According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than half8 of the world’s population die from disease rather than from natural causes (i.e. old age).
Fortunately, there are advancements in the field of alternative medicine that can combat these illnesses. One such technology is Ozone Sauna Therapy.
An Overview of Ozone Therapy
Ozone (O3) is a colorless gas composed of three oxygen atoms. Although the Earth’s upper atmosphere is made up of O3, it is still categorized as a harmful pollutant at ground level. However, this has not stopped researchers from exploring its medicinal and therapeutic benefits.
Ozone Therapy is not exactly a modern innovation3. From the mid-nineteenth century, O3 gas molecules have been heavily utilized and studied for their medicinal effects.
According to studies, medical O3 can be used to disinfect wounds and treat diseases through the inactivation of bacteria, fungi, viruses, and other disease-causing microorganisms.
While medication in the gaseous state is unusual, special application techniques like ozone sauna can help promote its therapeutic effects.
The use of medical O3 has been proven to decrease blood cholesterol and stimulate your body’s antioxidative response. It can also modify oxygenation in resting muscles and is used as a complementary treatment for hypoxic and ischemic syndromes.
Mechanism of Ozone Sauna Therapy
An ozone generator pumps the gas into the sauna at a therapeutic dose, usually between 3 to 5 percent of the gas emitted.
The sauna, however, is designed such that it encapsulates the body but leaves the head open to ambient air. This prevents O3 inhalation, which can be lethal in high doses, and may cause irritation and coughing at low doses. Incidentally, one can also attach an ozone destructor, usually made of carbon, to the sauna unit as an auxiliary for proper ventilation.
A steam generator feeds hot steam as the O3 gas is pumped into the chamber. The combination of steam and O3 opens the body’s pores and begins the detoxification process through sweat. The O3 gas eventually breaks down in the form of organic peroxides (e.g. ozonated oil), which are being excreted by your body.
It is important to note that the health benefits of ozone sauna therapy come from cumulative use. This is why, aside from the dose, the duration of the ozone steam should also be consistent. 30 minutes should be enough to break down your body’s toxins and reset your immune system.
Overall Benefits of Ozone Sauna Therapy
Breaks Down Disease Causing Microorganisms
The process is known as inactivation. The O3 gas disrupts the integrity of the bacterial cell walls via the oxidation of its phospholipids. The gas is also effective in inhibiting fungal growth and disrupting viral infection (also through oxidation).
Enhances Blood Circulation
Ozone gas increases the flexibility of the red blood cells, which makes them less susceptible to clumping or clogging—an event that hinders the flow of blood through the small capillaries — resulting in cardiovascular-related diseases.
Revitalizes Your Body Through Oxygenation
Ozone can increase the production of both the red and white blood cells. This gives you better immunity and keeps your body in tip-top shape. The O3 gas stimulates and activates the production of free radicals to keep you looking fresh.
Improves Muscle Endurance and Mass
Ozone sauna therapy has been shown to improve athletes’ endurance by increasing the blood flow to the heart and the muscles while also increasing the blood plasma volume. It can also help increase muscle mass and promote muscle repair by boosting the levels of growth hormones and heat-shock proteins.
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Ozone Sauna Therapy Prevents Musculoskeletal Disorders
Aside from preventing diseases, ozone sauna therapy is also known to prevent the leading cause of disability9 — musculoskeletal pain conditions.
Contrary to popular belief, musculoskeletal conditions are not just due to old age. According to statistics, one in five people (including children) suffer from this debilitating condition.
Musculoskeletal conditions are characterized by either acute or persistent pain in the muscles, bones, joints, tendons, and ligaments. This often leads to limitation in mobility, functional ability, and dexterity.
Ozone sauna therapy is said to be effective in promoting the metabolic action that speeds up the muscle tissue healing processes. Research has consistently shown that regular heat exposure, also known as heat acclimatization, can improve your musculoskeletal health.
When you increase your body’s core temperature, it releases heat shock proteins that repair the damaged cells, enhance cell growth, and release natural growth hormones. These heat shock proteins also allow muscle injuries to heal faster, and they treat both chronic and acute pain.
Other benefits of ozone sauna therapy include increased muscle hypertrophy, an increase in muscle cell size, often because of physical exercise. It also promotes protein synthesis and improves insulin sensitivity and IGF1 (Insulin-like growth factor 1) levels.
Ozone Sauna Therapy Improves GH + IGF1 Production
Low levels of the growth hormone (GH) and the insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1) are often the causes of sarcopenia among adults.
Sarcopenia is a syndrome characterized by the progressive loss of skeletal muscle mass and strength. This often leads to the gradual decline of muscle function, reduced insulin sensitivity, and decreased mitochondrial functions.
