Sweating and Safe Detox

The blogosphere has been buzzing with talk about the the possible dangers of saunas, sweat lodges, and steam rooms. This has led to people doubting whether or not sweating is a valid method to get a good detox. For years saunas have been regarded as a reliable way to detox. Now people are left wondering if something has changed? Most of the confusion surrounding the safe use of saunas came about as a result of a tragic accident that took place in the fall of 2009 at a “Spiritual Warrior” retreat in Arizona. Eighteen people were hospitalized and three died because of the drastic over use of the sweat lodge at the retreat. Dehydration was the main cause of the deaths.

portable infrared saunaUnderstandably, people have started questioning the safety of sweat lodges and the other type of sweat detox therapy. What most people don’t know is that of all the many types of workouts, diets and detox methods, using a sauna is one of the easiest and safest. Infrared saunas in particular are a quick and easy way to induce healthy sweating to stimulate the cardiovascular system. The American Medical Association explains that “many of us who run do so to place a demand on our cardiovascular system, not to build big leg muscles. Regular use of indoor saunas may impact a similar stress on the cardiovascular system, and its regular use may be as effective, as a means of cardiovascular conditioning and burning of calories, as regular exercise.” Many people are unaware that using a sauna for a cardio workout, detox or a diet is one of the safest and easiest ways to go about it. Infrared saunas are especially a good sauna for stimulating detox through sweating. The American Medical Association (AMA) explained that “many of us who run do so to place a demand on our cardiovascular system, not to build big leg muscles. Regular use of indoor saunas may impact a similar stress on the cardiovascular system, and its regular use may be as effective, as a means of cardiovascular conditioning and burning of calories, as regular exercise.” One of the main factors to keep in mind when using an infrared sauna is to stay hydrated. Drinking a glass of water before and after a 15-30 minute session will keep you appropriately hydrated, and thus able to detox. In addition to staying hydrated, another important factor to be considered when regularly detoxing in a sauna is using a quality mineral supplement. In addition to all of the heavy metals that are secreted from the body, also some good minerals are lost and should be replaced by adding mineral drops to your water before or after your sauna sessions. There is no need for confusion when it comes to infrared saunas, sweat lodges and detox. The ease of use and effectiveness of a sauna certainly outweighs the sight risk of overuse and dehydration. Hopefully people will better understand that now.

Posted in Infrared Sauna.

HEALTHandMED Now Carries All of the Nutriplex Whole Food Formulas

We now carry all of the Nutriplex line of nutritional supplements.  That is really something to be excited about! What’s so great about them is that they are the only company that has 100% whole food products with no isolates (not separated/isolated from natural form). Being a whole food means that the body can assimilate them much better than artificially made supplements (night and day).They are foods compressed into tablets.  So there is no inherent danger in using any of them with anything else you are taking. Most of the products are a combination of a number of different natural ingredients, formulated by Vic Shayne, Ph.D..  So, if someone has problems with certain body systems such as the cardiovascular system, digestive system, etc., they can look at the formulas page for some great products that will help. For most people, if you are going to gake only one Nutriplex product, it should be Supergreens.  Supergreens is the best all around vitamin/mineral/general wellness supplement from Nutriplex.   The super tasty and super healthy Aztec Organic Nutrition bars which are mostly made of dark chocolate, also have Supergreens in them as well as ginger. There are 6 products (including Supergreens) that come in powders as well as tablet form.  Powders are even more assimilable by the body than the tablets — the body has to do less work to break them down.  But then you would have to take the powder with a drink and taste it.  Maybe you like the taste and maybe you don’t.  I personally like the sort of seaweed taste of the Supergreens. In addition to these, we carry the Nutriplex Borage Oil, Evening Primrose Oil, and Wheat Germ Oil. The Neem Oil Aloe Soap Bar is is a natural bactericide and deodorizer from the ancient Indian neem tree. Especially for chemically sensitive people.

