— ≈boldkick≈ (@_boldkick) June 10, 2016
Considered ‘lost’ for 66 years, Neal Cassady’s visionary ‘Joan Anderson letter’ is a foundational document of the Beat era and the inspiration for Kerouac’s literary revolutions, beginning withOn the Road
Neal Cassady’s long-lost letter to Jack Kerouac, dated 17 December 1950, has permeated virtually every conversation about the Beat era. Referenced not only by Kerouac but by Allen Ginsberg, Laurence Ferlinghetti, Herbert Hunke, and a host of their contemporaries, Cassady’s fluid, incantatory, and deeply revealing prose influenced the entire generation of Beat writers.
The letter was written on a three-day Benzedrine high, Cassady later confessed. It contained, by Kerouac’s first calculation, at least 13,000 words and ran to 40 pages, offering a compelling, unaffected and discursive account of Cassady’s frenetic love life in 1946, particularly with Joan Anderson (whom he visited in a hospital after a failed suicide), and ‘Cherry Mary’, recounting an acrobatic escape through a bathroom window when they were surprised by Mary’s aunt. The uninhibited, non-literary narrative pointed the way to the free, truthful style to which Kerouac aspired.
Overwhelmed by what he read, Kerouac wrote ecstatically to Cassady on 27 December: ‘I thought it ranked among the best things ever written in America… it was almost as good as the unbelievably good ‘Notes from the Underground’ of Dostoevsky… You gather together all the best styles… of Joyce, Céline, Dosy… and utilize them in the muscular rush of your own narrative style & excitement. I say truly, no Dreiser, no Wolfe has come close to it; Melville was never truer.’
Cassady, Neal (1926-1968). Typed letter completed in autograph and with autograph additions, corrections, and deletions in pencil and pen, to Jack Kerouac (1922-1969), Denver, 17 December 1950. 18 pages, comprising nearly 16,000 words, some pale browning and minor marginal chipping. Estimate: $400,000-600,000. This lot is offered in the Books & Manuscripts sale on 16 June at Christie’s New York. © Cathy Sylvia Cassady, Jami Cassady and John Cassady
© Cathy Sylvia Cassady, Jami Cassady and John Cassady
In an interview published in the Summer 1968 issue of The Paris Review, Kerouac famously hailed the letter’s impact: ‘I got the idea for the spontaneous style of On the Road from seeing how good old Neal Cassady wrote his letters to me, all first person, fast, mad, confessional, completely serious, all detailed, with real names in his case, however (being letters).’
Nearly everyone who knew Cassady was struck by his natural verbal virtuosity as a monologist. Kerouac’s first wife, Joan Haverty Kerouac, recounted his tales of ‘cares and escapades, jail memories and women and nights and blues’, though she was certain that no writing ‘could… capture the vitality and intensity of the voice I now heard, describing everything in such a way that lived it just by listening.’
Never read, or merely neglected, the letter remained untended until its discovery in 2012
As with many documents of the era, the ‘Joan Anderson’ letter travelled a complex path through many hands, and for the majority of the last 66 years was considered lost. After being entranced by it and responding, Kerouac gave the letter to Allen Ginsberg to read and offer to publishers.
Ginsberg then took the letter to his friend Gerd Stern, who was living in Sausalito in California on a houseboat and working as a West Coast rep for Ace Books. Within the tight Beat nexus, Ginsberg and Stern formed a bond after meeting at the mental facility where they were both introduced to (Howl-dedicatee) Carl Solomon. Solomon’s uncle owned Ace Books, and it was Ace that had published William S. Burroughs’ Junkie in 1953.
Despite their enthusiasm, Ace rejected publication of Cassady’s typescript and it was returned by Stern to Ginsberg. The letter then went missing and the story was born — perpetuated most emphatically by Kerouac — that it had been lost over the side of Stern’s boat.
In fact, Cassady’s letter had been preserved in the files of the Golden Goose Press. Owned by Ginsberg and Stern’s friend R.W. ‘Dick’ Emerson, the Golden Goose Press was known for publishing some of the finest poets of the period, and for making audio recordings of their readings. Emerson placed the envelope containing the letter on his ‘to read’ pile. Never read, or merely neglected, it remained untended until its discovery in 2012 by Jean Spinosa.
