top of page

Infrared saunas - the breakdown of diaphoresis and how it detoxifies the body.

Detoxification through diaphoresis is a process in which the body eliminates toxins and waste products by inducing sweating. Diaphoresis is the medical term for sweating, and it can occur naturally when your body needs to regulate its temperature or in response to various stimuli, such as exercise, hot weather, or fever. However, some people intentionally seek to induce sweating as a means of detoxifying the body.

Here are some methods through which diaphoresis can be used for detoxification:

Sauna: Saunas are heated rooms that raise the body's temperature, leading to increased sweating. Sweating in a sauna helps eliminate toxins through the sweat glands. Regular sauna use is a popular method for promoting detoxification.

Hot Yoga: Hot yoga classes are conducted in a heated room, which can cause participants to sweat heavily during their practice. Hot yoga is a powerful practice which helps remove toxins from the body through sweating.

Exercise: Vigorous physical exercise can also lead to diaphoresis and help with detoxification. When you exercise, you increase your heart rate and body temperature, which can result in sweating and the removal of toxins from your body.

The science of the sweat

Mobilisation through diaphoresis; studies on what we release through sweating.

  • The minerals sodium, potassium, magnesium, and chloride are all excreted by sweat1, along with iron2 and chromium3.

  • Sodium and chloride have the greatest losses (155 and 137 meq, respectively), while magnesium and potassium are excreted in much lower quantities (13 and 16 meq, respectively.

  • Copper and zinc are released in high amounts in sweat4.

  • Nickel and lead were found in lower levels than copper and zinc.

  • Maganese, cadmium and aluminium have been found in sweat in much lower amounts than copper and zinc5,6. With protracted sweating from exercise, the levels of iron and zinc in the sweat were lower in the second hour than the first.

  • Cadmium and nickel levels in the sweat have been found to be higher than corresponding levels in the urine, making sweating the best route for excretion8.

  • Lead absorbed dermally is released in both sweat and saliva, but did not show up in blood9.

  • A Study on toxicoknentics (the movement and fate of toxins) on lead shows that soft tissue lead, not blood lead is the source of lead released in sweat10.

  • In a study of mercury and sweat it showed that the mercury blood levels continued to drop during the sauna portion of their protocol11.

  • Various medications have been found in sweat: Amphetamines12, methadone13, Antiepileptic drugs14, Phenytoin, phenobarbital, carbamazepine

Various Sauna cleansing programmes

The scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard developed and promoted the use of Hubbard Purification Rundown as a method it was quite intense as a 3-6 week protocol doing the following daily:

  • Physical exercise for 20-30 minutes

  • Sauna 60-80deg celcius done in 30 min sessions for 2-2.5hrs. aday

  • Increase dose of niacin each day and multivitamin

  • Water with electrolytes

  • Oil 1-8Tsp

  • Balanced meal and adequate sleep.

This was used on ten electrical workers they tested and then put them through this protocol, they found a 7.8% drop in adipose pesticide levels. In the 3 months after treatment ended the peticides continued to be cleared from their bodies with a 21.22% drop15.

Dr William Rea, who is the director of the Environmental Health Centre in Dallas, published data on the therapeutic use of thermal chambers. His protocol included on a daily basis:

  • Chemical-free living facilities

  • Use of specifically constructed, less chemically polluted heat chambers for 2 hours

  • Exercise before the sauna

  • Massage after the sauna

  • Niacin - up to 3,000 mg

  • Vitamins, minerals, and amino acids given orally and IV vit C 15mg daily with 2-8g orally

  • other vitamins and minerals

  • Glutathione

As a result of treating 156 chemically sensitive females and 54 males, the following was reported: 86% of participants had improved symptoms, 57% of those with abnormal balance and 31% of those with autonomic nervous system disorders improved.

As you can see all of these protocols are very intense and not very practical for our life style and reality. But this indicates things we can do to reduce toxification in the body.

My recommendations

  • Exercise daily 15-20 mintues

  • Sauna sessions with cool-downs

  • Clean filtered water with electrolytes

  • Ginger tea

  • Good healthy oils - flax, hemp

  • Liver herbs

  • Bentonite clay

  • Colonic irrigations with purified water

  • Bodywork - massage, Bowen treatments, cranial osteopathy, shiatsu

  • Homeopathy

  • Acupuncture

  • A nutritional work-up - test what food you should avoid and causes adverse reactions, avoid toxic foods, and avoid sugar


The information above is a breakdown of research on sweating and detoxification. Excessive sweating, especially in extreme heat or for prolonged periods, can lead to dehydration. It's essential to stay hydrated.

