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Can Saunas Help Chronic Headache Sufferers

Infrared Light Bathing For Headache Relief

Recently, studies suggest that individuals living with chronic cluster headaches, from tension, sinus, and migraines benefit from regular sauna bathing with clinically significant results. Moreover, research suggests that the specific benefits of broad-spectrum infrared sauna therapy can greatly reduce the expression of painful and debilitating headaches for individuals who had once experienced episodic chronic cluster headaches.

Everyone at some point in their life will experience some type of pain in the head; at times it can be difficult to describe the discomfort that occurs. There are as many different causes for headaches as there are types of headaches.

According to Harvard Health Publishing, medical professionals are beginning to define the type of headache less, and more recently have begun to diagnose headaches along a continuum:

“Symptoms of headaches fall along a continuum ordered by their characteristics: the occasional tension headache is at one end and the migraine headache is at the other. In between are chronic daily headaches, which can start with features typical of either tension or migraine headache.”

Can Sauna Bathing Really Reduce The Frequency Of Headaches: The Clinical Data

According to a revelatory study conducted by Giresh Kanji and his team of researchers that was published by the US National Institute Of Health (NCBI):

“Regular sauna bathing is a simple, self-directed treatment that is effective for reducing headache pain intensity in CTTH (Chronic tension-like headaches).”

In this study a group of 37 individuals who all suffered with chronic tension headaches, meaning at least 15 episodes of headaches per month, were divided into two groups. The control group was exposed to educational material and advice pertaining to their headaches, while the intervention group received the same advice and attended a sauna regularly over a period of eight weeks.

By the end of the study an assessment was made of both groups, the symptom relief afforded the intervention group was overwhelmingly positive in contrast to the control group that did not participate in regular sauna bathing. The intervention group experienced fewer disturbances in sleep, depression, and painful cluster headaches.

infrared sauna headache help

So, what happens in a sauna to create overwhelmingly positive results for individuals living with chronic headaches?

A cascade of biochemical changes flood the body during sauna bathing, affecting the circulatory system, the autonomic nervous system, brain wave expression, and the cardiovascular system. Understanding the transmutation of physiological expression will reveal the impact that regular heat therapy can have for individuals living with chronic headaches.

Why Does Sauna Bathing Bring Relief To Headache Sufferers: The Cascade Of Biochemical Changes

  •   Improved Circulation
  •   Transference Of The Autonomic Nervous System
  •    Endorphin Secretion
  •   Brain Waves Transfer From High Beta To Alpha

The use of over the counter painkillers to numb headaches is effective in reducing the experience of symptoms, ultimately though, this action does not address underlying issues that may be causing the chronic headaches: Namely, states of stress response.

The atmospheric heat rendered within any type of sauna creates an increase in internal temperatures. As with any heat therapy, heart rate is increased, blood vessels expand, and the brain begins to release endorphins similar to those experienced during moderate exercise. All of these factors render the muscular system of the body relaxed, thereby releasing any tension that may be held, particularly through the jaw, neck, and upper back. As tension is released, so too is the primary cause of tension headaches in many individuals.

Expressed states of physical stress can all be linked back to the autonomic nervous system. When the body is in states of survival, either from external threats emanating from contextual life, pathogens in the air, or from ongoing internal infection, both the body and brain are on high alert. This means that all energy is directed and projected outside of the body to survive, rather than inward toward healing and nourishment. Muscles contract and hug close to the skeletal system, over a prolonged period of time, this action evolves into chronic tension that can be a contributing causative factor in chronic headaches.

If individuals can relax, the autonomic nervous system will transfer back to a parasympathetic state where cellular rejuvenation can occur, and where blood flow is improved. Muscles release their grip on the skeletal structure and tension is eased out from significant muscle groups thus rendering both the muscular and skeletal structure relaxed. Moreover, this state of being has hugely positive effects on brain wave activity.

While resting in the atmospheric heat of a sauna, the body will begin naturally, through no effort, to move back to states of relaxation and regeneration. As this occurs there is a significant change in brain wave activity. In general, as individuals move throughout their day at work, or tending to household demands, the brain is in beta waves, higher activity. This means that energy and perception is directed out of the body, and in general this is an effective state for the brain to be in to accomplish tasks and take in new information.

can infrared sauna help headache

In order to fall asleep brain waves must move from beta, to alpha, to theta, and eventually into delta for deep states of sleep. As the autonomic nervous system relaxes under the influence of heat from the sauna, this influences the brain to drop from beta to alpha waves, as this occurs the muscular system begins to ease into relaxation.

