According to Page (1998), "They are gentle, non-invasive, and in almost every case, free of many side effects" (p. 114). Niacin - Sauna Therapy is one such program and it is this program which will be researched and analyzed in this paper.
With regard to Niacin-Sauna Therapy, Haas (2004) says "A special detoxification process has been developed to help in the release of chemicals, pesticides, and pharmaceutical drugs" (p. 44). Like any good detoxification program it begins by cleansing noxious elements, rebuilding the loss of nutrients in the process and maintaining a state of good health by fostering good habits pertaining to health and fitness. This program is an intensive program which seeks to flush out the toxins located in fat. It includes a combination of techniques that have detoxifying properties such as a juice diet, exercise, sauna therapy and intake of niacin. "The idea is to cleanse hidden chemicals from fat through juice cleansing, weight loss, niacin therapy, exercise and sweats" (Haas, 2004, p. 44). This is a fledgling program but initial results are encouraging, particularly when followed by individuals who are showing the adverse effects of exposure to pesticides. This process can also be used to wean addictive individuals from drugs (pharmaceutical as well as recreational types), alcohol and nicotine. It can also be followed in the comfort of home, provided a physician has been consulted and certain precautionary measures are taken.
The Rationale and Scientific Evidence behind this Program
Niacin is also known as nicotinic acid and vitamin B3. It plays a role in the release of energy from nutrients. It is found in cereals, legumes, liver, poultry, meat, nuts, whole grains, and fish. It can also be taken as a dietary supplement. Research has shown that niacin can effectively reduce cholesterol levels in the blood. High-density lipoprotein (HDL), a form of cholesterol referred to as "good cholesterol" lowers the risk of arteriosclerosis and cardiac arrest. "The researchers cite niacin as the most effective medication for raising HDL cholesterol" (Payne, 2005, p.5). Thus it helps clean out the circulatory system. Further according to Jensen (2000), niacin may be used "to flush the toxins from the organs and peripheral tissues, speed up the elimination process, and reduce production of cholesterol by the liver" (p.103). Therefore it seems fitting that niacin serves as the major component of a detoxification program.
Sauna therapy is based on the principles of overheating therapy or hyperthermia. This form of healing has proved beneficial from time immemorial. According to Page (1998), "Slightly raising body temperature speeds up metabolism, inhibits the growth of harmful viruses or bacteria, and literally burns out invading organisms" (p.3). Today, sauna therapy is popular all over the world as a means of ridding the body of toxins. A sauna activates the sweat glands and induces profuse sweating. As the sweat evaporates through the skin, it takes with it potentially harmful substances, while acting as a natural coolant. Thus it may be said that such sweats are therapeutic and have healing properties. This method in addition to removing toxins via the skin uses