Healing After You've Quit Smoking
You have decided to quit smoking - congratulations! Your body, lungs (and maybe even family and friends?) will thank you for making this decision.
But, what now?
Well, depending on how long you smoked, the type of cigarettes you smoked, and what health concerns have come up for you, you could have a long road ahead.
Did you know that cigarettes contain the following:
A carcinogen is defined as any substance that can cause or aggravate cancer. Approximately 70 of the chemicals in cigarettes are known to cause cancer.
Benzene can be found in pesticides and gasoline. It is present in high levels in cigarette smoke and accounts for half of all human exposure to this hazardous chemical.
Formaldehyde is a chemical that, in liquid form, is used to preserve dead bodies. In gaseous form, it is responsible for some of the nose, throat, and eye irritation smokers experience when breathing in cigarette smoke.
Vinyl chloride is a man-made chemical that is used to make plastics. Smokers are exposed to it through cigarette filters.
Toxic/heavy metals are metals and metal compounds that have the potential to harm our health when absorbed or inhaled. In very small amounts, some of these metals support life, but when taken in large amounts, they can become toxic.
Arsenic is commonly used in rat poison. Arsenic finds its way into cigarette smoke through some of the pesticides that are used in tobacco farming.
Cadmium is a toxic heavy metal that is used in batteries. Smokers typically have twice as much cadmium in their bodies as nonsmokers.
Radioactive Toxic Metals
There are a couple of toxic metals in cigarette smoke that carry an extra punch of danger for anyone breathing it in because they are radioactive. Lead-210 (Pb-210) and polonium-210 (Po-210) are poisonous, radioactive heavy metals that research has shown to be present in cigarette smoke.
Poison is defined as any substance that, when introduced to a living organism, causes severe physical distress or death. Science has discovered approximately 250 poisonous gases in cigarette smoke.
Ammonia compounds are commonly used in cleaning products and fertilizers. Ammonia is also used to boost the impact of nicotine on manufactured cigarettes.
Carbon monoxide is present in car exhaust and is lethal in large amounts. Cigarette smoke can contain high levels of carbon monoxide.
Hydrogen cyanide was used to kill people in the gas chambers. It can be found in cigarette smoke.
Nicotine is a poison used in pesticides and is the addictive element in cigarettes.
Exposure to any/all of these items over any course of time can cause serious damage to the respiratory system, lungs, and cells of the body, and just because you have decided to quit smoking doesn't mean these toxins will suddenly disappear.
However, there are a few natural ways to heal the respiratory system and detoxify the body.
Halotherapy or salt therapy is said to help to open up the damaged air passages, allowing the person with damage caused by smoking to be able to breath a little easier - this can include people diagnosed with Emphysema or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).
In general, salt cleanses the respiratory system and speeds up the elimination of toxins, as it has the following properties:
Loosens excessive mucus and speeds up mucociliary transport
Removes pathogens (ie., airborne pollen)
Reduces IgE level (immune system oversensitivity)
The anions in the salt particles are extraordinary healers that will, in turn, enhance the immune system. In addition to all these claims, the people who had undergone salt therapy to quit smoking and treat COPD have shown the following changes:
Enhanced lung function
Reduced sneezing, coughing and shortness of breath
Improved immune system
Prolonged remission of sneeze, coughs and pains
Excessive mucus and sticky phlegms in the lungs are cleared
No Frequent visits to hospitals
Reduced intakes of antibiotics, steroids and other drugs and inhalers
Resistance to respiratory diseases
Any amount of prolonged smoking will leave your body filled with harmful toxins. Sauna therapy is well-known for its detoxification abilities, and spending time in one after quitting smoking – especially in the earlier days of quitting – allows the body to purge impurities. Depending on the length of being a smoker, the time it takes to detoxify varies.
Some of the things that infrared saunas can help with that are relevant to detox and addiction recovery are:
Stress and fatigue
Muscle aches, arthritis, and joint relief
Immune system support
Sweating is great for cleansing the body of harmful toxins that have built up under the skin. Perspiration can flush the body of substances such as alcohol, nicotine, cholesterol, salt, and heavy metals such as lead, mercury, nickel, and cadmium. Infrared saunas detoxify the body by promoting the body’s ability to perspire by increasing blood circulation. This is especially helpful during the initial detox on the road to recovery from addiction. Sweating in the sauna allows the body to purge alcohol, nicotine, and other organic and inorganic materials at a much quicker rate than it would normally, leading to a smoother transition period. Sweating also boosts “feel-good” endorphins, which can help take the edge off of the uncomfortable and sometimes painful withdrawal symptoms.
Stress & Fatigue Reduction
Just a few short minutes in the soothing warmth of an infrared sauna can help a person feel relaxed, instantly lifting feelings of anxiety and stress. The effects can last the rest of the day, as the rapid re-cooling of the body leaves one feeling rejuvenated for hours. Infrared saunas stimulate the autonomic nervous system by putting the user into the parasympathetic (AKA “rest and digest”) state which allows the body to relax, heal, and restore.
Relief from Muscle Aches and Joint Pain
Infrared saunas can help relieve inflammation, stiffness, and soreness in muscles and joints by increasing blood circulation. The deep, penetrating infrared heat helps to relax muscles and purge metabolic waste products, all while delivering oxygen-rich blood to the muscles for a speedier recovery. Muscle cramps and inflammation are common side effects of withdrawing from an addictive substance, so infrared saunas can be beneficial in relieving some of this pain.
Immune System Support
Fevers play a huge role in speeding up and strengthening the body’s immune system response. When a person is detoxing, they risk opening themselves up to illnesses more easily because their body is expending all of its energy getting through the symptoms of withdrawal. When your body is fighting off infection, the first line of defense is raising the body’s core temperature — and this is exactly what infrared saunas do!
It's not too late to book yourself a Salt + Sauna Combo session. We also have monthly plans available to accommodate for those looking for consistent scheduling at a discounted price. Learn more on our website.