Sauna, Light & Cancer | SaunaSpace

Sauna, Light & Cancer

Saunas & Cancer Article

The fear of cancer is pervasive in our society and for good reason.

In the United States alone 595,690 people will die of cancer in 2016, accounting for 1 in 4 deaths and second only to heart disease.[1]American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts & Figures 2016 . Atlanta: American Cancer Society. 2016.

Many people have faced a diagnosis of cancer firsthand and few families are untouched by cancer.

Causes of Cancer

Modern Medicine believes that cancer is caused by mutations to DNA within our cells. DNA is packaged into huge numbers of individual genes, each of which contains a complete set of instructions for cell function, cell growth, and cell division. Errors in these instructions make cells become cancerous.

This is the Viral or Mutagenic Theory of Cancer. According to this theory we are born with some of the mutations leading to cancer and we acquire others from other sources such as smoking, viruses, chemicals, radiation, and other risk factors.

A competing hypothesis is the Trophoblastic theory of Cancer, first proposed by Scottish embryologist John Beard (1858-1924), and resurrected by William Donald Kelley, DDS (1926-2005). In 1905 Beard was the first to report that trophoblast cells act in a manner identical to cancer cells, actively invading and inducing their own blood supply. Trophoblasts are the infiltrative components of a developing embryo that form the placenta. These cells produce human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) as do cancer cells.

Since John Beard’s time molecular biologists have found more similarities between trophoblasts and cancer cells. Both seem to share the same molecular circuitry for their proliferative, invasive and migratory capacities. The recent discovery of human tumor antigens called CT (cancer/testis) antigens is further evidence linking the trophoblast cells, which are in fact germ cells (also called stem cells), with cancer. Trophoblastic theory has led to alternative methods of treating cancer such as the use of high dose pancreatic enzymes.

Conventional Medical Approaches

3 conventional medical approaches to cancer treatment

Traditional medical therapies for cancer focus on surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. Surgery can be an effective and quick tool at times, but chemotherapy and radiation therapy leave the patient weak and toxic. Both attempt to poison the tumor but often fail to cure the cancer while causing severe side effects and are quite expensive. Both chemotherapy and radiotherapy are cancer-causing themselves.

Traditional medicine tends not to focus on prevention except advising avoiding high risk activity such as smoking. Politics and powerful medical corporations intertwined with government agencies are involved in the entire allopathic or conventional medical approach to cancer including everything from the definition of cancer and diagnostic methodology to therapy. Politics and profit even reach into traditional medical research.

Holistic Healing Approaches

man biking in mountainsMany alternative therapies have been advocated. Some are effective but the bewildering number of therapies can be confusing. Holistic therapy is geared toward prevention and treatment combining nutritional balancing with various other modalities ranging from coffee enemas, meditation and positive mental imaging to ozone therapy, oxygen therapy and the use of saunas, particularly near infrared (NIr) lamp saunas.

Near Infrared Saunas Provide Enormous Health Benefits in 2 Main Categories of Effects:

  1. Near Infrared Light Therapy, also referred to as photobiomodulation, mitochondrial stimulation, near infrared light therapy, phototherapy, red light therapy
  2. Hyperthermic Therapy, also referred to as Heat Conditioning or Heat Therapy

 

Near Infrared Light (NIR): The Magic Wavelength

Only NIR Light Has a Photobiological Effect on Humans

The sun is more important to life on earth than any other factor. Over the 3-4 Billion years that life has been present on our planet all living organisms have received light and heat from the sun. 90% or more of light that reaches the surface of earth is visible and infrared light, the latter mostly near infrared light.[2]American Society for Testing and Materials. Reference Solar Spectral Irradiance: Air Mass 1.5 ASTM. Sep 28, 2013. Our bodies have tiny receptors called chromophores that absorb near infrared light between 600 nanometers (nm) and 950 nm. Near infrared light is the only light that penetrates deep into our bodies reaching into our cells and mitochondria.[3]Hamblin M, Demidova T. Mechanisms of low level light therapy . Proc. SPIE 6140, Mechanisms for Low-Light Therapy. 614001 (Feb 2006); doi:10.1117/12.646294.

