Thermal therapy, specifically sauna bathing, has long been known to be of great therapeutic benefit to the vascular system. Improved blood flow, enhanced oxygenation and greater vessel elasticity impart immeasurable health benefits, not just to the vascular system, but to the cardiovascular system as well.
Infrared heat therapy promotes cardiovascular conditioning in a manner similar to that of aerobic activity1, with minimal exertion. During a sauna session, your core body temperature rises, prompting the blood vessels in your body to dilate. This expansion, referred to as “vasodilation”, triggers a physiological response that includes an increase in heart rate, metabolic rate and cardiac output. The subsequent stress that is placed upon your cardiovascular system conditions your heart in the same way that running on the treadmill or taking your favorite spin class would. Blood vessels become more pliable and elastic from continual contraction and expansion as they are heated and cooled, and the increased demand for oxygen in your muscles prompts an increase in heart rate, stimulating the heart to become more efficient at pumping oxygenated blood throughout the body.
Countless studies have shown that the cardiovascular benefits associated with infrared sauna therapy are numerous and varied, and include improved circulation, lower blood pressure, enhanced vascular function and lower risk of heart-related disease2. A study completed in April 2015 found that “increased frequency of sauna bathing is associated with a reduced risk of SCD [sudden cardiac death], CHD [fatal coronary heart disease], CVD [fatal cardiovascular disease] and all-cause mortality.”3 Two further studies found that vascular endothelial functioning was greatly improved in patients with cardiac risk factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking and diabetes4, reporting that “Repeated sauna treatment improves vascular endothelial function, resulting in an improvement of cardiac function and clinical symptoms.”5
Why risk becoming a statistic? According to the 2015 Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics Update, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of global death, accounting for 17.3 million deaths per year. This number is higher than the number of deaths caused by all forms of cancer, combined6. Sauna therapy offers an effective form of treatment for various heart-related diseases, and can easily be incorporated into any home-wellness routine. Call us today at 800-528-3110 and one of our friendly customer service associates will be happy to help set you up with your own personal JNH Lifestyles infrared sauna.
1Vuori, I. (1988). Sauna bather's circulation. Annals of Clinical Research, 20(4), 249-256.
2 Biro, S. (2003, November). Clinical Implications of Thermal Therapy in Lifestyle-Related Diseases. Experimental Biology and Medicine (Maywood), 228(10), 1245-1249.
3Laukkanen, T., Khan, H., Zaccardi, F., & Laukkanen, J. A. (2015). Association Between Sauna Bathing and Fatal Cardiovascular and All-Cause Mortality Events. JAMA Internal Medicine JAMA Intern Med, 175(4), 542. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.8187.
4Imamura, M., Biro, S., Kihara, T., Yoshifuku, S., Takasaki, K., Otsuji, Y., . . . Tei, C. (2001). Repeated thermal therapy improves impaired vascular endothelial function in patients with coronary risk factors. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 38(4), 1083-1088. doi:10.1016/s0735-1097(01)01467-x.
5 Kihara, T., Biro, S., Imamura, M., Yoshifuku, S., Takasaki, K., Ikeda, Y., . . . Tei, C. (2002). Repeated sauna treatment improves vascular endothelial and cardiac function in patients with chronic heart failure. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 39(5), 754-759. doi:10.1016/s0735-1097(01)01824-1.
6 Mozaffarian D, Benjamin EJ, Go AS, Arnett DK, Blaha MJ, Cushman M, de Ferranti S, Després J-P, Fullerton HJ, Howard VJ, Huffman MD, Judd SE, Kissela BM, Lackland DT, Lichtman JH, Lisabeth LD, Liu S, Mackey RH, Matchar DB, McGuire DK, Mohler ER 3rd, Moy CS, Muntner P, Mussolino ME, Nasir K, Neumar RW, Nichol G, Palaniappan L, Pandey DK, Reeves MJ, Rodriguez CJ, Sorlie PD, Stein J, Towfighi A, Turan TN, Virani SS, Willey JZ, Woo D, Yeh RW, Turner MB; on behalf of the American Heart Association Statistics Committee and Stroke Statistics Subcommittee. Heart disease and stroke statistics— 2015 update: a report from the American Heart Association [published online ahead of print December 17, 2014]. Circulation. doi: 10.1161/CIR.0000000000000152.
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