You may have heard one of Joe Rogan’s many interviews with Dr. Rhonda Patrick or Max Greenfield on the benefits of infrared saunas especially when it comes to brain health and the prevention of diseases like Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. In this blog, we explore some of the health claims and studies they refer to and why you should consider installing an infrared sauna in your own home.
Dementia is a general term that is used to define symptoms that affect memory, the ability to complete daily activities, and communication abilities. The most common type of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease. If Alzheimer’s disease is not prevented or treated in time, it will get worse and seriously affect a person’s life.
While Dr. Harvey Kellogg discovered infrared light in the 19th century, it wasn’t until 1965 when NASA studied the effects of the light spectrum on astronauts experiencing musculoskeletal atrophy upon returning from space that they discovered that infrared sauna therapy had profound, long-lasting health benefits.
Near, mid, and far infrared light is invisible to the human eye but is experienced kinetically as heat. This radiant heat that emanates from the infrared spectrum is different from conventional heat experienced through traditional saunas. Infrared wavelengths penetrate beyond the initial epidermis of the skin into the soft tissue of the body which is why the health benefits differ. This transmission of light into the body’s network creates cellular transformation, which distinguishes it from other forms of heat therapy.
More recently, researchers in Finland found that men who used a sauna four to seven times a week for an average length of 15 minutes had a 66 percent lower risk of developing dementia, and 65 percent lower risk of Alzheimer’s, compared to men who used the sauna only once a week. This study also found that regular infrared sauna use significantly reduced the risk of sudden cardiac death, the risk of death due to coronary artery disease and other cardiac events, as well as overall mortality.
Now let’s look into why this helps promote brain health.
The three underlying causes of Alzheimer’s disease is believed to be:
Now let’s look at how infrared sauna can combat these causes. Infrared sauna therapy may directly address the underlying causes of Alzheimer’s disease making it a viable treatment both in the prevention and cessation of symptoms of the disease. The process by which infrared light helps the brain function is as follows:
Additionally, there are many reasons why sauna use may boost general brain health, some reasons include:
Infrared saunas do not need heat to be effective. This means that it is a great treatment option for the elderly and those suffering from heart conditions who cannot be exposed to extreme temperatures as is the case in the traditional sauna. Infrared saunas are better understood as a light bath, rather it is the relationship of the emanating and penetrative hues of the invisible spectrum of infrared light that ignites the biochemical changes in the body and brain. Therefore, regular exposure to infrared light can create an accumulative effect in the prevention and care of those at risk for developing Alzheimer’s Disease.