SUPPORTING BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH 2017

October marks Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a month dedicated to the awareness and prevention of the disease. Breast cancer is the second most common type of cancer in women with as many as one in eight women diagnosed with the disease at some point in their life. The earlier it is detected, the faster and more likely it is that the patient will make a full recovery. Breast Cancer Awareness Month was created to make women aware of the importance of early detection, give women the tools they need to perform self-tests and raise funds for breast cancer research.

What began in 1985 as a modest campaign between the American Cancer Society and a pharmaceutical division of Imperial Chemical Industries has blossomed into an annual worldwide campaign. Breast Cancer Awareness Month has grown rapidly in size since its inception as events, fundraisers, races, and walks were established to raise awareness. These events include Breast Cancer Today, The National Race for the Cure, and Susan G. Komen 3 Day ‘For the Cure’. In the late 80s and early 90s, the pink ribbon started appearing to commemorate those who had been affected by breast cancer and eventually organizations established this as the official symbol of breast cancer.

Now, Breast Cancer Awareness Month is one of the largest such campaigns and encourages people around the world to get involved by educating themselves, spreading the word about mammography and early detection, and fundraising for breast cancer research.

How Can You Help Support Breast Cancer Awareness Month?

If you are looking to get involved and support Breast Cancer Awareness Month, there are plenty of things you can do to spread awareness and contribute to the cause. These include the following:

Educate Yourself and Others

If you want to educate others about the importance of early detection, download this free Breast Health Guide, share resources on social media, and ask friends and family to do their own research on breast self-tests and mammography. Other sources of education are in-person training sessions and online training modules.

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Host and Participate in Fundraisers

Fundraisers can be a great way to connect with others about breast cancer awareness and raise money for the cause. In-person events can be beneficial for a more personal connection while online fundraisers are great because you can reach more participants.

Donate

If you want to participate in raising money for breast cancer research but you do not have the ability to donate your time, a one-time donation is a great option.

Participate in Events

Donating your time and money to Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a great way to do your part in spreading awareness about early detection and supporting researchers in finding a cure. Events you can get involved in during Breast Cancer Awareness Month include the following:
• American Cancer Society – Making Strides Against Breast Cancer
• Avon – The Walk to End Breast Cancer
• Party in Pink by Zumba
• Susan G. Komen 3 Day Walk
• Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure

The Benefits of an Infrared Sauna

Breast Cancer Awareness Month also raises money for alternative cancer medicine research and prevention research. Infrared sauna health benefits affect the entire body and promote overall wellness. Benefits of an infrared sauna that promote a healthy body include:

Toxin Elimination

Heavy metals and chemicals can build up and live in parts of the body that are not flushed out regularly. An infrared sauna helps detoxify every part of the body on a cellular level so that these unwanted substances are eliminated through sweat.

Organ Detoxification

Infrared sauna technology naturally draws the blood towards the surface of the body, which promotes the decongestion of internal organs. This detoxifying movement of fluids helps to rejuvenate any tissue that may have been stagnant or holding onto chemicals or hormones.

Improved Circulation

The improved circulation provided by an infrared sauna helps to pump in fresh new blood to nourish and replenish all parts of the body.

Skin Rejuvenation

The inactivity of sweat glands due to lack of sweating can cause your body to hold onto waste and toxins that should have been released. The resulting sweat of infrared sauna use helps your body to cleanse its largest organ and flush out any toxins that may have been stored beneath the skin.  The soothing heat of an infrared sauna penetrates deep into the body to eliminate these toxins from the inside out, leaving you feeling refreshed, healthy, and happy.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month is about awareness, early detection, and education. Taking steps to educate yourself about the disease and the ways to fight and prevent it is a great way to participate and do your part.  Knowing how to detect and help the body fight off cancer cells is beneficial to you while spreading that information to those around you is beneficial to the cause as a whole.

STAYING HEALTHY FOR NATIONAL STROKE AWARENESS MONTH

May marks American Stroke and High Blood Pressure Awareness Month. As the cause of one out of every 20 American deaths each year, many of us have either been directly or indirectly affected by stroke. By dedicating this month to increasing the awareness of strokes and their risk factors, the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association work together to help decrease the frequency with which they occur. Since about as many Americans have a stroke as a heart attack each year, The American Stroke Association provides several ways for individuals to help raise awareness and show support during National Stroke Awareness Month. Here’s how you can participate:

Showing Support for National Stroke Awareness Month

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1. Volunteer – By volunteering at hospitals hosting Stroke Simulation Events, you can help to test readiness for treatment when actual emergencies occur.