As per the Chinese medicine lens I always look through, no shoes fit all feet. Extreme protocols with long saunas suit robust body types with Dampness. These people possibly carry some extra weight, especially around the middle, have heavy feelings in the body, foggy-headedness, phlegm or excessive mucous, and conditions that feel worse with damp weather. People who need to take care of long periods in the sauna are people who are depleted especially Blood depletion. These people are possibly anaemic, have dry skin, scanty menstruation, and hesitant stool. These people can feel faint, and light-headed. If you are more this body type you are best to start with short sauna's more often, you gain a slight sweat but do. not dehydrate or deplete your fluids.

If you are concerned about toxins or have specific health issues, it's best to seek guidance to determine the most appropriate and safe approach to detoxification based on your individual needs and circumstances. It is best to start slowly and build your way up to longer sauna sessions, and it is important to reduce toxic intake and replenish your health.

Disclaimer - This blog post is for informational purposes only and should not substitute professional medical advice. Consult a healthcare professional for personalised guidance related to your specific health condition.


1. Costill DL. Sweating: its composition and effects on body fluid. Ann NY Acad Sci.1977;301:160-174.

2. Brune M, Magnusson B, Persson H, Hallberg L. Iron losses in sweat. Am J Clin Nutr.1986;43(3);438-443.

3. Davies S, McLaren HJ, Hunnisett A, Howard M. Age-related decreases in chromium levels in 51,665 hair, sweat, and serum samples from 40,872 patients—implications for the prevention of cardiovascular disease and type II diabetes mellitus. Metabolism. 1997;46(5):469-473.

4. Hohnadel DC, Sunderman FW, Nechay MW, McNeely MD. Atomic absorption spectrometry of nickel, copper, zinc and lead in sweat collected from healthy subjects during sauna bathing. Clin Chem. 1973;19(11):1288-1292.

5. Omokhodion FO, Howard JM. Trace elements in the sweat of acclimatized persons. Clin Chim Acta. 1994;231(1):23-28.

6. Stauber JL, Florence TM. A comparative study of copper, lead, cadmium and zinc in human sweat and blood. Sci Total Environ. 1988;74:235-247.

7. DeRuisseau KC, Cheubront SN, Haymes EM, Sharp Rg. Sweat iron and zinc losses during prolonged exercise. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2002;12(4);428-437.

8. Cohn JR, Emmet EA. The excretion of trace metals in human sweat. Ann Clin Lab Sci.1978;8(4):270-275.

9. Crinnion WJ. Results of a decade of naturopathic treatment for environmental illnesses. J Naturopath Med. 1997;17(2):21-27.

10. Rabinowitz MB, Wetherill GW, Kopple JD. Kinetic analysis of lead metabolism in healthy individuals. J Clin Invest. 1976;58(2):260-270

11. Sunderman FW. Clinical response to therapeutic agents in poisoning from mercury vapour. Ann Clin Lab Sci. 1978;8(4):259-269.

12. Vree TB, Muskens AT, van Rossum JM. Excretion of amphetamines in human sweat. Arch Int Pharmacodyn Ther. 1972;199(2):311-317.

13. Henderson GL, Wilson KB. Excretion of methadone and metabolites in human sweat. Res Comm Chem Path Pharm. 1973:5(1):1-8.

14. Parnas J, Flachs H, Gram L, Wurtz-Jorgensen A. Excretion of antiepileptic drugs in sweat. Acta Nuerol Scand. 1978;58(3):197-204.

15. Schnare DW, Robinson PC. Reduction of the human body burdens of hexachlorobenzene and polychlorinated biphenyls. IARC Sci Publ. 1986;(77):

16. Rea WJ, Pan Y, Johnson AR, Ross GH, Suyama H, Fenyves EJ. Reduction of chemical sensitivity by means of heat depuration, physical therapy and nutritional supplementation in a controlled environment. J Nutr Environ Med. 1996;6(2):141-148.

250 views0 comments


bottom of page