As the new year has arrived, it tends to drive individuals to make new goals for the year. For myself, I think goals are great, but when it comes to your health it really is a lifestyle, and I think that is why many might fall off on the resolutions they set for themselves. It’s not about being perfect, but it is about doing the best you can at creating the best health environment consistently.
It’s not about taking a million supplements, or doing the most fad diets and exercises. The most common things that cause disruption within your body are stress, poor diet, not exercising and toxins.
Today, I’m going to touch on one part which is detoxing. The reason being because most individuals for new year’s resolutions join a gym or say they will be more active as a goal. And unless you have your own sauna most are located in gyms.
Some of my nutrition patients know the benefits of sauna, but some of you might not know, or know the benefits it can have for you, as well as some tips for safety.
Saunas are a popular attraction in hotels, spas and health clubs around the United States and world. The sauna is traditionally a wooden room infused with dry heat that can get as high as 185° F. I’m not talking about a steam room. These are not saunas.
It is the intense dry heat that is said to open your pores and purify your body of toxins while prompting the release of endorphins, your body’s natural pain relievers. This same heat, however, may pose a hidden danger to certain people.
Here are reasons you SHOULD use a sauna:
“There is no question that saunas prompt real changes in your body functions. Within minutes, for instance, your skin temperature can reach about 104° F, and your pulse rate can climb by 30 percent.
This causes your heart to double the amount of blood it pumps each minute. You can also expect to lose at least a pint of sweat during a sauna session.”
1. A cardio workout for your heart.
As your heart rate increases during your sauna session, this increases your need for oxygen. As a result, your heart gets a workout while it pumps blood around your body. Researchers in Finnish have found that regular use of saunas helps keep your blood vessels more elastic and pliable as a result of the repeated heating and cooling of your body.
2. Increased resistance to illness.
We all know that colds and flus are going around right now with the cold weather, but using a sauna and using a sauna in combination with essential oils is my favorite! (Have to throw in the chiropractic pitch here as it is the strong immune system strengthener).
According to Finnish and German studies, saunas put your body into a “fever state” that stimulates your immune system. As a result, regular sauna users have a 30 percent less chance of getting a cold or the flu!
“I can tell you that with my recent move and change of climate I got sick on Christmas, but using oils, CBT and the sauna it only lasted 2-3 days.”
3. Improves Circulation and Lowers Blood Pressure.
A sauna’s heat causes your blood vessels to dilate and circulation to your extremities to improve. Saunas also cause a temporary decrease in your blood pressure, but, according to the North American Sauna Society, this decrease may last longer with frequent sauna sessions.
4. Kidney Support.
The sweat your release during a sauna session excretes wastes and reduces the load put on your kidneys, hence “detoxing”.
5. Burn more calories.
Due to your increased heart rate and perspiration, a single sauna session can burn up to 300 calories, according to U.S. Army research. However, most weight loss that occurs during a sauna session is water, and will be gained back when you eat and drink:(
6. Relieve stress and sleep better.
A sauna session excellent tool for stress relief and promoting a sense of wellbeing because of the release in endorphins. A sauna before bed may also help you to get a good night’s sleep.
7. Soothes Aches and Pains.
Because saunas increase your circulation, they may help with pain relief. My favorite is after a workout to stretch in the sauna and to also use my fascia tools to breath up scar tissue.
What about who shouldn’t use a sauna??
Certain groups of people, especially those with heart conditions, need to be cautious.
” … Patients with poorly controlled blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythms, unstable angina, and advanced heart failure or heart valve disease will probably be advised to stay cool,” says Dr. Simon, who advises that heart patients check with their doctors before using a sauna.”
“People who should avoid the sauna completely are people running fever or having inflammatory diseases or injuries. Anybody with a contagious disease should bathe only in his own sauna. Also people under the influence of alcohol should not go to the sauna, nor is there any evidence that the sauna would help in a hangover.”
To ensure that your sauna session is a relaxing treat, be sure to follow these tips:
-Avoid alcohol before and after your sauna, as this can impair your sweating and lead to your overheating.
-Limit your session to 15-20 minutes.
-Drink two to four glasses of cool water after your session. I take a water bottle with me.
-Avoid the sauna if you don’t feel well, and leave immediately during your sauna if you feel ill. ** This is important for my Lyme or infection/detox patients. Of course detoxing can cause die off symptoms, so if you get dizzy or nauseous you need to leave and build up to being able to stay for 15-20 minutes. Go slowly, more is not better in this sense.
Harvard Men’s Health Watch
The North American Sauna Society
The Finnish Sauna Society
OIL OF THE WEEK
This is one of my favorite oils to use in the sauna!
Eucalyptus trees are tall, evergreen trees that grow up to 50 feet in height and are sometimes referred to as Gum Trees. The main chemical components of Eucalyptus radiata are eucalyptol and alpha-terpineol, making it an ideal oil to promote feelings of clear breathing and open airways and for creating a soothing massage experience. Eucalyptus has purifying properties that can be beneficial for the skin and for cleansing surfaces and the air. Studies have shown that Eucalyptus is effective in helping lessen tension. Eucalyptus can be found in mouth rinses to freshen breath and promote oral health.
Combine with Lemon and Peppermint in a spray bottle and use it to wipe down surfaces in your kitchen or bathroom.
Add one drop to moisturizer and apply to skin for revitalizing benefits.
While showering, place a few drops in the hands, place over nose, and inhale deeply to invigorate and promote vitality
Directions for Use
Diffusion: Use three to four drops in the diffuser of your choice. Topical use: Apply one to two drops to desired area. Dilute with doTERRA Fractionated Coconut Oil to minimize any skin sensitivity.