Although the sauna is not known since yesterday, was and still is used for centuries, and its beneficial effects on the body have been confirmed by numerous scientific studies, not everyone can use it.
High temperature and high humidity contribute to lower diastolic blood pressure. Does this mean that hypertension can be a contraindication to this form of relaxation?
Over the years, many myths about the therapeutic properties of the sauna have arisen, which persist today among people who would like to take advantage of its benefits, but are afraid because they heard somewhere that this type of recreation may prove harmful to them.
One of these myths is the information, that hypertension is a contraindication in the use of the sauna.
Wisely dosed sessions in the sauna are conducive to good health because they are based on the use of extreme conditions. Being in a very high temperature alternating with relaxing in the ambient temperature, or pouring water, for most of us will be not only pleasant but also useful.
It should be remembered, however, that the sauna is beneficial primarily to healthy people. Sick people, especially those suffering from cardiovascular ailments, should refrain from sauna bathing unless the doctor decides otherwise.
How the body reacts in the sauna
The most important parameter when using the sauna is time. The temperature and humidity should be adjusted according to your body. People with low blood pressure usually choose lower temperatures and those with higher blood pressure choose higher temperatures.
The sum of temperature and humidity should be on average 120 ( e.g. 90 degrees + humidity 30 %). Lying down gives us the same temperature on the head and the legs. Scandinavian studies show that the use of sauna several times a week (4-5) reduces problems with circulatory diseases in 85% of subjects.
With such intense baths in the sauna, we can be 2 times during one bath. When we go to the sauna twice a week it is necessary to be 3 times. For three visits it is best to use the following configuration: the first visit – 15 minutes, the second visit – 13 minutes, the third visit – 11 minutes.
To know your body suggests after leaving the sauna to measure your blood pressure. Most often we can observe reduced blood pressure, but increased heart rate. To balance your heart rate, you should rest for about 15 minutes – do not exercise after the sauna!
Remember also to cool down properly – the shower should be set at 19 degrees Celsius and cooled down until all pores are closed (start the shower with a leg shower). After the sauna, replenish your fluids.
Hypertension and sauna what do you need to know about it?
Sauna and hypertension are the subjects of numerous research papers. According to researchers at the Centre for Prevention and Rehabilitation at the Cardiovascular Institute of the University of Ottawa.
Sauna sessions are safe even for patients with the chronic venous disease (CVD), but only if you do not spend a lot of time in the cabin and the temperatures inside are no more than 80 degrees C. Sauna is therefore recommended.
However, there are some limitations, especially among patients whose blood pressure is not controlled. Also, people with unstable coronary artery disease, aortic stenosis, or heart failure cannot enjoy the benefits of a steam bath.
Arterial hypertension is one of the most common civilization diseases of our times. There are many reasons why it appears. It often develops unnoticed, without giving any symptoms. However, the effects of elevated blood pressure can be painful consequences for our organism – even life-threatening.
This is why doctors recommend constant monitoring of blood pressure and a quick reaction if it exceeds 140 or 90 mmHg. And how does blood pressure relate to the sauna? High temperature in a sauna, especially in combination with high humidity affects the work of our circulatory system.
It comes down to diastolic blood vessels, and as a consequence – lower blood pressure. Therefore, many people decide to install a sauna in their homes. very often the Finnish sauna, which is finished in wood, installs combi stoves. This allows you to raise humidity up to 80% We can then adjust the temperature and humidity to your needs.
Sauna is not for those with low blood pressure and heart problems!
Staying in a sauna is associated with intense sweating and faster exhalation of air from the lungs. This promotes the disadvantageous phenomenon of dehydration of the body and the resulting lowering of blood pressure, which can lead to the fainting of a person with naturally low blood pressure.
Since dehydrated blood thickens, staying in a sauna is discouraged in the case of a tendency to blood clots. And since the high temperature also dilates the subcutaneous blood vessels, resulting in a further lowering of blood pressure, insufficient oxygenation of the heart can occur.
The result is an overload of the circulatory system. Its extreme consequences are loss of consciousness, stroke, and even cardiac arrest. Therefore, visiting the sauna is strictly discouraged for patients with a weak heart (eg after a heart attack), atherosclerosis, varicose veins
What to keep in mind when using the sauna?
However, this does not mean that sauna can be treated as a cure for hypertension. Doctors make it clear that people with hypertension can enjoy the benefits of a sauna as long as their blood pressure is well controlled and they follow a few important rules.
Here are the most important things to keep in mind in the sauna in terms of blood pressure:
Absolute contraindications to sauna use include people:
With uncontrolled hypertension with values exceeding 160/90 mmHg, unstable coronary artery disease, and severe aortic stenosis. The best sauna for hypertensives is one with a lower temperature or infrared.
When taking blood pressure medication (beta-blockers), avoid standing up abruptly while in the sauna. It is best to use the sauna while lying down, and after the session, slowly get up, sit down, and only after a while stands up.
If you follow these safety precautions, you can use the sauna without worry. Sessions in a steam bath or sauna will also strengthen the immune system, allow you to relax and cleanse the body of toxins.
These are undeniable benefits, which should not be denied due to chronic disease, which under control does not pose a great health risk. The only group of people who should forgive themselves this type of relaxation are those taking light dehydration
How many times a week should I use the sauna?
For people who are used to taking steam baths, the situation is somewhat different. If the sauna is something every day, the indications are different. So how often do you choose this form of relaxation? Some people allow themselves to seances even every day.
Especially recommended is the infrared sauna. It heats the body with electric radiators, so the temperature in the cabin is lower and the sessions are less stressful for the body. How many times a week can you spend time in this way? There is no definite answer to this question because everything depends on the predisposition of the body.
Although the sauna has a beneficial effect on the whole body, as with everything – you should find the golden mean and use the sessions, keeping moderation. In people who spend too much time in the cabin, there are problems with sleep and irritability.
If you notice such symptoms, you should limit the sessions. It is also good to visit a doctor to get individual advice on how often you can go to the sauna.
Sauna and asthma
in addition, the sauna has a beneficial effect on health and also increases the body’s resistance, which has long been known. Doubts, however, have people who have been diagnosed with bronchial asthma. As it turns out, they should spend time in such away.
Why? During steam baths, the air is heated, and its inhalation contributes to bronchodilation. In addition, blood circulation improves during the session, which translates into faster delivery of oxygen deep into the tissues. Do not forget that the conditions inside the cabin favor the elimination of mucus deposited in the respiratory tract.
Although the sauna does not affect the body negatively, it is worth following practical tips. Below are some of them:
● Individual cycles in the steam cabin should last between 8 and 12 minutes,
● At first, it is better to sit on the lower benches,
● Take a cold shower before the session.
Sauna really helps to your heal body and could improve due asthma, helps to improve breathing, blood pressure, and general well-being, but it is important to be careful and prepare the body for the session.
If possible, it is better to choose sessions in cabins with lower temperatures and lower levels of humidity – an excellent solution is a dry sauna.