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During the interphase stage of the cell cycle (between mitoses), the amount of DNA in the nucleus of cells doubles. The DNA molecule a€?unzipsa€? between the base pairs (A-T and C-G); each single strand then rebuilds the missing strand. In reality, the two sides of the backbone are not the same - there is a 3a€™ end and a 5a€™ end.
Imagine a small manufacturing business with an office where designers work and a factory floor where the products are made. Some proteins are enzymes (functional protein) and some proteins are the building blocks of cells (structural protein such as muscle). DNA is double stranded with a backbone of deoxyribose sugar and the bases adenine and thymine (A-T) and cytosine and guanine (C-G). Messenger RNA is single stranded with a backbone of ribose sugar and the bases uracil instead of thymine. Transfer RNA is single stranded and is only 3 bases bases long; each type of transfer RNA carries a different amino acid. Beadle and Tatum proposed that a gene is responsible for the production of a single protein. This led Beadle and Tatum to propose that each gene codes for a single protein (enzyme) in a series of biochemical reactions. The idea was not without critics however and by the 1950s, Vernon Ingram and others showed, using protein fingerprinting, that genetic variations in proteins (such as in sickle cell haemoglobin) could be limited to single differences in a single polypeptide - leading to a a€?one gene - one polypeptidea€? hypothesis. A change in a single base pair in the DNA molecule will lead to a change in one amino acid making up a protein molecule. Mutations can either have no effect, alter a protein, or prevent the protein from functioning properly or completely.
The Wikipedia article about mutation refers to a wide range of causes, many different kinds of mutations and many effects. If one base pair is lost, then all (or at least most) of the subsequent triplets (and amino acids) will be different from the original. Careful epidemiological studies were carried out after the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of the Second World War. People exposed to ionizing radiation suffer higher rates of leukemia, thyroid, breast, bladder, colon, liver, lung, esophagus, ovarian, multiple myeloma, and stomach cancers. Scientists involved in research into atomic weapons research often suffered extreme damage to their cells and died shortly afterwards due to massive organ failure due to mutations in their body cells. Darwin did not know of Mendela€™s work - that characteristics are passed from one generation to the next unchanged. Sickle-cell anaemia is a mutation - a change in a single DNA nucleotide described above (4.6).
As a result, the sickle-cell trait is more common in parts of the world where malaria is common. In the case of a€?punctuated equilibriuma€? there is little change over time (vertical lines) but from time to time there is rapid change followed by isolation and new species.
The principal evidence given by the proponents of this theory is that there is little or no change in the fossil record of organisms over long period of time, but rapid changes in the fossil record over short periods. It should be noted that Gould and Eldridge did not mean a€?overnighta€? when they suggested rapid change - only a€?rapida€? in the sense of geological time. In any case, Waston and Crick's inquisitive working style ultimately allowed them to determine the DNA structure first, in 1953 -- an achievement that led to their Nobel Prize in 1962.
Whata€™s the significance of this - the cell now has two identical copies of its DNA.A  When the cell nucleus divides in mitosis, each cell receives an identical copy. Messenger RNA is single stranded with a backbone of ribose sugar and the bases uracil instead of thymine.A  (Adenine in DNA pairs with uracil in messenger RNA). This dot point will be (has been) covered in practical lessons.A A  Refer to your Practical Record Book. Proteins are large biologically active molecules.A  Some are enzyme with special shapes and active sites - some form the structure of the organism.
Polypeptides are constructed of smaller units called amino acids.A  Three bases on a tRNA molecules code for one amino acid. This led Beadle and Tatum to propose that each gene codes for a single protein (enzyme) in a series of biochemical reactions.A  In 1945 Beadle suggested that a€?the gene can be visualized as directing the final configuration of a protein molecule and thus determining its specificitya€?.
A change in a single base pair in the DNA molecule will lead to a change in one amino acid making up a protein molecule.A A  Mutations are caused by radiation, viruses and mutagenic chemicals, as well as errors that occur during meiosis or DNA replication. Wilhelm RA¶ntgen discovered x-rays in 1895.A  Shortly after it was realised that x-rays caused skin ulcers and cancers. Careful epidemiological studies were carried out after the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of the Second World War.A  These showed a dose-response relationship and suggested that there is no threshold below which ionizing radiation is harmless. Scientists involved in research into atomic weapons research often suffered extreme damage to their cells and died shortly afterwards due to massive organ failure due to mutations in their body cells.A  The two American scientists who died this way were Harry K. Notice that the vertical axis is a€?timea€?.A  The horizontal axis, a€?morphologya€? is the physical characteristics of organisms. With a€?phyletic gradualisma€? species gradually change over time.A  Sometimes, because of populations of a species become isolated from each other, gradual genetic change leads to the development of two species. As collectors, dealers, and curators across the world make plans to attend the Spring 1999 a€?Asia Weeka€? in New York, they will notice that for the first time in recent memory neither Sothebya€™s nor Christiea€™s has scheduled a specialized auction of Chinese paintings. In my former position as Director of the Chinese Painting Department at Sothebya€™s I devoted much time and energy and more than a decade of my life to establish and maintain New York as a major center of the international Chinese painting market. I remember clearly the first time I set foot in the old Sotheby Parke Bernet on Madison Avenue. The sale was held on November 2, 1979 and was a watershed event for the market for Chinese paintings in America, as well as the beginning of my career as a Chinese art dealer. With the support of James Lally, then head of the Chinese Works of Art Department, we introduced a full range of Chinese paintings and calligraphy, including purely decorative works, modern and contemporary paintings, as well as pre-modern Chinese paintings, to a small but enthusiastic American audience, and in doing so helped to establish a legitimate price structure for individual artists and for the various types of anonymous Chinese paintings. In May 1980, Sothebya€™s Hong Kong held its first sale of modern Chinese paintings, with Paula taking responsibility for the offerings. The decade of the 1980s saw the market for Chinese paintings increase exponentially due to a confluence of a number of factors.
In order to accommodate regional tastes, both Sothebya€™s and Christiea€™s adopted, for the most part, the strategy of offering the best 19th and 20th century Chinese paintings in Hong Kong while holding sales of Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasty paintings in New York. The most rewarding aspect of working at one of the major auction houses, at least from the standpoint of an expert department, is the ability to discover and make available to the public previously unknown or little-known works of art. Readera€™s Digest has recently been the subject of many art columns because of the highly successful auction held at Sothebya€™s featuring a significant portion of their corporate holdings of Modern and Contemporary paintings. The international character of the Chinese paintings market encouraged a global approach to marketing, in which Hong Kong and New York auctions complemented rather than competed with one another. Another important work of Yuan dynasty calligraphy appeared in Sothebya€™s New York June 1985 auction of Fine Chinese Paintings.
The great majority of works bought and sold at auction are done so anonymously, particularly in a relatively new market such as Chinese paintings. The most exciting collection I ever worked on, however, was perhaps more interesting because of its owner than for its contents, although the collection did contain several masterpieces. At this time Zhang Xueliang was technically still under house arrest but, as he had already outlived most of his detractors and he posed no threat to the government of the Republic of China, he led a fairly unfettered existence and was even permitted to visit friends and go out to dinner. By the time Zhang Xueliang was finally released from house arrest in 1988, many of his best paintings had already been sold through New York auctions, but he still retained in Taiwan a large number of paintings and calligraphy, including hundreds of fan paintings.
The success of the Dingyuanzhai auction was the culmination of a trend which had begun in the mid-eighties--the dominance of Taiwanese buyers in the Chinese art market.
Taiwanese buyers were not a factor in the sale of a 17th century masterpiece six months later at Sothebya€™s. The sale of the Wu Bin handscroll in December 1989, was clearly the highlight of my career at Sothebya€™s. There were many reasons why I resigned from my position at Sothebya€™s in October 1992, after turning down a significant promotion.
In 1995 Christiea€™s began producing semi-annual sales of a€?Fine Classical Chinese Paintingsa€? in Hong Kong, based on the presumption that the majority of buyers were in Asia and that holding sales closer to home would allow Christiea€™s to take advantage of the a€?Pacific rima€? economic boom. Yet, in the six years that have passed since my resignation, both Sothebya€™s and Christiea€™s have held auctions in New York and they have continued to offer a number of excellent works.
Nevertheless, there is no lack of interest for Chinese paintings in America, nor is there a lack of understanding and expertise.
As we enter a new year that finds parts of Asia, including Hong Kong, in the midst of the regiona€™s biggest economic decline in decades, we may question the wisdom and timing of Sothebya€™s choice to put all its Chinese painting eggs in one Asian basket. If you would like a printable version of this article in pdf format, please request one by email. Shadow Skeletons and New Realitiesa€“Guohua and Cultural Identity (Reprinted from Kaikodo Journal VI, October 1997, pp. As the dawn of a new millenium rapidly approaches, modern and contemporary Chinese art is receiving an unprecedented amount of attention throughout Asia and the West. There is now a thriving art market for contemporary Chinese paintings, done in both traditional and Western styles. As we try to absorb this impressive flood of images and information about 20th century Chinese art we are suddenly encountering, and before we begin to assess the artistic and art-historical merits of these works of art, it is useful to present a brief outline of some of the major issues that have concerned Chinese artists during the last century and identify some of the stylistic trends that have shaped the context in which the art of this period was and is being created.
During the past one hundred years the political, social, and economic systems of China have been transformed on an unprecedented scale. Kanga€™s views represented the prevailing attitude among progressive Chinese intellectuals who associated modernization with Westernization and Westernization with the development of science and technology.
Many artists chose not to abandon completely traditional Chinese painting but tried instead to make adjustments in subject matter or style in order to broaden its appeal and update its appearance, making it more responsive to the perceived needs of contemporary society.
Most critics, including Kang Youwei, advocated a synthesis of Western and Chinese art: a€?if we adhere to the old way without change, Chinese painting will become extinct. Kanga€™s approach was based on a formulation that he and the other a€?self-strengthenersa€? of the unsuccessful 1898 reform movement had advocated as a solution to most of Chinaa€™s ills. During the first decades of this century, numbers of young painters took up Kanga€™s challenge in earnest. Although agreeing on the general premise that Chinese painting needed an infusion of Western artistic know-how in order to advance into the modern age, the three leaders of this Westernizing movement, Xu, Liu, and Lin, did not see eye-to-eye on much else.
The arguments among these three and their followers as to which foreign models to follow were as vehement as those waged by traditional painters about whether to imitate the Four Wangs (as did Wu Hufan and his students) or Shitao and Bada Shanren (as did Zhang Daqian and his followers). The decades of the 1920s and 1930s were a period of great creativity and artistic experimentation. By the end of the 1930s the future of Chinese art looked promising, albeit somewhat confused. The politicization of all aspects of the processes of creating, exhibiting, publishing or otherwise disseminating art in the Peoplea€™s Republic of China is discussed in several recent studies and doubtless will continue to be a subject of inquiry for many years to come. Mao Zedong, in his 1942 a€?Talks at the Yana€™an Conference on Literature and Art,a€? had clearly stated his belief that art must serve the people, and that there could not be art for arta€™s sake.
Each individual is born into a culture, and its orientations and basic beliefs shape him and remain deeply rooted in his personality all of his life.
LeShan and Margenau are concerned with the inherent limitations of the physical sciences to adequately describe and explain all manner of phenomena, particularly as new scientific discoveries have revealed microcosms and macrocosms for which standard Newtonian assumptions about time and space do not hold true. In Maoist China the art bureaucracy attempted to condition societya€™s perception of reality by strictly limiting the artistsa€™ range of acceptable themes and styles, and by short-circuiting the natural feedback process through the stringent control of all means of criticism. Many early attempts to synthesize guohua techniques and approaches with new a€?revolutionarya€? subject matter failed for precisely this reason. Among all artists, traditional painters had the most difficulty modifying or updating their artistic techniques in order to satisfy the needs of the new society as envisioned by the leaders of the Peoplea€™s Republic. Although the intent of the theoreticians, such as Kang Youwei and Cai Yuanpei, was to modernize Chinaa€™s art following Western models, Xu Beihonga€™s style of academic realism was conservative, perhaps already outdated, by the time it reached China.
