Author Nenah Sylver, Ph.D.

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Excerpts from the Holistic Handbook of Sauna Therapy:

Table of Contents and Index

History of Sauna Therapy

Sauna and Alkalization

Sauna and Weight Loss

Sauna and Fever

Sauna and Pesticides, Heavy Metals

Sauna Building Materials

Sauna Clinic and Spa Locations







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335 Pages, $34.95   

The Holistic Handbook of Sauna Therapy
By Nenah Sylver, Ph.D. 
335 Pages, $34.95

The Burdened Body

Numbers vary as to how many new chemicals and chemical compounds are created weekly, monthly or yearly—but it is certain that as the perceived need for chemicals increases, so does the number of chemicals. Of those chemicals that become new products and are added to our food, water or soil, less than half have been approved by our government agencies. Consider the following data from a 1982 article, “Evaluation of a Detoxification Regimen for Fat Stored Xenobiotics.”

Over four million distinct chemical compounds have been reported in the literature since 1965, with 6,000 new compounds added to the list each week....More than 3,000 chemicals are deliberately added to food and over 700 have been identified in drinking water....Over 400 chemicals have been identified in human tissues, with some 48 found in adipose [fat], 40 in [breast] milk, 73 in the liver, and over 250 in blood plasma. The characters of chemicals found in adipose tissue are diverse, but tend to reflect biologically persistent or often used materials such as DDT, PCB, dioxin, nalkanes, PCP and THC.

Chemicals stored in adipose and other tissues pose a continuing physiological and psychological threat to human health. Dioxin has been associated with ischemic vascular disease and with other physiological as well as psychological effects as long as ten years after initial exposure. Oncological studies have shown a significant association between PCB and DDE levels in fat and increased cancer incidence. In addition, PCB exposures have resulted in increased plasma triglycerides, even in the absence of overt symptoms of PCB toxification. PCBs in monkeys not only resulted in increased blood lipids, but negatively affected the ability to maintain pregnancy. Further, they have been related to personality and cognitive functioning of persons unexpectedly exposed.2

A study appearing in the 1995 Proceedings of the American Public Health Association states: The EPA reports that literally every American has accumulated measurable levels of some thirty different toxic chemicals in their tissues. More recent reports set the tally at one hundred and seventy-seven. Every woman’s breast milk boasts pesticides, [and other pesticides such as] lindane, chlordane, [and] dieldrin and sixty-five isomers of PCBs and dioxins. The average man’s semen has thirty-five different forms of PCBs. The human body has become the final repository, the final toxic waste dump. Increasing toxic body burdens have been associated in the literature with increased risks, health effects, and symptomatology. It is not surprising this chemical plethora is having an adverse effect on the population at large.3

Leaping ahead about five years, in a Public Broadcast Service special on the chemical industry’s suppression of evidence that their own products cause cancer, televised in the spring of 2001, newsman Bill Moyers had his blood drawn and analyzed. Out of 150 common industrial chemicals, Moyers’ blood contained over 80. Among them were alcohols, solvents, pesticides, petroleum-based synthetics, PCBs, and persistent organic pollutants (POPs). Moyers is in his 60s. It took years for these chemicals to build up to their present levels in his bloodstream; and 50 years ago, there were far fewer chemicals than there are today. If Moyers has these levels of contaminants in his body now, what must it be like for a young child or infant—who must deal with even more chemicals, but whose immune system is not as fully developed as that of an adult? Mr. Moyers is not unique in where or how he lives; most people are as toxic as he. DDT, a pesticide that does not biodegrade well and has been banned since the 1960s for that reason, has even been found in the fat of polar bears in the Arctic!

Everything that we eat, drink, inhale, and in many cases touch, goes right into the body. The chemicals can be stored anywhere—in the organs, glands, muscles, even the bones—but one place where toxins are concentrated is the fatty tissue. Fat is present not only beneath the skin, but surrounds the organs. The brain and nervous system are predominantly comprised of certain types of fat (the brain is 65% to 70% fat), which is why chemicals can be so dangerous and produce so many and varied effects, ranging from motor impairment to mental confusion. In fact, some doctors believe that especially in people who are sensitive to chemicals (such as those having a formal diagnosis of multiple chemical sensitivity or environmental illness), the inhalation of chemicals injures the hippocampus and limbic areas of the brain, thereby accounting for the symptoms of emotional distress, learning disabilities, memory loss, and other cognitive impairments.

