When the body is heated above its normal temperature, as in a steam room, certain bodily functions are activated to help cool its core temperature while certain chemicals and enzymes are produced that can help ward off pain and infection. Some medical practitioners recommend steam rooms or saunas, where increasing the body's temperature can be likened to a fever. Research has shown that fever in the body can trigger several important bodily functions to help stave off infection and viruses. These include: Increasing proliferation of T-cells (type of white blood cell) and mobility of leukocytes Enhancing activity of interferon and leukocytes phagocytosis Decreasing endotoxin effects "a strategy the body devises to literally 'cook' to death microbes that cannot survive in high heat". Benefits of Heating the Body The physiological health benefits and effects of heating the body above its normal temperature are documented to include:
increased heart rate, causing increased blood flow especially to the capillaries near the surface of the skin
increased production of white blood cells
disabling and killing of microbes
faster metabolic rate of nutrient assimilation and toxin removal
increased enzyme production
decrease or elimination of pain in muscles, nerves and joints
reduction and elimination of disease
A steam room uses a steam generator that produces heated water vapour to fill the room. The warm temperatures inside the steam room causes skin pores to open, body metabolism to increase and subsequently results in the sweating process.
The Miracles of Sweating Sweating can be activated by either the sympathetic or parasympathetic nervous system. Each will result in the activation of different bodily functions. Sweating through a steam room is likely to be much more helpful for detoxification than sweating during exercise. Dr. Michael Lyon, MD, of the Cline Medical Centre Hyperthermic Detoxification Program states that sweat is manufactured from lymph and toxins found therein will exit the body when sweating. As the kidneys and liver are not required for this process a burden is not placed on them during hyperthermic therapy, enabling detoxification when the liver or kidney function is impaired or not working to their optimum. Toxins can be classified into two groups; endogenous (biological waste from inside the body) and exogenous (chemicals and pollutants from outside the body). The body absorbs numerous toxic chemicals including pesticides, fertilisers, heavy metals, exhaust fumes and pollutants that can build up and lead to health problems. If toxins overload the body then illness is likely to result. The skin plays an important role in helping the kidneys, liver, lungs and other organs to control and remove toxins from the body.
Tissue (interstitial) fluid found in the tissue spaces contains waste products as a result of cell metabolism and is a component of sweat. Also, fat-stores are recognized as depositories for toxins. When the metabolism increases the body breaks down these fatty tissues for energy, releasing the toxins into the bloodstream for removal from the body. Sweating in a steam room can release toxins from the tissue fluid and help flush out chemicals in the pores of the skin.