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Infrared Sauna and Cancer Prevention

There is a theory of cancer that says we all have mutated cells — cancer cells — somewhere in our body, but most of the time, our immune system keeps them in check. According to this theory, it is when your immune system is compromised that you develop cancer. Most often, your immune system is damaged by chronic infections, nutritional deficiencies, or toxins in the environment — the heavy metals, chemicals, fungus, and parasites that we encounter virtually every moment of every day. Any of these things can act as a carcinogen, which is to say it can act to weaken your immune system. But I suspect that most cancer results from all of them working together.

It would stand to reason that the best way to protect yourself from cancer is to detoxify regularly. By flushing out the toxins, you preserve your immune system. How do you flush out the toxins? By sweating. Sweat is not pure water, and although it might taste salty, it is not simply salt water. In addition to water and sodium, sweat contains trace amounts of urea and lactic acid, as well as minerals and metals, such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, copper, iron, chromium, nickel, and lead. Because there are only trace amounts of these toxins in sweat, it takes a lot of sweating to flush them out in any quantity. Fortunately, healthy people do sweat a lot: up to 10-14 liters per day — even more with exercise or use of a sauna.

Regular exercise, according to this theory, can help to prevent cancer. So can regular sauna use. And in the 21st century, we have an even more advanced technique to induce sweating. The far infrared sauna will make you sweat at seven times the rate you would sweat in a conventional sauna, and more comfortably, too. Read this blog post for my description of the benefits of infrared sauna.

It stands to reason, then, that sauna can be a cancer preventative, and infrared sauna can be an even more effective one. Here is an article on the Rethinking Cancer site that summarizes the theoretical cancer-fighting capabilities of infrared sauna. I’m not the only one who believes infrared sauna can prevent cancer. Consider the case of the Forest Park, Ohio Fire Department. A recent report from WLKY TV (Louisville, KY) says the department has installed an infrared sauna for the expressed purpose of preventing cancer in its firefighters. Firefighters face a greater risk of cancer than the general population — 56% greater according to one study. Toxins are voluminously liberated by fires, and firefighters are doused with them. They can protect their lungs with masks, but even so, their uniforms get saturated, and they can absorb the poisons through their skin. So Forest Park firefighters use a stationary bike in an infrared sauna when they return from a fire. They are instructed to pedal the bike and wipe themselves down with towels as they sweat, to make sure they don’t reabsorb the toxins they have flushed out. The department lost two retired members to cancer in the recent past, and they feel adding this extra step to the firefighting process is worth the time and the investment they’ve made in the equipment. 

If you book an infrared sauna session at Peak Recovery & Health Center, the sweating you do is going to improve your health, and may help prevent cancer.

Photo: “Firefighter Helmet” by sboneham. This one was recovered from the debris of Ground Zero and is on display at the FDNY museum. It’s amazing how much these people risk for the rest of us. Creative Commons license.