Western art was of course undergoing its own revolution, reflecting new concepts of reality engendered by Einsteina€™s Theory of Relativity, quantum mechanics, particle physics and other scientific discoveries and philosophical intuitions. It was the Chinese artists working in Taiwan and abroad, including Zhang Daqian (1899-1983), Wang Jiqian (C.C.
Working outside the constraints of the Maoist regime in relatively free artistic environments, these artists have made great strides in creating a true synthesis of traditional Chinese and modern Western painting styles. The current exhibition presents the work of a new generation of traditional, guohua painters, active in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and overseas. This generation of younger artists grew up at a time in which, when political realities renders questions of cultural identity unavoidable. Even for those who have practiced continuously the discipline of traditional Chinese painting, the period of the 1980s and 1990s seems like a new beginning.
One may question the extent to which guohua has progressed in the five decades since the founding of the Peoplea€™s Republic, or for that matter, in the nearly nine decades since the fall of the Qing dynasty, but, given the extent and intensity of the criticism aimed at traditional Chinese painting and everything that it stood for, and with the recent availability of so many other artistic options, it is perhaps surprising that the art form has persisted at all. In an age of rapid information exchange and an increasingly global popular culture, it is very possible that a truly international style of art, in oils, acrylics or, more likely, some yet-to-be-invented digital medium, will be developed in the 21st century. A multicultural environment will recognize shared cultural values but it will also embrace cultural differences and encourage the preservation and development of traditional art forms. I discovered a remarkable collection in Germany which yielded a significant number of important works of Chinese painting, calligraphy, and ink rubbings, which were sold off gradually throughout the decade. Sothebya€™s December 1984 auction of Fine Chinese Paintings included several important works dating from the 13th century to the present. France was also the source of an intriguing album of ten leaves ascribed to the great Southern Song dynasty painter Ma Yuan sold in December 1986.
Like others of the time, he thought that the characteristics of organisms are a a€?blenda€? of those of it parents. Already a Nobel laureate, Pauling may have been the favorite, but the discovery would ultimately be made by his British counterparts.
Like others of the time, he thought that the characteristics of organisms are a a€?blenda€? of those of it parents.A  He also thought that acquired characteristics could be inherited - that is, that birds that did not often use their wings could, over many generations lose the ability to fly. Already a Nobel laureate, Pauling may have been the favorite, but the discovery would ultimately be made by his British counterparts.A A  Rosalind Franklin and Maurice Wilkins were trying to identify the structure by studying X-ray diffractions of the DNA molecule. The following information has been compiled to help spread the good news with the hope of placing more people onA the path to greater health, relaxation and happiness. Sothebya€™s has effectively closed the department in New York, referring prospective sellers to their Hong Kong office. The recent decision by the two leading auction houses to eliminate or significantly reduce sales in New York has prompted me to review briefly the history of Chinese paintings at auction and to reflect upon the current state of the market. It was Autumn of 1979 and I had been approached by Paula Gasparello of the Chinese Works of Art Department to assist in the cataloging of a number of important Ming and Qing dynasty paintings from the estate of Ruth Spelman. In October our fledgling New York department produced an unprecedented sale of 145 works by living Chinese artists, which featured paintings by Zhang Daqian, Cheng Shifa, Huang Junbi, Li Keran, Wang Jiqian, Li Kuchan, Yu Chengyao, Qian Songyan, Xie Zhiliu, Xu Bangda, and others. In the West, particularly in America, academic interest in pre-modern Chinese painting was at a peak and a number of important museum exhibitions--such as a€?Eight Dynasties of Chinese Painting,a€? organized jointly by the Cleveland Museum of Art and the Nelson Gallery-Atkins Museum, Kansas City--provided increased access to an ever-more appreciative public. This allowed for two major sales per year in each location and enabled both buyers and sellers to consolidate their efforts and focus their energies on those works that most interested them.
While at Sothebya€™s I had the good fortune to bring to the market quite a few important works of Chinese painting and calligraphy, many with obscure or unexpected provenances.
Because the Readera€™s Digest collection of European paintings was so well known, its appearance on the auction block was accompanied by much fanfare and anticipation, but the art world at large is unaware of the quiet role that the collection played in the development of the Chinese painting market in New York. In addition, collectors and dealers in Hong Kong, taking note of the positive results of the auctions of pre-modern Chinese paintings, began to consign works for sale in New York. One of the early successes from this consignment was the sale, on June 13, 1984, of an album of twenty-five letters by Song and Yuan dynasty calligraphers).
Expertise and administrative support were shared between the two auction sites, as were salaries and expenses.
Zhao Mengfua€™s 1303 a€?Record of the Repair of the Three Purities Palace at the Temple of the Mysterious and Marvelousa€? (Xuanmiaoguan chongxiu sanqingdian zhiji), a handscroll written in regular script, was consigned by a young Chinese gentleman who had acquired it in France from a French family who knew nothing of its origin or its potential historical or monetary value.
The consignor of this set of landscapes was a wealthy Parisian who was a major collector of modern European paintings and was thus well known to the Sothebya€™s Paris office. Part of the attraction of the process is the element of surprise; one never knows what may turn up in the next sale. I refer to the collection of Zhang Xueliang, known to students of modern Chinese history as the a€?Young Marshall.a€? Zhang is the son of the powerful Manchurian warlord Zhang Zuolin, who was assassinated in 1928. An intermediary had brought two fine 18th century paintings into the Sothebya€™s Taipei office. I met him in person for the first time, along with Rita Wong, and for the next ten years we had many opportunities to visit with him and his wife Edith and we shared several meals with them.
In consultation with Rita Wong he made the bold decision to offer the remainder of his collection at public auction in Taipei, using his studio name Dingyuanzhai. Collectors and dealers from Taiwan were already extremely active in most facets of the market, especially porcelain, jadeite jewelry, and modern paintings. Both of these paintings, as well as most of the top lots in the sale, were purchased by Taiwanese collectors. Wu Bina€™s a€?Ten Views of a Fantastic Rocka€? is one of the most extraordinary Chinese paintings ever to appear on the auction market.
The Chinese paintings market was strong but just as the demand for paintings and calligraphy was reaching a peak, the availability of good quality paintings had greatly diminished.
To some extent, I was not happy with the way the company was being run and I was dissatisfied with the direction in which both auction houses were heading.
The sales were successful but they had the negative effect of competing with New York for both consignments and resources. Christiea€™s, in particular, has been successful because of major consignments, such as the group of important Song dynasty fan paintings from the collection of Stephen Juncunc. In fact, the level of sophistication among Western buyers (including overseas Chinese) is such that they recognize and demand high quality examples of works by both major and minor artists of all periods.
Exhibitions of works in all media by Chinese artists from mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong (once again a part of China after a century of British rule), and overseas have been mounted or are being planned throughout Asia, Europe, and the United States.
Auctions of this material are now held on a regular basis in many cities throughout China as well as in New York, Hong Kong, Taipei, and Singapore. Even before the Imperial monarchy that had ruled China for several thousand years was completely overthrown in 1911, the Chinese had begun to assess their inherited traditions and values and to question their very cultural identity. Traditional Chinese painting (guohua)2 especially as practiced after the Song dynasty, was specifically criticized for its lack of realism or naturalism, and the conscious disregard by its practitioners of the harsh realities of contemporary society in favor of a rarefied vision of an ideal Confucian society which had never existed in fact. This colloquialization (to borrow a phrase describing a similar but more far-reaching movement in literature) of Chinese painting is epitomized by the work of the great Qi Baishi (1864-1955), whose colorful depictions of common objects from everyday life enlivened the tradition through the introduction of a colloquial vocabulary of familiar images. Some, like Fu Baoshi (1904-1965) and the Gao brothers (founders of the Lingnan School), traveled to Japan to investigate the process by which Japanese artists were modernizing their native traditions by a selective incorporation of Western techniques and styles. History would note that, at least for the short term, Xu Beihonga€™s academic realism ultimately won out, although more for political and ideological than artistic reasons.
Artists were free to work in all media, which they did in an incredible range of styles and with tremendous passion and dedication. 8 Although many questions remain and many individual stories have yet to be recounted, it is clear that one of the casualties of mainland art policy from the 1950s to the 1980s was Chinese traditional painting. During the 1950s Mao began to make good on his promise by revamping the entire system of art education and production.
If he moves into a new culture with other orientations and basic beliefs, the two versions of reality are dissonant within him.
The sources from which a field grew remain within it as a shadow skeleton, and they partly define what is real and what is true, what is sense and what is nonsensea€“in short, what is the basic shape or essence of reality.
Alternate realities and multiple truths cannot be understood through their physical means alone.
In periods when control over the arts was most absolute (during the many anti-rightist campaigns, for example) artists were not only told what subjects to paint but were also given stylistic directives.
Obviously, Western and Chinese painting had very different roots and very different evolutions; they are the products of completely dissimilar world views and emerge from disparate cultural contexts.
The repressive policies of the PRC ensured that this type of painting, with some ideological a€?improvements,a€? became the official means of artistic expression. Just when Chinaa€™s artists were mastering a style of painting which they thought was modern, Western artists and critics were rejecting both the style and the cultural construct it represented, and at a time when Western artists such as Picasso, Paul Klee, Mark Toby, and Jackson Pollock were recognizing and embracing non-Western artistic traditions, including Chinese painting and calligraphy, the Chinese themselves were declaring some of these same traditions invalid.
It is thus upon the foundation of their work that the future of guohua is likely to be built.
It is true of course that guohua represents only one aspect of Chinese painting, which, in turn, is only one aspect of Chinese art as a whole.
Their relationship to the the historical past of China and its traditional values depends to a great extent on where they were raised.
This new generation of artists approaches the tradition with fresh eyes and renewed energy. It has been nearly one hundred years since Kang Youwei issued his challenge to a€?begin a new era by combining Chinese and Western art,a€? and now, a century later, it can be argued that not only have these lofty ideals not been fully attained, but the fundamental questions of artistic and cultural identity remain largely unanswered.
It is worth noting, however, that as we enter the 21st century, the global context in which we live is vastly different than the one in which Kang Youwei, Cai Yuanpei or Xu Beihong existed. As popular culture becomes more global it also becomes more homogenized and the unique characteristics of a particular culture or ethnic group become all the more distinctive and significant. I use the terms guohua and a€?traditional Chinese paintinga€? interchangeably, to refer to work painted with traditional Chinese pigments on traditional paper or silk.
Kang Youwei, Travels in Eleven European Countries, quoted in Lawrence Wu, a€?Kang Youwei and the Westernisation of Modern Chinese Art,a€? Orientations (March 1990), pp. Quoted in Michael Sullivan, Art and Artists of Twentieth-Century China, Berkeley, Los Angeles, London, 1966, p. Lawrence Leshan and Henry Margenau, Einsteina€™s Space and Van Gogha€™s Sky: Physical Reality and Beyond, New York, 1982, p. But Jim Watson and Francis Crick studied a little bit of everything -- including, to the consternation of some, the work of their competitors. Christiea€™s plans to include a small selection of paintings within their auction of Chinese Works of Art in New York, followed by a larger specialized sale of Chinese Paintings in April in Hong Kong. The results of this auction provided compelling evidence that high quality Chinese paintings, rigorously catalogued, could be sold successfully at auction and demonstrated that there was sufficient institutional and private interest in the United States to warrant serious attention on the part of the auction houses. Many of these artists were unfamiliar to western collectors and few had ever been previously offered at auction. Wong as a specialist in Chinese painting and a mutually beneficial rivalry developed between the two houses. In the Asia--especially Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Singapore--economic prosperity, political stability, and increased education created an environment conducive to collecting art.