2. Legislation – Another way to support the expansion of telestroke technology is through legislation. By asking your legislator to support the Furthering Access to Stroke Telemedicine Act (FAST Act), you could help work to give patients in remote areas better access to stroke experts.

3. Donations – If you would like to donate to fund stroke research and treatment during National Stroke Awareness Month, or any month for that matter, every dollar helps.

4. National Cycling Day – This day in May is dedicated to showing support through social bike rides, which can still be celebrated throughout the month and all summer long.

5. Wear Your Commitment – If you want to show your support for stroke awareness loud and proud, you can represent this month while contributing to a great cause by purchasing and wearing t-shirts and other merchandise created by the American Stroke Association.

6. Connect with the Community – The American Stroke Association has created and sustained a support network online for both Stroke survivors and caregivers. If you or any loved ones are Stroke survivors, we encourage you to check out this great network.

Risks for Stroke

There is a multitude of risk factors for stroke, but luckily, we have a lot of knowledge on what they are and how to prevent them. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), many common medical conditions can increase your chances of having a stroke. These conditions include prior stroke, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes and sickle cell disease.

Along with current medical conditions playing a role, there are also certain behavioral practices and lifestyle choices that will affect your likelihood of having a stroke in the future. Individuals with unhealthy diets, too little physical activity, obesity, excessive alcohol consumption, and tobacco use are all at a higher risk for stroke. As is true with many other personal health factors, family history can also play a role in one’s likelihood for stroke. It’s important to be aware of your family’s health history, as well as your own risk factors and work with your doctor to take the right steps to stay healthy.

Preventing Stroke

With all the risk factors out there, it may seem like strokes are inevitable, but research has found there are many ways we can prevent them. With high blood pressure being one of the leading causes of stroke, it may be beneficial to your health to help lower your blood pressure with consistent infrared sauna use.

Clinical research has shown regular sauna sessions can help lower blood pressure, the chance of heart disease, and obesity. The multitude of health issues that can cause a stroke are curbed by consistent infrared sauna use since the heat causes your body to burn calories by increasing your heart rate and metabolism. Also, frequently called “passive heat therapy,” researchers find saunas can benefit one’s health because it raises the body’s core temperature.

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This temperature increase leads to increased blood flow, just like when your heart rate and temperature increases during a run or workout class. The health benefits of exercise are more well-known across the board, but saunas seem to benefit our health for some of the same reasons. In a sauna weight loss study conducted by Binghamton University in New York, results revealed individuals who used a Clearlight Premier IS-3 infrared sauna three times a week for 30 minutes per session dropped an average of 4 percent body fat over a four-month period. These participants who experienced weight loss did not change their exercise or diet patterns during the study, showing that Clearlight Infrared Saunas can make a real difference in your health if utilized consistently.

Spending time in infrared saunas has also been shown to get rid of toxins caused by fat cells in your body. Toxins, which are also called obesogens, as well as the chemical BPA make it difficult for your body to discard fat even if you have made the necessary lifestyle changes to do so. Infrared sauna use strips fat cells of these toxins, leading to weight loss and with that, better overall health and a decreased risk for stroke.

You can also decrease your risk for stroke by living a healthy lifestyle and avoiding some of the common health concerns discussed above. By sustaining a healthy diet and regular physical activity, you can improve your chances of avoiding being overweight or obese, which increase your risk for stroke. Limiting your alcohol intake and avoiding smoking altogether will benefit your health greatly. If you are worried that you or a loved one could be at risk for stroke, consult a doctor to help you find the best path to staying healthy.

Staying Healthy after Stroke

If you know someone who has survived a stroke, you want to ensure they have the best treatment possible. Amazingly, the American Stroke Association notes occurrences of stroke have been lowered from fourth to fifth place in terms of the leading causes of death in the United States. This is due to the research that has been done to improve and advance medical treatments.

Depending on the type of stroke an individual suffers from, different treatments sought in a timely manner can save lives. Think about what you can do this May to not only become more aware yourself but educate others on the steps they can take to ensure a healthy life during National Stroke Awareness Month.

THE IMPORTANCE OF KIDNEY HEALTH

Approximately 26 million Americans have kidney disease, and most don’t even realize they have it!  The reason is because many people aren’t aware they are ill until the symptoms have progressed significantly.  Unfortunately, kidney disease is one of those silent ailments which can wreak havoc on your body unbeknownst to you.

