I have heard many stories about all the elderly people who still take a daily sauna. Some of these stories are from Finland, others are from various articles and publications. Regardless, the elderly can and do find consistent relief from what ails them when adding Far Infrared sauna therapy into their daily routine. For an elderly individual to begin introducing Far Infrared sauna therapy, at an advanced age, it may be a little more difficult. The strategy for the elderly should be to ease into the experience of daily Far Infrared use gradually and resist the urge to overdo.
To quote Dr. Jonathan L. Halperin, Professor of internal medicine at Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York, ” Moderate sauna use is safe for most older people, but diabetics and anyone being treated for heart or circulatory conditions should check with their doctor, particularly if they are taking medications.” Dorothy Bernstein, Good Housekeeping, 1995. Another study reported in Sweden involved a seventy year-old man who had rheumatoid arthritis (RA) secondary to acute rheumatic fever. He had reached his toxic limit of gold injections and his erythrocyte sedimentation rate. Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) is the sedimentation rate of red blood cells and his was numbered at 125. After using a Far Infrared sauna for less than five months, his ESR was down to 11. The combined benefits from regular Far Infrared sauna use are well documented. The ability to maintain core body temperature decreases with age. This is primarily due to circulatory conditions and decreased sweat gland function. The body must be able to activate its natural cooling processes in order to maintain core body temperature. When using Far Infrared with the elderly sauna use should be gradual at first, fifteen to twenty minutes only. Temperatures should be a bit lower. As tolerance and comfort increase so can the heat and time..
Additionally, the elderly’s metabolism slows as they grow older. Most older people exercise less and sweating is impaired. This can block the elimination of toxins and increase the risk of major diseases. Since Far Infrared sauna therapy aids in the reversal of these conditions, the gentle heat from Infrared is a prime anti-aging therapy. Far Infrared sauna therapy can be used by most people at any age, even by those in wheelchairs. Health practitioners familiar with it contend that it can be adapted for any condition with proper supervision and can usually be done right in their own homes.
The elderly suffer from chronic ailments and varying diseases such as RA, pain from falls and injuries, chronic back and joint pain, regular arthritis, elevated blood pressure, heart issues, sleep disorders and many other common conditions. Lifestyle habit and diet changes aid in the overall treatment of these conditions. However there is much to be said for good, old-fashioned techniques such as heat therapy. Heat therapy in its newest version, Far Infrared Therapy provides many solutions to problems unique to the elderly. Far Infrared light is the frequency of invisible light generated naturally by the sun. Far Infrared is a type of low energy therapy that takes advantage of the heat generated by waves of energy from the far end of the infrared spectrum. This safe and natural alternative therapy can be used in the treatment of a variety of health problems such as arthritis, circulation problems, high blood pressure, heart issues, skin eruptions from thinned skin, all types of pain relief from muscle pain and spasms to shoulder or joint stiffness caused by a variety of chronic conditions. Far Infrared heat also benefits the elderly’s body by boosting the immune system, detoxing through perspiration, allowing for lymph system flow, healing by increased circulation of warm, oxygenated blood and by reducing tension and stress and aiding in a great nights sleep.
Far infrared waves penetrate up to two inches deep to generate warmth that can provide immense relief to muscles and promote the health of all internal organs. The gentle, warm heat produced while utilizing Far Infrared provides an analgesic effect on the body and can help reduce, even eliminate, chronic pains that the elderly often experience in various parts of their bodies. Stiffness in the joints from arthritis can be significantly relieved. Far Infrared heat allows connective tissue more flexibility, permits greater joint movement and brings about increased levels of endorphins. The elderly need more endorphins for mood stability. Far infrared therapy also causes blood vessels to expand. This expansion leads to improved circulation and allows the immune system cells to attack injured areas to facilitate the healing process. Despite the heat induced, Far Infrared sauna therapy does cause a slight rise in core body temperature and actually lowers blood pressure making it perfectly safe for an elderly person with any cardiovascular problems.
There are several brands of Far Infrared therapy saunas, with varying types of heaters, on the market today that provide direct infrared heat therapy. I favor the dual carbon/ceramic True Wave II heaters. These are used to deliver whole body therapy along with the many benefits of Far Infrared. These dual heaters generate radiant heat that penetrates deep into the body to provide natural pain relief, connective tissue more flexibility, greater joint movement and increased feelings of total well-being. All elderly people could benefit by adding Far Infrared sauna therapy into their daily/weekly heath routines. However, I must stress the safety and comfort of the individual is foremost, regardless of the person’s age.