Parkinson’s help: The healing power of infrared sauna therapy

Parkinson’s help: The healing power of infrared sauna therapy

More than a million Americans are living with Parkinson's Disease, a complex neurodegenerative disorder that not only affects movement and motor function but also can profoundly impact quality of life and everyday activities. From the tremors and muscle stiffness to the emotional toll it takes, it can sometimes feel difficult to manage day-to-day activities.

There is no cure for Parkinson’s Disease. Cutting-edge medications and treatments can help alleviate symptoms, while physical and occupational therapies can help people manage day-to-day tasks.  

However, complementary therapies play a crucial role in supporting the physical, emotional, and mental well-being of people with Parkinson’s. And research shows that incorporating infrared sauna therapy can be particularly beneficial for those trying to manage the symptoms of the disease. 

Demystifying Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson's Disease is a chronic and progressive movement disorder that primarily affects the dopamine-producing neurons in the brain. These neurons play a crucial role in controlling movement, and their degeneration leads to the characteristic motor symptoms of Parkinson’s, such as tremors, rigidity, and bradykinesia (slowed movement).

The exact cause of Parkinson's Disease remains unclear, but it is believed to involve a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Mutations in specific genes, exposure to certain toxins or pesticides, and aging are thought to contribute to the development.

While nearly 90,000 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with Parkinson’s each year, there’s so much more to understand about the disease. Despite ongoing research and medical advancements, Parkinson's Disease continues to be shrouded in misconceptions and myths that can impact how individuals perceive and manage the condition.

Parkinson's Disease only affects older adults 

Many people associate Parkinson’s with the aging process. And though the average age at diagnosis is 60 years old, Parkinson’s can occur at any age. About 2 percent of people living with Parkinson’s were diagnosed before they turned age 40.

Parkinson's Disease is purely a motor disorder 

Tremors and balance issues are among the cardinal symptoms of Parkinsons. However, the condition is also associated with a wide range of non-motor symptoms, including mood changes, cognitive impairment, sleep disturbances, and autonomic dysfunction. These non-motor symptoms can significantly impact quality of life and should not be overlooked.

Parkinson's Disease is the same for everyone

The primary symptoms of Parkinson's Disease are stiffness, tremors, and slowness of movement. But while these are often the most visible, it does not mean that everyone has these symptoms — or that everyone experiences the symptoms in the same way. In fact, the way the symptoms progress and response to treatment can vary widely among individuals. Some might find a rapid change in symptoms while, in others, it might take decades.

Understanding infrared sauna therapy

Infrared sauna therapy involves the use of infrared light to heat the body directly, as opposed to heating the surrounding air like traditional saunas. This gentle form of heat penetrates deeply into the body, promoting a range of health benefits, including pain relief, improved circulation, and detoxification.

Infrared saunas produce three types of infrared wavelengths: near, mid, and far-infrared. Each type of wavelength penetrates the body to different depths, producing various therapeutic effects. 

Near-Infrared waves are absorbed just below the surface of the skin, promoting cell regeneration, wound healing, and skin rejuvenation. Mid-infrared waves penetrate deeper into the body and increase circulation, improve muscle recovery, and reduce inflammation. The deepest penetrating wavelength, far-infrared, induces sweating, detoxification, and relaxation while also stimulating the cardiovascular system.

Michael Phelp Sweaty GOAT Saunas by Master Spas feature a hybrid heating system, which delivers full spectrum infrared therapy. There are three different types of heaters, and each is thoughtfully placed to deliver targeted therapy to the areas you need it most. 

This premium line of saunas has a temperature range of 80 degrees to 160 degrees, allowing you to customize your sauna experience.

Benefits of infrared sauna therapy include circulation, pain relief, relaxation, skin health, and detoxification. 


Benefits of sauna therapy for Parkinson’s Disease

Beyond its general wellness benefits, infrared sauna therapy holds particular promise for people living with Parkinson’s disease.

Through its gentle heat, which encourages relaxation, improved circulation, and detoxification, infrared sauna therapy has the potential to significantly enhance the overall quality of life for those affected by Parkinson’s. While it's important to note that infrared sauna therapy is not a cure for Parkinson’s disease, it can serve as a valuable complement to traditional treatment approaches.

Reduced muscle pain and stiffness

One of the cardinal symptoms of Parkinson’s disease is muscle stiffness, which can be painful and limiting. Many people who are living with the condition describe it as tightness in the limbs, and it can occur on one side of the body or both. This stiffness can lead to decreased range of motion and joint pain. 

While saunas are known for their intense heat, this warmth can be incredibly beneficial. Infrared saunas, in particular, offer a unique advantage by gently relaxing tight muscles, alleviating tension and stiffness. Moreover, these sessions promote enhanced circulation, further helping to reduce muscle soreness. For people with Parkinson’s, regular sauna sessions can improve mobility and make movement more comfortable.

Improved circulation and brain function

Parkinson’s is a neurodegenerative disease, and people with the disease not only experience motor decline but cognitive symptoms. Medications such as dopamine replacement drug therapy can help slow the progression of the disease.

But emerging research shows that near infrared therapy can also help with the progression of the disease by preserving cellular health. 

In addition, the gentle heat generated by infrared saunas like the Sweaty GOAT can stimulate circulation and promote blood flow throughout the body, including the brain. This improved circulation can support overall brain health and function.

Stress relief

It can be hard to avoid the stress of daily life — traffic, work, life changes can trigger a stress response. However, for people Living with Parkinson’s, managing the disease is stressful in itself. 

And that stress only exacerbates symptoms of Parkinson’s. People report that they notice stress can worsen their tremors, muscle stiffness, and involuntary movements. In addition, stress can also lead to increased feelings of depression and anxiety. 

According to research, more than 80 percent of people experienced increased tremors when under stress. In addition, people with Parkinson’s under higher levels of stress reported worse disease severity on a daily basis.

It’s important for people with Parkinsons’ to find ways to manage stress. Infrared sauna therapy has been shown to promote relaxation and reduce stress levels by triggering the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good hormones. 

Better sleep

Sleep plays a significant role in your overall health. Without good sleep, both your physical and mental well-being can suffer. Poor sleep can affect your heart health, mood, memory, and ability to make decisions. 

But achieving good sleep can feel easier said than done — especially for those people with Parkinson’s. According to data, more than 75 percent of patients experience problems sleeping. Among the sleep-related issues are insomnia, excessive sleepiness, and restless legs syndrome. 

While some medications can help with sleep disorders, infrared sauna sessions can promote a better night’s rest. Infrared saunas emit heat that can help regulate the body's internal temperature and promote a more balanced circadian rhythm, leading to improved sleep quality. Additionally, the relaxation induced by the sauna's heat can alleviate muscle tension and stress, further contributing to a more restful sleep experience for individuals with Parkinson's disease.

Parkinson’s Disease presents unique challenges, affecting not only movement but also quality of life. While there is no cure, innovative therapies offer hope in managing its symptoms. Among these, infrared sauna therapy emerges as a promising complementary approach. By addressing muscle stiffness, improving circulation, relieving stress, and promoting better sleep, infrared saunas like the Sweaty GOAT offer tangible benefits for individuals living with Parkinson's. 

Best infrared sauna for home use

Do you want to enjoy the benefits of sauna therapy without having to book an appointment at a spa or share space at a gym? Having a Michael Phelps Sweaty GOAT Sauna allows you to realize the benefits of sauna therapy. You can click here to find out more about the benefits of incorporating a Michael Phelps Sweaty GOAT sauna into your routine. Rejuvenate your wellness routine today!