Saunas and Arthritis
Nordic cultures have a deep running tradition of hot and cold therapy for body wellness. No, we’re not talking about a heating pad followed by an ice pack on a sore joint this method can be cumbersome if your whole body aches. This Nordic tradition does, in fact, consist of full body immersion, and this method of thermotherapy has been shown to reduce joint pain significantly, including Rheumatoid Arthritis.
It starts with a 15-20 minutes session in a sauna and relief begins here. Joints loosen as the joint fluid becomes more supple with penetrating heat therapy like only a Finnleo Sauna can provide. Heat therapy stimulates blood flow and improves circulation, which are both beneficial for joint function. However, joint pain suffers who use only a sauna for therapy can report increased flair ups in inflammation the following day.
For the best results in relief from pain, follow your sauna usage with an immediate cold immersion of the whole body, typically done in a cold shower (though an arctic plunge in winter temperatures outdoors is also effective). The cold water shrinks pores after the toxin eliminating sauna session. It will also increase your heart rate, continuing effective blood circulation throughout your body. Cold therapy reduces inflammation and swelling, especially the following day.
Following a relaxing sauna session with cold immersion also increases adrenaline and endorphins, which further helps to ease pain and improve your mood. Our skin has a high density of cold receptors, which send electrical pulses to the brain, releasing these anti-depressive natural chemicals into our body.
Be sure to follow your hot/cold immersion therapy with relaxation so that your body can fully bask in the wellness effects. While the cold immersion after a relaxing sauna session may not sound entirely pleasant, the effect on sore joints may be well worth the little shiver.