|Table of Contents|
|2. How heat therapy delivers anti-ageing benefits|
2.1 Entering your body into a state of hormesis
2.2 Increased production of Heat Shock Proteins
|3. Conclusion |
One of the more interesting benefits of heat therapy is the anti-ageing impact it has on the human body. This impact not only presents itself aesthetically through improved skin condition, but also through an overall reduction in disease and early death, as has been demonstrated in numerous clinical studies.
One study that stands out in particular due to its comprehensiveness is the Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor (KIHD) Study, conducted by the University of Eastern Finland, which has been running for over 35 years and has involved 2,682 participants. The study has yielded over 500 international peer reviewed articles and more than 20 PhD theses.
The study looked specifically at sauna use as a method of heat therapy and identified strong links between regular sauna use and reduced death and disease, including:
- People who regularly used the sauna four to seven times per week were 50 percent less likely to die from cardiovascular related causes;
- Frequent sauna users were found to be 40 percent less likely to die from all causes of premature death;
- People who used the sauna two to three times per week had a 66 percent lower risk of developing dementia and a 65 percent lower risk of developing Alzheimer's disease; and
- People who used the sauna four to seven times per week were 77 percent less likely to develop psychotic disorders.
On this page we will detail the various ways that heat therapy can assist your body with anti-ageing, as well as the studies that have been conducted showing the efficacy of heat therapy as a means to promote longevity and anti-ageing.
How heat therapy delivers anti-ageing benefits
The statistics from the Kuopio study out of Finland are remarkable and indicate a clear link between reduced disease and early death with people who make a habit out of using the sauna regularly. Why this link exists is now starting to be understood and scientists believe it has a lot to do with two things that occur in your body when you regularly use a sauna or a heat therapy device like the Heat Healer. These are:
- Entering your body into a state of hormesis
- Increased production of Heat Shock Proteins (HSPs)
To understand these factors and the outcome from the Kuopio study in more detail, watch this short extract from the Joe Rogan Podcast where Dr Rhonda Patrick is being interviewed on the health benefits of sauna use:
Entering your body into a state of hormesis
Hormesis refers to your body's adaptive response to 'good stresses'. That is, when your body is placed under a controlled stress, it forces a biological response to adapt to the stress and in the process of doing so, delivers positive health benefits at a cellular level in your body.
Think of this along the lines of the old saying that goes 'whatever doesn't kill you, makes your stronger'. This is effectively what hormesis is. It is your body adapting and becoming stronger due to the environmental conditions it is placed under.
Using a sauna or any other type of heat therapy is a great way to induce your body's hormetic response, as for a short period of time you are exposing your body to heat stress, which in turn forces a physiological response in your body that positively impacts your cardiovascular system as well as your immune system.
There have been many studies into the benefits of hormesis and its effect on ageing and longevity, with one study from the Department of Molecular Biology at the University of Aarhus in Denmark finding:
"There are indications that relatively small individual hormetic effects become biologically amplified resulting in the collective significant improvement of cellular and organismic functions and survival... hormesis appears to be a promising and effective approach for modulating aging, for preventing or delaying the onset of age-related diseases, and for improving quality of life in old age."
- The Journals of Gerontology - The Future of Aging Interventions: Aging Intervention, Prevention, and Therapy Through Hormesis
Increased production of Heat Shock Proteins (HSPs)
Proteins play an important role within the body and have many functions, including:
- Communication between cells in your body;
- Delivery of certain molecules to your cells (such as oxygen);
- Being a catalyst of cellular chemical reactions; and
- Helping to ensure your body has a healthy immune system
Basically, without healthy proteins your body (or any other living organism for that matter) would not be able to function as it should.
When your cells produce proteins (via instructions from your DNA), sometimes things go wrong and your proteins become misfolded. Other times, your proteins can become damaged from external factors such as trauma, pathogens or other stresses to the body.
Our body's natural ability to repair damaged proteins declines as we get older and this is in part responsible for the negative health outcomes we experience during older age, including neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease.
Through heat therapy however, studies have shown that your body can increase production of an important grouping of proteins called Heat Shock Proteins (HSPs). HSPs occur in every living organism (both animal and plant alike) and are named as such because of the physiological response elicited from either temporary hot or cold exposure.
HSPs are important as they have a chaperone function within your body and help to regulate and repair other proteins. That is, HSPs help to protect, clean up and repair misfolded or other damaged proteins throughout your body.
It is not surprising then that increased production of HSPs have been associated with longer and healthier lives. Even in the most simple of organisms this has been shown to be true. For example, one study referenced in the Journal of Experimental Biology looked at fruit flies and found that temporary exposure to heat stress (which induced the production of heat shock proteins) led to more than a 15% increase in lifespan.
Similarly, a study from the Laboratory of Biochemistry at Kanazawa University, Japan found that worms which had elevated levels of HSP production also had lifespans that average 43% longer than those without the elevated level of HSP production.
- Journal of Experimental Biology - Lifespan extension and elevated hsp gene expression in Drosophila caused by histone deacetylase inhibitors
- US National Library of Medicine
- Redox Report - Heat shock proteins: keys to healthy ageing?
The scientific literature indicates a clear link between longevity and reduced disease / illness among people who regularly use heat therapy devices such as the sauna. Among many factors, it is believed the reason for this is due to the effect of hormesis and increased production of Heat Shock Proteins that occur when your body is exposed to temporary heat stress.
The Heat Healer works by using heat therapy in the same way that a traditional or infrared sauna does and is designed to deliver these benefits in the convenience and privacy of your own home.
If you have any questions, jump over to our contact us page and we will be happy to respond to you directly.