Have you been feeling sluggish recently ? Maybe you have skin problems, headaches, are constantly tired and stressed. Maybe your brain feels foggy, you get colds quite regularly, or you just can’t stop gaining weight despite living healthy otherwise.
A reason for all these issues could be toxins that have accumulated in your body over time.
In today’s world toxins are all around us: pollutants, pesticides, herbicides, residual medicine, and other drugs. Our cosmetics and perfume tend to be full with chemicals. Even our food contains preservatives and the packaging of the foods, think for instance BPA, contain chemical substances that are foreign to our bodies and that stop our body from doing its best work.
And despite being amazingly effective, your liver and kidneys, the primary cleansing systems in your body, might simply not be able deal with the heavy load anymore.
So what does your body do? It stores these toxins primarily in your fat … all over your body but particularly in your stomach area and your brain (the brain is about 60% fat).
Tests show that fat can have up to 500% higher toxicity than blood.
And once they are stored in fat, it becomes much more difficult to get rid of them.
This gets even worse over time if you don’t get rid of them periodically. One of the reasons is that over time we accumulate more and more toxins in our body. And … as we age … the body gets less efficient in detoxing.
The more toxins that accumulate in your body, the more damage they do to your organs … which makes it more difficult for them to do their job. Over time this creates a vicious cycle that lets our body deteriorate.
I’ve experienced this myself. Even though I have been eating, drinking, and living quite healthy, even creating my own shower gels, face & body oils, I suddenly found myself with incredibly itchy skin on my chest and arms. I first thought it was a sun allergy but when it didn’t go away, I realized that it had to be something different.
I was looking at different reasons for this itchiness.
And while dry skin was one reason, it couldn’t be all as any of my oils, even fat creams, didn’t help.
So after a few months I decided that I needed to try something else.
As I had read about toxins being able to cause skin problems, … in addition to headaches that I had also been experiencing, backache, … and a few other things, I decided to try a detox.
There are many ways to do a detox. From juice fasting, to taking chlorella, to doing edemas or chelation, ….
And then there are saunas.
Saunas are in general a great way to give your immune system a boost, promote relaxation and improve your cardiovascular health.
If you want to give your detox a real boost removing all those nasty toxins stored in your fat, you need to do a more intensive sauna detox protocol. A simple sauna is not enough.
The key (secret) biofinesse ingredient to it is niacin. You probably know it as Vitamin B3.
It is one of those crucial B vitamins that is involved in a wide range of uses in the body, including e.g. the digestive system, nervous system, hormone regulation, skin, and others. And … you will be glad to know … it is also a precursor to NAD+ slowing the rate at which you age.
The great advantage of using niacin for the sauna detox is that it can actually break open your fat cells, a process called lypolysis.
Taking niacin will release those toxins giving you the opportunity to remove them from your body.
And as the skin is the largest organ of your body, using a sauna to sweat them out is the most effective way to detox.
Make sure to use the flush version, nicotinic acid, as the no-flush version, nicotinamide, will not only not work for this detox. At high doses it could even cause liver damage.
How to do a Niacin Sauna Detox ?
Below I have put together the most simple protocol for this sauna detox. But, as always, do check with your doctor to make sure your body can deal with this protocol.
Depending on the type of sauna you use (see below), plan for 4 to 8 hours from the time you take the niacin until you are finished.
The main reason is that it takes about 3 hours until the body really dumps all those toxins into the blood stream (see the image below). And you want to time your sauna time accordingly to sweat out as many of those toxins as possible without putting your liver and kidney too much on overdrive.
Release of free fatty acids with niacin and a placebo
Source : SuppVersity (Wang, 2000)
Here is the protocol :
- Take Niacin starting with 50 mg. Ideally … if your stomach allows it … take it on an empty stomach. If you do need food, try to eat foods with a limited amount of fat as especially fat blocks the effects of the niacin
- Do whatever you want during the next 2 ½ hours … and … experience the flush. Try to maybe even enjoy the feeling of heat and sunburn-like experience, the prickling, tingling and burning of your skin knowing that the niacin is doing a great job opening up fat cells and releasing toxins
- About 2.5 hours after taking the niacin, move your body for 20-30 minutes to get it to sweat. Dance, run, jump, do high-intensity interval training (HIIT), … anything that gets you to sweat
- After that either go into an infrared sauna for 40 to 60 minutes at 45-55℃ /110-130℉ … or into a traditional sauna at 60-80℃ /140-180℉ for 4 to 4.5 hours … (I know the traditional sauna is incredibly long and not as pleasant) to sweat out as many of the toxins as possible. Take short breaks for cold showers, getting air, … as you need them.Make sure to drink plenty during that time … ideally water with Himalayan salt and lemon … to keep you hydrated and replenish some of the minerals lost through the sweat.And … I suggest you have somebody with you to check on you in case you feel dizzy or otherwise unwell. Safety always comes first!
