Saunas have been used for many decades, even centuries, for various health benefits. However, do you really know why using a sauna helps to improve health?
Dr. Rhonda Patrick, founder of “Foundmyfitness.com” has a PH.D. in biomedical sciences and has conducted extensive research in aging, cancer and nutrition. She discusses in great lengths at conferences, pod casts and more regarding the term hyperthermic conditioning while using a sauna and how it applies to our health. Furthermore, Dr. Rhonda Patrick created a YouTube video highlighting the health benefits of hyperthermic conditioning for your body in which a summary of the video will be discussed.
Hyperthermic conditioning is a scientific term for what happens to your body, when you're exposed to very hot conditions like a sauna. Meaning, what your body is going through during the brief periods of hot conditions, and how you can build a generalized physiological tolerance to stress through heat acclimation.
By stressing your body using heat, you are disrupting the body’s feedback mechanism to create functional balance within the body, also known as homeostasis.
Homeostasis is organism’s (body’s) ability to regulate its internal conditions to help stabilize health and body functioning, despite the external conditions (1). Therefore, your body is constantly regulating itself in efforts to balance/stabilize its internal functioning regardless of external conditions. For instance, due to the disruption of the body’s attempts to maintain balance (homeostasis) when exposed to warmer temperatures, sweating occurs to reduce and regulate our core temperature, allowing the body to continue functioning at its needed 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. Even though the body is constantly regulating its internal functions, when exposed to extreme conditions, the body works harder to regulate homeostasis.
Why is this important?... By stressing your body, you are then strengthening your body!
This concept is referred to as hormesis, which is a biological phenomenon that produces health benefits to the body when exposed to low doses of an agent that would be considered toxic or lethal at higher dosages (3). When safely exposing the body to extreme, short bouts of heat (as an example) the body is forced to work harder to stabilize the internal functions, thereby, overall strengthening the body and creating a multitude of health benefits.
Some examples of external stressors include:
Although various external stressors help to produces health benefits, exposure to heat has shown to produces greater health benefits with less adverse effects. According to Dr. Rhonda Patrick, using a sauna to promote heat stress to the body helps to improve fitness and build a generalized physiological tolerance to stress through heat acclimation (hyperthermic conditioning)
Heat acclimation through sauna usage = Hyperthermic conditioning
In summary to Dr. Rhonda Patrick’s video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aHOlM-wlNjM Hyperthermic conditioning your body by using a sauna induces positive physiological adaptations that…
Increases the capacity for endurance by…
Increasing blood flow to the muscles
Increasing blood flow to the heart, thereby reducing strain during the same workload
Improving thermoregulatory control during ordinary exercise by increasing blood flow to the skin and enhances the dissipation of heat, allowing sweating to occur at a lower core body temperature
Increase the capacity to build muscle by…
Inducing the production of heat shock proteins
Boosting growth hormone levels
Improving insulin sensitivity
Affect brain function and chemistry by…
Increasing neurogenesis (neuron cell growth)
Improves learning and memory retention
Reducing depression and anxiety
Additionally, you can even get a runner’s high though sauna usage due to the release of dynorphins and endorphins.
At CryoSpa Mind & Body Wellness we have an amazing service, the Cocoon infrared sauna pod (https://www.cryospaiowa.com/services/cocoon-infrared-sauna-pod), which promotes an optimal environment for hyperthermic conditioning! The Cocoon offers a truly unique and relaxing sauna experience by using a combination of red, near & far infrared and dry heat (https://www.cryospaiowa.com/blog/the-power-of-light), vibrations, and essential oils to promote optimal health benefits through sauna usage.
For more information regarding benefits from hyperthermic conditioning and our Cocoon, call 515-270-7009 or stop in. Appointments can be made over the telephone or through our website https://go.booker.com/#/location/CRYOSPAMindBodyWellness/services/137/Sauna