- Dr. Miki Gordon
Do you have High Blood Pressure? You may want to consider an Infrared Sauna. Here's why.
Updated: Dec 30, 2019
In the US, 1 out of every 3 adults has high blood pressure, or hypertension (American Heart Association, 2019). For some there is no identifiable cause, while high blood pressure can also result from other health conditions. Blood pressure over 120 is considered elevated, while over 130 is stage 1 hypertension, and over 140 stage 2 hypertension. Having high blood pressure increases your risks of heart attack, stroke, aneurysm, kidney disease, dementia, and vision problems (Mayo Clinic,2019). Adopting healthier habits such as a nutritious diet, lowering stress, and regular exercise can all help to lower blood pressure, but for some people their blood pressure remains high despite their best efforts.
One possible adjunct to a heart healthy regimen is regular sauna use. One study of a group of forty-six hypertensive men using a sauna bi-weekly for 3 months showed an average drop in blood pressure from 166 to 143, equivalent to the effects of medication (Siewert et al, 1994).
Researchers in Japan have studied the daily use of far infrared sauna on patients with at coronary risk factors. After two weeks of daily sauna use followed by bed rest for 30 minutes, the sauna group had significantly lower blood pressure than the control group, who did not use the sauna. They also found that the sauna group had lower markers of oxidative stress, reducing their risk of atherosclerosis (hardening and narrowing of the arteries) (Masuda, 2004).
A third study divided patients with high blood pressure into two groups: an exercise only group, and a group that exercised and used a far infrared sauna three times a week for eight weeks. The sauna group had a significant drop in blood pressure on average from 142 to 121 (Crinnon, 2011).
In one of the largest studies of sauna use, researchers followed over 1600 Finnish men over the course of almost 25 years, looking at the relationship of their sauna use and hypertension. None of the men in the study had high blood pressure at the beginning of the study, and researchers found that those who used a sauna regularly had a significantly lower risk of developing high blood pressure as they aged. The more frequently they used the sauna, the lower their risk (Zaccardi et al, 2017).
The Salt Oasis Kingsport has a far infrared sauna available as one of their many healthy options for self care. Call to book a session today!
All information in this article is for educational purposes only. It is not for the diagnosis, treatment, prescription or cure of any disease or health condition. Do not make any changes to your healthcare or treatment without consulting your physician.
American Heart Association, 2019. https://www.heart.org/idc/groups/heart-public/@wcm/@sop/@smd/documents/downloadable/ucm_319587.pdf
Mayo Clinic, 2019. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-pressure/symptoms-causes/syc-20373410
Siewert C, Siewert H, Winterfeld H, Strangfeld D, 1994. Changes of central and peripheral hemodynamics during isometric and dynamic exercise in hypertensive patients before and after regular sauna therapy. Clinical Research in Cardiology; 83: 652-657
Masuda A, Miyata M, Kihara T, Minagoe S, Tei C, 2004. Repeated sauna therapy reduces urinary 8-epi-protaglandin F(2alpha). Japanese Heart Jounral. Mar;45(2):297-303.
Correll M, Williams P, Wild J, as cited by Crinnon W, 2011. Sauna as a valuable clinical tool for cardiovascular, autoimmune, toxicant-induced and other chronic health problems. Alternative Medicine Review. 16(3):215-225.