DEPRESSION: Could Sauna Help or Be Good For It?

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DEPRESSION: Could Sauna Help or Be Good For It?

Depression is a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act. It causes feelings of sadness and/or a loss of interest in activities once enjoyed. It can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems and can decrease a person's ability to function at work and at home. But could something as simple as a sauna session help alleviate these symptoms? Let's delve into the research and find out.

The Science Behind Sauna Therapy

Before we can understand how sauna therapy might help with depression, it's important to understand what happens in our bodies during a sauna session. When we expose our bodies to the high temperatures of a sauna, it triggers a series of physiological responses.

Firstly, our heart rate increases and our blood vessels dilate, improving circulation throughout the body. This increased blood flow delivers more oxygen and nutrients to our cells, promoting healing and regeneration. Additionally, the heat stimulates the release of endorphins, the body's natural 'feel-good' chemicals, which can help to elevate mood.

The Impact on the Brain

Research has shown that regular sauna use can have a significant impact on our brain health. One study found that sauna use increases the production of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a protein that supports the survival of existing neurons and encourages the growth and differentiation of new neurons and synapses. Low levels of BDNF have been linked to depression and other mental health disorders.

Another study found that sauna use can increase the levels of norepinephrine in the brain, a hormone and neurotransmitter that plays a key role in the body's stress response. Norepinephrine can help to improve focus and attention, and has been shown to have antidepressant effects.

Sauna Therapy and Depression

So, how does all this translate to the treatment of depression? Well, there's a growing body of evidence to suggest that sauna therapy could be a promising adjunct treatment for depression.

A study published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research found that patients with major depressive disorder who underwent repeated thermal therapy (using a sauna) experienced a significant reduction in depressive symptoms. The researchers concluded that this form of therapy could be a safe and effective treatment for depression.

Why Might Sauna Therapy Help?

There are several reasons why sauna therapy might help to alleviate symptoms of depression. Firstly, the release of endorphins during a sauna session can help to elevate mood and create a sense of well-being. This can be particularly beneficial for people with depression, who often have low levels of endorphins.

Secondly, the increase in BDNF and norepinephrine can help to support brain health and function, potentially counteracting some of the neurological changes associated with depression.

How to Use Sauna Therapy for Depression

If you're considering using sauna therapy as part of your depression treatment plan, it's important to approach it in the right way. Here are some tips to help you get started:

  1. Consult your doctor: Before starting any new treatment, it's important to consult with your doctor. They can provide advice based on your individual health circumstances and can monitor your progress.
  2. Start slow: If you're new to sauna therapy, it's important to start slow. Begin with shorter sessions and gradually increase the duration as your body adapts.
  3. Stay hydrated: Sauna sessions can lead to significant fluid loss through sweating. It's important to stay well-hydrated before, during and after your sessions.


While more research is needed to fully understand the potential benefits of sauna therapy for depression, the existing evidence is promising. Regular sauna use can trigger a series of physiological responses that may help to alleviate symptoms of depression, including the release of endorphins and the production of BDNF and norepinephrine.

However, it's important to remember that everyone is different and what works for one person may not work for another. If you're considering sauna therapy as part of your depression treatment plan, it's important to consult with your doctor and approach it in a safe and responsible manner.

Remember, there's no shame in seeking help for depression. With the right treatment and support, it's entirely possible to manage your symptoms and improve your quality of life. Don't be afraid to reach out to a healthcare professional if you're struggling - you're not alone, and help is available.

Enhance Your Well-Being with SISU

Embrace the path to a more vibrant and fulfilling life by incorporating SISU saunas into your daily routine. Not only could you potentially alleviate symptoms of depression, but you're also taking a proactive step against the external, internal, and philosophical challenges of aging. With SISU, you're not just investing in a sauna; you're committing to a lifestyle that prioritizes longevity, independence, and quality of life. Don't let the aging process dictate your vitality. Take control and Shop saunas today to embark on a journey towards a healthier, more productive future.