- Follow up with binders and replenish nutrients that you have been sweating out (I describe more of it below)
For the best results repeat this sauna detox protocol daily for 30 days.
Work your way up to 2,500 – 3,000, max 5,000 mg of niacin per sauna detox session. You will know when to increase when you don’t experience the tingling and burning, the flush, as much anymore. In that case, increase the niacin dose the next time. Increase the niacin intake slowly … and in small doses.
At the beginning it is best to increase in e.g. 50 or 100 mg increments. Once you have reached 500 or 1,000 mg intake, you might be able to increase in 250 mg increments. Try out what works best for you.
If you need to eat food with your niacin, eat the same each time, so that you can properly predict the need for a dose increase.
Not everybody has the time or access to a sauna to do this protocol for 30 days in a row. But even with 2-3 times a week for 60 days people report great successes.
You will be amazed by the results. You will feel more relaxed, have a more beautiful glowing skin, a clearer mind, better mood, better sleep. And you are likely to lose weight and you slow aging. … Studies even show an increase in IQ.
This detox protocol has made a huge difference to many people around the world including 9/11 firemen and gulf war veterans.
What to do after the Sauna?
When you are finished with the sauna, you will still have a lot of toxins floating around in your body. To avoid that they cause havoc in your body, headaches or other pains … or even get stored in your fat cells again, you want to remove as many of them as possible.
An effective way to do so is taking binders like diatomaceous earth or bentonite clay. As the name says, they will bind those toxins and remove them via your urine and feces.
If you’re particularly concerned about getting rid of mercury, eat a few strawberries. Make sure that they are organically grown to avoid eating pollutants.
And if you want to do your body something really good, take chlorella. It not only binds toxins, you also profit from many other health benefits.
A lot of people take activated charcoal. While this is excellent for catching toxins, it does actually catch much more. Charcoal will also bind a lot of nutrients that you want and need and some of the beneficial gut bacteria that keep your microbiome healthy. So if you do decide to take charcoal, make sure to take the nutrients as far away from it as possible, at least 2-3 hours. And avoid taking it every day for a week or more.
Sweating a lot in the sauna will also remove a lot of essential minerals from your body that it actually needs. So, it is crucial to fill up with those minerals. Just remember to wait at least 2-3 hours if you decide to soak up some of the toxins with charcoal.
You can find a good guideline which vitamins and minerals to take in which proportions depending on the amount of Niacin you take, in the book Clear Body. Clear Mind by Ron Hubbard (yes, this is the Scientology guy but I neither support scientology nor does this book relate to it. It’s simply a very good & well researched detox protocol). Make sure to get an older edition from before 2013 as in later editions most of the valuable information and explanations have been removed. You probably won’t find the book on Amazon.
The easiest way though is to go to the Smart Detox with Niacin and Sauna Protocol Facebook group, where Bret Bouer links in the ‘Files’ section to a PDF copy of the book. He also provides updates on how to make the detox easier and even more effective based on the latest research and experiences.
I actually suggest you join this Facebook group as you will get great advice and tips on how to make this detox pleasant and effective.
In addition to refueling your nutrient storage, get a good rest. Depending on the duration you have been in the sauna and the amount of toxins removed and still flowing through your body, you might be quite tired. So giving your body a good rest will help you to recover quicker.
Some people, especially those with infrared saunas, report that they are on a high after the sauna detox and actually have more energy. If this is you, be happy about it … but still don’t overdo it afterwards
What is the best Sauna to use ?
The best sauna types for this detox are traditional and infrared saunas.
In the original detox protocol, infrared saunas were not available, so the protocol was built on the use of a traditional sauna … or dry sauna … or Finnish sauna. These are all the same, just different names.
This type of sauna was and still is the one that is the easiest to access for most people.
As I haven’t had access to an infrared sauna myself for instance, I stuck to a traditional sauna in my local swimming hall.
This sauna relies on heat sources like rocks to create heat in the sauna. You are looking for a temperature of 60-80℃ /140-180℉. This heat then gets distributed via the air to heat your body … from the outside.
As Dr Michael Schmidt points out in his book Beyond Antibiotics, a traditional sauna primarily encourages a water sweat in comparison to a fat sweat.
To create a good detox effect, it takes a lot of heat and a long time, at least 2.5 to 4.5 hours.
I and most other people find it quite challenging to stay in for longer, especially when you have people coming in who throw water on the stones.
The other challenge is that after such a long session in a traditional sauna, you are quite likely to feel exhausted and dehydrated even if you have been drinking a lot and taking a lot of breaks.
If you have access to an infrared sauna, use that instead of a traditional sauna.
Different to traditional saunas that need to heat your body from the outside, the waves from infrared saunas can penetrate your body quicker and deeper (4-6 cm or 1.5-2.5 inches) heating your body from the inside. In comparison to a traditional sauna that allows for a more intensive activation of your sweat glands. You will sweat quicker and more copiously.
