through sweating and stop listening to the doubt

If you do a quick google regarding infrared sauna and detox, you will be greeted by an article or two that claims that sauna does not help detox the body.


We’re Here To Tell You: Don’t Believe The Internet


It does not take a deep dive into research to learn that natural detox can be accelerated by not only infrared sauna, but by sweating in general, and various sources of heat therapy.


Stick with us, and we’ll give the simple explanation, along with medical journal sources, that confirm our statement and (unsurprisingly) debunk claims that float around the internet. We are going to go over 3 major myths that are creating misinformation, and provide you with legitimate sources so you can even check us if you want!

You Cannot detox with infrared sauna: FALSE

We’ll address the one that bothers us most, first. You CAN detox through perspiration, contrary to what some say. In fact, there are studies that even indicate that perspiration might be the greatest indicator for gaining a snapshot of what toxins the body is holding6. Here’s a broad list of the different types of toxins that have been found leaving the body in perspiration.

1. Heavy Metals7

In Particular, Arsenic, Cadmium, Lead and Mercury. Research shows that sauna may actually normalize mercury levels7! These toxins can cause kidney damage, bone density issues, cancer and neurological complications13

2. Petrochemicals8

The foundation of plastics. Many are familiar with BPAs… they are included in this group9. They can accumulate in body tissue, organs and the brain, making their impact cumulative. The most common issues linked with this group of toxins includes hormone disorders, cancer and organ damage.

3. Pesticides10

The list of types is extensive, and the government is constantly rotating through the flavor of the month as to what is “least” toxic. The effects can be delayed by years, cumulative and severe. They are linked to things like cancer, tumor formation and nervous system damage.

4. Molds12

Along with other various other mycotoxins. These toxins can be found in common foods like cereals, coffee beans, spices and dry vine fruits. They have been linked to kidney issues and compromising of the immune system.

You Cannot detox with infrared sauna: FALSE

We’ll address the one that bothers us most, first. You CAN detox through perspiration, contrary to what some say. In fact, there are studies that even indicate that perspiration might be the greatest indicator for gaining a snapshot of what toxins the body is holding6. Here’s a broad list of the different types of toxins that have been found leaving the body in perspiration.

1. Heavy Metals7

In Particular, Arsenic, Cadmium, Lead and Mercury. Research shows that sauna may actually normalize mercury levels7! These toxins can cause kidney damage, bone density issues, cancer and neurological complications13

2. Petrochemicals8

The foundation of plastics. Many are familiar with BPAs… they are included in this group9. They can accumulate in body tissue, organs and the brain, making their impact cumulative. The most common issues linked with this group of toxins includes hormone disorders, cancer and organ damage.

3. Pesticides10

The list of types is extensive, and the government is constantly rotating through the flavor of the month as to what is “least” toxic. The effects can be delayed by years, cumulative and severe. They are linked to things like cancer, tumor formation and nervous system damage.

4. Molds12

Along with other various other mycotoxins. These toxins can be found in common foods like cereals, coffee beans, spices and dry vine fruits. They have been linked to kidney issues and compromising of the immune system.

Boost Natural Detox Pathways

Many cite that the body naturally detoxes itself. And this is true! The liver and the kidneys are extraordinary organs which help to filter out bad stuff in our body. From alcohol, to cell waste, they are extremely proficient at what they are designed to do. The body is truly remarkable and resilient.


But it doesn’t mean it can be boosted or helped to perform its best!


One of the ways that sauna helps to support these natural modes of detox is through increasing blood flow(this is widely known, this resource is one of many that touches on it). Sauna also helps to dilate blood vessels to carry more oxygen. Both effects help organs work their best, as well as assist detox organs, like the kidney and liver, dispose of waste/toxins faster.

