Historically people who climbed to the top have chosen two ways, basically, to govern others -- with some form of absolutism or constitutionalism.
However, the individual, although created to live individually and freely, is always subject to law, and true freedom is always exercised only as one lives obediently under law.
In the 17th century crisis and the need for rebuilding after the Thirty Yearsa€™ War led to the push for absolutism. And so, after the Thirty Yearsa€™ War (1618-1648) religious identity and commitment led to a new sense of nationalism based upon a nationa€™s major religious beliefs. This was the case also in Germany, even though the Treaty of Westphalia had set back the formation of a unified state in Germany. Monarchies developed throughout Europe, some ruling over small domains, and others, like the Habsburgs, Tudors, and Bourbons, over vast empires.
Obstacles to Nation Building: Building a centralized government in most a€?nationsa€? (the word was not yet coined nor widely comprehended) was faced with numerous obstacles, not the least of which was the fact that in most countries people spoke numerous dialects, making nation-wide communication very difficult. Absolute rulers overcame these obstacles by building armies, bureaucracies, and using the force of the army to mold the people into one body. Frequent wars and the cost of maintaining large armies: Large armies were needed to impose the monarcha€™s will and to expand the borders. Popular Uprisings: As food shortages and taxes increased, and frequent wars created havoc, poverty, and death, people began to revolt. In attempting to deal with these problems, monarchs turned to either absolutism or constitutionalism to form effective governments. Government functions are guided by the dictates of the ruler and his or her lieutenants and not by established law. The rules or laws are applied arbitrarily and seldom apply to those at the top, especially the monarch or emperor. Problem solving is by issuing edicts and pronouncements, by creating more administrators, creating a larger bureaucracy, and levying heavier taxes on the people to pay for the expenses of the absolute ruler(s). Those governed have little participation in government, little input into law-making (unless through protests and demonstrations), and have to simply yield and be satisfied with what is handed to them from the absolute ruler and the top.
Constitutionalism or Peoplea€™s Law is a form of government that acknowledges that certain inalienable rights are possessed by both those who govern and by those who are governed. Peoplea€™s Law was introduced into England by Alfred the Great in the late 9th century A.D.
In Peoplea€™s Law or Constitutionalism all power is contained within the Constitution, a written contract that all people agree to embrace and to live cooperatively under, either in a monarchy or in a republic. All functions of government are from the people upward through their elected representatives. Government control is exercised through written laws which have their basis in the written constitution. Government functions as a process guided by established law, which reflects the will of the people and applies to everyone, even to those who govern. Transferring power is carried out by either heredity (in a monarchy or empire) or by popular vote (in a republic), with a peaceful transition from one ruler or set of elected representatives to another.
The people are viewed as the foundation of the government, those with the power to elect to office the representatives of their choosing and if in a monarchy the ruler remains enthroned at the will of the people. All citizens have the right to participate in voting, no matter their social and economic class (although admittedly it took some nations a long time to grant suffrage to all adults, whether male or female, and whether property owners or not!). The land is viewed as the property of the people collectively, who exercise their inalienable right to own personal property and to use their personal property as they see fit. The processes of government are for the most part carried out by the representatives who have been chosen by the people to represent their best interests and to preserve and uphold the Constitution. Problem solving is carried out by elected representatives and officials appointed by those elected representatives.
When a problem occurs or a major issue must be decided, the will of the people is protected by a Constitution and requires that they be allowed to express that will through special votes or referendums. Those governed are given every opportunity for upward mobility through personal initiative and hard work.
Another major issue that separates absolutism from constitutionalism is this: are individual rights a€?awardeda€? by a ruler or are they possessed innately as a person created in Goda€™s image? Under Absolutism individual rights and freedoms are viewed as a€?rewardsa€? that the ruler gives out to whomever he or she arbitrarily selects. Under Constitutionalism individual rights and freedoms are viewed as innate possessions of all people.
After the religious wars in France, which pitted Catholics against Huguenots, Henry IV (1553-1610) took the French throne after the death of Henry III, and demonstrated to the French that a strong central government offered many advantages.
In 1572, as Duke of Navarre, Henry married a Catholic princess, Margaret of Valois, daughter of King Francis I and Catherine de Medici. When Margareta€™s brother, King Henry III, was assassinated in 1589, Henry, now king of Navarre, was by heredity next in line to become king of France. Henry IV was the first in the line of the Bourbon kings of France, which included Louis XIII, Louis XIV, Louis XV, Louis XVI, Louis XVIII (wea€™ll find out in a later unit what happened to Louis XVII), and Charles X.
