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Mind Blowing Benefits of Saunas Part 2

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Last week Dr. Rob shared some of the crazy health benefits that come with using a sauna. You can learn all about it HERE if you want to catch up!

 

If last week’s tip didn’t convince you to jump right into a sauna, this week’s might. Watch to find out!

 

 

Brain Health

Like Dr. Rob shared, using saunas long term can reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s and Dementia by 65%.   Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor or BDNF for short, is an important hormone in the brain for memory, making new connections in the brain, and even widespread muscle repair. This happens all because of the increased blood flow and heart rate within the body when you get in a sauna. Just like your body, your brain benefits from increased blood flow!

 

Mental Health

If you’re ever sat in a sauna you’ve probably felt the effects of your brain releasing all the feel good hormones like dopamine. But a really cool study found that sitting in a sauna can actually help improve the symptoms of depression! This study found that 1 single session of heat exposure resulted in a 6 WEEK relief of depression symptoms. 

 

Researchers speculate that the anti-depressant effect could be from a hormone called Dynorphin which is released when you are uneasy or uncomfortable – like in a really hot sauna. When your body is removed from the source of the unease your body responds to ‘correct’ the dynorphin release by making your brain more sensitive to feel good endorphins. More studies are being done on the effects of heat exposure on mental health disorders like depression to allow people to have more non-pharmacological treatment options.

 

How Long Should I Sauna?

A typical protocol would be for  20 minutes 3-7 times a week. The more often you do it the more benefit you’ll get! Starting with 15 minute sessions and slowly working up to 20 or 30 minutes at a time should be safe for most adults. If you feel dizzy, unwell, or develop a headache while in a sauna, leave immediately and cool down. Make sure to rehydrate with a couple glasses of water after using a sauna.

 

Saunas are generally considered safe for healthy adults and may be safe for special populations with appropriate medical supervision. If you are worried about the safety of being exposed to high temperatures in a sauna, ask at your next appointment or talk to your medical doctor!

 

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