Herbal Sauna – Thai Style

Pra Wichen

Pra Wichen

Earlier this year I visited and studied with a northern Thai healer, a Buddhist monk, Pra Wichen.  This elderly healer has spent many years in a remote area healing those with cancer, addictions, AIDS and chronic disease.  His gentle, yet, powerful techniques and regimes have been adapted and bought into the clinic for the benefit of all clients.

The main premise of treatment is DETOXIFICATION.

The Benefits of Herbal Sauna

Herbal Sauna cleanses your skin and in one session it increases the amount of oxygen and nutrients delivered to your organs – especially the skin giving it a healthy glow.     On going treatments are beneficial for acne, and other skin conditions.

The herbal sauna will help relax face muscles, aid in a clearer complexion, by removing dirt and oil and toxins Improving lung, sinus and respiratory function By opening up your airways and sinuses –this treatment is great for persistent sinus, coughs, colds and chronic lung disease.

The steam sauna holds a humidity of 100 per cent.  It relaxes the muscles and gives moisture to the throat, therefore opening up your airways.   This eases congestion, inflammation, coughing, allergies and respiratory conditions – making this sauna great for asthmatics or those with emphysema, bronchitis and chronic sinusitis.   The use of specific herbs or essential oils further enhances these benefits.

Jill Prepares Herbal Sauna

Jill Prepares Herbal Sauna

The Herbal Sauna strengthens your immune system by gently heating the body, enhancing blood-flow, and increasing white blood cells in the blood and your immune system is stimulated.  Saunas make your body heat up the same way it would if you had a fever, helping your body to heal itself.  Gentle sweating opens up your pores, lets out toxins and impurities, increases circulation and aids in over coming infection.  It increase circulation and eases muscle pain and with an increased circulation muscular and rheumatic pains are eased.  An improvement in joint movement may be noticed.  A sauna can also speed recovery time for injuries such as strains, sprains, arthritis and muscular pain.

Detoxification is another bonus and includes being able to stimulate the endocrine glands that are important for regulating mood, tissue function, metabolism, sexual function and the reproductive process.

The Herbal Sauna Treatment

The herbal sauna treatment begins with an assessment of the person’s health condition.  Ideally, most will have had an initial naturopathic consultation with our Naturopath who will design a specific health and detoxification program according to individual needs.

Herbs and supplements are chosen according to their actions, and the required goals of the treatment.  Dietary changes and supplements will be recommended.   The herbal sauna treatment is preceeded by a lymphatic drainage massage.  This massage is given,so that the body’s immune system and eliminatory channels are prompted into cleansing mode.  The sauna treatment is then taken. This is usually for approximately 20-30 minutes, depending upon the patient tolerance and health status.

Thai Man in Herbal Sauna

Thai Man in Herbal Sauna

The patient sits in the sauna, with minimal or no clothing (we recommend that patients bring their own sarong or wears a swim suit ).  A steaming pot of herbs is placed in the sauna box and the person sits quietly breathing in the aroma, relaxing and then just gently starting to sweat lightly.  After the required time in the sauna, the client then receives a body scrub followed by a cleansing shower and the treatment session is then complete.

Hydration is an important aspect of this treatment regime, and herbal teas, filtered water and vegetable juices are encouraged during and after the treatment session.  Like the dry sauna, the steam sauna boosts circulation, speeds up the muscle recovery process and aids calorie burn.

Contra –Indications

Saunas are not recommended for pregnant women, young children or those with low blood pressure, diabetes or cardiac problems.

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