A great advantage of this sauna is that it doesn’t feel as hot as in a dry sauna. The temperatures are only 45-55℃ /110-130℉, quite pleasant in comparison to a traditional sauna. That makes it much easier to stay in for longer periods of time.
And even better, the sweat you stimulate in an infrared sauna is more of a fat sweat, which allows eliminating more of the toxins stored in your fat.
What is best though is that studies have shown that sweat produced in an infrared sauna contains on average 4.3 times more heavy metals than sweat created in a Finnish sauna.
So, using an infrared sauna is not only more pleasant as the temperatures are lower than in a Finnish sauna, you can also stay in for less time, 40-60 minutes at a time, sweating out as many toxins.
Most infrared saunas focus on one wavelength, normally far infrared but you also have saunas with near and mid-infrared.
For detoxification the best infrared wavelength is far infrared. It also helps to lower your blood pressure and promotes relaxation. Far infrared is a basic necessity when looking for an effective infrared sauna.
Even better if you can find a full-spectrum infrared sauna like Sanctuary from Clearlight. Mid-infrared for instance improves circulation and helps to reduce weight and relieve pain. Near infrared on the other side helps with anti-aging, wound healing, and cell health. Having a full-spectrum infrared sauna gives you all benefits at once.
A lot of people report that they have a lot of energy and feel rejuvenated after an infrared sauna, very different to the grogginess after a traditional sauna. When I had the chance to do the detox in an infrared sauna I could only confirm that. It’s a very different experience after the sauna.
One of the reasons for feeling great afterwards might be that the infrared light is actually very similar to the wavelengths emitted naturally by our bodies (yes, our body emits light radiation). Another great plus for the infrared sauna.
But not everything is rosy with infrared saunas. One of the biggest issues is that most of them have huge amounts of Electromagnetic Fields (EMF), which could turn your detoxification, health- and longevity-enhancing voyage into one comparable to hanging out in a microwave.
Not good for your health. High EMF have been related to headaches, loss of energy, a weaker immune system, memory loss, depression, and a few other unpleasant things.
So, ideally you find yourself an infrared sauna with low EMF, best below 3 milligauss (mG). At the moment the best are Clearlight Infrared Saunas with less than 3 mG, Healthmate Saunas with about 35 mG, and Sunlighten with about 50 mG.
What if you can’t find a low EMF one? Many people still report fantastic health benefits. Maybe they are not as good as being in a virtually EMF-free sauna but still much better than storing more and more of those disastrous toxins.
How to make your Time in the Sauna easier?
Doing the detox can be challenging, especially if you use a traditional sauna. Here are a few ideas that helped me to make the sauna experience easier.
- Keep drinking cool water all the time. I normally have a small bottle that holds about half a liter or 16 oz and a big bottle of 2-2.5 liters or 67-85 oz with a strong extract of water, pink Himalayan salt and lemon. During each break, I fill some of the extract into my little bottle and fill it up with cold water. I then take only the small bottle inside and keep sipping all the time
- Put on a sauna hat made of non-toxic, non-colored wool. As surprising as that might sound, you will actually feel less hot … and you will protect your hair at the same time
- Take something to read with you, an actual book or magazine, meditate, … or – if your sauna can do that – pipe in some relaxing music, an audio book. Maybe you want to learn something new, like a new language. This is a great opportunity to do so. And if you do the detox with somebody else, you could enjoy a nice chat. Any activity will let time pass quicker and distract you from any potential inconvenience
Biofinesse your Sauna to get an even better Detox Effect
- Some people can’t get enough and want to sweat even more, detox even more. You can do this with some light exercise in the sauna. I would only recommend doing that in an infrared sauna as just being in the traditional sauna is challenging enough
- If you want to ‘liberate’ more toxins and make it easier for them to leave your body, do some fascia blasting or wet skin brushing. Be very careful with this though if you haven’t done a detox in a long time or have a lot of toxins. Your body needs to deal with the sudden release in addition to the already high level of toxins released with the niacin and the exercise. Be aware that if you release too many toxins too quickly, your body might hate you (temporarily) for this sudden overflow … by giving you e.g. a major headache
- If you want to get an even bigger health kick and you can bear it, insulate your infrared sauna extremely well and add heaters to increase the heat in the room even more. This way you are heated from the inside and the outside
Did the niacin sauna detox help me?
You bet! And I only used it once a week. But even after the first time the itchiness of my skin disappeared for a few days … and the time became longer with each repetition.
I also had more energy and was in a much better mood. I slept better. And … last but not least … people commented that I was glowing. Not a bad outcome … even if I had to spend 4 to 4.5 hours in a traditional sauna.
Latest posts by Ines O'Donovan, PhD (see all)
- Jeunessima Friday Lifestyle Delights 134. Tips for Busy Women over 40 - September 12, 2019
- Jeunessima Friday Lifestyle Delights 19. Tips for Busy Women over 40 - August 10, 2019
- Jeunessima Friday Lifestyle Delights 18. Tips for Busy Women over 40 - July 30, 2019