Near Infrared Light Photobiological Effects Graph
near infrared light absorption by human cell receptors profoundly effects the cells and tissues of the body, listed above.

A large and rapidly growing body of knowledge supports the use of near infrared light to treat and prevent many illnesses, physical and toxic injuries, and other health conditions.[4]Hamblin M, Demidova T. Mechanisms of low level light therapy . Proc. SPIE 6140, Mechanisms for Low-Light Therapy. 614001 (Feb 2006); doi:10.1117/12.646294.

Flow chart of how NIR light influences anti-aging transcription factors
NIR light absorption causes activation of important anti-aging transcription factors like KFkB and AP1.

By Nature’s design our cells and tissues have been programmed to utilize near infrared (NIR) light and heat from the sun. NIR light directly stimulates mitochondrial ATP production, modulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and induction of transcription factors. These effects in turn lead to increased cell proliferation and migration (particularly by fibroblasts), modulation in levels of cytokines, growth factors and inflammatory mediators, and increased tissue oxygenation.[5]Hamblin M, Demidova T. Mechanisms of low level light therapy . Proc. SPIE 6140, Mechanisms for Low-Light Therapy. 614001 (Feb 2006); doi:10.1117/12.646294. NIr light absorption also causes activation of important anti-aging transcription factors like KFkB and AP1.

Direct Metabolism Boost

This effect cannot be overstated. Everything works better when oxidative phosphorylation (ATP production) improves. Mitochondria ramp up ATP production when excited with NIR light.

Illustration of how NIR light absorption promotes ATP production
Near infrared light directly stimulates cytochrome\noxidase, which catalyzes energy production by the mitochondria.

Detoxification

Toxicity is a crucial problem for the cancer patient. They often suffer from congestion of internal organs, particularly the liver and kidneys, our main organs of elimination. Toxic chemicals, heavy metals, and radioactive materials all contribute to the onset of cancer too. NIR lamp saunas provide the deep heat penetration necessary to relieve liver and kidney congestion, rapidly shunting blood to the skin and improving detoxification in the cancer patient.[6]Whelan HT, Buchmann EV, Dhokalia A, Kane MP,Whelan NT, Wong-Riley M, Eells JT, Gould LJ, Hammamieh R, Das R, Jett M. Effect of NASA Light-Emitting Diode Irradiation on Molecular Changes for Wound Healing in Diabetic Mice . Journal of Clinical Laser Medicine & Surgery. April 2003, 21(2): 67-74. doi:10.1089/104454703765035484. This allows easier removal of dead tissue and toxins associated with cell death. Sauna therapy also greatly enhances overall detoxification in all people by utilizing the tremendous ability of the skin as an organ of elimination and detoxification.

Other Healing Benefits of NIr Light

Many other health benefits ensue from exposure to near infrared light.

Our founder Brian Richards’ article The Best New Performance Enhancing “Drug” – Near Infrared Lamp Sauna covers the Alliance of Heat and Light Therapy in-depth.

Hyperthermic Therapy

Hyperthermia or Thermal Therapy is deliberate heating of the whole body or parts of the body for therapeutic purposes. It has received increasing attention as an adjunct to cancer treatment. Systemic or Whole Body Hyperthermia for cancer and other systemic diseases is now carried out at several university hospital centers in the United States, Europe and Mexico.

The American Cancer Society proclaims “hyperthermia is a promising way to improve cancer treatment…[17]American Cancer Society. Hyperthermia to Treat Cancer . Atlanta: American Cancer Society. 2013.

History on the Use of Hyperthermia

Hippocrates

“What medicines do not heal, the lance will; what the lance does not heal, fire will.” -Hippocrates

The use of heat to treat disease goes back to ancient times. Ancient Greek physicians recognized the therapeutic value of fever.

