Studies have been conducted on sauna therapy in the U.S. since the 1980s and sauna therapy has experienced a resurgence since the September 11, 2001, World Trade Center tragedy. After 9/11, many rescue workers and volunteers at Ground Zero started to become ill. Symptoms included difficulty breathing, allergies, headache, fatigue, and more. It is estimated that persons exposed to Ground Zero were exposed to heavy metals, solvent, dioxins, polyaromatic hydrocarbons, and other harmful chemicals. Two interesting studies using dry sauna therapy on 9/11 rescue workers show not only its benefits in mobilizing toxins but also its benefits in increasing elimination of chemical from the body.
The first study looked at blood levels of PCBs, dioxins, and polychlorinated dibenzofurans of seven rescue workers exposed to Ground Zero that ranged from headaches, breathing problems, muscle and joint pain, and skin rashes. They completed a detoxification program using sauna therapy. All seven men had a complete reversal of symptoms, but, more importantly, the chemicals were eliminated from their body. PCB levels declined 65% and dioxins and dibenzofurans were below detection limits.
The second study done on 9/11 rescue workers showed a dramatic improvement in symptoms created by L. Ron Hubbard, known as the Hubbard Protocol. The results showed a dramatic improvement in symptoms created by exposure to chemicals at Ground Zero. Again, symptoms included respiratory problems such as difficulty breathing, allergies, headache, fatigue, muscle pain and more. The detox protocol includes nutritional supplements to support liver phase-one and phase-two detoxification, polyunsaturated oils, increasing doses of niacin and the use of the sauna. This particular dry sauna protocol involves sweating in a sauna at 140 degrees to 180 degrees for 2.5 to 5 hours with multiple breaks for hydration and cooling off periods. Numerous studies have been published on the detoxification benefits of the Hubbard sauna protocol.
I recommend a gradual approach to sauna use. Starting with 10-15 minutes and ultimately building up to 30 minutes of temperatures of 120-140 degrees. I start people slow in the sauna so they don’t release toxins too quickly. Also, some people can be overwhelmed by the heat of the sauna or feel dizzy and faint.