When the temps drop it, sitting in an infrared sauna seems like the most ideal way to warm up. But it isn’t just during cold weather that an infrared sauna session should be a part of your daily routine. Even when temperatures are summertime hot, you can benefit from infrared sauna therapy by keeping it as part of your wellness routine. In this article we’ll be focusing on the heart healthy benefits that come with frequent infrared sauna use.
What Is Infrared Sauna Therapy?
Infrared sauna therapy is an innovative light-based method to treat pain and inflammation in various parts of the body. Unlike ultraviolet light, which can damage the skin, infrared light enhances cell regeneration.
Our infrared sauna studios use near, mid, and far-infrared waves which gently heat the body from within. These waves are able to deeply penetrate the skin, muscles, joints, and tissues to improve blood circulation, oxygen flow, and help to detoxify the body by removing impurities at the cellular level where bodies store waste and harmful toxins such as cholesterol and heavy metals. Read more about the innumerable benefits of an infrared sauna. The cooler temperature which allows for a longer session and increased therapeutic benefits make our saunas a great alternative to those who can’t tolerate the high heat of a traditional sauna.
Infrared Sauna Therapy & High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure affects nine out of ten Americans at some point during their lives and constitutes a major risk factor in heart disease and stroke. The good news, infrared sauna use can help keep our blood pressure in a healthy range.
A recent study released by the University of Missouri determined infrared heat to be effective and safe in improving heart function. The study determined that, especially for those with high blood pressure, far-infrared can play a preventative role in heart disease. Just like cardiovascular exercise, infrared heat puts positive stress on the heart, increasing heart rate and volume. By promoting dilation of blood vessels, infrared heat increases surface blood flow without increasing blood pressure.
Infrared Sauna Therapy & Cardiovascular Health
One of the key health benefits of infrared therapy is improvement in cardiovascular health. Infrared light increases the production of nitric oxide, a vital signalling molecule that is important for the health of blood vessels. This molecule helps relax the arteries and prevents blood from clotting and clumping in the vessels. Aside from these, it also combats free radicals to prevent oxidative stress and regulate blood pressure.
Nitric oxide is essential in improving blood circulation, which provides more oxygen and nutrients to injured tissues. Thus, infrared light hastens wound healing and stimulates the regeneration of injured tissues, reducing inflammation and pain.
Frequent visits to a sauna were also associated with lower death rates from cardiovascular disease and stroke. The results don’t surprise Dr. Thomas H. Lee, a cardiologist at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital and founding editor of the Harvard Heart Letter. “The cardiovascular effects of sauna have been well documented in the past. It lowers blood pressure, and there is every reason to believe that its effects are good for blood vessels,” says Dr. Lee.