May is American Stroke and High Blood Pressure Awareness Month – 31 days dedicated by the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association to increasing awareness of strokes, stroke risk factors and reducing those risks.
There are several risk factors for stroke, including a few that can be helped with regular infrared sauna use. Talk to your doctor to find out if you have any of these health risks. Then, work together with your doctor to develop a plan that’s right for you.
Stroke risk factors include:
- High blood pressure – High blood pressure is the most important risk factor for stroke.
- Carotid or other artery disease
- Atrial fibrillation
- Transient ischemic attacks (TIAs or “mini strokes”)
- Certain blood disorders like high red blood cell count and sickle cell anemia
- High blood cholesterol
- Physical inactivity and obesity
- Excessive alcohol
- Illegal drug use
- Receiving Quality Care
Because high blood pressure is such a big risk factor for stroke, you may want to consider supplementing your other blood pressure-lowering efforts with regular Sunlighten infrared sauna sessions. Only Sunlighten saunas are backed by clinical research that shows a reduction in systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Both are key factors in maintaining a healthy heart.
In a 2005 clinical study by the University of Missouri Kansas City, Sunlighten’s Solocarbon heaters were shown to lower blood pressure through a program of 30 minute infrared sauna session 3 times per week. The study concluded that Sunlighten infrared sauna therapy dilated blood vessels and reduced the volume of their inner lining, thus increasing circulation to promote healthy blood pressure.
Two other factors can also be addressed by adding infrared heat therapy to your course of action – artery disease and obesity.
A study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology showed that infrared saunas help improve the function of impaired vascular endothelial cells in patients who are at risk for coronary artery disease. The infrared heat of the sauna opens capillaries to improve blood flow. 15 minutes in an infrared sauna each day for 14 days improved the function of the endothelial cells lining the arteries by 40%.¹
When it comes to burning calories with infrared heat, only Sunlighten saunas have been clinically shown to dramatically aid in weight loss. Results from a 2009 study indicated that Sunlighten saunas are beneficial for lowering weight and waist circumference in just a 3-month period. For those who are sedentary due to medical conditions such as osteoarthritis, cardiovascular or respiratory problems, results were even more profound.²
Another study showed that 30-minute infrared sauna weight loss sessions can burn upwards of 600 calories. During a sauna weight loss session, your core temperature increases and the body works hard to cool itself. While using an infrared sauna, there is a substantial increase in heart rate, cardiac output and metabolic rate, causing the body to burn more calories. Blood flow is reported to rise from a normal 5-7 quarts per minute to as much as 13 quarts per minute.¹
If you believe you may be at risk for stroke, talk with your doctor immediately. When creating a plan to combat those risks, consider talking with one of Sunlighten’s associates to learn more about how Sunlighten infrared saunas can play a part.
¹Dr. Masakazu Imamura, MD, et al. Repeated Thermal Therapy Improves Impaired Vascular Endothelial Function in Patients With Coronary Risk Factors. Vol. 38, No. 4, 2001. Journal of American College of Cardiology: pp 1083-1088.
² Dr. Richard Beever BSc, MD, CCFP. Do Far-Infrared Saunas have Measurable Health Benefits? A Sequential Longitudinal Interrupted Time Series Design Study. 2009. Dr. Richard Beever BSc, MD, CCFP. Do Far-Infrared Saunas have Cardiovascular Benefits in People with Type 2 Diabetes? Canadian Journal of Diabetes 2010; 34 (2) :113 – 118.