With the ascension to the throne of Louis XIII upon the death of Henry IV in 1610, the Bourbon kings practiced an absolutism balanced with a precarious arrangement with the French nobility. Now as king of France, Henry IV, with strong Calvinist ties through his mother, Jeanne, Queen of Navarre, took the important step of proclaiming the Edict of Nantes in 1598, almost as a statement, a€?Ia€™ve become a Catholic in order to rule as king but Ia€™ll grant freedom to my Huguenot friends, now that I have the power to do so.a€? The Edict of Nantes granted religious liberty to the Huguenots. Richelieu championed the concept of absolutism in government and is known as the Father of Absolutism. Using new and expanded powers under the regency of Richelieu the central government took the eyes of the people off of problems at home (hunger, inflation, an unresponsive and a€?distanta€? government) by expanding war against the Habsburgs in Austria and Germany, foes who Cardinal Richelieu hated. Later, when Louis XIV attempted to bypass the unwritten agreement and impose taxes on the nobility to support his many war efforts, the nobility rose up in protest, maintained their traditional right to not be taxed, and forced the king to back down. Louis XIV held firm to a belief in the doctrine of the divine rights of kings, as did his father, Louis XIII. He also ended religious toleration and in 1685 revoked his grandfather Henrya€™s Edict of Nantes. His rationale for revoking the Edict was the earlier agreement reached at the Peace of Augsburg in 1530 which established that the religion of the ruler would be the religion of the state. The wars of Louis XIV were based upon his belief that in order to increase Francea€™s sovereignty he needed to expand its borders, especially in areas where the people were French by language and culture. Wars were fought by the French with other European nations for more than 50% of Louis XIVa€™s reign. Louis XIV was also known as a€?the Sun Kinga€? because during his reign French culture, French dress, French architecture, and the French language enjoyed a hegemony in Europe.
Colbert (1619-1683) was the Controller General of Finance under Louis XIV and believed strongly that the wealth of the state should fund the central government. Colbert believed this was crucially important to financially maintain Francea€™s military power and its European hegemony (the dominance of French language and culture throughout Europe). In French mercantilism, the principle was also established that through a controlled economy the nation would base its financial stability on the accumulation of gold. Under King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, Spain developed an absolute monarchy after the struggle to expel the Muslim Moors from Spain was completed in 1492.
Furthermore, a strong military was necessary to preserve Spaina€™s presence in the New World, opened initially by the Spanish-sponsored journey of Christopher Columbus in 1492.
The development of their colonies and the new wealth in gold and silver in the New World further aided the absolutism in Spain. By the beginning of the 18th century Spain was a weakened nation and never recovered to its 16th century glory.
England traditionally attempted to maintain a between the power of government and the rights and participation of the people. Against this notion was the long tradition introduced by Alfred the Great at the end of the 9th century which continued to loom in the thinking of the nobility and later the House of Commons. Hence, the struggle between absolutism and constitutionalism in England began after the conquest by William of Normandy, continued during the reign of his descendants, and erupted in armed conflict at a confrontation at Runnymede in 1215 when the English nobles forced King John to sign the Magna Carta. Elizabeth also was able to use her commitment to the Protestant faith as a national rallying point against the Catholic mainland (France, Spain, the Habsburgs).
Conrad Russell points out that on several occasions the House of Commons used petitions of grace to express their ideas about very important matters. James was angered by the petition, accusing the House of Commons of getting involved in matters than were reserved only for the king -- foreign policy and marriage of the king. Finally, Jamesa€™ response, due to the inability to reach an agreement, was to dismiss Parliament.
Each of his three Stuart successors used the same tactic -- if Parliament digs in their heels on an important matter, just dismiss Parliament! These incidents are cited here simply to show how Parliament and the English monarchy interrelated.
The Stuart line created great furor in England because of their 1) increased commitment to the divine rights of kings, and 2) insistence upon absolutism. Henry maneuvered Parliament to declare the English Church free from Rome through the Act of Supremacy of 1534. Son of Henrya€™s third wife, Jane Seymour, raised a Calvinist, aided the reformation in England, and maintained order during his brief reign. With the coronation of James I, the Tudor line of monarchs ended and the Stuart line began. James was totally committed to the idea of the divine right of kings and to the system of absolute rule. When James was crowned King of England, the Puritan Reformers in England thought that at last they would be given new credibility and freedom in England. Charles succeeded his father, James, as king in 1625 and soon after married Princess Henrietta Maria, a daughter of King Henry IV of France and his wife Maria de Medici. After Parliament was called again into session in 1640, Charles was so angered on one occasion that he stormed into Parliament and attempted to arrest five members (they escaped out a back door!).
By 1646 Charles knew that he would lose the war, and, rather than submitting to the English Parliament, fled to Scotland where he hoped they would provide him safety since he was the son of the former king of Scotland. In 1648 he was tried for treason by a High Court of Justice composed of 135 judges, with a quorum for any meeting set at 20 because of the difficulty of travel. A main charge that was after a lull in the civil war and a prospect for peace, Charles renewed the conflict which ultimately, per Geoffrey Robertson, resulted in the death of one out of every ten English citizens. In the final address given by the lead prosecutor, it was emphasized that no king is above the law, that English law proceeds from Parliament and not the king, and that he had broken the covenant with the people he governed by declaring traitorous war on them.
With that act, Parliament abolished the British monarchy and under Oliver Cromwella€™s leadership, created a republic, the Commonwealth of England. Cromwella€™s contributions during his ten years of leadership in Englanda€™s only experiment with a republic, the Commonwealth, also known as the Interregnum, were (1) by military action to wrap Ireland into a three kingdom Britain, together with Scotland and England, (2) impose (unsuccessfully) the Puritan and Presbyterian ethic, held by Cromwell and the majority of Parliament, on all England (try that one in your community and see what happens!), which included, among other things, banning gambling and bawdy theater performances, (3) granting religious freedom to a new Jewish population that had entered England, and (4) raising the level of creative arts, especially opera, to new heights. After the death of Oliver Cromwell and the disintegration of the Commonwealth, Parliament restored the monarchy in 1660 and, because they were still locked into the pattern of hereditary succession, placed the son of Charles I on the throne, the dissolute and perhaps least capable and worthy man in England to serve as king, Charles II.
