Health Benefits of Infrared Saunas
Portable Infrared Saunas have a good amount of clinical research to prove their safety and effectiveness.
The bulk of the research on the health benefits of infrared saunas is coming out of Japan. It turns out that controlled hyperthermia (raising the temperature of the body) through FIR Sauna therapy helps all of the body’s tissues to get activated and function better*.
Three or four infrared treatments may open pores that have not been functioning in years, forcing out cosmetics which were clogging the pores and loosening dead outer skin. The sauna is thus a boon to teenage skin, clearing acne and blackheads.
Post surgical adhesions (scars) may be reduced
This condition is marked by over-activity and/or strenuous exercising. FIR sauna therapy leads to disappearance of hyperactivity and progressive recovery.*
*Gutierrez E, Vazquez R, Heat in the treatment of patients with anorexia nervosa. Eat Weight Disord. 2001 Mar;6(1):49-52
Artery Disease (peripheral)
Thermal therapy is a successful treatment method for serious peripheral artery disease.*
*ei C, Shinsato T, Kihara T, Miyata M, Successful thermal therapy for end-stage peripheral artery disease, J Cardiol. 2006 Apr;47(4):163-4.
- May be cleared up (like moving to Arizona’s dry air)
- A case study* was reported in which a 41 year old male suffered from toxic occupational asthma, headaches, depression and other complaints. Serum analysis revealed an extremely high level of toluene (a toxin) and antibodies to isocyanate, TMA and formaldehyde (toxins). He was placed on a FIR therapy program and his lungs cleared up within 3 days. After 52 days, his health had improved by 85%. Post treatment analysis revealed no detectable levels of any volatile compounds.
*Zane R. Gard, MD & Erma J. Brown, BSN, PhN, TLfDP, October 1992
FIR Infrared Saunas have been shown to help increase circulation and release Nitric Oxide. FIR waves’ ability to trigger the release of NO may play a role in enhancing memory, learning, and behavior modification along with improving neurotransmission and immune functions. NO helps preserve blood-vessel elasticity and enhances blood circulation. This has significant implications, because optimal blood circulation is a key factor for healing virtually all health issues – but especially for people with autism*. Find out more about Autism Treatment with Far Infrared Saunas.
*Harrison J.; Health Freedom News .Winter 2012, pp. 15-17
Low level heat therapy is more effective than over-the-counter oral medications for relieving low back pain, according to the results of a nationwide study* led by a sports medicine researcher at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. In the six-month study involving 371 patients, participants were given the maximum recommended non-prescription dosages of ibuprofen and acetaminophen or low level heat therapy for two days to treat acute low back pain. The results showed that the low level heat therapy provided significantly more pain relief beginning on the first day of treatment than the oral analgesics and that the effects lasted more than 48 hours after the treatment was completed. “Confirming that this treatment is effective is important to patients because it gives them a treatment option that does not have the potential risk to the liver, kidneys, and gastrointestinal tract than can accompany inappropriate analgesic usage,” said Dr. Nadler, an associate of physical medicine and rehabilitation at the medical school.
*“Heat Therapy More Effective Than Analgesics for Low Back Pain Relief”, New Jersey Medical School At UMDNJ–New Jersey Medical School, May 15 Issue of the Journal Spine NEWARK, N.J. May 15, 2002.
Blood Flow / Circulation
Blood flow during whole-body hyperthermia is reported to rise from a normal five to seven quarts a minute to as many as 13 quarts a minute, which is a blood flow similar to that seen during exercise. Several reasons FIR sauna therapy boosts blood flow and circulation:
- FIR Sauna Therapy increases your heart rate which relaxes the smooth muscles in the blood vessels and causes them to dilate, which in turn increases blood flow.
- Temperature elevation which reaches the subcutaneous tissues produces an increase in blood flow and dilation directly in capillaries, arterioles and venules through direct action on the smooth muscles.
- The heat radiated by FIR saunas causes a phenomenon called “resonance” when it is absorbed by the cells in the body. This invigorates and boosts cellular metabolism and blood circulation instantaneously.
- The release of bradykinin from increased sweat-gland activity also produces increased blood flow and dilated blood vessels.
- Heating one area of the body produces reflex-modulated blood vessel dilations in distant-body areas, even in the absence of a change in core body temperature; i.e., heat a forearm and both lower extremities dilate; heat the front of the trunk and the hand dilates.
