What is your favorite therapy?
I am not talking about sitting on a couch talking about your life story with a Sigmund Freud impersonator, I am asking you a different question.
What is your favorite type of healing therapy or treatment that you use in order to stay, or help you become healthy?
People’s answers range a myriad of topics including eating fresh, and whole foods to juicing, to fasting, to exercise to even meditation and yoga. I adhere to all those ways of self-medicating, but my favorite was not on that list.
My Favorite Therapy
My favorite therapy, which I use to self-medicate my mind, body and soul, is to take an extremely hot sauna or steam bath.
Saunas are one of the best ways to detoxify your body, your mind, and soul.
I try to go into a hot sauna at least once a week. My favorite place is in New York City, New York, at the Turkish and Russian Bath house at 268 East 10th Street.
This specific North American Turkish bathhouse was built in 1892, and the radiant heat in the Russian Room is hotter than any sauna I have ever been in.
And I LOVE IT!
There are now regulations for how hot saunas can go, but this Sauna was is grandfathered in because it was built before the law was made. Lucky for me. In my opinion, the hotter the sauna, the better!
This sauna is a place of refuge for me. It is one of the only places on the planet where I can actually fix my body, and loosen up my muscles.
I grew up as a basketball player, and we would always do the classic, static stretching that most children do in sports. What I was not told until much later in my teens was that static stretching is terrible for your muscles, and it can lead to injuries since it does not properly warm up the muscles.
After spending my entire youth playing basketball, my back, my hamstrings, and my quadriceps began to fight back, and I was in constant pain and discomfort.
I had the most unbelievable tightness and pain in the aforementioned areas. My back was that of an 80 year old ex gymnast. I was cracking and popping every time I moved my body, and every morning there was a symphony of muscle cracks and pops.
While in high school, my hamstrings and quads were so tight that I would have a 340 pond football player walk on me before games, so that I could get my body loose and opened up.
My body was against me. It affected my mind and my soul. I never was pain free.
Until I learned about steam rooms, and saunas, I was always in agony. I could not sit still without having to stretch..
Now, with a little bit of oil to help work deep into my muscles, I walk into a sauna and come out a new man.
I am encouraging anyone to take a steam bath, a sauna, or go to a Russian or Turkish bath house. It will change the way you feel from the inside out.
I know some of you like facts, so here is a list of 10 facts that prove why saunas are so good for your health.
- During a session in a sauna, most people’s heart rate increases 50-75%, which is roughly the same as a physical workout.
- Saunas can help you reduce fat and reduce cellulite.
- Saunas help with fatigue and joint pain.
- Saunas help blood circulation.
- Sweating opens your pours and you can detoxify your skin and detoxify other pollutants that are in your system.
- During a sauna session, your skin temperature shoots up to over 40°C, while the internal body temperature rises up to 38°C. This might trigger a mock fever state, which stimulates the immune system to produce antibodies and disease-fighting white blood cells. Fever is considered as a natural mechanism to enhance the resistance to diseases.
- Saunas are a simple yet effective mechanism to enhance the quality of sleep. It is recommended for people suffering from insomnia and it is estimated that a brief spell of 15-20 minutes spent in a sauna is almost equal to 1-2 hours of a brisk walk or workout.
- The high temperatures experienced during a sauna session result in a surge in the internal cellular energy production, which in turn ensures efficient healing. Many disease-causing pathogens like viruses and tumors are destroyed by this heat, thereby preventing recurrent infections.
- Saunas ensure enhanced mental precision and a marked decrease in allergic conditions. Research studies have shown that liver and immune functions recorded significant improvement after sauna therapy. Saunas also expel heavy metals and cancer-causing toxins completely, thereby preventing traumatic disease conditions and birth defects.
- Saunas are one of the easiest ways to detoxify your body, and to get a jumpstart on your day, or to wind down from a stressful day at the office.
For thousands of years people have been using saunas, steam baths, and hot baths for medicinal purposes. From the far east to the west, most native cultures had their version of a ritualistic sauna, or hot room.
When I was 18 I engaged in sweat lodges and performed rituals with Native American elders. I know first hand how heat has been used to help heal people for thousands of years.
The strong, and intense heat as healed me.
I am nowhere perfect in terms of my health, but I continue to try to reach a level of optimum health every day. From exercising, to yoga, to mediation, to eating well, I practice everything that I can learn about. But my favorite, and one of my most effective ways of therapy, is sitting in a sauna for as long as I can, and letting the heat take over my mind, body, and my spirit.
Now that you know I love saunas, tell me what YOU love to do to medicate yourself!
Tell me what your favorite therapy is!