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  • Writer's pictureAnn Edwards

Can Infrared Sauna use prevent cognitive decline?

While saunas have been cherished for their relaxation benefits, studies suggest an intriguing connection with cognitive health. Several studies have presented a fascinating link between infrared sauna use and the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease and dementia.


Understanding Infrared Saunas:


Infrared saunas have gained popularity for their ability to penetrate the skin more deeply than traditional saunas, resulting in a more efficient and comfortable experience. This technology uses infrared light to generate heat, offering a range of benefits, from detoxification to improved circulation and pain relief. But could regular use of infrared saunas also play a role in preserving cognitive function?


The Alzheimer's and Dementia Connection:


Alzheimer's disease and dementia are complex neurodegenerative conditions with multifactorial origins. While there is no definitive cure, emerging research has explored various lifestyle interventions, and one such area of interest is the potential impact of heat therapy.


Several studies have suggested that heat stress may induce a heat shock response, triggering the production of heat shock proteins (HSPs) in the brain. These proteins play a crucial role in cellular protection and repair mechanisms. Researchers believe that the activation of HSPs could help mitigate the accumulation of misfolded proteins, a hallmark of neurodegenerative diseases.


A 20-year study published in the journal "Age and Ageing" in 2017 suggested that frequent sauna bathing, at least four to seven times a week, was associated with a significantly reduced risk of both Alzheimer's and dementia when compared to infrequent sauna use.


Improved Blood Flow and Oxygenation:


Regular sauna use has been associated with enhanced blood flow and improved cardiovascular function. A study published in the "European Journal of Applied Physiology" in 2018 demonstrated that infrared sauna bathing could lead to an increase in cerebral blood flow, potentially enhancing oxygenation and nutrient delivery to the brain, which is vital for cognitive health. This study recommended three sessions per week for optimal neurovascular benefits.


Detoxification and Cognitive Clarity:


Infrared saunas are renowned for their detoxifying effects, helping the body eliminate accumulated toxins. Some researchers posit that the removal of toxins may extend to the brain, potentially reducing the burden of substances linked to cognitive decline. While more research is needed in this area, the detoxification benefits of infrared saunas are a promising avenue for cognitive wellness.


Practical Tips for Sauna Use:


1. Consistency is Key: Aim for regular sauna sessions to maximize potential benefits. However, consult with a healthcare professional, especially if you have pre-existing health conditions.

2. Hydration Matters: Drink plenty of water before and after sauna sessions to stay hydrated and support the body's detoxification process.

3. Moderation is Crucial: While sauna use can be beneficial, avoid excessive heat exposure, as prolonged sessions may have adverse effects.


At Restore Therapy Spa, we celebrate the integration of cutting-edge wellness practices into our offerings. While the link between infrared sauna use and cognitive health is an area of ongoing research, the potential benefits are captivating. Consider incorporating infrared sauna sessions into your wellness routine!

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