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Vitamin D Effects MS Brain Atrophy, Cognitive Function

Studies conducted by neurologists at the University at Buffalo have shown a direct link between vitamin D levels and the brain function of people with multiple sclerosis. The findings were reported earlier this month at the American Academy of Neurology meeting. Clinical evaluation and MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) images revealed that low blood levels of vitamin D are associated with more disability, brain lesion load and brain atrophy in MS patients. The research also showed that higher levels of vitamin D3 and vitamin D3 metabolism byproducts (analyzed as a ratio) also were associated with better scores on disability tests, results showed, and with less brain atrophy and fewer lesions on MRI scans. Sarah A. Morrow, MD, UB assistant research professor of neurology/Jacobs Neurological Institute and lead author on the cognitive-impairment study said: “Results showed that MS patients who were impaired on tests of executive function — critical reasoning and abstract thinking — and the ability to plan and organize, were more likely to be deficient in vitamin D.” “This relationship held true when controlling for the season during which vitamin D was measured, as well as depression, which is known to be associated with lower vitamin D levels.”

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Obesity Associated With Risk of Fibromyalgia

Scientists at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology have discovered a link between the amount of physical exercise, leisure time and a future risk of developing fibromyalgia. They also found that having a normal body mass index (BMI) was an integral part of the equation. This research was published in the May issue of Arthritis Care & Research. Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain syndrome characterized by widespread pain lasting more than 3 months, and tender point sites in the neck, shoulders, back, hips, arms, and legs. Additional symptoms often include mood disturbances, fatigue, headache, sleep disturbances,  and cognitive difficulty. The prevalence of fibromyalgia becomes more common with age and is a lot higher among women than men. “Women who reported exercising 4 times per week had a 29% lower risk of FM compared with inactive women,” said the study’s lead author Dr. Mork. “Similar results were found in the analysis of the summary score combining information on frequency, duration, and intensity of exercise; women with the highest exercise level had a somewhat lower risk than inactive women. The study further shows that a high BMI (i.e., being overweight or obese) is a strong and independent risk factor for future development of FM. Moreover, the higher relative risks for the combined effect of being overweight/obese and inactive, relative to being overweight/obese alone, point to a further disadvantage for overweight women who do not exercise.” Source: “Association Between Physical Exercise, Body Mass Index, and Rise of Fibromyalgia: Longitudinal Data From the Norwegian Nord-Trøndelag Health Study.” Paul J. Mork, Ottar Vasseljen, and Tom I.L. Nilsen. Arthritis Care and Research; Published Online: April 29, 2010 (DOI: 10.1002/acr.20118); Print Issue Date: May 2010.

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Junk Food, Phosphates & Premature Aging

Research showing the connection between junk food consumption and premature death is hardly revolutionary, but the latest study coming out of the Harvard School of Dental Medicine is giving more specifics on how this occurs. The study by M. Shawkat Razzaque, M.D., Ph.D., was published recently in the FASEB Journal. The results show that by adding phosphates to things like soda pop have greatly damage the needed balance of phosphates in the body, creating a state of toxicity, which leads to premature aging and poorer health. “Humans need a healthy diet and keeping the balance of phosphate in the diet may be important for a healthy life and longevity,” said Razzaque. “Avoid phosphate toxicity and enjoy a healthy life.” “Soda is the caffeine delivery vehicle of choice for millions of people worldwide, but comes with phosphorous as a passenger” added Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of the FASEB Journal. “This research suggests that our phosphorous balance influences the aging process, so don’t tip it.”

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Grapes Fight Heart Disease, Diabetes.