Infrared does not create a “deeper sweat”: NOT EXACTLY

Traditional Sauna

To understand this claim, we need to understand how traditional sauna works in comparison to infrared sauna. Steam saunas and rock saunas rely on a high ambient temperature. Meaning the air around you needs to be hot, so hot that it makes you start to sweat as a natural response to cool off. Relying on the upper most layers of the body to create a reaction means the impact is on a superficial level. Not to say there are not positive impacts from traditional sauna. The mechanism by which it works is just different.

Infrared Sauna

Unlike traditional saunas, infrared does not rely on ambient temperature to produce results. This is why they often operate at lower temperatures. Infrared is actually a form of light energy, but since we cannot see the wavelength of Far Infrared Light we perceive it as heat energy.


This energy travels through the superficial layers of the body, and is absorbed by the cell, which then absorbs the energy11. Once absorbed, it raises the internal temperature of the cell, which in turn starts to raise the internal temperature of the body. This is why we personally describe infrared as “healing at a cellular level”.


So when you see this claim, the way it should really be worded is, “Infrared Sauna Creates Sweat From A Deeper Level In The Body”.


Infrared does not create a “deeper sweat”: NOT EXACTLY

Traditional Sauna

To understand this claim, we need to understand how traditional sauna works in comparison to infrared sauna. Steam saunas and rock saunas rely on a high ambient temperature. Meaning the air around you needs to be hot, so hot that it makes you start to sweat as a natural response to cool off. Relying on the upper most layers of the body to create a reaction means the impact is on a superficial level. Not to say there are not positive impacts from traditional sauna. The mechanism by which it works is just different.

Infrared Sauna

Unlike traditional saunas, infrared does not rely on ambient temperature to produce results. This is why they often operate at lower temperatures. Infrared is actually a form of light energy, but since we cannot see the wavelength of Far Infrared Light we perceive it as heat energy.


This energy travels through the superficial layers of the body, and is absorbed by the cell, which then absorbs the energy11. Once absorbed, it raises the internal temperature of the cell, which in turn starts to raise the internal temperature of the body. This is why we personally describe infrared as “healing at a cellular level”.


So when you see this claim, the way it should really be worded is, “Infrared Sauna Creates Sweat From A Deeper Level In The Body”.


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Sauna Is Relaxing, But Not Healing: FALSE

This one is perhaps the most confusing, since relaxing in of itself, is healing for the body. When the body and mind relaxes, it actually is balancing a few hormones and neurotransmitters that have a direct impact on your wellness and life longevity. We would like to point out three.

Cortisol

This is one of the major hormones in the body that just does not get enough recognition. It is extremely important to your vitality. Although cortisol does serve its purpose, many out there are just over producing it due to stress.


Cortisol is connected with poor insulin response, increase blood glucose levels, elevated blood pressure, inflammation, increased cravings for comfort food and calories, decrease in bone density, increased heart disease, increased storage of fat in the abdominal section1…. The list truly goes on and on. Its not good, and relaxing helps to stop the production of cortisol. So if sauna is relaxing for you, its healing for you also.

Oxytocin

You might know it as the “feel good” chemical, or the neurotransmitter associated with a “natural high”… And it does create these feelings of euphoria. Sauna will help boost levels while in session, but also post session if you introduce a cool shower quickly after. Oxytocin is connected with benefits such as weight loss. It is anabolic, meaning it promotes muscle building and discourages fat storage, increases bone density, and increase lean mass2.


One of our favorite effects though? Reduction of inflammation, specifically in the brain and intestines3. This is important because inflammation in the brain is beginning to be connected with disease like Alzheimer’s, and reduction of inflammation in the gut is well established as a mode to improve your immune system.

Heat Shock Proteins

This is just cool science stuff, and it’s far from the first time we have brought this topic up. Heat shock proteins are natural phenomenon found in many different types of life, from animals to plants.


To summarize, Heat Shock Proteins are created when core temperature increases a small amount. Once the heat is removed, these specific proteins are created by the body. They have been shown to actually repair faulty DNA transcription4. You read that right, it actually fixes the very process by which the body creates defects contributing to poor health and aging.

