Can Sauna Use Help With Addiction Recovery and Detox?

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Can Sauna Use Help With Addiction Recovery and Detox?
What About Infrared Saunas?

From ancient times we’ve known that our bodies use sweat to get rid of toxins, which many cultures also identified with cleansing and purification rituals. Can it help with addiction recovery?

While some claims of the health benefits of regular sauna use are tough to test, research has proven many health benefits such as arthritis and sore muscle relief, pain relief for many, increased blood circulation which can also speed natural healing processes, detox of some toxins via sweat, fighting infection and wait for it… reducing fat (lipids). 1.

Finnish and German studies have found regular sauna use also leads to 30% less incident of colds and influenza, leading to the belief that it enhances the immune system.

Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimated that 80 percent of all illnesses are a direct reaction to our modern environment and/or lifestyles. A 2005 CDC study of over 2000 Americans found trace amounts of 60 different toxic elements in nearly all participants’ urine and blood. Can sauna use help remove most or all of those? That is unknown, but by testing sweat of many subjects toxins were found to have been excreted after sauna use.

While both the dry and infrared saunas provide health benefits, the infrared sauna has become increasingly popular in general use and by detox and rehab facilities because traditional dry saunas use temperatures as high as 185 to 195 degrees F, which can be tough for folks sensitive to the heat. Infrared saunas use a much milder temperature environment of between 120 to 150 degrees F. However because the heat of infrared saunas travels much deeper into the body, they are able to cause a more vigorous sweat at a lower temperature, states Dr. Richard Beever in the July 2009 issue of “Canadian Family Physician.”. Starting at shorter amounts, rehabs report helping the client build up to about 20 minutes of infrared use.

It is easily observed that addicts in detox sweat profusely as the body tries to rid some of the poisonous substance(s). Some drugs can stay in the system for up to 6 months and many believe that toxins lodge in fat cells. As a result, Narconon is reported to use infrareds in their 100+ facilities with good effects in assisting in the elimination of drugs. 2.

Dr. Julian Whitaker reported in 4/2011, that his Institute uses infrared extensively and noted, “We see infrared saunas used with patients who are withdrawing from drugs and with patients who are smokers. In smokers’ cases, you can sometimes even smell the nicotine coming out of their pores.”

It gets even more gravitas when the 800 lb. gorilla, The National Institutes of Health in the Journal of International Medical Research November 2018 published a study with the catchy name (a portion of which is quoted here): “Safety and tolerability of sauna detoxification for the protracted withdrawal symptoms of substance abuse — SAUNA AND EXERCISE INFLUENCE PHYSICOLOGICAL STATES. Many studies show the benefits of exercise in promoting deep circulation in the tissues and mobilizing lipid from storage depots. Both processes aid tissue oxygenation, nutrient status, and healing.

Kukkonen-Harjula in that report suggested that sauna induces subtle endocrine changes, including raised noradrenaline and beta-endorphin levels and activation of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system. Although these changes usually normalize post-treatment, they may partially explain the physical relief described by participants.”

So, what conclusions can you draw from all these claims and the august research? Talk to your personal physician and the one at your rehab and see if the many benefits are something you want to avail yourself of as part of your treatment plan. But do not use a sauna if no one is around to see that you are OK. And, please, always sit on a towel.

Nothing feels as good as health and sobriety.

-The information presented here is not intended to replace the advice of a medical doctor, nor to replace an addiction treatment plan, but the growing data indicates that properly monitored sweating can enhance recovery as an alternative therapy.  Check with your supervising physician for clearance first. But certain populations should not consider excessive sweating as a part of a health regime.  Infants, children up to 4 years of age and people over 65 are sensitive to the effects of high temperatures and should not participate in sweat rituals.  Additionally, people who are physically ill, especially with heart disease or high blood pressure, or who take certain medications, such as for depression, insomnia, or poor circulation, may be affected by extreme heat.  Hyperthermia (increase in body temperature) is also not recommended for women who are pregnant, because the heat can affect a fetus.

1. 96. Friedberg SJ, Harlan WRJ, Trout DL, et al. The effect of exercise on the concentration and turnover of plasma nonesterified fatty acids. J Clin Invest 1960; 39: 215–220. [PMC free article] [PubMed] [Google Scholar], https://www.nlm.nih.gov/

2. A paper presented to the 123rd Annual Meeting of the American Public Health Association examined the Narconon method closer with a small trial of eight cocaine, valium and heroin addicts undergoing sauna detoxification. Tests on subjects’ urine and sweat after sauna sessions revealed an “increase in the concentration of drug metabolite” among seven of the eight participants. Furthermore, all seven showed these same metabolites present in their urine and sweat for five weeks after the sauna sessions ended, thereby “supporting the argument that drug metabolites were mobilized from stores.” (Reduction of Drug Residues: Applications in Drug Rehabilitation; Shields, Tennant, et al.)

