Spiritual renewal and purification of body, mind, soul and spirit are the major purposes and benefits resulting from regular sweat lodge use (D. Joseph Alderson).
This sacred religious/healing ceremony has been in practice for thousands of years. The purpose usually went far beyond cleaning the body. The Sweat lodge or sweat bath provided a cure for illness, revitalization for aching muscles, and in its highest spiritual sense, it helped the participants in reclaiming their universal unifying human culture. It heals the mind, the body, the emotions and the soul. Finally the Sweat lodge is a sacred space where we can connect and communicate with Creator (God), the Spirit Helpers (comparable to the angels and others depending on your spiritual or religious practices), our ancestors (our grandmothers and grandfathers and all the generations who came before us) and all levels of creation.
There are many different types of Sweat lodge structures and variations and meanings of the Sweat lodge ceremony depending on the Tradition you are following. However, all of the sweat lodge ceremonies have a similar effect and some universal meanings to Traditional peoples; these are physical and spiritual healing, and a sacred place for the offering of our prayers to the Creator.
Sweating rids the body of wastes. In this modern sedentary age of pollution, artificial environments, synthetic clothing and lack of regular exercise, participating in a sweat lodge can open clogged skin pores and stimulate the healthy flow of a body's own natural sweat.
Depending on how hot the sweat lodge is and the climate in which it occurs, a fifteen minute sweat can perform the heavy metal excretion that normally takes healthy kidneys 24 hours to accomplish. Body sweat flushes toxic metals such as copper, lead, zinc, and mercury from the body. A sauna is often recommended as a supplement to kidney machines. Sweats can also remove excessive salts; this is generally believed to be beneficial for cases of mild hypertension. Sweats can also eliminate urea, a metabolic by-product. Excessive urea can cause headaches, nausea and in extreme cases, vomiting, coma--even death. Uric acid buildup is responsible for gout and arthritis, sweats eliminate the excess uric acid in the body. Sweats may also draw out lactic acid responsible for stiff muscles and a contributor to general fatigue.
Sweat lodge heat dilates capillaries; this increases blood flow to the skin. The heart beats faster and impurities in vital organs are flushed out by the flow of fluids. Finnish and German doctors cite studies indicating sweat baths help persons with high blood pressure and heart problems; many American and Canadian doctors, however, continue to recommend against sweat baths for such persons. We have personally witnessed participants with pacemakers and heart stents, become physically stronger after regularly participating in Healing Sweat Lodges.
Lungs benefit, too. Clogged respiratory passages are opened by heat; this gives relief from colds, minor respiratory problems, bronhitis and asthma. In general Sweat Lodges are recommended for many types of dis-ease, creating a balancing, harmonizing effect that is beneficial to the physical body. The heat of a sweat bath and the often rapid cooling afterwards, conditions the body. A well-tuned body is more resistant to colds, disease and infection. In cold weather, a warm glowing feeling often lingers for hours following a sweat. In hot weather, the body seems cooler afterwards.
Recent Finnish tests validate the practice of splashing water on superheated rocks as a means to produce an abundance of negative ions. This seems especially true if the rocks are heated by a wood fire and not electricity. It is known now that where there are too few negative ions and too many positive ions this has been linked to heart attacks, aggravated asthma, migraines, insomnia, rheumatism, arthritis, hay fever and allergies. By the way, major causes of unhealthy ionic conditions are: weather disturbances, central air conditioning, environmental polution like smog and driving too long in a closed automobile.
The Wood Fairy - La Fée des Bois offers the services of Holistic Healing & Wellbeing activities and the Sweat Lodge is a major part of this platform.
Blessings of Health & Wellbeing to You.