Boost Your Health With Heat

Why do most clinics incorporate sauna therapy?

Find out about the healing heat of sauna therapy….

Parmenides from Elea 540-480 BC wrote; “give me the power to create fever and I can cure any disease”.

Since ancient Greek times, disease has been treated and healed with heat.

Heat is currently used around the globe for hygiene, health, well-being and spiritual purposes.

So what is sauna therapy?

Sauna therapy is the act of exposing your body to increased heat for a period of time. There are 3 major types of sauna therapy; dry air, steam or infrared. Dry air, like in a Finnish sauna and steam sauna project heat from the outside onto our skin which in turn causes the body to perspire as a cooling effect.
Far Infrared waves on the other hand penetrate the skin and elevate the temperature of the blood that circulates in fine capillaries. Through that the body increases in core body temperature from the inside out.

These changes in temperature activate pathways via the brain, which begin rebalancing the body and encourage homeostasis. Although the primary objective of this feedback loop is to thermoregulate the body (bring your core body temperature down to normal), it results in a number of beneficial side effects.

In the Finnish Kuopio Ischemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study, investigating over 2000 middle-aged men, researchers came to the following conclusions:

  • Sauna use 2-3 times per week reduced the likelihood of death from cardiovascular-related causes by 27%
  • Sauna use 2-3 times per week was associated with a 66% and 65% lower likelihood of developing dementia and Alzheimer's disease
  • Sauna use 4-7 times per week reduced the likelihood of death from cardiovascular-related causes by 50%

 

In fact another study found that frequent sauna use reduced all-cause premature mortality by 40%.

One randomized controlled trial that investigated the effects of 4 weeks of sauna sessions on 28 patients diagnosed with mild depression. Subjects reported subjective improvements in hunger/appetite, body aches, anxiety, relaxation scores, & depression levels.

A population-based prospective cohort of middle-aged Caucasian men, indicated that higher frequency of sauna sessions was observed to be independently associated with a reduced risk of pneumonia. Direct effects of a sauna on the airways and lung tissue include reduced oxidative stress, improvements in ventilation and lung function and reduction in pulmonary congestion.

How does sauna lead to these positive outcomes?

On a cellular level, whole body sauna induces metabolic changes that include:

  • Improved immune function
  • Lowers inflammation markers
  • Lowers inflammatory cytokines 
  • Production of heat shock proteins
  • Increased production of endogenous antioxidants
  • Reduced oxidative stress
  • Increased NO (nitric oxide) bioavailability
  • Increased insulin sensitivity
  • Induces Nrf2 pathway
  • Improved detoxification and elimination
  • Improved cardiovascular functions and endothelial-dependent vasodilatation metabolic pathways
  • Increased mitochondrial function

 

One of the leading markers of systemic inflammation is C-reactive protein. An acute phase reactant generated by the liver, levels of CRP increase rapidly in response to infection, inflammation, and trauma, and subside upon resolution.

In a study of two thousand men between the ages of 40-60, it was found that sauna bathing was inversely correlated with CRP levels. Those who used sauna therapy 4-7x per week had the lowest mean serum CRP relative to those who used it 2-3x per week or once per week.
Not only that, but use of saunas has been shown to increase levels of anti-inflammatory cytokines like IL-10.

With all these cellular changes occurring as a result of sauna therapy its clear why studies show improvements to such a large number of conditions.

Most interestingly is that the positive effects of sauna therapy (notably the reduction in inflammation) are dose-dependent. Therefore, regular sauna therapy is required for a positive therapeutic outcome.

What type of sauna is best?

Infrared sauna possesses a number of unique characteristics which makes it unique as a therapeutic heat treatment option. Unlike other sauna techniques infrared penetrates through the outer layers of your skin heating up be the blood vessels bellow. Infrared light is completely safe and does not cause any damage to tissue. By penetrating through the skin infrared sauna therapy is able to increase your core body temperature much quicker and the temperature in the air around you only gets marginally heated. Due to this, high temperatures are not required as the infrared heat gently raises the core body temperature. 

When using Infrared sauna, it opens options to conduct low level whole body hyperthermia which is the act of increasing the core body temperature enough to put the body into a state of fever.

This medical therapy is conducted with the use of infrared technology and is commonly used as a cancer therapy. Clinical research suggests that fever is one of the bodies most effective means to restore its complex regulatory, repair and defense mechanism.
Healthy cells survive increased heat environments without lasting damage while the increased metabolism that accompanies the heat can irrevocably harm damaged, infected or mutated (cancer) cells.