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Some symptoms of kidney disease include the following:

  1.   nausea
  2.   vomiting
  3.   decreased appetite
  4.   weakness and fatigue
  5.   changes in urination
  6.   swelling of feet and ankles
  7.   high blood pressure
  8.   muscle twitching
  9.   trouble sleeping
  10.   shortness of breath (if fluid builds around the lining of the heart)
  11.   chest pain

There are certain things which can exasperate the symptoms and increase your chances of kidney disease including smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and/or obesity.  Luckily, there are several things you can do to start taking care of your kidneys now.

The National Kidney Foundation is the leading organization in the U.S. dedicated to the awareness, prevention and treatment of kidney disease for tens of millions of Americans at risk, and March is national kidney month!  It is important to take care of your body, and your kidneys are no exception.  Your kidneys are pretty powerful if you think about it – they work 24 hours a day, seven days a week and never get a break!

Interesting Facts About Your Kidneys:

  1.   They filter approximately 200 liters of blood a day.
  2.   They direct red blood cell production.
  3.   They help regulate blood pressure.
  4.   They are responsible for filtering waste from your blood.
  5.   They balance your body’s fluids.
  6.   They produce an active form of Vitamin D which promotes strong, healthy bones.
  7.   They regulate the body’s salt, potassium and acid content.
  8.   People often don’t realize they have kidney disease until the symptoms and disease has progressed.
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Preventing Kidney Disease and Promoting Kidney Health

As the nation’s 9th most deadly killer, kidney disease can be prevented by educating yourself and by taking easy, daily steps that promote kidney health.

The risk for this disease can be reduced by controlling blood pressure and blood sugar, maintaining proper weight, stopping smoking, exercising regularly and avoiding excessive use of medications that can harm the kidneys, such as ibuprofen and naproxen.

One interesting fact is the skin and the kidneys both help detox the body.  Traditional Chinese medicine often refers to the skin as the third kidney.  Modern research is discovering new insights into the value of skin detoxification for those with kidney disease. Dr. Jenna Henderson writes about one German study evaluated the benefit of sweating for Stage 4 chronic kidney disease patients. Patients sweated into towels, and the towels were then chemically analyzed for content of uremic waste (this waste can build up in the blood and can cause kidney damage). Not only were uremic waste products found, but the researchers noted that the more often the patients experienced these sweating sessions, the more uremia came out in each session. The body learns to push this pathway through repeated stimulation.

This is where we mention our favorite topic:  the benefits of sweating via infrared saunas!  However, it is also important you talk to your doctor should you have kidney disease before partaking several sweating sessions in one of our Clearlight saunas.

Foods Which Keep Your Kidneys Happy & Healthy

In addition to using infrared saunas for happy and healthy kidneys, and to support them in their never-ending job of filtering waste out of the blood, there are other things you can do to support kidney health.  Naturally, exercise and a good diet are a couple of those things, but there are foods which also support your kidneys.  They are as follows:

  1.   Grapes
  2.   Cranberries
  3.   Blueberries
  4.   Fennel
  5.   Onions
  6.   Celery
  7.   Beets
  8.   Spinach
  9.   Asparagus
  10.   String beans
  11.    Apples
  12.    Eggplants
  13.    Rice
  14.    Pears
  15.    Peas
  16.     Peppers
  17.     Zucchini to name a few.

All in all, kidney disease is a silent killer which doesn’t make itself known until it has developed into advanced stages.  Our recommendation is to make a healthy lifestyle a habit NOW so it doesn’t afflict you later on.

CELEBRATING AMERICAN HEART MONTH FOR HEART HEALTH

Each February we celebrate the American Heart Association’s American Heart Month, a time that reminds us to focus on heart health and overall wellness. It’s the perfect time to kick off a new, healthier lifestyle. Did you know that in the early 1960s, more than 50% of U.S. deaths were the result of cardiovascular disease? It seems that the meat-and-potatoes diet and high rates of tobacco use led to some staggering heart health issues and mortality figures for the average American – with the life expectancy in the United States in 1960 equating to an average of just 66 years for a male, and 73 years for a female.

Today, we see average life expediencies in the 76 and 81 years range for men and women, respectively. Part of this boost in lifespan can be attributed to better awareness of a variety of health factors – cardiovascular health being a big one.

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The History of American Heart Month

American Heart Month was enacted in December of 1963 and first celebrated in February 1964. President Lyndon B. Johnson made it so via proclamation #3566, and the Congress issued a joint resolution that requested the standing President issue an annual proclamation designating February of each year as American Heart Month. As mentioned earlier, the rate of death from heart disease was more than 50% in the early 1960s – it is now less than 25%, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

How to Celebrate American Heart Month

Year-round, but in February especially, consider the following ways to boost awareness of the importance of heart health by making a difference in your community, within your family, or in your own health-related choices. Here are some great ways to celebrate American Heart Month:

1. Schedule an appointment with your doctor

Instead of only reacting to health concerns when they arise, take a preemptive approach and schedule a full check-up with your general practitioner. Ask for a cholesterol test, a full blood panel, and ask your healthcare professional to check you out for any signs of disease or heart-related health concerns.