“If storage of chemicals and drugs in adipose tissue was a static phenomenon, or if these chemicals caused no harm, further research might be unjustified,” states an article from the Foundation for Advancements in Science and Education. But these chemicals are highly active. Human exposure to one type of pesticide leads to a

lifetime adipose tissue burden of DDT. Chemicals which store in fat do not remain there indefinitely, nor are they pharmacologically benign . . . .Once these lipophilic [fat-loving] chemicals move from the fat to the blood, they are carried to every organ in the body, including the target organs for which they pose a threat. The result is a significant risk of adverse health effects, both chronic and acute.4

“Our bodies act like sponges, absorbing the chemicals to which we are exposed,” write Jacqueline Krohn and Frances Taylor in Natural Detoxification. Water-soluble chemicals are absorbed and then excreted. However, fat-soluble chemicals accumulate in our fat cells and cell

membranes . . . .When the body is under stress [as during illness, emotional anguish, or nutritional deprivation], it releases these chemicals from the fat to circulate in the bloodstream. Later, these chemicals will return to the fat cells and cell membranes, to be released another time. The release and return cycle of these chemicals continues indefinitely unless we help our bodies rid themselves of toxins.5

Thus, any toxin not excreted by the body can be recycled continually into the bloodstream, re-exposing the system again and again. Since every cell in the body contains some fat—even if it’s a very small amount—the toxins can actually lodge anywhere.

It should be noted that women have more problems with toxins than do men because, with a higher percentage of fat in their bodies, they have more places to store the poisons. As Krohn and Taylor point out, women’s smaller size in general also causes them to become ill from chemicals more quickly than their male counterparts. Also, women’s higher levels of estrogen and progesterone can interfere with the efficiency of some enzymes utilized in the detoxification process. Finally, due to lower levels of the enzyme called alcohol dehydrogenase, women are less able to detoxify alcohol. This includes the alcohols in solvents as well as the kind that you drink.

Given the pervasiveness and danger of common chemicals, it is no surprise that David Steinman provides figures of “Typical Background levels of Pesticides and Industrial Chemicals in the Blood” in Diet For A Poisoned Planet. What might appear to be insignificant amounts can in fact be lethal because the chemicals are so dangerous: it does not take much to poison a human being. Moreover, the levels that exist in a person’s blood and fatty tissue are now higher than they were in 1990, when the book was published. It is horrifying to think that tables such as Steinman’s even have to exist as we humans continue to poison ourselves and our environment.6

The United States Environmental Protection Agency agrees. Its chilling 1982 National Human Adipose Tissue Survey, on the amounts of poisons taken from the fat cells of surgery patients and cadavers, reports PCBs in 86%, four out of five dioxins in more than 90%, eight of the nine benzene–related volatile organic compounds in more than 90%, benzene in 96%, and 1,4-dichlorobenzene found in all. And the December 1986 National Human Adipose Tissue Survey reports that 100% of fat samples from Americans contain chlorinated solvents and heavy metals, including aluminum, beryllium, cadmium, lead, and mercury.

Type of Chemical Specific Chemical Amount in Parts Per Billion (ppb)
Benzene less than 1 ppb
Ethylbenzene less than .5 ppb
Aromatic Solvents in Blood Styrene less than 1 ppb
Toluene .6 ppb
Xylene 1.5 ppb
Chloroform less than 1 ppb
Dichlorobenzene less than 1 ppb
Halogenated Volatile Dichloromethane less than 1 ppb
Hydrocarbons Perchloroethylene 1.1 ppb
1,1,1 trichloroethane 1.6 ppb
Trichloroethylene (TCE) less than .5 ppb
Benzene hexachloride .3 ppb
Chlordane .8 ppb
DDT 1 to 5 ppb
Chlorinated Dieldrin less than .3 ppb
Hydrocarbon Pesticides and Industrial Heptachlor .3 ppb
Pollutants Hexachlorobenzene less than .3 ppb
Lindane less than .3 ppb
Pentachlorophenol (penta) 12 ppb
PCBs 1 to 2 ppb
Methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) less than 20 ppb
Ketone Solvents in Blood Methyl isobutyl ketone (MIBK) less than 20 ppb
Methyl n-butyl ketone (MBK) less than 20 ppb

