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Blog - far infrared sauna benefits

Abundant Scientific Research Provides Proof of Far Infrared Sauna Benefits

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As curious as it might seem, the are some who still dismiss far infrared sauna benefits as myth or exaggeration. Fortunately, a large pool of scientific evidence proves that most of the positive claims are true and verified. If you have not yet tried a far infrared sauna but are intrigued and willing to personally explore its health benefits, you might find the following facts useful in making a final decision.

Scientists Point to the Many Wonderful Far Infrared Sauna Benefits

Supportive of Treatments for Cardiovascular Diseases

Contrary to popular belief that sauna sessions can aggravate a patient’s heart condition, there is scientific support indicating that significant time in the sauna can normalize blood pressure and improve one's hemodynamics in general—all helpful to treating coronary artery disease (also known as congestive heart failure). Science points to only a few acute heart conditions that warrant caution regarding prolonged sauna sessions. A high degree of heat can aggravate those conditions and cause undue stress on the heart. Much of the skepticism over sauna usage stems from these extreme instances.

Meanwhile, studies conducted with patients suffering from New York Heart Association (NYHA) Class II found that 10-15-minute sessions in an infrared sauna over a two-week period improved ventricular arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythms in the ventricles).

A different study found that 15-minute infrared sauna sessions can significantly improve cardiac functions, particularly the vascular endothelial function (concerning the inner blood vessels), and clinical symptoms of congestive heart failure.

Chronic and Acute Pain Reliever

Research conducted in Japan's Kagoshima University Hospital finds that far infrared sauna sessions can impressively reduce fibromyalgia pain up to 78 percent. In layman’s terms, fibromyalgia translates into a complex chronic disorder that causes widespread pain inside the body. In the U.S. alone, approximately 10 million people (an 8:2 women-to-men ratio) suffer fibromyalgia pain. Even the young are subject to this chronic disease, which can develop during one's early teens.

The study shows that patients who receive 15-minute sessions at least twice a week reported better long-lasting pain management after 10 treatments. The same study also found that a session of a few minutes inside a 60°C (140°F) far infrared sauna exhibited a 70 percent reduction in leg pain for those suffering peripheral arterial disease. Additionally, a 30-minute, twice-weekly infrared sauna session can drastically reduce pain caused by autoimmune diseases (e.g., rheumatoid arthritis).

Beneficial for Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus Patients

A study involving all type 2 diabetes mellitus patients at Fraser Lake Community Health Center in British Columbia, Canada revealed that a 20-minute far infrared sauna session three times a week and over a three-month period can result in massive improvement to such patients' quality of life.

Subjects were required to answer a 36-item Health Survey Version with 0-10 visual scale to determine if the patients experienced a positive improvement in their quality of life. Baseline parameters were measured one week before the first sauna session and consequently repeated within 1-3 days after the previous sauna session. So, while a far infrared sauna cannot cure diabetes directly, at the very least it can slightly improve the lives of type 2 diabetes mellitus patients.

An Aid to Treatment for Some Types of Cancer

A related study conducted in Tokushima, Japan finds that far-infrared radiation can potentially suppress the proliferation of cancer cells in mice. This study lends hope to the possibility of incorporating far infrared sauna sessions into the overall treatment regime for cancer patients.

Since far infrared saunas use deep, penetrating heat, it is entirely possible for cancer patients to use far infrared sauna sessions as a remedy for their illness. This theory finds further support from the National Cancer Institute, claiming that thermal therapy (such as a far infrared sauna) can eventually lead to killing cancer cells. In addition, a clinical study published in 2009 finds that far infrared can reduce cancer tumors up to 86 percent by volume in mice.

Scientific evidence supporting the efficacy of far infrared sauna sessions as a treatment for various diseases abounds. Given such verified health benefits, few reasons exists to deter you from trying a far infrared sauna for the sake of your own health.

Sources:

Far-infrared saunas for treatment of cardiovascular risk factors, NationalInstitutesofHealth.com

What is Fibromyalgia?, NationalFibromyalgiaAndChronicPainAssociation.org

Infrared Sauna Therapy Shows Impressive Chronic Pain-Reducing Results, UniversityHealthNews.com

The effects of repeated thermal therapy on quality of life in patients with type II diabetes mellitus, NationalInstitutesofHealth.com

The effects inhibiting the proliferation of cancer cells by far-infrared radiation (FIR) are controlled by the basal expression level of heat shock protein (HSP) 70A, NationalInstitutesofHealth.com

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