By Sharon Valentino, CA LMFT, 7/13/19

Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.

Sharon Valentino, MA, ChT, CA LMFT, Psychotherapist, Behavioral Health
Calif. Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, MFC51746
Masters Level Registered Addiction Specialist (MRAS) & Level IV Certified Addiction Treatment Counselor (CATC IV), Masters Counseling Psychology
Addressing: Stress, Anxiety, Relationships, Depression, PTSD, Trauma, Pain, Memory Issues, Addiction, Adult Children of Alcoholics/Substance/Anger Abusers (ACA’s), Tech Execs & Engineers, Creatives & Designers – Private Online Therapy (Telemedicine) is available via HIPPA provider’s security.
Ph: 415.215.5363, e: sv@valentinotherapy.com, web: www.valentinotherapy.comehello@sobercoachandfamilysupport.com, web: www.sobercoachandfamilysupport.com
Social Media: Google My Business – Valentino Therapy
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Blogs at WordPress: Valentino Therapy & Sober Coach-Addiction Hurts & Ask This Therapist

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Boundaries

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Boundaries

I saw a quote this morning and wondered if it might resonate?

“Pay attention when people react with anger and hostility to your boundaries.
You have found the edge where their respect for you ends.”

Does anyone in your life fit this description?
If so, do you need to set firmer boundaries or walk away?
What would be your most productive course of action?
What is your most desired outcome?  Does walking away or firmer boundaries fulfill your outcome? Or some other course of action?

Do you do this to anyone else?
If so, what do you think is causing that?

Many people dealing with addiction have problems setting and holding boundaries, yet it is critical for good physical and mental health not to mention happiness. If you are having challenges with boundaries, please consider talking to a mentor or clinician right away to get support.

Warmly, Sharon

Sharon Valentino, LMFT, Psychotherapist, Behavioral Health
Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.
Valentino Therapy
CA LMFT, Masters RAS, CATC level IV, ChT
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (51746)
Serving individuals & couples in the San Francisco Bay Area
Psychotherapist, Registered Addiction Specialist, Certified Addiction Treatment Counselor, Masters Counseling Psychology,
Stress, Anxiety, Relationships, Depression, PTSD, Pain, Family & Couples Issues, Memory Issues, Adult Children of Alcoholics / Substance /Anger Abusers, tech execs & engineers.
PRIVATE ONLINE THERAPY AVAILABLE FOR CALIF. ONLY
p: 415.215.5363
a: 3030 Bridgeway, Suite 108, Sausalito, CA 94965
w: www.valentinotherapy.com       e: sv@valentinotherapy.com

Anxiety Therapy

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Anxiety, please… Anxiety Therapy

There is help available for anxiety. Many people medicate anxiety with substances and create an even bigger problem.
If you aren’t living the sort of happy, relaxed, fulfilled life you really want – if self-esteem and self-confidence issues are troublesome – if you feel too unsure and anxious…you don’t have to.

Anxiety manifests itself as physical tension, apprehension, uneasiness, fidgeting, fatigue, and sleep disturbance, a lack of concentration, negative thinking, perspiration, nausea, elevated heart rate, and muscle tension.  These symptoms can occur even if you logically know that there is no real danger.”(Durand & Barlow, 2003).

Living with anxiety can be very uncomfortable, causing you to avoid situations in which you need to be present. It can cause the feeling of never being able to relax or feel safe – or to never feel good enough. You may worry too much about what may happen; what people may do or think of you or your performance (professionally, inter-personally and sexually).

Living this way generally has a terrible effect on the quality of life and enjoyment and can lead to many other problems such as; hypertension, eating and digestive disorders, headaches, other health issues, avoidance, negative attitudes and a feeling you can’t cope or just aren’t “normal”.

The good news is that all of this can be reversible: Feeling better can be in your immediate future.

Though there are a number of accepted methods of treating anxiety disorders, I prefer Behavioral Therapy and Cognitive Therapy, initially. Many sufferers live with very negative self-talk, obsessive thoughts, destructive behaviors and distorted automatic thoughts that come after a feeling – not vice versa.
Some of my clients have told me, “I can’t help it. I don’t know why I keep acting that way; it’s just how I feel.”
But it’s not.

Clients generally experience rapid anxiety relief by using Cognitive Therapy in the first session to examine the feeling that occurs, often without notice.
When you break it down, you realize that you can become aware of the first thought and then the next thoughts that seamlessly follow. Relaxation techniques can speed progress along too.

I’d like to help.

