Exhausted, burned out, and frustrated with ongoing muscular weakness is how individuals experiencing adrenal fatigue feel most of the time. Adrenal exhaustion is a common condition for many people. In a fast-paced culture, states of prolonged stress response in the body overwork the adrenal glands, as more adrenaline and cortisol is needed on a daily basis.
By alleviating the demands put on the adrenal glands from stress response, it is possible to restore the full health and operative capacity for these glands. In order for adrenal glands to find reprieve from activity, the body must find states of relaxation. Once relaxation is established, there is no longer a need for adrenal glands to excrete adrenaline in the system, and they are therefore able to rejuvenate and restore themselves.
The key ingredient for adrenal health is to find a vehicle into relaxation and out of stress response. Infrared sauna therapy is a powerful tool that can mobilize parasympathetic dominance (rest and relaxation) through a series of biochemical changes in the body.
The cellular network responds to the infrared light waves to produce states of deep relaxation where adrenal gland healing can begin. Reduce the risk of developing more serious health conditions, revitalize the body, return to a healthy range of available energy and leave exhaustion behind while you regularly bask in the warm rays of infrared light.
What Is Adrenal Fatigue?
Signs and Symptoms:
- Fatigue (even after long periods of sleep)
- Muscle Weakness (sometimes muscle atrophy)
- Weight Loss
- Low Blood Pressure
- Salt Cravings
- Low Back Pain
- Dizziness/Fainting Spells
- Subnormal Body Temperature (hypersensitivity to the cold)
- Gastro-Intestinal Issues: IBS, Crohn’s Disease, And Constipation
- Joint Pain
- Poor Circulation
Adrenal fatigue, also known as adrenal insufficiency, adrenal exhaustion, and adrenal burnout syndrome is very common today. It is the under-activity or depletion of the adrenal glands as a result of years of overactivity due to both internal and external stress. Adrenal fatigue may also express symptoms after a single trauma in a person’s life.
Symptoms of adrenal exhaustion include, but are not limited to: low blood pressure, fatigue (even after a long night’s sleep), muscle weakness, depression, low back pain (near the location of the kidneys in the body), dizziness, and episodes of lost consciousness (1).
For individuals with adrenal gland depletion it can be frustrating because they look well on the outside, but may on some days lack the physical strength to get out of bed. With associated lowered moods they are often told to power through. This is terrible advice as the individual is physically unable to perform normal daily tasks due to extreme weakness and fatigue. Attempting to exercise or will themselves through the day further depletes the adrenal glands.
The umbrella term of adrenal fatigue is a wide spectrum from mild depletion of adrenal gland activity to very severe cases of total depletion: At the very far spectrum of adrenal burnout cases is Addison’s disease, the complete shut down of the adrenal gland function, typically occurring after a severe trauma (2).
The most famous case of Addison’s disease (the far spectrum of adrenal exhaustion) was expressed through John F. Kennedy Jr after a serious trauma during his participation in World War II. After his small patrol boat was hit by a Japanese destroyer on a dark night, killing everyone in the crew except him, put him into states of shock that resulted in Addison’s disease. Taking high doses of vitamin C and cortisol daily for the remainder of his life treated his condition. The youngest elected president appeared full of youthful vitality but even during his presidency campaign he experienced fainting spells and periods of exhaustion (3).
Many cases of adrenal fatigue are misdiagnosed as Addison’s disease; most cases respond well to lifestyle adjustments, particularly infrared sauna therapy, and do not require harmful doses of pharmaceutical grade cortisol.
Cushing’s disease is the opposite expression of Addison’s disease: it is an over activity or hyper-function of the adrenal glands and is very rare. Typical of Cushing’s disease is the appearance of a ‘moon face’, discoloration of the skin, kidney stones, and obesity through the trunk (despite a healthy diet and plenty of exercise), as well as muscle weakness.
Adrenal fatigue is a gateway disorder for other diseases to evolve within the body including: Thyroid conditions, Fibromyalgia, ALS, MS, Parkinson’s Disease, and other chronic degenerative conditions. If adrenal fatigue can be addressed in the early stages, and the necessary lifestyle adjustments are made, individuals are able to overcome a myriad of illnesses (4).
Adrenal fatigue expresses after the body has been in stress response for too long and homeostasis of the body has been lost. Addressing the underlying cause of adrenal burnout helps individuals re-establish balance in the body and avoid treatments that may only compound the condition. Most cases of adrenal fatigue are incremental in their symptom expression and appear slowly, almost unnoticed at first.
What Are The Adrenal Glands?
