Infection invariably causes inflammation, but not all inflammation is due to infection. Sometimes the body perceives the need for an immune reaction, even when there is no threat present. When this happens, your immune system might inflame your own cells and tissues. If this kind of chronic inflammation goes on, it can lead to weakness, nerve problems, or persistent fatigue. It might eventually proceed to an autoimmune disorder such as diabetes or cardiovascular problems such as heart disease or stroke. Fortunately, infrared sauna seems to be useful for managing chronic inflammation.
Chronic Inflammation and Modern Life
Chronic inflammation is an increasingly common condition, possibly as a result of modern life. Many observers say it’s associated with
- too much sugar
- smoking or drinking
- persistent stress
- insufficient sleep
Basically, anything that is capable of creating cellular damage is capable of creating chronic internal inflammation. Of the six risk factors listed above, only one of them — aging — is out of your control. As for the others, the prescription is fairly simple. Obese? Lose weight. Too much sugar? Change your diet. Smoking or drinking? Quit. Persistent stress? Manage it. Not getting enough sleep? Get more. Those kinds of changes are easier said than done. But given the alternative, they are worth the effort.
Help In the Short Term
Unfortunately, beating chronic inflammation through lifestyle changes may be a long-term process. It probably took years or even decades to get to your current level of inflammation, and you’re not going to reverse it overnight. So even after you make the changes, you may want to take steps to reduce your inflammation level. That’s where infrared sauna may be able to help.
One of the ways researchers study inflammation is by measuring C-reactive protein levels in the blood. C-reactive protein is a biomarker for inflammation risk. Sauna may help manage it. A 2018 study of 2084 men (ages 42-60) found “a significant inverse association between the frequency of sauna bathing and the level of C-reactive protein.” That means using a sauna leads to reduced inflammation biomarkers in the blood.
Infrared Sauna for Chronic Inflammation
The authors of the study concluded that “more study is needed.” But you don’t have to wait for more studies. As long as you’re not menstruating or suffering from a handful of specific conditions (adrenal suppression, Systemic Lupus Erythematous, Multiple Sclerosis, Hyperthyroidism, Hemophilia, acute joint injuries, enclosed infections, artificial joints, metal pins, or other implants), infrared sauna is both safe and relaxing. If you do have one of those conditions, check with your doctor. You may still be able to benefit from it.
The study cited above looked at conventional rather than infrared sauna. But the principle of heating the whole body is the same for both types of sauna. The difference is that infrared sauna may be more tolerable. Conventional sauna works by heating the air around you. Infrared sauna works by heating you. That means you get the same benefit from increasing the temperature without having to breathe heated air. In addition, infrared sauna is ready immediately, and its heat penetrates the body more deeply. Infrared sauna sessions can therefore be shorter and more efficient than traditional sauna sessions.
In that same study, the researchers looked at different frequencies of sauna use and found that more is better. Book a few sessions today.