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How to Use the Sauna to Detox!

Detox tools can really enhance and speed up the process of detoxification when used appropriately and in the right time and setting. I love incorporating detox tools with my clients - I find that they are just as important as the correct diet and herbal protocol in helping people move obstructions out of the major areas of inflammation and congestion. One such detox tool that I regularly recommend to my clients is the sauna. I have seen fantastic healing results with the regular and consistent incorporation of the sauna. This is what we will talk about today. We’ll learn about how the sauna can be an essential tool in helping the skin to eliminate its wastes, who saunas are perfect for, and who should use caution when considering whether or not to incorporate them on their detoxification path. I’ll also share with you what kinds of saunas are the best and how long you should stay in for maximum benefit. To fully understand just how the sauna benefits the complete healing of the body, let’s first talk about the role of the skin!

The Largest Eliminative Organ in the Body

The skin is your largest eliminative organ that exists in your body and is but one of the four main ways your body eliminates wastes. The other channels of elimination are the kidneys, the colon, and the lungs. After your kidneys, your skin is next in line in eliminating metabolic cellular waste. The skin is there when the kidneys are not able to eliminate cellular wastes due to inherent kidney or gland weaknesses impairing kidney filtration. So important is the skin, that it is known as, “the body’s third kidney”. When the kidneys aren’t able to do their job properly, the skin takes up the slack. It is essential that your body gets rid of all the wastes produced by the trillions of cells—if not the cells face major acidosis around them - causing destruction and dehydration to tissue. Over time, wastes can even begin to permeate the cell intracellularly (inside of the cell). This results in cell death and genetic/dna mutations. This is the root cause of cancer. Nature is magnificent in how it has designed the skin to function as a way to relieve the body of this cellular waste that may not be eliminating properly through the kidneys. You may notice that when you have skin issues, it is common for redness, dryness, itching, oiliness, flakiness, and/or burning to occur. This is what happens to the skin when subcutaneously trapped acids begin to burn and affect tissue.

The Skin Ring in Iridology

A common trait I see in many of my clients when I look at their irises is a thick skin ring around the outer rim of the iris (also called a scurf rim in iridology). This reveals that they have a lot of built up congestion in their skin and that they are not properly eliminating their wastes through their skin. The darker the ring, the more toxins the person has accumulated in their life-time. The truth is that the skin needs to breathe so to speak in order to maintain the health of the body, yet very few people give it much thought. We actually eliminate acids and gases - up to two pounds of wastes each day through the skin. Thick lymphatic congestion in the subcutaneous layer of the skin acts like a barrier in the body, closing off the elimination of acids, and thus increasing acidosis and cellular wastes in the body.

The Skin Ring in Iridology

The presence of skin rings also reveals quite a few deeper issues going on within someone’s body:

  • They have some level of kidney weakness —think of the skin as always being the ultimate support to the kidneys. If the skin is extremely congested as seen in a person’s eyes, you can be sure that the kidneys are not doing their job of properly eliminating the wastes that the cells of the body produce as a metabolic by-product on a day to day basis. When the kidneys are not able to eliminate wastes, it sends whatever it cannot eliminate to the skin. Overtime, the skin becomes overburdened and a dark ring around the circumference of the iris develops. This clogging of the skin at the subcutaneous levels acts as a barrier and further makes it difficult for the body to eliminate wastes. To further explain the importance of the role of the skin and kidneys, burn victims that have lost a significant amount of their skin - (up to 50 percent of their skin), face the danger of too much uric acid build up in the body. This is unfortunately a main cause of death and sheds light on the importance of the skin in the health of the body. The skin faces the daily responsibility of removing uric acic. If someone has lost a significant amount of skin through severe burns or has lost the skin’s ability to remove wastes due to lymphatic congestion, then one faces danger of acidic build up wreaking havoc in the body. Sadly, many people under the age of 30 have a kidney weakness to some extent that they are facing. This seems to be a common theme in the many people I have worked with. I would say 8 out of 10 people that come to me with health issues have some level of kidney weakness - most of the time it is at a chronic level.

