Want to Learn to be Relaxed?
We live in a world that is in constant motion and activity – the opposite of relaxation. Can you relate? The real problem with this is that the body often does not shut down this constant state of alertness.
The state of being always in alert mode is known as sympathetic. This is commonly known as the fight or flight syndrome. The body and mind are always thinking a tiger is chasing you and you need to remain vigilant at all times.
Over time, staying in this highly alert mode not only wears the body down, but it can drain the adrenals. Adrenalin is used for what should be normal easy going tasks. Over time cortisol levels can be extremely elevated as a result.
Can infrared saunas offer any help? Yes. Firstly, they can help by simply relaxing the body.
This simple process occurs as the warm infrared waves penetrate the body and begin warming the muscles. Relaxation is the obvious result. This is helpful for not only athletes but also for those who have just completed simple exercise. The penetrating infrared relaxes at a deep tissue level.
As the following article from chicagonow.com points out, it only requires a short amount of time for this process to start. At least 10 minutes is required but 10-20 minutes is an adequate time to benefit:
10 Reasons Sweating Benefits You
Short periods of time, usually 15 minutes, in heat (steam room, bath, sauna) relax the body, turning on the parasympathetic nervous system. This relaxation settles the body down and reduces cortisol levels. Cortisol is a stress hormone that promotes belly fat if not kept in check. HIIT and relaxation usually don’t happen on their own. Take time to build them into your schedule and reap the benefits in sweat. 10 Reasons Sweating Benefits You
We can see that simple relaxation is prompted by heath therapy. But infrared saunas can promote relaxation at a much deeper level than this simple muscle warming. They can stimulate the mind’s quiet mode.
This is particularly helpful for those of us whose minds are constantly thinking and analyzing. This is what will allow us to move out of that fight or flight sympathetic mode and into the beneficial parasympathetic state. This is caused by numerous factors as the following points out:
The answer is it is due to a combination of factors about the sauna that combine very powerfully. Alone, none would be so potent, but together they are awesome. The factors are:
1. Sweating. It occur during exercise, a sympathetic activity. However, sweating itself tends to be parasympathetic, meaning it requires activation of parasympathetic nerves for it to take place.
2. Moving blood from the center to the periphery of the body. The sympathetic nervous system moves and keeps the blood congested in the internal organs. The sauna powerfully moves blood to the periphery of the body, so that the body can release some heat at the skin. This is a parasympathetic effect.
10. Praying, meditating or listening to quiet music has a parasympathetic effect. While this is not a feature of the sauna itself, many people pray, meditate or listen to quiet music in the sauna… http://drlwilson.com/articles/SAUNA,%20PARSYMPATH.htm
As just mentioned, one of the primary ways the body is moved to this calm state is due to blood flow. Similar to exercise, the increased heat will begin moving blood from the center of the body to the outside – the skin. Blood is also moved to the lungs.
Both of these are partially a result of the body’s attempt to cool itself. After 10 minutes or so in the heat, the body can no longer cool itself from the increased air temperature. The core body temperature then begins to rise 1-3 degrees.
It then begins the further oxygenation of the blood, forcing it to the outer areas of the body. Heart rate increases and you may actually feel a little sluggish or tired at this stage of the heat therapy session.
Heat Therapy and the Truth About How It Helps With Adrenal Fatigue
Strengthening of the parasympathetic nervous system also relieves blood stagnation, chronic sympathetic stimulation due to stress, forces more blood into the internal organs as part of the fight or flight response.
When blood stagnates in these systems, internal metabolites build up, impaired circulation is the norm as well as the new tissue of the organs become compromised. Phase 1 sauna is therefore particularly suitable for those with advanced AFS.
Those in advanced stages of AFS may find this phase of heat therapy most revitalizing. Because most sufferers of advanced AFS (stage 3 and beyond) are in a state of sympathetic dominance, the body tends to be flooded in a sea of epinephrine and norepinephrine. The autonomic nervous system (ANS) is invariably imbalanced as AFS progresses.
The resting heart rate is usually above 80 beats per minute (normal is 72-76). In addition, many people are presented with unpleasant symptoms such as postural hypotension, dizziness, heart palpitation with slight exposure to stress that can be physical or emotional; a sense of anxiety is also common.
Phase 1 of sauna therapy often leads to a sense of calm and tranquility, provided that the duration is acceptable to the body. Heat Therapy and the Truth About How It Helps With Adrenal Fatigue
Infrared saunas have many benefits that include a temporary relaxation of the muscles and body. But the long term benefit of remaining in a calmer state is one of the best effects it will have for you.
You you may feel a strong relaxation during the first 10-15 minutes of a session. After this point, you will feel more invigorated and perhaps tired as stated. It may seem counter-intuitive, however this is actually training the body to remember being in the parasympathetic state. Over time you will actually be training yourself and your mind to remain in this calm state. Nice, huh?
Sweaty-woman-drinking-water-300×207.jpg photo credit chicagonow.com
a-sauna-adrenal-fatigue-2525-1.jpg photo credit drlam.com
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