Dr. Laura Koniver, MD
Posted September 10th, 2018
Now this is a medical study I can really get behind, becauseI LOVE HEAT.And I love love love anything that boosts circulation — like grounding, sauna, steam room, hot baths, sleeping with a hot water bottle, hugs, massages, exercise (ok, exercise, not so much….)It just feels intuitively right to get your blood flowing, don’t you think?
Thats why I’m so thrilled that there have been so many studies recently looking at the health benefits of routine sauna.
Researchers had previously discovered that folks who used a sauna two or more times a week had significantly reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and death, decreased rates of dementia, and reduced risk of all-cause mortality (meaning they died less from all causes put together.)
Today’s study backs this up yet again.
This study was the largest yet, a meta-analysis of all of the medical literature on dry sauna from 2000 to 2017.
Published in Evidence Based Complimentary & Alternative Medicine Journal, April 2018 , researchers review 40 studies that included almost 4,000 patients and found:
- reduced risk of heart disease, heart attack and sudden cardiac death
- lowered blood pressure
- lower risk of stroke
- reduced risk of dementia and other neurocognitive changes
- reduced risk of pulmonary disease such as asthma and lung infections like influenza
- decrease risk of rheumatologist and immune disorders
- decrease in pain conductions such as arthritis and headaches
- decreased risk of death
- improved quality of life
Why is sauna so good?
Sauna raises whole body temperature which activates metabolic changes like a neutralizing inflammation, reducing oxidative stress, increase nitric oxide bioavailability, increased insulin sensitivity, and improved vasodilation.
In other words, raising the core body temperature and increasing circulation very similar to exercise.
So one take away from today’s study is this:
If you can’t exercise (or, ahem, like me, don’t particularly love to do it) then one good alternative is sauna.
A really great application for this is that disabled or mobility limited folks, who might find exercise and mobility harder to routinely do, can sauna and enjoy very similar benefits.
Just like with grounding — the folks who might benefit most from grounding (like severely ill, hospital or rehab bound patients, mobility limited patients, elderly patients and more) may be the ones that find it hardest to go outside… so the answer to this is indoor grounding tools.
In the same vein, the folks who might benefit most from routine exercise (like those recovering from cancer, those with metabolic and weight issues, those with high stress loads, those who must sit for long periods of time at work, those caretaking of others with very limited time away, those recovering from trauma, etc…) may find it harder to participate in regular exercise… so the answer to this is relaxing in a sauna to raise basal metabolic temperatures.
The Bottom Line:
Siginficant reduction in dementia, reduced risk of heart attack and stroke, reduced pain, reduced all cause mortality rates, improved blood perfusion to the brain and other organs, decreased blood pressure, improved insulin sensitivity, reduced asthma risk, reduced pain, improved quality of life and more…
…this is better than any single treatment, dietary modification, supplement or medication known to date!
This is HUGE news!
The only other thing I know that impacts so many different organ systems in such a powerfully positive way is grounding (for more on grounding, here is a huge list of medical studies, videos, grounding tools and resources just waiting for you.)
Interested in giving sauna a try?
The recommended routine is to sauna at least once a week and up to three times a week, for a time period of at least 5 minutes and a maximum of 20 minutes, with temperatures in the range of 176°F-212°F and a 10% to 20% relative humidity.
Hydrate before, during and after sauna, and be sure to fully cool off but recovering for several minutes resting at room temperature, taking a brief swim or a shower. Don’t sauna if you have a fever, an active inflammatory condition like a rash or hives, or are intoxicated.
No longer just for pleasure and relaxation, sauna might be one of the best ways to boost your over all longevity. If you are looking for holistic ways to really boost your health, a great Rx to start with might be:
- deep restorative sleep at night with grounding
- daily morning sunshine on your face or light box therapy upon waking
- daily walking and decreasing prolonged sitting
- hydrating with beautiful pure, fluoride free water
- eating healthy proteins, fats, fruits and veggies
- fasting overnight (ideally, for about 12+ hours each night)
- taking a few crucial high quality supplements like omega 3 fatty acids and probiotics
- decreasing exposures to EMF radiation and other environmental pollutants
- sauna or moderate exercise several times a week
- loving touch several times a week
If you do those (or even just some of those!) you are really on your way to allowing your natural, innate, always recovering, always resilient health to shine through for a lifetime.xoxoxo, Laura