What are the benefits of the Infrared Sauna?
Updated: Oct 12
Hey, Dr. McNamara here at McLaughlin care currently in the sauna at McLaughlin care. This is another wellness Wednesday! So I can tell you the great benefits that sauna has for our bodies. So I want to start by just mentioning that there have been many studies that look at longevity and organisms, and you can see in certain studies that look at worms as well as different species of fly, that heat can actually increase their lifespans from up to 15% or more. Now, another study I want to talk about is a study that was done on humans. Now, this is an ongoing population-based cohort study on middle age, finish men, men from Finland that use the sauna at various frequencies. Now, what I really like about this study is it shows the difference between using a sauna two to three times a week versus four to seven times a week.
And what they notice is that those individuals that use the sauna two to three times per week were actually 27% less likely to die from age-related illnesses, such as cardiovascular disease. That's a lot, what's he, some more, what's even more interesting is the individuals that use the sauna four to seven times per week actually had a 50%, less likely to die from cardiovascular-related causes.
That's huge people, Sauna can benefit our health and it's a passive treatment that is very easy to do. So how does this work? Well, it starts by just increasing your core temperature, and this is going to cause us to sweat as we start sweating too. It's also going to increase our heart rate by about 60 to 70%, anywhere from a hundred to like 150 beats per minute.
Also when we do this, it's about 50%, 50 to 70% of our blood is actually going to our skin. We're going to get more blood flow into our skin, and that's going to increase the plasma volume of our blood as well. So other cool things, it does, it can actually increase our production of beta-endorphins and that's actually our endogenous opioid system.
So another thing sauna does, that's not very well known is it helps with pain symptoms of pain. It can really improve it. And it also could improve increases our production of Nor epinephrine, which improves our attention, our cognitive function, and is also associated with improving symptoms, depression for cardiovascular disease. As a multitude of factors for one, it's going to reduce your blood pressure.
It's going to do this by vasodilating those blood vessels to our skin. Like I mentioned earlier, it's also going to improve our endothelial function. Our endothelium is the innermost layer of our blood vessels. That's responsible for dilation and constriction, and it's not used just helps the regulation of it. So it becomes more efficient over time. It also is going to improve our left ventricular function.
So the left ventricle of our heart is the major chamber of our heart in which pumps blood throughout the rest of our body in order to give our tissues oxygen. And it's also going to reduce markers of inflammation, such as highly sensitive CRP, you know, things that we see in our lab results when we're taking labs on patients, what's also really, really cool about sauna is its really good for brain health.
Now it does this by increasing what's known as BD and F it's called a brain-derived neurotrophic factor. This stuff is pretty much a miracle grow for your brain. It stimulates neurogenesis so you can build different neurons and improve your neuro neurological plasticity. To improve cognitive function. It can improve your sleep, your mood, and a whole multitude of mental aspects. Now it also is very important.
And this is particularly for those that have that APO four gene it's really good at preventing Alzheimer's disease. It actually improves blood flow to our brain, which helps clears out those beta-amyloid plaques that we tend to accumulate over time, especially those with that gene predisposition me being one of them. So some of the mechanisms that this works on is heat shock proteins.
Now these proteins are produced in a response to extreme heat, and what they do is they actually reduce inflammation in the body and they help, you know, refold misfolded proteins and help degrade proteins that aren't functioning properly. Now, these are expressed through different genes. There's a gene called NRF two. It's a transcription factor that increases these proteins as well as FOXO three,
which is a transcriptional regulator, which is known to increasing human lifespan. And it also improves on other inflammatory markers. So those individuals that you guys want to improve your health, do you want to feel better? You want less pain. You want to improve your cognitive function. You want your heart health to be better. And even your athletic endurance has been shown to improve, come out and make an appointment with us. And we can schedule for a sauna visit, especially get in before it gets too hot, as the summer starts approaching, because it's not going to be as easy, easy to enjoy the sauna once we get into that extreme heat. So thank you guys for watching and I'll see you next week for wellness Wednesday.
McLaughlin Care and Begin with Wellness Weight Loss
900 N. Shore Drive, Suite 170 Lake Bluff, IL 60044