We already know there are things we can do to alter our brain chemistry and give ourselves a good mood boost when we need it most - things like caffeine, alcohol, exercise or sex (but not all at once!)
But did you know that Infrared heat therapy (like Infrared saunas) can have a strong antidepressant effect, and has been found in multiple studies to help people suffering from Major Depressive Disorder? True story.
There are a number of factors that can explain the instant mood boosting effect. American researchers have observed that exposing skin to heat from Infrared lamps mimicked the effect of antidepressants by stimulating the production of serotonin, the hormone linked to mood regulation. In line with this, a researcher from the University of Colorado also noticed a group of serotonin-releasing neurons within our brains that fire up in response to increases in body temperature.
In yet another study, sauna, mud bath, and thermal water were all found to increase the levels of Beta-endorphin (a key reliever of pain and stress within the body).
Infrared saunas also increase blood circulation, boost the immune system and activate processes within our bodies (hello Heat Shock Proteins, our BFFs!) that can help prevent neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. These benefits contribute to our overall physical and mental wellbeing not just in the short term, but over our lifespan.
Our top tips for a mood boosting sauna session:
So, why not give it a go and let us know how you feel?
(Note: If you’re having more than just a bad day, we strongly recommend you chat to your doctor to see what other options could be right for your mental wellbeing)