- Through other metabolic reflexes. This increase in blood circulation helps to flush out impurities and metabolic wastes from the blood out through the sweat and increased energy.
Blood Pressure (High)
- Finnish researchers state that there is abundant evidence to suggest that blood vessels of regular sauna-goers remain elastic and pliable longer due to the regular dilation and contraction of blood vessels induced by sauna use. German medical researchers reported in “Dermatol Monatsschr” in 1989 that a single whole-body session of infrared-induced hyperthermia lasting over one hour had only beneficial effects on subjects with stage I-II essential hypertension. Each subject experienced a rise in core body temperature to a maximum level of 38.5°C (101.3°F). All of the subjects in one experiment had significant decrease in arterial, venous and mean blood pressure that lasted for at least 24 hours and was linked, according to the researchers, to a persistent peripheral dilation effect. An improvement in plasma viscosity was also noted.
- Another group of similar hypertension patients was also studied under the same conditions of infrared-induced hyperthermia, with an eye toward more carefully evaluating the circulatory system effects induced by this type of whole-body heating. During each infrared session, there was a significant decrease of blood pressure, cardiac ejection resistance, and total peripheral resistance in every subject. There was also a significant increase during each session of the subjects’ heart rates, stroke volumes, cardiac outputs and ejection fractions. The researchers cite these last three effects as evidences that the stimulation of the heart during infrared-induced hyperthermia is well compensated, while the prior list of effects clearly show the micro-circulatory changes that lead to the desired result of a lowering of blood pressure.
- See more information under Heart Disease tab
Blood Pressure (Low)
FIR sauna trains body to raise blood pressure.
By improving the function of the skin, the infrared treatments may eliminate the cause of offensive body odor. It definitely reduces body odor induced by occupational exposure to odorous chemicals.
- Brain contusions repair at an accelerated rate from FIR sauna therapy.
- Recovery from cerebral hemorrhages is both sped up and significantly enhanced.
Scars and pain from burns or wounds are decreased in severity and extent and heal more quickly. Infrared therapy is used routinely in burn units throughout Asia.
Bursitis is associated with poor blood circulation and responds well to peripheral dilation
- FIR therapy is helpful in the destruction of cancer cells, as they begin to die off when the malignant tissue reaches 104-106°F (40-41°C). It takes but a small increase in body temperature for the body to increase the production of white blood cells, which are critical to the destruction of tumors. Regular FIR sauna use is an effective approach that compliments any anti-cancer protocol.
- Researchers from Japan report that FIR therapy can reverse cancer of the tongue.
- In the later stages of cancer, FIR Sauna Therapy can relieve pain extremely well.
Assists the body with excretion of toxins related to Candida Albicans
Cardiovascular Conditioning (Passive)
- The August 7, 1981 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that regular use of a sauna may impact a similar stress on the cardiovascular system, and its regular use may be as effective, as a means of cardiovascular conditioning and burning of calories, as regular exercise. FIR Sauna Therapy makes it possible for people in wheelchairs, or those who have a disability that affect their ability to exercise to achieve a cardiovascular training effect. Due to the deep penetration of the infrared rays generated by the Far Infrared Sauna, there is a heating effect deep in the muscular tissues and the internal organs. The body responds to this deep-heating effect via a hypothalamic-induced increase in both heart volume and rate. This beneficial heart stress leads to a sought-after cardiovascular training and conditioning effect. Medical researchers confirm the use of a sauna provides cardiovascular conditioning as the body works to cool itself and involves substantial increases in heart rate, cardiac output and metabolic rate.
- As a confirmation of the validity of this form of cardiovascular conditioning, extensive research by NASA in the early 1980’s led to the conclusion that infrared stimulation of cardiovascular function would be the ideal way to maintain cardiovascular conditioning in American astronauts during long space flights.
- A person using an FIR sauna will burn between 900 and 2400 calories during a 30 minute period. This is equivalent to the consumption of energy in a 6-9 mile run. For comparison, persons using a rowing machine or running a marathon burns only about 600 calories in 30 minutes. Therefore, the infrared sauna can play a pivotal role in both weight control and cardiovascular conditioning. It is valuable for those who don’t exercise and those who can’t exercise and want an effective weight control and fitness maintenance program, and the benefits regular exercise contribute to such a program. The cardiovascular demand imparted by thermoregulatory homeostasis (sweating, vasodilation, decreased afterload, increased heart rate, increased cardiac output) is similar to that achieved by walking at a moderate pace. As such, FIR saunas might be of particular benefit to those who are sedentary due to various medical conditions, such as osteoarthritis or cardiovascular or respiratory problems.
