Some of you may jump in the hot tub to relax after a tight day. In fact, you can even enhance this phenomenon by a technology less known in the U.S.: a Finnish Sauna. With health benefits involved you can only dream of in the hot tub.
THE (MEDICAL) TECHNOLOGY BEHIND
Christopher McGill from Albuquerque in New Mexico asks:
When I was on a cruise lately, we touched down in nordic Finland where we have been ‘incarcerated’ (kidding…) in a room heated up to more than 200 degrees F. They call it ‘sauna’ and swear by it. As a kind of ‘fountain of youth’. How do you see this, doc?
There are different kinds of saunas, based on how the sauna room is heated by, e.g., burning wood, infrared (with special lamps using light waves to heat up the body, not the room), with an electrical heater, or steam (involving high humidity and moist heat).
But in terms of health, all have more or less in common to increase heart rate and widen blood vessels.Thus lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease by improved circulation. Also relieve of muscle soreness and improve joint movement and ease of arthritis pain. As well as lowering blood pressure. Enhanced by the fact that sauna also relieves stress as one of the cardiovascular risk factors.
Scientifically validated by the Finnish Kuopio Ischemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study followed up over 20 years.
While these results are comparable with the results of moderate exercise because of increased circulation in both cases, this does not mean to replace physical exercise with sauna – rather, doing both is certainly recommended.
In fact, according to the above mentioned Finnish study, a frequent sauna use 2 or 3 times a week was linked to a 63% less cardiac death than for those who visited a sauna only once a week.
Still, you may talk to your healthcare provider if sauna is good for you specifically as sauna is related to, inter alia, excessive dehydration due to sweating. At least, however, this kind of dehydration is by far healthier than by ‘diuretics’ prescribed for high blood pressure …..
Does this mean you have to travel to Finland or any other Nordic country for your sauna visits? Certainly not. Rather, you can install a sauna for less than $1,000 at your home, or you visit a local gym or health spa for this purpose (although not all of them have a sauna).
PERSONALIZED NATURAL HEALTH PLAN
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Dr. Mark Fritz, NMD, PhD