Posted in Detoxification on February 17, 2017
Last modified on May 9th, 2019
Drug Detox and Saunas: Can You Sweat Out Drug Toxins?
Withdrawal is an uncomfortable process, and it can sometimes take days for your body to do a thorough drug detox and for cravings to cease. If it were quick and painless to quit drugs, very few people would have addictions. Instead, drug detox, withdrawal and cravings hold people back.
Modern medicine has led to the development of a few medicines that are specifically used to help individuals safely wean themselves off drugs or alcohol in a way that is as comfortable as possible. Some of the brand names for such medications include Suboxone, Vivitrol and Campral. Sometimes these medicines can be administered on an outpatient basis, but an inpatient program is highly recommended so that you can benefit from round-the-clock access to medical professionals.
And while modern medicine has a few tricks up its sleeve for helping with drug detox, Mother Nature’s main mechanism for drug detox is the excretory system, the main organs of which are the kidneys and liver. One of the ways the body excretes compounds is through sweat, but urination is a far more efficient way of expelling unwanted chemicals from the body.
The body is capable of performing its own drug detox, but it takes time and the withdrawal symptoms that occur in the meantime are uncomfortable at best. Still, there is no evidence that saunas can speed up the drug detox process. Even copious amounts of sweat can’t expel drug toxins any faster than the liver or kidneys.
However, a sweat lodge, which is commonly mistaken for a sauna, is a recommended therapy for people who have entered a drug rehab program, just not for the reason you might think.
How Sweat Lodges Are Helpful for Drug Detox
Sweat lodges are not saunas, even though they share some similarities. A sweat lodge is indeed filled with plenty of steam and temperatures inside can soar to uncomfortable levels.
In fact, it’s the discomfort that is said to be beneficial psychologically, as it helps to build resilience. Resilience is your ability to endure hardship or to “bounce back” from a setback. Resilience is needed during the withdrawal process and beyond.
A sweat lodge is primarily a location in which a mix of psychotherapy and spiritual guidance is offered. There are four specific phases during sweat lodge therapy. The goal is not so much to cleanse your body as it is to clear your mind.
Individuals May Find Saunas Soothing
Although saunas lend no true benefit when it comes to eliminating drug toxins from the body, individuals may find saunas soothing in the same way that some find massages soothing during the drug detox period. Some drugs cause joint and muscle pain as withdrawal symptoms, and the high heat of a sauna can relieve some of this pain. In that way, saunas may be an excellent supportive solution for getting through those tough first days of withdrawal without ingesting other medications.
If you have additional questions about saunas, sweat lodge therapy and the drug detox or withdrawal process, please contact us for guidance.
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