The Infrared Sauna is here.  Try it out after your next chiropractic treatment or massage session and discover the benefits.

Infrared Sauna at JH Backcountry Health

 

Benefits of Infrared Sauna Use

  • Improved Circulation
  • Muscle Pain Relief
  • Workout Recovery
  • Detoxification of Heavy Metals and Chemicals
  • Cardiovascular Health
  • Immune System Support & Reduction in Systemic Inflammation
  • Rejuvenation of Skin
  • Weight Loss? – Maybe

Come in for 30 minutes of warmth and getting your sweat on!

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Improved Circulation of Blood

Infrared heat warms muscles and increases your blood flow to a level similar to exercise.  Also, as your body temperature increases, you work to produce sweat to cool yourself and the heart pumps faster, increasing your circulation.

Muscle Pain Relief

As your blood circulation increases with the infrared heat, this helps clear metabolic waste and delivers oxygen-rich blood to depleted muscles, enabling them to recover more quickly.  Muscles also relax and are more supple when the tissue is warm, allowing for greater flexibility and increased range of motion.  The infrared heat dilates the blood vessels to the muscles, allowing them to deliver more blood to stimulate healing in the muscles and other soft tissues.

Recovery from Workout

Improved circulation helps clear metabolic waste products such as lactic acid that is produced in the muscles during the workout and increases the blood flow to the muscle tissue for healing.  A Finnish study published in 2015 also shows decreased cortisol and increase growth hormone with post-workout sauna use and shares this conclusion: “Deep penetration of infrared heat (approximately 3-4 cm into fat tissue and neuromuscular system) with mild temperature (35-50°C), and light humidity (25-35%) during FIRS (Far InfraRed Sauna) bathing appears favorable for the neuromuscular system to recover from maximal endurance performance.” 

Detoxification

We can sweat out heavy metals – and this infrared sauna will make you sweat!  Check out this article Arsenic, Cadmium, Lead, and Mercury in Sweat: A Systematic Review 

“In individuals with higher exposure or body burden, sweat generally exceeded plasma or urine concentrations, and dermal could match or surpass urinary daily excretion. Arsenic dermal excretion was several-fold higher in arsenic-exposed individuals than in unexposed controls. Cadmium was more concentrated in sweat than in blood plasma. Sweat lead was associated with high-molecular-weight molecules, and in an interventional study, levels were higher with endurance compared with intensive exercise. Mercury levels normalized with repeated saunas in a case report.”

Blood, urine, and sweat (BUS) study: monitoring and elimination of bioaccumulated toxic elements.

“Many toxic elements appeared to be preferentially excreted through sweat. Presumably stored in tissues, some toxic elements readily identified in the perspiration of some participants were not found in their serum. Induced sweating appears to be a potential method for elimination of many toxic elements from the human body.”

Cardiovascular Benefits

Clinical implications of thermal therapy in lifestyle-related diseases.

“Vascular endothelial function is impaired in subjects with lifestyle-related diseases, such as hypertension, hyperlipidemia, diabetes mellitus, obesity, and smoking. Sauna therapy also improved endothelial dysfunction in these subjects, suggesting a preventive role for atherosclerosis.”

Sauna exposure leads to improved arterial compliance: Findings from a non-randomised experimental study by the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology

“Pulse wave velocity, systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, mean arterial pressure, left ventricular ejection time and diastolic time decreased immediately after a 30-minute sauna session. Decreases in systolic blood pressure and left ventricular ejection time were sustained during the 30-minute recovery phase.”

Clinical Effects of Regular Dry Sauna Bathing: A Systematic Review 

“Intense short-term heat exposure elevates skin temperature and core body temperature and activates thermoregulatory pathways via the hypothalamus [] and CNS (central nervous system) leading to activation of the autonomic nervous system. The activation of the sympathetic nervous system, hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal hormonal axis, and the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system leads to well-documented cardiovascular effects with increased heart rate, skin blood flow, cardiac output, and sweating [].”

