D.J. Fletcher, Alternative Medicine, Issue 39 / January 2001
For many, the biggest news in FIR [Far-InfraRed] technology is its application to the evolving science of detoxification, and the device being used is the Far-InfraRed sauna. At home and in clinics, these saunas are said to yield many benefits– including relief from different kinds of pain; stimulation of immune response; improvement in skin tone and conditions such as burns, eczema and acne; and the accelerated burning of calories. But the detox application is health news that can benefit everyone. “Traditional wisdom has suggested that saunas work largely by promoting detoxification through sweat,” says John C. Cline, M.D., B.Sc., C.C.F.P, A.B.C.T., Medical Director of the Cline Medical Center and Oceanside Functional Medicine Research Institute, located on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. ” Several published studies have now shown that this hyperthermic [sauna] therapy can bring about the rapid removal of a wide range of toxic substances from the human body.”
The FIR energy emitted in these saunas may induce two or three times the sweat volume of conventional saunas, yet they operate at a much cooler air temperature range: about 110 to 130 degrees F, compared with 180 to 235 degrees F in a conventional sauna. Many individuals who cannot tolerate a conventional sauna, steam room or sweat lodge will find FIR saunas pleasant. The lower heat range is also safer for those with cardiovascular risk factors or fragile health because lower temperatures don’t dramatically elevate heart rate or blood pressure.
Dr. Cline points out that methods to induce sweating have been used for centuries to bring about improved health and relief from disease. “Over 2,000 years ago,” he says, “the famous Greek physician, Parmenides, stated ‘give me a chance to create fever, and I will cure any disease.” This traditional wisdom has certainly stood the test of time. Using methods ranging from hot mineral baths and sweat lodges to saunas and steam baths, individuals have enjoyed the revitalizing effects of induced hyperthermia– the artificial elevation of body temperature.
“Sweat therapy has also been used for many years by miners in Europe to prevent and treat occupational heavy metal poisoning, and studies have now demonstrated that hyperthermic therapy can bring about significant detoxification from heavy metals including mercury. But only in recent years has science begun to seriously examine this age-old healing technique. Now, organizations such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have taken a serious look at hyperthermic therapy as a means to detoxify individuals who are ill from exposure to environmental poisons.”
Randy Gomm of www.infraredsauna.net, based in Vancouver, became a distributor of FIR saunas after his life was turned around by detoxification. As a firefighter, his health had begun to deteriorate until he was no longer able to work. He was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, and eventually it was realized that the root of his problem was toxic overload due to environmental exposure. During the eight years he was ill, he says, he had a lot of time to research alternative modalities to regain his health. “I discovered that leading researchers in fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome stated that their patients had high toxic loads,” says Randy. “When their loads were reduced, their symptoms often improved dramatically. It worked for me. Detoxing really helped put me back on my feet.”
Environmental medical specialist Doris J. Rapp, MD, of Scottsdale, Arizona, a well-known pediatrician, allergist, homeopath and past president of the American Academy of Environmental Medicine, states unequivocally, “Everybody in this country needs to be detoxified because we’ve all become toxic dumpsites.” Dr. Rapp began using a Far-InfraRed sauna personally after seeing a similar procedure being employed in a German clinic. She was impressed with the clinic’s work in detoxifying young children and infants. Dr. Rapp affirms that her FIR sauna causes her to perspire profusely, and she adds, “I’m hoping to see more patient outcome studies on FIR sauna use– studies that will further evaluate the efficacy of this treatment and impartially evaluate the various saunas.”
Hyperthermic detoxification using these saunas is not only uniquely helpful in removing fat-stored toxins from the body but also as an adjunct to mercury removal. Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt, M.D., of Seattle, who has been called “the holistic doctors’ doctor and teacher,” is one of the pioneers in combining the use of FIR saunas with the chelating agent DMPS in a heavy metal detox protocol.
Dr. Cline explains, “Since hyperthermic sauna therapy removes metal contaminants from the body by a different mechanism than chelation therapy we have found that it may be used to further the benefits derived from chelation therapy. And we have also found that it may be an alternative for those who are unable to undergo chelation.
“Research conducted by U.S. scientists has demonstrated that close to 80% of individuals with chronic fatigue syndrome will improve markedly by a guided detoxification program. The program involves nutritional optimization of detoxification using a low-allergy diet and UltraClear Plus, a medical food product designed at the Functional Medicine Research Center in Washington. This approach, called enterohepatic resuscitation, is being used by healthcare practitioners around the world. We combine this approach with hyperthermic therapy using the Far-InfraRed sauna, as well as exercise and chelation. The results we are seeing are very promising.”