Recent experiments are showing a connection between eating grapes and a reduced risk of getting diabetes and heart disease. Scientists at the University of Michigan Health System have been exploring whether or not the natural elements found in grapes can actually effect things like blood pressure and the metabolic syndrome in rats, and therefore in humans. Research from this recent study shows that naturally occurring antioxidants called phytochemicals may be the main beneficial factor in grapes. “The possible reasoning behind the lessening of metabolic syndrome is that the phytochemicals were active in protecting the heart cells from the damaging effects of metabolic syndrome. In the rats, inflammation of the heart and heart function was maintained far better,” says Steven Bolling, M.D., heart surgeon at the U-M Cardiovascular Center and head of the U-M Cardioprotection Research Laboratory. The key factors in causing cardiovascular stress are oxidative damage and inflammation, which were both lessened in the subjects who had been consuming the grapes. “Although there’s not a particular direct correlation between this study and what humans should do, it’s very interesting to postulate that a diet higher in phytochemical-rich fruits, such as grapes, may benefit humans,” Bolling said.

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Negative Ions Improve Health

The health of most Americans is severely impacted by the ever worsening state of our indoor air quality. The day to day health of a person is impacted by the continual outgassing coming from paint, carpet and other toxic chemicals found in most households. A growing technique for mitigating the impacts of these toxins is the use of negative ions the rid the air of all such pollutants.

Negative ions are able to clean the air by attaching themselves to airborne particulates such as pollen and dust, which causes them to clump together and fall to the ground, leaving the air clean. The problem with a traditional air purifier is that they require filters that allow small particulate to pass through and remain in the air. Another issue is that all the fan induced air movement can stir up dust.

The natural function of salt crystal lamps is to release negative ions that can move throughout a room and clean the air. When the salt reacts with moisture in the air as well as the heat from the bulb it releases even more ions. Himalayan salt lamps are hygroscopic so they should be left on all the time. It’s not just coincidence that some of the most invigorating places on earth, like waterfalls, crashing surf and mountain tops also have the highest concentration of negative ions. Negative ions generate clean and purified air that can have profound positive effects on a biochemical level. Living beings become excited before a thunderstorm with the enhanced levels of negative ions. The sensation is of increased alertness and the feeling of “being alive.” An anecdotal discovery by Dr. Clarence Hansell occurred when his colleague was working near an electrostatic generator that generated ions. The worker began to exhibit varying moods depending on the positive or negative setting of the machine. At the times that the machine produced negative ions, he was generally in a good mood and more alert. Positive ions had the opposite effect. Ions can act on our ability to utilize oxygen with the most positive effects from negative ions. Negative ions in the blood stream speed the delivery of oxygen throughout the body, benefiting our cells and tissues, while providing an energized euphoric feeling. Burn victims at Philadelphia’s Northeastern Hospital have been treated in ionized rooms because the negative ions were found to reduce pain. According to Dr. Robert McGowan, “negative ions make burns dry out faster, heal faster and with less scarring. They also reduce the need for skin grafting. They make the patient more optimistic. He sleeps better.”

Himalayan salt rooms have been created to reproduce the therapeutic effects of naturally occurring salt caves, providing for easy breathing from allergy-related and other respiratory ailments. The occupier is surrounded by negative ions, fully enjoying the therapeutic benefits. Himalayan salt inhalers are a recently popular way to get some of the same benefits as a salt cave, without having to make such a room. Inhaling through a Himalayan salt pipe draws air past the salt crystals and brings concentrated doses of negative ions directly into the body. Whether using a salt inhaler or a Himalayan salt lamp, there are many ways to clean the air around us and improve our health with negative ions. The ease of using natural negative ionizers makes them an easy choice.

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The Scent of Better Health

Having an acute sense of smell is no longer being seen as something that is nice to have, but instead a possible key player in our very health and wellness. Researchers at the University of Michigan, University of Houston, and Baylor College of Medicine have shown in a study that sense of smell plays a role in having shorter or longer lives. This study was published in the online, open-access journal PLoS Biology. Scientist experimented with fruit flies and various worms to find the association between sense of smell and health. Results showed that by removing the ability to smell they lived longer. Researchers are unsure of exactly which specific sensory receptors are causing this. In this study the researchers found that the fruit flies who could not smell co2 lived longer, while in an older study they discovered that the ability to sense food or danger actually added to one’s lifespan. “We are working hard to understand how sensory perception affects health, and our new result really narrows the playing field.” -says Scott Pletcher, one of the lead researchers.

