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It is not known through what mechanisms sauna may generate health benefits. Sauna is a type of hormetic thermotherapy. Exposure to high heat generates heat shock proteins, which induce mitochondrial biogenesis and have been linked to the regeneration of synapses. It also induces the creation of endorphins, which may reduce pain, and improves circulation.

Sauna was found to be beneficial for antihistamine-resistant urticaria, an autoimmune disease.[1]

A 2015 study found that frequent sauna usage lowered men's risk of fatal cardiovascular disease and premature death from other causes. The study's conclusion reports, "Increased frequency of sauna bathing is associated with a reduced risk of SCD, CHD, CVD, and all-cause mortality. Further studies are warranted to establish the potential mechanism that links sauna bathing and cardiovascular health."[2]

A case study of two patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) found dramatic improvement in self-reported fatigue, pain, sleep disturbance, and low-grade fever after daily use for 35 days.[3]

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References[edit | edit source]

  1. Magen, Eli (March 2014), "Beneficial effect of sauna therapy on severe antihistamine-resistant chronic urticaria", The Israel Medical Association journal: IMAJ, 16 (3): 182–183, ISSN 1565-1088, PMID 24761711
  2. "Association between sauna bathing and fatal cardiovascular and all-cause mortality events". NCBI NIH.
  3. Masuda, Akinori (April 2005). "The effects of repeated thermal therapy for two patients with chronic fatigue syndrome". Journal of psychosomatic research. 58: 383–387.

National Institutes of Health (NIH) - A set of biomedical research institutes operated by the U.S. government, under the auspices of the Department of Health and Human Services.

somatic symptom disorder A psychiatric term to describe an alleged condition whereby a person's thoughts somehow cause physical symptoms. The actual existence of such a condition is highly controversial, due to a lack of scientific evidence. It is related to other psychiatric terms, such as "psychosomatic", "neurasthenia", and "hysteria". Older terms include "somatization", "somatoform disorder", and "conversion disorder". Such terms refer to a scientifically-unsupported theory that claims that a wide range of physical symptoms can be created by the human mind, a theory which has been criticized as "mind over matter" parapsychology, a pseudoscience. Although "Somatic Symptom Disorder" is the term used by DSM-5, the term "Bodily Distress Disorder" has been proposed for ICD-11. (Learn more:

The information provided at this site is not intended to diagnose or treat any illness.
From MEpedia, a crowd-sourced encyclopedia of ME and CFS science and history.