How Does a Sauna Work?
Saunas are small rooms that are heated to temperatures between 150 and 195 degrees Fahrenheit. A wide variety of saunas exist, including ones that use dry heat and others with more moisture. While most people consider using a sauna as an experience reserved for vacation or a hard gym workout, it is also useful in detoxing the body and has several other health benefits. But can you sweat out drugs in a sauna? Saunas can actually be a useful tool in drug and alcohol detox, whether you had a night out on the town and are having a regrettable morning or as part of a detox and rehab program to ease withdrawal symptoms.
Saunas are meant to be used for only 5 to 20 minutes, as the high heat can cause dehydration and heat exhaustion. However, a short period of time in heat stress therapy can create several health benefits as your core temperature begins to rise. As blood flow is directed away from your core and to your skin, blood vessels dilate, increase circulation and cause the body to sweat excessively. These mechanisms can help the body flush out toxins from drug and alcohol abuse.
As your body heats up, it stimulates growth hormone production, enhancing bone formation and tissue regeneration. These are important mechanisms in healing the body from the effects of substance abuse. Addiction often leads to nutritional deficiencies, including loss of calcium which is essential for bone health. Substance abuse can also lead to injury to several organs, skin sores, infections, and early skin aging, which can be reversed through tissue regeneration.
The heat of the sauna and increased circulation in the body can also relieve various aches and pain, which are often seen in substance abuse. These effects also increase the sympathetic nervous system causing endocrine glands to get involved. The body’s reaction to heat can increase alertness, decrease pain perception, and create feelings of joy. The relaxing effects of the sauna can help reduce the stress of rehab programs and co-occurring disorders seen in addiction and substance abuse. It can even help relieve that morning-after anxiety experienced after a night of heavy drinking.
For more information on how our addiction treatment programs can help heal drug or alcohol dependence, please give The River Source a call at 866-828-6792.
What Toxins Can You Sweat Out in a Sauna?
The high heat experienced in a sauna will cause the body to sweat profusely. Infrared saunas will penetrate infrared heat waves deep into the core, promoting a deeper level of detox than ordinary saunas. This deeper level of detox will help the body rid itself of excess toxins which include:
- Heavy metals, such as lead, mercury, arsenic, and cadmium.
- Harmful chemicals, mycotoxins, pesticides, and BPA.
- Drugs and alcohol, including the harmful toxins of illegal drugs, are often cut with.
- Bacteria and viruses.
All these toxins can impede the body’s natural healing mechanisms and proper mental health functioning. Infrared saunas penetrate beneath the skin’s surface, using wavelengths of light that heat the skin and go deep to warm the body within. Toxins are stored in fat cells, and infrared heat activates the fat cells, releasing toxins into the bloodstream. This method can help the body push out toxins deep within the muscles and organs to where the lymphatic system can filter them out. Increased blood circulation will also bring more blood flow to areas of the body affected by substance abuse and help the liver and kidneys clear out toxins more quickly. As a result, toxins will find themselves out of the body through the urine more efficiently and quickly. It is important to drink plenty of water and to eat clean, light, nutritious meals on days you receive sauna therapy so the body can flush out these toxins more easily.
Is It Possible to Sweat Out Drugs in a Sauna?
Various studies have shown that saunas can effectively and efficiently help the body remove toxins, including drugs, alcohol, and pharmaceuticals. Sweat itself is mostly made up of water and salts. While you cannot physically flush out toxins through your sweat, the mechanisms surrounding the heat from saunas and sweating can help clear out drugs and alcohol from your system more quickly and easily.
The high heat experienced in saunas will cause the blood vessels to dilate and increase blood flow. This can increase the amount of blood that is filtered through the liver which is then taken to the kidneys to be removed from the body via urine. Saunas will also increase metabolism, which can quickly help the process of removing toxins and substances.
Get Access to Saunas and Naturopathic Treatment at The River Source
The River Source is a Joint Commission-accredited rehab center in various Arizona locations. We offer a full continuum of care including medical detox, inpatient treatment, partial hospitalization program (PHP), intensive outpatient program (IOP), virtual IOP, aftercare programs, and a lifetime alumni program. Our unique program uses an integrative form of addiction therapy that incorporates naturopathic therapies into conventional, clinically driven treatment methods for whole-person recovery.
Patients at The River Source in Arizona have access to various evidence-based naturopathic treatments including our infrared sauna. An infrared sauna provides added benefits compared to traditional saunas, using infrared heat waves to heat the user and the structure instead of the air directly. The primary purpose of an infrared sauna is healing which is activated by two aspects of the sauna:
- The softwood of the structure is heated to release phytoncides, which are organic compounds that exist in many plants and have antibacterial and antifungal qualities. Breathing in these phytoncides positively affects the respiratory system and boosts the immune system by increasing white blood cells.
- Gently warms the body with infrared heat waves, causing the person to sweat, an essential part of human physiology to release harmful substances and toxins. The gentle heat also improves blood circulation, reduces inflammation, and relieves various aches and pains.
Our infrared sauna is a client favorite, providing a comfortable physical detox and an excellent spot to meditate and relax. When used in conjunction with outer holistic rehab services and therapies, the dry sauna is an effective method in sweating out the build of toxins from substance abuse. It can also help patients heal from the effects of addiction by improving cardiovascular health, circulation, and cell turnover.
Other naturopathic therapies patients can access at The River Source include yoga and meditative therapy, massage therapy, oral and IV vitamin therapy, oral and IV amino acid therapy, nutritional counseling, and exercise classes and equipment. While naturopathic therapies are greatly beneficial during drug and alcohol detox, they are also important rehab and dual diagnosis treatment tools. These therapies are used throughout recovery and are available at all care levels. The residential inpatient program includes freshly prepared, nutritious meals by our kitchen staff to help the body heal and detox naturally.
If you or a loved one is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, please get in touch with us by calling 866-828-6792 today. We can help you learn more about how we use conventional addiction treatments that are maximized with the help of holistic therapies to heal the body, mind, and spirit.