Saunas have been a prominent part of Narconon’s rehabilitation program for years, but now a study being funded by the National Institute of Health is looking into how the sauna can be used to help detoxify the body. Jason Allen is a naturopathic doctor at Bastyr University in Kenmore, Washington and he is running the study to find out how the heat in the sauna helps cleanse the body of poisons.
Our Toxic Environments
Throughout the 1900’s, America built a prosperous nation unmatched for the time. Technology, food, production, transportation and chemistry advanced at blistering rates and provided a number of amazing and exciting products. Unfortunately, the boom of production and experimentation was not tempered by strong health and safety precautions. The measures to ensure a low level of toxicity and safe chemicals just didn’t keep up with the inventions throughout the century.
In the 1970’s a subset of chemicals called polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, were popularly used for cooling and could be found in many electronics. In fact, 1.2 billion pounds of these chemicals were produced, and it’s figured that about half of those chemicals are still in our waterways, fish and general environment even 40 years later. According to Allen, these chemicals can be passed down through bloodlines which makes it a chemical commonly found in almost every human being.
Coincidence or Direct Relation
The last 50 years in America have been creating an increasingly toxic environment with chemicals like PCBs, hormones in food, pesticides, radiation and nationwide reliance on pharmaceuticals. Jason Allen is working to find the direct link between the toxins and poisons in the environment and their effects on health. Allen feels that for many ailments and diseases, “…be it pain, cardio-vascular disease, cancer, infertility, diabetes, autism, there are strong associations with environmental chemicals.”
As a sort of backlash to the chemicals and toxins getting strewn throughout the country in the past, Americans seem to be in tune with living healthy lives now more than ever before. Organic foods, meats and produce are very commonplace, nutrition awareness is being brought to all types of people at all levels of income, genetically modified foods are increasingly being shunned and every store sells some sort of vitamin supplement. All of those items contribute to a healthy lifestyle that will help create a positive environment for decades to come, but the fact remains that there are still toxins here and now having an effect on the population. So how to move forward with this world filled with toxins?
The Benefits of the Sauna
The answer is through detoxification. This isn’t a call to the infomercial, wonder-detox programs that pop up every once in a while though. Allen’s belief is that spending time in a sauna and using that heat to sweat creates a spring cleaning effect on the body. Allen feels there’s a lack of published scientific data on the benefits of using a sauna, so he hopes the study he’s conducting answers some questions.
The Narconon Rehabilitation program is a drug withdrawal, detoxification program and complete drug handling. After the withdrawal process, the program uses nutrition, vitamins, exercise and time spent in a sauna to flush the body of toxins and poisons then works to help the addict confront the problems in their life that lead to the addiction. The sauna is used along with niacin, a B vitamin, to dislodge the chemicals and toxins from the fat cells of the body. Lots of the chemicals and toxins are actually released through the pores while sweating.