Find Out How Regular Infrared Sauna Therapy May Help
All aspects of everyday life are affected by the pain, joint stiffness, and fatigue that accompany the diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis. From brushing your teeth, to stepping out of bed, food preparation, and the overall limitations of moving a body that is steeped in the ruthless symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis,this autoimmune disease is degenerative and debilitating with no known cure.
Typical treatment involves symptom management and an aggressive pharmaceutical approach to reduce joint swelling and pain. With the little known cause of rheumatoid arthritis, it is believed that prolonged states of stress response worsen symptoms and increase periods of disease activation. This ultimately speeds up the deteriorating effects that this condition has on many systems in the body including the disfigurement of extremities.
So, Can Infrared Sauna Therapy Help With Rheumatoid Arthritis?
When it comes to using an infrared sauna for arthritis, the treatment can be quite promising. In recent years, case studies involving individuals diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis using broad spectrum infrared sauna treatment twice weekly have proven highly successful in finding elongated states of remission (1). These results have created the platform for the dawning of a new era in how we treat and foster the well being of individuals suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.
If you, or someone you love, is living with rheumatoid arthritis, please read on to understand how infrared sauna therapy can help manage and relieve symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.
Learn how the infrared light spectrum affects the body’s systems to relieve symptoms, read about previous case studies that found symptom relief from infrared sauna therapy, and finally discover how regular infrared sauna therapy provides freedom from painful joint swelling and keep rheumatoid arthritis in remission so that life for you or your loved one can be lived free from debilitating pain.
What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic autoimmune disorder that over time degrades and erodes many of the body’s systems including the joints, eyes, lungs, skin, and blood vessels. An autoimmune disorder occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks the tissues of the body rather than an external threat. Rheumatoid arthritis damages the lining of the joints, causing severe swelling, pain, fatigue, and sometimes the deformity of the joints and limbs.
The chronic inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis is the cause of the degradation of other body systems beyond the joints. It is also inflammation in the joints that causes the synovium (joint membrane) to thicken. This results in an abundance of synovial fluid leading to ligament and tendon expansion and weakening causing deformity in the joints and limbs of individuals suffering from this condition. Prolonged inflammation causes the loss of elasticity in the cartilage as ligaments stretch and weaken.
Rheumatoid Arthritis is episodic, meaning the condition flares up during certain periods of time and also finds remission at other times. Understanding the causative factors behind the ‘flare ups’ can help individuals to manage the condition. Like all autoimmune disorders remaining in stress response for prolonged periods of time appears to be a strong causative component in stages of increased uncomfortability.
Rheumatoid arthritis begins by affecting the smaller joints at first, fingers and toes in symmetrical alignment. For example, if the left big toe is affected so too is the right big toe. As the disease progresses larger joints are affected, eventually the cardiovascular system and internal organs pay the toll of prolonged inflammation.
Medical professionals refer to the ‘flare up’ stage as disease activation and periods where there are little to no signs or symptoms as states of disease remission. While there is no known cure, the goal in any treatment plan is for the patient to remain in states of remission with no experienced symptoms (2).
Understanding that inflammation throughout the body is the primary mover of rheumatoid arthritis symptoms helps to create a treatment plan that addresses this underlying culprit.
The infrared spectrum of light has a unique interaction with the cellular network of the body that results in increased circulation and therefore reduced inflammation. This is an important aspect of any rheumatoid arthritis management plan.
Who Is Affected By Rheumatoid Arthritis And What Causes Rheumatoid Arthritis To Occur In Certain Individuals?
Approximately 1.5 million Americans live with rheumatoid arthritis, 70% of all cases occur in women between the ages of 30 and 60 years old. Men living with rheumatoid arthritis generally are older than 60 years of age. The exact cause of this chronic condition is unknown. Medical professionals surmise that genetics, environmental factors, and chronic stress make certain individuals more susceptible to this autoimmune disease.
While the exact cause of the condition is still unknown, it appears that lifestyle plays a critical role, both in the emergence of the condition as well as affecting states of remission and disease activation. Although biomedicine has been unable to determine specific factors that lead to the development of the disease, professionals in the field do know that prolonged states of stress response keep the condition active. Inflammation is the underlying destructive factor in the degradation of ligaments, tendons, and ultimately joints. As the condition progresses inflammation will eventually take its toll on the vital organs (2).
Finding a management plan that addresses inflammation will be a positive factor in keeping the disease in remission. If you or a family member lives with rheumatoid arthritis, consider infrared sauna therapy as an excellent means of managing inflammation.
Typical Pharmaceutical Treatments Used To Manage Rheumatoid Arthritis And Why They May Increase Disease Activation
Rheumatoid Arthritis is often managed with an aggressive plan to decrease inflammation from occurring in the body. To manage arthritis pain, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) are used, this includes over the counter drugs, such as ibuprofen as well as prescription pain relievers. Using painkillers may reduce pain, but they do not necessarily ‘cure’ the underlying issue of the condition.
Chronic inflammation is addressed using corticosteroids, including prednisone, which is a quick acting anti-inflammatory prescription drug. The risk of side effects in this family of drugs is strong and medical professionals prefer to use them for short periods of time. Risk of heart disease, increased stress response, and cardiovascular issues are some of the side effects from prolonged use of corticosteroids. In addition to the harmful side effects, these drugs encourage stress response in the body by activating sympathetic dominance (survival states/fight of flight) of the autonomic nervous system.
