Finland is the land of a thousand lakes and a million saunas! Unbelievable but true, Finland is a land of 5.3 million people and 3.3 million saunas. Saunas can be found in homes, offices, hotels, factories ships and even in underground mines.
Why is the sauna so popular? – because according to the Finns, “a Sauna is a poor man’s pharmacy!”. Yes and this has been endorsed by neurologists that Saunas reduce the risk of stroke. How? Let us take a look.
Do Saunas help to reduce the risks of stroke?
A stroke is an emergency medical condition where the blood supply to the brain may be temporarily or permanently cut off, proving it fatal. Brain stroke symptoms like the face drooping on one side, a weak arm, slurred speech etc. Such risks of a stroke can be voided by regularly relaxing in a sauna.
Researchers from the University of Bristol in the UK studied 1628 patients of average age 63, for 15 years. None of these patients had suffered earlier from a stroke. They were questioned regularly on their lifestyle habits like their alcohol intake, exercise, weekly saunas etc. After 10 years, the results published in the Neurology proved to be an eye-opener.
- In that decade, 155 people had suffered from a stroke.
- Those who take one sauna per week had a rate of 8.1strokes/1000 person-years.
- For those who took 2-3 saunas, the rate dropped to 7.4.
- But those who took 4-6 saunas were the luckiest with the lowest rate of 2.8
- To sum up, patients who took 4-7 saunas a week suffered 60% less from stroke than those with one per week.
How do Saunas help to reduce the risks of stroke?
Saunas help to reduce the risks of a stroke by
- lowering the blood pressure
- decreasing inflammation
- reducing arterial stiffness
- enhancing blood flow.
All this is achieved in a Sauna by increasing the temperature of the body and make the person sweat it out. Sweating is the best way to cool the body and eliminate toxins, excess salts and waste from the body.
Stroke Prevention tips
With age, declining health increases the chances of a stroke. Here are some Stroke Prevention tips to help you combat this ailment better.
- Lower blood pressure by reducing salt in your diet to about half a teaspoon a day.
- Avoid fatty foods like cheese, ice cream and burgers.
- Abstain from smoking and drinking.
- Eat fruits and vegetables every day along with whole grains and low-fat dairy.
- Reduce weight by limiting intake to 2000 calories a day.
- Increase exercise
- Check for atrial fibrillation if you experience breathlessness or heart palpitations.
- Keep blood sugar under control.
- Identify the warning signs of a stroke like drooping face, slurring speech and limp arms and rush to the doctor immediately.
Stroke Support Programs
Almost 25% of the patients who suffered a stroke experience Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). After recovering from a stroke attack, the patient feels disoriented and depressed and unable to continue life normally. This is called PTSD and is characterized by constant nightmares and flashbacks, persisting anxiety and fear, insomnia etc. Stroke victims also feel depressed and lonely after the attack and can be greatly helped by Stroke Support Programs .
Stroke Support Programs enable stroke survivors to interact with stroke patients and share their experiences. This helps the stroke victims to connect with the situation and helps them to cope with the consequences of stroke efficiently.
Stroke is a sudden medical emergency that disables a person’s life. Let us help stroke patients handle life better through our awareness and understanding.