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The Endorphin Boost: Unveiling the 6-8 Week Post Sauna Session Magic

‘Endorphins’ 

If you have encountered anyone that has adopted the thermalist lifestyle and they haven’t said this buzz word yet, chances are… they themselves are not confident enough knowing what the hell endorphins are and why are they worth bragging about (especially when it comes to the hot and cold to trigger such production of these beautiful pursuits of happiness)

In the pursuit of well-being, many have discovered the incredible benefits of regular sauna sessions. Beyond the immediate relaxation and stress relief, there’s a phenomenon that enthusiasts often speak of—an endorphin boost that seems to linger for weeks after the sauna session. In this blog post, we’ll explore the science (briefly) behind why our endorphins are triggered to produce this magical effect even as long as up to  6-8 weeks post-sauna!

Understanding Endorphins:

Endorphins, often referred to as the body’s natural feel-good chemicals, are neurotransmitters produced by the central nervous system and pituitary gland. They play a crucial role in reducing pain and triggering positive feelings. It is crucial for us to consistently do things that trigger our bodies to help produce ,relieve and release  these messages from our nervous system (hypothalamus part of the brain and pituitary gland) circulated around our blood stream where they interact with receptors in various organs and tissues to produce their effects.

In our modern day society we often struggle to allocate time.’

Time to do the things you know you want to do , time to do the things you know you have to do and time to do things you know you should be doing.Whether it be for yourself, your friends, your health, the allocation of time is a skill that will never be mastered, but can always be improved. We find ourselves having to ‘block off time’ , ‘put it in the calendar’  to remind ourselves to do the things you know you want to do, but for some reason, you have an internal guilt  for doing these endorphin producing activities like,running, cycling, yoga, pilates, a sauna session, a cold immersion, that can stimulate these endorphin releases. Having a better understanding of what these pockets of happiness can do can allow you to understand how imperative it is to put time aside for such activities. For the purpose of this blog tho we are going to focus on the effects the sauna can have and the potential reasoning behind the long lasting effects it can have on the body and mind. 

Immediate Effects of Sauna Sessions:

Sauna sessions are known for their immediate benefits, including improved circulation, muscle relaxation, and stress reduction. The heat from the sauna induces a state of mild stress on the body, prompting the release of endorphins as a natural pain-relief response. This is the first wave of endorphins that contribute to the euphoric feeling post-sauna.

Post-Sauna Endorphin Residual Effect:

The lingering endorphin boost experienced 6-8 weeks after a sauna session is a fascinating phenomenon. While the acute release of endorphins during the session contributes to immediate well-being, the residual effects suggest a more complex and long-lasting impact on the body.

Hormesis and Adaptation:

The concept of hormesis may hold the key to understanding the prolonged endorphin release post-sauna. Hormesis is a biological phenomenon where exposure to mild stressors induces adaptive responses that result in improved health and resilience. Sauna sessions, by subjecting the body to heat stress, may trigger hormetic responses, causing the body to adapt and enhance its ability to manage stress over time. The body adapts in a heated environment by simply dumping sweat onto your skin to allow itself to cool down and to stay in that particular environment or that current state the mind or body is in. This adaptation occurs when the body’s limit is reached and neurotransmitters will send signals to the specific systems that are needed to kick in to help acclimatise. The more you expose your body to this eu stress (literally meaning good stress) the better its capability in ‘staying calm in the chaos’. 

Endorphin Release as a Protective Mechanism:

It’s plausible that the body, perceiving the heat stress during sauna sessions as a potential threat, responds by releasing endorphins not only for immediate relief but also as a protective mechanism. The sustained endorphin release in the following weeks could be the body’s way of maintaining a heightened state of resilience and well-being.

Conclusion:

The 6-8 week post-sauna endorphin boost remains a captivating aspect of the sauna experience. While more research is needed to fully understand the underlying mechanisms, it’s clear that sauna sessions go beyond immediate relaxation—they may contribute to a sustained sense of well-being through the complex interplay of endorphins, hormesis, and the body’s remarkable adaptive responses. As you continue your sauna journey, relish in the knowledge that the benefits extend far beyond the walls of the sauna itself.

As always,

Fad Saoil x

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