Far Infrared Thermal Therapy for
Abnormal Rapid Heart Beats – Ventricular Arrhythmias

1. Effects of repeated (Far Infrared) ­­­­­­­sauna treatment on ventricular arrhythmias in patients with chronic heart failure.

Circ J. 2004 Dec;68(12):1146-51.

Kihara T1, Biro S, Ikeda Y, Fukudome T, Shinsato T, Masuda A, Miyata M, Hamasaki S, Otsuji Y, Minagoe S, Akiba S, Tei C.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: The aim of the present study was to determine whether repeated 60 degrees C sauna treatment improves cardiac arrhythmias in chronic heart failure (CHF) patients, because ventricular arrhythmias are an important therapeutic target in CHF.

METHODS AND RESULTS: Thirty patients (59+/-3 years) with New York Heart Association functional class II or III CHF and at least 200 premature ventricular contractions (PVCs)/24 h assessed by 24-h Holter recordings were studied. They were randomized into sauna-treated (n=20) or non-treated (n=10) groups. The sauna-treated group underwent a 2-week program of a daily 60 degrees C far infrared-ray dry sauna for 15 min, followed by 30 min bed rest with blankets, for 5 days per week. Patients in the non-treated group had bed rest in a temperature-controlled room (24 degrees C) for 45 min. The total numbers of PVCs/24 h in the sauna-treated group decreased compared with the non-treated group [848+/-415 vs 3,097+/-1,033/24 h, p<0.01]. Heart rate variability (SDNN, standard deviation of normal-to-normal beat interval) increased [142+/-10 (n=16) vs 112+/-11 ms (n=8), p<0.05] and plasma brain natriuretic peptide concentrations decreased [229+/-54 vs 419+/-110 pg/ml, p<0.05] in the sauna-treated group compared with the non-treated group.

CONCLUSION: Repeated sauna treatment improves ventricular arrhythmias in patients with chronic heart failure (CHF).

Blocked Coronary Arteries –
Chronic total Occlusion (CTO)

1.     Repeated (Waon/Far Infrared) sauna therapy improves myocardial perfusion in patients with chronically occluded coronary artery-related ischemia.

Int J Cardiol. 2012 Jan 12. [Epub ahead of print]

Sobajima M, Nozawa T, Ihori H, Shida T, Ohori T, Suzuki T, Matsuki A, Yasumura S, Inoue H.

Source: The Second Department of Internal Medicine, Graduate School of Medicine, University of Toyama, 2630 Sugitani, Toyama 930-0194, Japan.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Repeated low-temperature sauna (Waon/Far Infrared)therapyrelieves ischemic symptoms in patients with peripheral arterial disease. We investigated whether Waon (Far Infrared) therapy could improve myocardial perfusion in patients with ischemia related to chronic total occlusion (CTO) of coronary arteries.

METHODS: Twenty-four patients who had ischemia in the chronic total occlusion (CTO)-related area were examined. The severity of ischemia was quantified by thallium-201 myocardial perfusion scintigraphy with adenosine. The Waon (Far Infrared) group (n=16) was treated daily for three weeks with a 60°C far infrared-ray dry sauna bath for 15min and then kept in a bed covered with blankets for 30min. The control group (n=8) underwent myocardial perfusion scintigraphy twice with a three-week interval.

RESULTS: In the control group, neither summed stress score (SSS) nor summed difference score (SDS) of myocardial scintigraphy changed. However, Waon (Far Infrared) therapy improved both SSS (16±7 to 9±6, p<0.01) and SDS (7±4 to 3±2, p<0.01), and the improvement was greater in patients with higher SSS and SDS scores at the baseline. Waon (Far Infrared) therapy extended treadmill exercise time (430±185 to 511±192s, p<0.01) and improved flow-mediated dilation of the brachial artery (4.1±1.3 to 5.9±1.8%, p<0.05), but tended to decrease the number of circulating CD34-positive bone marrow-derived cells.

CONCLUSIONS: Waon (Far Infrared) therapy improves chronic total occlusion (CTO) related myocardial ischemia in association with improvement of vascular endothelial function. This therapy could be a complementary and alternative tool in patients with severe coronary lesions not suitable for coronary intervention.

Cardiomyopathy – Heart Muscle Disease


1.       Repeated sauna therapy increases arterial endothelial nitric oxide synthase expression and nitric oxide production in cardiomyopathic hamsters.

Circ J. 2005 Jun;69(6):722-9.

Ikeda Y, Biro S, Kamogawa Y, Yoshifuku S, Eto H, Orihara K, Yu B, Kihara T, Miyata M, Hamasaki S, Otsuji Y, Minagoe S, Tei C.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Vascular endothelial dysfunction is involved in the pathophysiology of chronic heart failure (CHF). It has been reported that sauna therapy, which allows thermal vasodilation, improves vascular endothelial dysfunction in patients with CHF. The present study investigates the mechanisms through which sauna therapy improves endothelial dysfunction induced by CHF.

METHODS AND RESULTS: Normal control and male TO-2 cardiomyopathic hamsters were used. Thirty-week-old TO-2 hamsters were treated daily with an experimental far infrared-ray dry sauna system for 15 min at 39 degrees C followed by 20 min at 30 degrees C. This procedure raised the rectal temperatures by about 1 degrees C. Arterial endothelial nitric oxide (NO) synthase (eNOS) mRNA and protein expressions were examined, and serum concentrations of nitrate were measured. The expression of eNOS mRNA in the aortas of normal controls did not change, whereas those of the TO-2 hamsters decreased with age. Four weeks of sauna therapy significantly increased eNOS mRNA expression in the aortas of TO-2 hamsters compared with those that did not undergo sauna therapy. Sauna therapy also upregulated aortic eNOS protein expression. Serum nitrate concentrations of the TO-2 hamsters were increased by 4 weeks of sauna therapy compared with those that did not undergo sauna.

CONCLUSION: Repeated sauna therapy increases eNOS expression and NO production in cardiomyopathic hamsters with heart failure.

Chronic (Congestive) Heart Failure (CHF)

1. Waon (Far Infrared) therapy improves quality of life as well as cardiac function and exercise capacity in patients with chronic heart failure.

Int Heart J. 2015;56(2):203-8. doi: 10.1536/ihj.14-266. Epub 2015 Feb 27.

