Infrared saunas can be considered one of the most popular therapy devices in the world right now. If you have high blood pressure, other people’s positive experiences may be enough to convince you to give it a try. But is it enough to bring your blood pressure back into the normal range?
An infrared sauna may lower blood pressure as shown in some clinical studies. It may also be helpful in improving blood circulation and boosting blood flow through deep sweating – both are essential for keeping a healthy heart.
If you are tired of struggling with elevated blood pressure and thinking of trying infrared saunas, read on.
How Does the Body React to an Infrared Sauna?
Infrared rays, an unseen kind of light, are used in saunas. Despite being invisible, the infrared spectrum of light is perceived kinetically as heat.
During infrared sauna therapy, the heart rate rises between 100 and 150 beats per minute. The physical reactions mentioned often have positive health effects on their own.
By removing toxins from your body, infrared saunas improve blood flow, supplying more nutrients and oxygen to every cell in your body.
The body’s response to light to moderate exercise is comparable to this reaction. Take note that this will depend on how long you spend in the sauna.
Infrared saunas use the body’s robust response to the infrared light spectrum to provide various health advantages, including decreasing blood pressure.
According to biomedical studies, infrared light promotes cellular regeneration and increases mitochondrial activity. These processes improve blood circulation via the dilatation of blood vessels.
Are Infrared Saunas Safe?
In general, infrared saunas don’t pose serious harm and proper usage has no adverse effects. However, there are some possible concerns to consider.
You should exercise caution if you’re taking medications or if you have existing medical conditions. You should also be extra careful if you have any implanted medical devices. Before exposing yourself to high heat, see your healthcare professional for advice.
The risk factors of using an infrared sauna include overheating, dehydration, and lightheadedness. Generally speaking, you can prevent this by consuming adequate fluids before and after. Additionally, while utilizing a sauna, stay away from drugs and alcohol.
As mentioned, some people should exercise care while using an infrared sauna. Although infrared saunas are safe and helpful for those with heart problems, anybody who has recently had heart failure or has unstable angina should not use them. It’s a condition that restricts the quantity of blood flow to the heart.
Now, how long should you use an infrared sauna?
If you often use one, you may remain inside it for up to 45 to 50 minutes. It is doubtful that spending more time inside would result in more significant health advantages since, within 45 to 50 minutes, sweating will have mostly removed the toxic pollutants from your body.
Can You Reduce Your Blood Pressure in an Infrared Sauna?
The more than 50 trillion cells that make up the human body have mitochondria which are susceptible to the infrared range of light. So that the body’s hemoglobin can get more oxygen, the energy plant of each cell changes the infrared light into nitric acid by using ATP.
When the newly oxygenated blood cells flow through the body like rivers of fluid toward the sites of inflammation, the heart rate increases. This improves circulation as inflammation goes down.
A study in 2019 indicated that within 30 minutes after a 25-minute sauna session, diastolic and systolic pressure considerably decreased in 19 healthy persons.
One might infer that vasodilation, or widening of blood vessels, along with an elevated heart rate and other physiological reactions the body has to control its core body temperature, cause diastolic blood pressure to drop.
These physiological effects contribute to many of the infrared sauna’s health advantages and reduce your chance of sudden cardiac death.
Understanding how the infrared light spectrum interacts with the body’s physiological network helps us understand how it affects blood pressure and can reduce it.
As a result of the penetrating infrared light spectrum passing through the skin’s first layer of the epidermis and causing vasodilation, which causes blood vessels to enlarge, infrared sauna treatment is a reliable and efficient way to lower blood pressure.
Who Should Not Use Infrared Saunas?
While not a complete list, the conditions indicated necessitate avoiding infrared sauna usage or seeking medical permission.
- Nerve and motor function disorders: If you have neurological abnormalities, your capacity to feel and react to the amount of heat may put you at risk for burn injuries.
- Pregnancy: If you are pregnant, avoid using the sauna unless your doctor has permitted you.
