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Frequent Sauna Bathing can Lower the Risk for Strokes and Cardiovascular Disease

Sauna of Kapelo wilderness house at Sorsua creek in Utajärvi, Finland

The use of water in its various forms: steam, water or ice, internally or externally, in various temperatures to treat diseases is called hydrotherapy and has been around for thousands of years.

Sauna Bathing and Strokes

A study published in the Neurology journal May 2, 2018, from the University of Eastern Finland shows that taking regular frequent sauna baths can lower the risk for strokes. Sauna bathing with 10-20% humidity is very popular in Finland and many people have sauna baths in their homes.

Participants in the study were 1,628 men and women aged 53 to 74 years living in the eastern part of Finland who had never had a stroke. The participants were divided into three groups and were followed for 15 years. The first group consisted of people who took a sauna bath once a week. The second group took a sauna bath two to three times a week and the third group took a sauna bath four to seven times a week.

Most Frequent Sauna Bathing Associated with Lowest Risk for Strokes

Results of the study showed that the more often the bathers took a sauna bath the lower was the risk for stroke. Those who took a sauna bath 6-7 times a week had a 61% less chance of getting a stroke. There was no difference in the results for men or women. The results for ischemic strokes were better than the results for hemorrhaging or bleeding strokes possibly because hemorrhagic strokes are less common.

Sauna Bathing Associated with Decrease from Cardiovascular and All Cause Deaths

An earlier KIHD study at the University of Eastern Finland showed that frequent sauna bathing was associated with a decrease in cardiovascular deaths as well as deaths from any cause. Sauna bathing is also associated with decreased CRP inflammation, a lower risk for respiratory diseases and Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

Sauna Bathing Lowers Blood Pressure

A study published in January, 2018 showed that 30 minutes in the sauna lowered blood pressure, and increased vascular compliance. It also increased the heart rate, which is similar to what happens during physical medium to intense exercise. Research also shows that sauna bathing stimulates the immune system, has a positive impact on the autonomic nervous system, and improves cardiovascular function.

Sauna Bathing has Beneficial Effect on Stiffness of Arterial Wall

Another recent experimental study by the same group of scientists also showed that sauna bathing can have a beneficial effect on stiffness of the arterial wall, which in turn, influences blood pressure and cardiac function parameters.

More about Strokes

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), stroke is a leading cause of death and disability in the United States. About 800,000 American adults experience a stroke each year. Approximately six million stroke survivors live in the United States.

Stroke Rehabilitation

Participation in stroke rehabilitation, which takes place in various settings, usually beginning in the hospital, has been determined to reduce getting another stroke and also improves function and quality of life.

Ditmas Park Rehab and Care

The Ditmas Park Rehab and Care Center in Brooklyn NY, a 5-star rehab is known for its expertise in stroke rehabilitation. Their highly trained team of doctors, nurses and specialists work with the patient based on his or her individual needs to help regain as much restoration of function as possible and they also do everything to keep up the patient’s morale.

Brroklyn Hospitals near Ditmas Park Rehab and Care

New York Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital

NYU Langone Hospital—Brooklyn (formerly named NYU Lutheran Medical Center)

SUNY Downstate Medical Center – University Hospital of Brooklyn

NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County

Maimonides Medical Center


Frequent sauna bathing may be a non-pharmacological way to deal with lowering high blood pressure without some of the harmful side effects of blood pressure lowering drugs


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