Using an Infrared Sauna for Hypertension — Does it Work?
Nearly one in five adults in the United States suffers from hypertension, a disorder that is commonly referred to as “high blood pressure,” or “HBP.” In hypertension, blood creates excess pressure against the lining of blood vessel walls. This added force usually arises from the heart working harder to bypass the resistance of the blood vessels.
For its help in relaxation and in the management of healthy blood circulation many people are using their infrared sauna for hypertension. In this article, we will define hypertension, the health complications that arise from high blood pressure, and how infrared saunas are being used to treat high blood pressure.
Defining Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)
While normal blood pressure is 120 over 80 of mercury (mmHg), someone with hypertension will have a pressure reading of 130 over 80 of mercury (mmHg). Stress, caffeine, anxiety, and nicotine can temporarily elevate blood pressure, so multiple readings may be required to form a correct diagnosis.
What Causes Hypertension?
The World Health Organization (WHO) has cited a number of reasons for the surge in hypertension around the world. While improved testing and reporting can explain a small percentage of the increased incidents of hypertension, the World Health Organization has primarily laid blame on the processed foods industry, which often include much higher salt and saturated fat contents in their products.
It may seem contradictory, but lack of exercise and the modern world’s inability to set time aside for passive relaxation both increase the risk of developing hypertension. Exercise and relaxation promote healthy blood flow and the reduction of glucocorticoids and adrenaline, two hormones that elevate heart rates, increase blood pressure, and cause buildup of LDL cholesterol (the “bad cholesterol”).
Why Hypertension is So Dangerous
The danger of hypertension isn’t just in having elevated blood pressure, but in the complications that can arise from the condition, such as increased risk of heart disease, stroke, and early death.
Heart disease and stroke are among the top five causes of premature death in the United States and many parts of the developed world, so it’s safe to say that managing your hypertension should be the highest priority for anyone who wants to live a long, healthy, and happy life.
How Infrared Saunas Ease Hypertension
Lowering your blood pressure can’t be done overnight and it’s not the easiest thing to accomplish. The top ways to lower your blood pressure and diminishing the effects of hypertension all include some form of doctor-prescribed medications and lifestyle changes.
To many, lifestyle changes are the most difficult part of the treatment to establish and maintain. Why is that? Because it means changing the way you live — not any easy feat by any means! The majority who consume processed foods do so because they have limited time in their day to put together a nutritious meal, which also means they likely have little to no time to visit the gym or engage in the 30 minutes of moderate exercise each day, as recommended by most health experts.
So where do infrared saunas fit in with your goal of actually lowering your blood pressure? Infrared saunas work to lower blood pressure and the risks associated with hypertension in several different ways, which we will detail here:
- Increased circulation — As has been well documented in the medical literature, poor circulation can lead to pain in the limbs, water retention, poor sleep, reduced mental sharpness, and reduced oxygen flow to the organs. Poor circulation can elevate blood pressure, which can in turn lead to even further reduced circulation, exacerbating both conditions. Infrared saunas promote healthy circulation by stimulating the body, increasing the heart rate, and dilating the blood vessels in a similar way as a moderate exercise such as jogging.
- Healthy relaxation — Unlike traditional saunas, infrared saunas use radiant heat instead of convection heat. This radiant heat not only creates a deeper sense of relaxation, but also allows infrared sauna users to spend more time relaxing in their saunas. As previously mentioned, relaxation decreases stress hormones (glucocorticoids, cortisol, adrenaline, etc.), thereby reducing hypertension. The blood pressure-reducing effects of your infrared sauna are still at work hours and days after your session.
- Reduced risk of heart attack or stroke — Infrared sauna use is known to lower systolic blood pressure. This same effect reduces pressure against the lining of the heart and arteries, thereby reducing your chances of experiencing a stroke or heart attack. Since cardiac events are more common in men, it’s worth pointing out that men who frequently use an infrared sauna reduce their risks of experiencing a fatal heart attack.
Those with hypertension should attend regular follow-ups with a primary care physician to ensure their condition is under control. Modifying your eating habits, getting more exercise, and spending more time relaxing in an infrared sauna are all beneficial in mitigating the risks that come with having hypertension.
Good Health Saunas® invites you to browse our infrared saunas. We have models available for one to four persons, and these come at a number of attractive price points.