Abstract

Waon therapy (WT), which in Japanese means soothing warmth, is a repeated sauna therapy that improves cardiac and vascular endothelial function in patients with chronic heart failure (CHF). We investigated whether WT could improve the quality of life (QOL) of CHF patients in addition to improving cardiac function and exercise capacity.A total of 49 CHF patients (69 ± 14 years old) were treated with a 60°C far infrared-ray dry sauna bath for 15 minutes and then kept in a bed covered with blankets for 30 minutes once a day for 3 weeks. At baseline and 3 weeks after starting WT, cardiac function, 6-minute walk distance (6MWD), flow mediated dilation (FMD) of the brachial artery, and SF36-QOL scores were determined.WT significantly improved left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF), B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP), 6MWD, and FMD (3.6 ± 2.3 to 5.1 ± 2.8%, P < 0.01). Moreover, WT significantly improved not only the physical (PC) but also mental component (MC) of the QOL scores. WT-induced improvement of PC was negatively correlated with changes in BNP (r = -0.327, P < 0.05), but MC improvement was not related directly to changes in BNP, LVEF, or 6MWD. WT-induced changes in MC were not parallel to PC improvement.WT improved QOL as well as cardiac function and exercise capacity in patients with CHF. Mental QOL improved independently of WT-induced improvement of cardiac function and exercise capacity.

2.    Leg heating using far infra-red radiation in patients with chronic heart failure acutely improves the hemodynamics, vascular endothelial function, and oxidative stress.

Intern Med. 2012;51(17):2263-70. Epub 2012 Sep 1.

Inoue S, Takemoto M, Chishaki A, Ide T, Nishizaka M, Miyazono M, Sawatari H, Sunagawa K.

Source: Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, Kyushu University Hospital, Japan.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Systemic thermal therapy (STT) has been associated with beneficial effects in patients with chronic heart failure (CHF). The fact, however, that it requires a dedicated as well as spacious facility and trained personnel makes it difficult to practice in the daily care of patients with CHF.

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to determine whether the leg thermal therapy (LTT) has a positive impact similar to that of STT in patients with CHF. Methods and Results Twenty patients with CHF (57 ± 17 years old, left ventricular ejection fraction=30 ± 10%) received LTT (45°C) for 20 minutes. Immediately after the treatment, the core temperature had increased (+0.3 ± 0.3°C) (p<0.01). While the LTT had no significant effects on the heart rate, systolic arterial pressure, and diastolic blood pressure, it increased the cardiac output (mixed venous oxygen saturation; +2 ± 3%) and decrease the pulmonary capillary wedge pressure (-2 ± 2 mmHg). The LTT significantly improved the flow-mediated vasodilatation (FMD) from 4.8 ± 2.6 to 7.1 ± 3.6%, the antioxidative markers, thiol from 4.0 ± 0.7 to 4.5 ± 0.9 μmoL/g, and the marker of oxidative deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) damage, urine 8-hydroxy-2'deoxyguanosine (8OHdG) from 100 to 82 ± 3%, respectively (p<0.05). No patient had any adverse effects associated with LTT.

Conclusion: leg thermal therapy(LTT) acutely improved flow-mediated vasodilatation (FMD), and oxidative stress in patients with chronic heart failure (CHF). Although the long-term effect of leg thermal therapy (LTT) remains to be investigated, its practicality which is comparable to that of Systemic thermal therapy (STT) would make it an attractive therapeutic strategy for patients with chronic heart failure (CHF).


3. Effect of repeated (Far Infrared) sauna treatment on exercise tolerance and endothelial function in patients with chronic heart failure.

Am J Cardiol. 2012 Jan 1;109(1):100-4. doi: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2011.08.014. Epub 2011 Sep 23.

Ohori T, Nozawa T, Ihori H, Shida T, Sobajima M, Matsuki A, Yasumura S, Inoue H.

Source: Second Department of Internal Medicine, Graduate School of Medicine, University of Toyama, Japan.

Abstract

Repeated sauna treatment, known as Waon (Far Infrared) therapy, has been shown to improve cardiac function as well as exercise tolerance in patients with chronic heart failure. However, the underlying mechanisms of this therapy regarding these improvements remain to be elucidated. Forty-one patients with chronic heart failure (mean age 68.3 ± 13.5 years old) underwent Waon (Far Infrared) therapy 5 times a week for 3 weeks. Before and after treatment, a number of assessments were performed in all subjects: 6-minute walk test, echocardiography, determination of neurohumoral factors and number of circulating CD34(+) cells, and a flow-mediated dilation (FMD) test of endothelial function. Cardiopulmonary exercise testing was also performed in 20 patients. Waon (Far Infrared) therapy increased the left ventricular ejection fraction (from 30.4 ± 12.6% to 32.5% ± 12.8%, p = 0.023) and reduced plasma levels of norepinephrine (from 400 ± 258 to 300 ± 187 pg/ml, p = 0.015) and brain natriuretic peptide (from 550 ± 510 to 416 ± 431 pg/ml, p = 0.035). Waon (Far Infrared) therapy increased the 6-minute walk distance (from 337 ± 120 to 379 ± 126 m, p <0.001) in association with an improvement in FMD (from 3.5 ± 2.3% to 5.5% ± 2.7%, p <0.001) and an increase in the number of circulating CD34(+) cells (p = 0.025). Changes in 6-minute walk distance were correlated positively with those in the left ventricular ejection fraction and FMD and negatively with those in plasma levels of norepinephrine and brain natriuretic peptide levels. A multivariate analysis revealed that an increase in FMD was the only independent determinant of 6-minute walk distance improvement. Finally, Waon (Far Infrared) therapy significantly increased peak Vo(2), and this increase was also correlated with changes in FMD.

In conclusion, repeated (Far Infrared) sauna therapy in patients with chronic heart failure improves exercise tolerance in association with improvement in endothelial function.

4.      Does thermal therapy benefit patients with
         chronic heart failure?

Mayo Clin Proc. 2010 Jul;85(7):693; author reply 693. doi: 10.4065/mcp.2010.0185.

J. Timothy Hanlon, MD

Comment on

The recent symposium by Ramani et al1 is a concisely written overview of the current management of chronic heart failure, surely to be of value to both the specialist and generalist. Absent from this review, however, is any mention of “Waon” (Far Infrared) or thermal therapy, likely in part because Waon (Far Infrared) (Far Infrared) therapy is not well known or appropriately used by most clinicians in the United States.

First described by Tei et al in 1995, the methodology of thermal therapy and its benefits for patients with chronic heart failure (CHF) have been detailed extensively in the literature.

3-6

These studies demonstrate improved New York Heart Association classification, decreased heart size, improved cardiac function, lowered incidence of arrhythmias, reduced brain natriuretic peptide and norepinephrine levels, and improvement in endothelial function. Furthermore, although not germane to this article, additional benefits have been described for thermal therapy in several other diseases, including Sjögren syndrome, peripheral vascular disease, pulmonary

hypertension, and fibromyalgia. It is interesting to speculate about reasons for the failure to use this therapeutic modality in this country, including absence of any financial incentives, but clearly a deficiency in knowledge of Waon (Far Infrared) (Far Infrared) therapy plays an important role.