2. Quit unhealthy habits

If you smoke or use other forms of tobacco, make this the year you kick the habit. The CDC reports that 480,000 people die each year in the US from cigarette smoking, including those who die from secondhand smoke exposure. That accounts for about 1 in every 5 deaths. Even if you don’t smoke yourself, a family member may be slowly reducing your life expectancy potential. In addition to tobacco, the CDC reports 88,000 deaths are linked to excessive alcohol consumption each year in the US. This represents a staggering 2.5 million years of potential life lost. The bottom line? Use this month as a catalyst to put those destructive habits in check.

3. Focus on healthy eating

Heart healthy meals, or those that are nutrient-rich, low in sodium, and contain only moderate amounts of fat and saturated fat, can add years to your life. Try to reduce the number of times you go out to eat each month, pack healthy snacks to carry with you, and minimize the temptation to stop at a fast food drive-thru for a quick bite to eat. Make it a point to cook at home more using fresh ingredients and minimal sodium or fatty additives.

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4. Take prescribed medications

One contributor of higher mortality rates in those aged 50 and older is not taking prescribed medications as indicated by the doctor and pharmacist. In fact, the National Library of Medicine reports that approximately 50% of patients do not take their medications as prescribed. This can lead to serious health ramifications, especially in patients with heart-related health concerns, and the adverse effects can be irreversible, if patients don’t begin to adhere to their medicinal regimens.

5. National Wear Red Day

One woman in the U.S. dies every 80 seconds from heart disease, so do all you can to boost awareness of this tragic statistic by wearing red as often as you can in February. National Wear Red Day is usually the first Friday in February, but by incorporating more red into your wardrobe you may be able to spark conversations with others all month long.

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6. Exercise is key

If there is one thing that can help improve your overall heart health virtually overnight, it is exercise. First consult with your doctor, then create an exercise plan that includes a few key steps. Step one, make sure you involve plenty of moderate-intensity cardiovascular work in your fitness regimen. Then, add in some weight training to improve your strength and mobility. The better you feel the more you’ll be encouraged to work out and stay healthy.

7. Use a sauna

Saunas are a terrific choice for this part of the exercise equation. Let’s look at infrared sauna health benefits and discover why it can be instrumental in helping you maintain better heart health.

First and foremost, saunas effectively detoxify the body with infrared saunas proving to be the most effective solution for internal cleansing. A Medical News Today report delivered some staggering information, including:

52% reduction in sudden cardiac death among those who spend at least 19 minutes in a sauna versus another group who spent just 11 minutes in the heat, on average
Men who used a sauna at least four times per week had a 48% lower risk of dying from coronary artery disease
Men who used a sauna at least four times per week were 63% less likely to experience sudden cardiac death when compared to those who only used a sauna four times per month

Keep in mind that saunas stimulate the heart rate during use, yet encourage lower blood pressure when resting. The relaxing environment in a sauna is good for the heart, and the social connections made in a sauna room can improve mental health and the overall sense of well-being.

As American Heart Month rolls on, consider all the ways you can support this important observance – it’ll benefit you and those you care about. From National Wear Red Day to working on your own diet, exercise, and wellness ideas, you’ll add years to your life and have more time to spend with the important people in your life when your heart health is in top shape.

6 WAYS SAUNAS HELP FIGHT CANCER

BeatCancer.org posted this great blog post on their health and wellness blog.  We thank them for allowing us to share it with you:

Saunas and sweat baths have been used by various cultures throughout history to flush out toxins and disease and maintain optimal physical and mental health. Saunas, and particularly infrared saunas, can also play a big role in preventing or reversing cancer.

In a 2004 article in the Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients, Lawrence Wilson, MD, wrote, “If I were to single out one method to combat cancer, it is the sauna. It assists removal of chemical toxins and heavy metals, increases oxygenation, enhances the immune system, and reduces the radiation burden in the body.”