It’s important to note Anxiety Disorders include a number of different categories, many of which are treated differently to gain relief. Some of these categories include obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder (PD),  post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), generalized anxiety disorder  (GAD), social anxiety disorder/social phobia, and specific phobias, such as fear of the outdoors (agoraphobia) or confined spaces (claustrophobia), among many others.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is much more commonly diagnosed these days than in the past. This may be due to the increased pressures in today’s society to perform at very high levels in many categories of life: professionally, as a friend, parent, neighbor, as an involved citizen of your community, as a housekeeper/handyman, in the bedroom, the kitchen and, often, in some sport or other area of expected excellence.

While I do acknowledge that the constant electronic information and contact overload can be very stressful, it probably doesn’t count right up there with a saber tooth tiger chasing you. One difference is that the tiger chasing will stop – either with a good or bad outcome, but daily stress in our lives does not and can wear down your ability to really live and enjoy your life.

The below quote can help to shed light on what anxiety feels like to many:

“It is characterized by constant, intense, and uncontrollable worries about everything.  These worries are accompanied by tenseness, irritability, fatigue, and restlessness.  GAD is not only distressing for the people affected by it, but also for everyone around them (Durand & Barlow, 2003).”

If you would like specific information about other types of Anxiety Disorders, please contact me at: sharon@valentinotherapy.com.

Do you feel anxious? Be kind to yourself. Therapy

Sharon Valentino, LMFT, Psychotherapist, Behavioral Health
Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.
Valentino Therapy
CA LMFT, Masters RAS, CATC level IV, ChT
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (51746)
Serving individuals & couples in the San Francisco Bay Area
Psychotherapist, Registered Addiction Specialist, Certified Addiction Treatment Counselor, Masters Counseling Psychology,
Stress, Anxiety, Relationships, Depression, PTSD, Pain, Family & Couples Issues, Memory Issues, Adult Children of Alcoholics / Substance /Anger Abusers, tech execs & engineers.
PRIVATE ONLINE THERAPY AVAILABLE FOR CALIF. ONLY
p: 415.215.5363
a: 3030 Bridgeway, Suite 108, Sausalito, CA 94965
w: www.valentinotherapy.com       e: sv@valentinotherapy.com

Make Your Life Worth It

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Why not make your life worth living? Otherwise, what are we all doing here?

You have the opportunity to make this day, or this week special.

What would that look like?

What would you need to change or do?

Are you willing to start right now?

Why not list what you want out of life and find someone to support you, especially if you are dealing with addictions or substance abuse? You don’t have to go it alone.

Sharon Valentino, LMFT, Psychotherapist, Behavioral Health
Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.
Valentino Therapy
CA LMFT, Masters RAS, CATC level IV, ChT
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (51746)
Serving individuals & couples in the San Francisco Bay Area
Psychotherapist, Registered Addiction Specialist, Certified Addiction Treatment Counselor, Masters Counseling Psychology,
Stress, Anxiety, Relationships, Depression, PTSD, Pain, Family & Couples Issues, Memory Issues, Adult Children of Alcoholics / Substance /Anger Abusers, tech execs & engineers.
PRIVATE ONLINE THERAPY AVAILABLE FOR CALIF. ONLY
p: 415.215.5363
a: 3030 Bridgeway, Suite 108, Sausalito, CA 94965
w: www.valentinotherapy.com       e: sv@valentinotherapy.com

Online Therapy

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Are you having challenges that rob you of the joy and success you deserve?
Are you as happy as you want to be? Is your life working out the way you want and expected it to?  We all cope with stressors in different ways. I help people deal with stress more successfully with caring, + the powerful tools that therapy provides, to achieve results and solutions.

Therapy isn’t only for people with problems, who are depressed or anxious.
Your therapy is an important tool to improve your life, happiness, relationships, well-being, and self-awareness – helping you change habits or establish healthier ones.
Stress makes life difficult – it even kills sometimes.

I help people deal with it successfully and help find better outcomes with results oriented support for stress, anxiety, depression, relationships, addiction, coping, panic attacks, low self-esteem, co-occurring disorders, PTSD, grief/loss – and more.

In Sausalito for California residents (due to licensing dictates) for onsite treatment and via e-mail only via We Counsel to meet HIPPA privacy requirements for online counseling.

Many I’ve helped used substances (food, drugs, alcohol) & become addicted. Others withdraw or have relationship difficulties, anxiety or depression because their stress feels overwhelming without support.
I’m solution focused for you.

Online therapy can be very affordable and effective and is a bargain compared to weekly in-office sessions, gas, parking, childcare, etc.
•Phone: 45 minutes $100. per session, or 30 minutes $70.
•Video: 50 minutes $120. per session
•Email or text: $75. per week for unlimited messages from you, or $200 per month if paid in full in advance. Please note that I will use up to 50 minutes per week reading and responding to your messages. I generally respond 2 to 4 times per week and take Saturdays and Sundays off.

