I have hereditary high blood pressure and I probably always will. If I don’t watch it, it can get out of control quickly. During the holidays I was traveling and I didn’t use my sauna for the entire month of December. I could feel the stress creeping in with the constant sense of worry. Like that dread feeling we all know. So I decided to take a good look at myself in the mirror and take my blood pressure. It was 130/95!
So instead of panicking I did what I know works best–I got back in my infrared sauna. It’s now been 10 days straight of 30 minute sessions and I feel back to normal. It actually inspired me to write this blog post as I have a suspicion that a major reason I have high blood pressure is because of stress. This stress is greatly reduced when I’m taking daily sauna sessions. That feeling of dread and worry is now one hundred percent calm and I am relaxed. Almost too relaxed (so watch out!) My blood pressure is also now under control.
There is some science to back up how stress causes high blood pressure. When you’re stressed your body produces a rush of hormones. As a result your body goes into the sympathetic nervous system response which sends out signals to your smooth muscles and adrenal glands telling your body to release epinephrine (adrenaline) into the bloodstream. The released stress hormones cause several changes in your body, including increased blood pressure and heart rate. These hormones also cause your blood vessels to narrow which spikes blood pressure.
The infrared sauna actually takes you out of the “fight” in the fight or flight mode and puts you into the parasympathetic relaxation mode of the nervous system. This causes a reversal of the narrowing of the blood vessels and vasodilates your arteries and blood vessels allowing for an easier flow of blood through your body–lowering blood pressure and increasing circulation.
What you can also do is go for a long walk each day for 30 minutes or more and that will really help to calm your nerves and reduce stress. However, nothing works quite as well to relieve stress as my infrared sauna.