February is American Heart Awareness Month. Cardiovascular disease is the #1killer of men and women in the United States. The amount of money attributed to health care, medications and lost productivity due to cardiovascular disease (including heart disease, stroke & high blood pressure) is in excess of $300 billion annually.
Doctors in Japan worked for over 20 years testing the benefits of infrared sauna therapy related to heart health. Known as waon therapy, it utilizes a combination of 15 minute sauna sessions (at 140 degrees Fahrenheit) coupled with 30 minute rest periods outside the sauna wrapped in towels.
The study concluded that waon therapy benefited the heart in a variety of ways:
- It improved artery health. Arteries are lined with a layer called endothelium. The cells making up this layer produce multiple compounds that help arteries resist plaque development, blood clots and constriction. Therapy involving infrared sauna use was shown to improve the function of the endothelium.
- It reduced the number of molecules that trigger inflammation. Our blood is filled with molecules that trigger inflammation, often caused by heart disease, stress, being overweight, and eating processed foods. After a few weeks of waon therapy, the levels of these molecules had decreased.
- It improved the ability to exercise. Perhaps thanks to healthier endothelium and the reduction of inflammation, those going through waon therapy discovered they could do light exercising (including walking) even when they had been previously limited by heart of leg vascular issues.
129 patients were included in the study that had heart problems. Over a five year period, the patients who continued waon therapy a minimum of twice a week ended up cutting their re-hospitalization from heart disease by 50%.
If you have any chronic heart conditions, consult your doctor about the possibility of including infrared sauna therapy as part of your treatment regimen. It could make a big difference in your overall well- being—never mind what it will do for your mood!
Jacuzzi Hot Tubs of Portland sells the safest infrared saunas in the industry. Made by Finnleo Saunas, many of them set up indoors in minutes and only require a household outlet to operate! Check out the entire line, and make a visit to one of our showrooms to experience them firsthand. You’ll be glad you did!