To Sum It up...

Next time you have someone try to convince you that your sauna sessions aren’t actually helping you become healthier, you now have the knowledge to help spread this good news… and even the medical journals to back it up.

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References

1. McEwen, Bruce S. “Central effects of stress hormones in health and disease: Understanding the protective and damaging effects of stress and stress mediators.” European journal of pharmacology vol. 583,2-3 (2008): 174-85. doi:10.1016/j.ejphar.2007.11.071


2. McCormack SE, Blevins JE, Lawson EA. Metabolic Effects of Oxytocin. Endocr Rev. 2020 Apr 1;41(2):121–45. doi: 10.1210/endrev/bnz012. PMID: 31803919; PMCID: PMC7012298.


3. Yuan L, Liu S, Bai X, Gao Y, Liu G, Wang X, Liu D, Li T, Hao A, Wang Z. Oxytocin inhibits lipopolysaccharide-induced inflammation in microglial cells and attenuates microglial activation in lipopolysaccharide-treated mice. J Neuroinflammation. 2016 Apr 13;13(1):77. doi: 10.1186/s12974-016-0541-7. PMID: 27075756; PMCID: PMC4831099.


4. Mazaira GI, Daneri-Becerra C, Zgajnar NR, Lotufo CM, Galigniana MD. Gene expression regulation by heat-shock proteins: the cardinal roles of HSF1 and Hsp90. Biochem Soc Trans. 2018 Feb 19;46(1):51-65. doi: 10.1042/BST20170335. Epub 2017 Dec 22. PMID: 29273620.


5. Matienzo D, Bordoni B. Anatomy, Blood Flow. [Updated 2021 Jul 31]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK554457/


6. Genuis SJ, Birkholz D, Rodushkin I, Beesoon S. Blood, urine, and sweat (BUS) study: monitoring and elimination of bioaccumulated toxic elements. Arch Environ Contam Toxicol. 2011 Aug;61(2):344-57. doi: 10.1007/s00244-010-9611-5. Epub 2010 Nov 6. PMID: 21057782.


7. Sears, Margaret E et al. “Arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury in sweat: a systematic review.” Journal of environmental and public health vol. 2012 (2012): 184745. doi:10.1155/2012/184745


8. Genuis SJ, Beesoon S, Lobo RA, Birkholz D. Human elimination of phthalate compounds: blood, urine, and sweat (BUS) study. ScientificWorldJournal. 2012;2012:615068. doi: 10.1100/2012/615068. Epub 2012 Oct 31. PMID: 23213291; PMCID: PMC3504417.


9. Genuis SJ, Beesoon S, Birkholz D, Lobo RA. Human excretion of bisphenol A: blood, urine, and sweat (BUS) study. J Environ Public Health. 2012;2012:185731. doi: 10.1155/2012/185731. Epub 2011 Dec 27. PMID: 22253637; PMCID: PMC3255175.


10. Genuis, Stephen J et al. “Human Elimination of Organochlorine Pesticides: Blood, Urine, and Sweat Study.” BioMed research international vol. 2016 (2016): 1624643. doi:10.1155/2016/1624643


11. Vatansever, Fatma, and Michael R Hamblin. “Far infrared radiation (FIR): its biological effects and medical applications.” Photonics & lasers in medicine vol. 4 (2012): 255-266. doi:10.1515/plm-2012-0034


12. Hope, Janette. “A review of the mechanism of injury and treatment approaches for illness resulting from exposure to water-damaged buildings, mold, and mycotoxins.” TheScientificWorldJournal vol. 2013 767482. 18 Apr. 2013, doi:10.1155/2013/767482


13. Järup L. Hazards of heavy metal contamination. Br Med Bull. 2003;68:167-82. doi: 10.1093/bmb/ldg032. PMID: 14757716.