  • They most likely have weak adrenals. The adrenal glands govern the kidneys by maintaining neurotransmitter energy and are also the sodium/potassium pumps for the kidneys to function properly. Think of the adrenals as the “brains of the kidneys”. They are the doorways that allow the kidneys to open up to filter wastes. People with constant stress or anxiety are never eliminating properly. The body must be in a state of relaxation, calm, and peace for maximum elimination through the kidney channels to occur - not in a stressful state. This is why we often see people with congested skin rings and adrenal weakness experience immediate irritations or bumps on the skin when they are experiencing emotional or physical stress. This is the connection between the kidneys, adrenal glands, and the skin at play. Another thing to note is that the adrenals also produce anti-inflammatory steroids, so if you’re dealing with itchy, painful or irritated skin, the adrenals are simply not producing the necessary steroids to keep the inflammation within the body in check. In my experience with clients, this is the root cause of eczema, dermatitis, and psoriasis conditions. When the kidneys are not properly filtering wastes, the adrenal glands must always be considered. An adrenal gland weakness can be pinpointed at 6 o clock on the iris, just below the cecum and sigmoid colon region of the iris. The weakness will be either in the form of a lesion, crypt, a lacuna, or chronic lymph stagnation. With the right diet and the correct herbal protocol for one’s weaknesses, one can begin to heal the adrenal glands.

  • The thyroid in many may be down as well. The ability to sweat has a connection with the thyroid since the thyroid glands produce hormones that control sweating and body temperature. Those that have weak thyroid glands often exhibit cold hands and feet or a general difficulty in staying warm. These people are usually the ones that have a hard time breaking a sweat - even in the summer heat or in a sauna! A strong thyroid helps you sweat out toxins. This is why if I see a chronic thyroid weakness in someone’s eyes (which is often the case in those with chronic and degenerative health issues), I always perk up the thyroid gland with specific herbal formulas. One must be careful though when addressing the thyroid gland - as one can only use formulas for the thyroid directly when the thyroid is in a hypo state and is not exhibiting any symptoms of hyperthyroidism or congestion like nodules, goiters, or swollen lymph nodes in the neck. Caution must be used when addressing the thyroid since it is a very sensitive gland. This is why it is so important to work with an experienced detox specialist like myself that can recommend the proper healing herbal protocol to completely heal the body. I also always check to see how the hypothalamus gland and other parts of the brain look in the iris as well, as this too plays a role in one’s sweating ability. Brain lesions are becoming more common these days. Having a weakness in the hypothalamus can have someone experiencing low level emotions that ultimately lead to the deterioration of the thyroid gland. It is always important to clean the head region to keep thoughts positive to keep the thyroid healthy.

  • They have life-style or environmental factors that have influenced the creation of a skin ring. Those that have skin rings can also often wear thick or skin tight clothing - not allowing their skin to properly breathe and excrete wastes. I have also seen thick skin rings in people that live in colder climates since the cold climate doesn’t allow the skin to sweat. Another common trait I see in people with skin rings are often people that have not been very active in their life. With little activity and movement of the body in younger years, the skin may have not been given a chance to sweat much as well. The same goes for those that apply heavy make-up onto the face for many years. The skin ring is very apparent in those that put on daily make- up or lotions on the body. It is advised to keep make-up minimal during detox, using chemical-free organic products on the skin, or if possible - not using any make-up. This is best for the body to be given the chance to detox. Skin rings are almost always seen in advertisements of models or many celebrities in close up iris photos - as many of them feel that they must be fixated on their outer appearance due to the nature of their career path.

When I see thick skin rings in my clients, I will usually recommend that they incorporate visits to the sauna as a way to enhance their sweating abilities and to encourage cellular waste elimination through the skin. This is an invaluable detox tool to regularly include in your detox journey. *Please note that there are some clients that should not use the sauna - I will go more into depth with this issue in the following paragraphs. The sauna, for most people, can really open up the skin and kidney channels of elimination in order for healing to start occurring within. Dry brushing the skin with a dry brush is also another incredible detox tool for people with thick skin rings or facing skin issues. Sloughing off the dead skin layers can help open up and allow the skin to breathe, encouraging the release of deeply embedded acidic wastes from the body.

