For us, learning about alternative remedies for treating common conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA), is exciting. Here at BodyQuirks, we have found that in addition to massage, far infrared sauna therapy and dietary supplements (such as turmeric) can make a big difference in reducing pain for our clients that suffer from RA.
What is a far infrared sauna?
Known for its deep penetrative heat and superior detoxification properties, far infrared (FIR) saunas have long been used to relieve pain and stress and to treat a variety of health issues including rheumatoid arthritis. Different than the steam saunas of old, the far infrared heats your tissues 1.5 to 2 inches in depth, stimulating the body’s cellular detoxification process, enhancing circulation, metabolism and oxygenating your tissues. All of this is accomplished through the use of far infrared light, a section of the natural band of light that is invisible to the human eye but can be felt as heat and which heats you from the inside out — not from the outside in like steam saunas do.
The benefits of infrared sauna and rheumatoid arthritis
According to a study by the Saxion University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands “infrared treatment has statistically significant short-term beneficial effects and clinically relevant period effects during treatment in RA patients without enhancing disease activity.”
In this study, seventeen patients with rheumatoid arthritis received eight infrared sauna treatments over the course of four weeks. Pain, stiffness and fatigue were all shown to decrease during these treatments. The same test also examined patients with ankylosing spondylitis and they also benefited from the sauna with similar results.
As a form of heat therapy the FIR sauna is ideal because the infrared rays are absorbed by your body evenly throughout using a temperature gauge you control (with our help) so that no damage is done to your joint tissues. Besides that it’s easy to use, affordable and relaxing.
The benefits of turmeric and rheumatoid arthritis
Used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine (a system of Hindu traditional medicine) to treat rheumatoid arthritis, turmeric is a natural anti-inflammatory. A study conducted in 2006 by the University of Arizona College of Medicine (Esther’s alma mater) backs this up, showing how the anti-inflammatory qualities of this plant, best known for its use in curries, can help reduce and prevent inflammation and pain in arthritic joints.
“The study represents the first documentation of the chemical composition of a curcumin-containing extract tested in a living organism, in vivo, for anti-arthritic efficacy. It also provides the first evidence of anti-arthritic efficacy of a complex turmeric extract that is analogous in composition to turmeric dietary supplements,” said Dr. Funk, an endocrinologist in the UA Department of Medicine who lead the study.
Turmeric supplements containing curcumin can be found at your local health food store. Be sure to follow the directions for when and how to take it. We believe it is important to find alternatives to using medications to control pain and inflammation because in the long run the efficacy of medications will lessen and they often have long-term side effects.
To learn more about how we can help you combat rheumatoid arthritis and other debilitating diseases contact us today at 503-233-9030.