While the moisture on the surface of the skin evaporates and thus cools the body, a number of other changes occur in the body to release the heat as quickly as possible. The heart beats harder and faster, pumping more blood through the dilated blood vessels, thus achieving the conditioning benefits of continuous exercise. As the body increases sweat production to cool itself, the heart works harder pumping blood at a greater rate to boost circulation, supplying the conditioning benefits of continuous exercise. Heart rate, cardiac output and metabolic rate increase, while diastolic blood pressure drops, for improved overall cardiovascular fitness.*
*Another related reference is Searle AJ (January 1982). “Effects of the sauna.” JAMA 247 (1): 28
Cellulite is a gel-like substance made up of fat, water and wastes, which are trapped in pockets below the skin. FIR sauna therapy can assist this condition, as profuse sweating helps clear this form of unwanted debris from the body. European beauty specialists confirm that a sauna will greatly speed any anti-cellulite program. Because FIR saunas have at least twice the depth of heat penetration into cellulite combined with up to 10 times the level of heating in these tissues, they are significantly more effective than any conventional sauna at removing cellulite.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Studies* indicate improved fatigue, pain, sleep and low-grade fever with FIR therapy. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is often characterized by a deficiency of essential vitamins and minerals. Often, the end result is an excessive accumulation of mercury and other toxic heavy metals in various organs of the body. These toxic metals are found in increasing amounts in our environment and food and in dental amalgams. Toxic metals are absorbed and replace the vital elements when there is a deficiency of the good minerals. Deficient diets, refined foods, junk foods and artificial foods lack the essential nutrients and so the toxic metals are taken up as if they were replacement parts on a car. When a certain point is reached, there is inadequate nutrition to keep the system working and consequently the energy system begins to break down. A breakdown in the energy system can be sudden or slow depending on the individual situation. FIR Therapy removes metal contaminants from the body. Research conducted by U.S. scientists has demonstrated that close to 80% of individuals with chronic fatigue syndrome will improve markedly by a guided detoxification program.
*Masuda A, Kihara T, Fukudome T, Shinsato T, Minagoe S, Tei C. The effects of repeated thermal therapy for two patients with chronic fatigue syndrome. J Psychosom Res 2005;58(4):383–7.
*Masuda A, Munemoto T, Tei C, A new treatment: thermal therapy for chronic fatigue syndrome, Nippon Rinsho. 2007 Jun;65(6):1093-8
Cold Hands and Feet
One physical therapist found that 20-50% improvement was maintained using FIR therapy.
In some cases, cystitis has been eliminated using FIR therapy.
In a study* of 28 mildly depressed patients, 14 were assigned to a treatment group and 14 were assigned to the control group. The treatment group received 140°F (60°C) far infrared therapy for 15 minutes per day plus bed rest with a blanket for 30 minutes per day. After 20 sessions over a 4 week period, the patients treated with FIR had significantly less somatic complaints, significantly less appetite loss and significantly better relaxation.
*Masuda A, Nakazato M, Kihara T, Minagoe S, Tei C, Repeated thermal therapy diminishes appetite loss and subjective complaints in mildly depressed patients. Psychosom Med. 2005 Jul-Aug;67(4):643-7.