In cooperation with their regional offices and representatives throughout the United States and abroad, the auction houses took advantage of their broad networks of contacts to locate potential sellers and to attract potential buyers.
In June of 1982, when the Chinese painting department was struggling to gain credibility and recognition, Sotheby Parke Bernet offered for sale an extremely important painting by the most significant living Chinese painter of the time, Zhang Daqian.
By 1984 the increased supply of good works, coupled with evidence of a modest but increasing demand internationally, justified semi-annual specialized sales of Chinese paintings and calligraphy accompanied by the publication of separate catalogues.
Included among the leaves were examples of writing by the Song dynasty writers Liu Wuyan, Wang Sheng, Wu Ju, and Fan Chengda, and the Yuan dynasty calligraphers Zhao Mengfu, Xianyu Shu , Qiu Yuan, Zhang Yu, and Ni Zan. Signed Hengshan Wen Bi, and inscribed with a date corresponding to October 30, 1499, this short handscroll was accompanied by a most impressive series of colophons written by many of the luminaries of late 15th-early 16th century Suzhou, including Shen Zhou, Wu Kuan, Zhu Yunming, Wang Chong, Chen Shun, Peng Nian, Wang Guxiang , Wen Peng and others. The system required cooperation and coordination and it succeeded because the individuals involved were firmly committed to the success of the enterprise. The new owner knew little more, except that it bore the signature of the famous Yuan dynasty literatus and he purchased it on the chance that it might be genuine.
She could not remember where or when she had acquired the album but since it did not fit in with the rest of her collection she decided to sell it. Buyers are always looking to acquire a€?fresh goodsa€? that have not appeared on the market before.
After his fathera€™s death, Zhang Xueliang took control over much of northeastern China and was a major player in the subsequent period of warfare, politics, and intrique which shaped the face of modern China.
Prior to this occasion I had seen very few good Chinese paintings in private hands in Taiwan. He was always excited to talk about Chinese art, collecting, and his longtime friendship with Zhang Daqian, who had died in 1983. Although I had already resigned my position at Sothebya€™s, at Zhanga€™s request I assisted in the cataloging of the sale. During the late eighties and early nineties they became increasingly prominent bidders in New York sales of pre-modern paintings. Measuring more than thirty feet in length, the painting consists of ten sections, each depicting a specific view of a scholara€™s rock, as viewed from different angles.
We had developed an international interest in an art form that had previously seemed to many to be unapproachable and unsaleable. Many of the new buyers--I hesitate to call them collectors--seemed to be in a hurry to buy a€?masterpieces,a€? major paintings by major artists.
The nature of the auction house and its role in the art market had changed over the years; it had become much more of a retail outlet and had lost much of its exclusivity. The establishment of regular auction sales of Chinese painting and calligraphy in Beijing, Shanghai, and elsewhere within mainland China, as well as in Taiwan, has further diluted the supply of quality works available to the New York-based auctions. The Chang Family Han Lu Studio Collection, sold by Christiea€™s New York in September 1996, featured a rare group of letters by Song dynasty writers in addition to several fine paintings and calligraphic rubbings. If the market rejects poor works of questionable attribution, that, in fact, is a positive indication for the field of Chinese paintings as a whole.
In New York, the Metropolitan Museum of Art has recently opened their renovated Chinese Galleries and, for the first time, thanks to a generous gift from Robert H.
Specialized galleries have been established all over the world and several dealers in ancient Chinese art (including Kaikodo) have begun to feature contemporary paintings as well. The type of guohua practiced by the literati (wenrenhua) was severely attacked by many critics, among the most vocal of whom was the reformer Kang Youwei (1858-1927), who accused: a€?Four or five hundred years ago Chinese painting was the best.
However, Qi did not sacrifice such traditional aesthetic values as excellence in brushwork, simplicity of form, and directness of expression; on the contrary, his work may be seen as advancing the art form in each of these aspects. Some of the most famous, including Xu Beihong (1895-1953), Liu Haisu (1896-1994), and Lin Fengmian (1900-1991), went to Europe to experience Western culture at first hand and to learn what they could about European art.
Liu Haisu, renowned for being the first in China to employ nude models for life drawing in his art school, was enamored of the Impressionists and post-Impressionists. Realistic oil painting, primarily figural themes, gradually incorporating more and more elements of the Soviet Socialist Realist style, became the new orthodoxy in China. Even after he is a firmly functioning member of the new culture, the orientations of his beginnings still influence him. When the field develops so that new data contradict these old beliefs, a basic conflict develops in the field of knowledge. Art, parapsychology, ethics, and consciousness all play a part in comprehending these new realities.
Only a chameleon-like illustrator could successfully create in such an environment, so it is not surprising that much of the propaganda art of the period, in style as well as function, is closer to advertising in the West than it is to fine art.
That the two worlds should come together in this age of instantaneous global communication should not surprise us, but one of the most curious, even ironic aspects of this cross-cultural exchange is the way in which contemporary Chinese and Western artists and audiences tend to view the othera€™s culture.
No attempt was made to keep up with new developments in Western science and art; in fact, these were suppressed just as strenuously as traditional painting was being repressed.
While many European and American artists explored alternate views of reality, through investigations into Eastern spirituality and art, (assisted, in some cases, by mind-altering drugs), the mainland Chinese artists found themselves mired in Marxist dogma and bound to a tradition of painting that was trapped in a reality-warp.
Artists working in mainland China today are, at least for the time being, more free to express themselves than they have been for many decades. Perhaps they have not all attained the same level of technical prowess that painters of Imperial China would have developed through years of copying calligraphy and old master paintings, but neither are they burdened with the unenviable task of upholding Chinaa€™s artistic legacy and maintaining her outmoded cultural values. Western domination of technology and the world economy is a remnant of her colonial past, and economists, politicians, and businessman now increasingly look eastward for expanding economies and emerging markets. Cross-cultural artistic exchanges will be so commonplace and will occur so quickly, and stylistic influences will be so vast and complex that regional or even national characteristics will be difficult, if not impossible, to discern. As cultures co-mingle rather than collide the purity of each artistic tradition is free to be rediscovered.
Andrews, Painters and Politics in the Peoplea€™s Republic of China, 1949-1979, Berkeley, Los Angeles, London, 1994, p. Laing, The Winking Owl: Art in the Peoplea€™s Republic of China, Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1988. Using a far infrared sauna can help strengthen the bodya€™s immune system by stimulating increased production of white blood cells by the bone marrow and killer T-cells by the thymus.A 2. Gasparello, who introduced me a few of her colleagues, including James Lally and Carol Conover.


Chinese Painting began to solidify its position in the art market, and was listed as a separate expert department at Sotheby Parke Bernet beginning in 1979 (although internally Chinese Paintings was under the jurisdiction of the Chinese Works of Art Department).
Although neither sale was a financial triumpha€“the entire New York auction grossed just over $100,000a€“they paved the way for specialized sales of modern and contemporary Chinese paintings in both Hong Kong and New York and established the precedent for holding regular auctions in both locations.
For the next decade auction became one of the primary sources of Chinese painting and calligraphy for private collectors, dealers, and institutions.
Twentieth century painting, in particular, satisfied a demand on the part of new collectors for art that was both Chinese and modern.
The success of Sothebya€™s Chinese Painting Department was linked, to a great extent, to the overwhelming dominance of our worldwide Chinese Works of Art Department led by James Lally in New York and Julian Thompson in London.
The monumental six-panel work a€?Giant Lotusa€? had been purchased by Readera€™s Digest in 1963 from an exhibition of the artista€™s work held at Hirschl and Adler Gallery in New York.
The album was of great importance, for both artistic and historical reasons, but since no work of this type had ever been offered at auction before, the presale estimate was a conservative $30,000-50,000. The inclusion of the painting in the Imperial Collection of the Qianlong and Jiaqing Emperors, attested to by the six Imperial seals affixed to the painting and its appearance in the catalogue Shiqu baoji sanbian, added luster to its provenance. I had the good fortune to work directly with many capable and dedicated individuals, including Tammy Mui and Maria Chu in Hong Kong, and Angela Hsu and Laura Whitman in New York, all of whom began as administrators and became specialists in their own right. Based on the collectorsa€™ seals and colophons, the scroll displayed a magnificent provenance.
There was much presale discussion among scholars as to the authenticity of the paintings, four of which bear the signature of Ma Yuan. Sellers, on the other hand, appreciate the ability to dispose of works in a discreet manner. He is most renowned (or notorious, depending on your point of view) for his participation in the Xia€™an Incident of 1936 whereby he captured Guomindang leader Chiang Kai-shek and forced him to negotiate with the Chinese Communist Party to create a united front to fight the Japanese.
Although there were no collectorsa€™ seals on the paintings, my experience told me that such high quality works, beautifully mounted, must be from a serious collection.
The auction of Fine Chinese Paintings from the Dingyuanzhai Collection was held in Taipei on Sunday, April 10, 1994. The ten images of the rock are interspersed with elaborate written descriptions composed and transcribed by the scholar-official Mi Wanzhong.
Even as I revelled in a genuine sense of accomplishment, I was wary of the future of the department. They were generally more interested in the artista€™s name than in the quality of the work. Both Sothebya€™s and Christiea€™s had undergone a gradual but undeniable shift in emphasis from expertise to marketing. During the nineties, the New York auction rooms have been increasingly dominated by international dealers, such as Paul Moss, Harold Wong, and Kaikodo, representing themselves, institutions, and private clients all over the world. To blame every poor sales result on a€?the marketa€? shifts attention away from the real issues, which are the quality and quantity of the offerings. Ellsworth, Chinese paintings from the 19th and 20th centuries are prominently displayed alongside masterpieces from earlier periods. They all progress along with the progress of science.a€?4 This emphasis on progress and the sincere belief that Western art (as the Chinese perceived it) was inherently more scientific and modern (and therefore more desirable) presented a serious challenge to advocates of literati painting and nearly signaled the end of the guohua tradition altogether. The degree of Qi Baishia€™s success is indicated most clearly by the fact that his style forms the basis of much of the guohua produced during the past fifty years. There is great difficulty and struggle in recognizing, organizing, and solving the new problems presented by the conflict of the new data and the old beliefs and basic orientations. While much of the booka€“which deals primarily with scientific theorya€“is likely to be incomprehensible to most specialists of art, its observations are relevant here for at least two important insights. Not since the 1920s and 1930s, have young Chinese artists been able to explore such a broad range of stylistic and theoretical options and goals.
Guohua need no longer be seen as the only medium capable of expressing the cultural identity of China because it is now clearer than ever before that there is no single identity and no single tradition that represents all Chinese. Many aspects of popular culture have become globalized and most large companies have internationalized.
Artists from all over the world will be able to express their individual perceptions of new global realities in a truly international, multicultural forum.
Traditional Chinese painting can coexist with works in other media, as they exist today or as they will appear in the future, and it need not replace nor be replaced by any other art form. Compare my naive and overly optimistic study Painting in the Peoplea€™s Republic of China: the Politics of Style, Boulder, 1980.
Far infrared rays improve blood circulation, stimulate endorphins, lower lactic acid, kill certain bacteria and parasites, and burn calories. The following year I joined Paula Gasparello as a full time specialist in Chinese painting and we began to hold regular auctions of Chinese paintings and calligraphy.
Although the art market as a whole was not particularly strong in the early 1980s the Chinese department, fueled in part by a burgeoning Hong Kong economy, held its own. Sothebya€™s early entry into the market in Asia, particularly Hong Kong, gave us a distinct advantage in cultivating new buyers and sourcing potential consignors of paintings as well as ceramics and works of art. The curators of the Readera€™s Digest collection had no knowledge or interest in Chinese art, even contemporary Chinese art, and they decided to sell the work at auction. After intense competition, primarily among overseas Chinese collectors, the album sold for $297,000, nearly ten times the presale estimate and easily a world auction record for Chinese calligraphy at the time. The scroll had been consigned by a young Hong Kong collector and it was finally hammered down for $187,000 to a new North American collector bidding against stiff international competition.