Management through drug treatment may ultimately worsen symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis by inducing further states of stress response. Keeping rheumatoid arthritis in remission requires aggressive treatment of inflammation and encouraging states of relaxation. Infrared sauna therapy has an astounding impact on chronic inflammation without any harmful side effects.
Additionally, infrared sauna therapy encourages parasympathetic dominance (states of relaxation) of the autonomic nervous system and gently draws individuals out of stress response so that prolonged states of disease remission becomes the norm.
How Does An Infrared Sauna Reduce Inflammation And Therefore Encourage States Of Remission In Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients?
Successful treatment of rheumatoid arthritis relies on two key components: Inflammation reduction (without harmful side effects) and finding pathways out of stress response and back into states of relaxation.
The relationship between the infrared light spectrum and the molecular structure of the body is complex, and the result of this interaction has far-reaching health benefits. Infrared sauna therapy is a preferred treatment for arthritis because of its powerful effect on the circulatory system and its ability to reduce inflammation in the body. Where there is no inflammation, there are no symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.
So, How Does Infrared Sauna Therapy Reduce Inflammation?
Infrared wavelengths exist on the invisible spectrum of light and cannot be seen with the human eye, but are experienced kinetically as heat. The infrared spectrum of light penetrates deeply into the epidermis and therefore fully engages the cellular and molecular network. As the rays of infrared light burrow into the epidermis, the largest human organ, they heat the body up from the inside out. The body responds to both infrared heat therapy and light to reduce inflammation by increasing circulation. Improved blood circulation intrinsically flushes inflammation out of the joints by creating a current of hyperoxygenated hemoglobin through the affected areas of the body.
When the body is exposed to the healing rays of the infrared spectrum, the living anatomy of the human body invites the light into its network system to create a domino effect on the cellular activity to decrease inflammation.
As the infrared light seeps beyond the initial membrane of the skin to penetrate into the soft tissue of the body, the cellular mechanism responds in excitement. The human form is comprised of 50 trillion cells, each cell in the body has what could be considered an ‘energy plant’ the mitochondria, where ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) production occurs. The mitochondria are very sensitive to all light, particularly sensitive to the deeply penetrative rays of the infrared. As soon as the body is exposed to infrared light, ATP production is exponentially stimulated.
As ATP production increases in response to infrared light exposure, this releases nitric acid, which hyperoxygenates the hemoglobin. The freshly oxygenated blood cells begin to flow throughout the body like a fast-moving river.
Inflammation occurs in rheumatoid arthritis patients as a result of the fluctuation of synovial fluid in the membrane of the joint cells. The lack of oxygen in the inflamed regions of the body causes swelling and pain. Ultimately this swelling will stretch the tendons and ligaments causing deformity in the joints of individuals suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. Within minutes of exposure to the infrared light spectrum, ATP production is heightened and increases the flow of oxygen in the blood. This creates better and faster flowing circulation of the blood throughout the body and thus reduces inflammation (3).
In 2009 the US National Library Of Medicine published a revelatory case study using 17 individuals diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and followed their journey through a four-week infrared sauna therapy treatment. Each individual took two infrared sauna therapy sessions per week lasting for at least 15 minutes. The study reported that there were no adverse effects but rather revealed that:
“Pain and stiffness decreased clinically, and improvements were statistically significant during and after infrared sauna sessions. Fatigue also decreased. RA patients felt comfortable during and especially after treatment.” –US National Library Of Medicine, Institute Of Health, 2009 (4)
This study reveals the positive effects of infrared sauna therapy over a short period of time with relatively infrequent infrared sauna treatments on patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. One can surmise that with greater frequency of sessions over a prolonged period of time, symptom reduction would be exponential. It is conceivable that total remission of the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis would occur after consistent and regular exposure to the infrared spectrum.
It is possible to find relief from inflammation without using toxic pharmaceutical medication with harmful side effects to treat cases of rheumatoid arthritis. Not only is infrared sauna therapy an excellent modality in treating the symptoms of this chronic condition, but it also has a profound impact on overall health.
In addition to addressing the issue of inflammation in patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, infrared sauna therapy reduces expressions of stress response in the body by coaxing the physiological network back into states of relaxation.
Medical professionals understand that a causative factor in the active expression of this chronic condition is prolonged states of stress. Symptoms of inflammation, pain, and fatigue are addressed through infrared sauna therapy as well as the causative factors of prolonged states of stress.
Increase Collagen Production Through Infrared Sauna Therapy: Repair The Cellular Damage Incurred From Rheumatoid Arthritis
Exposure to near-infrared light increases collagen production (5). Collagen is responsible for the elasticity in the skin and bones. By augmenting collagen production, bone marrow regenerates at faster rates to reduce damage caused by rheumatoid arthritis.
Inflammation in the joints over prolonged periods of time stretches and weakens the ligaments and tendons around the joint and produces bone deformity in the outlining areas. This occurs in the later stages of rheumatoid arthritis. By increasing collagen, joint tonus is also increased; this means that any inflammation that is occurring in the joints will not have the same damaging effects.
Further, heightening collagen production will stimulate cellular regeneration in the bone marrow of the body and will heal damage incurred from prolonged inflammation.
Exposure to the infrared light spectrum will not only reduce inflammation, but it will also increase collagen production; and therefore, begin to heal the damaged bones, tendons, and ligaments that have been incurred after years of living with rheumatoid arthritis.