William Coley

In the nineteenth century several German physicians observed regression or cure of sarcomas in patients who suffered prolonged high fevers due to infectious diseases. Nineteenth century New York physician, William Coley, achieved cancer cures by administration of bacterial endotoxins, now known as Coley’s Mixed Bacterial Vaccine, and attempted to create standardized preparations of these pyrogens.[18]Nauts HC. Bacterial Pyrogens: beneficial effects on cancer patients . Biomedical Thermology, Progress in Clinical Biological Research. New York: Alan R. Liss; 1982; p 687-696.

Waon Therapy, developed in Japan, literally means “soothing warm therapy”. Waon therapy involves the use of infrared energy to comfortably heat the body and has been shown to be effective in treating chronic heart failure among other disorders.[19]Kihara T, Miyata M, Fukudome T, Ikeda Y, Shinsato T, Kubozono T, Fujita S, Kuwahata S, Hamasaki S, Torii H, Lee S, Toda H, Tei C. Waon therapy improves the prognosis of patients with chronic heart failure . J Cardiol. 2009 Apr;53(2):214-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jjcc.2008.11.005. Epub 2009 Jan 18.

Dr. John Beard, EmbryologistDr. John Beard’s Trophoblast Theory of Cancer derived from his observations as an embryologist that the fetal pancreas releases typsin and other enzymes that cause regression of trophoblastic tissue. Noting that trophoblasts and cancerous cells behave in similar fashion, he called cancer “an irresponsible trophoblast.” He therefore proposed injecting trypsin into benign and malignant tumors and subsequently spent much of his career investigating and furthering his pancreatic enzyme treatment approach.[20]Moss, R. The Life and Times of John Beard, DSc (1858-1924) . Integr Cancer Ther December 2008 vol. 7 no. 4 229-251.

Clinical Studies using Hyperthermia

A variety of studies have shown that systemic hyperthermia can induce numerous beneficial effects. Below is a partial list of these changes pertinent to cancer treatment:

In addition, under the influence of heat, tumor cells will form “heat shock proteins”, effective identifiers of non-healthy cells that appear on the surface of the degenerated cells. The body’s immune system detects these proteins as extraneous cells, triggering its immune cells to fight the cancer cells.

Systemic hyperthermia is now widely accepted as an effective, nontoxic adjuvant to immunotherapy as well as standard cancer therapies. Hyperthermia is also used more now as a primary tool in the treatment of cancer in the United States, Mexico, Germany, the Netherlands, Austria and other countries.[30]Wikipedia. Hyperthermia Therapy .

Current Implementations of Near Infrared Light & Hyperthermia for Cancer

Castle in Germany
Germany
Mexico city
Mexico

Each year thousands of people from the United States and Canada travel abroad often to Mexico or Germany in search of effective safe alternative medical care and cancer treatment. There are many internationally known medical centers in both countries that treat cancer. Interestingly a common thread in almost all is the inclusion of hyperthermia or heat therapy as an integral part of their core treatment plans.

 

Hope4Cancer Institutes

Hope For Cure Cancer Clinic Founder Dr. Jimenez talks to Ty Bollinger, maker of the documentary “The Truth About Cancer.”

Hope4Cancer Institutes in Mexico, thought by many to be at the leading edge of safe, non-toxic, and effective cancer therapy, utilize near infrared lamp sauna therapy as a primary detoxification tool:

“One of the fundamental methods for detoxification used at Hope4Cancer is the near infra-red sauna.  Near infra-red light assists in the removal of chemical toxins and heavy metals through the sweat glands.  It also increases oxygenation and enhances the immune system while reducing the radiation burden in the body by removing radioactive particles resident in the tissues.
The sauna near infra-red heat penetrates into the body stimulating the sweating process without the feelings of suffocation and discomfort that are common in high temperature dry and steam heat saunas.”

The following effects of near infrared sauna are observed:

  • The sauna creates a “fever” reaction that kills potentially dangerous viruses and bacteria and increases the number of white blood cells in the body, strengthening the immune system.
  • Helps excrete toxins from the body including cadmium, lead, zinc, nickel, sodium, sulfuric acid and mercury.
  • Stimulates dilation of blood vessels, especially the peripheral ones, which helps enhance blood flow deep in the tissues, providing pain relief besides enhanced nutrition.[31]Hope4Cancer Institute. Detoxification, Near Infra-Red Sauna .

