Saunas have been used for centuries for their abundant physical and mental health benefits. The first use of saunas and heat therapy goes back to at least 2,000 years ago and the tradition has been found in several cultures. Historians cite how various peoples relied on saunas as places for socialization, relaxation, and even in some cases, survival. They’ve been used as a means of relieving stress and alleviating depression. These mental health benefits are even the subject of mental health studies today.
Are Saunas Good For Stress?
Most fans of saunas would say yes, a sauna session is great for relieving stress. But does sauna use assist mental health? While sauna bathing has made its place in history, how saunas are used and their impact on mental illness is still being measured. In this article, we’ll talk a little about the history of saunas and whether or not using a sauna for anxiety and depression actually has a clinical impact on mental health. Sauna therapy and sauna bathing are definitely on-trend, and infrared sauna therapy can be an excellent addition to your personal wellness playbook.
Infrared Saunas and Mental Illness
Traditional saunas have been in existence for at least 2,000 years. Conventional saunas were first developed in Finland as winter dwellings, but later became important across the world in health practice. Korea has also practiced a form of sauna therapy for thousands of years, originally as a health treatment administered by Buddhist monks for poor people. Today, the use of saunas has been spread by Nordic diaspora across the world.
In a recent article published in Medical Principles and Practice, a study was conducted with 2,138 men of varying ages and varied sauna use each week. While the article did not find a correlation between mental health disorders and sauna use per se, it found that sauna use did improve mood and various physical health factors which in turn set the stage for the reduction of anxiety, depression, and psychotic episodes. They recommended sauna use as a mental health practice. Certainly, there are a lot of self-reported praises being directed towards sauna therapy in general and infrared saunas in particular – a respondent reported in a recent article at BodyAndSoul.Com that “All of the doubt sweated out of me.”
How Do Infrared Saunas Work?
Infrared saunas differ from traditional saunas by heating a person from the inside and slowly raising their core temperature. This is called “whole-body hyperthermia”, and has been shown to be an effective way to assist blood circulation and to reduce stress hormone levels.
Sauna bathing as a kind of heat therapy has the effect of increasing blood flow, granting pain relief, and relieving joint and muscle pain during a sauna session. A number of more extreme health benefits have been reported with the use of infrared saunas, such as cleansing toxins and stimulating the nervous system, but none of these have been clinically verified. Whether or not infrared saunas have a prolonged therapeutic benefit has yet to be documented, but like traditional saunas, infrared saunas have definite health benefits and can be a great addition to your health routine. That sauna therapy simply provides stress relief is worth checking out.
The Sauna Life Can Answer Your Infrared Sauna Questions!
Do you want to learn more about how infrared saunas work, how they’re different from traditional saunas, and the benefits of all kinds of saunas? Contact us! We’d love to answer all of your infrared sauna therapy questions.