A brief discussion of thermal therapy in CHF would have been appropriate in this symposium inMayo clinic Proceedings, especially because Tei’s original research into this modality was done while he was an international fellow at Mayo Clinic.

J. Timothy Hanlon, MD

St Charles Medical Center

Bend, OR

5. Waon (Far Infrared) therapy improves the prognosis of patients with chronic heart failure.


J Cardiol. 2009 Apr;53(2):214-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jjcc.2008.11.005. Epub 2009 Jan 18.

Kihara T, Miyata M, Fukudome T, Ikeda Y, Shinsato T, Kubozono T, Fujita S, Kuwahata S, Hamasaki S, Torii H, Lee S, Toda H, Tei C.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: We developed a Waon (Far Infrared) (Far Infrared) therapy (soothing warm therapy) and have previously reported that repeated Waon (Far Infrared) (Far Infrared) therapy improves hemodynamics, peripheral vascular function, arrhythmias, and clinical symptoms in patients with chronic heart failure (CHF). The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of Waon (Far Infrared) therapy on the prognosis of CHF patients.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: We studied 129 patients with CHF in NYHA functional class III or IV who were admitted to our hospital between January 1999 and March 2001. In the Waon (Far Infrared) (Far Infrared) therapy group, 64 patients were treated with a far infrared-ray dry sauna at 60 degrees C for 15 min and then kept on bed rest with a blanket for 30 min. The patients were treated daily for 5 days during admission, and then at least twice a week after discharge. In the control group, 65 patients, matched for age, gender, and NYHA functional class, were treated with traditional CHF therapy. The follow-up time was scheduled for 5 years.

RESULTS: Recent, complete follow-up data on each patient were obtained. The overall survival rate was 84.5% (Kaplan-Meier estimate). Twelve patients died in the control group and 8 patients died in the Waon (Far Infrared) therapy group at 60 months of follow-up. Cardiac events due to heart failure or cardiac death occurred in 68.7% of the control group but only 31.3% of the Waon (Far Infrared) (Far Infrared) therapy group (P<0.01) at 60 months of follow-up.

CONCLUSION: Waon (Far Infrared) (Far Infrared) therapy reduced cardiac events in patients with chronic heart failure (CHF). This therapy is a promising non-pharmacological treatment for CHF.


6.  Beneficial effects of Waon (Far Infrared) (Far Infrared) therapy on patients with chronic heart failure: results of a prospective multicenter study.

J Cardiol. 2008 Oct;52(2):79-85. doi: 10.1016/j.jjcc.2008.07.009. Epub 2008 Aug 27.

Miyata M, Kihara T, Kubozono T, Ikeda Y, Shinsato T, Izumi T, Matsuzaki M, Yamaguchi T, Kasanuki H, Daida H, Nagayama M, Nishigami K, Hirata K, Kihara K, Tei C.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:  We conducted a prospective multicenter case-control study to confirm the clinical efficacy and safety of Waon (Far Infrared) (Far Infrared)therapy on chronic heart failure (CHF).

METHODS: Patients (n=188) with CHF were treated with standard therapy for at least 1 week, and then were randomized to Waon (Far Infrared) (Far Infrared)therapy (n=112) or a control group (n=76). All patients continued conventional treatment for an additional 2 weeks. The Waon (Far Infrared) (Far Infrared)therapy group was treated daily with a far infrared-ray dry sauna at 60 degrees C for 15 min and then kept on bed rest with a blanket for 30 min for 2 weeks. Chest radiography, echocardiography, and plasma levels of brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) were measured before and 2 weeks after treatment.

RESULTS: NYHA functional class significantly decreased after 2 weeks of treatment in both groups. Chest radiography also showed a significant decrease of the cardiothoracic ratio in both groups (Waon (Far Infrared) therapy: 57.2+/-8.0% to 55.2+/-8.0%, p<0.0001; control: 57.0+/-7.7% to 56.0+/-7.1%, p<0.05). Echocardiography demonstrated that left ventricular diastolic dimension (LVDd), left atrial dimension (LAD), and ejection fraction (EF) significantly improved in the Waon (Far Infrared) therapy group (LVDd: 60.6+/-7.6 to 59.1+/-8.4 mm, p<0.0001; LAD: 45.4+/-9.3 mm to 44.1+/-9.4 mm, p<0.05; EF: 31.6+/-10.4% to 34.6+/-10.6%, p<0.0001), but not in the control group (LVDd: 58.4+/-10.3 mm to 57.9+/-10.4 mm; LAD: 46.3+/-9.7 mm to 46.2+/-10.1 mm; EF: 36.6+/-14.1% to 37.3+/-14.0%). The plasma concentration of BNP significantly decreased with Waon (Far Infrared) therapy, but not in the control group (Waon: 542+/-508 pg/ml to 394+/-410 pg/ml, p<0.001; control: 440+/-377 pg/ml to 358+/-382 pg/ml).

CONCLUSION:  Waon (Far Infrared) (Far Infrared)therapy is safe, improves clinical symptoms and cardiac function, and decreases cardiac size in chronic heart failure (CHF) patients. Waon (Far Infrared) (Far Infrared)therapy is an innovative and promising therapy for patients with chronic heart failure (CHF).


7.   Beneficial effects of sauna bathing for heart failure patients.

Exp Clin Cardiol. 2007 Spring;12(1):29-32.

Blum N, Blum A.

Abstract

Generally, the sauna bathing has been contraindicated for patients with chronic heart failure. However, it has been well tolerated and improved hemodynamics has been shown in patients with chronic heart failure after a single exposure and after a four-week period of sauna bathing (five days per week). Left ventricular ejection fraction increased from 24+/-7% to 31+/-9% and left ventricular end-diastolic dimension decreased from 66+/-6 mm to 62+/-5 mm after four weeks. In the present review, the mechanisms of action, the clinical data available to date and the possible beneficial effects of sauna bathing for patients with heart failure are discussed, as well as the precautions and the contraindications in this specific group of patients with chronic heart failure.

Conclusion:

It seems that sauna treatment may help improve clinical symptoms and hemodynamic parameters

secondary to an improvement in the endothelial function of patients with CHF whose endothelial function is impaired.


8. Safety and efficacy of repeated sauna bathing in patients with chronic systolic heart       
     failure: a preliminary report.

J Card Fail. 2005 Aug;11(6):432-6.

Miyamoto H, Kai H, Nakaura H, Osada K, Mizuta Y, Matsumoto A, Imaizumi T.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: We sought to determine the safety and efficacy of repeated 60 degrees C sauna bathing in patients with chronic systolic congestive heart failure (CHF).

