As numerous research articles have discovered, using an infrared sauna has helped countless people who suffer from asthma, bronchitis, chronic fatigue syndrome, and many other physical ailments. And while the condition known as Raynaud’s disease has perhaps not received as much attention as those previously mentioned, credible sources are suggesting that the use of an infrared sauna can benefit its sufferers as well. As a suffer of Raynaud’s myself this is something that I can relate to.
Raynaud’s phenomenon occurs when the extremities of the body, usually the fingers and toes, change colour and may become painful. It is due to a narrowing (constriction) of the small blood vessels on exposure to the cold, or to a change in temperature, or to emotional stress. In most cases, the cause is not known. In some cases, it is a symptom of an underlying condition such as scleroderma, lupus, or rheumatoid arthritis. The main treatment is to keep warm or drugs to open up the blood vessels are used in severe cases.
As for how a sauna can help people who suffer from Raynaud’s, as well as those who wish to avoid such suffering, both the traditional Finnish sauna and the infrared sauna offer health benefits that are very relevant to this topic. For example, during a session in either type of sauna, the users heart responds to the sauna heat by increasing blood flow and perspiration production to cool the body. In this way, sauna bathing is a form of cardiovascular exercise.
Perspiring in a sauna, especially an infrared sauna, also helps the body rid itself of harmful toxins that have built up over time. With experts having already drawn the connection between nicotine, secondhand smoke and Raynaud’s, this benefit is certainly noteworthy.
As anyone who has stepped into a sauna seeking relief from muscle aches should already know sauna bathing also offers a proven way to alleviate pain. A clinical study conducted at Sunnybrook and Women’s College Health Science Centers at the University of Toronto confirmed that far infrared therapy can bring about significant improvements in both subjective measures of pain and discomfort associated with Raynaud’s disease.
Lastly, sauna bathing fosters relaxation and stress relief. To those Raynaud’s sufferers whose attacks are caused by emotional stress, as well as to the innumerable Raynaud’s sufferers whose emotional stress is understandably caused by their attacks, this news is likely very welcome.
If you think you may be suffering from Raynaud’s disease or Raynaud’s phenomenon, be sure to discuss your concerns with your General Practitioner. Meanwhile, you’d be wise to investigate the many ways a home sauna, be it a traditional Finnish sauna or a far infrared sauna, can improve your health and happiness.