"The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease."
- Thomas Edison
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Wellness Bulletin June 1999.
The Power of Detoxification
Reducing toxic body burdens of heavy metals and nonmetallic toxins may be a critically important factor in restoring health and vitality to individuals with chronic illness. Toxicology research is making it increasingly clear that our environment plays an enormous role in health and sickness. Many researchers now believe that environmentally related illnesses are likely to predominate as the health threats of the new millennium. Safeguarding our bodies against the ravages of our toxic world may pay big dividends in energy, brain function and in disease prevention.
At the Cline Medical Center we have been making great strides in helping individuals who are suffering from the effects of accumulated toxic metals. Until recently our program has focused largely upon the use of chelation therapy to provide detoxification from heavy metal burdens. We have witnessed scores of people who have been helped immensely by our heavy metal detoxification program. However, our goal has been to continue advancing forward to provide the best possible treatment for our patients. In keeping with this goal we have now established a second detoxification program which greatly complements our heavy metal detoxification program. Heavy metal detoxification using various chelating medications will continue to be provided as always to those patients who would benefit from this approach. In addition, we now have an exciting new program which utilizes a high-tech sauna along with nutritional support for detoxification.
Detoxification Using Hyperthermic Therapy
Methods to induce sweating have been used for centuries by many cultures to bring about improved health and relief from disease. Over 2000 years ago, the famous Greek physician Parmenides stated "give me a chance to create a fever, and I will cure any disease." This traditional wisdom has certainly stood the test of time. Using various methods ranging from hydrotherapy (hot mineral baths), to sweat lodges, to saunas and steam baths, individuals have enjoyed the revitalizing effects of induced hyperthermia (artificially elevating body temperature). Only in recent years has science begun to seriously examine this age old healing technique. Organizations such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have now taken a serious look at hyperthermic therapy as a means to detoxify individuals who are ill from exposure to environmental poisons and several good research papers have now been published.
Poisons in the Sweat
Traditional wisdom has suggested that saunas work largely by promoting detoxification through the sweat. In recent times research has repeatedly demonstrated that this indeed does occur. Saunas also stimulate cells to release toxins which can then be eliminated by the liver and bowel. Several published studies have now shown that hyperthermic therapy can bring about the rapid removal of a wide range of toxic substances from the human body. Volatile hydrocarbons (solvent residues) easily enter the human body through the lungs and skin. Volatile hydrocarbons are exceedingly common environmental contaminants and are often found as indoor air pollutants in the home or workplace. Most of these are not easily metabolized and they accumulate in fatty tissues including the brain and cells of the immune system. Other organic toxins such as PCB's and organochlorine pesticide residues are also common contaminants of the human body.
These and other toxic organic compounds exit the body quite effectively using hyperthermic therapy support by specific nutrients and natural medicinal substances. As well, sweat therapy has been used for many years by miners in Europe to prevent and treat occupational heavy metal poisoning. Studies have now demonstrated that hyperthermic therapy can indeed bring about significant detoxification from heavy metals including mercury. Measurements of sweat from metal toxic patients undergoing sauna therapy indicate very high levels of toxic metal. Since hyperthermic therapy removes metal conteminants from the body by a different route as does chelation therapy, it is quite complementary to chelation and may be used to further the benefits derived from chelation. Also, in some cases hyperthermic detoxification may be used as an alternative for those who are unable to undergo chelation therapy. May be used for pre-activity "warm up" while fully clothed.
The Far-infrared Sauna
The main drawback to using saunas or stem baths for hyperthermic therapy is the discomfort that many people experience when using these devices. Traditional saunas or steam baths use extremely high temperatures to warm the body by intensively heating the surface of the body only. Many individuals, especially those with chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, or multiple chemical sensitivity find this intense heat very oppressive. Many people also feel claustrophobic in these devices and find it hard to breathe. Fortunately, technological advancements have resulted in a new type of sauna which is superior in many ways to traditional saunas or steam baths. This new generation sauna, known as the far-infrared sauna, utilizes completely invisible infrared light to warm deeply inside the body tissues without heating the air or the external parts of the body much at all. Many individuals who have not previously been able to tolerate a traditional sauna will find the far-infrared sauna very pleasant and highly effective. As well, the far-infrared sauna is roomy and has windows to prevent claustrophobia. This is the first really user friendly sauna.
