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Sitting in This Hot Box Can Slash Blood Pressure

Heat has been used for its therapeutic health benefits for thousands of years. Sauna therapy originated in Finland and has historically been a huge part of Scandinavian culture. Often used for relaxation and enjoyment, saunas are now popular worldwide. But there’s more to sauna bathing than just relaxation. Research shows the numerous health benefits of regular sauna use, particularly for heart health and blood pressure.

Does sweating make your blood pressure go down?

Evidence supports regular sauna use to reduce the risk of many health conditions, including cardiovascular disease. Sauna therapy brings down blood pressure naturally. You might be wondering how the simple act of sweating can be so good for your health.  Let’s take a closer look at the science.

Sauna therapy works by passively heating up the body. This puts a demand on your heart similar to moderate physical activity. In response, your body starts to sweat, and your blood vessels dilate. Your heart starts to pump out more blood at a faster rate. This response leads to positive changes in your cardiovascular system, nervous system, and immune system. Some of these physiological changes include:

All of these physiological changes support lower blood pressure. Healthy blood pressure means a lower risk of mortality and sudden cardiac death.

Sauna therapy is proven to reduce the risk of sudden cardiac death. Research indicates that sauna therapy combined with regular physical activity can reduce this risk even more. So get moving!

Other benefits of sauna use

Sauna use is a natural way to help get your blood pressure in check without pharmaceuticals. In fact, many blood pressure medications act on the same physiological processes in the body as the sauna. 

Pharmaceuticals also often act on other receptors in the body, leading to side effects. Unlike pharmaceuticals, sauna therapy is excellent for your overall health and longevity. Other health perks of sauna use include:

Some evidence even suggests that heat therapy may be protective against viral infections, such as Covid-19 and the common cold

Is sauna therapy safe to lower blood pressure?

Many individuals with heart conditions worry about the safety of sauna therapy. These concerns make sense when considering that heat places a demand on the heart. However, research has proven the safety of sauna therapy, even for chronic systolic congestive heart failure patients

The most common adverse effects are minor and include dizziness, dehydration, and headaches. Only stay in the sauna for an appropriate duration to prevent these effects. Also, drink plenty of water before and after your sauna session.

If you’re pregnant or have multiple health conditions, discuss sauna therapy with your doctor before trying it out.

Traditional saunas vs. infrared saunas

There are two major types of saunas: traditional and infrared. Each has similar health benefits and raises your core body temperature. However, they do this slightly differently.

Traditional saunas 

Traditional saunas use a woodstove or electric heater to heat the sauna room to 160-200 degrees Fahrenheit. Typically, these saunas are used for 5-20 minute sessions, often cycled with cool-down periods. While these saunas have few adverse effects, some people find them intolerably hot. This makes for a less relaxing and comfortable experience.

Infrared saunas

Infrared saunas are a newer technology that may provide a more comfortable experience than traditional saunas. They use the power of infrared light to heat the body rather than the room directly. Infrared heat can penetrate more deeply into fat and muscle tissue. This means that it takes less heat to achieve the same physiological effects as traditional saunas. 

Infrared saunas have an air temperature of around 100-150 degrees Fahrenheit. Lower heat may also help prevent the effects of dehydration and dizziness. 

Infrared saunas have the added perk of boosting cellular health. Research shows that exposure to infrared light can benefit mitochondria, the energy producers of the body’s cells. Boosting mitochondrial health helps support the body in many ways, including preventing vascular aging.

What’s the best type of sauna for high blood pressure?

Not all saunas are created equal. Saunas may put out toxins, which can cancel out those heart-boosting benefits. For the most benefit to your blood pressure, make sure you choose the right sauna.

Some infrared saunas put out Electromagnetic Fields (EMFs). EMFs are a form of radiation that can create free radicals and cause oxidative stress. Long-term EMF exposure is dangerous, increasing your risk of chronic diseases and raising your blood pressure.  

Certain saunas are also manufactured with wood finishes that can off-gas toxic fumes. These fumes are also known as volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and they can cause oxidative stress and inflammation.

The best type of sauna for high blood pressure is toxin-free. It is also important that you can access it regularly. Science suggests that frequent sauna sessions are necessary for the most benefit. A recent study showed that those with regular sauna use (four to seven times per week) have a 47 percent lower risk of high blood pressure than people who use saunas less than once per week. 