The functions of adrenal glands: A Hormone Factory
· Adrenaline (Epinephrine)
· Noradrenaline (Norepinephrine)
The adrenal glands are essential for life, our survival and ability to meet challenges relies on them. The adrenal glands are rounded, almost disc shaped, they are about one to two inches across and sit directly above the left and right kidneys respectively. Many individuals will experience the sensation of pressure in this region while under stress. This is because as the body enters states of stress response the adrenal glands turn on and begin producing a cascade of hormone release (5).
The adrenal glands are responsible for the production of key hormones for the body: Adrenaline (Epinephrine), Noradrenaline (Norepinephrine), Cortisol, Cortisone, DHEA, Testosterone, Progesterone, Estrogen and Aldosterone. If there is even a slight malfunction of the adrenal glands the health of the entire body suffers.
The hormones produced in the adrenal glands affect a number of the body’s functioning but the most important however, is their ability to respond under life threatening situations. When an individual perceives a threat (real or imagined) the adrenal glands begin to convert glucose at faster rates into the bloodstream, raise blood pressure and are able to produce higher levels of externally projected energy to protect the body in states of survival (5).
The adrenal glands are essential to the nervous system and provide the necessary convergence of energy to protect the body under threat and ensure survival. Understanding the mechanism of the autonomic nervous system allows individuals to begin to address the root cause of adrenal exhaustion and receive the necessary treatment to find internal equilibrium once again.
The Autonomic Nervous System and Adrenal Fatigue
The autonomic nervous system is responsible for all body functions that occur automatically, this is done through the establishment of two basic states of being, for example: states of relaxation or states of hyper-alertness as they are expressed through the physiological network. A clear mapping of the autonomic nervous system produces the key to adrenal fatigue recovery.
The autonomic nervous system has two distinct expressions: sympathetic dominance (fight or flight/survival) and parasympathetic dominance (relaxation, rest and digestion).
Sympathetic dominance protects the body against real and perceived threat. Heart rate accelerates, blood pressure is increased, and the adrenal glands and thyroid glands are called into action to defend the body. This state of being is catabolic, which means that it breaks the body down rather than nourishing it. Ideally, sympathetic dominance takes over the nervous system of the body to prepare it to fight or flee. The experience of ‘adrenaline rush’ is the byproduct of sympathetic dominance. Stress response is necessary for survival and under healthy conditions the body would easily flow from this state of being back to relaxation when the threat is gone, where nourishment and healing can occur.
Parasympathetic dominance is essential for healthy states of being. In this state, adrenal glands rest and are not activated. Blood flow moves towards digestion, cellular regeneration, and repair. Wound healing, of any kind takes place during states of rest. It is necessary for the health of the body to find states of parasympathetic dominance often in order to sleep well, repair the body, and to find health and vitality (6).
Unfortunately, many individuals remain in sympathetic dominance in response not only to real life threatening situations but also to daily stresses. Arguments with a spouse, traffic, a heavy professional workload, or high levels of toxins within the body can keep an individual in stress response. Over time stress response depletes the body and illness occurs. Sympathetic dominance is catabolic and erodes the health and longevity of the body.
Adrenal fatigue occurs when individuals remain in stress response for long periods of time. Sympathetic dominance calls on the adrenal glands to produce cortisol and adrenal to heighten response in the body to external threat. This is great if a person’s life is in danger but when adrenaline is used just to negotiate traffic every morning or respond to stressful emails and deadlines long-lasting disease can settle into the body. Over time, continued excretion and production of cortisol and adrenaline from the adrenal glands will leave these precious parts of the body, overtaxed, overworked, and depleted. Adrenal exhaustion settles in and impairs the daily function of individuals suffering from this chronic condition.
Adrenal fatigue can be cured, meaning normal function of the adrenal glands can be restored by calling the body back into parasympathetic dominance and alleviating the adrenal glands from continuous production of adrenaline. Infrared sauna therapy coaxes the body out of stress response and back into states of relaxation where adrenal glands can find rest and rejuvenation.
Infrared Sauna Therapy And Parasympathetic Dominance: A way out of Adrenal Exhaustion
“As with many vital organs, the adrenal glands are also prone to the negative effects of long-term stress. When we’re living in emergency mode for extended periods of time and diminish our vital energy field, all of or energy is directed outward to protect us from external threats, leaving little energy to protect us from internal threats. Eventually, this leads to dysfunction of the immune system. It makes sense, then, that by mobilizing the parasympathetic nervous system for growth and repair, the adrenal glands should become healthy and regulated because we are putting energy into that gland.”– Dr. Joe Dispenza, author of ‘Becoming Supernatural’ (7)
The only credible way to restore normal adrenal gland function is through more frequent and longer-lasting states of parasympathetic dominance. If the body and mind have been trained in stress response it can be difficult to create a different state of being in the body. This is why infrared sauna therapy is such an effective treatment for adrenal exhaustion.