METHODS AND RESULTS: This study included 15 hospitalized CHF patients (New York Heart Association class = 2.8 +/- 0.4) in stable clinical condition on conventional treatments. Sauna bathing was performed once per day for 4 weeks. Repeated sauna bathing was safely completed without any adverse effects in all patients. Symptoms improved in 13 of 15 patients after 4 weeks. Sauna bathing decreased systolic blood pressure without affecting heart rate, resulting in significant decrease in the rate-pressure product (6811 +/- 1323 to 6292 +/- 1093). Echocardiographic left ventricular ejection fraction was significantly increased from 30 +/- 11 to 34 +/- 11%. Sauna bathing significantly improved exercise tolerance manifested by prolonged 6-minute walking distance (388 +/- 110 to 448 +/- 118 m), increased peak respiratory oxygen uptake (13.3 +/- 1.8 to 16.3 +/- 2.1 mL/kg/min), and enhanced anaerobic threshold (9.4 +/- 1.2 to 11.5 +/- 1.9 mL/kg/min). Four-week bathing significantly reduced plasma epinephrine (40 +/- 42 to 21 +/- 23 pg/mL) and norepinephrine (633 +/- 285 to 443 +/- 292 pg/mL). Sauna bathing reduced the number of hospital admission for CHF (2.5 +/- 1.3 to 0.6 +/- 0.8 per year).

CONCLUSION: Repeated 60 degrees C sauna bathing was safe and improved symptoms and exercise tolerance in chronic congestive heart failure (CHF) patients. Sauna bathing may be an effective adjunctive therapy for chronic systolic congestive heart failure (CHF).

9.  Effects of repeated (Far Infrared) ­­­­­­­sauna treatment on ventricular arrhythmias in patients with chronic heart failure.

Circ J. 2004 Dec;68(12):1146-51.

Kihara T1, Biro S, Ikeda Y, Fukudome T, Shinsato T, Masuda A, Miyata M, Hamasaki S, Otsuji Y, Minagoe S, Akiba S, Tei C.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: The aim of the present study was to determine whether repeated 60 degrees C sauna treatment improves cardiac arrhythmias in chronic heart failure (CHF) patients, because ventricular arrhythmias are an important therapeutic target in CHF.

METHODS AND RESULTS: Thirty patients (59+/-3 years) with New York Heart Association functional class II or III CHF and at least 200 premature ventricular contractions (PVCs)/24 h assessed by 24-h Holter recordings were studied. They were randomized into sauna-treated (n=20) or non-treated (n=10) groups. The sauna-treated group underwent a 2-week program of a daily 60 degrees C far infrared-ray dry sauna for 15 min, followed by 30 min bed rest with blankets, for 5 days per week. Patients in the non-treated group had bed rest in a temperature-controlled room (24 degrees C) for 45 min. The total numbers of PVCs/24 h in the sauna-treated group decreased compared with the non-treated group [848+/-415 vs 3,097+/-1,033/24 h, p<0.01]. Heart rate variability (SDNN, standard deviation of normal-to-normal beat interval) increased [142+/-10 (n=16) vs 112+/-11 ms (n=8), p<0.05] and plasma brain natriuretic peptide concentrations decreased [229+/-54 vs 419+/-110 pg/ml, p<0.05] in the sauna-treated group compared with the non-treated group.

CONCLUSION: Repeated sauna treatment improves ventricular arrhythmias in patients with chronic heart failure (CHF).

    

10.       Acute hemodynamic improvement by thermal vasodilation in congestive heart failure.

Circulation. 1995 May 15;91(10):2582-90.

Tei C, Horikiri Y, Park JC, Jeong JW, Chang KS, Toyama Y, Tanaka N.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: A warm-water bath (WWB) or sauna bath (SB) has generally been considered inappropriate for patients with severe congestive heart failure (CHF). However, a comprehensive investigation of the hemodynamic effects of thermal vasodilation in CHF has not been previously undertaken.

METHODS AND RESULTS: To investigate the acute hemodynamic effects of thermal vasodilation in CHF, we studied 34 patients with chronic CHF (mean age, 58 +/- 14 years). Clinical stages were New York Heart Association functional class II in 2, III in 19, and IV in 13 patients. Mean ejection fraction was 25 +/- 9%. After a Swan-Ganz catheter was inserted via the right jugular vein, the patient had a WWB for 10 minutes at 41 degrees C or an SB for 15 minutes at 60 degrees C. Blood pressure, ECG, echo-Doppler, expiration gas, and intracardiac pressures were recorded before, during, and 30 minutes after each bath. Oxygen consumption increased mildly, pulmonary arterial blood temperature increased by 1.2 degrees C, and heart rate increased by 20 to 25 beats per minute on average at the end of WWB or SB. Systolic blood pressure showed no significant change. Diastolic blood pressure decreased significantly during SB (P < .01). Cardiac and stroke indexes increased and systemic vascular resistances decreased significantly during and after WWB and SB (P < .01). Mean pulmonary artery, mean pulmonary capillary wedge, and mean right atrial pressures increased significantly during WWB (P < .05) but decreased significantly during SB (P < .05). These pressures decreased significantly from the control level after each bath (P < .01). Mitral regurgitation associated with CHF decreased during and 30 minutes after each bath. Cardiac dimensions decreased and left ventricular ejection fraction increased significantly after WWB and SB. In an additional study, plasma norepinephrine increased significantly during SB in healthy control subjects and in patients with CHF and returned to control levels by 30 minutes after SB.

CONCLUSIONS: Hemodynamics improve after A warm-water bath (WWB) or sauna bath (SB) in patients with chronic congestive heart failure. This is attributable to the reduction in cardiac preload and afterload.

Thus, thermal vasodilation can be applied with little risk if appropriately performed and may provide a new nonpharmacological therapy for congestive heart failure (CHF).

Far Infrared for Hardening/Narrowing/
Blockage of the Arteries –
Atherosclerosis, Coronary Artery Disease (CAD),Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD)

1.     A warm footbath improves coronary flow reserve in patients with mild-to-moderate coronary artery disease.

Echocardiography. 2011 Nov;28(10):1119-24. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-8175.2011.01493.x. Epub 2011 Aug 19.

Yoon SJ, Park JK, Oh S, Jeon DW, Yang JY, Hong SM, Kwak MS, Choi YS, Rim SJ, Youn HJ.

Source: Division of Cardiology, National Health Insurance Corporation Ilsan Hospital, Goyang, Korea.

Abstract

BACKGROUNDS: Recent studies have shown that thermal therapy by means of warm waterbaths and sauna has beneficial effects in chronic heart failure. However, a comprehensive investigation of the hemodynamic effects of thermal vasodilation on coronary arteries has not been previously undertaken. In this study, we studied the effect of a warm footbath (WFB) on coronary arteries in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD), as well as any adverse effect.

