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Case Study: Association Between Sauna Bathing and Fatal Cardiovascular and All-Cause Mortality Events

Case Study: Association Between Sauna Bathing and Fatal Cardiovascular and All-Cause Mortality Events

Luxury products such as saunas, steam rooms and hot tubs have long been associated with providing the benefit of relaxation. These products are known to help calm the mind, provide deeper sleep and an overall feeling of peace, but there is also an increasing amount of research being conducted on what other benefits heat therapy might have on our bodies. Does regular use of a sauna or hot tub make us less likely to develop heart disease or have a heart attack? Could weekly heat therapy cause us to be healthier 10, 20 or even 30 years from now? These are the types of questions that new research is trying to answer.

 

Connection Between Sauna Bathing and Cardiovascular Events

 

Interest in the topic of heat therapy grew rapidly when the University of Eastern Finland released a 30 year study on the positive effects that sauna bathing had on fatal cardiovascular and all-cause mortality events. This study was significant because it found positive health trends relating to sauna use for more than just a couple of months – they truly saw how heat therapy affected men over the course of 3 decades. The study included 2,315 men between the ages of 42-60 that lived in Finland, with testing being conducted from 1984-2011. The results show that in this test population of middle-aged men, an increase in frequency of sauna bathing was associated with a reduced risk of sudden cardiac death, fatal coronary heart disease and fatal cardiovascular disease.

Read the full study on sauna bathing here: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/2130724

While the results of this study cannot be directly applied to hot tub use, it is very interesting to see the positive effects that heat therapy had on the body. This study also inspired others to test similar effects on heart health with hot tub use. An 8-week clinical trial conducted by the University of Oregon concluded that hot water immersion (such as soaking in a hot tub) had widespread effects on vascular function and could prove to be a treatment option for improving cardiovascular health. Read our blog about it here. As always, please consult your personal care professional before using a hot tub or sauna for health reasons.

Overall, there are many reasons why having a luxury hot tub or sauna at home is appealing. From the hydrotherapy benefits to the calming capabilities, sitting and relaxing in heat therapy after a long day is very enjoyable. Seeing the positive benefits that a hot tub can have on your health is an added bonus to the already amazing experience of owning a personal spa.

*This article is not intended to treat or diagnose any individuals with cardiovascular conditions. The intent is to share research that is being conducted on the possible positive effects of soaking in hot water. We encourage you to speak with your own healthcare provider about what the best plan of action is for your particular needs.

Eagle-Crest

Case Study: Improving Microvascular Function to Decrease Cardiovascular Risk

Case Study: Improving Microvascular Function to Decrease Cardiovascular Risk

Did you know that cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death in the United States? Cardiovascular diseases include all diseases that affect the heart or blood vessels. More specifically, about 655,000 Americans die from heart disease each year, equivalent to 1 in every 4 deaths. With these high statistics, we are desperately in need of tools to reduce cardiovascular risk.

The University of Oregon conducted an 8 week clinical trial on repeated hot water immersion to record various biomarkers of cardiovascular health in young, somewhat inactive but otherwise healthy individuals. The findings of their study show that heat therapy has positive effects equal to or greater than what is typically observed in healthy subjects with exercise training.

The findings of this study show that for those who do not have the physical ability to exercise in a way that has cardiovascular benefits, passive heat therapy could be an ideal alternative with similar outcomes in preventing cardiovascular risk. Below are some of the findings mentioned in the clinical trial.

 

Breaking down the study:

 

The majority of cardiovascular-related diseases are characterized by vascular dysfunction such as impaired endothelial-dependent dilation and arterial stiffening. By finding a way to create long-term improvements in these types of vascular functions, there could be a way to protect against future cardiovascular risk through similar methods.

 

Endothelium-dependent dilation

 

What makes the Endothelium important? This thin membrane is what lines the inside of the heart and blood vessels. It plays an important role in making sure that the proper amount of blood flows to our tissues and organs. The study found that passive heat therapy, such as soaking in a hot tub, resulted in increases in endothelium-dependent dilation.

 

Arterial Stiffness

 

Arterial stiffness is generalized as the thickening and stiffening of the arterial wall and is related to high blood pressure or hypertension. The study found that soaking in hot water provided reductions in arterial stiffness.