Additionally I received tremendous support from my colleagues in the international Chinese Works of Art Department and in Sothebya€™s regional offices, especially Rita Wong, Suzanne Tory, Meeseen Loong, Tony Omura, Timothy Sammons, Jonathan Bennett, David Priestley, and Patti Lam, all of whom were helpful in finding consignments as well as in assisting collectors and cultivating new buyers. Opinions ranged from a€?genuinea€? to a€?Southern Song, but not Ma Yuan,a€? to a€?Ming Academy work,a€? to a€?17th century copy,a€? but in the end the album was sold for $319,000 to a Chinese-American collector who believes it to be a genuine work of the Song master.
In the case of famous works or well-established collections, however, the auction houses can also capitalize on the cachet and reputation associated with the individual work or collection. Chiang did give lip-service to the united front effort and flew back with Zhang to Nanjing where Chiang was given a heroa€™s welcome. The presale exhibition was extremely well attended and the salesroom was packed with serious collectors of Chinese art as well as dozens of unfamiliar faces and first-time buyers who were not really art collectors but were aware of the identity of the owner and hoped to come away with a piece of history. Following the painting are lengthy colophons by Ming and Qing dynasty writers, including Dong Qichang.
I found it increasingly difficult to procure enough authentic paintings and calligraphy to satisfy their needs. But to dwell on these philosophical differences would present a negative picture of what I saw as a very positive decision and a logical career progression. Taiwan buyers are not as active as they once were but they are beginning to be replaced by a new generation of collectors in mainland China.
Selectivity is the key to survival, for auction houses and dealers alike, because selectivity is the key to collecting. Not only were Chinese artists and intellectuals largely cut off from their own past, they were also isolated from artistic and scientific developments in the rest of the world. In the struggle confusions arise, and there is a loss of communication among many of the students of the field of knowledge. 1936), and others, who discovered and pursued the underlying intellectual and spiritual connections between traditional Chinese painting and 20th century Western art, particularly abstract, non-objective painting.
An accurate assessment of the visual arts in todaya€™s China would require investigation into an unprecedented variety of media including oil painting, acrylics, watercolor, gouache, sculpture, woodblock prints, ceramics, textiles, film, graphic design, and installation art in addition to the traditional forms of Chinese painting and calligraphy.
Hong Kong and overseas Chinese have had to grapple with complex questions of identity on a daily basis. It is equally clear, however, that, in spite of all attempts to suppress it, traditional Chinese painting is both resilient and relevant. Young people the world over listen to the same music, eat the same hamburgers, and wear the same sneakers. Guohua will survive because of its unique and timeless artistic qualities: expressiveness of line, simplicity of form, and purity of spirit.
Proponents of hyperthermia, also known as fever therapy, maintain that using far infrared energy to therapeutically induce higher body temperatures helps fight infections and even cancer. Ma, Director of Chinese Paintings at Christiea€™s, is determined to maintain a market presence in New York, it would appear that a corporate decision has been made to eventually shift the sale of virtually all Chinese paintings, both classical and modern, to Hong Kong. I readily agreed to research and catalogue the sixteen paintings and one calligraphy, which included works by Wen Zhengming, Lu Zhi, Wang Wen, Wen Boren, Ju Jie, Lan Ying, Wang Duo, Wang Jian, Fa Ruozhen, Wang Hui, Wang Yuanqi, Gao Qipei, Huang Shen, Zheng Xie, Li Fangying, and Luo Ping.
By early 1982 economic pressures led to a significant number of layoffs at Sotheby Parke Bernet.
It allowed elderly collectors to dispose of works they no longer needed and families to discreetly disperse inherited private collections. The entire auction totaled nearly $800,000, well below the $1,200,000 presale low estimate for the 126 lots, but encouraging nonetheless because nearly 80% (by value) was sold and a number of pieces brought strong prices. Later, the Ming scholar Chen Jiru attached a colophon and the painter Cheng Zhengkui affixed his seal, and it then found its way into the hands of two of the premier collectors of the 17th and 18th centuries, Liang Qingbiao, and An Qi, who recorded it in his Moyuan huiguan. Nestled amongst the leaves of the album was a short note written in French which indicated that the work had been purchased from a soldier who had fought in China, presumably during the Boxer Rebellion of 1900. Paintings that have been exhibited in museums or have appeared in serious publications tend to be more marketable. Zhang Xuelianga€™s efforts to unify China against a common enemy, however, were rewarded with a swift court-martial and more than five decades of house arrest.
Without commenting in detail about either of the works I said simply: a€?The owner of these paintings must have many good things. The sale was a tremendous success and Zhang Xueliang, along with his loving wife Edith, moved to Hawaii where they remain today as Zhang begins his second century on this earth.
Wu Bina€™s name does not figure prominently in traditional Chinese accounts of painting history but he is highly regarded by Western scholars. There was now firm evidence that the right Chinese painting in the right economic environment could sell for more than a million dollars, but it had to be just the right painting offered at just the right time.
Perhaps my own notions of quality were too high and my standards for judging authenticity were more strict than the current market necessitated, but I found myself rejecting many works that were later sold successfully elsewhere. Ma the autonomy to structure the sales in a way that is most beneficial to the company and to his clients. Guggenheim Museum is planning a major exhibition of 5,000 years of Chinese art which will include modern and contemporary works in a variety of media, and the Asia Society is organizing a show of contemporary art by Chinese artists living outside of China for the fall of 1998.
Artists in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and abroad have of course had many more artistic options open to them and they have already made significant contributions to the field contemporary art. However, it is interesting to observe that these individual Chinese artists of diverse backgrounds have found common ground in their choice of medium. It is worth noting that most of the Chinese painters who worked in both Western and Chinese media demonstrated a distinct preference for the latter in their late years. In cyberspace, national borders do not exist and information is constantly exchanged across continents at lightning speed.
Their argument is supported by the human body itself, which radiates infrared energy for the benefits of warmth and tissue repair.A 3. Paula Gasparello was one of the casualties and I was given responsibility for all sales of Chinese paintings in New York and Hong Kong. Sothebya€™s and Christiea€™s performed the traditional auction house role of providing a secondary market for dealers, museums, and collectors and, in the case of some contemporary works, occasionally played the unfamiliar role of developing a primary market through the introduction of new artists into the marketplace. I was astounded to be asked by the curator whether the six large hanging scrolls, which are clearly meant to be hung together as a single work, could be sold separately. The scroll subsequently entered the Qianlong Imperial collection and it is dutifully noted in the Shiqu Baoji xubian. This album must have been looted from the Imperial Palace when the combined Western military forces were called in to quell an anti-Christian, anti-foreign Chinese peasant uprising.
I would like to see them.a€? The intermediary left, saying that she would talk with the owner. Not surprisingly, this long handscroll was hotly contested by two dealers bidding on behalf of American private collectors, and it was finally sold for $1,210,000. The few buyers at the top were unpredictable, buying in what seemed to me to be a rather indiscriminate manner, often paying high prices for works of dubious merit while ignoring what I considered to be high quality examples. For whatever reasons, my competitor was extremely adept at finding works that suited the tastes and budget of the new clientele and Christiea€™s consistently won the battle of market share, which is a house-to-house comparison performed by auction house accountants, like a bizarre postmortem ritual wake, after every series of auctions. The auction houses are large international corporations with tremendous costs and huge overhead.
An examination of the current state of guohua as a distinct type of Chinese art, however, is useful because the limited focus of the investigation brings heightened clarity to larger artistic issues.
Their conscious decision to work with traditional brush and ink applied to absorbent paper, at a time when so many other options are available, indicates at the least a tenuous link to Chinaa€™s artistic past. Modern communications and transportation have made all markets international, including the art market.
This afforded me a unique opportunity to build up a new market but I was faced with the daunting challenge of trying to make sense out of a very complicated subject. I was relieved to land the consignment and to receive permission to sell the painting as one lot! In spite of the impressive pedigree of the handscroll, two of the leading authorities on Chinese calligraphy in America initially expressed doubts about its authenticity, perhaps confusing it with a well known related work in a Japanese collection. As a result of the suppression of the Boxer Uprising, not only did the Qing government suffer the indignity of agreeing to pay a huge indemnity to the foreign powers, but a number of European, Japanese, and American soldiers helped themselves to what they considered to be war booty and souvenirs from the Forbidden City.
Landing an important collection or estate creates an opportunity for promotion and also enhances the reputation of the department within the field and within the company. Later that day, while Rita Wong, then head of the Taiwan office, was driving me home it occurred to me that the most logical source of the two paintings had to be Zhang Xueliang.
The results of the June 1992 New York auctions of Chinese paintings, however, proclaimed Sothebya€™s the victor in market share, winning by a substantial 53% to 47% margin. As was the case during the first half of this century, the decision to paint guohua will be made for different reasons by different artists. This is the heat you feel penetrate your skin when you stand in the sun and miss when you walk into the shade. At the time Chinese paintings were occasionally sold by Sothebya€™s London as well, where they were included as a postscript to Japanese print sales. The image of a€?Giant Lotusa€? appeared as a wrap-around cover for the June 1982 auction of Chinese Works of Art and Paintings and it attracted interest from across the globe, selling to a collector in Taiwan for $77,000, at the time a world-record auction price for a contemporary Chinese painting. Fortunately two astute overseas Chinese collectors recognized the scrolla€™s importance and they bid it up to a final price of $77,000. A significant number of paintings and large quantities of Imperial ceramics and other works of art must have found their way into Western collections during the early part of this century in this manner, although the casual note found in this album provides rare documentation of the phenomenon.
In his youth, well before the Xia€™an Incident, Zhang had been known as a collector of Chinese art. On the other hand, the size of the operation can render the fundamentally simple process of selling individual works of art overly complicated and expensive. For some, the impetus will be to continue to be part of an unbroken artistic tradition which they can trace back into antiquity, thus reaffirming their own cultural identities. Even today, there is something about using brush and ink, like eating food with chopsticks, that feels natural to a Chinese artist. The Spelman paintings were significant in that they presented to the market a group of excellent works with generally reliable attributions. I was gradually able to wrestle control from the Japanese Department and for a time we experimented with selling Chinese paintings through the London Chinese Department. The sale of the painting received significant publicity in Taiwan and Hong Kong and it helped to bolster Sothebya€™s reputation in Asia for expertise in Chinese paintings.
In a relatively small but extremely specialized market, like Chinese paintings, there may be other, more efficient ways to match buyer with seller. For others, the choice of guohua may be primarily a reaction against the repressive artistic policies of the Communist regime, ostensibly denying their ties to the recent past. When people do not receive adequate amounts of far infrared heat, they often can become ill or depressed.A 4. The market there never developed and to this day collecting interest for Chinese painting in Europe remains limited.
In early publications on Chinese painting his name is often listed as the owner of specific works which had not yet resurfaced.
For still others, the immediacy and sensitivity of the traditional medium and its unmatched ability to respond to the subtlest of touches, may be reason enough to adopt the art form, affirming the individuala€™s artistic identity, irrespective of his political viewpoint.
However, perhaps because of this quirk in the market, Europe became for me a significant source of paintings for sale in both New York and Hong Kong. Over the next few years I developed a peculiar relationship with Zhang Xueliang, through his intermediary, who initially did not acknowledge his identity but realized that I knew who the real owner of these works was. Far infrared saunas are recognized by health practitioners worldwide as perhaps the most effective method of removing both chemical and heavy metal toxins from the body.
She began showing me paintings on his behalf, some for sale, some not, and she would relay back to Zhang my comments about the works. If not, we are witnessing the close of a short but intense chapter in Chinese painting history.
