Will Sauna Help Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Chronic fatigue syndrome, also known as CFS, is a long-term, debilitating illness with severe cases impairing patients’ ability to live productive lives. Some severe cases of CFS may also cause mental health issues such as depression or anxiety. Studies now show that infrared sauna therapy may be able to help alleviate a wide range of chronic fatigue symptoms and improve overall wellbeing.

What are the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome?

Although the disease can affect anyone children included, it is more common in women. In most cases, the symptoms start appearing between the mid-20s and mid-40s. The main symptom of CFS is extreme tiredness and feeling generally unwell. Other symptoms that you may experience if you are affected by CFS include:

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  • Headaches
  • Joint or muscle pain
  • A sore throat
  • Sore glands even when they are not swollen
  • Sleep problems
  • Problems concentrating, thinking or remembering
  • Irregular or fast heartbeats
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Feeling sickly or dizzy

How does sauna therapy help chronic fatigue syndrome?

CFS is chronic and in most cases treatment focuses on managing the symptoms. Medication and CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) can have a positive effect. However, in most cases these treatment options prove to be insufficient. A study performed in Japan’s Kagoshima Respiratory and Stress Center observed great improvements in CFS patients treated with heat or thermal therapy.

It reported that symptoms such as pain, fatigue, low-grade fever, and even sleep disturbance significantly improved after about 15 to 30 sessions of heat sauna therapy. These results suggested that long-term moderate thermal therapy is a promising treatment method for chronic fatigue syndrome.

Another observing two patients with CFS put them through sauna therapy once per day for a period lasting 35 days. They were then put under a program where they underwent further infrared sauna sessions twice a week for a year. This study found drastic improvements in CFS symptoms such as mental and physical complaints, confusion, pain, insomnia, depression, and fatigue. The results were consistent in both patients, suggesting that sauna can help reduce the symptom of chronic fatigue.

Another important improvement observed during these studies was a slow but sure increase in energy levels. There was also a significant increase in time spent on the non-sedentary activity. Although there’s still a need for more research into the topic of sauna therapy improving chronic fatigue syndrome, existing studies have us excited for the promising future. The sauna surely offers something that can potentially help CFS patients who have exhausted their treatment options.

Ways to help cognitive function

Other studies on infrared saunas for CFS also support the hypothesis. For instance, a study analyzed 11 chronic fatigue patients and found that sauna therapy improved cerebral blood flow and brain function in all of them. This was accompanied by other improvements in CFS symptoms. In another study, it was found that after 4 weeks of infrared sauna use, CFS patients experienced significant improvements in depression, anxiety, fatigue, and overall performance.

For people who have not tried infrared sauna therapy to treat chronic fatigue syndrome, these studies prove that it might be actually worth trying. Although it does not provide a cure, as any CFS patient knows, it is not about a cure but is actually about improving the symptoms and quality of life. Infrared sauna therapy makes it easier for chronic fatigue patients to function day to day despite the limitations presented by the condition. Recent studies show that sauna therapy can help by up to 30%. In fact, some people reported experiencing relief up to 80%.

CFS or not, thermal therapy engages the skin, nervous system, internal systems, the brain, and the body in its entirety. Regular infrared sauna therapy can help anyone (people with chronic conditions as well as healthy individuals) live a more comfortable and healthier life. Fortunately, infrared saunas have gained immense popularity and can now be found in most spas, gyms, fitness facilities, and hotels.

Releasing toxins from the body

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Infrared saunas produce heat light that raises the body temperature and promotes dilation of blood vessels leading to perspiration through skin pores. This helps release toxins through sweat. Some patients with conditions such as chronic fatigue syndrome cannot tolerate elevated room temperatures. Infrared saunas are designed to produce heat light without elevating room temperature. This ensures that the infrared sauna sessions are less invasive and deliver much better outcomes than dry saunas.

Additionally, perspiration removes toxins, radioactive particles and toxins that can impair the body’s metabolic activities.

Improving circulation

Infrared sauna therapy helps improve the body’s internal congestion and blood circulation. This improves the general well being especially in people with chronic conditions such as CFS. Moreover, raising your body’s core temperature helps kill viruses and bacteria which adds to your overall health benefits.

Infrared saunas provide the same benefit of working out without the negative effects of physical exertion on chronic fatigue patients. For people with CFS, physical exertion can easily reverse the benefits.

Reducing stress and pain

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Infrared sauna therapy inhibits the “flight or fight” response. Sweating helps induce the “relax and digest” response which helps relieve stress. Moreover, it loosens ligaments and tendons and regulates the nervous system response, hence reducing the pain from CFS usually felt in the joints.

How to combat chronic fatigue

Infrared sauna therapy has also been shown to help our bodies maintain balanced PH levels which help reduce inflammation in people suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome. The increase in body temperature also speeds-up the destruction of weak cells that may have been exposed to radiation, fungi, viruses, bacteria and parasites.

Promoting deep tissue healing

Infrared sauna therapy also induces the production and release of proteins that have a healing effect on the body. It also promotes healing and reduces pain by boosting oxygenation, circulation, removing toxins, and helping lower sensitivity of the sympathetic nervous system.

The bottom line

Infrared sauna therapy can be beneficial for people with chronic conditions as well as healthy individuals. The benefits are targeted for people with toxins overload, nerve and joint pain, as well as chronic fatigue syndrome. However, it’s important to take some precautionary measures before undergoing sauna therapy. Lactating and pregnant women, as well as people with prosthetic devices, heart conditions, and high blood pressure, should consult their physician before beginning sauna therapy.

Infrared sauna benefits