- Age consideration: Avoid utilizing a sauna if you have an age-related impairment, including seniors, who are more susceptible to dehydration and dizziness in dry heat, which may lead to falls. Before using an infrared sauna for children, consult with their doctor.
- Weakened immune system: If you have a weaker immune system, ensure the facility is well-kept and has robust cleaning procedures that satisfy industry standards. Consult your healthcare professional to get permission to utilize the facility.
- Unhealed wounds: Wait until any open wounds or surgical scars have healed before proceeding. Before receiving infrared sauna treatments, consult with your healthcare physician.
- Heart disease: People with a cardiovascular illness or underlying cardiac arrhythmias like atrial fibrillation should see their doctor before utilizing a sauna. Sauna usage may raise heart rates and produce arrhythmia.
If the hazards exceed the advantages, remember that the health benefits of saunas, like exercise, are primarily due to the physiological effects of sweat and increased heart rates.
If you can’t stand the sauna, you may obtain comparable — and even more — health advantages by undertaking aerobic and strength training activities.
Best Tips For Sauna Experience For Lowering Blood Pressure
You can take a few simple measures to ensure you get the most out of your infrared sauna experience.
- Take a shower before and after.
Showering before entering a sauna, according to some sauna aficionados, causes them to sweat faster and profusely, providing them with an additional refreshing, stimulating feeling.
Showering also helps eliminate dirt, lotions, and other residues that block pores, enabling you to perspire freely. Do not wash your body with shower gel or body wash after your entire session. Instead, rinse off with water since your body is already clean and revitalized from the sauna.
- Stretch before getting into the sauna.
Stretching wakes your body, gets your blood moving, and enhances flexibility. These preparations guarantee that your mind, body, and health get the most from your infrared sauna session.
- Hydrate your body.
Do not consume alcohol before or after a sauna session. Also, ensure to drink 2 to 4 glasses of water before and after using. You will sweat when using a sauna, so be sure you’re refilling the lost water. After a sauna session, some people like to consume tomato juice to replenish the potassium lost via sweat.
- Increase your skin’s exposure to heat.
Wearing no clothes in saunas maximizes the health advantages of sauna bathing. Clothing obstructs infrared heat from penetrating your skin and body.
If you have fibromyalgia, arthritis, or any pain condition, the painful regions must be exposed directly to infrared light waves to reduce inflammation as much as possible. Keep the cycle going: heat, sweat, evaporate, repeat.
Increasing your skin exposure in the sauna allows your body to sweat freely for optimal health benefits.
- Exfoliate and stimulate skin circulation.
While in the sauna, you may do a few things to increase circulation to the skin and optimize the advantages you experience.
Brush, softly scrape, or tap the skin on your arms, legs, tummy, and back while sitting in the sauna to cause your pores to open wider, increasing circulation at the skin’s surface.
- Look for the correct settings for you.
No two people have the same physique, so the sauna experience settings should also be different. If you want to unwind completely, set the chromotherapy lights to cold blue, turn down the heat, and listen to some soothing music.
However, if you’re going to utilize the infrared sauna to feel motivated, a dazzling orange, greater temperature, and an inspirational music selection may be the way to go.
- Maintain a consistent schedule and routine.
How long you can spend in a sauna comfortably depends on your heat tolerance, age, and other health considerations. Sauna users often stay for 10-15 minutes before taking a break to cool up and return to the sauna.
Research has indicated that regular infrared sauna use yields more advantages in terms of how often you should use a sauna. While 1-2 days per week resulted in modest improvement, 3-4 days per week is excellent for best results.
Getting into a sauna may seem odd to lower blood pressure. But infrared sauna therapy is a great addition to anyone’s health routine.
As a whole, infrared saunas should be considered not only as an excellent way to relax but also as a way to keep your cardiovascular and circulatory systems in good health. Just don’t forget to check your diet and sleep, get enough sunlight, and see your healthcare provider for your overall health.