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What You Should Know About Infrared Saunas and Inflammation

Thanks to infrared technology, more people now have access to the wide range of benefits of an infrared sauna session.


Infrared light has many benefits, such as pain relief, immunity support, weight loss, and relief from inflammation. If you've ever had inflammation, you know it can be very painful and can keep you from doing simple daily tasks. Infrared sauna treatments have been shown to be a safe and natural way to reduce inflammation. First, let’s cover a few basics about chronic and acute inflammation.



What Is Inflammation?


When we get hurt or sick, our bodies use inflammation as a way to heal themselves (1). There are many things, like a lack of nutrients, stress, allergens, and toxins, that can trigger the immune system and cause inflammation. Inflammatory cells and cytokines are your immune system's first responders.


These cells start an inflammatory response to get rid of pathogens like bacteria and viruses or to start healing damaged tissue. It may cause redness, swelling, bruising, or pain. Inflammation can also have an impact on body parts you can't see, like your joints. Therefore, inflammation is more of a symptom than a primary cause of illness.


Acute inflammation develops quickly but only lasts a few days. This is often how our bodies react when they are exposed to certain viruses or after hard exercise.


Chronic inflammation can happen when acute inflammation lasts for more than a few days. Chronic inflammation is persistent and can last for weeks, months, or even years.


I think it is important to note that inflammation is not always bad. In fact, during physical injury and infection, intermittent increases in inflammation are essential for survival. The risks happen when someone has systemic chronic inflammation (SCI), which can lead to a number of diseases that are the leading causes of disability and death around the world, such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes mellitus, chronic kidney disease, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, and autoimmune and neurodegenerative disorders (2).


How Can Inflammation Be Measured?


The best way to find inflammation levels is to get a blood test that checks for inflammation markers like white blood cell count and C-reactive protein levels. C-reactive protein (CRP), which is found in the blood, is one of the best ways to tell if there is inflammation.


Your blood typically has low levels of CRP. Levels that are moderately to significantly high could mean that you have a serious infection or another condition that causes inflammation. If your doctor has told you that your CRT levels are higher than usual, you're probably looking for a non-invasive, safe, and all-natural method to lower them. The infrared sauna is one of the most powerful and effective ways to treat inflammation that we offer at Proactive M+B.


How Does an Infrared Sauna Help Reduce Inflammation?


Infrared light helps the body's cells and tissues heal themselves. This is in contrast to ultraviolet light, which hurts the body's cells and tissues. It has been shown that exposing people to infrared light helps reduce the amount of CRT in their bodies. In fact, levels of CRT are inversely correlated with prolonged infrared light exposure. Because of this correlation, it is likely that your CRT levels will decrease as you spend more time in an infrared sauna. Even after just one infrared sauna session, CRT markers are significantly reduced.


One study on patients with rheumatoid arthritis showed that after treatment with infrared sauna therapy, pain and stiffness decreased clinically and improvements were statistically significant (3).




Oxygen Levels


It has been shown that inflamed tissues in patients have lower oxygen levels than normal (4). Infrared saunas promote hyperoxygenation, which is a process that allows oxygen to reach your cells. Despite being invisible to the human eye, infrared light waves can pass through your skin and reach your body's cells. Because of this, the infrared light can affect the whole network of systems in your body. This improves circulation right away and makes it easier for oxygen to get to the affected areas.


Research shows your body's overall circulation can be improved with the aid of this process, which will significantly reduce inflammation (5).


It's also important to note that infrared sauna therapy dilates blood vessels, which improves circulation all over the body. This increased circulation helps deliver more oxygen and nutrients to the cells, tissues, and skin.


Stress


Although you might not expect it, stress levels can have a direct impact on your inflammation levels. In fact, early evidence suggests that both short-term and long-term stress are linked to more inflammation (6).


Therefore, reducing your stress levels may also contribute to a decrease in inflammation or even help prevent it from occurring in the first place.


Amy Myers, MD, a New York Times bestselling author and an internationally acclaimed functional medicine physician, states, “Infrared sauna therapy promotes relaxation by helping to balance your body’s level of cortisol, your body’s primary stress hormone.” Dr. Myers emphasizes, “The heat generated by the sauna will also help to relax muscles and relieve tension throughout the body, allowing you to relax and de-stress" (7).


The saunas at Proactive M+B help you relax in a natural way by making you sweat deeply, which wakes you up and makes you feel completely refreshed after each session.

Our saunas use cutting-edge heating technology to give you the most therapeutic infrared sauna heat. This heat wraps you in soothing warmth to help you fully relax, relieve stress, and ease your muscles.


Help the Cause of Inflammation, Not Just the Symptom


One of the many benefits of infrared saunas for inflammation is that infrared light may work to relieve the cause of your chronic problems, not just the symptoms. Cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, Infrared saunas have shown promise as a treatment for a number of diseases, such as chronic kidney disease and some types of cancer (8).


Research shows that far-infrared saunas could be used instead of moderate exercise for sedentary people with osteoarthritis or problems with their heart or lungs (9). They have therapeutic effects without having any bad effects on congestive heart failure, premature ventricular contractions, brain natriuretic peptide levels, vascular endothelial function, weight loss, oxidative stress, or chronic fatigue.


Some medicines can temporarily make you feel better, but the goal of infrared sauna therapy is to find long-term solutions to the problems that many people with chronic inflammation face.





Summary: Science Is Very Promising Regarding Infrared Saunas And Inflammation.


It can be upsetting, even incapacitating, to suffer from chronic inflammation. Most likely, you're searching for non-invasive, all-natural methods to feel better. It has been shown that just one session in an infrared sauna can help reduce inflammation.


Fortunately, there are encouraging studies looking into the relationship between using an infrared sauna and reducing inflammation. Several studies show that C-reactive protein and interleukin-6 levels go down over time when people use saunas more often. Infrared light has been shown to help with the underlying causes of inflammation over the long term.


Your particular situation will determine the best way to use an infrared sauna to treat inflammation. To achieve the best results, move slowly and pay close attention to how you are feeling both during and after a sauna session. If you're recovering well and feeling great, increase the frequency of your sauna sessions throughout the week. The most promising results for reducing excessive inflammation currently come from participating in 4–7 sauna sessions per week.


Please feel free to get in touch with us if you have any questions about infrared sauna therapy. We hope you will allow us to develop an individualized wellness plan for you. As your partner in wellness, we work in close collaboration with you and, if requested, your primary care physician and other specialists in order to help you accomplish your goals.


With so much evidence supporting the advantages of using an infrared sauna to treat inflammation, it makes sense to schedule your first visit now!


Click here to schedule your first visit.


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