METHODS: We studied 21 patients (33.3% men, mean age 60.8 ± 13.5 years) with CAD. Coronary flow Doppler examination of the left anterior descending coronary artery and coronary flow reserve (CFR) were performed and measured using adenosine before and after a WFB.

RESULTS: Systolic and diastolic blood pressure and heart rate did not change with the WFB. Mean velocity of diastolic coronary flow significantly increased (diastolic mean flow velocity: 18.3 ± 7.1 cm/sec initial, 21.5 ± 8.0 cm/sec follow-up, P = 0.002) and CFR significantly improved (1.6 ± 0.4 vs. 2.2 ± 0.5, P < 0.001) after WFB. The WFB was well accepted and no relevant adverse effects were observed. The change of CFR after WFB correlated well with diastolic function (E', r = 0.51, P = 0.031; E/E', r =-0.675, P = 0.002).

CONCLUSIONS:  A Warm Footbathsignificantly improved coronary flow reserve (CFR) without any adverse effects in patients with mild-to-moderate coronary artery disease (CAD) and can be applied with little risk of a coronary artery event if appropriately performed.

2. Repeated Far Infrared (FIR) sauna therapy reduces urinary 8-epi-prostaglandin F(2alpha).

Jpn Heart J. 2004 Mar;45(2):297-303.

Masuda A, Miyata M, Kihara T, Minagoe S, Tei C.

Abstract

We have reported that repeated sauna therapy improves impaired vascular endothelial function in a patient with coronary risk factors. We hypothesized that sauna therapy decreases urinary 8-epi-prostaglandin F(2alpha) (PGF(2alpha)) levels as a marker of oxidative stress and conducted a randomized, controlled study. Twenty-eight patients with at least one coronary risk factor were divided into a sauna group (n = 14) and non-sauna group (n = 14).

Sauna therapy was performed with a 60 degrees C far infrared-ray dry sauna for 15 minutes and then bed rest with a blanket for 30 minutes once a day for two weeks.

Systolic blood pressure and increased urinary 8-epi-PGF(2alpha) levels in the sauna group were significantly lower than those in the non-sauna group at two weeks after admission (110 +/- 15 mmHg vs 122 +/- 13 mmHg, P < 0.05, 230 +/- 67 pg/mg x creatinine vs 380 +/- 101 pg/mg x creatinine, P < 0.0001, respectively).

These results suggest that repeated sauna therapy may protect against oxidative stress, which leads to the prevention of atherosclerosis (Hardening of the Arteries).

3.     Repeated (Far Infrared) thermal therapy improves impaired vascular endothelial function in patients with coronary risk factors.

J Am Coll Cardiol. 2001 Oct;38(4):1083-8.

Imamura M1, Biro S, Kihara T, Yoshifuku S, Takasaki K, Otsuji Y, Minagoe S, Toyama Y, Tei C.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: We sought to determine whether sauna therapy, a thermal vasodilation therapy, improves endothelial function in patients with coronary risk factors such as hypercholesterolemia, hypertension, diabetes mellitus and smoking.

BACKGROUND: Exposure to heat is widely used as a traditional therapy in many different cultures. We have recently found that repeated sauna therapy improves endothelial and cardiac function in patients with chronic heart failure.

METHODS: Twenty-five men with at least one coronary risk factor (risk group: 38 +/- 7 years) and 10 healthy men without coronary risk factors (control group: 35 +/- 8 years) were enrolled. Patients in the risk group were treated with a 60 degrees C far infrared-ray dry sauna bath for 15 min and then kept in a bed covered with blankets for 30 min once a day for two weeks. To assess endothelial function, brachial artery diameter was measured at rest, during reactive hyperemia (flow-mediated endothelium-dependent dilation [%FMD]), again at rest and after sublingual nitroglycerin administration (endothelium-independent vasodilation [%NTG]) using high-resolution ultrasound.

RESULTS: The %FMD was significantly impaired in the risk group compared with the control group (4.0 +/- 1.7% vs. 8.2 +/- 2.7%, p < 0.0001), while %NTG was similar (18.7 +/- 4.2% vs. 20.4 +/- 5.1%). Two weeks of sauna therapy significantly improved %FMD in the risk group (4.0 +/- 1.7% to 5.8 +/- 1.3%, p < 0.001). In contrast, %NTG did not change after two weeks of sauna therapy (18.7 +/- 4.2% to 18.1 +/- 4.1%).

CONCLUSIONS: Repeated sauna treatment improves impaired vascular endothelial function in the setting of coronary risk factors, suggesting a therapeutic role for sauna treatment in patients with risk factors for atherosclerosis.

Far Infrared Therapy for Healthy Heart & Healthy Blood Vessels -Vascular Endothelial Function

Definition:

The Vascular Endothelial cells are the thin layer of cellsthat line the interior surface of blood vessels.


Endothelial Dysfunction

J Am Soc Nephrol. 2004 Aug;15(8):1983-92.

Endemann DH, Schiffrin EL.

Abstract

Endothelial dysfunction is characterized by a shift of the actions of the endothelium toward reduced vasodilation, a proinflammatory state, and prothrombic properties. It is associated with most forms of cardiovascular disease, such as hypertension, coronary artery disease, chronic heart failure, peripheral artery disease, diabetes, and chronic renal failure. Mechanisms that participate in the reduced vasodilatory responses in endothelial dysfunction include reduced nitric oxide generation, oxidative excess, and reduced production of hyperpolarizing factor. Upregulation of adhesion molecules, generation of chemokines such as macrophage chemoattractant peptide-1, and production of plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 participate in the inflammatory response and contribute to a prothrombic state. Vasoactive peptides such as angiotensin II and endothelin-1; the accumulation of asymmetric dimethylarginine, an endogenous nitric oxide inhibitor; hypercholesterolemia; hyperhomocysteinemia; altered insulin signaling; and hyperglycemia can contribute to these different mechanisms. Detachment and apoptosis of endothelial cells (anoikis) are associated phenomena.

Endothelial dysfunction is an important early event in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis, contributing to plaque initiation and progression. Reductions in circulating endothelial progenitor cells that participate in regeneration of the endothelium participate in endothelial pathophysiology.

The severity of endothelial dysfunction has been shown to have prognostic value for cardiovascular events. Correction of endothelial dysfunction may be associated with reduced cardiovascular risk.

1. Effect of repeated (Far Infrared) sauna treatment on exercise tolerance and endothelial function in patients with chronic heart failure.

Am J Cardiol. 2012 Jan 1;109(1):100-4. doi: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2011.08.014. Epub 2011 Sep 23.