No records of any sales are recorded in the online databases for any Cassady material, let alone for material of this literary consequence
Ginsberg later had no memory of giving the Joan Anderson Letter to Stern, and when Emerson closed the Golden Goose Press the letter was packed further into obscurity. It may have been lost for ever had not John ‘Jack’ Spinosa, Emerson’s officemate at 40 Gold Street in San Francisco, insisted on preserving the press’s archives when they were forced to vacate their rental space.
Spinosa recognized that literary history was preserved in those files, and saved them from being thrown away as Emerson cleared the office. The boxes remained with Spinosa and his wife Kathleen Cohan until after his death on 29 November 2011. On the following 15 May, Jack’s daughter Jean discovered this long-lost treasure of post-war American literature, buried among the files of the Golden Goose Press.
Only a fragment of the letter has ever been published — 14 years after it was written, and after the great works it influenced had come out. A portion of the letter, apparently copied by Kerouac before he passed it on to Ginsberg, was published in 1964 by John Bryan in his Notes from Underground #1, where it was called ‘The First Third’. Bryan claimed that Cassady himself came to help print it, while the title suggests that Cassady was by this time considering it as the first portion of his ongoing autobiography.
The same extract was published by City Lights in 1971 as an addendum to Cassady’s book The First Third, and later formed the basis of the 1997 film The Last Time I Committed Suicide, directed by Stephen T. Kay, and starring Thomas Jane and Keanu Reeves.
It is an understatement to remark that Neal Cassady material is scarce at auction: it is unprecedented. No records of any sales are recorded in the online databases for any Cassady material, let alone for material of this literary significance. The circumstances of its preservation and appearance at auction constitute a unique opportunity to acquire a foundational post-war literary manuscript that transcends its humble origins as a ‘letter’.
Mendocino Supes Add Measure G to County Code
Living in Mendocino is like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. People here are different and living here is like living in the future of your wildest dreams. Just take a look at what we’ve persuaded the County Board of Supervisors to adopt as law:
“Neither the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors, nor the Sheriff, nor the District Attorney shall spend or authorize the expenditure of any public funds for the investigation, arrest, or prosecution of any
person, or the seizure of any property in any single case involving
25 or fewer adult flowering female marijuana plants or the equivalent
in dried marijuana, nor shall the Auditor Controller or the
Treasurer- Tax Collector approve any such requests for such expenditures of public funds, or authorize or approve the issuance of any form of payment should such expenditures be made.”
Below is a press release that just went out to explain what has happened here. Don’t look for any media play now, because we are probably too far in the future for them to understand, but here in
Mendocino, the future is NOW!
Let freedom grow,
April 19, 2007
Steve Kubby, National Director
The American Medical Marijuana Association (AMMA)
Board of Supervisors Office
(707) 463-4245 Fax
Mendocino Supes Add Measure G to County Code
UKIAH — Six years after the voters of Mendocino County passed Measure G with a whopping 60% landslide, the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors have finally taken the first steps to add Measure G to the County Code.
The American Medical Marijuana Association applauds this historic action by the Board and salutes those who helped make this victory a reality, including Dr. William Courtney, Jim and Trelanie Hill, Rob Garzini, Dane Wilkins, Dale Gieringer, Pebbles Trippet, Kristen Peskuski, Ralf Laguna, Paula Deeter, Edie Lerman, Dr. Michael Baldwin, and advisors John Gilmore and Tom Knapp.
Special recognition should also be given to Richard Johnson, the author of Measure G and head of the Mendocino Green Party. Thanks Richard for this historic victory!
