Sauna is an underestimated healing method

New research confirms that sweating can cure or prevent a number of diseases. In fact, sweating is very healthy. A regular visit to the sauna is even associated with a prolongation of life.
Sauna bathing is an underestimated healing method

Sauna bathing is an underestimated healing method

Sauna bathing is not only beneficial to health, but also plays an important role in the prevention of civilization diseases. The abrupt change between intense heat and cooling trains the immune system, has a positive effect on the heart, blood vessels, respiratory system and metabolism, and can even extend life expectancy by several months. Many new scientific studies have been evaluated, and here is the result of that evaluation.

Recent studies from Finland

That sauna does something have been suspected for a long time, but now it has been confirmed. Of course, this latest study comes from Finland, a country where the sauna is considered an essential part of the national cultural heritage. A long-term study conducted by experts at the University of Eastern Finland in Kuopio found that frequent, preferably daily, sauna sessions provide excellent protection against sudden cardiac death and other heart risks, especially for men.

Heart specialist Jari A. Laukannen and his colleagues tracked the health of 2,315 Eastern Finnish men, who were between 42 and 60 years old at the time they participated in the study and provided information about their sauna visits, for a total of 21 years. Men who went to the sauna once a week were divided into three groups: those who went to the sauna two to three times a week and those who went to the sauna four to seven times a week. The time spent in the sauna affected the outcome, which was taken into account in the evaluation.

Study published in the journal Jama Internal Medicine

The results of the study, published in the journal Jama Internal Medicine, were clear: The more often the men went to the sauna and the longer they spent there sweating, the less likely they were to die from sudden cardiac death, a heart attack or complications from other cardiac events in their lives, the researchers noted.

This is the first study to prospectively demonstrate that regular sauna sessions significantly reduce the risk of sudden cardiac death, coronary and cardiovascular mortality, and all-cause mortality, according to Gian Flury of Scuol, who wrote about the study in Swiss Medical Forum. Therefore, we physicians can suggest regular sauna bathing to our patients as an effective primary prevention method. Sauna bathing is one of the most underestimated prevention methods, according to private lecturer Rainer Brenke, who is convinced that it can help prevent a wide range of diseases. After careful consideration, the Berlin-based internist and specialist in physical medicine concludes that frequent sauna visits should be more strongly promoted by physicians and institutions, both for health prevention and disease treatment.

Sauna visits reduce the incidence of flu-like infections

According to the Berlin-based scientist, no other measure has been shown to increase resistance to flu-like infections in both adults and children as much as sauna bathing. In addition, overall health stability was significantly improved. Studies have shown that frequent, weekly sauna visits reduce the number of flu-like infections by about a quarter after about a year.

Sauna therapy also for skin diseases

Saunas can also be therapeutic for people suffering from skin diseases. Sauna therapy appears to have the greatest benefit in the treatment of psoriasis, with the main benefit probably being reduced susceptibility to infection. Some atopic dermatitis patients also tolerate sauna well and benefit from its relaxing effect on the autonomic nervous system, which may help them sleep better at night. Sauna has also been shown to have a positive effect in the treatment of chronic urticaria (hives).

Release of endorphins

In a number of studies, sauna has been shown to have pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties. By releasing endorphins and improving mobility, it can have a soothing effect on rheumatic and degenerative diseases of the musculoskeletal system. Japanese researchers have also found that sauna bathing can improve the quality of life of people suffering from soft tissue rheumatism or fibromyalgia.

Going to the sauna during pregnancy?

According to Germany’s professional association of gynecologists, healthy pregnant women who are accustomed to regular sauna sessions and have no complaints can benefit from the heat-cold alternation from the beginning of pregnancy until shortly before birth. Sweating causes fluid loss, which can lead to a reduction in water retention. In addition, because the muscles are softer and more relaxed overall, sauna users can deliver more easily.

When should pregnant women avoid sauna visits?

Inexperienced sauna users should refrain from taking saunas during the first three months of pregnancy. During this time, the unborn child is most sensitive. When taking a heat bath, expectant mothers should trust their instincts and leave the sauna cabin as soon as they feel uncomfortable, experts say. A cold immersion bath is not advisable during pregnancy, especially towards the end of pregnancy.

The positive effect on the psyche

The effect is based on a targeted alternation of intense heat and cold stimuli, which is repeated again and again. During a 10- to 15-minute sauna session, the skin temperature rises to about 107,6 °F due to the dry heat, which can reach up to 212 °F. The dilation of blood vessels causes increased blood flow. White blood cells, macrophages and lymphocytes, which are responsible for the body’s defense system, are produced more frequently due to the rise in temperature.

The blood vessels contract due to the subsequent cooling phase, which can occur in cold air, in the cold water of a diving pool or in the snow. This has a significant training effect on the vascular muscles.

Reduce the stress of everyday life with a visit to the sauna

Sauna therapy is a simple natural remedy that has an extremely beneficial and refreshing effect on the general health of the body. According to Finnish sauna specialists, the heat of the sauna helps relieve stress and tension in the body. A person plagued by worries leaves the sauna in a more balanced, even cheerful state of mind.


Sauna bathing is often underestimated, yet it is a great healing method with many health benefits. It not only helps prevent diseases, but also has positive effects on the heart, circulation, metabolism and immune system.

A long-term study from Finland found that regular sauna bathing significantly reduces the risk of heart disease, including sudden cardiac death. It also strengthens the immune system and can extend life expectancy. In addition, sauna bathing has positive effects on the skin, relieves pain and inflammation, and has a positive effect on the psyche.

Of course, there are some precautions to take, especially for pregnant women and beginners. It is important to take care of your body and leave the sauna if you feel unwell.

All in all, sauna bathing is a natural way to improve your health. It is often underestimated, but should be more strongly recommended by doctors, as it offers numerous benefits. Sauna bathing can lead to a better sense of well-being and a higher quality of life.


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