Far infrared saunas are thought to be 7 times more effective at detoxifying heavy metals such as mercury, aluminium, and other environmental toxins than conventional heat or steam saunas. We began selling the less important scrolls, which did not bear his collectora€™s seals, but gradually he consigned, always through a friend in the United States, major paintings by artists such as Shen Zhou and calligraphy by as importantt a writer as Zhao Mengfu. If the major auction houses decide that it is no longer financially viable to continue to hold sales of Chinese paintings in New York, it will be up to a few committed and knowledgable dealers to try to pick up the slack. For many chronically ill patients as well as people who are well and wish to stay that way by reducing their toxic burden, the far infrared sauna is the detox method of choice.A 6. Bathing in a far infrared sauna in the early stages of a cold or flu has been known to stop the disease before symptoms occur.A 7. Far infrared heat can penetrate into the skin about an inch and a half to two inches deep and can have therapeutic benefits, such as helping to dissolve fat deposits under the skin. How can those who paint just for fun in their spare time capture the true character of all things on earth. Since toxins may be stored in the fat, the deep penetrating heat of a far infrared sauna can help eliminate them, especially toxins such as heavy metals and acidic compounds.A 8. The radiant heat of a far infrared sauna is efficient because it warms the sauna bather directly.
The body absorbs as much as 93 percent of the heat, causing perspiration and producing a vast array of health benefits.A 9. Far infrared saunas can help clear cellulite, the gel-like lumps of fat, water and debris trapped in pockets beneath the skin. European beauty specialists routinely incorporate daily far infrared sauna baths in programs to reduce cellulite.A 10. Generally speaking, far infrared saunas are less expensive, easier to install, and require less maintenance than traditional saunas. They come in many sizes and are often quite portable, making them a great choice when limited space is available.A 11.
Far infrared radiant heat provides all the healthy benefits of natural sunlight without any of the dangerous effects of solar radiation.A 12. Far infrared saunas are more cleansing than conventional saunas because they are designed to generate more than two to three times the amount of perspiration. Unlike in traditional saunas where temperatures range from 140 to 220 degrees Fahrenheit (60 to 105 degrees Celsius), the temperatures of far infrared saunas typically range from 100 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit (38 to 60 degrees Celsius).A 14. This allows a person to perspire faster and to tolerate a longer period of time inside the sauna.
Typical sessions in a far infrared sauna last 20 to 30 minutes and can be repeated to maximize the benefits.A 15. The lower heat range of far infrared saunas is safer for people with cardiovascular risk factors or fragile health because lower temperatures dona€™t dramatically elevate heart rate and blood pressure.A 16. Far infrared saunas have been used to treat sprains, bursitis, rheumatism, muscle spasms, neuralgia and hemorrhoids. The effects of toxin, chemical and pesticide poisoning can be greatly reduced by the far infrared saunaa€™s detoxification action.
People who work with chemicals, as well as home gardeners who frequently use fertilizers and pesticides, are advised to use far infrared saunas on a regular basis.A 18.
Far infrared radiant heat is a form of naturally occurring energy that heats objects by direct light conversion. Direct light conversion warms only the object and does not raise the temperature of the surrounding free air.A 19. Far infrared sauna use can help promote rebuilding of injured tissue by having a positive effect on the fibroblasts, the connective tissue cells necessary for the repair of injury. It also can help increase growth of cells, DNA syntheses, and protein synthesis, all of which is necessary during tissue repair and regeneration.A 21. In the electromagnetic spectrum, far infrared wavelengths measure between 5.6 and 1,000 microns. Wavelengths of between 6 and 14 microns are believed to be the most beneficial to humans and other living things on Earth.A  The human palm emits far infrared wavelengths of between 8 and 12 microns. The energy output from far infrared saunas so closely match the human bodya€™s radiant energy that nearly 93 percent of the saunaa€™s far infrared waves reach the skin.A 22.
Far infrared sauna therapy has helped people with cardiovascular conditions such as congestive heart failure and angina. It enhances endothelial nitric oxide, lowering blood pressure and improving cardiovascular function.A 23.
The radiant heat of far infrared saunas has been shown to be especially beneficial to people with sports injuries, fibromyalgia, arthritis, and other chronic pain conditions.A 24.
There are some definite advantages to using far infrared sauna thermal heaters, such as no high heat claustrophobic reaction and better air circulation. Far infrared heaters heat the body, not the air, so a bather is more comfortable and cooler. Far infrared saunas require 90 percent less electrical energy than conventional saunas, and no plumbing is required for a far infrared sauna.A 26. A 20 to 30-minute session in a far infrared sauna has been touted to burn as many calories as a six-mile run.A 27. Far infrared saunas are now used in health facilities for a range of health problems such as menopause, ulcers, insomnia, asthma, bronchitis, ear infections, and allergies.A 28. You dona€™t have to worry about setting the sauna up on a waterproof floor or near plumbing, and you dona€™t have to worry about mildew.A 29. Unlike a traditional sauna, which requires a closed atmosphere to maintain heat levels required for therapeutic results, a far infrared sauna can be used with its door or window completely open if far infrared penetration is the only objective.A 30. Far infrared saunas benefit all your organs of elimination, from your lungs to your liver to your kidneys to your skin.A 31.
Infrared light lies between the visible and microwave portions of the electromagnetic spectrum. Infrared light has a range of wavelengths, just like visible light has wavelengths that range from red light to violet.
Near infrared light is closest in wavelength to visible light, and far infrared light is closer to the microwave region of the electromagnetic spectrum. A far infrared sauna is usually warm within 10 or 15 minutes, whereas a conventional sauna can take more than an hour to reach optimal temperatures.A 33. Another option, although quite costly, is to use far infrared bulbs, which can provide warming and stimulating color therapy.A 34. In addition to hemlock, wood choices for far infrared sauna construction include basswood, birch, oak, poplar, spruce and western red cedar. When a wood type is stated to be hypoallergenic, it means that the wood contains minimal allergens and is therefore less likely to cause an allergic reaction. When far infrared heat penetrates a bathera€™s body, he or she can experience a refreshed mind, relaxed mood, reduction of aches and pains, improved metabolism, and systemic regularity leading to an overall feeling of wellness.A 37. Hemlock is a very strong wood that is quite able to withstand the heat of a far infrared sauna.
It is also abundantly available, which means the end cost to the consumer is less than it might be for another wood type.A 38.
Far infrared radiation is believed to be the only antidote to excessive ultraviolet radiation.A 39. Certain alternative healing practices such as palm healing, a practice with some 3,000 years of tradition behind it in China, rely on the human bodya€™s ability to emit far infrared radiant energy.A 40. And weight gain, muscle loss, decreased libido, wrinkles in our skin, and a growing number of aches and pains are probably other distressing concerns.A Some people try to defy nature by undergoing cosmetic surgery, utilizing every a€?anti-aginga€? skin care product available, taking stress management or meditation courses, or relocating to less polluted areas. These actions may have merits worthy of consideration, but the fact remains that no one, no matter how determined he or she may be, can slow down the passage of time. We start aging even before we are born, and the process does not stop until the day we die.A While our efforts may not influence time itself, they can, however, affect how our bodies respond to and endure it. Qualified health professionals agree, for example, that regular exercise and good nutrition can have a long-term positive impact on a persona€™s quality of life.
As well, avoiding the dangerous ultraviolet rays of the sun is universally regarded as an effective way to help maintain healthy, youthful skin. And leta€™s not forget how quitting smoking has been shown to improve respiratory health and reduce the risk of cancer in many vital bodily organs. A One activity that has been proven to be of great benefit to the lungs, heart, skin and other organs is far infrared sauna bathing. The rays from a far infrared sauna can help improve cardiovascular functioning, strengthen the bodya€™s immune system, reduce fat and cellulite, revitalize skin cells, improve muscle tone and strength, improve nutrition and production of brain chemicals, and much more.A Far infrared sauna bathing also helps to flush toxic chemicals, heavy metals and other destructive agents from our bodies. Exposure to this highly toxic substance can reportedly increase blood pressure and cause fertility problems, nerve disorders, muscle and joint pain, and memory or concentration difficulties.
Researchers have also linked lead exposure to Alzheimera€™s disease, a debilitating condition akin to dementia that most people associate with aging.A Various sources likewise suggest a connection between Alzheimera€™s disease and mercury, the most toxic non-radioactive element on Earth. By definition, red is the color with the longest wavelengths of visible light, and violet is the color with the shortest wavelengths of visible light. Among the types of invisible light or electromagnetic radiation that reside outside of the optical spectrum are infrared radiation (IR) and ultraviolet (UV) radiation.
Translated from Latin, a€?infraa€? and a€?ultraa€? mean a€?belowa€? and a€?beyond,a€? respectively, so infrared radiation, or infrared light, is literally a€?below red,a€? and ultraviolet light is a€?beyond violet.a€?The German-born astronomer William Herschel discovered infrared light while living in England in 1800, about 20 years after his historic first sighting of the planet Uranus. Measuring the heat from the optical spectrum, Herschel observed that the temperature in the colors increased as he went from violet to red.
He also noticed that the temperature continued to increase beyond the color red, into a region of invisible light that Herschel named a€?infrared.a€?Infrared light is divided into three distinct segments with precise ranges of wavelength measured by microns. Far infrared light is sometimes called thermal radiation or thermal light, and its wavelengths measure between 5.6 and 1,000 microns. The light or energy from sunlight and fire that we perceive as heat is far infrared.The far infrared radiation (FIR) emitted by the sun should not be confused with its deleterious ultraviolet radiation. Chief among the consumer products utilizing the technology is the far infrared sauna or heat therapy room.
A key attribute of far infrared light is its ability to heat an object directly without elevating the temperature of the air surrounding the object. This is called direct light conversion.A Direct light conversion is perhaps best demonstrated when youa€™re outside on a summer day and a big cloud moves in front of the sun. In the shade, you dona€™t feel as warm as when you were basking in the direct path of the suna€™s energy. Yet, by positioning itself between you and the sun, the cloud has blocked the suna€™s far infrared rays from reaching you. Thata€™s the reason you feel cooler even though the temperature of the air around you has not changed.A The value of far infrared light to human health and wellness must not be underestimated. Penetrating as deeply as three inches into our bodies, far infrared rays improve blood circulation, stimulate endorphins, destroy certain bacteria and parasites, lower lactic acid, and burn calories.Advocates of hyperthermia, also known as fever therapy, contend that employing such deep-penetrating far infrared energy to therapeutically induce higher body temperatures helps combat infections and even cancer.
Their assertion is supported by the human body itself, which emits infrared energy for purposes of warmth and tissue repair.A Saunas have long been a tried, tested and true source of health benefits. For centuries, traditional saunas have helped to improve cardiovascular function, promote body detoxification, maintain general health, and foster greater relaxation in sauna bathers around the world.
For many sauna enthusiasts, the traditional hot sauna a€“ the Finnish sauna a€“ remains the preferred route to renewed health and a rejuvenated spirit.A Sometimes called radiant heat saunas, soft heat saunas or heat therapy rooms, far infrared saunas offer most of the same benefits that traditional Finnish saunas do, but they do so at lower, more tolerable temperatures. While the air temperature in a typical Finnish sauna bath ranges from 170 to 200 degrees Fahrenheit (77 to 93 degrees Celsius), such temperatures arena€™t required in a far infrared sauna to induce optimal bather perspiration.A By penetrating the bathera€™s body and effecting a deep, satisfying heat of just 100 to 130 degrees Fahrenheit (38 to 55 degrees Celsius), the far infrared rays can create an enjoyably cleansing, detoxifying and revitalizing experience for the bather.
In fact, many sources claim that the volume of sweat produced during a far infrared sauna bath can be as much as three times greater than in a Finnish sauna bath.


The higher volume of sweat means a faster, more thorough, and thus more beneficial flushing of toxic chemicals and harmful heavy metals from the body.A Far infrared rays are a fundamental, indispensable part of life on Earth.
