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Does Infrared Sauna use help reduce high blood pressure? (Studies included)
TL;DR: After using an infrared sauna, some people could notice a minor drop in blood pressure, while others might notice a larger drop. How the body reacts to infrared sauna therapy may depend on factors like age, health status, and medication use.
Hypertension, another name for high blood pressure, is a common medical problem that affects millions of individuals worldwide.
Despite the availability of many traditional treatments for hypertension management, some people choose alternative therapies like infrared sauna therapy to lower their blood pressure. Due to their potential health advantages, such as stress reduction, enhanced cardiovascular function, and increased relaxation, infrared saunas have grown in popularity in recent years.
It’s still unclear, though, if hypertensive people who use infrared saunas may successfully drop their blood pressure levels.
In this article, we will examine the available evidence on infrared sauna therapy’s impact on high blood pressure and talk about both its possible advantages and disadvantages for people with hypertension.
Read on to find out more!
Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a condition where the force of blood against the walls of arteries is consistently high, putting extra strain on the heart and blood vessels.
Two numbers are used to represent blood pressure, which is measured in millimetres of mercury (mmHg). Systolic pressure, the first number, refers to the pressure in the arteries while the heart beats.
The pressure in the arteries between heartbeats, or diastolic pressure, is indicated by the second number.
About 120/80 mmHg is generally regarded as a normal blood pressure result.
Untreated hypertension can have negative effects on a person’s health. It can harm the heart, blood vessels, kidneys, brain, and other organs over time.
The chance of developing the renal disease, eyesight loss, heart disease, stroke, and heart attack is increased by hypertension. Also, it can aid in the emergence of other medical diseases like metabolic syndrome, sleep apnea, and diabetes.
Moreover, hypertension symptoms including headaches, vertigo, and shortness of breath can have a negative impact on a person’s quality of life.
To lower the risk of problems, it is crucial to managing hypertension with dietary adjustments and/or medication. So, in the next few paragraphs, we are going to figure out if Infrared Sauna use can actually help reducing high blood pressure.
How Infrared Sauna use could potentially help with lowering blood pressure
Although there is currently little scientific data, infrared sauna therapy may have advantages for lowering blood pressure levels. The following are some potential ways that infrared sauna therapy may lower blood pressure:
- Reduction of stress: Infrared sauna therapy is intended to encourage relaxation and lower levels of tension. Reducing stress by regularly using an infrared sauna may help lower blood pressure because stress and worry can raise blood pressure. The relaxation brought on by using an infrared sauna may cause the sympathetic nervous system, which raises blood pressure, to function less actively.
- Improved blood flow: Infrared sauna therapy can increase blood flow by dilating blood vessels. Improved blood flow can improve the efficiency of oxygen and nutrient delivery to tissues and organs, including the heart, which could help to reduce blood pressure. The increase in blood flow is thought to be due to the heat generated by the infrared radiation, which causes the blood vessels to dilate and increases the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the body’s tissues.
- Enhanced cardiovascular function: Infrared sauna therapy has been shown to increase heart rate and cardiac output. Improved cardiovascular function can lead to better blood pressure control. The increase in heart rate and cardiac output is thought to be due to the body’s attempt to regulate its internal temperature in response to the heat generated by infrared radiation.
We found 2 relevant studies conducted by the New York Heart Association
relating to Infrared Sauna use and cardiovascular health, and blood pressure. Here they are;
In this first study, 30 participants with class II/ class III congestive heart failure (CHF) and more than 200 premature ventricular contractions (PVCs) per 24 hours were randomly divided into 2 groups, (Infrared sauna treatment and non-treatment).
Treatment consisted of 10, 15-minute infrared sauna sessions over a 2-week period. After 2 weeks, the sauna group had:
- Significantly fewer PVCs per 24 hours,
- Lower brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) levels,
- Improvements in the CHF department etc.
Although blood pressure levels appeared to decrease, the results did not reach statistical significance.
To conclude this study, infrared sauna use can have positive effects on cardiovascular and ventricular health. This would generally mean an improvement in blood pressure levels but we can’t say for sure based on this study alone.
In the second study, 30 patients with class II/ class III CHF were split into 10 control subjects matched to 20 intervention subjects.
The intervention group had 10, 15-minute infrared sauna treatments over a 2-week period. There were no adverse events and there were no changes in liver or renal function, electrolyte levels, or hematocrit levels. Clinical symptoms improved in 17 out of 20 patients in the intervention group and were unchanged in the remaining 3 patients.
Patients also saw an increase in their systolic BP (mean [SD] = 107  mm Hg before vs 97  mm Hg after, diastolic BP, and body weight.
This study shows a solid improvement in Bp levels compared to the last study which showed an insignificant improvement.
This could mean that infrared sauna therapy can increase your BP levels but it can vary on the individual.
In conclusion, there is an ongoing dispute over the impact of infrared saunas on blood pressure levels. As was said in the preceding section, some researchers have indicated that utilizing infrared saunas can assist lower blood pressure, while other research has shown that it doesn’t really.
It is important to remember that each person will respond differently to infrared saunas in terms of how they affect blood pressure levels.
After using an infrared sauna, some people could notice a minor drop in blood pressure, while others might notice a larger drop. How the body reacts to infrared sauna therapy may depend on factors like age, health status, and medication use.
The possible hazards of utilizing an infrared sauna, such as dehydration or overheating, must also be taken into account.
Before utilizing an infrared sauna, people with pre-existing medical issues like hypertension or heart disease should speak with their doctor, so, to finalize, we can’t say for sure whether or not infrared sauna therapy can actually help with blood pressure levels, the evidence suggests that it more than likely does.