Using heat to treat illness is not new. Over 2,000 years ago, the famous Greek physician Parmenides said, “Give me the power to create fever, and I will cure any disease.” Modern medicine has also noted that cancer patients who developed a fever sometimes went into remission. Such an observation prompted New York Memorial Hospital physician Dr. William Coley in 1891 to publish a paper on how inducing a fever in the body of a cancer patient might stimulate the immune response and cause cancer remission. Cancer clinics in Germany and Mexico routinely apply this principle by using both infrared hyperthermia and infrared saunas with their patients. Hospitals in more than 20 of the United States are offering some form of hyperthermia treatment for cancer – either locally, regionally or systemically.

While saunas are not nearly as potent as hyperthermia treatments (which can expose the body to up to 113 degrees Fahrenheit), infrared saunas can heat the body a few degrees and cause a fever. This is a much gentler and slower method, but it is much safer and easier to tolerate and control.

Infrared saunas provide a form of whole-body hyperthermia that boosts health in many ways. Dr. Wilson noted that infrared sauna therapy for cancer offers a combination of healing mechanisms that act simultaneously and synergistically to support the fight against cancer.

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1 – Direct Cancer Cell Death: The principle of hyperthermia is that cancer cells are much more sensitive to and intolerant of the effects of excessive heat than normal cells. Tumors have an impaired ability to adapt their blood circulation to the effects of high temperatures. Said simply, because cancer cells are weaker than normal cells, they are more susceptible to damage from heat. In fact, high temperatures can actually kill cancer cells, usually without damage to healthy cells.

According to the National Cancer Institute, “Hyperthermia (also called thermal therapy or thermotherapy) is a type of cancer treatment in which body tissue is exposed to high temperatures. Research has shown that high temperatures can damage and kill cancer cells, usually with minimal injury to normal tissues. Many studies have shown a significant reduction in tumor size when hyperthermia is combined with other treatments.”

In a clinical study published in 2009 in the Journal of Cancer Science and Therapy, scientists studied far infrared’s effects on human cancer cells in vitro and on cancer cells in mice. Far infrared therapy reduced tumor volumes 86% in just 30 days.

In another study, researchers in Japan discovered that whole-body hyperthermia with far infrared strongly inhibited the growth of breast cancer tumors in mice without deleterious side effects. Researchers believe this therapy is a promising noninvasive treatment for breast cancer.

2 – Improved Circulation:  Infrared saunas boost circulation, which helps to bring essential nutrients, oxygen and other substances to the cells of the body. Since cancer often grows in tissues with poor circulation – and thus poor nutrition and oxygenation — and since cancer cells do not thrive in a high oxygen environment, improving circulation can help reverse the cancer process.

During a sauna, the pulse rate jumps by 30% or more, allowing the heart to greatly increase the amount of blood it pumps each minute. Most of the extra blood flow is directed to the skin. Saunas powerfully shunt the blood from the internal organs to the periphery of the body in an attempt to get rid of the heat. They also increase circulation to the lungs, improving oxygenation. This combination can be of great benefit for cancer patients, many of whom cannot or should not exercise much, especially older or physically impaired patients.

3 – Elimination of Toxins: Without efficient circulation, not only do health-promoting nutrients and oxygen not get into our cells, but also waste materials cannot get out. Saunas help purge the body of hundreds of toxins, such as heavy metals, chemicals, and pesticides. Sauna treatments can help remove lead, copper, mercury, arsenic and cyanide and help to balance the body’s pH by neutralizing excessively acid body chemistry.

The heat that saunas produce creates perspiration which cleanses the skin from the inside out. Although the skin is designed to be a major organ for eliminating body wastes, in most people, it’s inactive because they don’t sweat enough. The deep penetration of infrared heat releases toxins from the fat layers just beneath the skin and flushes out those toxins through the sweat. The dry heat of a sauna can cause skin temperature to rise to about 104° F, and many persons – especially those who drink several glasses of water before entering the sauna — will pour out a pint of toxic sweat during a short stint in a sauna.

In addition to cleansing the skin, infrared saunas also help decongest and eliminate toxins from the internal organs. The liver, kidneys and other internal organs can become burdened with estrogen, chemicals, and toxic metals. Overload, sluggishness, and congestion of these eliminatory organs greatly inhibits the detoxification of all toxic substances in our bodies. This is a very critical problem for cancer patients.  Saunas move blood away from the center of the body toward the extremities to get rid of the heat. By causing blood to move toward the body surface, infrared saunas help to decongest the body’s internal organs as well.

To see how this works, researchers analyzed the sweat from both traditional and infrared saunas. Sweat from traditional saunas was about 97% water and 3% toxins. Infrared saunas produced a sweat that was only 80-85% water. The remaining 15-20% was made up of heavy metals, sulfuric acid, sodium, ammonia, uric acid and fat-soluble toxins.

