Fired Up: Sauna Bathing is Heating the Way to Longevity
While it may seem hard work to plan a healthy diet, daily exercise, sound sleep and stress management techniques like meditation, how hard is it to sweat it out in a sauna? The mounting data in scientific studies supports both infraredand steam sauna as a health play not to miss. A look at these two types of sauna may help you feel better by adopting a sweat routine.
Artery Health. The lining of your arteries is a single layer called your endothelium. Waon therapy has been shown to improve the function of these cells and the blood flow they carry.
Blood pressure. Infrared sauna has been shown to lower blood pressure in studies done at the University of Kansas.
Exercise ability. A hallmark of heart disease is the reduced ability to exercise. After treatments with waon therapy, people demonstrate a greater ability to walk, whether limited by heart or leg vascular issues.
Longevity. In an amazing studyof 129 patients with bad heart problems, patients treated with infrared therapy at least two times a week were compared to similar patients who did not get the soothing warmth therapy. Over five years the rate of hospitalization and death was cut in half in the waon treated patients compared to the others!
Heart Failure. In a study of 149 patients with advanced congestive heart failure, half were treated with infrared sauna and half were the controls. After just 10 days of infrared therapy these sick patients could walk farther, breath better, showed healthier hearts by chest X-ray and lab measures, and had no side effects.
Finnish Steam Sauna
Blood pressure. In an ongoing project called the Sauna and Cardiovascular Health Project in Finland, 102 participants with at least 1 risk for heart disease had a single 30 minute session of Finnish steam sauna. After the sauna treatment, systolic blood pressure fell from 137 to 130 mmHg and diastolic pressure from 82 to 75 mmHg.
Inflammation. Want to drop your hs-CRP marker of systemic inflammation? Use a steam sauna regularly and for prolonged periods was associated with the lowest blood markers of inflammation in a large and recent study.
Risk of Pneumonia. In analysis of the Finnish database, the risk of developing pneumonia over several decades was cut in half in the group using steam sauna with the most frequency.
Sudden and overall death risk. If you combine regular exercise and regular sauna bathing you can you drop your risk of dying suddenly, usually to blocked heart arteries, by a third? And your overall risk of dying by 50% or more? Yes you can according to a studyof sudden death and another studyon overall mortality from Finland.
Dementia. In a provocative study, use of a Finnish sauna nearly every day of the week was associated with a reduced risk of developing dementia of all types by 70–80%.
Although you may not be familiar with the strong scientific data supporting sauna therapy for the promotion of health and treatment of disease, it is a therapy I recommend to all of my patients at my preventive longevity clinic. I have a full spectrum infrared sauna in my bedroom and use it regularly. I recommend you explore how to get “fired up” with sauna bathing to gain the benefits of this relaxing habit.