Measure G is to be incorporated into Chapter 9 of the Code as Section
Below is the full text of Mendocino’s new Ordinance:
Section 9.36.10: FINDINGS
The People of Mendocino County find as follows:
A) Cannabis sativa (marijuana) is a beneficial plant with a respectable heritage and hundreds of well-known industrial, medicinal and recreational uses;
B) Two decades of marijuana law enforcement in Mendocino County has not stopped cultivation here but has unnecessarily marginalized a large number of otherwise law abiding citizens who grow and use marijuana;
C) Those who grow for personal use are not responsible for violent incidents sometimes associated with marijuana cultivation, but are vulnerable to theft;
D) The Institute of Medicine has found that marijuana has bona fide medical uses and is not a gateway to hard drug addiction;
E) Law enforcement has carried out investigations, confiscations, and arrests against persons cultivating and using medical marijuana under Proposition 215 in Mendocino County;
F) The cities of Berkeley and San Francisco have longstanding ordinances which instruct police to minimize the priority of marijuana enforcement.
Section 9.36.20: PURPOSE
The Ordinance codified in this Chapter will:
A. Instruct the county government to support all efforts toward the decriminalization of marijuana;
B. Instruct the county sheriff and district attorney to make marijuana enforcement their lowest priority with respect to other crimes;
C. Establish a maximum limit of plants and weight for cultivation and possession of marijuana for personal use in Mendocino County, and prohibit the expenditure of public funds for enforcement of marijuana laws against cultivators and users in possession of quantities below that limit.
D. Remove the fear of prosecution and the stigma of criminality from people who harmlessly cultivate and/or use marijuana for personal medical or recreational purposes.
E. Extend police protection to those growing or possessing marijuana for personal use;
F. Provide for the continued enforcement of marijuana laws against those who cultivate, transport and possess marijuana for sale.
The purpose of this chapter is to establish Cannabis enforcement policy for Mendocino County.
Section 9.36.30: DECRIMINALIZATION OF CANNABIS IN CALIFORNIA
It is the desire of the people of Mendocino County that the cultivation for personal use of Cannabis be decriminalized in
California. In this context, the board of supervisors is directed to lobby state and federal governments for the immediate decriminalization of the personal use of Cannabis, specifically by repealing Sections 11357, (possession), 11358, (transportation), and
– 11359, (cultivation), of the California Health and Safety Code. The people also urge the Sheriff and District Attorney to publicly support such decriminalization.
Section 9.36.40: LAW ENFORCEMENT PRIORITY OF CANNABIS
Through its budgetary authority, the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors shall seek to ensure that the Sheriff’s Office and the District Attorney give lowest priority to the enforcement and prosecution of marijuana laws.
Section 9.36.50: SHERIFF OFFICE ARRESTS AND CITATIONS
The Board of Supervisors shall use its budgetary authority to ensure that the Sheriff’s Office makes no arrests and issues no citations for violations of the above state Health and Safety Code sections in any single case involving 25 or fewer adult flowering female marijuana plant or the equivalent in dried marijuana.
Section 9.36.60: DISTRICT ATTORNEY PROSECUTIONS
The Board of Supervisors shall use its funding authority to ensure that the District Attorney shall not prosecute any violations of the above state Health and Safety Code sections nor seize any property in any single case involving 25 or fewer adult flowering female marijuana plants or the equivalent in dried marijuana.
Section 9.36.70: EXPENDITURE OF FUNDS FOR CANNABIS ENFORCEMENT
Neither the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors, nor the Sheriff, nor the District Attorney shall spend or authorize the expenditure of any public funds for the investigation, arrest, or prosecution of any person, or the seizure of any property in any single case involving 25 or fewer adult flowering female marijuana plants or the equivalent in dried marijuana, nor shall the Auditor Controller or the
Treasurer- Tax Collector approve any such requests for such expenditures of public funds, or authorize or approve the issuance of any form of payment should such expenditures be made.
Section 9.36.80: REPORTING
The Board of Supervisors shall instruct the Sheriff’s Office and District Attorney to report on December 1 of each year regarding marijuana law enforcement and prosecution activities engaged in by themselves and by state, federal, and/or other law enforcement agencies within the County of Mendocino.
Section 9.36.90: SERVERABILITY
The people of Mendocino County intend that in case a court of competent jurisdiction should find one or more of the above Sections illegal, the remaining Sections remain in full force and effect.
