Combatting Inflammaging with Far Infrared Sauna Treatment
Far infrared is a light that is directly absorbed by our cells and is penetrates our skin 1.5 inches deep. A Naturopathic Medical treatment involves sitting in a dry heat between 120ºF-130ºF for 15- 30 minutes and then being wrapped in a cold wet sheet pack.
Combine dry heat + far infrared light, and what does your mind and body get? Benefits proved by research include:
• Improved cell membrane function, which means improved movement of nutrients and toxins in and out of the cell.
• Increased mitochondria metabolism, which is excellent for detoxification and energy.
• Wound healing and skin cell turnover that benefits psoriasis, eczema and acne.
• Reduced blood pressure due to tonified vasculature and improved heart function.
• Increased immune system function.
• Increased exercise tolerance, with faster recovery time and muscle growth.
• Reduced anxiety and stress due to the general relaxation offered by the warmth.
• Reduced fatigue and insomnia.
• Reduced allergy rhinitis and sinusitis.
• Reduced chronic pain in conditions such as gout, arthritis and autoimmune disease due to decreased inflammation.
• Whole body detoxification through improved circulation of antioxidants and perspiration of toxins.
• Increased longevity through reduction of the diseases of aging due to reduced inflammation and oxidative stress.
Yes, that is alot of benefits for a very enjoyable and relaxing treatment!
My favorite conditions to offer it for include diseases of the aging (think Alzheimer's, cardiovascular disease...), chronic inflammatory response syndromes (such as chronic Lyme disease, mold toxicity...), environmental detoxification (from heavy metals, pesticides...) and as part of my nutrigenomics and longevity treatment packages.
Aging, Disease and the Far IR Treatment
One of the root causes of aging and the ensuing diseases is cellular damage that accumulates over time as a result of oxidative damage. Are cells are busy working for us and as a result they produce byproducts called reactive oxygen species (ROS) and other free radicals. These ROS and free radicals damage our cell membranes, structural proteins, and DNA. Our body's natural defense is antioxidants, or molecules able to neutralize free radicals, such as glutathione, alpha lipoic acid, vitamins C and E. Unfortunately our ability to produce antioxidants decline as we age. Furthermore, environmental toxins decrease our defenses by overtaxing our cells natural antioxidants, and thus increase the aging process.
Disease of aging include cardiovascular disease, neurodegenerative disease and stroke. All of these diseases result from increased oxidative damage to organs and tissue. Far infrared therapy has been shown to not only reduce the risk of these aging diseases, but has been shown at the cellular level to reduce oxidative damage, and in some cases completely restore cell viability in damaged cells.
Longevity and the Far IR Treatment
Heat shock proteins are a family of proteins that are activated in response to elevated body temperature. Heat shock proteins increase our cells' resistance to stress by ridding our cells of damaged proteins. These clumps of damaged proteins, known as aggregates, are seen in aging and dying cells. You've probably heard of amyloid-beta aggregates that are the hallmark of Alzheimer's disease.
Heat shock proteins are known to prolong the life and health of our cells, and studies suggest they may prolong the life of the organism as a whole. When in the Far IR sauna, the heat activates our own heat shock proteins thereby protecting our cells from damage, prolonging their life, and improving how we age and, yes, even our overall longevity.
Inflammation and the Far IR Treatment
Inflammation is the result of our immune system activating in response to an external or internal antigen, to stress or to an infection that provokes a release of inflammatory cytokines. Our body has the ability to then turn off the inflammatory cytokines, but sometimes it stays activated causing a low grade chronic inflammation that continually causes oxidative damage throughout the body. Inflammation increases as we age and is known as 'Inflammaging', due to our reduced ability to turn off inflammation as we get older. Far IR treatment has been shown to reduce C-reactive protein (CRP), one of the most clinically tested metrics of inflammation.
The Down and Dirty about Detoxification
We live in a polluted world and every single one of us has pollutants in us. It is not a matter of if we are polluted, but how much. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) conducted the National Human Tissue Adipose Survey and identified that:
➣100% of fat tissues sampled contained: OCDD (a dioxin) and 4 solvents: styrene, 1,4-dichlorobenzene, xylene, and ethylphenol.
➣91-98% of all tissue samples contained: benzene, toluene, chlorobenzene, ethylbenzene, one furan, three dioxins, and DDE (a partial dechlorination of DDT).
➣83% of all adipose samples had PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls).
➣87% had β-HCH, an organochloride.
And this is just the toxicity found in fat cells.
Toxins love to aggregate in fat tissue, but it can also burden our cardiovascular system, bones, brain tissue, lungs, reproductive organs, kidney, digestive organs, thyroid etc. The CDC National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys test blood and urine samples every 2 years for the presence of 246 environmental chemicals. You can read the results online here. A 2009 study by the Environmental Working Group uncovered 232 contaminants in cord blood from 10 minority infants born between 2007-2008.
Environmental medicine is a critical component of health care. In addition to offering multiple tests to identify toxicity (heavy metals, organophosphates/glyphosates, phthalates, solvents etc.), I also prepare and detoxify the body safely. Detoxification is an area naturopathic medicine excels at because it focuses on gently supporting all the emunctories, or pathways for toxins to be safely excreted from the body.
Naturopathic Medicine addresses detoxification through all the emunctories of skin, breath, urine and stool. Far Infrared Saunas offer gentle and effective detoxification through increased circulation and perspiration through the skin and breath. One study showed that toxic elements such as cadmium, lead, and aluminum excreted in sweat were greater than the amounts excreted in urine.
I offer a Far Infrared Sauna by High Tech Health. These saunas are patented to have the lowest EMF emissions in the industry. EMF includes both electric and magnetic fields, and the High Tech Health IR sauna uses patented triple anti-field heaters verified by third party EMF testing.
Book a Session
Naturopathic Far Infrared Sauna Treatments include 15-30 minutes in the sauna at 120ºF-130ºF followed by 15-20 minutes in a wet sheet pack.
Naturopathic hydrotherapy always ends treatment with cold application of water to increase metabolism, circulation, to flush the organs and tissue with fresh oxygen, to stimulate the immune system, to drive lymph flow and to hydrate the skin.
Thank you to Jenna Greenfield MD and her writing on the benefits of Far IR Sauna Treatments available online at:
Vatansever F, Hamblin MR, Far infrared radiation (FIR): its biological effects and medical applications. Photonics & lasers in medicine. 2012 Oct 16; 4: 255-266
YShui S, Wang X, Chiang JY, Zheng L. Far infrared therapy for cardiovascular, autoimmune, and other chronic health problems: A systematic review. Experimental Biology and Medicine. 2015 Oct; 240(10): 1257-1265
Calderwood SK, Murshid A, Prince T. The shock of aging: molecular chaperones and the heat shock response in longevity and aging--a mini-review. Gerontology. 2009;55(5):550–558. doi:10.1159/000225957
Vos MJ, Carra S, Kanon B, et al. Specific protein homeostatic functions of small heat-shock proteins increase lifespan. Aging Cell. 2016;15(2):217–226. doi:10.1111/acel.12422
Genuis S, Birkholz D, Rodushkin I, et al. Blood, Urine and Sweat (BUS) Study: Monitoring and Elimination of Bioaccumulated Toxic Elements. Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology. 2010; 61(2):344-57. doi:10.1007/s00244-010-9611-5
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