Near infra-red heat is considered to be completely safe and more impactful than the lower energy far infra-red radiation devices that are available in the market.

Issels Immuno-Oncology

Josef Issels, MD
Josef Issels, MD is the founder of the Issels Integrative Immuno-Oncology Approach.

Issels Immuno-Oncology Clinics in Santa Barbara, Tijuana and other locations are “internationally known for their remarkable rate of complete long-term remissions of advanced and standard therapy-resistant cancers.” Their patient video testimonials are powerful and uplifting.

Issels uses systemic hyperthermia as a key component in their integrative therapy system:[32]Issels Immuno-Oncology. Hyperthermia As Used In Cancer Tumor Treatment .

“The extensive experience with the Issels Integrative Immunotherapy has shown Hyperthermia to be a valuable component of integrative cancer treatment.

Hyperthermia or Thermal Therapy is deliberate heating of the whole body or parts of the body for therapeutic purposes. It has in recent years received increasing attention as an adjunct to cancer treatment. Systemic or Whole Body Hyperthermia for cancer and other systemic diseases is now carried out at several university hospital centers in the United States and Europe.”

The Kelley Approach (Metabolic Cancer Therapy)

Photo of Dr William Kelly

Dr. William Kelley, DDS was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 1969.  He was given little hope of cure, and so he started researching the subject on his own.  The dentist came across the trophoblast theory of cancer, discussed below, and began taking large doses of porcine pancreatic enzymes.  He was soon feeling much better and began sharing his discovery with others.

Over some 40 years, he developed very effective protocols for his metabolic cancer therapy, as he called it.  He also trained a number of students, the foremost of which is Mrs. Pamela McDougle, who offers training and therapy today.

Near the end of his life, Dr. Kelley added the three-time daily use of a near infrared lamp sauna ONLY to his therapy.  This means one and a half hours daily of the red heat lamp sauna every day.[33]Wilson L, MD. Cancer Pioneers of the 20th Century . The Center For Development. March 2014.

The Kelley Approach essentially consists of:

  1. Pure, natural food diet
  2. Targeted nutritional supplements, though not a lot
  3. Healthful lifestyle choices
  4. A healthful mental attitude
  5. Detoxification:
    • 1.5 hours per day of near infrared lamp sauna therapy
    • 2-4 coffee enemas per day
  6. Highly concentrated pancreatic enzyme supplementation[34]Wilson L, MD. Cancer Pioneers of the 20th Century. The Center For Development. March 2014.

Dr. Kelly’s strategy of use of pancreatic enzymes derives from Dr. John Beard, MD’s century-old observations regarding the functional similarities between cancer and trophoblasts.

The Near Infrared Sauna Approach of Dr. Lawrence Wilson, MD

Photo of Dr. Lawrence Wilson
Dr. Lawrence Wilson, MD, perhaps the most well-known proponent of near infrared sauna therapy today, recommends 1.5 hours of NIr lamp sauna daily.

Dr. Larry Wilson, noted author and nutritional balancing science expert recommends Sauna use for cancer patients: “You must do at least one and a half hours (90 minutes) of sauna therapy daily with a incandescent red heat lamp sauna only. You can do two 45-minute sessions daily or three 30-minute sessions daily. Please do not skip this if you want good results.”

In an article in the Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients, Lawrence Wilson, MD writes, “If I were to single out one method to combat cancer, it is the sauna. It assists removal of chemical toxins and heavy metals, increases oxygenation, enhances the immune system, and reduces the radiation burden in the body.

Cancer does not like high oxygen levels and an absence of readily available sugar. Cancer hates nutritionally healthy people with good detoxification and eliminative functions. Cancer does not like love and other positive emotional states along with spirituality. Everyone seems to agree that cancer can’t stand increased temperature.” [35]Wilson L, MD. Infrared Sauna Therapy For Cancer . The Foundation for Advancement in Cancer Therapy. 2008.