And now, with far infrared heat therapy rooms and other infrared applications becoming increasingly common, we humans are wisely taking action to benefit from those rays and improve the quality of our own lives.A Benefits of Far Infrared Sauna UseThere are many benefits to be derived from proper and regular use of a far infrared sauna.
Far infrared sauna bathing can improve autonomic functions of the nervous system.Further Applications of Far Infrared EnergyFar infrared saunas are just one example of the application of infrared energy in contemporary society. Other uses of infrared energy have resulted in infrared hair dryers, infrared foot massagers, infrared pillows, infrared underwear, and even infrared leg wraps for horses. There are far infrared ray-emitting paints and wallpaper that combat mold as well as fast-cooking far infrared ovens that reportedly kill E. Far infrared rays are being utilized to purify polluted air, promote growth in plants, keep newborn babies warm in hospitals, treat injured athletes, and even encourage new hair growth.Far Infrared Is Essential to LifeFar infrared rays are a fundamental, indispensable part of life on Earth. And now, with far infrared saunas and other infrared applications becoming increasingly common, we humans are astutely taking steps to benefit from those remarkable rays and improve the quality of our own lives. Similarly, you may not pay much attention to far infrared saunas, but these fantastic devices offer health benefits that you may not be able to afford to ignore any longer.A As time progresses, it seems that the world is becoming an increasingly dangerous place. We live in an age of terrorist activities, nuclear weapons, dictatorships and religious fanaticism. Costly international conflicts show no sign of abating, and just about everyone feels more insecure and vulnerable than they did a decade ago. Even in our local neighborhoods, many of us worry about rising crime rates and growing threats to our personal safety.A And, as if those problems were not enough for us to worry about, many of us have major health issues with which we have no choice but to contend. Not helping matters are all the poisons and contaminants that have found their way into our environment and into our bodies.
Fortunately, though, we are not powerless against these mighty and malicious microscopic menaces. In fact, we can start doing something about them right now - we can start fighting back with far infrared sauna detoxification therapy.A Far infrared saunas are revered by scientists and health professionals around the world for their ability to help flush out many of the toxic chemicals, heavy metals and other destructive agents that have accumulated deep within the bloodstream, skin and other vital organs of people from all walks of life. For individuals affected by mercury toxicity, lead poisoning, and other life-threatening exposures, the far infrared sauna is often viewed as an essential component of detoxification therapy.A If you think that only people in high-risk occupations qualify for far infrared sauna detoxification therapy, youa€™re wrong.
Exogenous toxins, which can be absorbed through the skin, respiratory tract and gastrointestinal tract, are those not produced by the body itself, and examples include mercury, lead, zinc and cadmium. Sylver writes that a€?this category consists of waste produced by the body in the course of normal metabolic functioning and also pathogens (viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites) and the waste they excrete. Also known as chronic fatigue and immune dysfunction syndrome (CFIDS), CFS was once commonly referred to as the a€?yuppie flua€? after about 200 people, most of whom were white, wealthy, young females, come down with a strange illness in 1984.
National Institutes of Health claim that, for some people, chronic fatigue syndrome can first appear after a cold, bronchitis, hepatitis or an intestinal bug; for others, it can follow a bout of glandular fever. CDC and CFIDS Association of America announced in 2001 that stress may exacerbate but most likely does not cause the disorder.A On the polemical subject of CFS prevalence, Dr. Buist asserts that toxins can impede muscle metabolism, causing the pain and fatigability of muscles felt by many fatigued people.A Addressing the Well Mind Association in Seattle, WA, Dr.
The affected persona€™s detoxification system is clogged up or destroyed, they get a backlog of chemicals, and their immune system goes down.a€?A Dr.
Edelson and Deborah Mitchell, authors of What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Autoimmune Disorders, put it like this: a€?The hallmark of CFIDS is overwhelming, persistent, incapacitating fatigue that leaves those afflicted unable to carry on their normal physical functions. Schmidt writes, a€?Researchers at Uppsala University Medical School in Sweden reported that patients with chronic fatigue contain abnormal levels of mercury within their cells. Of patients with chronic fatigue, 45 percent showed mercury hypersensitivity and 49 percent showed lead hypersensitivity.
When the metal burden was removed from the body (in many cases, by removing mercury-containing silver dental fillings), 77 percent of patients reported improved health.a€?A If these conclusions are correct, how can sufferers retaliate after the damage of toxic build-up has manifested itself as chronic fatigue syndrome?
Lyon recommend far infrared sauna therapy.A a€?For the chronic fatigue patient, a consistent program of infrared sauna therapy will assist the problem of autonomic dysregulation, which is common to the condition,a€? states Dr. These symptoms are reduced, as regular sauna therapy induces normal autonomic functioning.A a€?Through extensive research, it has been shown that saunas greatly assist in the elimination of accumulated toxins,a€? Lyon adds.
It has become well known that people who take regular saunas (2-3 per week) reduce their incidence of colds and influenza by over 65% (a study by the British Medical Association). While many people use saunas primarily for relaxation and stress reduction, the other health benefits are increasing the popularity of saunas. An often agonizing muscle disorder in which the thin film or tissue holding muscle together becomes thickened or tightened, fibromyalgia is characterized by widespread musculoskeletal aches, pains and stiffness, soft tissue tenderness, mild to incapacitating fatigue, and disturbed sleep.A The pain of fibromyalgia is typically felt in the neck, back, shoulders and hands, but it is not exclusive to those areas. Based on criteria set in 1990 by the American College of Rheumatology (ACR), a diagnosis of fibromyalgia requires a patient to have experienced widespread pain for a minimum of three months in 11 of 18 tender muscle sites.
Among those 18 sites are the hips, knees and rib cage.A Other symptoms of fibromyalgia include allergies, anxiety, carpal tunnel syndrome, depression, dizziness, headaches, irritable bowel symptoms, numbness, and tender skin. Most sufferers of fibromyalgia are women of childbearing age, but it has also been known to strike men, children and the elderly.As for what causes fibromyalgia, many theories exist.
The Alternative Medicine Guide to Chronic Fatigue, Fibromyalgia and Environmental Illness states that a€?post-traumatic fibromyalgia is believed to develop after a fall, whiplash or back strain, whereas primary fibromyalgia has an uncertain origin.a€? However, in her book Detoxify or Die, Dr. Nenah Sylver extols the sauna for its ability to increase cardiovascular activity and white blood cell, enzyme, and norepinephrine, beta-endorphin and possibly thyroxin production. As they, in turn, help to enhance circulation, increase waste removal and nutrient absorption, raise metabolism, and promote the elimination of toxins, foreign proteins and microbes, Dr. Sylver deems the aforementioned benefits of proper sauna use crucial in helping people with fibromyalgia. She notes a€?there are actually very few health problems that cannot be helped (or would become worse) with sauna therapya€? but advises patients nevertheless to consult with their health providers before beginning sauna therapy.A Dr. Rogers and other health professionals insist that the far infrared sauna, radiant heat sauna or heat therapy room is of greater benefit to fibromyalgia sufferers than the traditional hot Finnish sauna because of a fundamental difference between the two styles of sauna.
Rogers calls the far infrared sauna a€?infinitely more tolerable,a€? particularly for people with fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome or multiple sclerosis, because it can function effectively at a much lower temperature than a conventional Finnish sauna.A a€?Ia€™m convinced that the far infrared sauna is something that everyone should do to restore health,a€? declares Dr. That such an effective detoxification tool exists should be welcome news to anyone suffering the ill effects of excessive lead, mercury, cadmium, arsenic or aluminium in his or her body. A Not everyone may believe they have sufficient reason to worry about heavy metal and chemical toxicity, but many experts are urging the skeptics to think again. Lead is a highly toxic substance, exposure to which can produce a wide range of adverse health effects. In adults, lead can reportedly increase blood pressure and cause fertility problems, nerve disorders, muscle and joint pain, irritability, and memory or concentration problems. A Because their brains and central nervous systems are still being formed, young children under the age of six are especially vulnerable to leada€™s harmful health effects. National Safety Council (NSC), a€?Even very low levels of exposure can result in reduced IQ, learning disabilities, attention deficit disorders, behavioral problems, stunted growth, impaired hearing, and kidney damage. Lead can also be found in automobile exhaust, pesticides, hair dye, ink, and some glazed dishware.Mercury, a ubiquitous environmental pollutant that can be found in tuna and swordfish, latex paint, dental amalgams, vaccines, cosmetics, contact lens solution, fabric softener and tap water, has also been classified by researchers as posing a grave threat to human health. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared that no level of mercury can be considered to be safe, as it is the most toxic non-radioactive element on Earth.A In their book What Your Doctor May Not Be Telling You About Autoimmune Disorders, Dr.
Like so many other heavy metals, cadmium can be found in air, water, soil and food.A Noting that the highest contributor to cadmium toxicity is cigarette smoke, the Center for Environmental and Integrative Medicine (CEIM) in Knoxville, TN, states that a€?cadmium can weaken the immune system and allow bacteria, viruses, yeast and parasites to proliferate. Cadmium may also promote skeletal demineralization and increase bone fragility and fracture risk. Department of Health and Human Servicesa€™ Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). Eating food or drinking water with very high cadmium levels severely irritates the stomach, leading to vomiting and diarrhea, and sometimes death. Breathing air with lower levels of cadmium, or eating lower levels of cadmium, over long periods of time can result in a build-up of cadmium in the kidneys. This has been seen mostly in workers exposed to arsenic at smelters, mines, and chemical factories, but also in residents living near smelters and arsenical chemical factories.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) have all classified inorganic arsenic as a known human carcinogen.A Since arsenic is found naturally in the environment, humans risk exposure to it when they eat food, drink water, breathe air, or come in contact with contaminated soil or water. The same can be said for aluminium compounds.A People may also be exposing themselves to aluminium compounds when they ingest medicinal products like certain antacids, laxatives and buffered aspirin or have skin contact with aluminium metal, antiperspirants, or other substances that contain aluminium or aluminium compounds. Mercola asserts that aluminium has been linked to serious illnesses such as osteoporosis, extreme nervousness, anemia, headache, decreased liver and kidney function, speech disturbances, and memory loss. He also contends that people who have died from Alzheimera€™s disease have been found to have up to four times the average amount of aluminium accumulated in the braina€™s nerve cells.A Offering its view on the subject, the ATSDR states that exposure to aluminium is usually not harmful but notes that some people who have kidney disease store a lot of aluminium in their bodies. In these children, the bone damage is caused by aluminium in the stomach preventing the absorption of phosphate, (which is) required for healthy bones.a€?Lead, mercury, cadmium, arsenic and aluminium are just five of an intimidating number of toxins capable of severely compromising your health. Among the other heavy metals most often found at unacceptable levels in the body, according to Edelson and Mitchell, are nickel and tin. Sherry Rogers writes, a€?The lungs, urine, stool and sweat are the main vehicles the body has for getting rid of nasty chemicals, but by far sweat is the most efficacious. And Mayo Clinic studies show that (utilizing) far infrared energy is the safest way to induce healing sweata€¦ Far infrared sauna technology is the only proven, most efficacious way of getting rid of stored environmental chemicals.a€?A A far infrared sauna has been cited as the best place to sweat because, whereas bathing in a conventional hot air sauna produces perspiration that is composed of approximately 97 percent water and three percent toxins, soaking in a far infrared sauna has been shown to produce sweat composed of about 80 percent water and 20 percent toxins.