After the death of his father and loss of a battle against Cromwell, Charles II fled to France and remained in Europe for 9 years until the death of Cromwell. He also proclaimed a Declaration of Indulgence in 1672 granting religious freedom to Catholics and to Protestant dissenters (English Presbyterians, Baptists, and Independents who refused to practice Anglican worship). His short four-year reign was filled with struggle and conflict with Parliament, who, looking with great anxiety at the other absolute monarchies being established in Europe, determined that such would not be the case in England.
Their fears also led to the passing of the Test Act of 1673 in which all military and government officials were required to take an oath in which they renounced the Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation (see Unit 17), use of relics, and to participate in the Lorda€™s Supper conducted by Anglican clergy. When James refused to take the vow, it became publicly known that while in France during the Interregnum he and his first wife had converted to Catholicism.
He further angered Parliament when he created a professional standing army, against English tradition to not maintain an army except in wartime, and when he exempted the soldiers from taking the vow of the Test Act. James opened many leadership positions to Catholics in government, issued an edict condemning Presbyterians to death in Scotland, and generally favoring Catholics in England. When Parliament opposed him in 1685, like his Stuart predecessors, he simply dissolved Parliament.
With that, a group of English nobles approached William III of Orange in 1688 to invade England and overthrow James. The Revolution was complete, no blood was shed, absolutism was at last defeated, and the last Catholic monarch of England was banished to France. Within the next year, William III and his wife Mary II, eldest daughter of James, were crowned as co-monarchs of Britain. William III outlived his wife, Mary II, and after her death in 1692 ruled alone as king until his death in 1702. The House of Hanover (cousins of the Stuarts in Germany) succeeded the Stuarts on the throne.
In addition to abolishing absolute rule in England, the most important document that came out of the Glorious Revolution of 1688 was the English Bill of Rights.
This was a revolutionary concept following centuries of feudalism and absolute rule, not only in Europe, but virtually everywhere on earth.
The king could not suspend laws nor levy new or additional taxes without the consent of the Parliament. Parliament was to convene regularly (it had not met for eleven years under Charles I had been and dissolved by all of the Stuarts through James II). The English Bill of Rights laid the foundation for many of the principles that were included in the American Bill of Rights that were amended to the U.S. The struggle between Absolutism and Constitutionalism was at the heart of the American War for Independence, the French Revolution, the overthrow of Communism in Eastern Europe and Russia, and continues to rage today in Yemen, Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, and Syria. The biblical concept views man as having been created in the image of God and has a right, therefore, to certain freedoms that no other person has a right to quench, whether a king or queen or any other authority. These God-given freedoms according to the American Bill of Rights include the freedom of speech, freedom to own property, the right to earn a living in whatever way a person deems best under law, and the right to spend that money in whatever way the individual chooses, under law; the right to vote, the right to a fair trial by a jury of onea€™s peers, the right to own and bear arms, the right to be eligible to be elected to office, the freedom to believe and worship as one chooses, the freedom of speech and assembly, and the freedom to petition.
What does it mean for a person to live out freely their God-given rights, but always under Goda€™s law?
How could the concept of the divine rights of kings be interpreted and practiced in such a way as to lead to guaranteed personal freedoms?
What basic biblical doctrine about who and what a king or queen is in their nature that would tend to lead to constitutionalism? What were several items that are missing from the English Bill of Rights that you would have thought would have been included?
Why does the English Bill of Rights seem to have been slanted so heavily in favor of Protestants? What caution does this raise for us as we (1) interpret what has happened in history, (2) how we should interpret the actions of current governments, and (3) how this should influence how we behave individually today? What is the English tradition that resulted in New York, North Carolina, and Rhode Island refusing to ratify the newly proposed U. Prior to 1549 each of the seventeen states had their own sets of law, their own judicial system, and otherwise made it difficult to administer them piecemeal. This, and other administrative decisions made by the emperor, led to the Dutch revolt in 1568 against what they perceived to be political and religious tyranny.
In 1571 the seventeen states formed the Union of Utrecht and in 1589 declared themselves to be independent of Spain.
After several other attempts to move under the oversight of other European monarchs, including for a brief time, Elizabeth I of England, the Dutch proclaimed the independent Dutch Republic. The Republic endured until 1795 when the Netherlands was overrun by the French forces of Napoleon Bonaparte. The Republic provided the groundwork for the Golden Age of the Netherlands in the 16th century, when free enterprise enabled the Dutch to become the leading merchant fleet in Europe, to found and oversea a vast colonial network in North America, the Dutch West Indies, and the Dutch East Indies (present-day Indonesia). Absolutism is grasping all power within a nation -- politically, economically, militarily, religiously -- and placing it totally in the hands of a ruler or group of rulers. Constitutionalism is placing all power within a nation under a written constitution that sets limits and boundaries on the exercise of power.
In a Constitutional Monarchy power is shared by the democratically elected parliament either with or without a monarch, with the greater power lying with the parliament.
Mercantilism is a form of economics wherein the central government controls the national economy through regulating the rate and type of production, the price of goods, tariffs, and seeks to have exports always outperform imports.