Sauna therapy, particularly NIr lamp saunas, has been recommended as adjuncts to cancer therapy. Dr. Larry Wilson believes that Near Infrared Sauna Therapy provides many methods that combine to fight and prevent cancer.[36]Wilson L, MD. Infrared Sauna Therapy For Cancer . The Foundation for Advancement in Cancer Therapy. 2008.

9 Healing Methods Near Infrared Sauna Therapy

Put simply, cancer likes an environment that is characterized by low oxygen, low temperature, and high sugar levels. Cancer thrives in people that are nutritionally depleted, have depressed immune systems, and suffer from opportunistic infections such as yeast and fungus. These states are, of course, highly interrelated. Cancer also likes negative emotions and stress along with high estrogen levels.

 1. Hyperthermia

Apart from the induction of biological fever by pathogens or toxins, all methods of hyperthermia involve transfer of heat into the body from an external energy source. Different types of energy may be used to apply heat including near infrared light.

It was in the first decades of the twentieth century that the biological effects of elevated body temperature were better understood and numerous devices were developed to apply therapeutic heat to the whole body. After a shift in focus to local and regional hyperthermia (which treat only a specific tissue, limb or body region), there is now growing interest in systemic hyperthermia in view of its advantages.

The goal of systemic hyperthermia is to reproduce the beneficial effects of fever (Issels RD, Wilmanns W, editors. Recent Results in Cancer Research, Vol. 107: Application of Hyperthermia in the Treatment of Cancer.Berlin/Heidelberg: Springer Verlag; 1988.).

By the application of heat to the whole body, systemic hyperthermia is designed to treat systemic disease conditions including cancer. Tumors have a higher thermal sensitivity than normal tissues because of abnormal vasculature, anaerobic metabolism (acidosis) and nutrient depletion.

Sauna therapy elevates body temperature causing a mild “fever”. Elevated tissue temperature helps kill cancer cells directly and provides additional indirect support. [37]American Cancer Society. Hyperthermia to treat Cancer . Atlanta: American Cancer Society. 2013. [38]National Cancer Institute. Hyperthermia in Cancer Treatment . Rockville: National Cancer Institute. 2011.  Hyperthermia increases blood flow promoting the removal of dead cancer tissue and increasing tissue nutrition and oxygenation. Cancers seem to often originate in tissues with poor circulation so this is important to prevention as well. The use of NIR lamp saunas allow focusing the energy directly on the tumor and along with body rotation greatly increases  blood flow and promotes greater oxygenation in the lungs, all beneficial in cancer prevention as well. There is also increasing evidence that infrared light directly damages cancer cells in and of itself.[39]Fessenden J. Tuning light to kill deep cancer tumors . UMass Medical School Communications. 10/2014. [40]Mitsunaga M, Ogawa M, Kosaka N, Rosenblum L T, Choyke P L & Kobayashi H (2011). Cancer cell–selective in vivo near infrared photoimmunotherapy targeting specific membrane molecules . Nat Med. Nov 6, 2011; 17(12): 1685–1691. doi: 10.1038/nm.2554.

2. Detoxification

Toxicity is a crucial problem for the cancer patient. They often suffer from congestion of internal organs, particularly the liver and kidneys, our main organs of elimination. Toxic chemicals, heavy metals, and radioactive materials all contribute to the onset of cancer too. NIR lamp saunas provide the deep heat penetration necessary to relieve liver and kidney congestion, rapidly shunting blood to the skin and improving detoxification in the cancer patient.[41]Whelan HT, Buchmann EV, Dhokalia A, Kane MP,Whelan NT, Wong-Riley M, Eells JT, Gould LJ, Hammamieh R, Das R, Jett M. Effect of NASA Light-Emitting Diode Irradiation on Molecular Changes for Wound Healing in Diabetic Mice . Journal of Clinical Laser Medicine & Surgery. April 2003, 21(2): 67-74. doi:10.1089/104454703765035484. This allows easier removal of dead tissue and toxins associated with cell death. Sauna therapy also greatly enhances overall detoxification in all people by utilizing the tremendous ability of the skin as an organ of elimination and detoxification.