NOTE: When possible, articles are shared in full for historical record and annotated with original link when source is broken and/or accessed from Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine or Google cache etc. during Feb. 2017.
Media coverage about homelessness and Olympics:
Stop the War on the Poor, says DTES Protestors24 Hours, March 15, 2009
Downtown Eastside residents angry at police crackdown via Wayback Machine – original
Canadian Press > CBC News, March 15, 2009
About 100 people gathered in wet weather to protest the Vancouver police crackdown. (CBC)
Residents of Vancouver’s poverty-stricken Downtown Eastside protested Sunday against what they see as a pre-Olympic police strategy to drive them off the streets through petty ticketing and random identification checks.
About 100 people showed up outside a police station on Main Street — formerly the department’s headquarters — in the heart of the gritty neighbourhood.
Pelted by wet snow flurries, speakers angrily rejected the police business plan that calls for more tickets to be issued for bylaw infractions such as jaywalking and street vending — laws they say aren’t enforced in Vancouver’s nicer neighbourhoods.
Clyde Wright of the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users said members “have been ticketed for offences such as stepping off the curb unsafely, riding a bicycle on the sidewalk, having no helmet, having no bell on their bike.”
The police plan calls for more summons to be issued to enforce the fines, which Wright said are a hardship on residents living on social assistance.
“This is targeted harassment of poor people,” he told the rally.
Protesters set up a sidewalk sale hoping to attract police attention, but officers stayed clear, instead blocking the street to traffic as the rally spilled off the sidewalk.
Crackdown aims to make streets safer: police
The police business plan, released in January, outlines various tactics it says is aimed at curbing street disorder in what is perhaps the poorest neighbourhood in Canada.
It sets targets for charges under the provincial Safe Streets Act and Trespass Act and requires each police Beat Enforcement Team shift to conduct a minimum number of identification checks in the neighbourhood.
Another tactic involves not laying charges for simple drug possession, instead seizing the drugs to avoid lengthy paperwork that keeps officers off the street for hours at a time.
David Eby of the B.C. Civil Liberties Association says the crackdown seems to be an attempt to clean up the Downtown Eastside before the Olympics. (CBC)
No one from the Vancouver Police Department was available Sunday to comment on the protesters’ complaints, but spokespeople in the past have said police are trying to crack down on street disorder because residents want to feel safe.
But David Eby, president of the B.C. Civil Liberties Association, who attended the rally, said he believes the 2010 Winter Games have a lot to do with the plan.
“It’s hard for me to imagine this isn’t related to the Olympics,” he said. “It’s an entirely new initiative. More tickets than have ever been given out in a very short period of time.
“The goal is to harass the people who are living on the street down here, who are addicted to drugs or mentally ill or just too poor to even survive anywhere else. To harass them into other neighbourhoods and spread the problem out over the city.”
Downtown Eastside residents protest police ‘street sweeps’
CBC > The Canadian Press, Mar 15, 2009
Police cracking down on poor: Activists
Metro Vancouver News, March 16, 2009
Police accused of harassing the poor with nuisance tickets – via Internet Archive Wayback machine – original
The Province News, March 15, 2009, Ian Austin
VANCOUVER — Downtown Eastside activists took their protests of police harassment to the steps of the Vancouver police station Sunday.
The activists, who want to know why public money is spent to lay nuisance charges such as jaywalking, set up a garage sale at the entry to the station at 312 Main St.
“At a time when there is so much concern in the region about gun violence, all these police resources are being used handing out tickets to people who will never be able to afford to pay them,” said Ann Livingston, executive director of the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users. “I find it unbelievable.
“It is further marginalizing people who are already struggling to survive.”
Under a portable tent structure, a group sold a variety of goods to protest tickets for unauthorized “vending.”
“The poverty in this area has been put on the police business plan as a crime issue,” said David Eby, executive director of the B.C. Civil Liberties Association. “People can’t afford these tickets — it’s $100, and that’s almost one-third of the $375 they have to live on each month.”
Priscilla Mays of the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre accused the police of trying to sweep the streets before the Olympics.