Hyperthermia (fever) is the body’s natural way to eliminate bacteria, viruses and toxic organisms by sweating them out through the skin. Infrared sauna use is perhaps the most effective method of prompting hyperthermia (rise in body temperature) for the purpose of detoxification. Increased blood circulation stimulates the sweat glands, quickly expunging built-up toxins and waste, through the skin, the body’s largest organ. Daily sweating can help detoxify the body as it rids itself of an accumulation of potentially carcinogenic heavy metals (lead, mercury, nickel, cadmium, aluminum) as well as alcohol, nicotine, sodium, sulfuric acid, arsenic, cholesterol, ammonia, uric acid, hydrocarbon residues, narcotic drugs and hormone disrupting chemicals (dioxins, PCBs, formaldehyde, agricultural chemicals, industrial chemicals, gasoline, pesticides, food additives, etc.). These toxins may be deposited deep beneath the skin in the body fat and internal organs. Infrared is able to penetrate deep into the body and cause a resonance in the water molecules that surrounds the cells. Because the far infrared frequency matches that of the body, this resonance allows the water molecules to move more freely in and out through the membrane of the cells. As sweat and oils and secreted, the toxins dissolved in them are secreted as well. Dr. Aundrea Adams of the International Institute of Holistic Healing compared the detoxification findings of FIR and steam saunas. She found that sweat generated using a steam sauna was composed of up to 97% water while sweat released after FIR sauna therapy was composed of only 80-85% water. The remaining 15-20% of sweat was composed of heavy metals, sulfuric acid, sodium, ammonia, uric acid and fat- soluble toxins.*
*Dr. A. J. Adams, International Institute of Holistic Healing: What is Far Infrared Therapy and How Does it Work Toward Healing the Body?
Diabetes is associated with poor blood circulation and responds well to peripheral dilation from FIR sauna therapy. See more details under Heart Disease.
Diver Decompression Sickness (Bends)
16 divers were compressed in a high pressure chamber*. Each underwent one dive in the chamber after a 30 minute far infrared sauna therapy session at 149°F (65°C) and one dive without the therapy. The results showed that circulating bubbles after a dive were decreased significantly in the FIR treatment group.
*Blatteau JE, Gempp E, Balestra C, Mets T, Germonpre P, Predive sauna and venous gas bubbles upon decompression from 400 kPa, Aviat Space Environ Med. 2008 Dec;79(12):1100-5.
FIR Sauna Therapy may help with chronic ear infections or inflammation.
Eczema has responded extremely well to infrared treatments
For post-operative edema, treatment with infrared has been so successful that hospital stays have been reduced by 25%.
Infrared sauna relieves soreness, swelling and lactic acid from exercise. See more details under Cardiovascular Conditioning (Passive) and Cardiovascular System tabs
- female patients with fibromyalgia received FIR sauna therapy at 140°F (60°C) for 15 minutes* and then covered by a warm blanket for 30 more minutes . Each received 10 treatments total. All patients received about a 50% reduction in pain after the first treatment. By the 10th treatment, the pain relief became stable. Pain symptom scores remained low throughout the study.
- Fibromyalgia sufferers are universally found to be malnourished, have lowered immune function, have one or more viral, fungal, or bacterial infections (almost always not detectable by orthodox means), and cannot detoxify their heavy metals such as mercury, cadmium, aluminum etc. Therefore, FIR Therapy provides a safe, natural form of detoxification which is so very crucial for fibromyalgia patients. Studies have shown that heat therapy is more effective than analgesics for fibromyalgia pain relief.
- “After treating thousand patients with fibromyalgia for many years, one of the things that we have learned in our clinic is that almost all fibro patients have a lack of sweat. Getting them to sweat using the FIR-Real sauna is an important component of recovery from their central sensitization syndrome.”
– Sharon Sauer, CMTPT, LMT (Certified Myofascial Trigger Point Therapist, Licensed Massage Therapist) – Chicago, IL
*Matsushita K, Masuda A, Tei C, Efficacy of Waon therapy for fibromyalgia. Intern Med. 2008;47(16):1473-6. Epub 2008 Aug 15.
A FIR Sauna is perfect as a “heat therapy room” for athletes looking for a pre-workout warm-up to warm up muscles and increase flexibility, helping to prevent injury. It’s also ideal for pre-warm-up for physical therapy and massage therapy, or for a relaxing, wind-down at the end of a stress-filled day.
Coronary risk factors including high cholesterol, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, obesity and smoking:
- In a randomized trial* of persons with coronary risk factors, 14 subjects had 15 minute daily FIR sessions for two weeks. Systolic blood pressure was significantly reduced in the sauna group after therapy from on average 125 mmHg to 110 mmHg. Another marker of coronary disease was also significantly reduced in the treatment group.
- In a sequential, longitudinal, interrupted time series cohort trial**, 25 men with at least one coronary risk factor underwent 15 minute FIR sauna sessions over a two week period. Ten additional men did not receive any sauna treatment. Systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, weight and fasting blood glucose concentrations all decreased in the treatment group. Endothelial (blood vessel) function was impaired in the control group and improved with treatment.