Infrared Sauna Therapy Provides Relief From Stress Response: A Causative Factor In Rheumatoid Arthritis
While medical professionals have been unable to find a direct cause of rheumatoid arthritis, it is well understood that a stressful lifestyle is a contributing factor both in the onset of the condition as well as a trigger for phases of ‘flare ups’. If individuals suffering from this disease were able to maintain greater states of relaxation or have the tools to easily exit stress response, then remission would remain the constant.
The warm rays of the infrared light spectrum open and expand the cellular membrane to induce states of relaxation. When relaxation occurs, projected energy outward is drawn back into the body’s network for nourishment and healing. Prolonged states of stress response will create a myriad of diseases within the body. Infrared sauna therapy is a pleasurable tool that will draw the body out of stress response back into states of rest and relaxation where healing can occur.
Individuals suffering from rheumatoid arthritis must find states of relaxation in order to obtain remission from the disease. Relaxation for these individuals is not a luxury but a necessity. For this reason, the infrared sauna can be a lifeline out disease activation back into remission for rheumatoid arthritis patients (6).
How To Use An Infrared Sauna For Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is a progressive condition and usually affects the smaller joints in the early stages. Individuals who have found complete remission from the disease have testified that while they were using infrared sauna therapy they would raise the inflamed joints upwards and draw these parts of the body closer to the heating units within the infrared sauna. For example, if arthritis is affecting the ankle joints then it is advised that you lay down on the bench in your infrared sauna with the legs up the wall and ankles resting close to the heat emitters.
Reversing the flow of circulation by having affected joints raised above the head, inflammation is reduced and penetration of the infrared rays are able to move more directly into the painful areas of the body.
Infrared saunas do not rely on high external heat, but rather raise the internal core temperature from the inside out. It is therefore comfortable to sit in the unit for anywhere from 15 to 50 minutes. The more exposure time to the infrared spectrum the greater the ATP production becomes and therefore an internal climate of fluid circulation of hyperoxygenated blood cells occurs.
The temperature in the infrared sauna does not need to be set high to reap the health benefits of improved circulation. Finding a physical posture in the infrared sauna that promotes proximity of the painful areas of the body to the heat emitters will increase symptom relief without adding the stress of high temperatures.
If you or someone you love is suffering from rheumatoid arthritis then infrared sauna treatment could be the solution to finding remission, especially when particular postures are assumed during the sauna session to promote circulation to painful parts of the body.
Is Remission From Rheumatoid Arthritis With Infrared Sauna Therapy Possible?
Receiving the diagnosis of an autoimmune disorder is fear-inducing, particularly when there is no known cure. In addition to the pain and limited mobility associated with rheumatoid arthritis, individuals are left anticipating the worst. Living in dread of the ultimate demise of the body as a result of this degenerative disease is stressful unto itself. Medical studies now suggest that there is an opportunity for the cessation of symptoms and possibly the complete remission of the condition including a stunting of the progression of the disease.
Infrared sauna therapy for rheumatoid arthritis is a treatment method that can provide greater states of comfort, free from painful symptoms within the first four weeks. This treatment will also induce states of relaxation and release its patients from states of stress response that are responsible for disease activation.
Although rheumatoid arthritis is a painful and potentially lethal condition, there is hope for patients suffering at the merciless grip of this condition. Stepping into the infrared light spectrum opens up to the possibility of the dawning of a new future, one where pain relief from rheumatoid arthritis is possible without any harmful side effects and where, perhaps, even full remission can be found.
***** Contraindication: If you have been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and are currently on a management program created by your medical practitioner, please consult with him or her before proceeding with infrared sauna therapy.
The wide spectrum of symptoms, behaviors, and expressions that fall under the auspice of autism means that each individual case is entirely unique. While some individuals may consider autism as a gift, or a way of being in the world that is unique and special, others, depending on symptom expression may be looking for treatments to improve the quality of life.
This article by no means suggests that autism is a condition that needs to be fixed or cured. If, however you are looking to improve the quality of life for yourself or your loved one, there is substantial scientific evidence to suggest that regular sauna bathing alters the biochemistry of the autistic individual to minimize symptom expression.
Whole body heat therapy as experienced in an infrared sauna is known to improve BH4 levels in individuals for whom deficiency of this compound was associated with heightened autistic symptoms. Additionally, regular sauna bathing improves the quantity of heat shock proteins in connection to BH4 disbursement throughout the tissues of the body. Also. Sauna bathing helps to detoxify the body from potentially harmful heavy metals.
This article will explore in detail how sauna bathing affects biochemistry to improve the quality of life for individuals deficient in BH4, rather than looking to cure or fix the broad band width of the autistic spectrum.
Autism From An Epigenetic Perspective: Modifying Environmental Influence To Reduce Symptom Expression
The cause and even correlative factors contributing to the expression of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) remains largely mysterious. Without knowing specifically what causes a disorder it can be difficult to treat its symptoms. Furthermore, ASD is a general umbrella term that classifies many symptoms of distorted or stunted neurological developmental.
No two cases of Autism are exactly the same. It is believed that a combination of genetic as well as epigenetic factors contributes to its expression. Both environmental factors and heredity seem to contribute to this developmental disorder. (1)
Neosauna Tip: What is epigenetics? Epigenetics is the modification of genetic expression without altering the DNA itself. Typically environmental factors, both internal and external, play a role in gene activity or expression. Epigenetics can work in both positive and negative ways. This means that environmental exposure to pathogens, toxins, and heavy metals may impact the expression of certain disorders that may not have been activated had environmental elements been healthier.