Ohori T, Nozawa T, Ihori H, Shida T, Sobajima M, Matsuki A, Yasumura S, Inoue H.

Source: Second Department of Internal Medicine, Graduate School of Medicine, University of Toyama, Japan.

Abstract

Repeated sauna treatment, known as Waon (Far Infrared) therapy, has been shown to improve cardiac function as well as exercise tolerance in patients with chronic heart failure. However, the underlying mechanisms of this therapy regarding these improvements remain to be elucidated. Forty-one patients with chronic heart failure (mean age 68.3 ± 13.5 years old) underwent Waon (Far Infrared) therapy 5 times a week for 3 weeks. Before and after treatment, a number of assessments were performed in all subjects: 6-minute walk test, echocardiography, determination of neurohumoral factors and number of circulating CD34(+) cells, and a flow-mediated dilation (FMD) test of endothelial function. Cardiopulmonary exercise testing was also performed in 20 patients. Waon (Far Infrared) therapy increased the left ventricular ejection fraction (from 30.4 ± 12.6% to 32.5% ± 12.8%, p = 0.023) and reduced plasma levels of norepinephrine (from 400 ± 258 to 300 ± 187 pg/ml, p = 0.015) and brain natriuretic peptide (from 550 ± 510 to 416 ± 431 pg/ml, p = 0.035). Waon (Far Infrared) therapy increased the 6-minute walk distance (from 337 ± 120 to 379 ± 126 m, p <0.001) in association with an improvement in FMD (from 3.5 ± 2.3% to 5.5% ± 2.7%, p <0.001) and an increase in the number of circulating CD34(+) cells (p = 0.025). Changes in 6-minute walk distance were correlated positively with those in the left ventricular ejection fraction and FMD and negatively with those in plasma levels of norepinephrine and brain natriuretic peptide levels. A multivariate analysis revealed that an increase in FMD was the only independent determinant of 6-minute walk distance improvement. Finally, Waon (Far Infrared) therapy significantly increased peak Vo(2), and this increase was also correlated with changes in FMD.

In conclusion, repeated (Far Infrared) sauna therapy in patients with chronic heart failure improves exercise tolerance in association with improvement in endothelial function.


2.  Far infrared (FIR) therapy inhibits vascular endothelial inflammation via the induction of heme oxygenase-1.

Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2008 Apr;28(4):739-45. doi: 10.1161/ATVBAHA.107.160085. Epub 2008 Jan 17.

Lin CC1, Liu XM, Peyton K, Wang H, Yang WC, Lin SJ, Durante W.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Survival of arteriovenous fistulas (AVFs) in haemodialysis patients is associated with both far infrared (FIR) therapy and length polymorphisms of the heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) promoter. In this study, we evaluated whether there is an interaction between (Far Infrared) FIR radiation and HO-1 in regulating vascular inflammation.

METHODS AND RESULTS: Treatment of cultured human umbilical vein endothelial cells (ECs) with FIR radiation stimulated HO-1 protein, mRNA, and promoter activity. HO-1 induction was dependent on the activation of the antioxidant responsive element/NF-E2-related factor-2 complex, and was likely a consequence of heat stress. FIR radiation also inhibited tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha-mediated expression of E-selectin, vascular cell adhesion molecule-1, intercellular cell adhesion molecule-1, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1, interleukin-8, and the cytokine-mediated adhesion of monocytes to ECs. The anti-inflammatory action of FIR was mimicked by bilirubin, and was reversed by the HO inhibitor, tin protoporphyrin-IX, or by the selective knockdown of HO-1. Finally, the anti-inflammatory effect of FIR was also observed in patients undergoing hemodialysis.

CONCLUSIONS: These results demonstrate that (Far Infrared) FIR therapy exerts a potent anti-inflammatory effect via the induction of HO-1. The ability of (Far Infrared) FIR therapy to inhibit inflammation may play a critical role in preserving blood flow and patency of AVFs in haemodialysis patients.

3.      Repeated sauna treatment improves vascular endothelial and cardiac function in patients with chronic heart failure.

J Am Coll Cardiol. 2002 Mar 6;39(5):754-9.

Kihara T, Biro S, Imamura M, Yoshifuku S, Takasaki K, Ikeda Y, Otuji Y, Minagoe S, Toyama Y, Tei C

.Abstract

OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to determine the mechanism by which 60 degrees C sauna treatment improves cardiac function in patients with chronic heart failure (CHF).

BACKGROUND: We have previously reported that repeated 60 degrees C sauna treatment improves hemodynamic data and clinical symptoms in patients with CHF. We hypothesized that the sauna restores endothelial function and then improves cardiac function.

METHODS: Twenty patients (62 plus minus 15 years) in New York Heart Association (NYHA) functional class II or III CHF were treated in a dry sauna at 60 degrees C for 15 min and then kept on bed rest with a blanket for 30 min, daily for two weeks. Ten patients with CHF, matched for age, gender and NYHA functional class, were placed on a bed in a temperature-controlled (24 degrees C) room for 45 min as the nontreated group. Using high-resolution ultrasound, we measured the diameter of the brachial artery at rest and during reactive hyperemia (percent flow-mediated dilation, %FMD: endothelium-dependent dilation), as well as after sublingual administration of nitroglycerin (%NTG: endothelium-independent dilation). Cardiac function was evaluated by measuring the concentrations of plasma brain natriuretic peptide (BNP).

RESULTS: Clinical symptoms were improved in 17 of 20 patients after two weeks of sauna therapy. The %FMD after two-week sauna treatment significantly increased from the baseline value, whereas the %NTG-induced dilation did not. Concentrations of BNP after the two-week sauna treatment decreased significantly. In addition, there was a significant correlation between the change in %FMD and the percent improvement in BNP concentrations in the sauna-treated group. In contrast, none of the variables changed at the two-week interval in the nontreated group.

CONCLUSIONS: Repeated sauna treatment improves vascular endothelial function, resulting in an improvement in cardiac function and clinical symptoms.

4.    Repeated thermal therapy improves impaired vascular endothelial function in patients with coronary risk factors.

J Am Coll Cardiol. 2001 Oct;38(4):1083-8.

Imamura M1, Biro S, Kihara T, Yoshifuku S, Takasaki K, Otsuji Y, Minagoe S, Toyama Y, Tei C.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: We sought to determine whether sauna therapy, a thermal vasodilation therapy, improves endothelial function in patients with coronary risk factors such as hypercholesterolemia, hypertension, diabetes mellitus and smoking.

BACKGROUND: Exposure to heat is widely used as a traditional therapy in many different cultures. We have recently found that repeated sauna therapy improves endothelial and cardiac function in patients with chronic heart failure.