“It is not a coincidence that the increased ticketing is happening in the lead-up to the Olympic Games,” she said. “It is happening to ensure that residents live in a state of fear and intimidation so that the [Downtown Eastside] is cleansed of poor and homeless people in time for the tourists.”
City Coun. Kerry Jang said the ticketing is part of the Project Civil City campaign that’s a leftover from the previous city government.
“We are speaking with the police of a different approach,” said Jang. “Our solution is to create more housing.”
Downtown Eastside residents fear they’ll be jailed during Games
Canada.com > Vancouver Sun, Feb. 16, 2009 (Press Reader.com version available)
Some people can’t afford to pay fines given during ticketing sweep for civil disorderCanada.com > Vancouver Sun, February 16, 2009 (Pressreader.com version available)
Police crackdown not welcome
24 HOURS News, February 16, 2009, by Matt Kieltyka
Downtown Eastside residents are feeling a little uneasy with the Olympics fast approaching and it starts with the police, protesters say.
Supporters of the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre took to Pigeon Park yesterday to protest aggressive bylaw enforcement by police.
The women – backed by the B.C. Civil Liberties Association, Pivot Legal Society and Carnegie Community Action Project – say a 50 per cent spike in tickets issued to DTES residents last year is criminalizing poverty.
“People are being ticketed for basically being in the street,” said organizer Harsha Walia.
Walia believes that enforcement – many for acts such as jaywalking and loitering – is being conducted “to make sure the Downtown Eastside is cleaned up for the Olympics.”
BCCLA acting director David Eby said the tickets have a knock-on effect, through court no-go orders, that prevent people from accessing essential services in the Downtown Eastside.
Pivot lawyer Douglas King says his agency is helping people dispute the infractions in court.
He has also called on city council to eradicate former mayor Sam Sullivan’s Project Civil City, an initiative King says has opened the door for aggressive ticketing.
“The city voted against Civil City when Gregor Robertson was elected,” King said.
Downtown Eastside residents say tickets unfair
CTV News, February 15, 2009
The 2010 Olympics are being blamed for police sweeps and aggressive ticketing in Vancouver’s poorest neighbourhood.
Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside — is where addicts can openly inject drugs on the street — but jaywalking is an offense that comes with a ticket and a fine of $25 for people who can least afford to pay.
Activists say police are giving out more and more tickets to clean up the Downtown Eastside in time for the Games. And they claim the tactics are wreaking havoc for the most needy.
“I think that’s ridiculous, they wouldn’t do that on Granville, they wouldn’t do that on Robson, and people do that over there,” said local resident Paula Potter.
Vancouver police issued a flurry of tickets in the Downtown Eastside last year. Community groups say officers are targeting residents for minor infractions.
“We’re seeing things like ticketing for jaywalking, spitting, and “illegal” vending,” said Harsha Walia of the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre.
It’s being executed as part of the province’s Safe Streets Act, passed in 2004 to crack down on aggressive panhandling, and championed by former Mayor Sam Sullivan. The mayor came up with his “project civil city” plan in response in order to deal with public disorder.
Last year, officers issued 467 tickets for violations under the safe streets act, more than double the previous year, the majority of them in Canada’s poorest neighbourhood, the Downtown Eastside.
Residents say it’s all about maintaining an image before the Olympics.
And there are plans to increase ticketing the area even more. According to the VPD’s draft business plan for 2009, the target is a minimum of four street checks per officer per block.
“It’s totally unfair and totally disrespectful,” said Wendy Pedersen of the Carnegie Community Action Project.
“Imagine how you would feel if you had no money and stepped off the pavement and you got a ticket for jaywalking, knowing nobody cares about your safety, that really it’s about scooping you off the streets for the Olympics.”
Not paying the ticket can mean ending up in jail or being banned from the neighbourhood.
The fight will go to court this week. Residents are being encouraged to contest their tickets on Tuesday.
With a report by CTV British Columbia’s Jina You.
“Downtown Eastside crackdown misguided, groups say”
Globe & Mail, February 12, 2009, Frances Bula
If Doug Everitt lived anywhere besides the Downtown Eastside, he doubts he’d be getting the kinds of tickets from police he does.
