Sauna therapy is among the least known but highly effective means of promoting a good heart health. According to studies, it can help improve your blood flow, reduce blood pressure, and even help parents with heart failure.
Saunas have long been used for many centuries mainly for their health benefits. However, when it comes to the benefits of saunas, you should keep in mind that there are several types of sauna. These include an infrared sauna, portable sauna, traditional steam sauna, home sauna, outdoor sauna, and dry heat sauna.
What a sauna does
Getting a sauna therapy can let you enjoy a number of amazing health benefits. It helps reduce stress hormones and even detoxify your body. Aside from that, regularly using a sauna is proven to reduce mild depression and even pain syndromes like fibromyalgia and arthritis.
Although a sauna therapy isn’t a form of physical exercise, it does promote cardiovascular exercise by improving your blood flow through the arteries. This can be achieved by rapidly pumping blood throughout your body, allowing oxygen-rich blood to get to your tissues quickly.
According to research, sauna therapy can help enhance left ventricular ejection fraction among patients suffering from heart failure. There are also some studies which have shown patients undergoing sauna therapy to benefit from reduced blood pressure.
How can a sauna therapy benefit your heart health?
For over 2 decades, Japanese doctors have been working on the benefits of using infrared sauna therapy on patients suffering from cardiovascular problems. After years of continuous research, they were able to publish 20 research articles detailing the benefits of sauna therapy to one’s heart health.
Their study involved the use of a technique known as waon therapy which is derived from the Japanese words “wa” which means soothing and “on” for warmth. In other words, soothing warmth therapy. It works by having the patient sit inside an infrared sauna which is set a 60-degrees Celsius for a duration of 15 minutes. Afterward, he’ll be prompted to rest outside of the sauna for half an hour while being wrapped in towels. They’ll also be asked to drink water to prevent dehydration from all the sweating.
That said, how can waon therapy, or basically sauna therapy, benefit your heart health?
- It improves your ability to exercise
When you suffer from a heart disease, you’ll experience a reduced ability to perform exercise. However, people who have undergone waon therapy were able to display a greater ability to walk and even perform light exercises, and this can be attributed to less inflammation or a healthier endothelium.
- It can improve the health of your arteries
Your arteries consist of a single layer of lining known as the endothelium. It plays an important part by producing compounds which can cause your arteries to resist constriction, blood clots, and plaque. However, poor cardiovascular health will cause this lining to become restricted. With a sauna therapy, you can experience an improved function of your endothelium which can also result in an improved blood flow.
- It may reduce the rate of rehospitalization
According to a study involving 129 patients who suffer from heart problems, those who have undergone waon therapy for at least twice a week were able to see improvements compared to the other patients who didn’t.
Throughout the duration of five years, the rate of rehospitalization among patients who undergone waon therapy was cut in half. Even the mortality rate was reduced significantly as well!
- It reduces the “fire” inside your body
This might sound ambiguous, but when you eat processed food, have a disease, or suffering from stress or obesity, your body will be filled every day with molecules which can trigger inflammation and other destructive processes. However, after a few weeks of therapy, it’s been observed that patients who have these molecules have theirs significantly decreased.
Although there are certainly a number of benefits you can get from a sauna therapy, it certainly isn’t enough to ease all of your life’s tension. Obviously, you still have to maintain a healthy and balanced diet, exercise on a regular basis, and make sure to get enough rest.
Also, it helps if you get a high quality home sauna or an infrared sauna to help you receive the benefits of a calming and rejuvenating therapy.