METHODS: Twenty-five men with at least one coronary risk factor (risk group: 38 +/- 7 years) and 10 healthy men without coronary risk factors (control group: 35 +/- 8 years) were enrolled. Patients in the risk group were treated with a 60 degrees C far infrared-ray dry sauna bath for 15 min and then kept in a bed covered with blankets for 30 min once a day for two weeks. To assess endothelial function, brachial artery diameter was measured at rest, during reactive hyperemia (flow-mediated endothelium-dependent dilation [%FMD]), again at rest and after sublingual nitroglycerin administration (endothelium-independent vasodilation [%NTG]) using high-resolution ultrasound.

RESULTS: The %FMD was significantly impaired in the risk group compared with the control group (4.0 +/- 1.7% vs. 8.2 +/- 2.7%, p < 0.0001), while %NTG was similar (18.7 +/- 4.2% vs. 20.4 +/- 5.1%). Two weeks of sauna therapy significantly improved %FMD in the risk group (4.0 +/- 1.7% to 5.8 +/- 1.3%, p < 0.001). In contrast, %NTG did not change after two weeks of sauna therapy (18.7 +/- 4.2% to 18.1 +/- 4.1%).

CONCLUSIONS: Repeated sauna treatment improves impaired vascular endothelial function in the setting of coronary risk factors, suggesting a therapeutic role for sauna treatment in patients with risk factors for atherosclerosis.

Heart Failure

High Blood Pressure


Far Infrared for Improved Cardiac Function & Autonomic Nervous Activity For Chronic Heart Failure

1.     Heart failure as an autonomic nervous system dysfunction.

J Cardiol. 2012 Mar;59(2):117-22. doi: 10.1016/j.jjcc.2011.12.006. Epub 2012 Feb 16.

Kishi T

Abstract

In heart failure, it has been recognized that the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) is activated and the imbalance of the activity of the SNS and vagal activity interaction occurs. The abnormal activation of the SNS leads to further worsening of heart failure. Many previous clinical and basic studies have demonstrated that the abnormal activation of the SNS is caused by the enhancement of excitatory inputs including changes in: (1) peripheral baroreceptor and chemoreceptor reflexes; (2) chemical mediators that control sympathetic outflow; and (3) central sites that integrate sympathetic outflow. In particular, the abnormalities in central SNS regulation due to the renin angiotensin system-oxidative stress axis have recently been in focus. In the treatment of heart failure, the inhibition of the activated SNS, such as with beta-blockers and/or exercise training, is important. Furthermore, many experimental studies have demonstrated that vagal stimulation has beneficial effects on heart failure, and recently several clinical studies have also demonstrated that vagal stimulation is a possible novel therapy for heart failure.

 In conclusion, we must recognize that heart failure is a complex syndrome with an autonomic nervous system dysfunction, and that the autonomic imbalance with the activation of the sympathetic nervous system(SNS) and the reduction of vagal activity should be treated.


2.     Improvement of autonomic nervous activity by Waon (Far Infrared) therapy in patients with chronic heart failure.


J Cardiol. 2011 Jan;57(1):100-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jjcc.2010.08.005. Epub 2010 Sep 29.

Kuwahata S, Miyata M, Fujita S, Kubozono T, Shinsato T, Ikeda Y, Hamasaki S, Kuwaki T, Tei C.

Source: Department of Cardiovascular, Respiratory and Metabolic Medicine, Graduate School of Medicine, Kagoshima University, Kagoshima 890-8520, Japan.

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: We have reported previously that Waon (Far Infrared) therapy improves cardiac and vascular function, and prognosis of patients with chronic heart failure (CHF). CHF is characterized by generalized sympathetic activation and parasympathetic withdrawal. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of Waon (Far Infrared) therapy on autonomic nervous activity in patients with CHF.

METHODS AND SUBJECTS: Fifty-four patients with CHF, who were receiving conventional therapy for CHF, were divided into Waon therapy and control groups. In the Waon (Far Infrared) therapy group, 27 patients were treated with medication and Waon (Far Infrared) therapy. In the control group, 27 patients were treated with only conventional CHF therapy. Cardiac function including cardiac output (CO) and left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) was evaluated by echocardiography. The heart rate variability, such as the coefficient of variation of RR intervals (CVRR), the low-frequency (LF) component, high-frequency(HF) component, the LF norm [LF/(LF+HF)], and HF norm [HF/(LF+HF)], were measured at admission and 4 weeks after treatment.

RESULTS: Echocardiography demonstrated that CO and LVEF significantly increased after 4 weeks in the Waon therapy group, but did not change in the control group. In the Waon (Far Infrared) therapy group, CVRR, HF, and HF norm significantly increased 4 weeks after Waon (Far Infrared) therapy. In addition, the LF/HF ratio and LF norm significantly decreased 4 weeks after Waon (Far Infrared) therapy. In contrast, these parameters remained unchanged in the control group. Moreover, the HF and HF norm were significantly higher, and the LF/HF ratio and LF norm were significantly lower after 4 weeks of Waon (Far Infrared) therapy group than after 4 weeks of only conventional therapy.

CONCLUSIONS: Waon (Far Infrared) therapy improved cardiac function and autonomic nervous activity by increasing parasympathetic and decreasing sympathetic nervous activity in patients with chronic heart failure.

Far Infrared - Protection Against Oxidative Stress

1.     Leg heating using far infra-red radiation in patients with chronic heart failure acutely improves the hemodynamics, vascular endothelial function, and oxidative stress.

Intern Med. 2012;51(17):2263-70. Epub 2012 Sep 1.

Inoue S, Takemoto M, Chishaki A, Ide T, Nishizaka M, Miyazono M, Sawatari H, Sunagawa K.

Source: Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, Kyushu University Hospital, Japan.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Systemic thermal therapy (STT) has been associated with beneficial effects in patients with chronic heart failure (CHF). The fact, however, that it requires a dedicated as well as spacious facility and trained personnel makes it difficult to practice in the daily care of patients with CHF.

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to determine whether the leg thermal therapy (LTT) has a positive impact similar to that of STT in patients with CHF. Methods and Results Twenty patients with CHF (57 ± 17 years old, left ventricular ejection fraction=30 ± 10%) received LTT (45°C) for 20 minutes. Immediately after the treatment, the core temperature had increased (+0.3 ± 0.3°C) (p<0.01). While the LTT had no significant effects on the heart rate, systolic arterial pressure, and diastolic blood pressure, it increased the cardiac output (mixed venous oxygen saturation; +2 ± 3%) and decrease the pulmonary capillary wedge pressure (-2 ± 2 mmHg). The LTT significantly improved the flow-mediated vasodilatation (FMD) from 4.8 ± 2.6 to 7.1 ± 3.6%, the antioxidative markers, thiol from 4.0 ± 0.7 to 4.5 ± 0.9 μmoL/g, and the marker of oxidative deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) damage, urine 8-hydroxy-2'deoxyguanosine (8OHdG) from 100 to 82 ± 3%, respectively (p<0.05). No patient had any adverse effects associated with LTT.

