Hyperthermia therapy, also known as thermal therapy or heat therapy, helps the body to cleanse and heal through the use of heat. By creating an artificial fever, people who were ill were able to literally sweat the disease out of their system.
The best-known form of milder hyperthermia treatments is sauna therapy. Saunas can draws out toxins, clean clogged pores, kill harmful bacteria and viruses, increase circulation and enhance the immune system.
Depending on the tolerance and experience of an individual, the ideal sauna temperature ranges from 140 to 190°F (60 to 88°C), with humidity between 10 and 50%. A 20 to 30 minute sauna can produce the following effects:
- Increased cardiovascular activity (about as much as a moderate to vigorous walk)
- The burning of up to 300 calories
- The emission of approximately one quart of perspiration, cleansing the pores and the body of toxins
- The triggering of endorphins (the body’s natural pain-blocking agents)
- The soothing of aching muscles, aiding in the recovery of minor muscle strain
- The inducement of a healing and cleansing fever
- The acceleration of the metabolism, inhibiting the replication of pathogenic organisms
- The stimulation of all vital organs and glands
Sauna therapy has remarkable benefits. Clinical research has reported that thermal vasodilation following warm-water bathing and low-temperature sauna bathing at 60°C for 15 minutes improved the cardiac function in patients with congestive heart failure.
Sauna therapy has had a positive effect on mental health in a number of clinical studies, including depression and neuropsychiatric disorders. Other research has determined that sauna therapy can cause significant improvement in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome and Sjogren’s syndrome, an autoimmune disease involving the abnormal production of extra antibodies that attack the glands and connective tissue. It has also been shown to be effective in the treatment of substance abusers by reducing drug residue in the body.
Based on this research, hyperthermia therapy is a useful physical approach to detoxification for a variety of physiological and psychological problems.