Further, epigenetics empowers the individual to create an environment, both internal and external, that fosters the healthful expression of genes. Some scientists believe that Autism is an epigenetic disorder, although there is no conclusive evidence. (2)
Here is what a journal published by the National Institute of Health tells us about the relationship between epigenetics and Autism:
“Currently, epigenetic and its complex mechanisms are presented as the most momentous mediator in the environment and genome interactions. Environmental factors can affect the quality and quantity of gene expression without changing the DNA sequence through epigenetic mechanisms, including DNA methylation, changes in histone proteins, and expression of noncoding RNAs. This way, they can be transferred to the next cellular generation or even the next organism generation…
As a result, exposure to harmful environmental factors can change the expression of developmental key genes in critical periods of embryo formation and increases the risk of genomic imprinting diseases such as autism. Given that autism is an epigenetic disorder in which environmental risk factors are the most momentous mediators in its pathogenesis, detection of these factors can help parents avoid the danger of autism onset in their children. By following the mentioned tips, parents can provide a lower risk condition for the outbreak of autism.” (3)
Regardless of the cause or correlative factors contributing to the expression of ASD, research suggests that by modifying exposure to certain elements positively impacts how symptoms are expressed in individuals living with Autism.
Research suggests that the following three environmental factors may contribute to increased manifestation of Autistic characteristics:
BH4 (Tetrahydrobiopterin) Deficiency
Heavy metal toxicity
Lack of Heat Shock Protein Production (Specifically HSP 90)
While there is little any parent or individual can do to alter DNA coding, it appears that it may be possible to modify the biochemical atmosphere to reduce Autistic characteristics for individuals living within the spectrum to make daily life more enjoyable.
Recent research into the correlative factors contributing to ADS indicate that regular sauna bathing may increase BH4, detoxify the body of heavy metals, and improve Heat Shock Protein production.
BH4 Deficiency And Autism: Can Sauna Bathing Improve Tetrahydrobiopterin Levels In The Body
Tetrahydrobiopterin, or BH4 (and sometimes THB) is a necessary component for a variety of enzymes in the body, most importantly those involved in the formation of nitric oxide (NO), and specific neurotransmitters such as: Dopamine, serotonin, and epinephrine. This means that BH4 plays a vital role in overall health and very specifically in stabilizing mood and improving cognitive ability. (4)
Clinical research has demonstrated that BH4 deficiency in the spinal fluid of individuals diagnosed with Autism is a correlative factor in the worsening of specific Autistic traits such as verbal expression, eye contact, and desire to interact with others. Conversely, a study performed on six children diagnosed with infantile ASD demonstrated that by augmenting levels of BH4 in the spinal fluid the children,over a three month time period, showed improved social skills, more eye contact, and heightened cognitive function. (5)
So how can parents or individuals diagnosed with Autism improve BH4 levels?
There is a rapidly growing number of diseases associated with BH4 deficiency which has given way to more extensive research to figure out how to improve BH4 levels in non-invasive, as well as easily accessible ways. (6)
Regular Sauna Bathing Improves BH4 levels in two primary capacities:
Improved levels and circulation of BH4 throughout the tissues of the body via vasodilation
Augmented Levels Heat Shock Protein 90 (HSP90) maintains the integrity of nitric oxide synthesis (6)
Sauna Bathing To Improve BH4 Circulation Throughout The Body:
As the body’s temperature rises during a sauna session a variety of biochemical changes begin to occur, including vasodilation (the dilation of blood cells). This process induces a more positive flow of circulation throughout the body relieving any blockages of blood flow. Where circulation is inhibited, often disease ensues as body tissues lack essential nutrients delivered via blood. (7)
Full body heat therapy serves to evenly distribute BH4 to all tissues by creating higher levels of BH4 synthesis on the surface tissues of the body. As BH4 disbursement occurs, portions of the body that have been deficient in BH4 will receive the nourishment of this essential cofactor enzyme.
Improved distribution of BH4 positively impacts neurotransmitter activity in the brain including dopamine production and serotonin stability.
While many forms of vigorous exercise are known to improve BH4 production, a sauna session provides a platform for individuals who may be vigorous exercise prohibited. Additionally, the passive stance of sauna bathing may better serve the autonomic nervous system as well as the entire endocrine network.
Sauna Bathing To Improve Heat Shock Protein Production:
Heat Shock Proteins (HSPs) are in fact protein chaperones, their presence within human physiology allows for the positive transportation of proteins as well as in keeping the intracellular communities healthy. An increase in HSPs has demonstrated to aid in the prevention of serious neurological conditions, as well as other chronic autoimmune disorders.
HSPs are created when organisms are subjected to fluctuations of temperatures extreme enough to move beyond habituated temperature in either direction. There are many, many variations of HSPs, specifically HSP 90 has been proven to play a vital role in the disbursement of BH4. From the National Institute of Health’s published journal on BH4, HSP90, and Autism:
“ A second mechanism involves the heat shock protein Hsp90, which is induced by even modest heating of mammalian tissues. Sauna heating of these surface tissues may act via Hsp90, which interacts with the GTPCH-I complex and is reported to produce increased GTPCH-I activity by lowering its degradation. The increased consequent availability of BH4 may lead to lowered nitric oxide synthase uncoupling, such as has been reported for the eNOS enzyme. Increased BH4 synthesis in surface tissues of the body will produce increased circulating BH4 which will feed BH4 to other body tissues that may have been BH4 deficient. Similar mechanisms may act in vigorous exercise due to the increased blood shear stresses and possibly also heating of the exercising tissues and heart.” (8)
While improving the quantity of HSPs is important for maintaining intracellular health for all people, it may well prove to be essential in improving the quality of life for children and adults living with autism.