Empires developed as monarchs sought to control overseas colonies in order to (1) gain natural resources demanded by society and needed for industrialization, (2) gain greater agricultural areas to feed their populations, (3) obtain new areas to export a growing population of farmers, managers, and military to protect them, and (4) to bolster national prestige and pride.
The diagram below attempts to depict the differences between the two major forms of government that arose, ABSOLUTISM and CONSTITUTIONALISM, the two contrasting methods of governing. The Ottoman Empire is discussed more fully in Unit 8, a€?Islam.a€? The Ottomans were ruled by an absolute ruler, the Sultan or Caliph.
At various times there were several caliphs in existence at the same time, causing great rivalries to exist. The Thirty Yearsa€™ War (1618-1648) devastated so much of Germany, Hungary, and Poland, so depleted the economies of most nations in both West and East, and resulted in the loss of so many people, that central, authoritarian governments seemed to be the only hope for survival. Serfdom: The existence of serfdom in Eastern Europe, as a remnant of centuries of feudalism, enabled the nobility to gain almost total control over the common people. Results of the Thirty Years War: The Peace of Westphalia in 1648 brought an end to religious wars in Europe.
Rise of Austria and Prussia: Absolutism took different forms in Austria and Prussia, but the existence of almost continual warfare in their territories enabled leaders in both countries to increase their power. Austrian Habsburgs in German territories: The Habsburg emperors worked hard to keep their multi-ethnic empire together, with preference and priority always given to those who were German speakers. Austrian Habsburgs in Hungary and Bohemia: The Habsburgs fought and defeated the Ottoman Turks for control of Hungary and by 1648 controlled most of Hungary. Prussia: Prior to the Thirty Years War the noble land owners gained the dominant power in Prussia, but as a result of the war they lost holdings, wealth, and power.
Prussia, the Sparta of Europe: Frederick William built the most professional army in Europe, introduced a military mentality throughout the three provinces, created a strong central bureaucracy, and controlled the nation by military might -- creating the Sparta of Europe. Russia: The Huns ran roughshod over Russia for several hundred years, leaving behind not only fear and disruption but many descendants. Peter Romanov (Peter the Great) opened the window and doors of Russia to the rest of Europe. The Ottoman Empire: By the middle of the 16th century the Ottomans controlled the worlda€™s largest empire in total geographic territory. By 1529 the Ottomans had conquered most of Hungary and viewed the Austrian Empire as a threat to their new territories in Eastern Europe.
In 1683 the Ottomans laid siege a second time to Vienna, cutting off all supplies into the city for two months. After the defeat in 1683, the Ottomans began a long process of withdrawal from Eastern Europe because of inefficiency in government, and because of the frequent rebellions within its occupied countries.
Christians and Jews in the Ottoman Empire: In spite of the heavy taxation of Christians and Jews, the Ottomans allowed local leaders to govern their own locales. 1542 King James V of Scotland dies, 9 mos old daughter, Mary, becomes Queen Regnant, married to future king of France, Dauphin Francis, in 1558. 1588 -- Spanish Armada -- Philip determined to make Elizabeth and England pay for Henrya€™s offense against Catharine of Aragon, for treatment when husband of deceased Mary I, for Elizabetha€™s spurning of his marriage offer, and for her aiding the rebels in the Netherlands. 1685-1688 -- James II of England and VII of Scotland (1685-1688) (continued to claim the English and Scottish thrones after his deposition in 1688 until his death in 1701).
The English Bill of Rights laid the foundation for the American Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
In the 16th and 17th centuries the Protestant Reformation led to a deepened sense of nation and nationhood, often based upon religious commitment. The Thirty Yearsa€™ War (1618-1648) tore Europe apart, but it solidified the sense of nationhood and religious identity.
Monarchies developed in most European regions, replacing feudal lords, some ruling over small domains, and others, like the Habsburgs, Tudors, and Bourbons, and the Spanish crown over vast empires. The Treaty of Westphalia in 1648 greatly hindered the rise of nationalism in Germany, resulting in a sectionalism containing up to 132 independent states, each led by an independent ruler.
Due to the expanding size and complications that developed in managing their territories, most of the new rulers turned to absolutism as a means of governing. Cardinal Richelieu, regent for the young Louis XIII of France, is known as the Father of Absolutism.
Absolutism led to heightened nationalism and this, in turn, to a quest to expand borders, usually into areas where the people spoke the same language and were members of the same culture.
France, Spain, Russia, Austria, and the Ottoman Empire developed absolute monarchies in the 16th and 17th centuries.
In Great Britain the reign of the Tudors and Stuarts illustrate clearly the struggle between absolutism and constitutionalism, beginning with the Magna Carta of 1215, the Glorious Revolution of 1688, and the English Bill of Rights of 1688. The coronation of William of the Netherlands and his wife, Mary, as co-monarchs of England in 1689, England established a Parliamentary government that limited the powers of the monarchy in government.
The Fathers of the new United States of America rejected a limited monarchy when framing the new Constitution and established a constitutional republic.
List from memory the list of the Tudor and the Stuart kings and queens of England and identify (1) their governing philosophy, whether absolute or constitutional, and (2) their religious loyalty, whether Protestant or Roman Catholic.
