We’ve all heard the popular new warning that sitting is the new smoking. In previous issues I’ve written about the health hazards of spending too much of your life on your hind end.
But there’s an exception to this “hazard” – because regularly sitting in a sauna could drastically improve your health and even save you from chronic disease…
In fact, regular use of a sauna looks to be one of the most powerful tools known for extending your life and hanging on to your good health. Here’s the full story. . .
Continued below. . .
The First Time Ever…
In 2010, a group of researchers at the Dana-Farber institute of Harvard University Medical School figured out how to switch on what’s being called the “immortality gene”.
What the scientists saw “… was not a slowing down or stabilization of the aging process.” Instead, they “saw a dramatic reversal…”
The more you sit in a sauna, the healthier you get
Far-infrared saunas, also known as “steamless” saunas, are the latest, most legitimate health craze to hit Western culture. Like dry saunas, they’re meant to raise your core body temperature.
They do this by using invisible light waves to heat your body from the inside out, rather than heating the air around you. It’s similar to the effect of sunshine on a car on a cold day. Get inside, and it’s warmer than the outdoor air.
Infrared saunas have grown in popularity over the last decade, partly because they’re affordable, and because they operate at overall lower temperatures (between 100 and 130 degrees Fahrenheit) than traditional saunas, which average 167 to 212 degrees Fahrenheit.
This makes an infrared sauna more practical to have in your home than a steam sauna, as it uses less energy overall, doesn’t require plumbing, and — according to many users — is more comfortable to sit in for long periods. On the flipside, infrared saunas don’t offer the respiratory benefit or aromatherapy option you get with traditional steam saunas.
Infrared heats up the body directly vs. heating the air. This raises the core body temperature to induce a substantial sweat (which is the point), but at a gentle temperature that’s more enjoyable. The difference shows, as plenty of people are happy to sit in infrared saunas for as long as 45 minutes (longer than that isn’t recommended).
“The poor man’s pharmacy”
There’s a Finnish proverb that calls saunas “the poor man’s pharmacy.” It makes sense, given that the health benefits of regular sauna use go deeper than glowing skin, pain relief, and a great calorie burn. Infrared sauna boutique spas that tout these benefits are sprouting up across the country. Those claims aren’t untrue, but much more important in my book is that regular sauna use lowers mortality in a variety of ways:
- Regular sauna use improves heart health. Multiple studies show the benefit of frequent sauna use when it comes to reducing the incidence of heart attacks and other cardiac issues.1
- Regular sauna use lowers your risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia. In a Finnish study of over 2,000 men who regularly use a sauna, researchers found that those who used the sauna four to seven times a week were at least 65% less likely to develop Alzheimer’s or dementia. This is partly due to the heat of a sauna stimulating your BDNF levels, or brain-derived neurotrophic factor, which aids in the creation of brain cells and the development of new synapses.2
- Regular sauna use lowers blood pressure. When you sit in a sauna, your heart rate can increase to between 100 and 150 beats per minute. This effectively mimics intense exercise, and brings similar benefits, so along with the calorie-burn I mentioned earlier, it also lowers blood pressure.3
- Regular sauna use helps with “brain fog.” Thanks to the detoxifying effects of regular sauna use, you’re more likely to sweat out toxins which could include BPA, or bisphenol A (the compound found in a lot of plastics and in metal food cans). A study from the Journal of Environmental and Public Health showed induced sweating is a potential method for elimination of BPA. Sweating can also help you rid yourself of heavy metals like lead, which has been shown to reduce your IQ by as much as 10 points, according to Dr. Brian Clement, medical director of the Hippocrates Health Institute.4
- Regular sauna use helps fight cancer. In a study published by the Journal of Cancer Science and Therapy, researchers put mice with tumors through a 30-day series of infrared sauna treatments. At the end of 30 days, the cancerous masses were reduced by as much as 86%.5 In addition, a Japanese study showed that elevated body temperature through infrared rays in mice with breast cancer cells had a strong inhibitory effect on the growth of those cells, and there were no negative side effects.6 In addition, new studies from National Cancer Institute researchers offer evidence that near infrared light kills cancer cells.7
There’s also a study worth mentioning from a 2015 issue of JAMA Internal Medicine that talks about frequent sauna bathing as a legitimate way to reduce your risk of major diseases like sudden cardiac death, fatal coronary heart disease, fatal cardiovascular disease, and (here’s the most important part) “all-cause mortality.” In other words, regular sauna use can increase your lifespan by protecting your general health.
In general, saunas are safe to use for otherwise healthy people – just be mindful of the risk of dehydration or heat stroke. If you have a chronic disease (for instance MS or Parkinson’s) it would be wise to consult a doctor before using a sauna.
Easier access means greater health for all
Plenty of spas offer packages for infrared sauna use, and you’ll find infrared saunas in many health clubs and gyms across the country. But in-home saunas have become popular, particularly as prices have dropped. Small one or two person units fit easily inside the home.
If you try a sauna at a health club, a typical fee is $30-$45 per 30-minute session. If you decide to purchase one, a cutting-edge manufacturer is Sunlighten, offering clinically backed full-spectrum infrared saunas.
Sunlighten has agreed to give our readers a special discount if you call 1-877-292-0020 and mention that you heard about them in Cancer Defeated. Or simply visit their website. Other reputable brands include Clearlight (http://www.clearlightsaunas.my/) and TheraSauna.