We hope everyone is well and the sanity is in check, these are truly outstanding times we are living in, but we all have successfully survived over two months of lockdown and that is something to be very proud about. Our fight is not over but hopefully the restrictions are phased swimmingly as we can not wait to be back and operating for our community.
We have already started a long rebuilding process, this time more than ever it’s important to know we are all in this together, we are a community, we can “Embrace the Unknown” that is our future together and come out stronger than we were before.
As described by Irish economist, David McWilliams, on one of his recent podcasts “We are living through a Pandession”, we are facing an unique economic struggle which he coined-up the term “Pandession”, describing a new economic crisis specifically associated with a global pandemic. This is nothing like we have experienced before, our community needs to “Embrace the Unknown” during this time of uncertainty and show our resilience in staying positive through the process.
Now of course there has been a huge amount of talk about money in recent weeks, the rebuilding of the Irish economy which is mentioned on the daily, however we must not forget about our own community’s physical and mental health. Not only the Irish economy has been affected by these unfortunate events but also our physical and mental health, it is essential to take care of our health during the rebuilding process. We will build a strong community with our health at the forefront.
Staying positive is huge during this time, for many this is the most time that we have had in a very long time, this is a positive to take out of our current predicament. Please use this gift of time to your advantage by reading a book, learning a new instrument, going for a walk or even a swim!! Sorry we won’t be there to battle the chills of the Irish sea today, but we will be back helping our community on our road to recovery soon.
As soon as we are back up and operational, sauna use can help us get back to where we were, recover our health. Luckily, there is an increasing amount of studies that have highlighted the mental health benefits of sauna. By simulating the skin and underlying tissues of our body with heat through sauna, it can activate serotonin releasing cells in the brain, serotonin of course is the neurotransmitter responsible for enhanced feelings of well-being and happiness. Sauna use can also stimulate increased levels of blood flow through vasodilation, allowing the brain to have a healthy supply of oxygenated blood to function properly.
One study reported significant improvement in reduced depression in users through regular sauna treatment. Another study found that there was a significant reduction in anxiety, improved stress relief, and mood enhancement after just one visit to the sauna. A longitudinal Finnish study found that sauna use can help reduce the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, furthermore by taking part in two to three sauna sessions per week in comparison to one sauna session per week, users experienced dramatically fewer symptoms of dementia.
The scientific evidence is backed up through surveying sauna users, their primary motivation to use the sauna is for relaxation and stress relief, the sauna users reporting improved health benefits especially around mental health and wellbeing.
As the evidence suggests, saunas can be highly beneficial to us all. These benefits are just the tip of the iceberg, head over to our health benefits section of our website to find out more, or sit tight and we will have plenty more health related blogs in store for the future.
Remember we are all in this together, one community, let’s “Embrace the Unknown”, and as always Fad Saoil!
Find some lovely referenced material below:
Hayasaka, S., et al. (2008) ‘Effects of charcoal kiln saunas (Jjimjilbang) on psychological states’, Complementary therapies in clinical practice, 14(2), pp. 143-148.
Hussain, J. N., Greaves, R. F. and Cohen, M. M. (2019) ‘A hot topic for health: Results of the Global Sauna Survey’, Complementary therapies in medicine, 44, pp. 223-234.
Laukkanen, T., et al. (2017) ‘Sauna bathing is inversely associated with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease in middle-aged Finnish men’, Age and Ageing, 46(2), pp. 245-249.
Masuda, A., et al. (2005) ‘Repeated thermal therapy diminishes appetite loss and subjective complaints in mildly depressed patients’, Psychosomatic Medicine, 67(4), pp. 643-647.