Infrared Sauna for Fibromyalgia

Colin Cook

According to the CDC, “Fibromyalgia is a condition that causes pain all over the body (also referred to as widespread pain), sleep problems, fatigue, and often emotional and mental distress.” The agency estimates that about 4 million people in the U.S. suffer from it. Its cause is unknown.

The CDC says there are two well known risk factors for fibromyalgia. One is age. Although people of any age can get it, it becomes more likely as you get older. The other risk factor is lupus or rheumatoid arthritis. People who have been diagnosed with either of those diseases are more likely to develop fibromyalgia.

There are medications for treating the pain of fibromyalgia: pain relievers, antidepressants, and antiseizure drugs. People suffering from fibromyalgia may also get some relief, and even empowerment, from lifestyle changes. Some of the lifestyle factors that sufferers have reported success with include diet, yoga, acupuncture, physical therapy, and exercise. The Healthline site has a fairly comprehensive list of strategies. The CDC recommends exercise as well, and it is interesting to me that physical activity is also one of the strategies it recommends for arthritis sufferers: “It is recommended that people with arthritis undertake 30 minutes of moderate physical activity at least 5 times a week, or a total of 150 minutes per week. The 30 minutes can be broken down into three ten minute sessions throughout the day.”

Once you’ve been diagnosed and have lined up whatever treatment your healthcare professional recommends, the most effective strategy for managing fibromyalgia may be to find ways to relieve your pain sufficiently so you can exercise. This doesn’t necessarily require drugs. The comfortable heat of infrared sauna, for example, is well known to improve flexibility, relax tense muscles, and relieve pain. It also flushes toxins from your cells and has been used for that reason as a cancer preventative. 

Several projects by Japanese researchers have clinically proved the effectiveness of Waon therapy in relieving pain, and some of these specifically addressed fibromyalgia. In Waon therapy, the patient spends 15 minutes in an infrared sauna and then spends 30 minutes resting in a room at slightly above room temperature wrapped in a blanket up to the neck. In the study, treatments were given 2-5 times per week, and the researchers found that patients lost about half their pain after the first treatment, and their pain continued to lessen until it stabilized at 10 treatments. I have no experience with Waon therapy, but I suspect the sauna provides all or nearly all of the pain relief.

If you have fibromyalgia, it’s easy enough to test the efficacy of infrared sauna for relieving your pain. Book a few sessions at Peak Recovery & Health Center. Then, with your pain reduced, you can undertake your moderate physical activity, which will doubtless reduce it even further.

Infrared sauna isn’t the only service we offer for fibromyalgia. Back in June, I blogged about people who have had good results managing the condition with float pod, and those who have also had good results with whole-body cryotherapy.

If you have fibromyalgia, you also have options. Book one of them today.