Sauna Bathing, Detoxification From Heavy Metals, And Autism
Certainly, there is simply not enough data to suggest that heavy metal toxicity causes autism, or increases symptoms; however, some leading experts in the field of integrative medicine suggest that there may be a correlation.
A correlative factor is not the cause of, but possibly may contribute to genome activity. As it is believed that autism may begin in utero, an interesting study was recently released where the baby teeth of children were analysed to find out if higher levels of heavy metal toxicity was correlated to Autism.
Cindy Lawler, PHD., head of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Genes, Environment, and Health Branch, writes about the in utero experience of children diagnosed with Autism:
“We think autism begins very early, most likely in the womb, and research suggests that our environment can increase a child’s risk. But by the time children are diagnosed at age 3 or 4, it’s hard to go back and know what the moms were exposed to. With baby teeth, we can actually do that.”
The Medical News journal goes on to state:
“The study revealed that children with ASD had much higher levels of lead throughout their development.”
Still, there is not enough data to prove that toxic metals influence autistic expression. However, any individual looking to carry a child in the future would do well to engage in a regular sauna therapy practice to detoxify the body before impregnation.
Further, although the evidence is not conclusive, there seems to be a correlation between heavy metal bodily pollution and autism. Certainly regular sauna bathing is a powerful means by which to detoxify the body and therefore potentially reduce symptom expression.
Parents often want to take any steps necessary to improve the quality of life for their children. If there is a chance that detoxifying the body of heavy metals with sauna bathing to render the daily life experience of an autistic child easier, then certainly it would be worth it.
Sauna Bathing And Children: A Few Precautions
If parents decide that sauna bathing is an appropriate treatment for their children, there are a few precautions to consider. The developing bodies of youngsters are more sensitive to heat, so it is worth considering infrared sauna therapy over other types of heat therapy modalities for the reason that atmospheric temperature is significantly lower.
It does not take extreme elevated temperatures to improve BH4 distribution and increase HSP production, which would be the goal in treating an autistic child.
Children should never be left unattended in a sauna. It is important that a trusted adult remain with the child at all times.
Lastly, children should not stay in saunas for as long as adults would. Taking a fifteen minute sauna three times a week is adequate to increase HSP production, circulate BH4, and detoxify the body.
*** Before beginning sauna therapy parents should check with their primary care physician.
Sauna Bathing To Improve The Quality Of Life For Individuals Living With Autism
Autistic Spectrum Disorder means many different things for many different people. In fact, for some it is not a disorder at all, just a different way of being in the world.
If you are the parent of a child with autism and you feel that you would like to improve the quality of life for your child, then regular sauna bathing does promise to improve BH4 levels, as well as HSPs, and further detoxify the body of potentially harmful heavy metals.
Autism may be correlated to BH4 deficiency and it stands to reason based on scientific research that improved levels of BH4 lower the level of symptoms experienced and expressed, including, but not limited to improved social interactions, heightened cognitive abilities, and eye contact.
When children are participating in sauna bathing of any type, every precaution must be taken to ensure their safety.
Autism is not necessarily a condition that needs to be ‘fixed’. Many individuals consider this ‘disorder’ to be a gift. All of the recommendations and studies presented in this article are for individuals who are suffering in some capacity due to autistic expression.
Sauna therapy, particularly infrared saunas, do promise to improve overall health and quality of life for individuals of all walks of life including those within the autistic spectrum.
With many of the technological conveniences of modern living there are some downsides to our heavily industrialized world. Among the most significant symptoms of contemporary life is the prevalence of heavy metals in the air, food, water, and many consumer products.
Heavy metals may be highly destructive to health and are also found everywhere. Regardless how vigilant an individual may be in their lifestyle and daily choices, it can be difficult to avoid the accumulation of heavy metals. All is not lost, however, heavy metals are easily extracted from the body through specific detoxification protocols.
Significant research by the National Institute of Health suggests that the unique quality of radiant heat experienced during an infrared sauna may effectively relieve the body of harmful heavy metals.
Explore what heavy metals in particular may be harmful to health, how to detect their presence in your body, and finally active steps you can take to detoxify the body from their loaded impact on vitality.
What Are Heavy Metals And How Are They Accumulated In The Body?
Metallic elements with heavy atomic weight that also boast a density that is five times higher than that of water have been given the name heavy metals based on their weight and density!
The prolific use of heavy metals in technology, medication, domestic structures, agriculture, and industrial use, means that they are ubiquitous and somewhat inescapable. (1)
Due to their omni presence, heavy metals in the body are accumulated over time through environmental exposure; from food, polluted water, industrial airborne chemicals, pharmaceutical medication,the containers that carry food and beverage, the paint on the walls of buildings, and even tooth fillings. Most humans alive today have some level of heavy metal poisoning depending on geographical location and lifestyle choices. (2)
While all humans need certain heavy metals to maintain balance within the body, such as zinc, manganese, copper, iron, and chromium, an excess may cause damage to the body. Conversely the wrong types of heavy metals absorbed into the body may eventually degrade health.
Particularly harmful heavy metals to be aware of are cadmium, mercury, arsenic, and lead. None of the aforementioned metallic elements have any known benefit to human physiology. (2)
While considering heavy metal poisoning please remember that even the most vigilant of citizens, who are cautions of what they eat, the products consumed, and even where they live, are all collectively subject to the absorption of toxic metals by virtue of being alive on planet earth today.
