Fibromyalgia and The Infrared Sauna
For sufferers of Fibromyalgia, the opportunity to experience any relief at all from the symptoms is welcomed. Studies show infrared saunas are very affective at providing relief.
One recent study took a group of Fibromyalgia sufferers who had not responded very well to traditional methods of treatment and who were experiencing high pain scores. They tested the patients with a variety of alternative therapies, such as physiotherapy and the use of an infrared sauna to see what relief they might experience. The Doctors also used a variety of cognitive behavior therapies as well to mesh different therapies together to try and get the most relief possible.
Some in the study received the combination of CBT, physiotherapy and infrared saunas, while other test subjects used only CBT and physiotherapy. This allowed the Health Care professionals to gauge whether either test group would benefit more or less depending on the treatments used. The studies clearly and optimistically showed that the patients in the control group who had the infrared sauna included in the treatment benefitted the most.
The increase in heart-rate felt during the sauna sessions allowed for decreases peripheral resistance, which means that blood can flow more easily through blood vessels. This increases both circulation and oxygen consumption, as well as increases norepinephrine, which is the stress inducing hormone released by the brain.
The therapy also stimulated the release of pain reducing beta-endorphins, as well muscle relaxation, which aided the Fibromyalgia sufferers who were part of the sauna test group. While the patients did not get to the point of being completely pain free, they scored much lower on the pain scale at the completion of sauna treatment than they had prior to the initiation of treatment. Scores lowered from the above mentioned high 7.0 to a much more manageable 4.8. While that is still a significant number, representing an existence of daily pain the treatment was considered highly successful as the patients indicated that rather than feeling hopeless and horrible, the benefits left them feeling only uncomfortable at best.
The functional capacity of the sauna test group was also significantly increased, meaning that they were able to complete more everyday tasks than they had been able to accomplish prior to the infrared sauna treatment. The study left no doubt as to the benefits of this treatment for sufferers of this debilitating disease. Hopefully, other studies will expand on the treatment of other ailments in the future.
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