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STRONGER CARDIOVASCULAR HEALTH

Table of Contents
1. Introduction
2. How heat therapy helps to improve cardiovascular health
     2.1 Being a mimetic for exercise
     2.2 Reduced risk of cardiovascular disease
     2.3 Reduced risk of congestive heart failure
     2.4 Reduced risk of ischemic heart disease
     2.5 Reduced risk of peripheral artery disease
3. Conclusion      

Introduction

Heart disease is the number one cause of death globally, responsible for close to a third of all deaths. Most unfortunate of all is that the majority of heart disease deaths are caused by lifestyle factors such as bad diet and lack of exercise, which means they are largely preventable deaths.

It is welcomed news then that the research overwhelmingly indicates that sauna use and other types of heat therapy are effective ways to improve cardiovascular health and reduce the risk of heart disease.

Perhaps nothing explains this better than Dr Rhonda Patrick's interview with Dr. Jari Laukkanen, a cardiologist and professor from the University of Eastern Finland, who was also the lead researcher of the Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor (KIHD) Study, which is the largest and longest running study into the health benefits of regular sauna use.

You can watch the interview here:

How heat therapy helps to improve cardiovascular health

Being a mimetic for exercise

When you use a sauna or a heat therapy device like the Heat Healer, your core body temperature rises from 37C (98.6°F, or normal body temperature) to 39°C (102.2°F). Physiologically this has the effect of increasing cardiac output as your heart works to pump blood and oxygen throughout your body and towards your skin, in order to induce sweating (your bodies natural response to help cool you down).

The result of this increased cardiac output is improved cardiovascular health, as your heart is in effect getting a work out similar to what you would experience when you are doing moderate exercise.

This was confirmed in a clinical study conducted by the Institute of Sport Science in Berlin and published in the International Journal of Complementary Therapies in Medicine, where the lead author Dr Sascha Ketelhut concluded that:

"A sauna session is a physical strain. Its long-term positive effects are similar to sports activities."

Further reading:

Reduced risk of cardiovascular disease

As described above, heat therapy increases your body's cardiac output as your heart pumps blood throughout your body and this has an effect which is similar to exercise.

The long term benefits of reduced risk of cardiovascular disease were confirmed in the Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor (KIHD) Study, which is the largest and longest running study into the health benefits of sauna use. Through this study, it was found that:

  • Moderate sauna users (two to three times per week) are 27 percent less likely to die from cardiovascular related causes;
  • Frequent users (four to seven times per week) are 50 percent less likely to die from cardiovascular related causes; and 
  • Frequent sauna users were found to be 40 percent less likely to die from all causes of premature death, regardless of age, activity levels, and lifestyle factors.

Further reading:

Reduced risk of congestive heart failure

Congestive heart failure (CHF) is the culmination of all types of cardiovascular disease and it results in reduced blood flow to the heart and surrounding tissues. Ultimately this leads to functional loss and left ventricular hypertrophy, which can become fatal.

Remarkably, heat therapy has been shown to have significant benefits to people who suffer from CHF.

A study in Japan involving 149 patients with Advanced CHF, who were exposed to regular infrared sauna treatment for 10 consecutive days demonstrated that:

"Waon (infrared) therapy improved the patients' endurance, heart size, and disease status compared to those who received standard medical care."

Further reading:

Reduced risk of ischemic heart disease

Ischemic heart disease (also commonly known as coronary artery disease) refers to a condition where there is reduced blood supply to the heart. Of all the types of heart disease, this one causes the most deaths globally.

However, heat therapy has been shown to have positive benefits for patients suffering from this disease. In a randomized and controlled trial conducted out of the University of Toyama in Japan, it was concluded that:

"Waon (infrared) therapy improves chronic total occlusion related myocardial ischemia in association with improvement of vascular endothelial function. This therapy could be a complementary and alternative tool in patients with severe coronary lesions not suitable for coronary intervention."

This conclusion was made after assessing 24 patients who suffered from ischemic heart disease and had not responded to other existing procedures, but were given 15 infrared sauna sessions over a 3 week period.

Further reading:

Reduced risk of Peripheral artery disease

Peripheral artery disease is caused when the arteries that supply your head, arms and legs become extremely narrow, making it more difficult for blood to flow through your body.

Studies have indicated however that heat therapy can help to improve the condition of patients who suffer from this disease. A study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology involved 20 patients who received 50 infrared sauna sessions of 10 weeks, with the results demonstrating improvements in pain levels, walking endurance, and lower extremity blood flow. A similar study published in the Journal of Cardiology that involved 21 patients also showed comparable results.

Further reading:

Conclusion

The benefits of heat therapy for improved cardiovascular health is one of the most studied benefits in the scientific literature. Put simply, getting your heart to do some work and beat faster for a short period of time is a good thing and the results can lead to long lasting cardiovascular health benefits.

The Heat Healer is a heat therapy device that has been designed to deliver the same benefits of a typical infrared sauna, only experienced in the privacy and convenience 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.