If you're looking for ways to promote detoxification and improve your overall health, consider adding dry brushing and saunas to your routine. These simple practices offer a multitude of health benefits with little to no downside. Learn below three benefits of adding dry brushing and sauna to your routine.
Both help you sweat out toxins
When you think of saunas, you probably think of sweat — and for good reason. Infrared saunas raise your core body temperature with light and heat therapy, instead of just heating the air like traditional saunas. Bugs (like Lyme and parasites) and cancer cells all hate heat, and most can’t survive over a certain body temperature.
Even if you aren’t dealing with a chronic disease, you’re still dealing with toxins. We accumulate so many toxins just by living in the world today, from our food, the air, beauty products, household cleaners, off-gassing products from stores… no one is immune.
In fact, The Environmental Working Group released a study in 2008 that found 232 pollutants and toxins in the umbilical cord blood of newborn babies! These toxins include lead, mercury, and even perfluorinated chemicals (found in Teflon and carpet protectors) (EWG 9). Even if you live the cleanest lifestyle, make all your own soaps, and grow food from your own garden, you’re still full of toxins.
Sweating is a great way to get these toxins out of our bodies, and saunas can induce sweating comfortably, without heating the air to an unbearable temperature like traditional saunas do. Your skin is your biggest organ, so sweating through your skin is an effective way to mitigate the effects of our toxic world.
We know heavy metals can be sweat out due to cutting-edge scientific research. A study published in the Journal of Environmental and Public Health in 2012 showed high concentrations of arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury in sweat (even higher than in blood plasma), making it clear that sweat is a good exit strategy for these dangerous metals. There are even case studies that show mercury levels in an individual were reduced to normal with consistent infrared sauna use.
Saunas heat the body’s core temperature, meaning when you take one, you’re detoxifying at the cellular level (where the toxins live). The infrared technology also penetrates into the skin, reaching fat tissue, muscles, and even organs — detoxifying the whole body.
The one-two punch of dry brushing then sweating really helps assist your detoxification, open up pores, and remove any dead skin cells to ensure you have the best experience.
Infrared saunas and dry brushing can make you relaxed and provide stress-relief
In today’s world, almost everyone deals with chronic stress, from work, responsibilities, illness, and other sources. Stress has an incredibly negative impact on the brain and body, contributing to insomnia, mood disorders, digestion symptoms, and much more.
Neuroscientists from UC Berkeley in California recently reported that stress can actually change the structure of your brain and produce less neurons.
Luckily, infrared saunas help you destress in a few ways. The first is by encouraging your body to enter a parasympathetic state, which is the “rest and digest” phase… the opposite of “fight or flight.” In a parasympathetic state, we are able to relax, lower cortisol (the stress hormone), and heal.
Next, the warmth of the sauna encourages your muscles to relax.
Even the fact that you’re taking time away from your busy schedule to sit and be still is another huge benefit of taking a sauna, that doesn’t relate directly to the infrared technology. Use the quiet opportunity to meditate, pray, or just relieve your mind from the constant to-do list.
Leave your cell phone outside, though. You don’t want text alerts and social media notifications to undo the chance to relax.
Many report dry brushing to be an equally relaxing, meditative experience as well!
Saunas Can Boost Your Immune System
When you’re fighting off a cold or flu, you’ve probably noticed that you feel a little warmer than usual. Fevers are your body’s way of putting the immune system to work, doing what’s needed to fight off the infection or illness. Infrared saunas kind of work in the same way, by raising your core body temperature.
In a study published in The Journal of Human Kinetics in 2013, subjects took a short 15-minute sauna, and then had a full blood panel drawn afterward. Subject body temperatures got as high as 102.2F during the session. Infrared saunas were proven to actually increase white blood cells, lymphocytes, basophils, and neutrophils, therefore giving your immune system a gentle boost.
Not sure what these cells do? Here’s a quick overview:
-In your immune system, white blood cells can both ingest (thus, killing) pathogens and create antibodies to fight them.
-Lymphocytes consist of B cells, which attack viruses and toxins, and T cells, which help destroy the body’s own cells which have been infected.
-Basophils release histamine when they come in contact with allergens, which in turn can cause swelling and inflammation. If you twist an ankle and it gets swollen, that’s your amazing body working to repair the issue.
-Finally, neutrophils are the first defenders against invaders, and the most common type of white blood cell. They produce enzymes to help destroy infections.
An increase of all of these types of cells is a great thing for your body. The sauna is simply enhancing your body’s own healing potential.
Interestingly, the study also found that this immune boost was even more effective in athletes who exercised regularly, so add some light cardio and weightlifting to your routine if you’re able.
Infrared saunas are good for the mind, body, and soul. You’ll enjoy stress-relief and relaxation, as well as lowered blood pressure and a healthier heart.
Please note: It’s important to replenish lost sodium and minerals after a sweaty sauna session, which you can do through trace minerals, electrolytes, or homemade green juices.