List from memory the list of the Bourbon line of kings and queens of France from Henry IV to Louis XVI and identify their unique contributions to the development of France. Describe the causes and outcomes of the Thirty Years War (1618-1648) and the decisions of the Treaty of Westphalia (1648) and its impact on shaping Europe. Compare and contrast the two styles of governing used in Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries -- absolutism and constitutional republicanism. Discuss in a written essay the history of individual freedom in England from Queen Elizabeth I to William and Mary.
Discuss in a written essay how the United States of America would be greatly different today if France had gained victory in Seven Yearsa€™ War between France and England in North America, based upon what you know about conditions in France and England in the 16th and 17th centuries.
There is to be a thesis statement which you will a€?provea€? or a€?establisha€? in your essay. 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.
Countries were were emerging from feudalism, some had been impacted by the Black Plague, others had also experienced the Renaissance. This was the case with the early monarchies that arose in Europe in the 14th-16th centuries in Europe. Princes in Germany drew up their territorial boundaries because much was at stake, as provided for in the Peace of Augsburg (1530) and the Treaty of Westphalia (1648).
The treaty resulted in a sectionalism that produced up to 132 independent states, each led by an independent ruler.
In addition, poor roads, poor transportation, and a zeal to hold on to traditional local power and local culture worked against unifying the people of several regions into a nation. In many cities they resorted to armed uprisings and it was not until the late 17th century that the central governments were strong enough to deal effectively with the frequent uprisings among the populace. In response, people often reacted against absolutism by resorting to a€?No Law,a€? or Anarchy.
It makes possible the free expression and free exercise of those innate inalienable rights. He was a student of biblical law and understood well the form of government given by God to Moses. The Constitution usually has a provision by which amendments can be added by a vote of the people.
Where a person is born, with regard to poverty or social class, is not where they are forced to remain. They cannot be given out nor taken away by the ruler or the government because they are given by the Creator and not the king or emperor. He restored peace and order by personal example through his conversion from Calvinism to Catholicism. The nobility and the clergy in northern France, including Paris, strongly opposed the idea of a Protestant king. The nobles promised their continued support of the throne if the throne continued to hold them free from taxation. His Catholic wife, Marie de Medici, a princess of Austria, appointed a regent, Catholic Cardinal Richelieu, to serve as regent for her young son, Louis XIII.
Richelieu promoted the idea of limiting the strength of the nobility and expanding and strengthening the role of the bureaucracy (officials hired to do professional government work). But, in a compromise measure, the nobles left in place a strong monarchy -- just so long as it did not tax the nobility! To increase his central power, Louis XIV centralized his government (1) by appointing intendants to govern for him in the various districts of France, (2) he kept the nobility powerless in government by refusing to call into session the Estates General (the parliament of France), and (3) he developed a widespread secret police by which he spread terror and fear.
He became known as a€?the War King.a€? His war efforts plunged France into debt, required more and more taxation to pay the debt, and increased the poverty of the lower classes. The a€?suna€? of the French hegemony seemed to extend from east to west, wherever the sun rose and set.
His major successes included 1) development of New World French colonies, 2) building up the French merchant fleet, 3) developing government-controlled industry, and 4) improving the process of tax collection. Only a strong central government with a large, professional army could preserve the new freedom from Islam.
His journey was not primarily a trip to find new lands, but to discover a westward route to the Spice Islands in the Pacific. The problem that continually checked the growth of constitutionalism in England was the concept held by the Tudor and Stuart dynasties was the divine right of kings. The nobility and common people continually had recall to days when a just legal system prevailed and the ideas and opinions of all the people mattered. Concerning the execution of Mary, for example, she was twice petitioned to sign a death warrant for Mary. She added the Dutch in their 80 year war for independence from Spain, and the failed Spanish Armada of 1588 simply rallied the people behind their queen. To illustrate, consider how the House of Commons was expected to bring their requests and ideas to the attention of the king or queen.
Sir Edward Coke, member of Parliament, is quoted as having commented to King James I, a€?I hope that everyone who saith, our Father, which are in heaven, does not prescribe God Almighty what he should do so do we speak of these things as petitioners to his Majesty, and not as prescribers, etc.a€? (Conrad Russell, Unrevolutionary England, 1603-1642, Continuum International Publishing Group, 1990, p. These were issued with more a tone of, a€?We are the House of Commons and this is what we think you should do. In 1586 both the House of Lords and House of Commons petitioned Queen Elizabeth to sign the order for the execution of her cousin, Mary, Queen of Scotland for her reported involvement in plans to assassinate Elizabeth. He seemed to carry a chip on his shoulder, always alert to any hints of the Parliament moving into his kingly rights. Allow him to impose current taxes and tariffs to take care of current debt but no more in the future. Constitutionalism was certainly not at work in England during the Tudor dynasty and through the reigns of James I and Charles I.
