"Give me a fever and I can
cure any disease."
"Sauna is a poor-man drugstore."
-Ancient Finnish saying
Why Sauna is good.
“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, and priests used their heat
to chase away evil spirits.” (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.
Flu and Cold
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.
Prevention of Heart Disease
"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, acting 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.
Immune System Stimulant
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
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 in
manifests as actual symptoms.
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 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.
Problems of Athletes and Bodybuilders
Intense muscles 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 builds up during
exercise is removed, tired and sore muscles relax, and joint stiffness is
relieved. Athletes often use saunas after strenuous exercise.