Can an Infrared Sauna Help with Bronchitis or Asthma?
Asthma and bronchitis are two conditions affecting the bronchiole. In cases of allergy-initiated asthma, the throat can swell and narrow, making it difficult to catch a full breath. When breathing is strained, it can be difficult to perform normal tasks or job functions — even moderate walks or going up a flight of stairs may be followed with labored breathing. Although, there is good news. Through regular use of an infrared sauna, bronchitis and asthma sufferers can find much-needed relief.
If you currently have bronchitis or asthma, infrared saunas can be a great help in reducing your symptoms and preventing them from worsening. Plus, like other users have discovered, you may just find that by using an infrared sauna, you unintentionally improve your health, happiness, and wellbeing — those are all side effects we can get behind! Due to the results achieved by asthma sufferers, infrared saunas have often been called the “best-kept secret” in combatting the disease.
Infrared Saunas Help Asthma Sufferers
A case study published in the 1987/88 medical journal Clinical Ecology by Dr. Jozef Krop (a pioneer in the field of infrared sauna-based treatments) revealed how an infrared sauna was used to treat a teenage girl suffering from a form of treatment-resistant asthma. For years, she had been undergoing immunotherapy and attempting to control her environment. Yet, the symptoms of her condition remained the same. Following regular infrared sauna sessions, her asthma was greatly diminished and her health improved.
One adult asthma patient in Toronto actually purchased an infrared sauna to help with a condition unrelated to her asthma — chronic arthritis. To their great surprise, not only did it treat arthritis, but it had such a great effect on her asthma that she has nearly eliminated her reliance on an asthma inhaler. This individual always had an inhaler with her and would use it numerous times each week!
How it Works
Dr. Krope shared his theory on how this type of therapy works. He believes that the reason infrared saunas are effective in relieving asthma is that sweat eliminates toxins stored in the fat cells of cellular membranes (not to be confused with body fat). When these toxins are removed, the alveoli (the smallest component of the human lung) become more flexible and therefore are better able to absorb oxygen-rich air.
Those with asthma know that the disease comes and goes. Through lifestyle adjustments, regular infrared sauna sessions, and follow-ups with your primary care physician, you can take control of your asthma. Additionally, infrared saunas are known to help you relax and de-stress. As stress is a common asthma trigger, and not to mention can make you short of breath, sitting in a sauna will do nothing but positive things for your mind and body.
Reducing Bronchitis with an Infrared Sauna
Bronchitis is the result of the lining of the bronchial tubes becoming inflamed. When this occurs, the lungs’ ability to absorb oxygen-rich air becomes greatly limited. These bronchial tubes (or “bronchi”) actually line the air passages from the nose and throat, all the way to the lungs. In addition to inflammation, bronchitis also makes it difficult to clear the lungs and throat. This thick layer of phlegm and/or music is another barrier bronchitis sufferers have to overcome in order to achieve a full breath. Bronchitis is usually diagnosed by a lung function test, X-ray, or blood test.
There are actually two forms of bronchitis, acute and chronic. When most of us think of bronchitis, we typically think of the acute cases that are linked to a bacterial or viral infection, or possibly exposure to a toxic irritant. Acute cases of bronchitis typically last one to two weeks and usually resolve on their own. Chronic bronchitis is a longer lasting form of bronchitis that is usually caused by smoking cigarettes or being exposed to airborne environmental toxins for an extended period of time. Chronic bronchitis is a long-term condition which can be managed, but takes lifestyle changes and a proactive approach in order to heal the lungs.
When someone with bronchitis uses an infrared sauna, the penetrating, radiant heat helps to relieve chest tightness. This has the added benefit of clearing the lungs, loosening up all that phlegm and mucus, making it much easier to cough up all that excess buildup.
A Few Closing Thoughts
Beyond helping to relieve the symptoms of bronchitis and asthma, infrared saunas can improve your general health in a number of exciting ways. These include stress reduction, improved blood circulation, decreased risk of having a cardiac event, and many other benefits. To read up on the many ways infrared saunas can improve your health, head over to the health benefits page on the Good Health Saunas website. We update these articles whenever more research and case studies become available. Here’s to your good health!