Heavenly heat saunas for cardiovascular health
I agree with Dr. Michael Gerber’s comments (“Thirty Years of Progress in Cardiovascular Health,” TLfDP #271/272), that people can “remarkably improve following FIR sauna therapy. Everyone needs to sweat out their environmental toxins….” Over our past 19 years in the sauna business, we have seen that both far infrared (FIR) and traditional saunas can be therapeutically effective for detox. These effects are not a result of FIR exposure per se, but simply the result of getting the body warm enough to elicit profuse sweating in a minimally stressful, clean environment.
In his article, Dr. Gerber refers to Dr. Sherry Rogers’ published citations of cardiovascular studies from the Mayo Clinic in which FIR saunas were used with congestive heart failure (CHD) patients. She explains, as Dr. Gerber reports, that regular sauna is contraindicated and potentially dangerous, while FIR saunas are life-saving. You can’t make a comparison much more black-and-white than that–but she’s completely wrong. Conventional saunas, used at personal comfort levels, have a long history of therapeutic usage with heart patients (in Finland and Germany, in particular), including with post-myocardial infarction patients.
Unfortunately, Dr. Rogers’ proof lies with what she refers to as “Mayo Clinic studies.” These studies were not actually done by the Mayo Clinic, nor were various types of saunas tested. In general, her descriptions of infrared energy and the biophysics of FIR saunas tend to be inaccurate. Consequently, they misinform the reader.
Dr. Rogers’ recent book, Detoxify or Die, does have value in that she scares people into recognizing the critical importance of detoxifying the body of environmental pollutants, and she offers ways to address that detoxification. She is highly knowledgeable about this subject, but if you are looking for a guide to understanding sauna function or far infrared energy, you’d be much better off speaking to someone with years of experience in designing and using detox saunas and in researching what FIR actually does: yours truly.
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