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Infrared, Foam Rolling, and Detox

The practice of foam rolling as a part of your workout routine can be helpful for detox, especially when combined with exposure to infrared heat. If you are informed of the benefits of infrared saunas, then it is likely that you already know that studies have shown the level of toxic waste is up to seven times more prevalent in infrared induced sweat as opposed to that of a traditional sauna. When you add foam rolling to your workouts, you add more detox as well.

Here’s why…

Self-administered, deep tissue foam rolling enhances circulation when pressure is applied to the skin and heat is released. This helps to usher waste out of cells. Organs then work to perform their natural toxin/toxicant removal process. So, the primary way that massage from foam rolling helps to release toxic substances is by improving circulation and then allowing the liver and kidney to do their jobs. In addition to improving blood flow, the practice of foam rolling provides moisturization to the fascia and causes a myofascial release of muscle tension and pain trigger points.

Self myofascial release is a technique that can be performed with a foam roller to smooth out muscle trigger points and areas of tightness. Foam rolling results in short-term flexibility and longer term flexibility when practiced over time.

When we become ill, one of our defenses for fighting off sickness is fever. Warming of the body moves blood toward the skin. This increased circulation of blood to dissipate heat helps to clear out internal organs. In a similar way compared to fever, infrared sauna heat exposure combined with compression and body heat generated through foam rolling improves circulation and oxygenates cells.

As circulation increases your cells expand and toxins that have built up move through the blood to your main filtration centers: The Liver and The Kidneys.

“studies indicate that general massage efforts aiding the removal of metabolic waste may assist in the body’s physiological and psychological healing processes of detoxification.” (1)

Foam rolling can help to elevate your mood too…

Foam rolling forces a kind of mindfulness that is similar to meditation. This mindfulness causes a better connection of the mind to the body part that is being rolled. This tension relieving exercise can create a sense of euphoria as you increase dopamine levels in the brain while you become more present in the moment.

According to a US News report online, “Foam rollers offer many of the same benefits as a sports massage or deep-tissue massage – but without the big price tag. This is why you have to get on board! We only get one body. You should be treating it better than your car or house. Think about what one month, six months or two years from now will look like if you stick with foam rolling. Now, consider all the released toxins, build-ups, inflammation and reduced or non existing issues. You will absolutely feel the difference, I promise – my clients say they've never felt better in their tight areas. Foam rolling also helps you relax and is a great stress reliever.” (2)

Here’s some great advice from alignment expert Lauren Roxburgh:

“By addressing the connective tissue and bringing in fresh oxygenated blood every time you get on the roller, you’re bringing in circulation, you’re smoothing out that density and wringing out the toxins,” says Roxburgh. “Once you’ve gotten rid of the density and the thickness, the muscles are more activated underneath…” (3)

In another article she goes on to say that foam rolling, “frees up blocked energy, wrings out toxins, and thins scar tissue…” (4)

All of the isometric workouts offered at HOTWORX incorporate foam rolling as a part of the cool down, or “landing phase” of the session. The best way to know how it works is to try it. I invite you to experience the feeling after a workout that incorporates foam rolling inside of an infrared sauna!


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Stephen P. Smith, MA
CEO and Creator of HOTWORX, Author, Former National Collegiate Bodybuilding Champion and Arena Football Player, Certified Professional Trainer


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