It’s obvious to regular sauna users that it’s a relaxing escape from the stresses of day-to-day life. Infrared sauna enthusiasts report mood elevation as well as stress relief. Researchers asked the question: could sauna use be effective for treating depression? In some cases, the answer was “yes”:
In 2005, a study was published in Psychosomatic Medicine in which a group of 28 mildly depressed patients with appetite loss and subjective symptoms were studied. Twenty-eight mildly depressed inpatients with general fatigue, appetite loss, and somatic and mental complaints were randomly assigned to thermal therapy group (n = 14) or non-thermal therapy group (n = 14). Patients in the thermal therapy group were treated with 60 degrees C far-infrared dry sauna for 15 minutes and were then kept at bed rest with a blanket for 30 minutes once a day, 5 days a week for a total of 20 sessions in 4 weeks.
Patients given sauna treatment showed significant improvement in bodily complaints, as well as hunger and relaxation scores compared with the control group. As well, the ghrelin hormone (that’s an appetite stimulant secreted by your gastrointestinal system) as well as daily caloric intake improved in the sauna group significantly more than in the control group.
These findings suggest that repeated thermal therapy may be useful for mildly depressed patients with appetite loss and subjective complaints.
As with many of the benefits of infrared saunas, science proves what regular users know. Taking a sauna is a mood elevator. Better than pills!
Sauna bathing has profound effects on overall health. Interested in long term health maintenance and taking control of your own health? Sauna enthusiasts consider a sauna as a low-cost, non-drug approach to wellness using the body’s own properties to strengthen health. Adding sauna bathing to your daily routine is a great way to get healthy and stay healthy! Find out more.
Study: Masuda A, et al. Repeated thermal therapy diminishes appetite loss and subjective complaints in mildly depressed patients. Psychosomatic Medicine. 2005 67 (4): 643-47.