The 50-year-old construction worker has had five in the past few months, some for riding his bike without a helmet, some for jaywalking on the streets near the residential hotel where he’s been living.
“I just feel like I get targeted because it’s something they can hold over my head so they can get me off the street when they need to, like the Olympics,” said Mr. Everitt, who has had his struggles with drugs and is now on methadone. “And it’s gotten a lot more aggressive lately.”
What he’s noticing is the effects of the Vancouver Police Department’s new 2009 business plan, which set new targets for ticketing and street checks in the Downtown Eastside to maintain public order.
The neighbourhood, home to a high concentration of poor, mentally ill and drug-addicted residents, is infamous for its pockets of chaos, with crowds of people selling random articles on the sidewalk or gathering in alleys to buy and sell drugs.
The police plan, which was initiated in December but made public two weeks ago, is coming under fire from the B.C. Civil Liberties Association and AIDS groups for the way it targets people like Mr. Everitt because they live in a particular neighbourhood.
They say the crackdown, which envisions banning people from the neighbourhood if they accumulate enough tickets, actually endangers people’s health, since it prevents the drug-addicted and marginalized from accessing the numerous services in the Downtown Eastside aimed specifically at their problems.
The groups sent a public letter to Vancouver Police Chief Jim Chu objecting to the new plan, which set a goal of issuing 20 per cent more tickets for bylaw offences, 10 per cent more tickets under the provincial Safe Streets Act, and requiring any beat officers to do at least four random “street checks” per block every day.
“This doesn’t solve any of the underlying issues,” said David Eby, a lawyer with the civil liberties association.
His association’s letter, which was also signed by six AIDS organizations, noted that “bylaw offences identified for targeting by the Vancouver police appear to be those most closely associated with dire poverty, including sleeping outside and street vending.”
The police crackdown is also prompting concern from other social-service agencies in the area.
Mark Townsend, who runs a non-profit that operates a number of residential hotels for people who have psychiatric or addiction problems, said many of their residents are getting ticketed. One resident, who is mentally ill, is now afraid to go outside for fear of being arrested.
Mr. Eby noted that a scientific study on the effects of a previous crackdown, called Operation Torpedo, showed that more aggressive policing succeeded mainly in spreading drug and public-disorder problems to Commercial Drive, Broadway and the West End.
Operation Torpedo started in 2003 and tapered off about a year later. It increased the numbers of beat police and even saw officers on horseback going through the neighbourhood.
The police chief at the time, Jamie Graham, said the department was moving to more aggressive policing to create some order in the neighbourhood and make it more livable for residents intimidated by the level of drug-dealing and general mayhem.
But critics say that approach doesn’t really get rid of anything.
“Yes, the Downtown Eastside is chaotic but just because the chaos is spread out over a larger area doesn’t solve the problem,” Mr. Eby said.
Vancouver city Councillor George Chow said his Vision party, which dominates council, hasn’t formalized a specific response to the police plan. But he did note that he and his colleagues are pushing for other measures to try to control street disorder in the Downtown Eastside, like finding indoor places for dumpster divers to refurbish or sell what they have collected.
Special to The Globe and Mail
‘Street sweeps’ protested Downtown Eastside groups oppose ticketing campaign
The Province Newspaper, February 16, 2009
A wonderful podcast, following Dave Olson who interviews Foot Man, as they hike up Canaan Mountain to drink from a fresh natural mineral spring, eat ripened coconut and fruits and as they drape from the trees, and explore a natural weed farm baking in the hot Jamaican sun. Here’s a small taste of Jamaica, mon Meet Foot, a Rasta bushman called Fire, and Dave- guiding the adventure.
Source: Fire on Canaan Mountain ~ Choogle On Jamaica Scheme #4 | EarthPop Studios
SOOTHING SAUNAS AND STEAM ROOMS
If you want to kick it up another notch and raise health benefits to the next level, visit the sauna or steam room following a workout at the local gym. The intense heat stimulates blood circulation near the skin, which triggers more intense sweating, and you may easily shed a pint or more of sweat — along with accompanying fats and toxins — even in a short stay. Saunas and steam rooms are both good for you, though they tend to impact the body in slightly differing ways. According to Dr. Stengler, saunas and steam rooms help wastes exit out through sweat and sebaceous glands. In the end, which you choose is largely a matter of personal taste. Here’s what you can expect from the various options…
1. Steam rooms provide moist heated air.
2.Traditional European-style saunas provide dry and then wet heat when you splash water on hot rocks or a stove to generate steam).