3. Oxygenation

NIr sauna use markedly promotes oxygenation of the body, important in maintaining a healthy state.

4. Enzyme Activity and pH Balancing

Cancer patients tend to have poor glandular function resulting in a chronically low body temperature. Up to 80% show diminished thyroid function.[42]Wilson L, MD. Infrared Sauna Therapy For Cancer . The Foundation for Advancement in Cancer Therapy. 2008. Elevating body temperature helps restore normal enzyme activity, albeit temporarily. Increasing metabolism, eliminating toxins and other changes help the body with acid base issues in a safe manner.

5. Eliminating Secondary Infections

Hyperthermia helps heal bacterial infections like Lyme Disease as well as fungal, yeast and other opportunistic infections which may cause symptoms and play havoc with our immune systems.[43]Wilson L, MD. Pneumonia and Other Respiratory Ailments . The Center For Development. Jan 2010.

6. Sympathetic Dominance and Stress

Sauna therapy decreases sympathetic activity and increases parasympathetic activity. Maintaining our body in a parasympathetic state (rest and digest) also allows us to relax and heal more efficiently. Saunas also help decrease mental stress and promote relaxation and a sense of well being important to maintaining a positive mental state.

7. Tissue Healing, Inflammation, and Pain Reduction

Near infrared light stimulus has been shown to promote tissue and cellular healing as well as reducing pain and inflammation.[44]Ibe O, Morency E, Sosa P,Burkow-Heikkinen L. The role of near-infrared light-emitting diodes in aging adults related to inflammation . Healthy Aging Research. 2015, 4:24; 10 April 2015.[45]Bjordal JM, Johnson MI, Iversen V, Aimbire F, Lopes-Martins RA. Low-level laser therapy in acute pain: a systematic review of possible mechanisms of action and clinical effects in randomized placebo-controlled trials . Photomed Laser Surg. 2006 Apr;24(2):158-68.

8. Heat Shock Proteins

Water absorbed 1050nm and greater wavelengths of thermal infrared heat the cells, inducing the formation of heat shock proteins (HSPs) in a safe and easy manner.[46]Wilson L, MD. Sauna Therapy . The Center For Development. March 2014.These proteins are powerful immune system activators. They help regenerate cellular structures.

9. Color Therapy

Beneficial red light produced in a NIr lamp sauna nourishes our lower centers or chakras where our eliminative organs are located.[47]Azeemi S, Raza M. A Critical Analysis of Chromotherapy and Its Scientific Evolution . Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Vol. 2, no. 4, pp. 481-488, 2005. doi :10.1093/ecam/neh137.

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40. Mitsunaga M, Ogawa M, Kosaka N, Rosenblum L T, Choyke P L & Kobayashi H (2011). Cancer cell–selective in vivo near infrared photoimmunotherapy targeting specific membrane molecules . Nat Med. Nov 6, 2011; 17(12): 1685–1691. doi: 10.1038/nm.2554.
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44. Ibe O, Morency E, Sosa P,Burkow-Heikkinen L. The role of near-infrared light-emitting diodes in aging adults related to inflammation . Healthy Aging Research. 2015, 4:24; 10 April 2015.
45. Bjordal JM, Johnson MI, Iversen V, Aimbire F, Lopes-Martins RA. Low-level laser therapy in acute pain: a systematic review of possible mechanisms of action and clinical effects in randomized placebo-controlled trials . Photomed Laser Surg. 2006 Apr;24(2):158-68.
46. Wilson L, MD. Sauna Therapy . The Center For Development. March 2014.
47. Azeemi S, Raza M. A Critical Analysis of Chromotherapy and Its Scientific Evolution . Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Vol. 2, no. 4, pp. 481-488, 2005. doi :10.1093/ecam/neh137.