I am constantly asked about the effectiveness of Far Infrared sauna therapy on regulating blood pressure. Maintaining normal blood pressure is crucial to a healthy body and with the addition of a daily Far Infrared sauna, totally possible. Personally, I was able to lower my blood pressure after beginning consistent, daily saunas. I’m still not certain if it’s in the Far Infrared waves, if it simply decreases stress or if it’s a combination of both. Whatever the reason the result is the same; regulated, normal blood pressure.
In October of 2008, a Japanese study was published in The Journal of Cardiology. It was a comparison between the effectiveness and safety of Far Infrared blood pressure therapy versus standard therapy for patients with chronic heart failure. The conclusion was Far Infrared sauna therapy is indeed safe and effective at improving clinical symptoms and cardiac function as well as decreasing cardiac size in chronic heart failure patients. It goes on to say repeated Far Infrared treatments improved blood vessel function, and blood pressure. This is a positive in terms of prevention when adding in a daily Far Infrared sauna into your health routine. (Dr. Masakazu Imamura, MD)
Far Infrared sauna therapy improves circulation thus the consequent decrease in blood pressure. 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.
Your heart maintains life by pumping oxygenated blood through your body. It circulates from your arteries through blood vessels, into blood venules and then into your capillaries, where the body’s most important function occurs; cellular perfusion. This is actually the purpose of your heart. Surprisingly it is not to pump blood, but to pump oxygen to your cells. When your heart stops pumping efficiently, your body has no way to rid itself of carbon dioxide and your cells become acidic.
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 Far 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 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.
Additionally Far 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.
It is no longer necessary to be confused, concerned or even angry because you cannot seem to naturally lower your blood pressure. Don’t let your blood ‘boil’ – simply add a daily session of gentle, warm, stress-reducing Far Infrared sauna therapy into your routine and watch your blood pressure decrease naturally, without medication.