While there are some measures each individual can take to reduce exposure to heavy metals, such as ensuring that our homes and offices are free of lead based paint, drinking bottled water, choosing to eat organic food, living in cities or places that have less industrial chemicals in the air, at the end of the day most are in the same boat. Toxic levels of heavy metals exist in the body.
The good news is that through concerted detoxification protocols it is possible to safely rid the body of harmful metals.
Why Are Heavy Metals Harmful To The Body And What Type Of Symptoms Or Diseases Develop With Over Accumulation?
Once absorbed from the environment heavy metals are stored in the soft tissues of the body and over time begin to erode certain physiological systems, including organ function. Particularly challenging are the stress that heavy metals place upon the liver and kidneys, specifically designed to filter out foreign or toxic substances from the body.
The growing rate of over 80 varieties of autoimmune disorders appears to be in direct relationship to growing exposure to heavy metals. (3) While heavy metal absorption may not directly cause certain chronic conditions, certainly their presence in the body depletes not only organ function, but also signals the autonomic nervous system into states of stress response.
Symptoms from over exposure to heavy metals varies significantly depending on the intensity of absorption. For most it is the slow rise of the heavy metal toxicity within the body that overtime erodes immune function, the balance of the endocrine system, as well as positive organ function.
Typically illnesses that evolve as chronic conditions may not be diagnostically related to heavy metal exposure. However significant clinical data reveals that through both hair mineral testing, as well as the measuring of metals present within perspiration, there is certainly a causative, or correlative relationship to heavy metal exposure and specific chronic conditions. (4)
According to Dr. Lawrence Wilson, MD:
“This question hardly needs answering for many people. The threat of environmental pollution, food, air, and water contamination and from other sources is the highest it has been on the planet earth for thousands of years, at the very least. The main reason is industrialization.” (4)
Regardless of how vigilant a person may be at avoiding heavy metal absorption, it is ultimately too difficult, if not impossible to avoid. Therefore, given the ubiquitous nature of heavy metals the issue at hand is how can heavy metals safely be detoxified from the body?
How can we safely release Toxic Heavy Metals From The Body?
An in-depth study performed by the National Institute Of Health on the topic of: “Arsenic, Cadmium, lead, mercury and sweat” demonstrates that not only can toxic metals be released through heavy perspiration, but moreover, the means by which the body is heated played a relevant role in successfully detoxifying the body. (3)
The study took samples of sweat released from subjects both as a result of exercise, sauna bathing, and infrared sauna bathing. (3) While all forms of raising the body’s temperature to intentionally release sweat demonstrated levels of heavy metals in perspiration, due to the radiant nature of infrared heat, this means of thermal therapy was more successful at inducing detoxification than any other method.
So, why is infrared light capable of producing more heavy metals in sweat than any other means of raising the body’s temperature?
If you recall from earlier in this article, heavy metals are stored within the soft tissue of the body. Ambient heat successfully raises the body’s temperature to induce sweating, particularly the mid and far infrared light spectrum. Due to the frequency of wavelengths emitted, this light is able to penetrate deeply into the soft tissues of the body.
It is the very nature of the deeply penetrative rays of mid and far-infrared light that is able to successfully heat the body from the inside out. This mechanism allows for stored heavy metals in the soft tissues of the body to be released through sweat. (3)
Not only is it possible to rid the body of harmful heavy metals, there are specific means to doing this, that are more impactful. Radiant heat emanating from the infrared spectrum may be more successful at achieving detoxification from heavy metals than any other heat therapy mechanism.
Creating Healthy Tissues & Organs With Detoxification Protocol
Given the heavy burden placed upon the systems of the body through heavy metal overload, it is no wonder that the internal organs almost immediately demonstrate high function after an infrared sauna session. (5)
An enormous pressure is placed upon the cleansing and purifying organs of the body such as the liver and kidneys. Through sauna bathing individuals are able to capitalize on the largest organ of the body, the epidermis, to cleanse the system from heavy metals.
Many individuals will notice a shift in available energy after just a few weeks of regular infrared sauna bathing as the internal organs are relieved from processing and eliminating heavy metals.
Further, high doses of heavy metals within the body’s systems keep the autonomic nervous system in sympathetic dominance as it senses the heavy metals as an external threat. When the autonomic nervous system remains in stress response, hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline are released, which serves to only further compound the toxic overload.
Infrared sauna therapy may be a viable means of detoxifying the body of heavy metals. It is also a powerful force in transitioning the autonomic nervous system out of stress response back to states of relaxation and rejuvenation.
Even with great vigilance surrounding where we live, the water we drink, and the food we consume, there is little the modern citizen of planet earth can do to avoid the accumulation of heavy metals.
Infrared Sauna Therapy To Detoxify The Body Of Heavy Metals
Contemporary living means that heavy metal accumulation happens, with virtually every industry affecting the high levels of environmental metallic elements. Regardless of how dedicated an individual may be to avoiding heavy metals in their food, water, and consumer products it’s accumulation is bound to happen.
The National Institute Of Health’s study reveals that all forms of sweating will aid in the detoxification of heavy metals from the body. Moreover, this groundbreaking research reveals that the nature of the radiant heat of infrared sauna bathing demonstrates higher levels of heavy metals in the sweat as mid and far infrared light is able to steep itself into the soft tissues of the body where heavy metals accumulate.
