How to Detoxify
Even though the body has one proven mechanism for dumping environmental toxins, many folks can’t sweat. Environmental chemicals have so damaged the autonomic nervous system that it’s like having a broken thermostat. For others, they feel dreadfully ill if they try to sweat. After driving the tractor to spray chemicals on hundreds of acres of upstate New York cornfields, I was one of those folks who never sweat. For those who do sweat, high heat causes the mobilization into the bloodstream of nasty chemicals from “safe” storage in fat, heightening symptoms. As well, loss of precious nutrients along with the chemicals can precipitate serious medical problems.
A specific detoxification program is needed to circumvent these problems, while first making sure the detoxification pathways are strong enough to handle the extra burden of mobilized chemicals. As well, I’ll show you how folks for whom high temperatures are forbidden, like congestive heart failure and high blood pressure patients, can use this program. Because like anything else in life, there’s a huge spectrum of people and their individual intolerances. With a sauna program, there are those who breeze right through and others who cannot even get started. So regardless of your status, let’s get you over these hurdles.
Sweating Out Toxins, as Easy as 1, 2, 3
If you think you are basically a healthy person, you can probably just jump in the sauna for up to an hour a day at 110-120 degrees, remembering 1, 2,3:
1. use the sauna replenishment nutrients before going in,
2. your detox cocktail when you come out, and
3. your daily nutrients around 12 hours later.
” Detoxify or Die” available at www.prestigepublishing.com
However, since we are addressing an audience with a wide variety of health conditions, deficiencies and toxicities, let’s get you a lot more knowledgeable about potential problems that can occur and how to thwart them. As well, if you happen to be one who has poor initial tolerance to sauna, doesn’t sweat, or who has tough chemicals that put up a struggle, there’s a lot more you should know.
General Rules for the FIR Sauna
Start using the sauna at 100°F, in short 10-20 minute increments at first, building up a feel for your body’s tolerance. Use less heat if you feel discomfort initially. Older, sicker, or folks who feel initial discomfort should proceed at a much slower pace and even lower temperatures. The far infrared sauna wavelength penetrates 1-1/2 inches into the body, generally enabling chemicals to come directly out of subcutaneous fat storage sites into sweat. This avoids a worsening of symptoms seen when high heat saunas pull chemicals out of safe storage, then directly into the bloodstream on their way to the sweat. For once the chemicals are in the bloodstream, you can duplicate some of your worst old symptoms. If you suspect you’ve had severe poisonings that may create serious withdrawal symptoms as you mobilize chemicals, go at a slower pace. For example, if you used cocaine or heroin and did crazy things while on it, you may want someone in attendance with you as you go through mobilization and dumping of these unpredictable drug residues. Even though the far infrared method is much safer and does not generally precipitate symptoms, I’ve learned after 32 years in medicine that there are always exceptions to any rule.
If you are pregnant, have metal parts in your body, take important medications whose levels should not change (like insulin, seizure or heart medications), or are within 48 hours of an acute injury (still in the swelling phase), definitely check with your doctor. In fact any time you embark on a health program, his/her input should be included in your decision-making.
It is a good idea to get a complete physical from your doctor when you discuss your sauna plans. If you are on any medications, sauna may help you detoxify and get rid of important drugs too quickly, thereby changing your blood levels. For some drugs this is not desirable, or you may need to have blood levels of the drug drawn, or have other parameters that are affected by the drug monitored.
I suggest you take your blood pressure, temperature, respiratory rate, weight and pulse rate, assessing its regularity before and after the first few saunas. If you are fragile, check them every 10-15 minutes while in the sauna. It is just good sense to have a blood pressure cuff (sphygmomanometer), stethoscope and thermometer around the house anyway. Any neighborhood nurse, local firehouse ambulance personnel, pharmacist, or your doctor’s nurse, etc. can show you how to use them.
There is no prize for getting to a high temperature or being able to tolerate hours in the sauna. Be gentle with your body and as soon as you feel any discomfort, that’s enough for one day.
If your blood pressure, pulse or respiratory rate increase 10 points, get out of the sauna for the day. You’ve had enough for a beginner until your next day’s session. Why stress your body any more than it has already been stressed throughout your life? Next session use a shorter time and lower temperature along with increasing your minerals and water. If your oral temperature goes over 100 F., stop for the day.
If you weigh less after a sauna, you did not drink enough water to compensate for the loss. A good rule of thumb is to weigh your towels before and after the sauna, drinking the difference in weight in spring water. That is, if your towels gained 3 pounds of water, drink 3 pounds of water. Also keep a little diary and document any symptoms. If you get exaggerated withdrawal symptoms, it could be magnesium or other mineral deficiencies as opposed to withdrawal symptoms from some prescription medication, recreational drug, or past chemical exposure (see emergency measures below).
If you are very apprehensive, start with 10 minutes daily at 100-110 F. Then slowly advance over the weeks to an hour. After you tolerate this, you may wish to slowly advance to 130 F. However, many people stay below 120 degrees Fahrenheit indefinitely. There is no need to go higher. This is not a contest. Some folks start out at 140 degrees Fahrenheit, and as soon as they sweat within 10-15 minutes, then they drop the temperature down to 100,110 or 120, wherever they are comfortable. If at any time you feel uncomfortable, you can stop or just open the door and towel off, cool down for a few seconds and then close the door again.
If you cannot attain any of this in one session, no problem. You may leave it at what you tolerate or get out, shower off toxins, and sauna again in the same or next day. Remember to keep drying off the sweat with a towel. While in the sauna, sometimes just opening the door for a bit or turning down the temperature is enough to allow longer exposure. For folks who are in a hurry to get well, but whose bodies do not let them sauna for more than 15 minutes in the beginning, they may elect to fool the body and do 15 minutes 2-4 times a day.
You must stop at any time that you experience headache, nausea, fast heart rate, weakness, irregular heart rate (if this is not a symptom you normally have), shortness of breath, dizziness, disorientation, muscle cramps, muscle spasms or twitching, or any adverse symptom. Use a tepid shower to cool down slowly without shocking the system. The symptoms of heat stroke (dry and/or cold skin) are more dangerous and require immediate removal and 1-3 tsp. of Tri-Salts with plenty of water. Include a retention water enema (1 tbs. of Tri-Salts in 2-4 cups of water) as well. Unless you had a mineral and fatty acid analysis before you entered, no one knows what nutrient deficiencies you started with. Anything borderline can be accentuated or made dramatically worse with the losses sustained with any sauna.
Remember the average American diet only provides 40% of the magnesium a person needs in a day. So everyone is low to begin with. Sauna will only make it worse. Magnesium is the main mineral to be lost in the greatest amount in sweat. Zinc and calcium are a close second for the most commonly lost minerals, then all the other minerals and nutrients follow. So since most people already start out with multiple deficiencies, especially magnesium, it is imperative to compensate for the accentuation of losses incurred by forced sweating. You’ll see I will give you lots of sources for fast, efficient absorption of magnesium later on.