GH regulates somatic growth and development either directly (through the activation of GH receptors) or indirectly (through IGF1, which is produced in response to GH stimulation).
GH increases the levels of specific mitochondrial proteins by switching to fat oxidation for fuel utilization, while IGF1 induces muscle fatigue resistance and the increase in muscle oxidative enzymes. These processes both promote cell growth and the maintenance of muscle mass.
Studies have documented that ozone sauna therapy can induce the release of GH, with one study showing a two-fold increase in GH after only two 20-minute sessions at 176°F. There are also a couple of studies that showed that it was possible to increase GH levels up to 16 times if the therapy is done regularly.
This is important especially for adults aged 30 and above, as the GH and IGF1 production tend to decrease as people age. Ozone sauna therapy not only reduces the risk of decreased GH and IGF1 levels but also essentially reverses the signs of aging.
Ozone Sauna Therapy Improves Performance and Endurance
As previously stated, heat acclimatization is just one of the many consequences of using ozone sauna therapy. It is a process where the human body is forced to make physiologic adaptations to reduce the heat stress it receives.
According to experts, regular heat exposure from 9 to 10 days is enough to acquire heat acclimation. Elevating your body’s core temperature is critical to heat stress, which brings several physiologic changes, among which include improved thermo-regulatory control, greater ability to dissipate excessive body heat, and prolonged ability to endure physical activities.
If you are an athlete, this is an important factor to note, as this may also mean that ozone sauna therapy can improve your performance during endurance training.
Increase endurance by
Being heat-acclimated optimizes the blood flow and plasma volume, which also results in a lower heart rate during performance. An increase in blood flow also means that your skeletal muscles are being fed with the appropriate amount of nutrients and oxygen, which helps reduce muscle fatigue.
One study3 demonstrated that a 30-minute ozone sauna therapy session twice a week after a workout can increase an individual’s endurance levels by as much as 32% compared to the baseline. There is also a notable increase in the red blood cell count as a response to the rising plasma volume.
Ozone sauna therapy is one of the safest and most practical ways to ward off disease and disabilities that can affect your quality of life. It offers many health benefits: from inactivating disease-causing organisms to enhancing your physical endurance.
It is worth taking a closer look at this procedure as you can potentially save a life with it. Just remember to take some safety precautions when you do this (e.g. never use an ozone sauna alone).
Also, it is best to talk to your doctor before starting to apply heat stress on your body, as you might trigger an undiagnosed medical condition.
Remember that ozone sauna therapy must be taken in recommended therapeutic doses. Like any other medicine, when applied in high doses, it can become harmful or even lethal. As such, it is best to ask an expert about it before undergoing it.
- Alaa, E. Abdel-Aaty, T. S. (2020). The effect of using ozone gas on some functional indicators and the delay of onset of fatigue for wrestlers. International Journal of Sports Science and Arts, 012(012), 81-94.
- Dreiak, E. (2017, July 24). Crazy health benefits of sauna by Dr. Rhonda Patrick. Retrieved from You Tube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NChyDtupmkk
- Euromed Foundation. (n.d.). Ozone steam sauna therapy. Retrieved from Euromed Foundation: https://euromedfoundation.com/en/procedures/treatment-methods/ozone-steam-sauna-therapy
- Found My Fitness. (2014, April 11). Hyperthermic conditioning for hypertrophy, endurance, and neurogenesis. Retrieved from YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aHOlM-wlNjMt
- Found My Fitness. (2015, April 28). How sauna use may boost longevity. Retrieved from You Tube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eWKBsh7YTXQt
- Hattur, S. S. Suryakant, S. A. (2017, October 30). Ozone therapy: An excellent treatment for various diseases. International Journal of Pharmacy Pharmaceutical Research, 10(3), 303-311.
- Hyperthermic Wellness. (2016, October 17). Heat acclimation benefits from hyperthermic conditioning and active thermal exercise. Retrieved from Hyperthermic Wellness: http://hyperthermicwellness.com/heat-acclimation-benefits-from-hyperthermic-conditioning-and-active-thermal-exercise
- World Health Organization. (2018, May 24). The top 10 causes of death. Retrieved from World Health Organization: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/the-top-10-causes-of-death
- World Health Organization. (2019, November 26). Musculoskeletal conditions. Retrieved from World Health Organization: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/musculoskeletal-conditions
- Your Health District. (2018, January 23). The benefits of ozone sauna therapy. Retrieved from Your Health District: http://yourhealthdistrict.com/2018/01/23/benefits-ozone-sauna-therapy