Clearlight would like to remind users that this should not be taken as direct medical advice, and you should always consult a licensed health practitioner before making any significant changes to your lifestyle or existing pain treatment regimen.
Have you ever stepped out of your infrared sauna session and just felt like the weight of the world has been lifted from your shoulders? If you have then you're not alone! The Global Sauna Survey asked 482 participants what their best results from a sauna were, revealing that this ancient tradition provided a common 3 top benefits that sauna bathers could put into words. In this blog, we will explore the heartening findings of the survey and delve into the remarkable sensations regular saunas users claim to enjoy after each session.
The Study: Using a Sauna for a Global Survey
Let's take a closer look at the remarkable outcomes revealed by the Global Sauna Survey. The survey took responses from 482 regular sauna users, men 51.3% and women 48.7%, who sauna-bathed approximately 1-2 times per week.
An online questionnaire was conducted, gathering information on individual characteristics, such as non-smoking, regularly-exercising individuals with normal-to-overweight status.
The survey provides a better understanding of what to expect when incorporating sauna sessions into your wellness routine by learning about how these individuals have done it and the positive effects they've noticed.
Key Findings: Sauna Bathing Health Benefits
So what are the best results from a sauna? Participants all noted these top reasons as the most amazing benefits they got from regular sauna bathing:
Notably, nearly a third of respondents with medical conditions experienced significant improvements, particularly those dealing with back or musculoskeletal pain and mental health issues. Moreover, a remarkable 83.5% of all participants reported better sleep following sauna use.
Upon analysing well-being scores, it was found that individuals who enjoyed sauna sessions 5-15 times per month had slightly higher mental well-being scores compared to their less frequent counterparts. However, no notable differences were observed in physical well-being scores across groups. Let's take a closer look at each of these reported benefits.
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Sauna Bathing for Relaxation and Stress Relief Health Benefits
The results from the survey showed sauna bathing provided relaxation and stress relief for all participants. But why? It turns out that sauna exposure lowers stress from numerous amount of physiological and psychological angles.
First, the increase in body temperature increases blood flow by widening the blood vessels and increasing heart rate. This improved circulation and heat eases muscle tension and circulates metabolic waste products from joints and muscles. The sauna heat allows for tension to release and this is the first step in becoming more relaxed.
Secondly, the increased heart rate provides an improvement to cardiovascular health by acting as a mild to medium exercise for your heart. By doing so, the potential health benefits include a reduction in sudden cardiac death and cardiovascular disease; such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and fatal coronary heart disease. So sauna for heart health is a big tick! This not only affects your blood pressure but also your sympathetic nervous system.
Lastly, spending time in a sauna room allows for a meditative intervention, where simply slowing down your day-to-day hustle and being present with your mind and body relieves anxiety and stress. Almost like an unintentional sauna meditation.
Sauna Sessions for Pain Relief
Infrared heat therapy plays a vital role in enhancing the circulation of oxygen-rich blood throughout our bodies, leading to the dilation of blood vessels. These safe infrared rays invigorate the mitochondria, the 'engine room' of our cells. As a result, ATP, which fuels the mitochondria, receives a substantial energy boost from the infrared energy, contributing to the relief of painful rheumatoid arthritis symptoms.
Think of sauna sessions as a means to 'recharge your cells', equipping your body with the necessary resources to deliver oxygen-rich blood to affected areas, particularly in the case of individuals suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.
Sauna Bathing for Mental Health and Cognitive Improvements
The notion that a sauna bath can alleviate everyday stress may not be surprising, but the extent to which it can enhance our mental well-being might be quite astonishing.
A comprehensive population-based study conducted by researchers at the Kuopio Ischemic Heart Disease aimed to evaluate the relationship between sauna bathing frequency and the risk of psychosis.
Remarkably, the results showed that men who indulged in 4-7 sauna sessions per week experienced a 78% reduced risk of developing psychotic disorders compared to those who only had one session per week. This correlation was independent of other potential influencing factors such as age, total energy intake, socioeconomic status, physical activity, and C-reactive protein levels.
These findings indicate that frequent sauna bathing may indeed be beneficial in lowering the risk of developing psychotic disorders. The studies demonstrate that regular sauna bathing habits can positively impact conditions such as psychosis, depression, anxiety, and low mood, regardless of their severity, symptom complexity, and underlying mechanisms.
Health Benefits of Sauna Bathing for Back Pain
Saunas have long been known for their pain-relieving properties, and recent clinical studies show a connection between dry sauna therapy and reduced back and neck pain levels. Research reveals that saunas can decrease lower back pain and improve overall mobility.
A 2019 research study revealed that saunas can decrease lower back pain by 2 points on a scale of 1 to 10 and improve overall disability scores. This means that the pain reduction was accompanied by enhancements in functional abilities such as better mobility and an increased capacity to perform daily tasks.
Infrared saunas, in particular, are effective in combating chronic back pain by lowering pain receptors and enhancing mobility. The effectiveness of saunas for back pain relief is attributed to increased blood circulation, which helps relax sore muscles and supports recovery and repair.
Improving Sleep Quality with Sauna Bathing
If you're open to modifying your evening routine, there are several reasons why an infrared sauna could enhance your sleep quality.
Firstly, if you've experienced an infrared sauna, you're likely familiar with the deep relaxation felt after a session. Infrared saunas assist in thermoregulation and promote a parasympathetic state, allowing the body to digest and rest more effectively.
As your body cools down post-session, it releases more melatonin, signalling your brain that it's time to sleep, which helps you drift off faster.
Secondly, the undeniable relaxation provided by infrared saunas can significantly improve sleep quality and the ability to fall asleep swiftly. By creating a distraction-free space without TVs or smartphones, you offer your body a chance to heal and your mind the opportunity to unwind, entering a meditative state.
Even the National Library of Medicine has published evidence suggesting that infrared sauna therapy can alleviate chronic fatigue syndrome side effects and help regulate sleep-enhancing hormones in our bodies.
Regular Dry Sauna Bathing Basics
If you want to take a try at repeated sauna therapy to start reaping the same sauna benefits that the 482 Global Sauna Survey participants experienced, there are some basics you should know.
Below we've compiled a list of resources to help you get started on your sauna bathing journey:
By gaining knowledge in these resources, you'll be able to safely and effectively incorporate a regular sauna bathing routine to experience the many health benefits of sauna therapy.
Infrared Saunas and the Potential Benefits
We hope this blog has provided you with valuable insights into the experiences and benefits enjoyed by regular sauna users from diverse backgrounds, including Finland, Australia, and the United States.
Indeed, the potential health benefits of sauna bathing, such as improved mental well-being, sleep quality, and pain relief, seem to be well-experienced by diverse people all across the globe.
We hope that these shared experiences provide you with inspiration and motivation to explore your sauna ritual at home and further creativity in how you can use an infrared sauna to benefit your quality of life.
Infrared Sauna Health Benefits
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