Today the queen of England is officially head of the Church of England and head of Great Britain, but her powers are very limited. In 1455 a series of wars were fought between two rival branches of the dynasty, the House of York (symbolized by a white rose) and the House of Lancaster (red rose). Elizabeth allowed a high degree of religious freedom in England during her reign, even though she was aware of the constant attempts by Catholic monarchs in Europe to have her deposed and Cathholicism re established in England. James became infant King James VI of Scotland after his mother, Mary, Queen of Scotland, was banished from Presbyterian Scotland for her Catholic faith and the intrigue resulting from the death of her husband. Their oldest daughter, Mary, was married at 9 to the Prince of Orange in the Netherlands, and subsequently became mother of William III, Prince of Orange who became King of England following the Glorious Revolution of 1688. The High Court was composed of member of the House of Commons, without the consent of the House of Lords. As Goda€™s appointed absolute king, he refused to acknowledge their authority over him and concluded his comments with, a€?. In 1660 he was invited by Parliament to return to England and they composed all documents to make it appear that Charles had succeeded his father in 1649, as though the republican Commonwealth had never existed! He conducted war against the Netherlands and entered into a secret treaty with his first cousin, King Louis XIV of France. Parliament forced him to rescind the Declaration, viewing it as a Roman plot to return England to Catholicism. With that, Charles dissolved Parliament and for four years until his death in 1685 ruled England alone as absolute king.
He was (1) pro-French, (2) pro-Catholic, (3) was himself a Catholic, and (4) his announced plans to establish an absolute monarchy. He created the army to protect him from rebellions after having to put down two rebellions in Scotland and southern England. In 1687 he unilaterally issued the Declaration for the Liberty of Conscience, which called for religious freedom for Catholics and Protestant nonconformists.
The wife of William was Jamesa€™ oldest daughter, Mary, a staunch Calvinist, as was William. The basic premise of the Bill of Rights was the following: everyone, from the poorest beggar in the street to the richest merchant, from a child in school to members of nobility, lords, military officers, judges, monarchs, all have certain basic rights that are guaranteed. But this freedom is limited in the sense that the freedom of the individual is always to be carried out while living under the law of God.
In 1549 Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, issued the Pragmatic Sanction, which solidified the Empirea€™s control over the seventeen states comprising the Netherlands.
From the viewpoint of the seventeen states, however, this was the imposition of a level of control that threatened their independence. The major causes for the revolt also included persecution of the Calvinist majority as heretics by the Catholic Phillip II, removal of institutions of governance practiced by the states for generations, and the imposition of high taxes. A chief ally of William was Elizabeth I of England who supplied men, weapons, and financing to the Calvinist cause.
In 1582 they took the strange, but politically astute move of inviting Francis, duke of Anjou in France, son of King Henry II of France.
Each province was managed by its own representative assembly and each province elected representatives to sit in the general assembly of the united provinces. While the monarch ruled supreme, there were certain limitations placed upon his or her exercise of power, but this was a limited curtailment.
In the French version of mercantilism, it was also believed that a nations stockpile of gold was the basis for economic health.
The one thwarts, squashes, and denies the inalienable rights of people and the other fosters, promotes, and grants those rights. It produced a new more crushing in serfdom in Russia and the eastern portions of the Habsburg Empire, and the Ottoman Empire, and resulted in severe restrictions on travel, relocation, private ownership of land, and produced heavy taxation. It weakened the power of the Habsburg Empire in Vienna so that (1) it had to remain a confederation of multi-ethnic, multi-cultural states, (2) it gave former Habsburg territories to France and Sweden at the expense of Austria, and (3) made Calvinism a legal choice alongside Catholicism and Lutheranism throughout Europe, at least on paper if not always in fact. The Kaiser (Prussia) and the Emperor (Austria) gave almost total control over the peasants to the nobility in exchange for total loyalty of the nobles to the monarchy and their granting Kaiser and Emperor almost total freedom to raise taxes, raise professional armies, and conduct foreign affairs. They kept the empire together by a program of rewarding the nobility (with land, control over peasants, expanded trade rights) and imposing Catholicism on everyone in the southern German states where they still retained power. The nobility in Hungary proved a real problem because they resisted Austrian control, rebelled whenever possible, and as Calvinists resisted the attempts to impose Catholicism on them.
The head of the Hohenzollern family (a traditional royal Prussian family), Frederick William (Wilhelm), came to power, took away the traditional representative rights of the nobility, and gained control over the three Prussian provinces in northern Germany. He controlled the nobility (a€?Junkersa€?) by placing in their hands the officer corps of the giant military machine. Ivan the Terrible (not given that title because he was a nice guy!) was able to recapture Russian dominance away from the Huns, but was ruthless in his actions to gain absolute control. Beginning with their capture of Constantinople in 1453, which was both a strategic victory -- opening eastern Europe to their campaigns and occupation -- as well as a victory giving to them great prestige. This created a level of interaction between Muslims, Jews, and Christians not often experienced by Catholics and Protestants in the rest of Europe. Religious commitment gave weight to a new sense of nationalism based upon a state or nationa€™s major religious beliefs. Economic Minister Colbert who served under Louis XIV, is known as the Father of Mercantilism. England fought an ongoing struggle between the absolutist Stuarts and the non-absolutist Parliament. This was the case within the dynasties of China and with the tribal leadership in Meso-America, Africa, and the Pacific Islands. But it also gives a clear pattern for how the monarchy is to operate: (1) there must be law with justice, (2) the just law must apply to everyone, and (3) everyone, because created in the image of God, has certain God-given inalienable rights that no one is to seek to block or take away. These inalienable rights are guaranteed in a written constitution under which all people live. He codified that system of law in his work Liber ex lege Moise (a€?The Book of the Law of Mosesa€?) c. Bartholomewa€™s Massacre, he was forced to quickly convert to Catholicism in order to save his life.