 

Blood Pressure

 

Blood pressure is the pressure of circulating blood against the walls of blood vessels. High blood pressure causes the heart and blood vessels to work harder and therefore less efficient. Over time, high blood pressure damages the tissues around the arteries and can ultimately lead to a heart attack or stroke. Common treatment plans for high blood pressure include exercise, however, exercise generally has little effect on blood pressure in young individuals. This study observed a significant decrease in resting blood pressure in the test group. Given that heat therapy lowered blood pressure in young individuals, it could become a powerful form of treatment for hypertension.

 

The results of this clinical trial show that heat therapy has widespread effects on vascular function and could be a possible treatment option for improving cardiovascular health in a variety of patient populations, especially those with limited exercise capabilities.

 

*This article is not intended to treat or diagnose any individuals with cardiovascular conditions. The intent is to share research that is being conducted on the possible positive effects of soaking in hot water. We encourage you to speak with your own healthcare provider about what the best plan of action is for your particular needs.

 

Learn more about the study from the University of Oregon here: https://physoc.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1113/JP272453

 

REFERENCES

https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/high-blood-pressure/the-facts-about-high-blood-pressure/what-is-high-blood-pressure

https://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/facts.htm#:~:text=Heart%20disease%20is%20the%20leading,1%20in%20every%204%20deaths.

Hot Tub Meditation

Hot Tub Meditation

What is Meditation?

According to Verywell Mind, “Meditation can be defined as a set of techniques that are intended to encourage a heightened state of awareness and focused attention. Meditation is also a consciousness-changing technique that has been shown to have a wide number of benefits on psychological well-being.”

 

Benefits of Meditation

Practicing meditation regularly has a variety of benefits such as reducing stress levels, providing a way to cope with anxiety, improving mental focus, lengthening your attention span, improving your sleep patterns and even improving your physical health. Many of these benefits overlap with the benefits received from using a spa regularly and overall lead you towards a healthier and happier lifestyle.

One of the most important pieces of meditation is feeling comfortable and relaxed. Your personal hot tub is likely already a comforting place for you. For most people, their hot tub is already an escape from the craziness of everyday life and a place where they can let themselves relax. This quiet and peaceful environment is the perfect place to begin a meditation journey.

Meditating does not have to take up too much of your time. In fact, choosing to meditate for just a couple of minutes in your hot tub is the perfect place to start.

 

Getting Started

In the beginning, keep your jets turned off. The idea is to clear and relax the mind.  The less distractions, the better. Once you start feeling comfortable with your meditation practice, you can turn on the jets and play some soft music. Take care in choosing how you sit during your meditation. Sit in a position where your spine is straight, your chin is gently tilted down, and you feel comfortable and relaxed.

As you begin, close your eyes and relax completely. Take this time just to focus on your breathing. You can even count each breath – Breathe in, breathe out, “one,” Breathe in, breathe out, “two.” Repeat this until you get to ten, and then start back at one. Your mind might wander and that is okay. It is natural for the mind to find new things to focus on, but rather than worrying about the future or fixating on the past, just bring your attention back to your breathing. Breathe in, breathe out, “one.”

Another meditation technique is to do a scan of your body as your settle into your breathing. Start at your toes and mentally take note of how they are feeling. Continue this all the way up to your head. If you find an area that is particularly uncomfortable, tense, or painful, make a mental note of it and move on. The idea of this is not to focus on discomfort, but rather to bring awareness to yourself. Practice directing the breath to any areas of tension and allow your breathing to ease any stress in the body.

Don’t be too hard on yourself as you begin your meditation journey. To begin, just set aside 3 minutes of your time in the hot tub to dedicate towards meditating. As you feel comfortable, you can continue lengthening the time. Please remember that if you have your spa set at a high temperature, it is suggested that you do not stay in it for more than 15 minutes. Turn your temperature down if you plan on spending an extended amount of time in your spa.

Another option would be to listen to a guided meditation in your spa through your Bluetooth speakers. These are many free options and apps that you can use to pick a meditation within a variety of topics. Get everything in order and then climb into your hot tub and relax.

 

In conclusion, practicing meditation is a great activity to add into your daily practices. Meditating while relaxing in your personal spa is an amazing way to take care of yourself, reduce stress levels and improve your mental focus.

 

REFERENCES

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/12-benefits-of-meditation#2.-Controls-anxiety

https://www.nytimes.com/guides/well/how-to-meditate

https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-meditation-2795927