Example Metals and Toxins:

Metal Found in May cause
Aluminum Antiperspirant and deodorant; antacids, laxatives and other overthe-counter medications; baking powder; beverage cans; cigarette filters; cookware; dental amalgams; some foods such processed cheese and salt; tobacco smoke; toothpaste Brain degeneration, leading to Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and memory impairment; digestive disorders such as colic and gas; nerve damage leading to motor and behavioral dysfunction; seizures; skin rash
Arsenic Automobile exhaust; beer; cigarettes; paints; processed salt; herbicides and insecticides; wood preservatives Diarrhea; headaches; liver and kidney damage; muscle spasms; weakness
Cadmium Auto exhaust; cigarette and marijuana smoke; evaporated milk and other refined foods; fertilizer; paint pigments; silver polish; fertilizers; fungicides; rubber; rubber carpet backing Acne; arthritis; back pain; cancer; emotional disturbances including a tendency toward violence; emphysema; heart disease including arteriosclerosis and high blood pressure; infections of various kinds; kidney and liver damage; nausea and vomiting
Copper Alcoholic beverages from copper brewery equipment; meats (copper sulfate is given as a growth enhancer) and other foods; pesticides, insecticides and fungicides; water from the plumbing pipes Anemia; arthritis; autism, schizophrenia and stuttering; hypertension; liver enlargement and inflammation; myocardial infarction; nausea and vomiting; postpartum psychosis; Wilson’s Syndrome (thyroid malfunction); toxemia of pregnancy
Lead Automobile exhaust; canned food with lead seams; cigarettes; leaded gasoline fumes; some glazed dishware; hair dye; ink; paint; pesticides; solder Anemia; arthritis; bone disease; cataracts; degeneration of motor neurons; constipation and diarrhea; nausea and vomiting; mental retardation in children, and lowered intelligence and emotional instability in both children and adults; gout; hypertension; impotence and sterility; kidney, liver, pituitary and thyroid damage; muscle aches; seizures; vertigo


Mercury Adhesives; batteries with mercury cells; cosmetics such as mascara (especially waterproof); dental fillings (so-called “silver” amalgam fillings); drugs and over-thecounter medications such as calamine lotion; paint; personal care items such as contact lens solution; pesticides and fungicides; fabric softener; tuna and swordfish; vaccines (the mercury derivative thimerosal is even deadlier than mercury and is used as a preservative) Birth defects and chromosome damage; emotional disturbance; gingivitis and tooth loss; headaches; hearing loss; insanity; learning disabilities and mental retardation; nerve impairment and tremors; gastrointestinal problems including abdominal cramping, nausea and vomiting; skin eruptions; thyroid disorders; vertigo; vision loss; yeast infections
Nickel Batteries; cigarette smoke; various foods such as hydrogenated vegetable oils, margarine, peanut butter, herring, oysters, and tea Allergies; birth defects; central nervous system disorders including brain damage, loss of sensation and motor control, and tremors; cancer; cardiovascular diseases including arteriosclerosis, high blood pressure and irregular heartbeat; infertility and miscarriage; kidney damage; muscle weakness; respiratory disorders including asthma, bronchitis and emphysema; skin disorders including dermatitis and photosensitivity
Tin Air pollution and industrial waste; coated food cans and processed foods Central nervous system disorders including brain damage, loss of sensation and motor control, and tremors; muscle weakness; respiratory disorders including asthma, bronchitis and emphysema


This book offers patients and practitioners life-saving information not available anywhere else in print or on the internet. If you would like to learn more about the book before ordering it, feel free to browse these excerpts, which are available online, free of charge:

Table of Contents and Index  History of Sauna Therapy  Sauna and Alkalization

Sauna and Weight Loss  Sauna and Fever  Sauna and Pesticides, Heavy Metals

Sauna Building Materials  Sauna Clinic and Spa Locations



The Holistic Handbook of Sauna Therapy
By Nenah Sylver, Ph.D.
Paperback Book, 335 Pages, $34.95

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