Using Sauna Therapy for Depression

Stress and pain are the two most common factors leading to the release of endorphins. These neurotransmitters along with three others, are chemically responsible for our happiness. Because they interact with the receptors in your brain that control the perception of pain, they have long been attributed to mood and the body’s ability to fight depression.

Athletes are very familiar with endorphins because this neurotransmitter is what gives the body a natural “high” following intense physical exercise. These endorphins are carried throughout the body through the blood stream where they stay for hours providing an uplifted mood and alleviating the symptoms of depression.

Some of the latest studies on far infrared sauna depression therapy have shown great benefits to patients suffering from depression as well as mood imbalances. Far infrared sauna therapy for depression has been documented to boost the body’s endorphins just as if it were exercising. Furthermore, during a sauna session the body’s muscles and tissues release stored up tension and stress, elevating ones mood and leaving the body and mind uplifted and relaxed.

Infrared Sauna Depression Therapy—Case Study

  • A study out of Psychosomatic Medicine looked at a group of 28 mildly depressed patients with appetite loss and subjective symptoms and treated half of the patients with sauna once a day for four weeks and half with just bed rest for four weeks. The sauna depression therapy patients showed a significant improvement in somatic complaints, hunger, and relaxation scores compared to the control group. More research is needed on long-term effects.

    thermal therapy diminishes appetite loss and subjective complaints in mildly depressed patients.

Psychosomatic Medicine. 2005 67 (4): 643-47.