Sitting in a sauna or lying under a steam canopy is a vigorous activity that produces an artificial “fever”, pushing every organ of the body into action, just as if you were jogging or doing other aerobic activity. The immune system is stimulated, triggering the production of white blood cells and T cells (killer cells). The skin, the body’s largest organ, cleanses you from the inside out as you relax and sweat.
Historically, the oldest known medical writings of Ayurvedic Medicine praise the benefits of sweating. In fact, it considers sweating so important for good health that it prescribes regular sweat baths and thirteen other methods to induce a sweat.
The medicinal value of sweating has been extolled throughout the centuries and in all cultures; for example: the Finnish sauna, Russian banya, Turkish hammam and Native American sweatlodge. Physicians throughout the ages have said that sweating is as essential to health as eating, sleeping and breathing.
Today, people are more sedentary and nutrient deficient, with more toxic overload, so the need is even greater to sweat than ever before.
During a 15-minute sauna, about one quart of sweat is excreted. Some of this is heavy metal excretion, such as mercury and lead, which would take the kidneys at least 24 hours to eliminate. This is why the skin is often referred to as the third kidney.
Combining sauna and steam with dry skin brushing, or other forms of exfoliation (scrubs, Hammam glove and loofa) removes dead skin cells that accumulate on the epidermis. If not removed, they clog the pores and cause dry, flakey skin.
Heat opens the pores and increases circulation through vasodilation. As the blood vessels dilate, blood rushes into the tissues bringing oxygen and nutrients. This increased circulation also helps to remove cellular wastes, thereby increasing the detoxification effect.
A half-hour sessions in the sauna can burn up to 600 calories, which can assist in weight loss. Studies have shown a beneficial effect on the heart and circulatory system through repeated sauna therapy. It appears to put a similar stress on the cardiovascular system as does exercise, and can be a beneficial conditioning tool for most people.
Heat offers relief to people with osteoarthritis by dilating blood vessels. Heat also decreases muscle spasms, relieves pain and can increase range of motion from over-exercise or stress.
Combining a mineral mud treatment such as Moor Mud helps to penetrate the minerals into the system.