4 – Weight Loss:  According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, obesity is a known risk factor, not only for cancer, but also for cancer death. There are many reasons for this, among them the fact that cancer-promoting hormones and carcinogens are lipophylic – they hang around in fatty tissue and have a tough time metabolizing out.

Infrared saunas have been clinically shown to help burn fat and dramatically aid in weight loss. A 2009 study showed that infrared saunas provide significant results in lowering weight and waist circumference in just three months. And for those who are sedentary due to medical conditions such as cardiovascular or respiratory problems, results were even more profound. Dr. Stephen Sinatra, a well-known integrative cardiologist, states in his article on the many benefits of far-infrared saunas: Their penetrating infrared rays increase blood circulation, which helps speed up your metabolism and burn calories — up to a few hundred calories per session. During a 30-minute sauna session, core temperature increases, and the body works hard to cool itself, often burning 300-500 calories in the process.

5 – Immunity Activation:  While conventional cancer treatments often suppress immune function, hyperthermia can actually enhance it — through a whole cascade of immune cell responses. According to German professor Rolf Issels, MD, PhD, of the University of Munich, hyperthermia produces ´heat shock´ proteins on the surface of the cancer cells, making them more prone to attack by the immune system.

Doctor Gurdev Parmar, of the Integrated Health Clinic in Fort Langley, British Columbia, agrees. He explains that heat makes cancer cells look distinct from healthy cells, thereby generating an immune response that is both immediate and long-lasting. Because the damaged proteins on the surfaces of tumor cells look very different from healthy cells, the immune system is alarmed, and natural killer (NK) cells and macrophages are immediately sent to the tumor. These cells then activate dendritic cells (DC), which in turn present the heat-damaged proteins to T cells. Hyperthermia promotes the maturing and migration of the DCs to the lymph nodes, where T cells become activated against the cancer cell proteins. The activated T cells, called Cytotoxic T Lymphocytes, then attack and kill tumor cells.

Doctors at Clifford Hospital Hyperthermia Center in Guangzhou, China — possibly the largest hyperthermia center in the world – concur that heat treatments, in particular whole body hyperthermia, “can stimulate and reinforce the function of the body’s immune system.” At a core temperature of 41.8 ℃ (about 107 degrees Fahrenheit) it can activate long-acting T-lymphocytes. At body temperature of 39.8 ℃ (about 104 degrees Fahrenheit) maintained for a period of six hours, whole body hyperthermia “can increase the activity of T- and B-lymphocytes and the anti-tumor activity of…NK cells, and can facilitate the redistribution of the body’s white blood cells to improve the monitoring function of the body’s immune system.”

Although there are many techniques for generating hyperthermia, infrared sauna is definitely one of the easiest and safest. In an article published in the International Journal of Biometeorology, the authors conclude that “materials emitting electromagnetic radiation in the far infrared range, which are widely used in Japan for cosmetic [and] therapeutic… purposes, appear capable of potentiating leukocyte functions without promoting oxidative injury.”

6 – Stress Reduction:  Inside a sauna, there is peacefulness. One can easily shut out daily cares and interruptions from the world outside. One can read, listen to music, meditate or pray without interruption. But saunas do more for your nerve system than make you feel good.

Saunas have the ability to powerfully reduce the activity of the sympathetic nerve system. Excessive activity of the sympathetic nervous system is a contributing factor in many cancer cases. The sympathetic branch of the body’s autonomic nervous system activates the brain, muscles, thyroid and adrenal glands in its fright – fight – flight response to stress. However, it also strongly inhibits digestion, immune response and eliminative organ function. Cancer patients desperately need more immune, digestive and eliminative activity.

Therefore therapies such as infrared sauna that inhibit the sympathetic nervous system are helpful for cancer recovery. The body heals when it is in parasympathetic dominance, the part of the nerve system that promotes rest, relaxation and recovery.

Saunas can support parasympathetic activity in several ways. Sauna heat greatly slows normal heat production, a sympathetic function. To dissipate heat, saunas draw blood from the center to the periphery of the body. This opposes an important sympathetic nervous system activity, which is to draw blood to the central part of the body as a protection against attack. Furthermore, saunas eliminate toxins that irritate the body’s tissues and keep it in a sympathetic state. Inhibiting the sympathetic nervous system can also promote cancer healing by helping to reduce excess acidity in the body. Cancer, as we know, thrives in an acid environment.

The effect of saunas on the nerve system can also potentially impact appetite loss, pain and depression, all of which are common among patients with cancer. A study published in Psychosomatic Medicine looked at a group of 28 mildly depressed patients. Half of the patients utilized an infrared sauna once a day for four weeks and the other half had just bed rest for four weeks. The sauna group showed a significant improvement compared with the control group.

SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DISORDER TREATMENT WITH SAUNAS

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) was officially named in 1984 by Norman E. Rosenthal and his contemporaries at the National Institute for Mental Health. Since then, the condition has transformed from an easily-discarded mood issue to a commonly accepted disorder that now resides in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). It tends to affect those that reside in areas that have more pronounced seasons. Only about 1.4% of Florida residents report a prevalence of SAD where Alaskans are diagnosed with SAD at a rate of 9.9%. As winter approaches, it’s important to know Seasonal Affective Disorder treatment options.

The simple math shows that as you stray farther from the equator you see increased cases of Seasonal Affective Disorder. Knowing this, individuals who want to improve their mood and overall sense of wellbeing should consider infrared saunas as an effective and healthy way of treating Seasonal Affective Disorder.

What Causes SAD?

Most researchers point to several causes for Seasonal Affective Disorder, but even after 30+ years of research, most theories are still just theoretical. There is a lot of research on the topic, but most of them point to a disruption in our circadian rhythms due to changes in atmospheric lighting. When the winter months arrive, the days tend to get shorter, sunlight is in shorter supply, the environment is colder, and Seasonal Affective Disorder symptoms arise. These natural habitat changes reinforce the correlation between location and Seasonal Affective Disorder prevalence.

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Some researchers point to the fact that we may be hard-wired to experience the symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder due to early human’s need to conserve energy during the food-scarce winter months. A lack of food and substantially colder temperatures may have caused our ancient relatives to go into a sort of hibernation mode, where a low mood and lack of desire to complete tasks may have been a life-saving temperament.

Other researchers talk about the depression that comes from the amount of serotonin in our systems. Melatonin production is essentially regulated by our circadian clocks, but it can be affected by exposure to bright light. Seasonal Affective Disorder is, by most accounts, a direct correlation to the amount of light we’re exposed to, and at what specific duration.

What are Seasonal Affective Disorder Treatments?

Most therapists agree that the safest and most effective treatment for Seasonal Affective Disorder is light therapy. While there are drug-based options and cognitive-behavioral therapy steps that can be taken, light therapy for SAD is often considered to be the safest and quickest way to shake the symptoms of this seasonal depression.

So you may be asking yourself, how exactly does light therapy work? Can I simply stand outside and increase my exposure to the sun? Or, do I need to go to a doctor’s office to receive treatment? While standing outside in the sun can increase levels of Vitamin-D production, mainly due to exposure to UVB rays, employing this method increases your risk of skin cancer. As a result, this should be done in moderation. Going to a doctor’s office isn’t really a viable option unless you have a lot of time on your hands and have no access to light therapy equipment. A great option for most people is to spend time in a sauna that has chromotherapy lighting. This is generally considered to be a great way to address Seasonal Affective Disorder and its related side effects.

Happy-woman-in-an-infrared-sauna

Have the Blues? Consider Red or Green!

Toward the end of December each year, our days get to their shortest point and some major cities in the US see only 9-10 hours of sunlight per day. Barrow, Alaska sees none! This is the time of year when most symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder develop, and understanding the value of light therapy can truly help to stave off the most debilitating side effects of SAD.

According to researchers at Harvard Medical School, bright light can stimulate cells in the retina that connect directly to the hypothalamus, a portion of the brain that controls circadian rhythms. By using light therapy to stimulate this part of the brain, a normal circadian rhythm can be obtained and Seasonal Affective Disorder will be minimized.

How Can a Sauna Help?

Many of today’s better saunas come equipped with built-in lights that are designed to deliver a calming and therapeutic effect. This process of light therapy for SAD is called chromotherapy, and refers to the use of lights to create changes in mood in the person using the sauna. If you find that Seasonal Affective Disorder is a reality for you or a loved one, try to find time to get in an infrared sauna with LED color lights that can help in a variety of ways. Each color has been shown to help elicit specific changes in the body and mind:

Chromotherapy-color-lights
  • Red: Shown to boost energy and promote faster healing when used in tandem with infrared sauna therapy.
  • Orange: Sparks greater mental activity and can induce an uplifting sense of cheerful emotions.
  • Yellow: Shown to create feelings of optimism, good humor, and positivity.
  • Green: One of the best light therapy hues for combating Seasonal Affective Disorder, as it can calm one down quickly and directly counteract the side effects of SAD.
  • Blue: Minimizes the feelings of anxiety and depression. Blue light has even been shown to improve the look and health of one’s skin!
  • Purple: Delivers a calming effect that can even help to overcome feelings of pain. Purple is a tranquil color that stimulates white blood cell production.
  • White: By combining red, green, and blue, white light delivers a triple-threat of healing power.

