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More Clinical Tests:

Benefits of Sauna

The following information is supported by randomized, controlled trials in peer-reviewed, medically respected journals.  None of these trials specifically refer to infrared saunas.

Improvement in Patients with Congestive Heart Failure

In the Journal of Cardiac Failure, researchers reported statistical improvements in blood pressure, strength of heart (ejection fraction on echocardiogram), and exercise tolerance while reducing number of hospital admissions for this condition in patients treated with sauna.  Sauna may be an effective adjunctive treatment in these patients with this condition.

Miyamoto, H. et al. Safety and efficacy in repeated sauna bathing in patients with chronic systolic heart failure: a preliminary report. Journal of Cardiac Failure. 2005; 11(6): 432-6.
These claims also supported by Michalsen A, et al. Thermal hydrotherapy improves quality of life and hemodynamicfunction in patients with chronic heart failure.  American Heart Journal. 2003; 146(4): 728-33

A study in Circulation Journal studied 30 patients with congestive heart failure and preventricular contractions (PVCs), delegating half to 60 degree C sauna treatment for 15 minutes followed by bed rest and the other half to 45 minutes of bed rest once a day for two weeks.  The researchers found statistical difference in the number of PVCs as well as a statistical improvement in the subjective functional status of the patients.  More research is needed for long-term benefits.

Kihara, Takashi, et al. Effects of repeated sauna treatment on ventricular arrhythmias in patients with chronic heart failure. Circulation Journal. 2004, 68: 1146-1151.

Possible Improvement in Risk for Heart Disease

A study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology suggested that repeated use of a sauna improves the function of the impaired vascular endothelial cells in patients who are at risk for coronary artery disease.  The mechanism of this is not fully understood and more research needs to be done in order to assess the role of sauna in prevention of heart disease.

Imamura, M, et al. Repeated thermal therapy improves impaired vascular endothelial function in patients with coronary risk factors.  Journal of the American College of Cardiology. 2001, 38 (4): 1983-88.

Improvement in Patients with Mild Depression

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 4 weeks and half with just bed rest for 4 weeks.  They showed a significant improvement in somatic complaints, hunger and relaxation scores in the group treated with sauna compared to the control group.  In addition, the plasma ghrelin and daily caloric intake improved in the sauna group significantly more than controls.  More research is needed on long-term effects.

Masuda A, et al. Repeated thermal therapy diminishes appetite loss and subjective complaints in mildly depressed patients.  Psychosomatic Medicine. 2005 67 (4): 643-47.

Improvements in Patients with Chronic Pain

A study in Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics tested 46 patients with chronic pain using a variety of treatment modalities with and without far-infrared sauna.  They found a decrease in pain score, pain behavior, self-rating depression and anger score in both groups of patients, but a more significant drop was noted in the sauna group.  Two years after treatment, more of the patients in the sauna group had returned to work than those without sauna treatment.  This may be a very promising method for the treatment of chronic pain.

Masuda, A, et al. The effects of repeated thermal therapy for patients with chronic pain.  Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics.  2005; 74 (5): 288-94.

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