Infrared saunas are synonymous with the soothing spa vibe, a warm oasis for a tranquil way to end a day or workout. You’ve probably heard that saunas help with detox, and they do. And some people swear by infrared for relieving pain, migraines, and muscle aches. It helps with that, too! In fact, infrared saunas can impart serious health benefits with regular use. Many of those benefits are lifesaving or life-changing. So, let’s talk about why infrared is an antidote for hypertension, one of the leading causes of heart disease and stroke.
The Pressure Is Off
Infrared heat triggers a range of physiological responses. Initially, you’ll begin to sweat, but below the surface of the skin, the heat impacts your heart and circulation rate. This is a positive result, which can lead to a decrease in blood pressure.
One of the primary ways infrared saunas help reduce blood pressure is through vasodilation, the widening of blood vessels. When exposed to infrared heat, blood vessels expand, allowing for improved blood flow and circulation. This in turn alleviates hypertension–high blood pressure–by reducing the strain on the heart as it pumps blood more efficiently. Multiple studies revealed this positive outcome, first in a 2005 study and also in a study a few years prior conducted on patients experiencing heart issues like atherosclerosis.
Continuous research is being done, but countless sauna users have reported reduced stress and improved blood pressure after spending regular visits in their personal home sauna. Beyond that, the heat does wonders for your nervous system. Keep reading.
Heat = Happiness
Set the temp and ease onto the sauna bench where the infrared can take over as you take a beat. Yes, a sauna is where you leave your stresses behind. The deep, penetrating heat from infrared saunas induces a relaxing effect on the body. It prompts the muscles to unwind, relieving tension and stress. As stress levels decrease, the body’s production of stress-related hormones like cortisol diminishes. Lower levels of cortisol contribute to a calmer nervous system, ultimately leading to lower blood pressure readings.
Sustained cortisol release can cause your blood pressure, not to mention your weight, to spike. In addition, when we’re in a constant fight or flight mode, we’re actually impairing our memory function.
Fortunately, saunas can reduce this hormonal imbalance without any exertion. It’s common for infrared sauna users to express a sense of lightness and energy once they emerge from a session, even after 15 or 20 minutes. This is due to the endorphin release caused by our body’s response to the intense sweating and heat, like a runner’s high. Health experts have shared that sauna use can lead to accentuated endorphin activity for 48 hours after the sauna, with some people experiencing mild euphoria throughout the week.
The bonus—no side effects!
It’s About Balance
It’s important to note that while infrared saunas can be a valuable tool in managing blood pressure, they should be used as part of a comprehensive approach to a healthy lifestyle. Regular exercise, a balanced diet, adequate hydration, and consulting with a healthcare professional are also essential components in maintaining optimal blood pressure.
Always consult with a healthcare provider before incorporating new treatments or therapies into your wellness routine, especially if you have underlying health conditions.
To determine which size and type of sauna will work best with your lifestyle and living space, see our entire Health Mate selection of saunas.