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This Infrared Sauna Blanket Can Relieve Even Chronic Pain — Easy, At-Home Remedy

It worked for Gabrielle Carsala: "I have the energy to tackle anything!"

When suffering from chronic pain, it can feel difficult to find hope of every feeling like yourself again — especially when doctors are unable to help you. If you can’t seem to figure out where your pain is coming from, it could possibly be due to your fascia — and infrared technology may be able to help. Here, infrared sauna blanket benefits and how infrared heat can help manage pain according to top MDs, plus one woman’s true story on how infrared blankets healed her pain!

How infrared heat heals

Using infrared rays to raise your body temperature can ease a variety of health issues, says Sean Ormond, MD, an anesthesiologist and interventional pain management specialist in Glendale, Arizona. And a growing number of women are getting the perks with infrared sauna blankets. “The infrared light penetrates deep into tissues, reaching the fascia, a connective tissue network supporting muscles and organs, making sauna blankets a promising, noninvasive approach to managing pain, anxiety and other issues,” says Dr. Ormond.  

It soothes pain

woman in infrared sauna
Halfpoint Images/Getty

Sauna blankets ramp up blood flow, boosting oxygen and nutrients throughout your body, “which promotes healing and relaxes tense muscles, bringing relief to sore, aching joints,” Dr. Ormond explains. Dutch researchers found that people who used infrared saunas twice weekly reduced pain and stiffness by as much as 60%. Using a sauna blanket like the X-Vcak Sauna Blanket can deliver similar pain relief.

It improves heart health

Within minutes of stepping into an infrared sauna or using a sauna blanket, your blood vessels widen and blood flow increases, says Lakshmi Chebrolu-Makam, MD, a cardiologist at Houston Methodist. Studies show this effect can help improve heart health and lower blood pressure with the researchers equating the physical response of 10 to 15 minutes in an infrared sauna to walking at a moderate pace.

Infrared sauna blanket benefits: How one woman healed her pain

Gabrielle Carsala
Gabrielle CarsalaJustin Hession/Gabrielle Carsala

Gabrielle Carsala, 52, battled chronic pain for years. Doctors didn’t help, telling her to “learn to live with it.” But Gabrielle kept searching for answers.

“Year after year, I bounced from doctors to chiropractors, massage therapists, acupuncturists and physical therapists in the hopes of finding the cause of the chronic all-over pain I was experiencing,” recalls Gabrielle. “But no one could determine the source of my pain beyond spinal degeneration resulting from an injury suffered in a 2005 car accident. 

“I had migraines and pain in my shoulders, back, legs, knees and feet that made walking tough. Because of the pain, I was unable to get comfortable sleeping and tossed and turned all night, leaving me exhausted throughout my days, barely able to function.

“Feeling like I was double my age, I’d lie awake at night praying for relief or dreaming of getting some sleep. I mulled over the term ‘frozen,’ which doctors kept using to describe my health without clarifying what that meant.

“Along with over-the-counter medicines and creams, I tried heat and ice and physical therapy until my insurance declined the visits because doctors were unable to pinpoint a cause of my pain. So I was left to my own devices to find ways to ease it.

Connecting the dots

“I felt so alone, as I was basically told there’s nothing wrong with me, and I started becoming depressed. Then one day, I was scrolling social media and saw one word: fascia, the casing of connective tissue that surrounds and holds every organ, blood vessel, bone, nerve fiber and muscle in place. I learned that fascia has nerves that make it almost as sensitive as skin and when stressed, it tightens up, or ‘freezes.’ Intrigued, I began an online search to investigate if my aches and pains could be due to tightened fascia.

Related: Fascia Exercises Are the 10-Minute Routine Helping Women Get One Size Smaller

“As I researched, I learned there is a relationship between stress, fascia and chronic pain. Stress and trauma can cause fascia to become tense, like a clenched fist, which
can manifest as a painful ‘freeze’ response. Could stressing about my health be making
me worse?
I wondered.

Discovering infrared sauna blanket benefits

“At that moment, I decided to invest in every tool I could find that I thought would help release my frozen fascia. When I read about an infrared sauna hut, a tent you sit in, I was intrigued. I read research showing infrared light therapy is a light-based method to treat pain and inflammation, and that it’s able to penetrate the layers of the skin and tissues, including fascia, promoting cell repair.

“I was skeptical, but I was willing to try anything, so I ordered a sauna hut online. As soon as it arrived, I began getting out of bed every morning and hopping right into the hut for 1 hour, where I would also meditate. 

“Within a month I noticed a huge difference in my pain. That helped me get some sleep, easing my tiredness and brain fog. But the hut corroded. Before buying another one, I read that infrared sauna blankets could actually have better results. So I switched to an infrared sauna blanket (you can find them online starting at around $100). 

“I was shocked that lying in bed for up to 60 minutes a day with my sauna blanket led to even better — nearly instant — results. Not only did I feel better physically, the time under the blanket was mentally therapeutic as well. I cried a lot at first, releasing the stress and worry I had carried because of my pain. But in time, that sadness was replaced with joy that I no longer felt so old and uncomfortable. 

“My daily sauna blanket time is a lovely way to start my day. It feels transcendent and cozy. I lie there and meditate, and it’s become a ritual that I look forward to. Being able to reclaim my health — and life — without medicine, a gym or therapist has been amazing for my mental and physical well-being. I have the energy and ability to tackle anything that comes my way now!”

Try this too! Green glasses mitigate pain

green lightbulb
Laurent Hamels/Getty

New research reveals a colorful way to ease pain. Investigators at Duke University found that people with chronic pain who wore green-tinted glasses cut back on painkiller use and were four times more likely to say that anxiety related to their pain had improved. And in a University of Arizona study, exposure to green LED light eased migraine pain by 70%. How? It seems green light affects the areas of the brain that control pain. To get the perks, consider a green light bulb like the Norb Migraine Light. In the migraine study, subjects were exposed to the light for 1 to 2 hours a day. 

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