As well, far infrared saunas can produce up to three times the sweat volume of a conventional hot air sauna while operating at a considerably cooler air temperature range of 110 to 130 degrees versus 180 to 235 degrees for hot air saunas. Ita€™s worthwhile to also note that, according to author and sauna historian Mikkel Aaland, a 15-minute far infrared sauna session can execute the same heavy metal excretion that would take the kidneys 24 working hours. In other words, sweating in a far infrared sauna can be a very efficient method of detoxification.A Even though sweating is a natural function of the human body, many people do not perspire properly because their skin has been damaged or deactivated by, among other culprits, chemicals in bath water, lotions, soaps and deodorants. Fortunately for these people, far infrared sauna therapy can greatly help to restore the skina€™s eliminative powers. Ita€™s just one more way far infrared saunas work to heal bodies compromised by harmful chemicals.A If you are concerned about how harmful chemicals and heavy metals can affect your health, consider the many benefits of owning a far infrared sauna. Most people have a casual understanding of each of those three, but it is the mercury included in the periodic table of elements that demands greater public contemplation. For if contemporary society placed more of an emphasis on the pernicious effects of mercury exposure, perhaps fewer people would be victimized by related illnesses and diseases.A Mercury is the most toxic non-radioactive element on Earth, and the World Health Organization (WHO) has proclaimed that no level of mercury can be regarded as being safe.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced in a 2001 study that one in every 10 American women of childbearing age is at risk for having a baby born with neurological problems due to mercury exposure.A There are three principal types of mercury, and each type presents a serious health hazard to humans.
The first type, elemental mercury, is a liquid that gives off mercury vapor at room temperature.
Elemental mercury can also enter the bloodstream by permeating the skin.A Inorganic mercury compounds, the second type, can also be inhaled as well as pass through the skin.
Unlike elemental mercury, though, inorganic mercury compounds can also be absorbed through the stomach if swallowed.
Elemental mercury, if swallowed, is not absorbed and usually exits the body without causing any harm. Many inorganic mercury compounds are irritating or corrosive to the skin, eyes and mucus membranes.A The third type of mercury, organic mercury compounds, can enter the body by way of all three routes a€“ lungs, skin and stomach. Exposure to any form of mercury on a repeated basis, or even a very high single dose, can lead to chronic mercury poisoning.
According to the New Jersey State Department of Health, chronic mercury poisoning is characterized by three major symptoms:Gum problems. People with chronic mercury poisoning frequently experience wide mood swings, becoming irritable, frightened, excited or depressed very quickly for no apparent reason. Some people may become extremely upset at any criticism, lose all self-confidence, and become apathetic.
Memory loss, hallucinations, and inability to concentrate can also occur.Nervous system impairment. The earliest and most frequent symptom of chronic mercury poisoning is a fine tremor of the hand.
A person with chronic mercury poisoning may also experience difficulty balancing and walking.A In What Your Doctor May Not Be Telling You About Autoimmune Disorders, authors Dr. Research has demonstrated that the bodya€™s tissues, especially in the brain, kidneys, jaw, lungs, gastrointestinal tract, and liver, absorb and store mercury.a€?A With such research findings having caught the publica€™s attention, some people have begun insisting that their dentists use composite fillings, also known as a€?white fillings,a€? as a non-toxic alternative to amalgam fillings. As well, some dental patients are demanding that their existing amalgam fillings be removed and replaced with composite fillings.A In her book Detoxify or Die, Dr. Rogers writes, a€?Autoimmune disease, heart disease, high cholesterol and triglycerides, chemical sensitivity, allergies, antibiotic-resistant infections, depression, schizophrenia, multiple sclerosis, leukemia and just about any symptom you can think of have improved once sufficient accumulated mercury was removed from the teeth and body.a€?Going a step further, Dr. Daniel Royal, member of the Nevada State Board of Homeopathic Medical Examiners, states, a€?While removal of amalgam fillings stops further poisoning from mercury fillings, you still need to detoxify the body to eliminate the residual effect from mercury that remains behind in the body. Royal calls the sauna a useful adjunct to safe mercury removal because it induces profuse sweating.
One reason is that far infrared saunas, also known as radiant heat saunas or soft heat saunas, can effectively function at temperatures lower than those characteristic of traditional hot Finnish saunas. The findings of this study make a strong case that far infrared saunas are simply better detoxification devices than conventional hot saunas.A Before you begin a sauna detoxification program, or if you suspect that you suffer from mercury poisoning, you should discuss your plans or share your suspicions with a qualified health professional. And if you decide to purchase a far infrared sauna for any of its many therapeutic properties, be sure to research your choices thoroughly, as satisfied sauna buyers are typically well-informed sauna buyers.A Opening the Sauna Door to Better Healthby Pertti Olavi Jalasjaa You may think of a home sauna as being little more than a luxury, an object that offers pleasure and comfort but is ultimately inessential to your well-being. However, the results of decades of research may just convince you of what sauna enthusiasts have believed for centuries a€“ that regular sauna bathing offers significant, perhaps even life-saving, health benefits.A A chief objective of any sauna bath is to make you perspire, and perspiration is a natural, necessary function of the human body. Ita€™s a means by which the body can rid itself of extra heat and water and eliminate harmful toxins that have, over time, built up inside it.
Included among these toxins are mercury, lead, cadmium and aluminium.A The health benefits of sauna bathing, however, go beyond aiding detoxification. As your body increases sweat production to cool itself during a hot sauna bath, your heart increases blood circulation. Heart rate, cardiac output and metabolic rate all increase, while diastolic blood pressure decreases, helping to improve overall cardiovascular fitness.A Sauna bathing may also contribute to healthy weight loss. A letter in a 1981 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association asserted that a€?a moderately conditioned person can easily a€?sweat offa€™ 500 grams in a sauna, consuming nearly 300 calories, the equivalent of running two to three miles. A heat-conditioned person can easily sweat off 600 to 800 calories with no adverse effects. While the weight of the water lost can be regained by rehydration with water, the calories consumed will not be.a€?A Most irrefutable are the claims that regular sauna bathing helps to relieve stress and promote relaxation.
It has been demonstrated time and time again that spending just a few minutes in a hot sauna bath can reduce anxiety levels, sooth nerves and warm tight muscles. Not only has sauna bathing been shown to encourage deeper, more restful sleep, far infrared sauna therapy has proved effective in alleviating pain associated with arthritis, backache, bursitis, fibromyalgia, headache, sprains, strains and other muscular and skeletal ailments.A a€?I am convinced that the far infrared sauna is something that everyone should do to restore health,a€? contends Dr. And while the condition known as Raynauda€™s disease has perhaps not received as much attention as those previously mentioned, credible sources suggest that sauna bathing can benefit its sufferers as well.A Raynauda€™s disease is a condition that causes some areas of your body, such as your fingers, toes, ears, cheeks, tongue, and the tip of your nose, to feel numb and cool in response to cold temperatures or stress.
Named after Maurice Raynaud, the French physician who first described it in 1862, it is a disorder of the blood vessels that supply blood to your skin.
During a Raynauda€™s attack, these arteries narrow, limiting blood flow to affected areas.A Accurately discussing Raynauda€™s can be challenging for some people, as two types of it exist, and each type has two names. What most laymen generically call Raynauda€™s disease could be either primary Raynauda€™s or secondary Raynauda€™s.A Primary Raynauda€™s, the most common form of the disorder, is what physicians and medical textbooks correctly refer to as Raynauda€™s disease.
Although anyone can develop the condition, primary Raynauda€™s mainly affects women between the ages of 15 and 40. Ita€™s also more common in people who live in colder climates.A Secondary Raynauda€™s, also known as Raynauda€™s phenomenon, is caused by an underlying problem like scleroderma, Sjogrena€™s syndrome (both connective tissue diseases), lupus (an autoimmune disease), rheumatoid arthritis (an inflammatory disease), hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid gland), diseases of the arteries (such as atherosclerosis and Buergera€™s disease), carpal tunnel syndrome, nerve damage, or chemical exposure. As well, people in certain occupations, such as those who operate vibrating tools, may be more vulnerable to secondary Raynauda€™s.A Most typically, cold temperatures provoke Raynauda€™s attacks.
Just taking an item out of your freezer, putting your hands in cold water, or exposing yourself to cold air could trigger one.
For some people, however, cold is not even necessary; emotional stress is enough to instigate an episode. In both cases, the body seems to exaggerate its natural response of trying to preserve its core temperature by slowing blood supply to its extremities.
During an attack, which can last from less than a minute to several hours, affected areas of your skin usually first turn white. As your blood circulation improves, the affected areas may turn red, throb, tingle or swell.
Raynauda€™s attacks may grow more severe over time.A If the condition becomes severe, blood circulation to your extremities could permanently diminish, resulting in deformities in affected areas like your fingers or toes. Also, skin ulcers or gangrene could develop if an artery to an affected area becomes completely blocked.A Depending on the cause and severity of symptoms, treatment can take many forms.
Medications may include alpha blockers, calcium channel blockers, or vasodilators, all of which help relax blood vessels.
For example, during a session in either type of sauna, the bathera€™s heart responds to the sauna heat by increasing blood flow and perspiration production to cool the bathera€™s body.
In this way, sauna bathing is a form of cardiovascular exercise.A Perspiring in a sauna, especially a far infrared sauna, also helps the body rid itself of harmful toxins that have built up over time. With experts having already drawn the connection between nicotine, secondhand smoke and Raynauda€™s, this benefit is certainly noteworthy.A As anyone who has stepped into a sauna seeking relief from muscle aches, sports injuries or ailments such as arthritis or fibromyalgia should already know, sauna bathing also offers a proven way to alleviate pain.
A clinical study conducted at Sunnybrook and Womena€™s College Health Science Centers at the University of Toronto confirmed that far infrared therapy can bring about significant improvements in both subjective measures of pain and discomfort associated with Raynauda€™s disease.A Lastly, sauna bathing fosters relaxation and stress relief. To those Raynauda€™s sufferers whose attacks are caused by emotional stress, as well as to the innumerable Raynauda€™s sufferers whose emotional stress is understandably caused by their attacks, this news is likely very welcome.A If you think you may be suffering from Raynauda€™s disease or Raynauda€™s phenomenon, be sure to discuss your concerns with a qualified health professional. Meanwhile, youa€™d be wise to investigate the many ways a home sauna, be it a traditional Finnish sauna or a far infrared sauna, can improve your health and happiness.A Insomnia and the Far Infrared Saunaby Pertti Olavi JalasjaaYoua€™ve wisely avoided sleeping pills, but it seems as if youa€™ve tried almost everything else to get a better nighta€™s sleep. The comforting heat of a sauna works to induce healthy perspiration, assist respiratory function, benefit blood pressure, stimulate endorphins, cleanse skin, and relieve sore, tired muscles. By raising your body temperature in a sauna bath right before bedtime, you compel it to normalize itself afterwards, and ita€™s this temperature readjustment following the sauna bath that helps to improve the quality of your sleep.A Of course, other effects of the heat bath can certainly contribute to improvements in your sleep. Regular sauna bathers routinely report that soaking in a hot sauna helps them rid their minds of the anxieties, frustrations and worries that may have been plaguing them prior to bathing. And by helping to alleviate any existing physical pain like headaches, muscle strain or joint stiffness, a sauna bath can effectively disarm many of the aggravations that might have impeded truly restful sleep.A Home saunas are available in many styles and sizes. Around the globe, doctors, researchers and other professionals have discovered the tremendous value of using sauna heat to help increase the human bodya€™s white blood cell count, stimulate its immune system, facilitate detoxification, and produce a state of general relaxation that is vital to the healing process.A In many countries, experts continue to research the therapeutic properties of the sauna. Chuwa Tei, professor of medicine and chair of the department of internal medicine at Japana€™s Kagoshima University, and his colleagues have demonstrated saunasa€™ usefulness in treating heart patients.A In one study, Tei and his colleagues compared 25 men with at least one risk factor for heart disease, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol or smoking, with a group of 10 healthy men. Each study participant spent 15 minutes in a 140-degree Fahrenheit (60-degree Celsius) dry sauna, followed by 30 minutes in a bed covered with blankets, once a day for two weeks. The researchers then measured how well the participantsa€™ blood vessels expanded and contracted, a sign of the health of the vessels. The researchers also found that the sauna therapy lowered participantsa€™ blood pressure slightly.
