Infrared Sauna Pain Relief is Powerful
Many medical and scientific studies attest to the powerful pain relief provided by regular far infrared sauna therapy. Far infrared light energy demonstrates a direct effect on peripheral nerves and soothes irritated areas that send pain signals to the brain. Inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, joint pain, and rheumatism pain are benefited by reduced levels of prostaglandins, which regulate the contraction and relaxation of smooth muscle tissue. (1)
Improved production of leukocytes (white blood cells) allow the human body to be more efficient in healing itself and preventing recurring pain symptoms. (3)
Delivering increased amounts of oxygen throughout the body aids in healing affected areas and promotes the gradual reduction in the causative source of nearly all conditions that make our bodies ache, sore and cramp. (1) (2) (1A)
“Pain relief mechanisms may also include reducing muscle spasms and relieving ischemia due to improved blood circulation.” According to Dr. Lawrence Wilson, M.D. (3)
Improved oxygenation of tissues, removal of acids and toxins and elimination of pathogenic microorganisms all contribute to bringing pain relief to virtually every part of the body through the use of a responsible, far infrared sauna therapy regimen. (4) (2A)
Chronic Pain, Muscle Spasms, and Arthritic Conditions
Far Infrared Sauna therapy is an ancient proven treatment for relieving arthritic pain. It has a long history and has been an integral healing process in many cultures. In Europe, infrared therapy is extensively used to treat patients afflicted with numerous forms of arthritis. In Japan it has been used successfully in bestowing pain relief to those suffering from bursitis, Fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, back pain, headaches, sprains, and assorted other muscular-skeletal ailments.
When your muscles are heated by an infrared sauna, it increases the blood flow, which is comparable to what you would experience when you exercise. Using an infrared sauna and elevating your core temperature produces a dilation of the capillaries, arterioles and venules. During this deep heating process, your capillaries are dilated which brings relief and healing to muscles, joints, and soft tissue injuries.
Boosting your blood circulation carries off metabolic waste products and transports oxygen rich blood to oxygen depleted muscles and joints so that they may recuperate faster. It is generally acknowledged by the medical community that infrared heat generates the following sought-after effects:
* Infrared heat intensifies the capability of your collagen tissues to be extended or stretched.
These tissues, which are heated to 112 degrees Fahrenheit, and then stretched, actually show an improvement from 50 to 90 percent after you stop stretching. This does not happen in these same tissues when stretched at normal tissue temperatures. Bottom line is that 20 of these stretching sessions in an infrared sauna can benefit you from 10 to 18 percent when it comes to your ligaments, joints, tendons, fasciae, and the scarring that you may have. In addition, stretching your tissues in an infrared sauna at 112 degrees Fahrenheit caused much less weakening in the stretched tissues.
You know how you are always told to stretch before and after you exercise? Well, stretching in a far infrared sauna is much safer and more beneficial than performing them under normal circumstances.
* Far Infrared heat also decreases joint stiffness. In one particular study, there was a 20% decrease in rheumatoid finger joint stiffness at 112 degrees Fahrenheit as compared with 92 degrees Fahrenheit. It is also speculated that any stiffened joint and thickened connective tissues may respond in a similar fashion.
* Far Infrared heat has long been known to reduce muscle spasms — whether they are secondary to underlying skeletal, joint, or neuropathological conditions. This effect is possibly manufactured by the combined effect of heat on both primary and secondary nerves that carry impulses from the outer body toward the brain or spinal cord and blood vessels that carry blood to an organ from spindle cells and from its effects on Golgi tendon organs (which are located in the muscles and detect tension or force).
* Far Infrared heat treatment has also been studied in regard to relieving pain by the reduction of spasms. Pain is also sometimes linked to ischemia (lack of blood supply) due to tension or spasm that may be improved by an abnormally high level of blood in that part of the body, which an infrared sauna would generate.
It does this by widening the blood vessels, especially the arteries—leading to increased blood flow or reduced blood pressure. Infrared heat has been known to lessen pain sensation by direct action on both free-nerve endings in tissues and on peripheral nerves. In one dental study, repeated infrared heat applications ended in the elimination of the whole nerve response responsible for pain arising from dental pulp.
Lastly, infrared heat is now becoming a leading edge treatment for soft tissue injuries. It has been used to promote both relief in chronic or intractable “permanent” cases, and accelerated healing in newer injuries.
SAUNA AND PAIN RELIEF REFERENCES
(1) Flickstein, A., Infrared Thermal System for Whole-body Regenerative Radiant Therapy, Dascom Graphics, Santa Fe Springs, 1997.
(2) Lehmann, J.F., Therapeutic Heat and Cold, 4th ed., Lippincott, Williams and Wilkins, 1990.
(3) Wilson, L., M.D. Sauna Therapy, L.D. Wilson Consultants, Inc., 2003
(4) Mayo Clinic Wellness Solutions for Arthritis by Gaiam, Ken Ross. (2009)
JOURNAL ARTICLES ON PAIN RELIEF:
(1A) Internal Medicine (Tokyo) Aug 15, 2008 by Matsushita K, Masuda A, Tei C.
(2A) The First Department of Internal Medicine, Kagoshima University Hospital, Kagoshima, Japan.