Fibromyalgia is a debilitating, chronic condition characterized by symptoms of generalized musculoskeletal pain and stiffness, chronic fatigue, headaches, gastrointestinal dysfunction, sleep problems and depression. There is no cure for fibromyalgia but symptoms and flare ups can be successfully managed. Though pharmacology tends to be the mainstream treatment, these drugs come with side effects. Furthermore, drugs result in the build-up of toxins in the body. Body toxins are hypothesized to be a significant factor in fibromyalgia.
The Importance of Detoxification In Fibromyalgia
Medications certainly are not the only toxic substances that can build up in our body. Sugar, food colorings and additives are daily culprits. There is also what we inhale and absorb through our skin. The body holds toxins at a cellular level and when these toxins are stockpiled for too long they may either cause or aggravate health conditions.
Our body naturally detoxes when we void, sweat and breathe, yet those living with fibromyalgia may have an increased sensitivity and vulnerability to toxins. Many believe fibromyalgia suffers have a large “toxic load” and problems with their detoxification pathways.
There are many benefits to detoxing for general health and wellness. Emerging research supports a decrease in fibromyalgia symptoms after detoxification treatments, therefore assisting the body with detoxification may be particularly helpful for those living with fibromyalgia.
Reducing your intake of toxins by eating organically and avoiding toxic personal care products, detergents and cleaners is an important step. Other detoxifying methods include lymphatic massage, ionic foot baths and far-infrared saunas.
What Is A Far-Infrared Sauna?
Unlike the saunas you might see in the gym, a far-infrared sauna uses light to create heat. Instead of using heat to warm the surrounding air (which then warms your body), far-infrared saunas emit waves that stimulate cellular metabolism. It acts like the sun, without giving you a tan. It directly heats your body without warming the air around you.
The benefits of saunas is that they make you sweat. This is important because when you sweat, toxins are released from the body. A traditional sauna gives you a surface sweat. A far-infrared sauna, however, makes your sweat much deeper and therefore it’s more detoxifying.
The added benefit of a far-infrared sauna is that it yields the same results as a traditional sauna without the high temperatures so anyone can utilize them without concerns of over-heating.
Far-Infrared Saunas for Fibromyalgia
Sauna treatments have enjoyed popularity in the restoration and rejuvenation of the skin and body. They have demonstrated some benefit in the treatment of health conditions such as fatigue, insomnia, arthritis and pain which are major symptoms of fibromyalgia.
Studies using far-infrared saunas in the treatment of high blood pressure, congestive heart failure and rheumatoid arthritis report some benefit. While more studies need to be conducted on far-infrared saunas in the treatment of a wide variety of chronic illnesses including fibromyalgia, there have been no known studies showing any adverse effects (Mayo Clinic.com)
Other Health Benefits of Far-Infrared Saunas
Far-infrared saunas can be used as a general health and wellness tool for weight loss and stress management. They been utilized in the treatment of a variety of health conditions – from sports injuries to high blood pressure to chronic pain relief. As always, consult with your doctor before embarking on far-infrared sauna treatments.
Written by Alicia DiFabio, Psy.D.
Alicia DiFabio, Psy.D. is a freelance writer with a doctorate in psychology. Her personal essays and parenting articles have appeared in various newspapers and magazines. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and four girls, one of whom has extensive special needs. She can be found writing about her adventures in parenting at her blog, Lost In Holland.
- Marianne Beck, Women’s Best Health (http://womensbesthealth.com )
- Brent A. Bauer, M.D., Mayo Clinic (http://www.mayoclinic.com )
- Kim Henderson, Hot News for Fibromyalgia Sufferers, (http://www.naturalhealingblance.com)