The question, “Are Saunas Good for the Brain?” was asked in a recent The New York Times piece that looked into a study linking regular sauna use to the reduced possibility of contracting Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. But what could sweating it out in a wooden hot box have to do with brain function? It turns out, maybe a lot.
According to the Times, the study conducted by Finnish researchers looked at the medical records of over 2,000 men between the ages of 42 and 60 and tracked their health over 20 years. During that time, 204 of the men were diagnosed with dementia and 123 were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.
The study looked at various factors including alcohol intake, blood pressure, and diabetes, and found that men who indulged in the popular Finnish pastime of sauna bathing had a 66 percent lower risk for dementia and a 65 percent lower risk for Alzheimer’s disease than men who used the sauna just once a week.
So what could it be about indulging in the warmth of a traditional sauna treatment that helps protect the brain from these debilitating diseases?
According to the study’s senior author, Jari Antero Laukkanen, the well-documented health benefits of sauna bathing include the overall reduction of inflammation, lower blood pressure, and better vascular function which can all help to keep our brains strong and functioning properly.
Additional mental benefits of sauna use such as stress relief and overall calmness and clarity are both directly beneficial to the brain. Sauna use can also help rid the body of toxins, promote weight loss, and boost the immune system.
Is a regular visit to the sauna worth a try? We say yes, anything that feels good and is good for you gets a tick of approval from the spa experts.
With the new year upon us, overall wellness and self-love should be on the top of everyone’s resolution list. So why not give that brain a boost and try out a sauna session or two for yourself? Come in for a visit and enjoy some relaxation in our Russian River Rock Sauna or our Traditional Swedish Dry Sauna or sign up for a Wet Lounge membership to get all the benefits of unlimited use.