Decreased congestive heart failure:
- In a randomized controlled trial***, 30 subjects with congestive heart failure and more than 200 premature ventricular contractions per 24 hours were randomized into treatment and non-treatment groups. Treatment consisted of 10 15-minute infrared sauna sessions over a 2 week period. After two weeks, the sauna group had 73% fewer average premature ventricular contractions than the untreated group per 24 hours (848 vs. 3097). The treatment group also had 45% lower brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) levels (229 pg/mL vs. 419 pg/mL) than the untreated group. BNP is an amino acid polypeptide secreted by the ventricles of the heart in response to excessive stretching of heart muscle cells and is used to diagnose acute congestive heart failure.
- In a randomized controlled trial****, 30 subjects with congestive heart failure were randomized into control (10 subjects) and intervention (20 subjects) groups. Treatment consisted of 10 15-minute infrared sauna sessions over a 2 week period. Clinical symptoms improved in 17 (85%) out of 20 of the treatment group. Average systolic blood pressure in the treatment group decreased 9% from 107 mmHg to 97 mm Hg. Average brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) levels decreased in the treatment group decreased 34% (441 pg/ml vs. 293 pg/ml). The control group did not improve clinically
- In a sequential, longitudinal, interrupted time series trial at the Mayo Clinic*****, 15 hospitalized patients with congestive heart failure underwent daily 15 minute infrared sauna treatment for 4 weeks. These serious end-stage congestive heart failure patients were maximally medicated, unable to walk across the room without shortness of breath and were unable to tolerate warm baths. When they were treated with FIR sauna therapy, symptoms improved in 87% of patients (13 of 15). Left ventricular ejection fraction increased from 30% to 34% on average, meaning that their hearts beat more efficiently and with less effort. Every patient’s 6 minute walking distance increased. Distance increased from an average of 388 meters to 448 meters (15% faster pace). Average plasma epinephrine (adrenaline) concentration decreased by 48% from 40 pg/mL to 21 pg/mL. Average plasma norepinephrine decreased by 30% from 633 pg/mL to 443 pg/mL. These two are both used to diagnose congestive heart failure. Diastolic blood pressure (the low number) decreased but systolic pressure (the top number) was unchanged. This means that they did not get hypertensive and the work that the hearts had to do decreased. There were no side effects (something that never happens with drugs and surgery). No patients had dyspnea (shortness of breath), angina (chest pain) or arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat), or complained of excess heat. FIR sauna therapy literally saved their lives.
- In a 12 patient study****** of neonates with congestive heart failure due to ventricular septal defect, clinical signs and symptoms of congestive heart failure decreased, urine nitrate levels decreased and 75% of patients avoided surgical repair.
*Masuda A, Miyata M, Kihara T, Minagoe S, Tei C. Repeated sauna therapy reduces urinary 8-epi-prostaglandin F(2alpha). Jpn Heart J 2004;45(2):297–303.
**Imamura M, Biro S, Kihara T, Yoshifuku S, Takasaki K, Otsuji Y, et al. Repeated thermal therapy improves impaired vascular endothelial function in patients with coronary risk factors. J Am Coll Cardiol 2001;38(4):1083–8.
***Kihara T, Biro S, Ikeda Y, Fukudone T, Shinsato T, Masuda A, et al. Effects of repeated sauna treatment on ventricular arrhythmias in patents with chronic heart failure. Circ J 2004;68(12):1146–51.
****Kihara T, Biro S, Imamura M, Yoshifuku S, Takasaki K, Ikeda Y, et al. Repeated sauna treatment improves vascular endothelial and cardiac function in patients with chronic heart failure. J Am Coll Cardiol 2002;39(5):754–9.
*****Miyamoto H, Kai H, Nakaura H, Osada K, Mizuta Y, Matsumoto A, et al. Safety and efficacy of repeated sauna bathing in patients with chronic systolic heart failure: a preliminary report. J Card Fail 2005;11(6):432–6.
******Sugahara Y, Ishii M, Muta H, Egami K, Akagi T, Matsuishi T. Efficacy and safety of thermal vasodilation therapy by sauna in infants with severe congestive heart failure secondary to ventricular septal defect. Am J Cardiol 2003;92(1):109–13.
FIR sauna therapy stimulates the hypothalamus, which controls the production of neurochemicals involved in such biological processes as sleep, mood, pain sensations and blood pressure.