The results of the study should be encouraging to anyone concerned about blood vessel diseases like atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and erectile dysfunction.In earlier studies, Tei and his colleagues demonstrated that sauna therapy improved the blood vessel function in hamsters with chronic heart failure. The hamsters that received sauna therapy also lived about three weeks longer than those that didna€™t receive sauna therapy.A German researchers recently studied 22 kindergarten children who took weekly sauna baths and compared them to a group of children that did not take any sauna baths.
Both groups were followed for 18 months and closely monitored for any occurrence of ear infections, colds, or upper respiratory problems. The researchers found that the children who did not take the weekly sauna baths took twice as many sick days as their counterparts.A Other findings suggest that it may be more than the heat of a sauna that is so advantageous to human health. Tests have indicated that the practice of tossing or splashing water on heated rocks in a traditional Finnish sauna produces a high quantity of negative ions in the air.
Research has concluded that air abundant with negative ions offers great benefits, while a lack of negative ions or a higher ration of positive to negative ions in the air we breathe can cause physical harm.And while a June 2001 edition of The St. Lying above the 60th parallel, the southern boundary of the Arctic Circle, northernmost Finland receives little sunlight during the winter, which typically begins in November and lasts at least until May. Throughout all of Finland, winter days are remarkably short, with the sun low on the horizon even at midday. In the far north, the period known as a€?kaamosa€? or polar night, during which the sun never rises above the horizon, is nearly two months long.A Light deprivation is a serious concern during Finnish winters, particularly in areas where continuous darkness stretches several weeks. Many experts believe it could explain why Finland has one of the worlda€™s highest suicide rates.
Each year, 14 percent of northern populations reportedly experience the a€?winter blues,a€? and another six percent suffer from the more serious Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a type of clinical depression that, by definition, afflicts people only at certain times of the year. A In addition to depression, common symptoms of SAD include anxiety, fatigue and low energy, irritability, increased sleeping, difficulty concentrating, and changes in appetite, most notably carbohydrate cravings.A For many people, Seasonal Affective Disorder is a seriously disabling illness that prevents them from functioning normally without continuous medical treatment.
For others, it is a mild but debilitating condition that causes discomfort but not severe suffering. This milder form of SAD, called Subsyndromal Seasonal Affective Disorder, is what most people perceive to be the aforementioned winter blues.A Yet another form of SAD is Reverse Seasonal Affective Disorder (RSAD), and it typically strikes during the late spring or early summer and lasts throughout the warmer months.
Also known as summer depression, RSAD is characterized by decreased sleep, weight loss, poor appetite, and other symptoms. Because treatment options can differ for SAD and RSAD, ita€™s important to note that the information in the following paragraphs pertains specifically to SAD a€“ in other words, winter depression.A According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, treatments for Seasonal Affective Disorder include monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOs), psychotherapy, and light therapy. Certain sources claim that, in addition to being used to treat SAD, insomnia and jet lag, light therapy can also be beneficial for people suffering from skin conditions such as acne, eczema, psoriasis and vitiglio.A For treating Seasonal Affective Disorder, the most commonly used phototherapy equipment is a portable lighting device known as a light box.
The patient sits in front of the box for a prescribed period of time that can be as brief as 15 minutes or as long as several hours.
The duration and frequency of light therapy sessions often depend on the patienta€™s physical needs and lifestyle. As one might surmise, light therapy sessions for SAD typically begin in the autumn months and continue throughout the winter, sometimes even into the early spring.A The light box may be mounted upright to a wall or slanted downwards and set on a table. The light from a slanted light box is designed to focus on the table upon which it sits, so patients may look down to read or enjoy other sedentary activities during their phototherapy sessions.
Patients using an upright light box must face the light box, although they dona€™t need to look directly into the light. As for the brightness of the light utilized, the light sources in these light boxes typically range from 2,500 to 10,000 lux (units of illumination).
In comparison, average indoor lighting typically ranges from 300 to 500 lux, and a sunny summer day is roughly 100,000 lux.A Before undergoing any light therapy treatments for Seasonal Affective Disorder, be sure to discuss your concerns and options with a qualified health professional. If you believe that you suffer from SAD, it is vital that you receive a proper diagnosis from a physician experienced in treating mood disorders.
As well, certain risks (like potential eye strain, hypomania and headache, among others) are associated with phototherapy, especially for people who are photosensitive, so consulting with your doctor and an ophthalmologist could prevent additional problems from arising during or after your treatments. If you decide to pursue light therapy treatments without the assistance of a qualified health professional, be aware that different companies hold decidedly different stances on exactly what constitutes light therapy. A Among the health-related companies that are now making light therapy part of their business are manufacturers and retailers of home saunas. It is a logical development since far infrared sauna therapy has repeatedly been proven to be an effective form of light therapy. The light found in a far infrared sauna is, of course, far infrared light, a type of invisible light located below the optical color red in the electromagnetic spectrum.A An indispensable part of life on Earth, far infrared light has long been used by humans to purify polluted air, keep newborn babies warm in hospitals, promote growth in plants, and more. Little did the early sauna bathers of Finland realize centuries ago that their beloved heat baths might someday become a source of hope and healing, not just for the people of their own country but for everyone who finds the dark days of winter hard to weather.A Sweat and Far Infrared Saunas- Here's the Skinnyby Pertti Olavi Jalasjaa For whatever reason, most people feel uncomfortable talking about perspiration. For example, ita€™s not unusual to hear someone remark that he or she a€?sweateda€? over an academic assignment, a€?worked up a sweata€? on the tennis courts, or a€?lost a pint of sweata€? while awaiting an important decision.
But these are simply colloquial expressions that many of us utilize to make a point about our mental or physical stress or exertion related to a particular undertaking or event. After all, to do so, polite society decrees, would be in poor taste.A And yet much could be gained if people felt free to discuss the natural biological process of perspiration without fear of judgment or reproach. When we perspire in a far infrared sauna, we help our bodies rid themselves of the countless toxins like mercury, lead, cadmium and other contaminants that have accumulated within us over time. As well, by intensely sweating in a far infrared sauna we benefit our hearts, lungs, kidneys and other organs that are essential to our survival. Far infrared sauna bathing has also been proven to promote pain relief, muscle relaxation, and emotional tranquility.A For people suffering from certain skin diseases, far infrared sauna bathing can be particularly therapeutic. As the far infrared heat induces an increase in blood circulation to the skin, the bodya€™s defence against chronic skin conditions like acne, eczema and psoriasis is considerably bolstered.
As well, thorough sweating helps unclog the skin of whatever unhealthy remnants of soap, lotions, deodorants or makeup may be unnecessarily lodged in its pores.
Dead skin cells are also effectively flushed away by a good sweat in a far infrared sauna.A Increased blood flow and decreased toxins and foreign material in our skin mean more natural nutrients and fewer reasons for irritations and disease.
Elasticity, texture, tone and color can all noticeably improve after just a few sessions in a far infrared sauna. These benefits are available even if your skin has suffered harsh damage from excessive exposure to the sun.A You dona€™t have to talk about perspiration if you dona€™t want to.
If you live a mostly sedentary lifestyle and therefore dona€™t perspire much on a regular basis, you must take action for the sake of the health of your heart, lungs, skin and other vital organs. People face stress at home, at work, at school a€“ anywhere opportunities to react to internal or external stimulation exist.A That stimulation can come from a disagreement with a spouse, a conflict with a co-worker, criticism from a teacher, bad news from a doctor, and so on.
And the stimulation need not be negative; people often become stressed when they start new jobs or enter into new relationships. Even a big, surprise win at the casino can cause stress.A A little stress isna€™t necessarily a bad thing. Stress during a job interview can help you give the best answers to the people asking the tough questions. These hormones are not harmful in moderate amounts, but cortisol is secreted excessively in response to chronic stress and is extremely toxic in these larger amounts.A a€?Cortisol actually kills and disables your brain cells,a€? says Dr. Chronic exposure to cortisol causes the mental haziness, forgetfulness and confusion that is associated with aging.a€?A People under stress may also be at higher risk of developing coronary heart disease. Stress causes arteries to constrict and blood to become stickier, increase the probability of an artery-clogging blood clot. As well, people who regularly experience sudden increases in blood pressure caused by stress may, over time, develop injuries in the inner lining of their blood vessels.A Studies suggest that chronic stress may increase a persona€™s chances for developing infections, having strokes, experiencing flare ups of multiple sclerosis, and suffering gastrointestinal problems like peptic ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome, and inflammatory bowel disease. Chronic stress has also been linked to the development of insulin resistance, a key factor in diabetes.
And ask anybody who has ever suffered from headaches, insomnia, skin disorders or sexual dysfunction if they believe that stress was at least partly to blame for their woes, and then construct your own conclusions about how damaging stress can be to onea€™s health and well being.A If you think you have a serious condition that has been caused or made worse by certain stressors in your life, you should discuss your concerns with a qualified physician. If, however, youa€™d like to improve the quality of your life by learning how to better cope with stress, many options exist. Perhaps your first focus should be on discovering the remarkable benefits of relaxation.Relaxation decreases blood pressure, respiration and pulse rates, releases muscle tension, and eases emotional strains. In their quests for greater relaxation, some people choose biofeedback while others opt for massage therapy. Studies indicate that soaking in a hot sauna bath can help improve respiratory function, increase cardiovascular strength, reduce and remove body toxins, strengthen the bodya€™s immune system, relieve headaches, and cleanse and beautify skin.
Sauna bathing can also increase blood circulation, relaxing tight, tired or aching muscles by providing them with more oxygen.A If youa€™re searching for a healthy way to alleviate the stress in your life, consider purchasing a home sauna.
Residential saunas are available in a range of styles and sizes, from pre-cut Finnish sauna kits to outdoor barrel saunas and far infrared heat therapy rooms. Seemingly ubiquitous advertisements and TV commercials for antiperspirants continue to convince generations of consumers that perspiration is an undesirable, offensive bodily function. While no one would dispute that sweat can be quite unwelcome in important social and business situations, it would be imprudent not to acknowledge the necessity of perspiration and understand the critical role it plays in human health.A Sweating is an essential function of the human body, as essential as eating, breathing and sleeping. Skin is sometimes called a€?the third kidneya€? for this very reason.A Your body eliminates various toxins through a variety of metabolic processes, one being urination and another being perspiration. The kidneys filter waste materials from the blood and excrete them, along with water, as urine. The temperature in a traditional Finnish sauna is usually between 180 and 200 degrees Fahrenheit (80 and 95 degrees Celsius).
The two types of sauna operate differently, but, at their respective temperature ranges, working up a sufficient sweat in either type should be achievable for even the most inexperienced sauna bather.A Using high heat to induce perspiration has a great number of benefits. In addition to decreasing the amount of toxins and heavy metals, such as cadmium, lead, mercury, nickel and zinc, in your body, an intense sweat bath in a sauna can help cleanse it of other impurities like cholesterol, nicotine, sodium, and sulfuric acid. By improving blood circulation, regular sauna bathing can help draw the skina€™s own natural nutrients to the surface, leading to better tone, texture and elasticity. Thata€™s why sauna bathing is being increasingly included in high-intensity treatment programs for skin ailments like acne, eczema and psoriasis. Some beauty specialists in Europe even claim the sauna can be quite a powerful weapon in the war against cellulite.A As beneficial and therapeutic as sweating in a soothing hot sauna may be, however, it is imperative that bathers not allow the experience to dehydrate them. As well, be sure to discuss your plans and expectations with your personal physician before you take to the sauna for the first time, as he or she should know of any existing conditions or limitations that pertain specifically to your health and might impact your sauna use.A As for all those advertisements and TV commercials that say sweating is bad, forget about them, and start doing what you know is best for your health.



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