Healthy Beginnings

Reduce your body’s toxic load with chelation therapy

Environmental toxins such as pesticides can only be detoxed from the body by sweating.

In integrative medicine, our intentions are basically two-fold — to improve patient health by supplementing high-quality nutrients and nontoxic remedies, and removing environmental toxins and poisons.

Detoxification is frequently the most powerful tool we have for maintaining and improving health. For over 40 years, I have been practicing chelation therapy, which involves removing toxic, heavy metals such as lead, mercury, cadmium, aluminum, arsenic, uranium and others.

The term chelation comes from the Greek word “chela” — (a crab’s claw) to grasp or to bind — and involves many different substances in modern chemistry to remove heavy metals from our bodies such as EDTA, DMPS, DMSA, glutathione, zeolite, alpha lipoic acid, chlorella, cilantro and others.

Tissue levels of these toxins can be measured by hair analysis or challenge testing by first giving a chelating agent to the patient and then collecting urine or stool specimens to measure the offending metal.

These metals are bound to connective tissue and are not found in the blood in significant amounts unless the patient just ate a couple of thermometers and is having a severe, acute toxic reaction to mercury. Likewise, lead exposure is only measurable for 7 to 10 days in blood, but lasts for 6 months in hair.

Locally, we find elevated levels of arsenic in patients living in Washoe Valley, Fallon, Fernley and Yerington, and high levels of mercury and lead in people working in the mining and construction industries; firearms enthusiasts; and in law enforcement professionals.

Copper and iron levels are very high in some wells around the Plumas area. Uranium levels are frequently high in our area and are due to the water supply coming in contact with granite rock. It is radioactive and can cause fatigue at high levels.

There are many other categories of environmental toxins such as plastics, organic hydrocarbons, pesticides, herbicides, solvents and industrial waste that can’t be chelated and can only be detoxed from the body by sweating.

In her excellent book, “Detoxify or Die,” Sherry Rogers, MD, convinces us that we all have at least 100 environmental toxins in our bodies that are not merely additive in their toxicity, but multiplicative.

One toxin plus one toxin may equal a tenfold increase in toxic potential. I have known about far infrared (FIR) saunas for 20 years and it was only when I heard Dr. Rogers’ lecture about the Mayo Clinic using FIR saunas to reverse advanced congestive heart failure (CHF) that it really hit me about the importance of FIR.

Subsequently, we have reversed CHF in our clinic’s spa where we have four supervised saunas. We check blood pressure before and after each sauna and provide an electrolyte drink. FIR saunas operate at low temperatures, from 90 to 140 degrees maximum, and we increase the sauna times and temperature gradually.

They are well-tolerated, heating the body from the inside out, and avoid the high temperatures of regular saunas, which operate from 140 to 220 degrees and can cause stressful detox reactions.

There are many great cases of FIR saunas restoring health. More importantly, regular FIR sauna care can prevent chronic illness. It is especially restorative in the cold winter months.

The first sauna is on us and you don’t have to be a patient to experience the benefits.

Michael Gerber, M.D., H.M.D. is a Practitioner of Homeopathic Medicine at Gerber Medical Group in Reno. Visit or call 775-826-1900 to learn more.