The deep heat from the FIR sauna raises your body temperature, inducing an artificial fever. Our bodies normally develop fever when ill to enhance metabolism and help to kill germs; the physiology is very similar for artificially induced fever. As the body works to combat the artificial “fever,” the body’s immune system is strengthened. FIR Saunas increase overall health and resistance to disease as heating of the tissues enhances metabolic processes. The leukocyte, macrophage, NK cells and T cells are activated (the immune power is multiplied by 200 times by raising the body core temperature up 3.5 degrees). Greater cellular energy production facilitates healing. The stimulated immune system helps the body to fight off any invasive organisms like bacteria or virus in the early stages of cold, cough, or flu, preventing disease from occurring. Viruses, tumors and toxin-laden cells which are weaker than normal cells are excreted as they tolerate heat poorly. Raising the body temperature causes infections to heal more quickly. Hyperthermia even helps to combat cancer.
The increased peripheral circulation occurring with FIR sauna therapy provides the transportation needed to help evacuate the edema, which can help stop inflammation, decrease pain and help speed healing. Researchers have observed high success rates when applying FIR therapy to resolve post surgical infection, pelvic infection and frostbite with inflammation.
Another of the health benefits of infrared saunas is that it encourages speedy recovery from injuries. Since FIR therapy causes vasodilatation of peripheral blood vessels, sprains and strains and related pain are relieved much quicker and the natural healing process is aided.
In one case, a 46 year old female with jaundice and a large benign tumor in her liver underwent toxin reduction FIR sauna therapy. Within a few weeks, her color was back to normal and her overall health had improved and she had no further complications.
Joint Stiffness / Collagen Tissue Extensibility / Stretching
- In one case16 of rheumatoid finger joints, there was a 20% decrease in stiffness at 112°F (45°C) as compared with 92°F (33°C). Any stiffened joint and thickened connective tissues should respond in a similar fashion.
- Tissues heated to 112°F (45°C) and then stretched exhibit a non-elastic residual elongation of about 0.5-0.9% that persists after the stretch is removed. It does not occur in these same tissues when stretched at normal tissue temperatures. Thus 20 stretching sessions can produce a 10-18% increase in length in tissues so heated and stretched. (Justus F Lehmann M.D., Williams and Wilkins, Therapeutic Heat and Cold, 4th edition.) This effect would be especially valuable in working with ligaments, joint capsules, tendons, fasciae, and synovium that have become scarred, thickened or contracted. Such stretching at 112°F caused much less weakening in stretched tissues for a given elongation that a similar elongation produced at normal tissue temperatures. The experiments cited clearly showed that low-force stretching can produce significant residual elongation when heat is applied together with stretching or range-of-motion exercises, which is also safer than stretching tissues at normal tissue temperatures. This safer stretching effect is crucial in properly training competitive athletes so as to minimize their “down” time from injuries.
Keloids (scar overgrowth)
Keloids form at a reduced rate in those prone to their formation with infrared treatments and may be softened by use of infrared systems if they have form.
Lacerations heal quicker and with less pain and scarring with FIR sauna therapy.
Far infrared sauna use is safe and effective for increasing lactation in breastfeeding mothers.*
*Ogita S, Imanaka M, Matsuo S, Takebayashi T, Nakai Y, Fukumusa H, et al. Effects of far-infrared radiation on lactation. Ann Physiol Anthropol 1990;9(2):83–91.
Lung Disease (Severe Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
13 patients with chronic obstructive lung disease* who had breathlessness despite repeated treatments underwent 15 minute FIR sauna sessions once per day for four weeks. The results showed improved pulmonary health, breathlessness, exercise tolerance and quality of life.
*Umehara M, Yamaguchi A, Itakura S, Suenaga M, Sakaki Y, Nakashiki K, Miyata M, Tei C., Repeated waon therapy improves pulmonary hypertension during exercise in patients with severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. J Cardiol. 2008 Apr;51(2):106-13.
Short-term memory may be improved with FIR therapy
FIR therapy relieves menopause related symptoms: relieved chills, nervousness, depression, dizziness, head & stomach aches
Menstrual cramps are associated with poor blood circulation and respond well to peripheral dilation.
Muscle spasms have long been observed to be reduced through the use of heat, whether they be secondary to underlying skeletal, joint, or neuro-pathological conditions. This result is possibly produced by the combined effect of heat on both primary and secondary afferent nerves from spindle cells and from its effects on Golgi tendon organs. The results produced demonstrated their peak effect within the therapeutic temperature range obtainable with FIR heat.