Who Should Go to The Sauna

There are certain cases in which saunas must absolutely be a part of one’s healing protocol. I have found this to be the case in clients that come to me with various stages of cancer and/or tumors. Through the years, I have seen every client with cancer exhibit an either moderate or extreme skin ring around the iris - usually accompanied with a very low sweating ability. When a person has cancer, this means that cells in a certain area of the body are incredibly weak (usually genetically) and so lymphatically congested that they are unable to throw off or eliminate their acidic wastes from the tissues. These cellular wastes have been backing up and burning these cells for many years now. Cancer often takes years to develop within the body. When cellular wastes are left to fester around the cells, they begin to penetrate the cell within - to the point of degeneration and mutation! This is what cancer essentially is - a bunch of mutated and/or dead cells. Cancer usually comes with much fear associated with it, but it can be healed through detoxification! I have personally worked with many clients through the years with various stages and types of cancer ranging from throat cancer, to breast cancer, to pancreatic cancer to myeloma and much more! I have seen the power of true detoxification first hand within my clients. That being said, a deep and powerful detoxification path is necessary in healing cancer because there is really no time to waste when it comes to ridding the body of extreme acidosis! Saunas are incredibly powerful tools for those healing cancer and should always be utilized in the healing process. By the time someone has cancer, we must picture how all of their main eliminative channels are obstructed - the skin, the lungs, the colon and the kidneys/lymph system. It is essential to get these pathways open as soon as possible so true healing can begin. As was mentioned above, people with cancer often have large skin rings around their irises. It is common that those with skin rings have weak kidneys, adrenals, thyroid glands, and more. The thyroid is essential to decongest and strengthen to pick up sweating ability. Many have gone to the sauna and have seen their sinuses finally start to drain, mucus from the neck and chest being released and filtration from the kidneys! It is common for my clients with cancer to have a very low ability to sweat when I first begin working with them - going to the sauna helps the body to finally eliminate acids through the skin. It is of upmost importance for those with cancer to utilize the sauna and sweating. If detox is done correctly with the proper fruits and diet, a personalized herbal protocol, utilizing saunas and other helpful detox tools, a person will notice that their chronic health conditions will begin to improve and heal.

Who Should Not Use The Sauna

Although saunas are a great addition to almost anyone's detox program, there are some cases in which one would not want to use a sauna initially. Those who have chronic neurological weaknesses or conditions like Lyme disease, multiple sclerosis, chronic fatigue, Parkinson’s, chronic frequent migraines, etc. may need to take a slower approach when it comes to utilizing this detox tool. These people are usually very sensitive to heat in general. This is because heat is naturally on the acidic side of nature, while cold is naturally alkaline. For those that are suffering with extreme acidosis in the head/brain region, the addition of heat from a sauna can initially be too much for them to handle. An acid (heat) on top of an acid (cellular wastes in the body) - creates a blow back of pain and weakness. It is common for these people to feel nerve weakness, faintness, shortness of breath, dizziness, or even heart palpitations when exposed to heat. These are usually the types of clients that tell me they feel much better - more energy, vitality, and less pain when they keep their room or house on the cooler side. I have guided many clients who were bed-ridden with fatigue and pain that were in this exact situation. It is often frustrating for these people since they often need the air conditioner on at a much cooler temperature than those around them - their families and friends. In heat, they can also experience burning in their head - predominantly the back of the head and the neck region. This pain is acidosis damaging tissue which makes it feel like it is on fire. Having worked with many neurologically weak cases, whether or not they had a diagnosis, I can always tell one is prone to neurological weakness by definite signs in the iris. This type of person will always have nerve rings - indicating a breakdown of the myelin sheaths in the autonomic nervous system. They will usually have many brain lesions - representing weaknesses in the central nervous system. They will also have chronic or thick lymphatic stagnation from head to toe - very commonly seen in the sinus region of the iris - also connected to having many obstructions in the bowels below. Lastly, they will have either adrenal gland weakness and/or a pituitary gland weakness bringing down the function of the adrenals. With all these nervous system weaknesses, these people are also usually very sensitive to chemicals, neurotoxins, certain foods, scents, body care products, pesticides, herbicides, mold, pollen, dust mites, and more! They may feel like they have to live in a bubble in order to feel a little less discomfort to their nervous system in their daily lives. The extreme temperatures of a sauna are simply too much for these individuals to handle initially and could be dangerous. I always advise applying cold to the back of the head to help with any burning felt in this area instead to help those that are experiencing these issues. Focusing on getting kidney filtration with the right diet, herbs and other detox tools is also something one should do and not involve heat of any kind initially in the detox journey. When a person has detoxed sufficiently enough, has removed a great deal of acids from the head region, has perked up their glands, and their neurological symptoms have calmed down, then they may be able to start incorporating the sauna as a detox tool to further enhance their elimination and healing. Those with neurological weaknesses may need to slowly start the sauna initially. If they can handle 3 minutes in the sauna, and just adding an extra minute or two on each visit, then this is great! They can build up to longer periods of time in the sauna. It is invaluable to listen to your body, your intuition, and when all else fails, apply common sense during the detox process.

The Sauna for People with Eczema and Psoriasis

There is another scenario where it is best to wait before using the sauna. This is when a person is suffering from major skin issues—like chronic inflammed eczema, psoriasis, or harsh acne. It is best to get the kidneys to filter wastes for some time before using the sauna in these cases, otherwise the sauna can be too intense - causing painful skin symptoms to flare up even more. One should see a clearing up and bettering of skin symptoms with the diet, herbs and other detox tools before jumping into the sauna. There are many cases where someone’s sweat can be so acidic and toxic, that it can immediately start to burn the skin and this is why I do not recommend the sauna in these situations. Even those that do not have issues with going to the sauna must always wash off the sweat and shower this acidic residue off - otherwise it will burn the skin.

