It is that time of year again… You are wheezing and sneezing as the pollen is released into the air, or perhaps you have just visited with your friend who has a cat and your allergies are acting up again making you a snotty mess. Or perhaps it is that seafood you cannot enjoy as your family and friends dig into a late summer crab cookout. Whatever the case may be for you, allergies are difficult to handle: From annoying to lethal.
Over 50 million Americans have been diagnosed with allergies, the spectrum of reaction to allergies varies significantly, and for some this diagnosis is a predetermined genetic mutation, but for others it is possible to improve the threshold of tolerance through regular infrared sauna bathing.
So, how and why can a sauna help with allergies? At first, it may seem to be an absurd thought that sitting in a hot box a few times a week could actually help with your allergies, but this article will explain why regular infrared sauna bathing may help some allergy sufferers.
The Allergy Spectrum: Not all individuals living with allergies will experience a direct benefit from sauna bathing, but many will!
As is the case with so many things in life, not all allergies are the same and they abide on a spectrum of relativity. There are some individuals who will never be able to improve their tolerance to peanut butter or shellfish, for example, and these food items will forever remain a danger. There are however, a significant portion of the allergic demographic who will notice a remarkable improvement to their sensitivities to certain foods, and inhaled substances through regular infrared sauna bathing.
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) defines an allergy:
“An allergy is when your immune system reacts to a foreign substance, called an allergen. It could be something you eat, inhale into your lungs, inject into your body or touch. This reaction could cause coughing, sneezing, hives, rashes, itchy eyes, a runny nose and a scratchy throat. In severe cases, it can cause low blood pressure, breathing trouble, asthma attacks and even death.” (1)
Allergies are a spectrum, and for those who suffer from mild allergic reactions regular sauna bathing may fundamentally change how they live their life.
The recipe is two fold:
Firstly, regular sauna bathing removes toxins from the body thereby minimizing the overall toxic load an individual carries, and secondly by improving the immune system function. (2)
It is important to remember that because every individual is different, so are their reactions to allergens, sauna bathing will improve allergens for a certain percentage of the population.
Please be aware that if you are someone who experiences severe, life threatening reactions to certain substances, this protocol is not for you. Allergies can be a question of life or death, so please be sure to consult with a medical practitioner before trying this approach.
For everyone else with mild allergies, regular sauna bathing may feel like a god-send.
Regular Sauna Bathing to Relieve The Overall Toxic Load On The Body
If you are trying to carry a heavy load of wood from one point to another and are barely able to make it, and then someone throws on one more log, you may just collapse and decide you cannot carry wood. While this analogy may not be perfect it does lend itself to an understanding of the general idea that all humans alive today are overburdened with a toxic load, so something like pollen in the air may be the final straw that breaks your body’s ability to carry one more foreign substance.
Through regular sauna bathing, the capacity of the human body to sweat out heavy metals and other chemical substances from the body as a means of detoxification helps to render the individual better prepared to take on other foreign pathogens without noticing the body’s reaction.
The allergic reaction is a symptom of the body’s immune system at work. Sneezing, for example, is not caused directly by the pathogen but rather is symptomatic of the immune system at work. (3)
After several weeks of regular infrared sauna bathing the body will have enough time to rid itself of harmful heavy metals and chemicals so that when the individual is exposed to allergens, the symptoms of the immune system at work will likely not be present.
Imagine, the individual who is walking from one point to another, now with just one log of wood in their arms, when someone comes up and adds one more log, it is not a big deal, and the individual who is doing the carrying does not notice the addition of another piece because they were not already overburdened with weight.
Infrared sauna bathing may indirectly affect the symptoms of an allergic reaction by minimizing the toxic load on the body. The process of detoxification that occurs with regular infrared sauna bathing is crucial to the management of allergies. It will not cure someone of their sensitivities or allergies, however it may greatly reduce the experience of symptoms.
An Artificial Fever To Clear Out Lingering Infection May Relieve Allergic Reactions In Some Individuals
An infrared sauna raises the internal body temperature to simulate a fever. A fever is the body’s natural engineering system to get rid of infection. Many individuals live several years with mild infections that they are not aware of so when they are presented with a foreign pathogen they may have an allergic reaction because the immune system is already working on overdrive.
By creating an artificial fever with any type of heat therapy the body is able to rid itself of lingering low grade infection so that when new pathogens are introduced into the system the immune system is ready to go to work, and likely the individual will not experience typical allergic reactions. (4)
One individual who has been using infrared saunas for over a decade reports that she had been allergic to chlorine and was unable to swim in pools. After two years of regular infrared sauna bathing the individual no longer experienced any adverse effects from chlorine. Now, this first hand account does not indicate that chlorine suddenly became a healthy substance but rather, that the individual had been able to successfully heal ongoing infections and relieve her body of other toxic chemicals so that she no longer reacted to the smell of pools and is now able to enjoy swimming in pools, sometimes for hours every day.
The goal in regular sauna bathing for individuals living with allergies and sensitivities is to rid the body of toxins and infection so that the immune system is free to deal with new foreign substances (the allergens themselves).
Improve Overall Immunity With Regular Infrared Sauna Bathing: Heat Shock Proteins
“Bring in more foot soldiers”, the captain called out, but there were no more soldiers. If the immune system is likened to an army on the ready to defend itself from foreign invaders but all the task force was already occupied, then it would make sense to bring in back up, but how to do this? (4)
Regular sauna bathing does something quite magical, it actually produces more Heat Shock Proteins (HSPs), which are essentially protein chaperones, but are intrinsic to the production of white blood cells, specifically T-Cells. By immersing oneself in higher or lower temperatures by several degrees from the body’s normal state, more HSPs begin to be produced.
By engaging in any thermal therapy, more ‘soldiers’ can be created to boost the overall armory of the immune system. The immune system is amplified by regular thermal therapy of all types there by readying itself for foreign pathogens that the individual may come across, and is therefore less likely to suffer from the symptoms of an allergic reaction.
Regular Infrared Sauna Bathing Is Not A Cure All For Allergies: Improve Overall Health So That Allergic Reactions Go Unnoticed
There is no magic wand that can necessarily make allergies go away, but by fortifying the body through regular infrared sauna bathing and boosting the immune system, it is possible for some individuals to live a life free from allergic reactions.
Sauna bathing will not work for certain life threatening allergies, but for the run of the mill pollen, animal, and pollution sensitivities sauna bathing may give individuals access to a life free from allergic reactions by improving the immune system and relieving the body from a heavy toxic and bacterial load.