Associated with poor blood circulation and responds well to peripheral dilation
Associated with poor blood circulation and responds well to peripheral dilation
Improvement and harmonization of autonomic nerves, balance of sympathetic nerves and parasympathetic nerves.
Associated with poor blood circulation and responds well to peripheral dilation
Associated with poor blood circulation and responds well to peripheral dilation
In a small study, 6 patients with peripheral neuropathy experienced 50-99% symptom reduction after undergoing FIR sauna therapy.
New clinical research on pain offers evidence to establish a novel class of pain — “heat responsive pain” or HRP — which encompasses several common pain conditions that can be treated with the use of heat therapy. Researchers studying HRP have observed remarkable therapeutic benefits by using continuous low-level heat therapy for treating lower-back, upper-body and menstrual pain, all conditions that fall under the new HRP classification. “For centuries, healthcare providers have used topical heat to relieve minor aches and pains, but today, we are just beginning to understand the full range of therapeutic benefits that heat offers,” said pain expert Peter Vicente, Ph.D., Past-President of the American Pain Society and Clinical Health Psychologist, River hills Healthcare, Cincinnati, OH. “Through new clinical research, we have found that heat activates complex neurologic, vascular and metabolic mechanisms to mediate the transmission of pain signals and effectively provide relief for a variety of pain conditions.” The deep heat of the FIR sauna helps peripheral blood vessels dilate, bringing relief and healing to muscle and soft tissue injuries. Increased blood circulation carries off metabolic waste products and delivers oxygen-rich blood to oxygen-depleted muscle, so they recover faster. Muscles relax most readily when tissues are warm, for greater flexibility and range of motion.
In a randomized controlled trial*, 46 patients with chronic pain received 4 weeks of multidisciplinary treatment; 22 of the subjects also had 15-minute daily FIR sauna sessions during those 4 weeks. After two years, those in the sauna group were more likely to have returned to work (77% vs. 50%) and to have improved sleep scores and tended toward greater improvement in pain behavior scores and anger scores. The reason for the pain relief may be the reduction of muscle spasms which cause pain or the relaxing of myofascial trigger points (irritable tight tissues). In one dental study, repeated heat applications eventually led to abolishment of the whole nerve response responsible for pain arising from dental pulp (center soft part of the tooth).
Persons undergoing FIR Sauna Therapy have received relief from a variety of painful conditions:
- Adhesions (scarring) from athletic injuries, trauma or repetitive stress syndrome
- Arthritis: gouty, rheumatoid or degenerative joint disease
- Brain Injury (The effects of acceleration-deceleration injury or brain contusions)
- Compression fracture. For example, in one person, pain stopped for three days of after only a single treament
- TMJ (arthritis and muscle spasms have been reduced or eliminated)
- Low Back Pain
- Muscle Pain (notably post exercise muscle pain)
- Muscle Tension
- Neuralgia (related to disc protrusion)
- Pain which prevented sleep or limited usable sleeping positions
- Shoulder Pain
- Spinal Cord Shock. Post traumatic shock has been reversed.
*Masuda A, Koga Y, Hattanmura M, Minagoe S, Tei C. The effects of repeated thermal therapy for patients with chronic pain. Psychother Psychosom 2005;74(5):288–94.
Psoriasis has responded extremely well to infrared treatments
FIR Therapy relieves the symptoms of radiation sickness.
14 patients with rheumatoid arthritis and 14 patients with ankylosing spondylitis, an inflammatory arthritis that causes fusion of the spine, were treated with eight sessions of far infrared sauna therapy over four weeks*. These patients experienced significantly decreased pain and stiffness in the short-term and clinically relevant long-term effects from the therapy.
*Oosterveld FG, Rasker JJ, Floors M, Landkroon R, van Rennes B, Zwijnenberg J, van de Laar MA, Koel GJ, Infrared sauna in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis. A pilot study showing good tolerance, short-term improvement of pain and stiffness, and a trend towards long-term beneficial effects. Clin Rheumatol. 2009 Jan;28(1):29-34. Epub 2008 Aug 7.
Scars fully formed, even keloids, may be gradually softened from FIR therapy. Burns and other wounds or incisions may heal with significantly reduced scarring.
