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Pain & Inflammation

Updated: Mar 8

Infrared sauna can provide a range of health benefits, one of the most desired benefits when using our sauna is the natural pain relief you can achieve. Just one session can help to reduce pain levels by up to 70% (1). The warming heat will help to relax the body, reducing muscle spasms, muscle tension, and inflammation, by promoting circulation and detoxification throughout the body. Inflammation is also reduced by relieving its core triggers, such as toxins and stress.

Infrared sauna heats the body creating a positive heat stress response, which improves the cardiovascular and lymphatic system. This helps to increase blood circulation and with dilation of blood vessels, will also help to move oxygen and nutrient-rich blood, to promote healing throughout the whole body. You will also experience a good cleansing sweat which assists detoxification.

Studies that looked into conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, osteo arthritis, fibromyalgia, and myofascial pain, found pain can be significantly reduced with consistent use of infrared sauna. One study treated patients with rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis with a series of eight infrared sauna sessions over a four-week period, and showed that infrared sauna was well tolerated, had no adverse effects, and no exacerbation of disease. Pain and stiffness decreased clinically, and improvements were statistically significant. Fatigue also decreased, and patients felt comfortable on average during and especially after treatment (2 & 3). 

To reduce pain, we recommend initially 2 sessions a week for the first month, then reducing to 1 a week to continue to maintain.

Chronic inflammation can have long-term and whole-body effects. Infrared saunas naturally reduce inflammation by relieving its core triggers, such as toxins and stress, and promoting circulation and detoxification throughout the body. 

A blood test can show the level of inflammation within the body, and the most common marker tested is the C-reactive protein or CRT. One study out of Finland showed that levels of CRT in the body were lower in those that used the sauna more regularly. In fact, it was a function of how often they used the sauna. The more frequently the 2000 men in the study used the sauna, the less CRP they exhibited in their bodies (3, 4, 5, 6 & 7). 

For treatment planning to reduce inflammation, we would recommend initially having an infrared sauna session 1 or 2 times a week depending on your condition. The more sauna sessions you complete closer together in the month, the better for reducing inflammation. 

Client Testimonial - Google Review 2023 "I saw Carissa last Wednesday for acute inflammation in my lower back. The pain was so bad I struggled with my daily routine for 3-4 days. It was a 10/10 for pain. I took Carissa’s advice and iced the inflamed area until it was safe enough to start applying heat and have another Myotherapy treatment. Carissa recommended an infrared sauna at some point in-between my myo visits.... By the time I had my sauna my pain had only dropped to an 8/10. I had a 30-minute sauna with the lights set to heal inflammation. I felt really good right after the sauna in all aspects of my physical and mental wellbeing.

It was the next day that I noticed that my pain had dropped to a 1-2/10 and that I could bend over, get in and out of the car and do my usual daily things! I couldn’t believe it! When I saw Carissa for my follow up Myotherapy appointment my pain was at a point where she could give me a full Myotherapy treatment, massage, dry needling and cupping. I’m so impressed with the sauna at BAMM. Everything is set up for you and when you are finished there’s a beautiful array of lovely smelling natural lotions and mists you can lather your body with. This is my first experience with infrared sauna treatment. I will be adding this healing modality to compliment my Myotherapy treatments. The benefits are just amazing!”

(1). Internal Medicine (Tokyo) Aug 15, 2008 by Matsushita K, Masuda A, Tei C. The First Department of Internal Medicine, Kagoshima University Hospital, Kagoshima, Japan.

(2). Oosterveldel, et al., (2009). Infrared sauna in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis. A pilot study showing good tolerance, short-term improvement of pain and stiffness, and a trend towards long-term beneficial effects. Clinical rheumatology, 28(1), 29–34.

(3). Tsagkaris, et al., (2022). Infrared Radiation in the Management of Musculoskeletal Conditions and Chronic Pain: A Systematic Review. European journal of investigation in health, psychology and education, 12(3), 334–343.

(4). Laukkanen, T., Kunutsor, S., Kauhanen, J., & Laukkanen, J. A. (2017). Sauna bathing is inversely associated with dementia and Alzheimer's disease in middle-aged Finnish men. Age and ageing, 46(2), 245–249.

(5). Laukkanen, T., Laukkanen, J. A., & Kunutsor, S. K. (2018). Sauna Bathing and Risk of Psychotic Disorders: A Prospective Cohort Study. Medical principles and practice : international journal of the Kuwait University, Health Science Centre, 27(6), 562–569.

(6). Hussain, J., & Cohen, M. (2018). Clinical Effects of Regular Dry Sauna Bathing: A Systematic Review. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM, 2018, 1857413.

(7). Laukkanen, J. A., & Laukkanen, T. (2018). Sauna bathing and systemic inflammation. European journal of epidemiology, 33(3), 351–353.


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