Sharon Valentino, LMFT, Psychotherapist, Behavioral Health
Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.
Valentino Therapy
CA LMFT, Masters RAS, CATC level IV, ChT
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (51746)
Serving individuals & couples in the San Francisco Bay Area
Psychotherapist, Registered Addiction Specialist, Certified Addiction Treatment Counselor, Masters Counseling Psychology,
Stress, Anxiety, Relationships, Depression, PTSD, Pain, Family & Couples Issues, Memory Issues, Adult Children of Alcoholics / Substance /Anger Abusers, tech execs & engineers.
PRIVATE ONLINE THERAPY AVAILABLE FOR CALIF. ONLY
p: 415.215.5363
a: 3030 Bridgeway, Suite 108, Sausalito, CA 94965
w: www.valentinotherapy.com       e: sv@valentinotherapy.com

New Beginnings

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Happy Easter Weekend.

Spring is here at last – a time of new beginnings, of the earth awakening, flowers and trees blossoming, blue skies and new possibilities. Our old winter selves and coats are ready to be shed so we can burst forward, new like the daffodils.

Who would you like to be when you Spring clean your house and yourself?
You can have a fresh start, you can begin a new chapter and renew yourself.

Focus on loving yourself and on giving yourself the change possible that comes with the Spring because one day you will understand. Happiness was always about learning how to live with yourself, that happiness was never the job of, and was never in the hands of other people.

Who would you be, how would you improve and change if you believed you could this Spring?

Sometimes the smallest change starts the ball of momentum rolling in the strongest of ways.

Sharon Valentino, LMFT, Psychotherapist, Behavioral Health
Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.
Valentino Therapy
CA LMFT, Masters RAS, CATC level IV, ChT
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (51746)
Serving individuals & couples in the San Francisco Bay Area
Psychotherapist, Registered Addiction Specialist, Certified Addiction Treatment Counselor, Masters Counseling Psychology,
Stress, Anxiety, Relationships, Depression, PTSD, Pain, Family & Couples Issues, Memory Issues, Adult Children of Alcoholics / Substance /Anger Abusers, tech execs & engineers.
PRIVATE ONLINE THERAPY AVAILABLE FOR CALIF. ONLY
p: 415.215.5363
a: 3030 Bridgeway, Suite 108, Sausalito, CA 94965
w: www.valentinotherapy.com       e: sv@valentinotherapy.com

Dreams vs. Goals

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Dreams vs. Goals

It’s important to set goals while going through the process of addiction recovery.
So we have a new month, April, upon us. Thirty new days of new chances. Thirty new days this month for new happiness, and more happiness, more moving, more health, more sleep, more laughter – less stress, less stuff, less waste, less plastic.

Several clients have asked what’s the difference between dreams and goals?

If we don’t have a goal, it is incredibly hard to get what you want and need out of life, let alone fulfilled and happy. We can’t dream about what we want and our goals cannot conflict with one another…and most importantly of all, our goals cannot be in conflict with our core values.

When you consider these issues, what you are sorting out is: Who are you, really? At your very core, what are your values? What are your non-negotiable needs and values? What will you not even agree to compromise (or shouldn’t)?

In my field, this is called “Integrated Thinking”. We, therapists, work on this with our clients so that conflicts won’t sabotage the time and work put into figuring out your goals. If your daily conversations, actions, and thinking are not carefully integrated, then your life, employment, and relationships can be chaotic and may be going nowhere.
When your actions, thoughts and even your words take you closer to what you really want, while staying true to your values of who you are and who you want to be, then you are closer every day to a truly happy life – if not living it already.
If they are not, then you know what to do.

But…it helps to review your actions every day and assess if they’re in line with who you need to be, to be happy. “The unexamined life is not worth living.” – said Socrates, in Plato, Dialogues, Apology, the Greek philosopher in Athens (469 BC – 399 BC). This is a truth known and taught centuries ago.

Often, figuring out your core values takes as much time and careful thought as listing the goals you want to achieve.

Sharon Valentino, LMFT, Psychotherapist, Behavioral Health
Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.
Valentino Therapy
CA LMFT, Masters RAS, CATC level IV, ChT
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (51746)
Serving individuals & couples in the San Francisco Bay Area
Psychotherapist, Registered Addiction Specialist, Certified Addiction Treatment Counselor, Masters Counseling Psychology,
Stress, Anxiety, Relationships, Depression, PTSD, Pain, Family & Couples Issues, Memory Issues, Adult Children of Alcoholics / Substance /Anger Abusers, tech execs & engineers.
PRIVATE ONLINE THERAPY AVAILABLE FOR CALIF. ONLY
p: 415.215.5363
a: 3030 Bridgeway, Suite 108, Sausalito, CA 94965
w: www.valentinotherapy.com       e: sv@valentinotherapy.com