They promoted his uncle, Charles, but after the death of Charles delayed finding a replacement. The marriage was subsequently annulled by the pope in 1599 after Henry IV conveniently converted to Catholicism in 1593 (confiding at the time to a friend, a€?Paris is worth a massa€?). He even brought France into the Thirty Yearsa€™ War (1618-1648) on the side of the Protestants in an attempt to deal a death blow to fellow Catholics, the Austrian Habsburgs! The French kings never were able to rule with a€?absolute absolutism.a€? A peace of sorts was delicately maintained by an agreement -- the nobility would support the monarch if the monarch did not levy taxes them.
It is interesting how a peace treaty intended to settle religious conflict in Germany was used by Louis 150 years later to maintain absolutism in France and to crush the Huguenots! Further, the other European nations, tired of Louisa€™ bullying tactics, built alliances pitted against France and did much to isolate France from the rest of Europe, negatively impacting Francea€™s economy and trade.
The traditional routes from Spain to Asia were now jeopardized by Islamic navies in the Mediterranean. If God set a king on the throne, then the common people, if they feared God, would do as the king commands -- or so the thinking went.
His daughter, Mary, controlled a predominantly Protestant Parliament with the same tactics and over 400 persons, mainly Protestant ministers and leaders, were executed under her reign. Each time Elizabeth could not get herself to execute someone whom God had placed on a throne. Then the Catholics in England could be dealt with quietly with without causing a ruckus at home. A code of law was was established and a history of court decisions recorded, yet there was no one written document that could be call a legitimate constitution. His marriage to Catherine of Aragon and struggles for an annulment are discussed in Unit 17. Catherine was given funding and housing for life after her marriage to Henry was annulled by Pope Clement VII.
In that treaty Louis promised military support to Charles, and to pay him a pension, and in return, Charles promised to convert to Roman Catholicism. Further fear in this regard broke out when it was discovered the Charlesa€™ brother James (and next in line as heir to become king!) was a Catholic! When the Dutch forces landed in 1688 James succumbed to fear and did not oppose them, although his own army was superior in numbers.
James chose the later, fled to Paris in 1688, and was given a pension for life and security by his cousin, Louis XIV. King George V changed the family name during World War I from Hanover to Windsor to avoid the reminder of their German ancestry. Its independence was formally recognized by all of Europe in the Treaty of Westphalia of 1648. Basically, it merged all seventeen states, for the purpose of administration, into one entity, and established that in the future, all seventeen would pass as a unit to the next emperor.
Through the terms of the Treaty of Westphalia four more bordering provinces were added to the original seven, bringing the total to eleven. Chart #2 reviews the history of the monarchy in England as it progressed from Absolutism to the passage of the English Bill of Rights and the Glorious Revolution of 1688.
The nobility (landowners) weakened the economic power of merchants (former serfs) in towns and cities by selling their agricultural goods directly to merchants in other countries, by-passing the local merchants.
The emperor used his professional army to keep control in the southern German speaking areas. Charles VI arranged the acceptance of the Pragmatic Sanction which eliminated the traditional Salic Law in the empire and thus allowed his daughter, Maria Theresa, his only heir, who was to become, perhaps, the dominant female ruler of the era, to gain the throne in 1740.
Surrounded by Russia to the north and the frequent invasions into Prussia by the Tartars (descendants of the Huns in Russia), Austria to the East, and France to the South, Frederick Wilhelm did not have to do much convincing of the population to show the necessity for a strong, absolutist monarchy. After his death, Michael Romanov rose to power as the first hereditary ruler in Russia, establishing the Romanov family line that lasted on the Russian throne until 1918.
After suffering a humiliating defeat at the hands of Sweden in the early stages of the Great Northern War, Peter Romanov strengthened the economy, the army, and the central government. Building a new capitol city from ground zero, he used the blood and sweat of serfs and forced cooperation by the nobles to build the city.
The Ottomans continued their movement westward into Bulgaria, Greece, Romania, Croatia, Bosnia, Albania, and even as far westward as Hungary. The city was defended by farmers, merchants, and other citizens, and by German and Spanish troops sent by the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V. The parliament of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth valued highly the trade relations they enjoyed with the Ottoman Empire and wanted nothing to harm that relationship. 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. Now the question arose, a€?How should we govern ourselves?a€? or to be more accurate, asked the question, a€?Now that we have fought our way to the top, how will we govern this country?a€? They had no patterns or role models to follow. The excitement of the discoveries in the Renaissance and explorations in the New World began to fade. If you lived two feet on the other side of the state line your were compelled to be a Catholic. Full time, professional armies led to the frequent wars for expansion that characterized this period. His marriage with Margaret was not a successful marriage, with both Henry and Margaret often separating and engaging in infidelity.
Henry took that opportunity to wage war against the Catholic north in order to secure the crown.
In 1600 Henry then married Marie de Medici, daughter of the Duke of Tuscany (Florence, Italy) and a devout Catholic. At the time most people simply identified themselves by the region or town in which they lived. Mercantilism looked good on paper, but if no one in Europe will trade with France, the economy suffers greatly.
Mercantilism is the philosophy and practice of a national economy that is controlled almost entirely by the central government. Spain needed new income to replenish a bankrupt treasurer emptied by the struggle to defeat the Moors. But she used the strength of her personality and popular support among the people to wield great power over Parliament.