When brain waves are slower, muscles relax, sleep is improved, and headaches begin to express with less and less frequency and intensity. It is imperative for individuals who suffer with chronic headaches to find a means by which to transfer the autonomic nervous system out of stress response back into states of rest and relaxation where full body tension can be released.

Instead of popping over the counter painkillers, individuals who turn to sauna bathing to treat chronic headaches experience, not only temporary symptom relief, but also address the deep underlying issue surrounding headaches: Stress.

Why Choose Broad-Spectrum Infrared Sauna Bathing To Resolve Headaches?

  •      Increased Oxygenation Of The Cells
  •      Improved Neurotransmitter Release (Dopamine, Beta-Endorphins and Serotonin)
  •       Detoxification From Harmful Substances
  •   Release Of Muscular Tension
  •       Deeper States Of Restful Sleep
  •       Natural Opioid

The unique quality and attributes of the infrared spectrum has a strong influence on the workings of the brain and also strongly affects the production of neurotransmitters. The production of dopamine, beta-endorphins, and serotonin is important in treating headaches of all kinds because these neurotransmitters have a natural opioid effect.

With regular exposure to the infrared light spectrum, within the isolated chambers of a sauna, powerfully increases the production of neurotransmitters. Not only, do these mighty brain messengers reduce the experience of pain, they allow for sleep to come with greater ease. Serotonin is necessary for sleep because it is within the pineal gland that serotonin is converted into melatonin. Melatonin allows the body to maintain a natural circadian rhythm. If serotonin levels are low, melatonin levels will be low also and effectively sleep will be disrupted.

Where there is a lack of restful sleep, tension in the body increases and therefore the frequency and intensity of headaches also is augmented.

Toxins existing within the body from heavy metals, lactic acid, to harmful bacterial infection, can cause a stress response that influences the autonomic nervous system. This ultimately keeps the mind on high alert. Infrared sauna therapy increases the internal temperature of the body and this causes a voluminous secretion of perspiration. As pores open up to release sweat, within the sweat is carried many potentially harmful internal toxins. When the body is carrying less of a toxic load, the body will naturally drop back into states of relaxation and therefore headache reduction will follow suit!

Finally, the unique quality of the relationship between the near, mid, and far infrared light serves to activate the mitochondria within every cell of the body, ultimately this serves to oxygenate the blood stream and improve circulation.

With regular infrared sauna bathing, individuals can expect to severely alter their experience of headaches, including the frequency, duration, and intensity.

Regular Infrared Sauna Bathing May Positively Impact Individuals With Chronic Headaches, BUT You Must Hydrate

The positive impact of regular broad-spectrum infrared sauna therapy on headaches is truly astounding, however due to the rate of prolific sweating that occurs, these benefits can only be enjoyed if you stay well hydrated.

This means drinking plenty of healthy water before (at least 24 hours prior), during, and after your sauna sessions. It is important to fuel up on water with high mineral content, coconut water, and even some juices lower in sugar.

If the body is not properly hydrated in preparation for sauna bathing, the aim of headache reduction becomes counter intuitive. If you are looking toward sauna bathing as a means to treat chronic headaches be mindful to fuel the body before, during, and after each session with plenty of healthy water.

Find Relief For Chronic Headaches With Regular Infrared Sauna Therapy

Living with chronic headaches are debilitating, painful, and sadly can interfere with the enjoyment of life, as these excruciating symptoms can keep individuals from participating in everyday activities.

Chronic headaches require more than a Band-Aid solution: Headaches occurring regularly are a cry for help from the body. Ultimately finding a solution that addresses the underlying causes of headaches will ensure vitality, health, and well being for individuals over the course of their lifetime.

There is now enough clinically significant data that demonstrates sauna bathing as an effective tool to treat causative factors contributing to chronic headaches.

Take back your life, and bathe yourself in the healing rays of infrared light. Begin to enjoy your career, family, and friends as you carve out a new future unencumbered by the debilitating effects of chronic headaches.


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