Frequenting sauna spas can be pricey and inconvenient. No one has time for that. Fortunately, there are many options for an at-home sauna. 

At Natural Heart Doctor, our research-backed recommendation is Sunlighten Sauna. These saunas are compact and can easily store away. Most importantly, they’re free of off-gassing fumes and EMFs. Their Faraday model is the gold standard, while the Luminati offers a more budget-friendly option.

Next steps

  • If you’re new to sauna use, start with shorter sessions and work your way up to longer sessions.
  • Aim to use the sauna for 30-minute sessions at least four times per week.
  • Drink plenty of water before and after sauna use. Make sure it’s filtered and toxin-free!
  • Don’t go into the sauna with a full stomach.
  • Take a high-quality multivitamin like Cardio Multi to replace minerals.
  • Make sure you leave enough time for a cool-down and cold shower.

While a high-quality sauna may seem like a significant investment, the return is your health and your 100 Year Heart. Imagine controlling your blood pressure and staying out of the doctor’s office — no pharmaceuticals needed. It’s impossible to put a price on that. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

I’d like to receive an online second opinion from Natural Heart Doctor. What do I do next?

You can initiate a second opinion online through our website at any time. To begin, select the team member you’d like to speak with and open an account.

Click here for cardiologist Dr. Jack Wolfson.

Click here for holistic physician Dr. Lauren Lattanza.

Click here for  Natural Heart Doctor Health Coach.

Alternatively, you can email health@naturalheartdoctor.com. A member of our care team will help guide you through the process of starting a second opinion.

What is the cost of a Natural Heart Doctor Online Second Opinion?

The cost for most second opinions varies by team member. This fee includes information collection, a 20-minute phone or video consultation, a second opinion from a Natural Heart Doctor specialist and guidance throughout the process from your personal Care Team at Natural Heart Doctor.

Cardiologist Dr. Jack Wolfson’s Second Opinion Fee is $750.

Holistic Physician’s Dr. Lauren Lattanza’s Second Opinion Fee is $250.

Natural Heart Doctor Health Coach Second Opinion Fee is $90.

Note: We apply the Online Second Opinion Call fee as a credit to any future consultations with Natural Heart Doctor, should you choose them.

Will my insurance cover the cost of a Natural Heart Doctor Online Second Opinion?

Most likely, no. Most health plans do not cover online second opinions or consultations. You are responsible for the cost of our second opinion. Natural Heart Doctor cannot file a claim with your insurance carrier, nor can we provide a procedure (CPT) code for this service.

What is the timeline to receive an online second opinion?

We do our best to schedule your second opinion as quickly as possible. Typically, it takes 5 to 7 business days after your information has been collected to receive your phone or video online second opinion.

What information do you need in advance of our call?

Our office will send you a short questionnaire to complete and return. We DO NOT need your complete medical records.

How many questions can I ask the expert during our call?

You may ask a maximum of five questions. This is to ensure that the expert has sufficient time to devote to each question. All questions must be finalized before your online meeting.

What should I expect to receive once my second opinion is complete?

You will receive a summary of our discussion along with our second opinion. The second opinion will be in written form. After you have reviewed the second opinion, a Natural Heart Doctor clinician will follow up with you by phone to address general medical questions about the information provided in the second opinion.

What if I have follow-up questions for the expert after I have reviewed my second opinion?

If you have a clarifying question about an expert’s response to one of the questions in your second opinion, and the Natural Heart Doctor clinician is unable to address it, then you may request a follow up session for an additional fee. 

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Natural Heart Doctor is strongly committed to protecting the privacy and security of all our patients. Our website meets all federal requirements for protecting personal health information under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). All financial transactions are processed by Natural Heart Doctor securely using industry standard payment processing tools.

I would rather visit Natural Heart Doctor for an in-person appointment. What should I do next?

If you would prefer an in-person appointment at Natural Heart Doctor instead of an online second opinion, please call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

Can I schedule a follow up appointment with the specialist who provided my online second opinion?

Yes, we’re happy to help you on an extended basis. Our clinician can discuss options with you when presenting our second opinion summary.

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