But on the third occasion, the petition from Parliament was so strong and the rationale so convincing, the Elizabeth finally relented and issued the death warrant for Mary.
The issue also involved the kinga€™s right to levy taxes and tariffs to fund his expenses apart from Parliamenta€™s consent. If they gave one inch they would compromise their authority to control the funding of the monarchy. Parliament continued to exercise some degree of power because it possessed the purse strings.
As a sop, thrown in their direction with a view to pacifying them, but with an ulterior motive, James permitted them to publish a new English translation of the Bible.
His frequent conflicts with Parliament resulted in his dissolving Parliament on three separate occasions when they did not yield to his wishes. This greatly threatened the privileged position of the Church of England and furthered the resentment and opposition to his rule. However, the move notified Spain that any attempts to overthrow the move for independence would result in French involvement. Michael built a strong central government, opened relations with other European countries, expanded Russiaa€™s territory, developed a government bureaucracy, and created Russiaa€™s first professional army.
The many ethnic, linguistic, and religious groups made the centralization of government difficult. For instance, Jews and Christians were not permitted to ride horses, could not walk on the same side of the street as Muslims, were frequently forced to yield their 12-year old sons and daughters as slaves, and were generally treated as lower class people. Far infrared rays improve blood circulation, stimulate endorphins, lower lactic acid, kill certain bacteria and parasites, and burn calories.
Imagine yourself to be the head of the XYZ Family who through warfare and intrigue just gained control over the country of Bakonia. Central governments attempted to deal with the increasing problems of stagnation and decline by (1) building larger armies, (2) forming larger bureaucracies, (3) raising greater taxes to pay for the armies and bureaucrats, and (4) generally creating a stronger central sovereignty by also controlling the military, economy, production, the court system, and in most cases, religion.
This second marriage produced six children, including Henrya€™s heir to the throne, Louis XIII. The central government determines the prices of goods, controls export and import quotas, determines the numbers established for industrial production, and sets as its goal a controlled market where exports outnumber imports. They in turn kept her in check because she needed their approval for funding to keep her court afloat. The rationale given was that so long as Mary was alive, the Catholic monarch on the continent and the pope in Rome will not cease their attempts to overthrow Elizabeth in order to set Catholic Mary on the throne and thereby recapture England for Rome. The debate was taken to the judicial officers of England who finally ruled that the king could not. The House of Lancaster won the battle in 1485, and then reconciled the two family lines through marriage.
After failing to produce a surviving male heir was accused of adultery and executed, leaving behind young daughter, Elizabeth.
Since the Tudors produced no heirs, James, a cousin to Elizabeth, became also King of England as James I.
Because James authorized its publication, it became known as the Authorized Version of the King James Bible (1611). James also appointed numerous Catholics to faculty positions at Cambridge and Oxford, began to purge Parliament of all his dissenters, began a screening process to allow only his supporters to run for Parliament if he should again call it into session, and of greatest concern, his wife gave birth to a first son. The people were unified by nationalism and generally given freedom to practice private ownership of property, freedom of movement, freedom of religion, and freedom to practice their vocations. The vastness of the empire, poor communication, and poor transportation further hindered Russiaa€™s development. Therefore, they forbad Jan III, the king of Poland, who was in command of the commonwealtha€™s army, to go to the rescue of the Austrians against the Ottomans.
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. In the same way the dividing line between Anglican England and Presbyterian Scotland also took on importance, as did the line separating Protestant Switzerland from Catholic France and Catholic Austria. It is also Peoplea€™s Law -- the people agree concerning how they will be governed, who will govern them, and, in turn, they vow to live cooperatively under the law. His ulterior motive was to rid England of the Geneva Bible, an earlier English translation that was published in Geneva. Now his Protestant daughters were not in line to ascend the throne, it would be a Catholic heir.
Nevertheless, by reducing the common people to serfdom, requiring them to give summer months to government projects, and compelling the nobility to serve in a new military-civilian bureaucracy, Peter gained the controlling upper hand. Petersburg (notice his humility in naming the city for himself!) following the best in European architecture and culture -- but as a capitol city of a population in which 90% of the people were serfs.
Defying the Commonwealtha€™s parliament, the Jan III marched his troops south to Vienna where they came to the rescue of the outnumbered troops of the Holy Roman Empire. The boys were castrated and then trained as personal body guards and shock troopers for the Caliph or Sultan. Their argument is supported by the human body itself, which radiates infrared energy for the benefits of warmth and tissue repair.A 3. The Polish-Lithuanian army arrived the very night before the Ottomans played to complete their tunnels under the walls of Vienna!
And we have to remove them from society by locking them away because they willingly choose to not live by the law of the land.
This opened the door for the long-enduring caliphate that was formed in Istanbul which existed from the fall of Constantinople in 1453 A.D. This is the heat you feel penetrate your skin when you stand in the sun and miss when you walk into the shade.
Thus, the King James Bible was authorized but the notes from the Geneva Bible were not allowed to be included in the Authorized Version of 1611. Marriage was never really consummated because Henry was displeased with her almost immediately after the wedding. When people do not receive adequate amounts of far infrared heat, they often can become ill or depressed.A 4. The president, and senators, and generals in the army, and all the people in major positions all have to obey the same law. If the president ever robbed a bank he would go to jail just like a homeless person would if he robbed a bank. 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. 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.
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.
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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