Studies have shown that providing the body with sufficient heat like in saunas reduces the risk of cancer and inflammation to a noticeable extent. In the US, heat related treatments, both localized and general, are on the rise for cancer patients. This technique is commonly known as hyperthermia.
In hyperthermia cancer patients’ whole body or just the tumor region is exposed to higher temperatures. Although hyperthermia, when used medically, is a little different from a relaxing sauna, it still has a multitude of benefits including cancer treatment.
How Saunas Found Us
Nature has inspired mankind into building steam pods and heating rooms to relax and boost their immune systems at the same time. Icelandic geysers come to mind. History tells that the Romans used to detoxify and heal in the heated baths called “thermae.”
Along these lines, Turks built “bath houses” where they would switch between hot and cold rooms. And the Finnish are considered to be the inventors of modern day saunas. With this long history of using heat for several purposes, it is imperative that saunas and steam baths have a strong relationship with boosting the human immune system.
Aiding in the Fight Against Cancer
Optimized heating provided by saunas and steam baths have been used across different cultures to treat ailments and nurture one’s body. It is very useful in detoxifying the body as well.
But the recent and most fascinating use of saunas and spas is their role in fighting cancer. Cancer cells cannot tolerate much heat like healthy cells. When the heat is provided to the body, it shrinks the cancerous cells and leaves the healthy cells unaffected.
Tumor cells cannot adapt to the increase in blood circulation caused by the increase in body temperature, therefore, the cancerous cells die off. The heat from any type of sauna can be effective, but most especially the heat from an infrared sauna.
The Journal of Cancer Science and Therapy has published a study that observed far infrared’s effect on human and mice cancer cells. This research has shown that the far infrared heat therapy can reduce cancer by as much as 86% in only 30 days.
Cancer cells and tumors have a different metabolic activity compared to normal cells. They tend to consume glucose more rapidly and produce more lactic acid, which creates an acidic environment around the tumor. This acidic environment can make the cancer cells more sensitive to heat.
When exposed to high temperatures, such as in a sauna, cancer cells and tumors cannot tolerate the heat because it disrupts their metabolism and cellular functions. The heat can also cause damage to their DNA and proteins, leading to cell death.
In addition, cancer cells have a reduced ability to dissipate heat, which means they can quickly reach their thermal limits and become damaged or destroyed when exposed to high temperatures.
Additional Benefits of Saunas
The advantages of saunas do not stop at fighting cancer. It also provides the following benefits:
It increases and improves blood and lymphatic fluid circulation in the human body.
It is used to expel toxins from the body in the form of sweat.
Increased body temperature aid in weight loss by burning fat deposits in the body.
Saunas, in general, improve the body’s immune system.
It helps relax muscles and reduces stress and anxiety symptoms.
The two main types of sauna used are:
Steam Saunas, also called traditional saunas
Steam Saunas generate heat using steam. Steam can be produced either by traditional or modern techniques. Traditionally, wood fire or electric heaters are used to heat rocks. Spilling water on the hot rocks generates steam. The majority of steam saunas use electric heaters but there are also many models that offer wood burning stoves for heat that also heat the rocks to generate steam.
Infrared Saunas use electromagnetic waves, which lie between wavelengths of visible light and radio waves in the spectrum. These are called infrared waves and are used to generate heat in infrared saunas. Infrared saunas may use only FAR infrared waves, or only NEAR infrared waves. Full Spectrum infrared saunas use a combination of both.
Comparison of Sauna Types in Fighting Cancer
Studies have suggested that the saunas using far-infrared wavelengths to produce heat have more controlled temperatures. In such saunas, the overall heat is low compared to traditional steam saunas, but the heat waves pierce through the body. This type of heat generation is usually used for treatment and therapeutic purposes.
Steam saunas heat the body by heating the air around the body. Infrared saunas heat the body with the infrared waves penetrating through the skin and heating a person from inside, rather than outside. This is why infrared saunas do not usually get as hot as steam saunas, and why they do not need to get that hot. They are very effective, providing the same heating benefits, without the higher temperatures of steam that can also be very uncomfortable for many people.
The benefits of saunas overall are many. For those dealing with severe health crisis such as cancer, they can be a game-changer.
If you have any questions about saunas, or any of the models we carry, please contact us.
Here you can view the saunas we recommend for steam sauna baths.
Here you can view the infrared saunas we recommend.