The infrared spectrum of light vibrates at a frequency that allows it to easily penetrate beyond the initial epidermis into the soft tissue of the body. This gentle heat coaxes the body out of stress response as blood flow is redirected toward digestion and cellular regeneration. The heat of an infrared sauna is not overly intense, as is the case with traditional sauna and therefore feels as if you are walking into a light bath.
The biochemical response to infrared light frequency transcends stress response and redirects every cell in the body back to states of relaxation. Mitochondrial activity is stoked by exposure to infrared light and therefore ATP production is increased, causing hyper-oxygenated blood to flow freely throughout the body to repair injury. Basking in the warm light of an infrared sauna for only 15 minutes creates a cascade of transformation at the cellular and molecular level of the body and gently converts the body out of sympathetic dominance back into states of relaxation (8).
As the body finds relaxation, adrenal gland activity is reduced. Rather than produce adrenaline and cortisol, the adrenal glands begin to repair and rejuvenate as freshly oxygenated blood flows into them.
Infrared sauna therapy improves circulation and therefore reduces inflammation in the body, as energy is redirected inward toward healing and nourishment. States of relaxation do not rely on adrenaline or cortisol production and adrenal glands can find rest. Further, the effects of infrared sauna therapy affect the biochemistry of the body for hours after use. This means that individuals using infrared sauna therapy will be less likely to return to the pattern of stress response and sleep deeper allowing them to wake up feeling rejuvenated.
Individuals suffering from adrenal exhaustion will be unable to partake in moderate to vigorous exercise; the infrared sauna produces very similar effects in the body to moderate exercise. Infrared sauna therapy provides an opportunity for individuals to reap the benefits of exercise without the energy output and thereby restores the body back to healthy states of homeostasis (9).
Stepping into the warm rays of an infrared light bath soothes the body and sparks the necessary chemical reaction in the body to draw the autonomic nervous system out of stress response back into states of relaxation where restoration and rejuvenation occur.
Regular infrared sauna sessions lasting at least fifteen minutes, taken three times a week, will provide the necessary release from stress response for the adrenal glands to be restored back to normal and healthy functioning states.
Detoxification Protocol And Adrenal Fatigue
External threat and stress turns on sympathetic dominance and therefore the adrenal glands begin to excrete cortisol and adrenaline into the body, in addition to external threat the body also responds to internal stress (toxins and pollutants) by turning sympathetic dominance on in the same way. The deeply penetrative rays of infrared light heat the body up from the inside out; this creates a powerful response in the sweat glands (10).
By using the largest organ of the body, the skin, to detoxify the physiological system from harmful toxins and pollutants, individuals will find relief from internal stress. Finding relief from internal stress (a challenge well within the individual’s control) limits the frequency and occurrence of sympathetic dominance.
Infrared saunas powerfully encourage detoxification protocol by inducing copious sweating.
Individuals suffering from adrenal fatigue report feeling more energized after a single session, this is because the body was able to relax and also find relief from toxins.
While it may be difficult to regulate external life stresses, it is possible to relieve the body from internal stress due to a toxic overload. Not only does infrared sauna therapy relax the body, it is the most powerful tool in any detoxification regime.
As the body is relieved of toxic pollutants internally, over all stress response will be diminished and therefore the adrenal glands will find more opportunity for reprieve.
Regular Infrared Sauna Therapy May Help Adrenal Fatigue Sufferers
Adrenal exhaustion, fatigue, or depletion is a condition that can be cured as adrenal glands are restored back to healthy operative states. This recovery is only made possible by mobilizing the parasympathetic nervous system to relieve the burden placed upon the adrenal glands from prolonged states of stress. Infrared sauna therapy is a powerful healing modality because it mobilizes states of relaxation after just 15 minutes of submerging the body in the light bath of infrared waves.
Adrenal fatigue, if left untreated, may evolve into more threatening illness. Adrenal burnout is a red flag to let you know that the body has been operating in stress response for too long, and this provides an opportunity to reset the autonomic nervous system and give the adrenal glands a rest from over-activity. By addressing the needs of the adrenal glands it is possible to restore the body back to health and avoid more serious illness and long-term chronic conditions.
Infrared sauna therapy creates an atmosphere where the body can find relaxation, therefore allowing the adrenal glands to take the bench and no longer produce necessary hormones involved in stress response. In addition, infrared sauna therapy is a powerful detoxification protocol and allows individuals to free the body from internal stress by ridding it of harmful pollutants. Further, the mitochondrial response to infrared wavelengths heightens energy conversion in the body and redirects the blood flow to the digestive tract, cellular regeneration and improved circulation..
* Before engaging in an infrared sauna therapy consult your health care practitioner. If you are experiencing adrenal fatigue or any other health condition, be thorough in your research and consult your physician before beginning any treatment plan.
- ‘Becoming Supernatural”, Dr. Joe Dispenza, 10/19/2017