If you find that Seasonal Affective Disorder has become a reality in your life, don’t suffer any longer! You’ll discover that the wellness and health benefits of infrared saunas with chromotherapy can help as an effective Seasonal Affective Disorder treatment and improve your quality of life in no time. That, plus the extensive list of other health benefits related to consistent sauna use, makes spending time in the warm, cozy confines of an infrared sauna a practical and intelligent idea.

INFRARED SAUNAS AS PART OF YOUR ARSENAL AGAINST LYME DISEASE!

One of the concerns our customers come to us with is Lyme Disease. We have seen so many of our customers mitigate if not eliminate many of the symptoms of Lyme and they include an infrared sauna in their healing process.  How does this happen?  First, some facts about Lyme. Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that is transmitted through the bite of a tick infected with a bacterium called Borrelia burgdorferi or the more common name, Spirochete. Ticks get the bacterium by biting infected animals, like deer and mice. It’s important to note that not all ticks are infected. Most people who get tick bites do not get Lyme disease.  However, the risk for contracting the disease increases the longer the tick is attached to the body.

Lyme disease can cause a wide range of symptoms including sore muscles and joints, dizziness, headaches, muscle weakness and even depression.  In many cases, traditional treatment using antibiotics are not entirely effective. As a result, many Lyme disease patients seek relief through alternative treatments like an infrared sauna. The warmth of an infrared sauna has a soothing effect on joint and muscle pain so infrared sauna treatments can provide an effective compliment to traditional Lyme disease treatment. The deep penetrating heat of an infrared sauna also makes the body a far less desirable host for the bacteria and it dies off as the body temperature rises.

Lyme also creates a build-up of toxins in the body. Although skin detoxification is beneficial for just about anyone, there are several reasons why it is helpful for those dealing with Lyme Disease. As we have seen, the bacteria present in the bodies of those with Lyme Disease creates an accumulation of a greater quantity of toxins. Sweating can help eliminate these toxins. Those suffering with Lyme Disease have an over worked liver and kidneys due to the stress incurred by the inflammation and toxic burden created by a chronic infection. Because the liver and kidneys are the primary detoxification organs of the body, detoxification is often stagnated.

Detoxifying through the skin (via sweat) lifts the burden from the liver and kidneys because it completely bypasses them. Sweat production allows toxins circulating in the blood to be excreted directly through the skin. The vast surface area of the skin allows for efficient detoxification without placing a burden on other detoxification organs.  We have seen many of our customers with all manner of disease and disorders, including Lyme, add Clearlight Infrared Saunas to their regime to help reclaim their health!  We have seen many of our customers with Lyme disease reduce their symptoms greatly and engage in everyday activities again. These reports indicate that for at least some Lyme disease patients, infrared saunas are able to help alleviate the suffering of this condition, including muscle spasms, constant chills, an overwhelming feeling of fatigue and the sensation of being in a mental fog.

INFRARED SAUNAS AND FIBROMYALGIA

An infrared sauna is a versatile wellness tool that can be used to treat a wide range of mild to severe physical complaints, including fibromyalgia.

Fibromyalgia is a medical condition characterized by chronic muscular pain in the neck, shoulders, chest, elbows, hips, or other so-called “tender points” throughout the body. The pain may also be accompanied by additional symptoms such as insomnia, irritability, anxiety, fatigue, and depression, making it virtually impossible for the afflicted person to perform everyday activities.

Because the precise cause of fibromyalgia is not known, the disorder is extremely difficult to diagnose and treat. The symptoms may be attributed to other causes, and common remedies like prescription analgesics or antidepressants are not effective for all patients. Though no known cure exists for fibromyalgia, regular sauna sessions can help manage the pain and reduce the severity of symptoms because saunas:

  • Provide warmth and heat to relax tense muscles
  • Accelerate blood flow to help deliver more oxygen to tissues, thus alleviating both pain and inflammation
  • Create a tranquil atmosphere that lowers anxiety and irritability
  • Fire up the metabolism to restore balance in digestive processes and increase energy

If your ability to function normally is compromised by the chronic aches and pains of fibromyalgia, then you owe it to yourself to give infrared heat therapy a try. Installing a Clearlight infrared sauna from Sauna Works in your home allows you to have unlimited access to a comforting, heated environment that can help alleviate your suffering now. Be sure to check out InfraredSauna.com today for a closer look at our entire product line.