Sciatica is associated with poor blood circulation and responds well to peripheral dilation
Thermal therapy is remarkably effective at helping persons with Sjögren syndrome*, an autoimmune disorder in which immune cells attack and destroy the exocrine glands that produce tears and saliva.
Tei C, Orihara FK, Fukudome T, Remarkable efficacy of thermal therapy for Sjögren syndrome, J Cardiol. 2007 May;49(5):217-9.
Skin / Beauty
- The profuse sweating achieved after just a few minutes in far infrared sauna unclogs the skin pores and carries off deeply imbedded impurities and dead skin cells, leaving the skin glowing, youthful, baby smooth, soft, immaculately clean and free of accumulated dirt and dry skin cells. Increased circulation and dilation of the body’s capillary network draws the skin’s own natural nutrients to the surface. It improves complexion, tone, elasticity, texture and fresh color of the skin.
- Increased blood circulation has also been shown to relieve acne, eczema, psoriasis, burns, lesions and cuts. In addition, open wounds may heal more quickly, reducing scarring and even burns.
Soft Tissue Injury
- FIR Therapy increases the delivery of oxygen and nutrients in blood cells to the body’s soft tissue areas and promoting regeneration and fast healing. It is now becoming a leading edge care for soft tissue injuries to promote both relief in chronic or intractable “permanent” cases, and accelerated healing in newer injuries.
- Researchers have reported over 90% success treating soft tissue injury and lumbar strain
- In one small study of auto accident related soft tissue injuries, daily FIR sessions were used until best healing was attained. Then FIR was used to deal with permanent residuals. The pain control effect on the chronic residuals from such injuries lasted three days before another treatment was necessary.
Upset stomach is associated with poor blood circulation and responds well to peripheral dilation.
FIR therapy relieves abnormalities resulting from of strokes. For example, Hemiparesis (weakness on one side of the body) may be relieved over time.
Spinal Compression Fracture
In a small study of osteoporotic compression fractures, pain was gone for 3 days after each FIR treatment.
Perhaps the most immediate health benefit of infrared saunas is simple relaxation, as it melts away the stresses and tensions. FIR sauna therapy gives an overall massaging effect, soothing jangled nerves and knotted muscles. FIR Sauna therapy leaves you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated
Stretch marks are associated with poor blood circulation and respond well to peripheral dilation from FIR sauna therapy.
According to the 9th edition of Clayton’s Electrotherapy, “infrared is the only antidote to excessive ultraviolet radiation.”
In a case of chronic severe case of tinnitus (ringing of the ear), it cleared up with 10 FIR treatments.
Duodenal ulcers may be eliminated from FIR sauna therapy. Leg and decubitus ulcers (pressure sores) that fail to respond to conventional approaches may respond to FIR. These are associated with poor blood circulation and respond well to peripheral dilation.
Varicose veins are associated with poor blood circulation and respond well to peripheral dilation from FIR sauna therapy.
- FIR Saunas are the only natural, healthy way to burn calories without exercising
- In a sequential, longitudinal, interrupted time series trial22, 10 obese subjects underwent 15 minute daily FIR sessions and followed an 1800 calorie per day diet for a two week period. Despite weight loss, hormones that are usually released with calorie restriction were not released so FIR may blunt the negative effects of weight loss due to calorie restriction.
- FIR heat therapy can be used as a complementary aid in weight loss programs for accelerating metabolism which results in large quantities of calories lost in a single sauna heat session.
- Weight loss happens through sweating and the energy use needed to produce the sweat and through direct excretion of fat which becomes water-soluble at a temperature of 100 F° before it begins to dissolve and enter the bloodstream to be removed from the body.
- Often the inability to lose weight is associated with chemical toxicity. As these toxins are removed from the body while using the FIR sauna, weight loss naturally follows.
- Medical research shows that FIR Sauna Therapy burns about 600 calories in 30 minutes28. Here is a comparison with different sports:
Activity Calories Burned by 150 lb.
Person in 30 minutes
FIR Sauna Therapy 600 Rowing (peak effort) 600 Running 2-3 miles 600 Vigorous Racquet Ball 510 Swimming (crawl stroke) 300 Jogging 300 Tennis (fast game) 265 Chopping Wood 265 Cycling (10mph) 225 Golfing (without a cart) 150 Walking (3.5mph) 150 Bowling 120