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Excerpted from: Sick and Tired? Robert O. Young , PhD. DSc. 1999
Because of the level of pollution we are exposed to and its many sources, as well as poor dietary and exercise habits, the therapeutic value of regular sweating has become immense. It has benefits for both body and mind and, in fact, is the primary benefit of exercise.
One of the best passive exercises is the radiant heat of an infrared sauna which causes a profound deep sweat. After about 30 minutes of exposure, the blood vessels of the skin dilate to allow more blood to flow to the surface to support the cooling process. The millions of sweat glands covering the body are infused with fluid from the blood. In turn, they empty to the skin's surface, thereby flushing large amounts of toxins, including toxic acids and heavy metals, from the body.
My research over the last two years shows that a radiant heat [infrared] sauna provides the following benefits:
The following was excerpted from Dr. Aaron M. Flickstein’s article on infrared sauna therapy entitled Infrared Thermal System, 1994
Over the last 25 years, Japanese and Chinese researchers and clinicians have done extensive research on infrared treatments and reported many provocative findings. In Japan there is an “Infrared Society,” composed of medical doctors and physical therapists, to further research and support the health benefits of infrared as a healing method. There have been over 700,000 infrared thermal systems sold in the Orient for whole-body treatments, and an additional 30 million people have received localized infrared treatment in the Orient, Europe, and Australia with lamps tuned to the same 2 ~ 25 micron waveband as employed in these whole-body thermal systems. Whole-body infrared therapy has been used for over 80 years by German physicians in an independently developed form.
Passive Cardiovascular Conditioning Effect
An infrared thermal system makes it possible for people in wheelchairs, or those who are otherwise unable to exert themselves, or who won’t follow through on an exercising and conditioning program to achieve a cardiovascular training effect. This also allows for more variety in any ongoing training program. “Many of us who run do so to place a demand on our cardiovascular system, not to build big leg muscles. Regular use of a sauna may impact a similar stress on the cardiovascular system, and its regular use may be as effective, as a means of cardiovascular conditioning and burning of calories, as regular exercise.” – Journal of the American Medical Association 8/7/81.
Due to the deep penetration, over 1.5” into the skin, of the infrared rays generated by an infrared thermal system, there is a heating effect deep in the muscular tissues and the internal organs. The body responds to his deep-heating effect via an hypothalamic-induced increase in both heart volume and rate. This beneficial heart stress leads to a sought-after cardiovascular training and conditioning effect. Medical researches confirm that the use of a sauna provides cardiovascular conditioning as the body works to cool itself and involves substantial increases in heart rate, cardiac output and metabolic rate. As a confirmation of the validity of this form of cardiovascular conditioning, extensive research by NASA in the early 1980’s led to the conclusion that infrared stimulation of cardiovascular function would be the ideal way to maintain cardiovascular conditioning in American astronauts during long space flights. Blood flow during whole-body hyperthermia is reported to rise from a normal 5 ~ 7 quarts per minute to as much as 13 quarts per minute.