There is a wealth of clinical research showing that infrared sauna can provide help for high blood pressure (hypertension). This is fortunate because hypertension is a high-stakes game. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), it kills nearly 1,000 people per day in the U.S. alone.
Seven out of 10 adults in this country who have high blood pressure take medications to control it. Of the other three, two don’t even know they have it. Hypertension damages your heart and blood vessels, but it’s not something you can readily detect without the help of a blood pressure cuff. Fortunately, it’s fairly easy these days to track your own blood pressure. A recent Google search for “blood pressure cuff” yielded nearly 30 million hits. If you don’t already have a blood pressure cuff to use at home, you should get one and use it regularly.
All Roads Lead to Hypertension
The reason you should monitor your own blood pressure is that one of the principal risk factors for hypertension is simply being human. According to the Mayo Clinic, “High blood pressure generally develops over many years, and it affects nearly everyone eventually.”
And if you suffer from diabetes or obesity, or if you aren’t physically active, you smoke, you drink alcohol, or you get too little potassium in your diet, you are at much more risk. And you are likely to get it much sooner than “eventually.”
A Healthy Lifestyle Reduces Blood Pressure
The first line of treatment for hypertension is lifestyle change. If you’re inactive, get active. If your diet includes too much salt, eat less salt. Quit smoking. Lose weight. Drink alcohol in moderation. You know the drill. If these changes don’t bring down your blood pressure, your doctor may prescribe one of the 11 types of medications that help to control it.
And there are published studies all over the web showing that regular sauna use reduces blood pressure. One of the best-known is a Finnish study published in 2015, which I have cited in this blog here and here.
I recently found another ingenious study that didn’t prove anything about saunas but was nevertheless very intriguing. It used a databank to compare the blood pressure of more than half a million Chinese from 10 diverse regions of the country, comparing “mean blood pressure — overall and in various subgroups — to mean local outdoor temperature.” The researchers found “blood pressure was strongly inversely associated with outdoor temperature in Chinese adults across a range of climatic conditions.” In other words, the warmer the climate, the lower the blood pressure.
Infrared Vs. Conventional Sauna
In 2015, the Harvard Health Blog noted, “The cardiovascular effects of sauna have been well documented in the past. It lowers blood pressure, and there is every reason to believe that its effects are good for blood vessels.”
At Peak Recovery & Health Center, we offer infrared sauna, which we believe is superior to traditional sauna. A traditional sauna heats the air around you to about 200 degrees. Some people find it nearly impossible to breathe 200-degree air, and at the very least, most people find it uncomfortable. Infrared sauna, by contrast, uses radiant infrared panels to heat your body directly, rather than heating the air around you. It raises the temperature in your body quickly, even while the room remains in the temperature range of human habitation (100 to 150 degrees), reducing both risk and discomfort.
If you want to help control your blood pressure with regular sauna use, the Peak infrared sauna is the way to go. Book a session or two today.