3. Electric saunas provide only dry heat.
Benefits of intense heat and sweating in steam rooms and saunas include flushing of dirt and debris from the skin… general detoxification… pain relief from conditions such as arthritis, backaches and sports injuries by increasing blood circulation and removing accumulated pain-causing acidic metabolites… stress reduction, and an overall sense of relaxation and well-being.
NEW KID ON THE BLOCK: INFRARED SAUNAS
Dr. Stengler also told me about a relatively new alternative — far infrared saunas. These special saunas harness infrared radiation to heat the skin without warming the air. An infrared sauna usually consists of a wooden box with several infrared heaters, with the box offering the atmosphere of the traditional sauna while heaters emit the actual radiation. People who are fans of infrared radiation point out that it offers the same health benefits as conventional alternatives, but with certain advantages. For example, traditional steam rooms and saunas may be more likely to spread germs because of the moist air, and some people have trouble breathing in air that is very warm. On the other hand, many people enjoy the sensations of relaxation and well-being they more typically associate with sweating out toxins in warm and/or moist air. Once again, it’s a matter of personal preference. Just be careful to avoid over cooking yourself with the penetrating radiant heat.
SAFE SWEATING IN THE SAUNA
Of course, there’s a right way and a wrong way to go about using saunas and steam rooms. To safely sweat your way to good health, Dr. Stengler recommends…
* If you are pregnant, or if you suffer high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes or other chronic health problems, check with your physician first. Intense heat makes your heart pump faster and raises your pulse rate by 30% to 50%.
* Don’t visit the steam room or sauna if you’re not feeling well, or if you’ve been drinking alcohol, and leave at once if you begin to feel nauseous, dizzy or otherwise unwell. Those on medications should check with their doctor before using a sauna or steam room. You should also avoid wearing jewelry when inside, so it does not get damaged.
* Drink water before and afterward — 12 ounces for every 15 minutes in a sauna — and continue to sip water while inside. Dr. Stengler adds that an electrolyte solution would be even better, and that more effective versions than the usual Gatorade are available from health food stores. Also be sure to have plenty of salt in your system as well, especially if on medication or if you are prone to low blood sodium (a blood test can tell you if you are). Even a short session can result in significant fluid and salt loss, and you don’t want to become dehydrated or sodium deficient.
* Keep it short and sweet. A general rule of thumb is 10 to 15 minutes in the steam room or 20 to 30 minutes in the dry sauna once or twice a week. Dr. Stengler adds that these numbers really depend on individual health, and healthy people can safely stretch their stays to 15 to 20 minutes in the steam room and as long as 60 to 90 minutes (with cooling off breaks every 15 minutes) in the dry sauna and 30 minutes (with a 15-minute break halfway through) in the infrared sauna. Conversely, people with conditions such as high blood pressure will need to keep sessions shorter. When in doubt, consult your physician for advice. Whether you go low-tech with just exercise or high-tech (if relaxing in the sauna can be high-tech) with saunas and steam, sweating is one simple and effective way to contribute to health and fitness. As always, just be sure you go about it safely.
NOTE: Respectfully shared in full for historical record and educational use. Original links and date intact for context.
- Mashable – https://twitter.com/#!/jehangirirani/status/178717781510995968
- CNN – https://twitter.com/#!/etanowitz/status/178689426636029952
- MSNBC – https://twitter.com/#!/JoshEdits/status/178576432161759232
- Vancouver Sun – https://twitter.com/#!/DeanVanSun/status/178550778569568257
- Wall Street Journal – https://twitter.com/#!/kenjfuj/status/178548997559025666
- Read Write Web – https://twitter.com/#!/CopeWrites/status/178530755587215362