Infrared (IR) saunas are a safe and comfortable way to enjoy a plethora of health benefits. However, are there respiratory advantages of infrared sauna practice to lung function over a given period of time?
Absolutely. Join SunStream Saunas in this article as we explore several recent studies that support the idea of using infrared saunas to improve lung health and prevent respiratory diseases.
How do infrared saunas help?
Unlike traditional saunas that use steam heat, infrared saunas offer a more effective approach by penetrating deep into the body with infrared heat.
This heat not only improves your blood flow and heart rate but can also help increase your lung capabilities.
While more studies are still emerging, the existing ones support the notion of using infrared saunas to help improve symptoms of lung-related health conditions.
Here are some respiratory conditions that infrared saunas can potentially help treat:
Asthma, while a chronic lung disease, can be treated with traditional treatment methods – infrared saunas can help relieve asthma symptoms more easily with its several health benefits.
IR saunas are a safe and efficient way to alleviate asthma symptoms by opening the air passages and helping improve overall lung health.
One study, in particular, found that a dry sauna can help treat children suffering from bronchial asthma by building up immunity and aiding in psychosocial growth.
Advantages of Infrared sauna use can also help alleviate symptoms of hay fever, also referred to as allergic rhinitis. In a study done by the Asian Pacific Journal of Allergy and Immunology, 26 Thai patients with allergic rhinitis were randomly allocated into two groups.
One group dubbed the control group, was informed about their health condition and carried on with their typical lives, while the other group, dubbed the sauna treatment group, was given three 30-minute sauna sessions per day for six weeks.
Both groups’ heart rate, nasal peak inspiratory flow (NPIF), and lung function were measured at the start of the study and were measured again after three weeks and six weeks of sauna treatment.
The study concluded that the sauna treatment group had significant improvements to their lung capacity PNIF, and Forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) than the control group.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
Pending further research, some studies suggest that using infrared saunas to manage symptoms in individuals with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) could be a positive approach.
Infrared saunas can help potentially improve an individual’s lung capacity by reducing inflammations and clearing airway obstructions more easily. In a study evaluating whether recurring sauna sessions helped people suffering from COPD, two groups were formed.
In a group dubbed the Waon group, 20 patients were given traditional therapy methods, including medications. They were also given 15-minute daily sauna sessions, followed by 30 minutes of resting on top of warm blankets for five days a week, for a total of 20 times.
To accurately weigh the effects of the study, another group dubbed the control group only received traditional therapy for comparison. After four weeks, the Waon group showed significant improvements in peak expiratory flow (PEF) and FEV1 than the control group. Apart from that, no other relevant changes were noted.
While inconclusive, the study proves that recurring infrared sauna sessions can help COPD-ridden individuals improve their lung capacity.
Pneumonia is an inflammatory condition that affects the air sacs in one or both lungs. This disease makes it difficult for the person to breathe and can be deadly for the elderly, young children, and individuals with weakened immune systems.
While more evidence is needed, several existing studies suggest that regular sauna sessions can help combat pneumonia.
A study conducted in 2017 concluded that two to three sauna sessions a week could reduce pneumonia risk by 33 percent, while four or more sessions per week could reduce it to 47 percent.
Conclusion – The Advantages of Infrared Sauna Practice on Lung Function
Infrared saunas are a great way to improve your lung capabilities while also reaping some other health benefits such as improved muscle recovery and better heart health.
However, we recommend seeking medical advice from your doctor before hopping in the sauna. This way, you’ll be able to fully maximise the respiratory benefits you get from your sauna sessions.