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Jillian Michaels: Sauna Therapy and Heat Shock Proteins

Updated: Jan 15

Release Date: 11/28/22

Podcast Duration: 52:17

A Summary by Brandon Johnson, DC

5 Key Takeaways

  1. Exercise, Cold and Heat therapy can decrease the aging process and slow down or prevent disease onset

  2. Saunas activate heat shock proteins which protect cells from injury, stress and diseases

  3. Hormesis (strategic physical stress) is crucial to promote healthy changes in the human body

  4. Fasting can help the body break down and remove dead or diseased cells

  5. Sauna Therapy helps reduce the onset of Alzheimer's, stroke and dementia while supporting cardiovascular health, anti-inflammatory benefits and blood pressure

Jillian Michaels begins this episode by explaining the benefits of exercise and diet on human health. She offers insight on how strategic physical stressors can improve longevity.

What is Adverse Memetics and Hormesis?

  1. Adverse Memetics

  2. Applies to stressful techniques outside of exercise

  3. Cold exposure

  4. Heat Exposure

  5. Supplements

  6. Hormesis

  7. Strategically applying physical stress

  8. Helps the body adapt and become stronger

  9. Can prevent or slow down onset of diseases

  10. Can slow down the biological aging process

Modern Medicine and Hormesis in Disease treatment

  1. Western Medicine uses immunosuppresants to treat autoimmune disorders like Eczema and Psoriasis

  2. Topicals suppress immune system and simulate adverse memetics

  3. Example: topical ointment drugs like Tacrolimus and Cyclosporin prescribed for reversing grey hair

  4. These drugs have the same effects as Exercise, Cold/Heat Therapy in the treatment of autoimmune disorders

  5. Suppressing the overactive immune system

  6. Strategic physical stress can slow down aging and even reverse biological age (metabolic health)

  7. Fitness, Hot & Cold Therapy are equally excellent methodologies for strategic stress

Disease Causing Agents

  1. Over exposure to UV light (sun)

  2. Causes dead skin cells to accumulate as senescent tissues (old cells that do not divide or function correctly)

  3. Spread tissue damage and rapid aging across organ systems

  4. Leads to diseases like cancer and plaque build up

  5. Refined foods

  6. Create inflammation and decrease insulin sensitivity

  7. Usually high in sugar and preservatives

  8. Sleep deprivation

  9. Weakens immune function and other organ systems

  10. Lack of exercise

  11. Increases cardiac risks and worsens mental health

  12. Chronic stress

  13. Negatively impacts hormones

Fasting to Reduce onset of Disease

  1. Caloric restriction in the form of fasting helps to promote Autophagy

  2. Autophagy is the process by which the body breaks down and removes dead cells to avoid accumulation in tissue

  3. Helps to reduce chronic stress

  4. Intermittent Fasting

  5. shortest fasting window of 12 hours and longest being 16 hours

  6. Dirty Fasting

  7. Involves consuming some calories (usually 100 or less) during restricted window

After speaking on strategic stressors and how they relate to disease prevention, Jillian discusses the benefits of Sauna Therapy. She elaborates on protocols like temperature, Hydration, Heat Shock Proteins and who should not be using Sauna Therapy.

The Benefits of Sauna (Heat) Therapy

  1. Sauna Therapy involves dry heat (not steam) to make you sweat

  2. Not very effective at toxin removal or weight loss

  3. It is recommended not to combine two hormesis methodologies like heated workouts

  4. Combining heat and exercise puts too much stress on the body so its counter intuitive to fitness

  5. Better to heat the body from inside and stress the body with physical exertion

  6. Benefits:

  7. As per PubMed, Sauna Therapy helps Alzheimer's, stroke, dementia, cardiovascular benefits, anti-inflammatory benefits, lowering blood pressure

  8. It can mimic low intensity aerobic exercise if done properly

  9. Protocols for temperature and time

  10. Time: 20 to 30 minutes

  11. Temperature: 174 degrees Fahrenheit

  12. Two 15-minute sessions separated by 30 minutes of coolant in between

What are Heat shock Proteins?

  1. Specialized proteins that turn down inflammatory pathways

  2. Protect cells against stress and injuries

  3. Makes cells more resistant to disease

  4. In Sauna Therapy the body releases heat shock proteins to acclimate to the heat and build tolerance

  5. The body must adapt to this over time just like fitness and gradually acclimatize

  6. Cold therapy requires the same tolerance building

  7. Not Suitable For:

  8. Kids as they are less efficient at regulating their temperature

  9. Pregnant Women as there can be risks for developing fetus

  10. People with skin conditions & Autoimmune skin conditions should stick to Cold Therapy

  11. Heat causes more blood flow to inflamed tissues

  12. People who are taking medications for fever or any inflammatory condition even if it is over the counter medications

  13. People diagnosed with cardiovascular conditions

Essentials for Heat Therapy

  1. Hydration and electrolytes

  2. We lose water and electrolytes as we sweat in the heat

  3. Hydrate with water and added electrolytes

  4. Sodium chloride, potassium, magnesium, calcium

  5. Good example is a pinch of sea salt in water or coconut water

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