Conclusion: leg thermal therapy(LTT) acutely improved flow-mediated vasodilatation (FMD), and oxidative stress in patients with chronic heart failure (CHF). Although the long-term effect of leg thermal therapy (LTT) remains to be investigated, its practicality which is comparable to that of Systemic thermal therapy (STT) would make it an attractive therapeutic strategy for patients with chronic heart failure (CHF).

Hardening/Narrowing/Blockage of the Outer Arteries -
 Peripheral Arterial Disease – PAD

1.     Waon (Far Infrared)  therapy mobilizes CD34+ cells and improves peripheral arterial disease.

J Cardiol. 2010 Nov;56(3):361-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jjcc.2010.08.004. Epub 2010 Sep 16.

Shinsato T, Miyata M, Kubozono T, Ikeda Y, Fujita S, Kuwahata S, Akasaki Y, Hamasaki S, Fujiwara H, Tei C.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: We previously reported that Waon (Far Infrared)  therapy upregulates endothelial nitric oxide synthase protein, and augments ischemia-induced angiogenesis in mice with hindlimb ischemia, and it improves limb ischemia in patients with peripheral arterial disease (PAD). The aim of this study was to investigate the underlying mechanism of Waon (Far Infrared)  therapy for the treatment of patients with PAD, and to determine whether Waon (Far Infrared)  therapy can mobilize blood-derived progenitor cells.

METHODS: 21 consecutive peripheral arterial disease (PAD) patients received standard medications, and were randomly divided into control (n=10) and Waon (Far Infrared)  therapy groups (n=11). The Waon (Far Infrared)  therapy group received Waon (Far Infrared)  therapy daily for 6 weeks. The control group continued conventional therapy for 6 weeks. Leg pain was scored using a visual analogue scale. The ankle-brachial pressure index (ABPI) and the 6-min walking distance were measured at baseline and 6 weeks after therapy. Frequency of circulating CD34+ progenitor cell numbers was measured by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction, and the serum nitrate and nitrite levels were also measured at baseline and 6 weeks after therapy.

RESULTS: The leg pain score, ABPI and the 6-min walking distance improved significantly after 6 weeks in the Waon (Far Infrared)  therapy group, but not in the control group. Frequency of circulating CD34+ cells increased after 6 weeks of Waon (Far Infrared)  therapy [2.0 ± 1.2 (×10(-4)) at baseline to 3.9 ± 1.9 (×10(-4)), p=0.015], while it remained unchanged in the control group [1.8 ± 1.8 (×10(-4)) at baseline to 1.2 ± 0.9 (×10(-4))]. Serum nitrate and nitrite levels increased significantly after Waon (Far Infrared)  therapy (29.6 ± 17.6 to 36.0 ± 17.7 μmol/ml, p<0.05), but not in the control group (34.4 ± 9.4 to 38.3 ± 8.8 μmol/ml).

CONCLUSION: Waon (Far Infrared)  therapy mobilized circulating endothelial progenitor cells and improved limb ischemia in patients with peripheral arterial disease (PAD). Waon (Far Infrared)  therapy is a highly promising therapy for patients with peripheral arterial disease (PAD).

2.      Waon (Far Infrared) Therapy Improves Peripheral Arterial Disease

J Am Coll Cardiol, 2007; 50:2169-2171, doi:10.1016/j.jacc.2007.08.025 (Published online 12 November 2007).

Chuwa Tei, MD, FACC*, Takuro Shinsato, MD, Masaaki Miyata, MD, Takashi Kihara, MD and Shuichi Hamasaki, MD

Source:Department of Cardiovascular Respiratory and Metabolic Medicine, Kagoshima University, 8-35-1 Sakuragaoka, Kagoshima 890-8520, Japan (Email: tei@m.kufm.kagoshima-u.ac.jp).

Objective:Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is a major cause of acuteand chronic illness, associated with decrements in functionalcapacity and quality of life. We conducted this study to evaluatethe beneficial effect of repeated Waon (Far Infrared)  therapy usingFar infrared-raydry sauna on patients with PAD.

Method:The patients were placed in a far infrared-ray dry sauna, inwhich the temperature was evenly maintained at 60°C for15 min, and then were kept on a bed outside the sauna for additional30 min with sufficient warmth provided by blankets. Theywere weighed before and after Waon (Far Infrared) therapy, and oral hydrationwith water was used to compensate for weight loss. This Waon (Far Infrared)  therapy was performed once a day for 5 days per week for a periodof 10 weeks. Data were compared using paired t tests.

Results:All patients enrolled in the trial completed the study withoutany adverse events. Therapeutic benefit was demonstrated by regression of rest painin all patients. Ischemic ulcers healed in all of the 7 limbs,resulting in successful limb salvage.

Summary:In summary, we have shown that repeated Waon (Far Infrared) therapy is safefor patients with severe PAD and potentially effective as evidencedby a substantial decrease in the pain score, increases in ABIand blood flow assessed by laser Doppler perfusion imaging,and by formation of new collateral vessels on angiography. Inaddition, ischemic ulcers present in 7 limbs healed or improvedmarkedly. Given the poor prognosis of patients with chroniccritical limb ischemia in whom the possibility of spontaneousimprovement is remote, the outcome in this study is encouraging.

Conclusion: In conclusion, we demonstrated that Waon (Far Infrared) therapy improved symptoms,status, and blood flow in patients with PAD. Our Waon (Far Infrared) therapymethod may therefore be a novel innovative therapy for patientswith PAD.

Sauna Therapy for Heart Failure Patients

1. Beneficial effects of sauna bathing for heart failure patients.

Exp Clin Cardiol. 2007 Spring;12(1):29-32.

Blum N, Blum A.

Abstract

Generally, the sauna bathing has been contraindicated for patients with chronic heart failure. However, it has been well tolerated and improved hemodynamics has been shown in patients with chronic heart failure after a single exposure and after a four-week period of sauna bathing (five days per week). Left ventricular ejection fraction increased from 24+/-7% to 31+/-9% and left ventricular end-diastolic dimension decreased from 66+/-6 mm to 62+/-5 mm after four weeks. In the present review, the mechanisms of action, the clinical data available to date and the possible beneficial effects of sauna bathing for patients with heart failure are discussed, as well as the precautions and the contraindications in this specific group of patients with chronic heart failure.

Conclusion:

It seems that sauna treatment may help improve clinical symptoms and hemodynamic parameters

secondary to an improvement in the endothelial function of patients with CHF whose endothelial function is impaired.