The bible of sauna therapy is Dr. Nenah Sylver's "The Holistic Handbook of Sauna Therapy". Two reviews from Amazon provide useful information on the book:
Sweat it out: Book outlines how and why of sauna
From Anne Pyburn, reporter for the BlueStone Press
March 7, 2006
Dr. Nenah Sylver says on her website that when she was first invited to write about sauna therapy, she thought she'd be writing a pamphlet. Applying her inquiring mind to the subject of sweat, she soon realized there was far, far more to say than she had realized.
Modern medicine seems to be gradually coming to terms with what traditional cultures from China to Europe to Peru and beyond have long known about disease: It's the toxins, silly. Toxins in our food and in our environment build up in our bodies, resulting in a host of maladies from the annoying to the life threatening. Modern life, of course, exposes us to toxins our ancestors never dreamt of.
Those same cultures, as Sylver makes plain in an early chapter, understand the value of simple sweating--brought on by heating the body--as a way to flush those toxins out and leave room for health to happen. And although saunas may have caught on as an essential component of the modern American health spa or club, it's doubtful that most people really understand the depth and breadth of benefits they can realize by making sauna therapy a regular part of their health regimen, as the Finns have done for generations.
The Holistic Handbook of Sauna Therapy aims to correct that situation, and does so admirably, with chapters on sauna history, how and why we sweat, what's in sweat and why our bodies need to get rid of it--and goes on to discuss heat types, sauna construction, various health conditions that may benefit from sauna therapy and a few that rule it out or require modifications, how to sweat properly, overall detoxification problems, and where to find the nearest sauna or get one of your very own.
The author's intelligence and depth of research are formidable; thankfully, her writing style is not. She manages to be both in-depth and conversational, not to mention extremely convincing--her enthusiasm is backed by exhaustive study, which she clearly enjoyed, and the sense of enjoyment shines through in the text. Sylver has found out something good to share with the rest of us, and does so with panache, sincerity and sensitivity.
Should you read this book? Do you inhabit a human body? (If you don't, and are currently reading this, please contact the Bluestone Press for a feature story.) Would you like to regain or maintain health and vitality for the rest of your years, without relying on the pharmaceutical industry and the wizards of managed care?
The book is available at www.NenahSylver.com, along with a host of other intriguing stuff. Check it out. Enjoy.
Best Book You Will Find on Saunas,
February 10, 2006
G.M. “Hakim” Chishti, ND (San Diego, CA United States)
This book is easy to sum up: without doubt, the most well-researched and comprehensive book on the topic in the English language.
As a physician and author myself, I was absolutely impressed with Dr. Sylver's thorough research and writing style. It is rare to find someone who can write about complex medical and scientific topics in such a clear, even fun way.
This book is a presentation of what is one of the two or three best techniques anyone can use for getting and staying well. Saunas -- applying heat to the body to induce sweating -- has been in continuous use as a healing method for tens of thousands of years. It is applied today in virtually every therapeutic approach to treatment of a wide range of conditions, ailments and diseases. Saunas are affordable enough to be part of everyone's home regimen for health. I recommend this book to everyone interested in discovering one of the best healing methods available, anywhere, at any price.
Hakim Chishti, ND
Traditional Healers Handbook &
Book of Sufi Healing