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Vitamin K and Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma

Vitamin K is revealing itself to be more than just a blood coagulant. Recent research has just come out about how it helps the the human body fight certain types of cancer. At the 101st Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), researchers at the Mayo Clinic campus in Minnesota reported that the risk of developing Non-Hodgkin lymphoma was approximately 45 percent lower for participants who took higher vitamin K amounts, compared to participants who took less. This observation proved consistent even after accounting for other factors such as obesity, smoking, age, sex, education, alcohol use and even intake of foods with high amounts of antioxidants. Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma is a type of immune system cancer  and is the most common hematologic malignancy in the United States.  Vitamin K acts to inhibit inflammatory cytokines which are thought to lead to Non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Until now, vitamin k has been seen primarily as the key factor in inducing blood clotting and not much more. “These results are provocative, since they are the first work we have done on the connection between vitamin K and Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and this is a fairly strong protective effect,” explained the study’s lead author, James Cerhan, M.D., Ph.D., a cancer epidemiologist. “However, as with all new findings, this will need to be replicated in other studies.”

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A Key Tool For Athletes: Portable Infrared Sauna

Portable infrared saunas are showing up in locker rooms and gyms around the country. They are being used as an integral part of pre-workout warm ups, post workout conditioning and injury recovery procedures. For athletes who want a thorough pre-workout warm-up to increase flexibility and prevent injury, a FIR sauna is the ideal “heat therapy room.” Fifteen minutes in a portable sauna just before performing is a great way to get that physical edge that every athletes wants, as well as to better prevent injury. To see an example of a Portable FIR sauna Click Here. Tissues heated to 112 degrees Fahrenheit (45 Celsius) and then stretched exhibit a non-elastic residual elongation of about 0.5-.9% that persists after the stretch is removed. Thus 20 stretching sessions can produce a 10-18% increase in the length of tissues that are stretched in conjunction with infrared heat. (Justus F Lehmann M.D., Williams and Wilkins, Therapeutic Heat and Cold, 4th edition.) Countless are the many benefits that come specifically from the warming effects of the deeply penetrating infrared rays on sore, damaged or tired muscles. The heat will dilate blood vessels and increase blood circulation which will assist muscles to repair and strengthen themselves. Also, the pain of worn or tight muscles will be lessened by the loosening of muscles and reduction of lactic acids that result from infrared sauna use.

Infrared ray saunas are very useful for treating more serious injuries such as sprains. So long as the standard treatments of cold and compressions are first administered an athlete can then use the deep penetrating heat of the sauna to ease the pain and speed the recovery. Infrared heat also works in to the ailing joints of an athlete. By relaxing the muscles around the joints, less pressure and strain is put on the area. The joints are notoriously problematic for lacking circulation. The increased circulation coupled with the relaxed surrounding muscles improves the ability of blood flow in to joints which will greatly enhance the speed of healing and repair. As a result of injuries or a lack of time, many athletes struggle to stick to their workout schedules. Infrared saunas are a very effective tool to stay fit. The accelerated heart rate brought on by the infrared heat offers an fast, low impact cardiovascular workout for those time when you can’t get one the traditional way. According to the American Medical Association (AMA): “Many of us who run do so to place a demand on our cardiovascular system…. Regular use of indoor saunas may impact a similar stress on the cardiovascular system, and its regular use may be as effective, as a means of cardiovascular conditioning and burning of calories, as regular exercise.”

A detailed report in JAMA explains that infrared saunas burn around 500 calories per sauna session on average, making an infrared sauna a great method to born calories, get rid of fat cells and stimulate the metabolism. Although extremely effective, infrared saunas should not be considered a 100% replacement for standard cardiovascular workouts. They are extremely useful as a warm-up, post work out therapy and method to stay fit while your body heals from injury. The improved physical performance, post-workout conditioning and enhanced injury recovery that athletes are getting from regular infrared sauna use explains why they are popular among athletes. Locker rooms everywhere will likely only see an increase in portable infrared ray sauna usage.

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