What Kind Of Sauna Is Best

Infrared saunas seem to be pretty popular these days, but are they safe? Infrared saunas use light therapy, specifically from the infrared spectrum of light to heat up the body (there are far-infrared saunas and near-infrared saunas that use light and heat). The light comes from lamps that use electromagnetic radiation to heat your body from the inside out. The heat penetrates the body without heating the actual room. In my experience, both personal and with clients, I do not advise using infrared saunas. The risks do not outweigh the benefits. People that are highly acidic, or have been exposed to too much radiation or are currently holding radiation within the body can feel pain or burning within - sometimes almost immediately when going into an infrared sauna versus a dry sauna or a steam sauna. It is always best to not take this risk, especially during detoxification when you are doing your best to eliminate built up acidic chemistry and not looking to create more. Those that are detoxing are more sensitive during their healing journey because they are on nature’s operating table so to speak. Now, sunlight naturally emits infrared light as part of heat and light that hits the surface of the earth. The sun is a more natural exposure to this - but even then, those who are highly acidic cannot stay out in the sun for too long. It is best to deeply alkalize the body and eliminate wastes before spending hours sun bathing. The best option to open up the skin to sweat is to choose a dry sauna instead - it uses heat to warm the air around you, which then warms your body up. Original dry saunas used a fire to heat up a pile of rocks and the heat from the rocks would fill the room. Now a days, more than likely there will be an electric heater that heats up a compartment of stones to then radiate heat throughout the room. An easy and cost effective way to have everyday access to a dry sauna is to get a gym membership and join a gym that has a dry sauna. Certain gyms may also offer a steam shower/saunas, that pipes in hot vapor to disperse into a room. With the steam sauna method it is essential to find one that uses a clean water source, free of fluoride and chlorine, otherwise you will be inhaling these toxic heavy metal vapors.

How Long Should You Spend In The Sauna?

This will depend on the person. Some people that need to start off slow can go in for 2-3 minutes initially and build their way up. A good goal to work towards is about 15-20 minutes. Take a break in between to cool off, then go back in for another 10-20 minutes. Afterwards, it is very important to shower all acids off of the body; if not this can cause irritations and burning of the skin due to the acids that are being eliminated through the sweat. Make sure to use a natural non-toxic soap, free of harsh preservatives, fragrances and chemicals. Remember, the skin absorbs everything into the body. After the sauna or in between sauna sessions is a great time to utilize hot and cold therapy in the shower. Since the body is already hot from the sauna it is often much easier to handle the extreme temperatures of cold water when alternating with hot and cold water in the shower. Start with the coldest setting you can tolerate and apply the water at full pressure - moving it from the back of your head, neck, and down the spine for 1-3 minutes (as long as you can stand it). Then switch to hot water for 1-3 minutes (as warm as you can tolerate, being careful to not burn yourself). Switch back to cold again, repeating this process at least three times and always ending with cold water to wake up the nervous system and alkalize the body. This alternating of hot and cold pumps the lymph system, improves immunity and fatigue, as well as helps to decongest the head, sinuses and neck region. Doing this, many of my clients have been able to finally achieve cold and flu-like symptoms in their detox - ultimately fast-tracking their healing! The sauna is only but one beneficial detox tool that we went in-depth with in today's article. Another one that is also extremely beneficial that I have discussed in a past article is the Neurolymphatic Massage. There are many amazing detox tools that one can use, but always remember that since everyone is facing different sets of weaknesses, not one detox tool or healing protocol fits every situation. This is why it is absolutely essential to know what all your weaknesses are as seen in your symptoms, health history, and signs in the iris in order to completely heal the body.

The Secret Key to Achieving Kidney Filtration

Going to the sauna can relieve a huge burden that the kidneys often have to face when detoxing the body of its miles of cellular wastes. I have seen with many of my clients that were having a hard time achieving kidney filtration, when they started using a sauna, their kidneys finally started to open up and filter lymphatic wastes! This is because the burden on the kidneys is finally relieved when the skin starts to pick up some of the responsibility of eliminating wastes. With detox it is always about opening up the elimination pathways of the body so it can rid itself of the toxicity and waste that has been destroying cells and tissues. It is only on an alkaline ground that the body can rebuild and regenerate tissue, organs, systems and glands. Always use superior building materials - those that are alkalizing, hydrating and astringent like raw fruits and veggies to detox and rebuild the body and health will be yours!

Until next time,

Happy Healing!

-Ailin Duran D.S.

To Work with me one-on-one on your healing journey, visit our Services page!

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