The benefits of infrared saunas include significant reductions in fatigue, pain, and other symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome and improving patients' quality of life.

Benefits of Infrared Sauna: A Detailed Case Study on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a condition characterised by prolonged lack of energy, muscle aches, brain fog, sleeplessness, and other issues that severely restrict people’s lives and can make conventional treatments ineffective. As a result, CFS sufferers look towards alternative medicine to alleviate their symptoms – which is where a study from Kagoshima University in Japan comes in. Far-infrared sauna therapy has been shown to help patients with CFS. Let’s take a closer look at the findings from that research and see how the benefits of infrared saunas can also help patients with CFS.

Understanding Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

The multisystemic nature of the syndrome makes simple daily activities difficult – while its exact cause remains elusive, making identifying appropriate treatments problematic. CFS is often treated with drugs such as prednisolone, which has no significant effects on the patients of the study. The above backstory provides an excellent context for considering alternative, non-pharmacologically based treatments such as infrared sauna therapy.

Overview of the Study

The research focused on two patients with CFS who had not responded to conventional treatments. These individuals underwent a regimen of thermal therapy using a far-infrared ray dry sauna, set at 60°C. The treatment included daily sessions, followed by a post-sauna period where patients were wrapped in blankets in a room heated to 28°C to prolong the effects of the heat.

Treatment Protocol

Frequency and Duration: Patients attend sessions daily for 35 consecutive days. After completing the sessions and being discharged, they return once or twice per week for maintenance therapy over the course of a year.

Monitoring and Support: During the course of treatment, the patients were regularly monitored for subjective symptoms such as aches, pains and fever; physiological responses such as heart rate and muscle relaxation were also monitored.

Results and Observations

The impact of the sauna sessions was significant:

  • Symptom Improvement: Over 15 to 25 sessions, both patients reported drastically improved levels of fatigue, pain, sleep disturbances, and fevers.
  • Medication Reduction: Improvements in health meant that, in both patients, the steroid medication, prednisolone, could also be reduced and there was no recurrence of symptoms. 
  • Social Rehabilitation: Both patients were able to return to social life and their employment within 6 months after being discharged.

Scientific Explanation of Benefits

The physiological benefits of an infrared sauna might explain the improvements reported by CFS patients.

  • Increased Blood Flow: The blood vessels in the skin may be dilated by the heat of the sauna – and increased blood flow is essential for CFS patients whose circulation may be reduced. 
  • Deep Tissue Relaxation: The infrared heat will penetrate into your muscles, improving blood flow and decreasing muscle tension and pain – a CFS symptom.
  • Sleep Benefits: Heat has a relaxing effect on the body, which can help normalise disrupted sleep patterns that are common in CFS.
  • Detoxification Through Sweating: The intensive sweating induced by the sauna might help in detoxifying the body, potentially reducing symptoms related to toxin buildup.


The study concludes that repeated sessions of far-infrared sauna therapy could be a promising non-pharmacological treatment for CFS. It highlights the sauna’s potential to improve quality of life and reduce dependency on medications by addressing the symptoms directly through natural and therapeutic heat.

If you are interested in the benefits of an infrared sauna, especially for those with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) symptoms, you might be interested in visiting Sun Stream Saunas NZ. We provide high-quality infrared saunas for health and wellness. Feel free to reach out to us for professional advice, for more on how our products can be integrated into your daily lives!