While air, food, water, and products may be contaminated with heavy metals, the advent of the availability of infrared sauna therapy may be an ideal solution to detoxify the body.
*** NeosaunaTip: Anytime individuals are engaged in activities that produce copious sweating it is important to hydrate well before, during, and after the activity. Further, due to the power of infrared sauna therapy to detoxify the body, it is well worth considering re-mineralizing the body of healthful substances such as selenium, zinc, and magnesium. While profuse perspiration relieves the body of harmful toxins, so too are many healthy minerals lost.
Considering consuming mineral water after your sauna session. The bottled water Gerolsteiner boasts over 2500 minerals per 1.5 liter and may be a great option to rehydrate and re-mineralize after your sauna session.
Long gone are the days that individuals are relegated to mere victims of heredity, in fact the emerging field of epigenetics suggests that each person can actively participate in how DNA is demonstrated physically.
Consider this: DNA is the recipe or the blueprint, the design behind physical expression, proteins are the ingredients, and you, the individual is the chef! A recipe can be on point in every facet, but if the ingredients are spoiled, it is irrelevant how good the recipe is.
This article will help you understand how to maintain healthy proteins, or ‘ingredients’ so that DNA can be healthfully carried out in physical expression, as well as ensuring accurate and positive cellular replication.
Epigenetics suggests that a few lifestyle changes, nothing invasive or complicated, can powerfully impact genetic expression! Find out how red, infrared light and heat can promote healthy proteins, positive cellular replication, and ultimately the highest version of your DNA expression.
What Is Integrative Medicine?
Increasing numbers of medical practitioners are beginning to invite complementary treatments into healthcare protocol to treat both acute and chronic conditions.This trend toward integrative medicine that encompasses both allopathic and alternative care into medicinal regimen is largely due to the surfacing of epigenetics.
Profound understanding that environmental factors and lifestyle choices as powerful influencers on genetic expression has changed the game of healthcare. No longer is it sufficient to rely solely on one system of care to treat illness. For many years it was believed that heredity predetermined many ailments, and in a sense individuals were left feeling as if they were victims of their genes. Not anymore, in fact evidence suggests that individuals are an active participant in genetic expression.
Integrative wellness or medicine is not only a luxury for the hippie dippie upper middle class, but rather a necessary approach to maintain balance and vitality for all people. Here is what the National Institute Of Health states regarding this merger of western medicine with alternative care:
“Western medicine, while excelling at acute care and surgery, puts great emphasis on the chronic use of drugs to suppress the symptoms of illness. What is forgotten is that our bodies have a natural wisdom and intelligence; they have an intrinsic knowledge of how to grow, heal, maintain balance, restore homeostasis, and regenerate. Our bodies have evolved over aeons with capabilities, but when they are suppressed, for example, when nutrition, exercise, and diet are not given adequate attention, or people ingest toxins, then ‘lifestyle-related’ diseases including obesity, diabetes, cancer, and heart disease are much more likely to arise.” (1)
Mainstream medicine is now incorporating a variety of forms of what was once considered ‘alternative’ medicine into health care regiments, understanding both positive aspects of the allopathic systems as well as its limitations.
Integrative medicine draws on many fields of healing modalities including, but not limited to:
Mindfulness – Meditation, Yoga, Breath, Tai Chi, Ji Gong, and other physical practices that stem largely from eastern traditions.
Acupuncture, Chiropractics, Massage, Healing touch, Color Therapy
Thermal Therapy – Infrared Saunas, Traditional Saunas, Cryotherapy, Steam Rooms
Light And Color Therapy – Chromotherapy, Photobiomodulation (Red & Near infrared light)
The holistic or integrative approach recognizes that the mind, body, and emotional apparatus each influence the overall health of the individual. In addition to traditional allopathic methodologies, leaders in the field of health care now recognize the necessity to draw on complementary approaches to activate the natural healing intelligence of the body.
The widespread push toward integrative medicine has its roots in epigenetics. Epigenetics affirms that the environment, both internal and external, plays a major role in what genes are expressed, or turned on. This places each individual in the power position to make lifestyle choices that both promote and expand their health.
What Is Epigenetics
“Emerging epigenetic data indicate that IM (integrative medicine) techniques are fully viable and credible approaches for treating illness, on par with Western medical counterparts in terms of goals and risks. In fact, these approaches have proven superior to some conventional treatments because they tend not to elicit such serious side effects. Since it is understood that epigenetic factors are potent modulators of gene expression and that such modulations can be reversible, it is logical to presume that factors and practices within the IM purview are capable of evoking an epigenetic response.” (1)
So, what exactly is epigenetics?
Epigenetics is derived from the root word, ‘epi’ which means above in greek (think of epidermis: the top layer of skin). It is the assertion that changes or modifications in the environment, be it internal or external, may influence gene expression rather than the altering of the genetic code itself. (2)
Neosauna Tip: Epigentics does not involve altering genetic coding of the DNA itself, which are similar to the blueprints of a design project, genetic expression refers to what portions of the blueprint are manifested in physical form. Epigentics describes how environmental factors influence what portion of genetic coding gets ‘turned-on’ and which portion of the ‘blueprints’ remain unactualized. DNA is a potential expression, not the actual expression itself.
The goal of integrative medicine is to actualize positive genetic expression based on lifestyle habits. For many years it was believed that each individual was destined to live with hereditary conditions that they had no control over, this is simply no longer the truth.
Exploring lifestyle choices that promote the positive expression of genes involves breaking certain harmful habits, ensuring the balance of the autonomic nervous system, and adding components into the environment that activate innate healing potential of the body.
