My family’s health history has always included a couple of health issues I have always known to be aware of and watch for. One is diabetes and the other is high blood pressure. As I head into my thirties I do monitor my blood pressure and was alarmed to find it creeping up a couple of years ago. This sparked an interest in discovering how Far Infrared sauna therapy actually helps lower blood pressure. I increased my sauna time each week and currently my blood pressure is perfectly normal.
Far Infrared saunas have been clinically shown to provide one of the most effective and natural ways to lower blood pressure. In a 2005 clinical study by the University of Missouri, Kansas City, Far Infrared saunas were shown to lower blood pressure by use of a Far Infrared sauna for a thirty minute session three times weekly. The study concluded that Far Infrared sauna therapy dilated blood vessels and reduced the thickness of the vessels inner lining. This increased circulation and promoted healthy blood pressure. Also, a Japanese study published in October of 2008, The Journal of Cardiology, examined the clinical effectiveness and safety of Far Infrared therapy for blood pressure reduction, as compared to standard therapies for patients with chronic heart failure. Repeated Far Infrared sauna therapy improved impaired blood vessel functions in patients with high blood pressure. This suggests a preventive role for Far Infrared sauna therapy use in order to lower high blood pressure. I took the advice!
Our bodies use nitric oxide to control the size of our blood vessels, and we release nitric oxide when we sit in Far Infrared saunas. While enjoying a sauna your are relaxed which is the first way to lower blood pressure. Our bodies also respond to Far Infrared heat by increasing cardiac output, blood flow increases, aiding circulation, bringing additional oxygen to our muscles and increasing our metabolic rate. This is almost the same result we obtain while participating in moderate exercise. Taking a Far Infrared sauna isn’t a replacement for exercise however it is considered be another mechanism that assists in lowering blood pressure.
While in a Far Infrared sauna, blood flow rises from a normal five to seven quarts a minute to as many as thirteen quarts a minute, in line with a heart rate increase of twenty five or more beats per minute. Because infrared rays penetrate the body up to two inches, there is a deep heating effect in the muscle tissue and internal organs. The body responds to this heat with a hypothalamic-induced increase in both heart rate and blood pumping volume. This can create a beneficial heart stress much like a sought-after cardiovascular training and conditioning effect.
Medical research has suggested that the use of a Far Infrared sauna provides cardiovascular conditioning as the body tries to cool itself. This is your body’s “rest and digest” mode of unconscious actions that are responsible for transmitting sensory information from your body’s organs to your central nervous system. This transmission tells your body to relax. Also, during use, the infrared heat causes your capillaries to expand and thereby improve blood flow. Next, the opposing and complementary nervous system response is the sympathetic nervous system. This is the fight or flight response which alerts your body to be aware and to act in the face of danger requiring a quick response. Your body must be in one mode or the other at all times. Finally, when your body goes into relaxation mode in the parasympathetic response, your blood vessels expand through vasodilation. Your nervous system alerts your heart to pump faster and demands your arteries, vessels, venules and veins to allow more blood to pass through. This causes a natural drop in blood pressure resulting in a more normal and healthy reading. To maintain healthy blood pressure I use my Far Infrared sauna a minimum of thirty minutes five days a week. Combined with a relaxing shower afterwords I am relaxed, feeling great and best of all my blood pressure is totally normal.