Don’t Sweat It- De-Stress Before the Big Day
By Traci Coughran

Your wedding day is approaching. There are so many things to plan and coordinate: the invitations, the caterer, the cake, the dresses, the flowers, the decorations – and on and on.

Oh the STRESS!!!

Don’t underestimate how stress impacts your body. The American Institute of Stress estimates that 75 to 90% of all visits to primary care physicians are for stress-related problems. Long-term stress is also the cause of countless physiological effects on the body, such as increased blood pressure, weight gain, and a weakened immune system.

The stress hormone cortisol is a key factor in raising heart rate and blood pressure, and leads to the deposit of excess calories in the midsection. Elevated cortisol levels interfere with learning and memory, lower immune function and bone density, and increase weight gain, cholesterol and your risk for heart disease. Chronic stress and elevated cortisol levels also increase the risk for depression, mental illness, and actually lowers life expectancy.

Whether it’s a wedding, or a project at work, or just your hectic daily life, when you plan each day, be sure to include time to de-stress. Plan to take care of yourself so you can better take care of everything and everyone else.

A great method to de-stress both body and mind is infrared sauna therapy. Although infrared therapy has been around for a long time, only recently has infrared sauna therapy gained global recognition as a new way to reduce both mental and physical stress. Scientific evidence shows that infrared sauna therapy helps the body maintain healthy levels of cortisol. While cortisol levels stay relatively the same during a sauna session, they drop immediately afterward and remain lowered more regularly.

Another therapeutic benefit of infrared therapy is an increase in happiness and lower stress levels. This benefit is caused by increasing bet-endorphins in blood that leads to the feeling of euphoria. In fact, whole body heat therapy has also been shown to improve symptoms of depression in cancer patients through this mechanism.

As a reaction to infrared heat therapy, the body releases an opioid called dynorphin, which gives you a feeling of dysphoria. To compensate, the brain then increases production and sensitivity of receptors for euphoric hormones like beta-endorphin. These changes are semi-permanent, meaning that people that use a sauna regularly may actually be happier in everyday life.

Finally, sauna use increases the hormone BDNF (brain derived neurotrophic factor). Studies have shown that increases in this hormone are an effective way to combat anxiety and depression.

Plan to rejuvenate your mind and body by experiencing the relaxing heat of an infrared sauna, by adding it to your schedule once a week. In just 40 minutes of infrared sauna therapy your body and mind can de-stress while burning some calories and experiencing the many other health benefits associated with infrared therapy.


Traci Coughran, owner of Feel Good Infrared Sauna Studio in Chesterfield has been involved with health and wellness throughout her career. For more information visit, email or call 636-898-6855.

Feel Good Infrared
125 Chesterfield Towne Centre
Chesterfield, MO 63005