Hyperthermia/Sauna and Pathogens

Hyperthermia is also an effective treatment against a number of viral and bacterial infections. The body naturally generates a fever in the face of infection as healing mechanism. The positive effects of natural fever and therapeutic hyperthermia treatments are huge.
These effects are also in part, due to heat shock proteins. Heat shock proteins are produced as a result of fever, inflammation and oxidant injury. These proteins help support the immune system to flag pathogens, mutated cells and reduce damage to healthy tissue. The healthy production of heat shock proteins has been indicated in a wide range of conditions including Alzheimer’s, cancer and infections.

Aside from the heat shock proteins, viral and bacterial pathogens are unable to replicated in the increased heat environment and can be rapidly dealt with by the immune system.

Hyperthermia treatments have been found to be beneficial in many patients to restore immune function, support chronic disease and help eradicate viral/bacterial infections.

All infrared saunas, however, are not created equal. In addition, it is important to select a sauna that cancels out damaging EMF frequencies, providing a non-toxic and therapeutic treatment.

Sauna Dome & Hyperthermia Dome

The Curve Dome has a unique design of it’s own. The Infrared Curve Dome Sauna is both equal parts theraputic and flexible, delivering maximum theraputic benefit by being portable and easy to store away when not used.

CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT MORE

References

Laukkanen, T., Khan, H., Zaccardi, F., & Laukkanen, J. A. (2015). Association between sauna bathing and fatal cardiovascular and all-cause mortality events. JAMA Internal Medicine, 175(4), 542–548. https://doi.org/10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.8187

Laukkanen, J. A., & Laukkanen, T. (2018). Sauna bathing and systemic inflammation. European Journal of Epidemiology, 33(3), 351–353. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10654-017-0335-y

Lee, C. (2018). Therapeutic modulation of virus-induced oxidative stress via the Nrf2-dependent antioxidative pathway. Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, 2018. https://doi.org/10.1155/2018/6208067

Beever, R. (2009). Far-infrared saunas for treatment of cardiovascular risk factors. Canadian Family Physician, 55(July), 691–696.

Laukkanen, T., Kunutsor, S., Kauhanen, J., & Laukkanen, J. A. (2017). Sauna bathing is inversely associated with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease in middle-aged Finnish men. Age and Ageing, 46(2), 245–249. https://doi.org/10.1093/ageing/afw212

Kunutsor, S. K., Laukkanen, T., & Laukkanen, J. A. (2017). Frequent sauna bathing may reduce the risk of pneumonia in middle-aged Caucasian men: The KIHD prospective cohort study. Respiratory Medicine, 132, 161–163. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rmed.2017.10.018

Oehler, R., Pusch, E., Zellner, M., Dungel, P., Hergovics, N., Homoncik, M., … Roth, E. (2001). Cell type-specific variations in the induction of Hsp70 in human leukocytes by feverlike whole body hyperthermia. Cell Stress and Chaperones, 6(4), 306–315. https://doi.org/10.1379/1466-1268(2001)006<0306:CTSVIT>2.0.CO;2

Strandberg, T. E., Strandberg, A., Pitkälä, K., & Benetos, A. (2018). Sauna bathing, health, and quality of life among octogenarian men: the Helsinki Businessmen Study. Aging Clinical and Experimental Research, 30(9), 1053–1057. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40520-017-0855-z

Garolla, A., Torino, M., Sartini, B., Cosci, I., Patassini, C., Carraro, U., & Foresta, C. (2013). Seminal and molecular evidence that sauna exposure affects human spermatogenesis. Human Reproduction, 28(4), 877–885. https://doi.org/10.1093/humrep/det020

Crinnion, W. J. (2011). Sauna as a valuable clinical tool for cardiovascular, autoimmune, toxicant-induced and other chronic health problems. Alternative Medicine Review.

Hussain, J., & Cohen, M. (2018). Clinical Effects of Regular Dry Sauna Bathing: A Systematic Review. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2018, 1–30. https://doi.org/10.1155/2018/1857413

Kunutsor, S. K., Khan, H., Zaccardi, F., Laukkanen, T., Willeit, P., & Laukkanen, J. A. (2018). Sauna bathing reduces the risk of stroke in Finnish men and women: A prospective cohort study. Neurology, 90(22), e1937–e1944. https://doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000005606

Jussi, K. (2016). Kuopio Ischemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study. In Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine(Vol. 103, pp. 1–2). New York, NY: Springer New York. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6439-6_328-2

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