WHY HOT YOGA?
“Give me a chance to create a fever and I will cure any disease,” said the great ancient physician Parmenides. Many modern giants of biological medicine in Europe, such as the Nobel Prize winner, Dr. A. Lwoff, a famous German cancer specialist, Prof. Werner Zabel, and the director of the most successful cancer clinic in the world, the Ringberg-Klinik, Dr. Josef Issels, use artificially induced fever in their battle against cancer. Hyperthermia in general means a body temperature that is higher than normal. High body temperatures are often caused by illness such as fever or heat stroke. But hyperthermia can also refer to heat treatment – the carefully controlled use of heat for medical purposes. Here, we will focus on how heat is used to treat cancer.
How can hyperthermia be used to treat cancer and other disease?
There are 2 main ways in which hyperthermia can be used:
(from the American Cancer Institutes website)
* Very high temperatures can be used to destroy a small area of cells,
such as a tumor. This is commonly referred to as local hyperthermia or thermal ablation.
* The temperature of a part of the body (or even the whole body) can be raised to a higher than normal level. Although it isn’t hot enough to kill the cells directly, it can allow other types of cancer treatments such as radiation therapy, immunotherapy, or chemotherapy to work better. This is known as either regional hyperthermia or whole body hyperthermia.
A few studies take the body temperature higher, around 107° F, for short periods of time. At least one human study suggests that this may cause certain immune cells to become more active for the next few hours. Other studies are testing hyperthermia and chemotherapy along with other treatments that are designed to boost the activity of the person’s immune system.
Hyperthermia (also called thermal therapy or thermotherapy) is a type of cancer treatment in which body tissue is exposed to high temperatures (104-113°F). Research has shown that high temperatures can damage and kill cancer cells, usually with minimal injury to normal tissues. By killing cancer cells and damaging proteins and structures within cells, hyperthermia may shrink tumors. Whole-body hyperthermia is used to treat metastatic cancer that has spread throughout the body. This can be accomplished by several techniques that raise the body temperature to 104-108°F, including the use of thermal chambers (similar to large incubators) or hot water blankets. And HOT YOGA.
In Our Hot Yoga classes the room is heated to 95-107’ to ensure the greatest benefits to all who attend.
The use of heat to treat disease goes back to ancient times.
Application of fire to cure a breast tumor is recorded in an ancient Egyptian papyrus, and the therapeutic value of elevated body temperature in the form of fever was appreciated by ancient Greek physicians.
‘‘What medicines do not heal, the lance will; what the lance does not heal, fire will,’’
While Parmenides stated,
‘‘Give me a chance to create a fever and I will cure any disease.’’
In the first century AD, Rufus (also written as Refus or Ruphos) of Ephesus advocated fever therapy for a variety of diseases. Hot baths were considered therapeutic in ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, China, and India as they still are in many aboriginal cultures today, along with burying diseased individuals in hot sand or mud. Hot baths and saunas are an integral part of health traditions throughout the Orient, in Indian Ayurvedic medicine, as well as in Eastern European and Scandinavian countries. Following several earlier anecdotal reports, several nineteenth century German physicians observed regression or cure of sarcoma in patients who suffered prolonged, high fevers due to infectious diseases. This led to efforts to induce infectious fevers in cancer patients, for example, by applying soiled bandages or the blood of malaria patients to wounds. At around the same time, treatment of syphilis by placing the patient in a stove-heated room, or a heat box, became commonplace. Successful hyperthermic treatment of other sexually transmitted diseases, such as gonorrhea, and neurological conditions, such as chorea minor, dementia paralytica, and multiple sclerosis along with arthritis, and asthma were widely reported.
Interestingly, it was noted by Italian physicians that upon completion of the draining of the Pontine Swamps near Rome by Mussolini in the 1930s. Not only was malaria eradicated, but the prevalence of cancer in the area was the same as in the rest of Italy, whereas earlier the whole malaria infected region was noted for its absence of cancer. It was concluded that the frequent fever attacks common in malaria stimulated the immune system to prevent the development of cancers. The science of hyperthermia became grounded in the first few decades of the twentieth century when some of the biological effects of elevated body temperature were elucidated and attempts were made to understand and control the therapeutic application of heat. Numerous devices were developed to produce elevated temperatures of the body, by a variety of physical means. After a shift in focus to local and regional hyperthermia, there is now a resurgence of interest in systemic hyperthermia for treatment of cancer, as well as other systemic diseases. Whole-body hyperthermia treatment is now carried out at several university centers in the United States, and Europe, where controlled clinical trials are being carried out. Sweat every day.