|Mercola: Saunas good: Low level EMR not so good|
|EMR Issues - Low Frequency / AC Power EMF Dangers|
This Daily Habit Can Burn Heavy Metals and Toxic Chemicals Out of Your Body
April 22 2012 | from mercola.com
By Dr. Mercola
Steve Benda is trained in power systems and nuclear engineering. Here, we discuss saunas and the electromagnetic fields (EMF's) they can produce. While sauna bathing can be highly beneficial for your health, EMF's are a distinct health hazard. Benda literally grew up in and around saunas, due to his Finnish and German heritage.
The Historical Use of Saunas
Historically, saunas have a longstanding tradition of use. They are common to many Eastern European countries, as well as Asia. In some countries, such as Finland, you can find them in nearly every home.
The Different Types of Saunas
Today, there are three basic types of saunas:
The difference between an infrared sauna and the traditional Finnish-style saunas is that the latter heats you up from the outside in, like an oven. The infrared sauna heats you from the inside out. The traditional wet sauna typically uses a small stove with radiant heat elements, i.e. resistive elements that heat up when current flows through them. These elements heat up the rocks piled on top. The temperature is regulated by a thermostat. Initially, the sauna will feel warm and dry, but once you toss some water on the rocks, hot steam is generated.
Beware: Saunas Can Generate Very High Levels of Electromagnetic Radiation
While some still favor old-fashioned wood-burning saunas, the more modern electrical versions and the infrared saunas are the most common today. Unfortunately, this has also led to some problems, namely high electromagnetic radiation.
Many people don't realize that we are fundamentally electrical beings. The cells in your body communicate with each other electrically, and if you're exposed to an external electrical field, it could interfere with their communication and wreak havoc on your system.
Benda's background in nuclear power deals with radiation, power systems, and the control of electrical properties. He was asked to apply some of these theories to the development of a safer, low-EMF infrared sauna, which led to the creation of a whole new generation of shielded saunas.
Is Your Infrared Sauna Emitting High Levels of EMF?
About 15 years ago, when I first started doing saunas, the panels used to create infrared heat were initially made of ceramic. Later, they began using carbon. The problem with this is that while ceramic panels are relatively safe, the later-generation carbon panels actually emit very high EMF levels. You can easily test this by using an inexpensive electrical meter, or a more sophisticated EMF meter like Trifield.
One of the saunas I recently tested measured off the chart—about 120 milligauss. Even outside the sauna the EMF level was high. Normally, it should be below three or so.
Needless to say, the technology Mr. Benda has helped develop can be of great benefit, especially if you're regularly using your sauna. Because while radiation drops off exponentially as you move away from the source, when you're sitting in a small confined space such as a sauna, you don't have the choice to move further away.
Being that electric fields and electromagnetic radiation fields are vectors—meaning they have a direction and a magnitude—any combination of an electric field, plus an electric field, plus other components that add up will end up to be the result of the many, not just one. What happens is, if we don't effectively control all the sources of the electric field, or all the sources of electromagnetic radiation, we aren't really taking care of the problem.
... "[To describe] the electric field, I use a water analogy where you have a garden hose, a water source, and then you saw a pressure gauge. In the pressure gauge, the pressure is volts in the electric analogy. When you turn it on, the flow of the water is the current in the electric analogy. You can't have current flowing without volts in the electric portion. To address only one, and to assume only one exists, is missing half of the equation. If we're truly addressing all aspects of the electromagnetic field, we need to effectively address both.
... So the [patented] technologies we have developed can effectively eliminate all the induced electric fields in the room so that they entire environment is below our acceptable standards. We have also upgraded the technologies to mitigate... the magnetic portion."
Many are using saunas for detoxification, and it would clearly seem counterproductive to employ a device that is aiding one aspect of their health while hurting them in another. In fact, depending on your specific health status, detoxing in a high-EMF environment might actually do you more harm than good. This is why I'm delighted to see that the issue of EMF's is finally being addressed—at least by one sauna company. Clearly, if you're in the market for a new sauna, this is definitely something you'll want to investigate, to make sure your sauna does not encase you in a high-EMF environment...
A New Generation of Infrared Saunas
The technology developed by Mr. Benda can effectively shield the bather from dangerous levels of EMF. In the interview, he describes how they determined these safer limits of exposure:
Besides addressing EMF's, Mr. Benda is also working on redefining the infrared signature from the typical 50 percent "on," to one that's about 96 percent "on." Benda explains:
Sauna Bathing Can be an Excellent Addition to a Healthy Lifestyle
Everyone today is exposed to heavy metals and toxic chemicals. Particularly for slow metabolizers, using an infrared sauna can be a very good method to detoxify. Its dry, warming energy is highly compatible with the human body. By heating your tissues several inches deep, it helps enhance metabolic processes, and greater cellular energy production facilitates healing. Furthermore, viruses and toxin-laden cells are weaker than normal cells and tolerate heat poorly, so raising your body temperature helps heal infections quicker.
A major organ of elimination, most people's skin is very inactive. Many simply do not sweat enough. Repeated use of the sauna slowly restores skin elimination, allowing toxic chemicals and metals to be removed. It's a daily habit that pays many dividends. To learn more about the health benefits of using saunas, please review the related articles listed below.
However, all of these benefits could be effectively cancelled out if your sauna is emitting very high EMF's, so please, do take the time to evaluate your sauna, and make sure to purchase a low-EMF version if you're buying new.