Immune System Support and Reduced Inflammation

In one study, regular sauna use decreased the incidence of common colds: Regular sauna bathing and the incidence of common colds.  I am still searching for more research to support this claim for immune system support seen on many sauna retailers’ pages. 

Sauna bathing and systemic inflammation. “There was a significant inverse association between the frequency of sauna bathing and the level of C-reactive protein”

Rejuvenation of Skin

In the journal Dermatology “Heart beat rate and ionic concentration in sweat as well as epidermal blood perfusion showed a training effect under regular sauna. A decrease in casual skin sebum content on the skin surface of the forehead was observed in these volunteers. The present data suggest a protective effect of regular sauna on skin physiology, especially surface pH and stratum corneum water-holding capacity.”

Weight Loss?

Well this one is more controversial.  We know that the sauna warms you up and makes you sweat.  Sweating to cool your body is an active process. As the Journal of the American Medical Association put it: “Sweating is a part of the complex thermoregulatory process of the body involving substantial increases in heart rate, cardiac output, and metabolic rate, and consumes considerable energy.” A small study at Binghamtom University found that participants had up to 4% body fat loss with regular sauna use for 8 weeks to 4 months. There are a few theories on how sauna use could lead to weight loss. The increased heart rate and work to cool the body may burn some extra calories. It could be the decreased cortisol seen after sauna use. Cortisol is the stress hormone that is associated with weight gain and difficulty losing weight. Another possibility is the increased human growth hormone increases metabolism and muscle development.  Or maybe your muscles aren’t as sore and your joints don’t hurt as much, so you end up being more active throughout the day.  Studies are not conclusive here.  The water weight you lose from sweating, that’s not really healthy weight loss.  Please hydrate before and after your sauna session!

Other interesting studies to date

Sauna bathing is inversely associated with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease in middle-aged Finnish men. 

Seminal and molecular evidence that sauna exposure affects human spermatogenesis.- Showing detrimental but reversible effects on male fertility in terms of sperm quality and quantity and no effects on male sex hormones. 

The effect of sauna bathing on lipid profile in young, physically active, male subjects. 

“Ten complete sauna bathing sessions in a Finnish sauna caused a reduction in total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol fraction levels during the sessions and a gradual return of these levels to the initial level during the 1st and the 2nd week after the experiment. A small, statistically insignificant increase in HDL-C level and a transient decline in triacylglycerols were observed after those sauna sessions. The positive effect of sauna on lipid profile is similar to the effect that can be obtained through a moderate-intensity physical exercise.”

Cardiovascular and Other Health Benefits of Sauna Bathing: A Review of the Evidence put together by Mayo Clinic.

“Sauna bathing has been linked to an improvement in pain and symptoms associated with musculoskeletal disorders such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and fibromyalgia. Having sauna baths also improves headache disorders. In an RCT by Kanji et al, people with chronic tension-type headache were randomized to regular sauna bathing or advice and education for a period of 8 weeks, and sauna therapy was found to substantially improve headache intensity.”

Clinical Effects of Regular Dry Sauna Bathing: A Systematic Review

“This suggests that heat stress, whether induced by infrared or Finnish-style sauna, causes significant sweating that is likely to lead to hormetic adaptation and beneficial cardiovascular and metabolic effects. This is further supported by the two large observational studies that found striking risk reductions for sudden cardiac death (63%) and all-cause mortality (40%) as well as for dementia (66%) and Alzheimer’s disease (65%), in men who used a sauna 4−7 times per week compared to only once per week []. While these large cohort studies are based on calculated hazard ratios with adjustments for common cardiac risk factors, it has been pointed out that the association between sauna activity and health outcomes may be noncausal and that sauna use is merely an indicator of “healthy lifestyle” and other socioeconomic confounding factors []. Nevertheless, these findings point to the need for further study and serious consideration given to sauna bathing to address the ever-increasing individual, societal, and financial burdens of cardiovascular disease as well as dementia-related conditions in aging populations.”

This page is in progress right now.  We will keep adding more as we find the research.