The specific relationship between human cellular composition and the red and infrared light spectrum augments the healing response at the cellular level to activate superior health.
How Does Red Light And Infrared Light Impact Genetic Expression?
“Light and temperature shape nuclear architecture and gene expression” (3)
Modifying genome expression can occur through the use of a multitude of methods. However, evidence suggests that both light in therapeutic doses, as well as temperature-based modalities, play a pivotal role.
Photobiomodulation And Epigenetics: An Oxygenated Body
Photobiology is a powerful means to alter genome expression, very specifically the use of red and infrared lights as seen in photobiomodulation (PBM) is among the most impactful.
The photoreceptors of each cell within human physiology are awakened by the spectrum of red and infrared light. Ostensibly, the energy center of each cell, the mitochondria, alter their metabolic reaction in response to therapeutic doses of red and infrared light. Absorption of this wave frequency triggers a remarkable upgrade in mitochondrial activity. ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate Production), the necessary molecule involved in energy transmutation in the cell is stimulated. (4)
Mitochondrial response to light photons emitted from red and infrared light has a powerful effect on energy conversion to increase oxygen levels in the body. Through exposure to the broadband of red and infrared light, absorption of this wave frequency triggers a remarkable upgrade in mitochondrial activity. ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate Production), the necessary molecule involved in energy transmutation in the cell is stimulated. (4)
By increasing the oxygenation level of the entire body with PBM, the specific means by which cellular replication occurs alters genome expression. (5) Many diseases and illnesses simply cannot abide within an environment that is rich in oxygen.
Heat Therapy And Epigenetics: Heat Shock Proteins & And Telomere Length
Whenever the outer or inner environment experiences a positive change, by necessity genome expression is also positively altered. By intentionally raising the core temperature of the body a chain of biochemical reactions occur to impact how proteins express the blueprint of DNA.
Neosauna Tip: Please note that healthy proteins determine the accurate and positive rendering of DNA. (6)
Therapeutic doses of intentional heat as experienced in saunas is crucial in the creation of healthy proteins as well as healthy protein caps.
Saunas affect proteins in two primary ways:
Heat Shock Protein Production
Influence The Maintenance Of Telomere Length
Heat Shock Proteins (HSPs) are essentially protein chaperones. HSPs are macromolecular structures, despite their tiny size, their discovery in the early 1960s has opened up doors in the field of genetics, changing forever how the scientific and medical communities view our genetic mapping. HSPs provide an opportunity for each organism to ‘up-regulate’ gene expression. (6)
This is because HSPs are responsible for ‘folding’, or essentially protecting proteins. Proteins are responsible for the actualization of the blueprint of DNA. If DNA is the recipe, then proteins are the ingredients used to prepare the meal, and each individual is the cook. If expired ingredients are used to prepare the meal, it does not matter how good the recipe is, the meal will not be healthful or tasty!
Therefore, protein health is an intrinsic component in the upregulation of genetic expression. Protein health is ameliorated by increasing HSPs in the body, essentially the caretaker of the proteins. (7)
The National Institute of Health recently published a journal entitled: “Telomeres, lifestyle, cancer, and aging”, the following is stated in this publication:
“Shorter telomeres have been associated with increased incidence of diseases and poor survival. The rate of telomere shortening can be either increased or decreased by specific lifestyle factors.”
What is a telomere and why are they so important in determining genetic expression?
Telomeres are the end caps of chromosomes, similar to the plastic around the end of a shoelace that serves to stop the shoelace from fraying. The function of a telomere is to protect the ends of chromosomes during cellular replication. Before cellular division occurs it must copy DNA so that each daughter cell inherits the direct replica. Without telomeres, DNA would be lost every time cell division took place. (9)
In short telomeres are like buffers to chromosomes, and ensure the accurate transmission of DNA during cellular replication. Aging occurs because over time telomeres shorten in length eventually eroding the chromosomes themselves to create mutiny of cellular replication.
Research performed by the National Institute of Health suggests that telomere length can be maintained, and therefore the accurate transmission of DNA by ensuring profuse intentional sweating at least three times a week for fifteen minutes. (10) Passive sweating has greater effects on maintaining telomere length than does sweating due to intense physical exertion.
As opposed to sweating that occurs as a result of vigorous exercise, passive sweating occurs in saunas, steam rooms, and hot tubs. Passive sweating is critical because it allows the autonomic nervous system to remain in states of growth and nourishment even as the cardiovascular system is stimulated and profuse sweating occurs. (10)
Epigenetics relies upon healthy proteins and accurate cellular replication. This can be achieved, in through passive sweating to ensure production of protein chaperones as well as the maintenance of telomere length.
Sweat, Light, Proteins And Epigenetics: Infrared Sauna Bathing The Path To Positive Genetic Expression
Positively affecting genetic expression does not need to be invasive or complicated. In fact, there is no lab necessary or visits to high-end clinics. It is possible to positively affect gene expression through something as basic as infrared sauna bathing.
Infrared sauna therapy is the ultimate: ‘two birds; one stone’ ideology because it capitalizes on both the benefits of photobiology as well as heat therapy.
There is sufficient research to suggest, and evidence to support, the truth that each individual can become an active participant in their genetic expression by making lifestyle choices that support healthy proteins, mitochondrial metabolism and healthful cellular replication.
No need for extensive stem cell procedures to ensure that the blueprint of your DNA is accurately and positively expressed phenomenally!