The Detoxification Program
Individuals undergoing hyperthermic therapy at the Cline Medical Center will also be given instruction in a special nutritional support program which is a critical aspect of the detoxification process. The complete detoxification program takes from four to eight weeks depending on the person's condition. During this time the individual will be placed on a simple diet in which common food allergens are eliminated and special foods are recommended. In addition, a range of nutritional supplements are prescribed to assist the liver, kidneys and bowel in their detoxification activities. Saunas are normally taken two to five times per week depending on the individual's condition and their personal schedule. Normally, twenty to thirty saunas are taken throughout the detoxification period. Most people will find the saunas so pleasant and relaxing that they really enjoy each session. As well, the majority of patients start feeling so good after their sauna treatments that they can't wait to return for their next session. Taking the time and making the effort to undergo a thorough detoxification program can pay big dividends in health, vitality and quality of life.
Cline Medical Center
Hyperthermic Detoxification Therapy Using the Far Infrared Sauna
Saunas and steam baths have been used for centuries by cultures around the world to bring about detoxification. Traditionally, saunas have been used to improve mental clarity, to diminish pain and to promote longevity. In the past few years, hyperthermic (sweat) therapy has been studied quite extensively and several papers on this subject have appeared in the scientific literature. Through this research, it has been shown that saunas greatly assist in the elimination of accumulated toxins. Toxic metals, including mercury as well as organic toxins, such as PCB's and pesticide residues, are excreted in high quantities in the sweat during properly conducted hyperthermic therapy sessions.
Heat causes toxins to be released from cells. The toxic molecules will then reside transiently in the lymph fluid. Since sweat is manufactured from lymph fluid, toxins present in the lymph fluid will exit the body through the sweat. Because the liver and kidneys are not required for this process, these organs are largely unburdened by hyperthermic therapy and toxins are able to leave the body even when liver or kidney function is impaired. This may be a distinct advantage for chronically ill patients whose liver and kidneys may already be under toxic stress.
Other Advantages of Hyperthermia in the Chronically Ill Patient
Hyperthermic therapy also is one of the few things which brings about a significant rise in the level of growth hormone, an important hormone which helps to maintain lean body tissue, including muscle.
For the chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia patient, hyperthermic therapy helps to restore normal autonomic nervous system functioning. This is the part of the nervous system, which governs unconscious functions such as muscle tension, sweating, blood pressure, digestion and balance. Autonomic dysregulation is the term used to describe changes in the nervous system, which result in many of the symptoms of chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia. Muscle pain, excessive body odor, digestive complaints, visual disturbances and dizziness are some of the many manifestations of autonomic dysregulation. Repeated sessions of hyperthermia can greatly assist in the restoration of normal autonomic nervous system functioning.
Advantages of the Far Infrared Sauna
Many people with chronic illnesses find the high temperatures inside a regular sauna or steam room intolerable. In these traditional systems, the inside of the body is heated completely from the surface of the skin. Even though you feel very hot in these units, the heating is quite shallow only a few millimeters below the skin. In the far infrared sauna, invisible infrared light rays emanate from several infrared emitters. This infrared light penetrates deep into the fat and muscles of the body, creating a more powerful detoxifying influence upon the deeper tissues of the body. As well, since the air temperature remains much lower than in a traditional sauna, the individual feels more comfortable. Sweating often begins before the person feels very hot at all and the sweating is more profuse than in a traditional sauna. Finally, unlike traditional saunas or steam baths, which can often leave a person feeling exhausted, the far infrared sauna is usually quite energizing. Many people actually use these before going to work in the morning, something that one would never do with a traditional sauna.
Research conducted largely in Japan suggests that the far infrared sauna has a wider range of therapeutic effects than traditional saunas or steam baths, especially for detoxification. Like the traditional sauna, cedar is used on the inside of the far infrared sauna because of the detoxifying effects of its odor and because it is highly resistant to the growth of bacteria, mold, mildew and viruses.
Basics of the Hyperthermic Detoxification Program
The far infrared sauna forms a key part of a comprehensive detoxification program. The detoxifying effects of this therapy can be greatly increased if it is done in the context of this comprehensive approach. Other parts of the program include dietary changes, exercise, nutrient supplements, herbal agents, and, in some cases, metal chelation. In some cases, Dr. Cline will prescribe hyperthermic therapy as part of the initial treatment of a chronically ill patient. In other cases, this therapy is used only after restorative dental work and metal chelation treatment is done. This is determined on a case by case basis looking at the whole person and their particular health stresses.
The saunas are done between 2 and 5 times per week and last from 20 to 60 minutes, depending upon the individual. Normally one begins with 20 minutes and works up to about 45 minutes per session as they tolerate the treatment. A complete series of treatments normally involves 30 sauna sessions. In some cases 40 treatment are given.