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Sauna Use

Not Just Skin Deep: Why Men Use Saunas to Biohack Executive Function and Creativity

Sauna use also increases levels of two hormones called norepinephrine, which increases focus and attention, and prolactin, promotes myelin growth, helping your brain to function faster and repair nerve cell damage.


Disclaimer: This list does not imply endorsement of Salus Saunas by any person featured in the article. This blog may contain affiliate links.

How men and women use saunas differently?

You’ve probably heard how Hollywood celebrities are using infrared saunas for beauty.

You may have even heard how Harvard Medical School says men who use saunas have fewer heart problems.

But did you know that many celebrity men are using saunas to biohack their way to success?

Sweat Your Way to Success

Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter and Square, uses an infrared sauna for mental clarity. Specifically, he has said that the infrared sauna “feels more like daily restorative kind of clarifying and cleansing.”

Is it working? Check out Twitter’s stock price.



Rick Rubin has been called “the most important [music] producer of the last 20 years” by MTV. He’s an American record producer, co-president of Columbia Records, co-founder of Def Jam Recordings and also established American Recordings. Rick helps artists like Jay Z, Shakira, and others give their best work.

Listen to Rick talk about how the sauna helps clear the mental clutter, helps him think bigger and more creatively.

CEO and Author Tim Ferriss of “The Four Hour Work Week” fame has long been a thought-leader in biohacking, a sauna advocate and executive wellness and creativity guru. Check out his book, Tribe of Mentors, in which he asks over 100 high achievers for their top life tips, and Tools of Titans, where he shares the tactics, routines, and habits of billionaires, icons, and world-class performers. Sauna use is covered in both books.

The Brain-Body Sauna Connection

During sauna use, nerve cells release neurotrophic factor proteins (e.g. BDNF) that jumpstarts brain stem cells to produce new neurons. BDNF also acts as a catalyst for chemicals that promote better brain health.

Neuromotors make your muscles listen to your brain. As we age, our muscles atrophy due to neuromotor degradation. BDNF helps the brain continue to communicate with muscles by preventing this degradation.

BDNF also protects your brain from degradation. Studies already show that exercise has a beneficial impact on your brain tissue. This is why people think clearer after a workout (why most people work out in the morning). It, quite literally, helps prevent, and even reverse, brain degeneration as much as it prevents and reverses age-related muscle atrophy.

Low BDNF has been linked with both depression and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).

BDNF increases the growth of new brain cells and improves the survival of existing ones. It increases neuroplasticity, which is important for learning and long-term memory.

Here’s where saunas come in to play: Sauna use increases brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), since heat stress in conjunction with exercise has been shown to increase BDNF levels more than just exercise alone.

Thought-provoking Hormones

Sauna use also increases levels of two hormones called norepinephrine, which increases focus and attention, and prolactin, promotes myelin growth, helping your brain to function faster and repair nerve cell damage. Studies have shown that heat stress from exposure to a sauna increases endorphins significantly.

When you look at how sauna use can change your body and mind for the better, it makes sense to invest in one for your home, gym, or office. Contact us today to chat about which Salus Sauna can help you unlock your potential.


For additional reading:

van Praag, H., Christie, B. R., Sejnowski, T. J. & Gage, F. H. Running enhances neurogenesis, learning, and long-term potentiation in mice. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 96, 13427-13431 (1999).

Maniam, J. & Morris, M. J. Voluntary exercise and palatable high-fat diet both improve behavioural profile and stress responses in male rats exposed to early life stress: role of hippocampus. Psychoneuroendocrinology 35, 1553-1564, doi:10.1016/j.psyneuen.2010.05.012 (2010).

Pedersen, B. K. Muscle as a Secretory Organ. Comprehensive Physiology (2013).

Koltyn, K. F., Robins, H. I., Schmitt, C. L., Cohen, J. D. & Morgan, W. P. Changes in mood state following whole-body hyperthermia. International journal of hyperthermia : the official journal of European Society for Hyperthermic Oncology, North American Hyperthermia Group 8, 305-307 (1992).

Liu, X. L. et al. [Therapeutic effect of whole body hyperthermia combined with chemotherapy in patients with advanced cancer]. Zhong nan da xue xue bao. Yi xue ban = Journal of Central South University. Medical sciences 31, 350-352 (2006).

Goekint M, Roelands B, Heyman E, Njemini R, Meeusen R. Influence of citalopram and environmental temperature on exercise-induced changes in BDNF. Neurosci Lett. 2011;494(2):150-154. doi:10.1016/j.neulet.2011.03.001.

Knackered Nerves: Do Low BDNF Levels Spell Nerve Exhaustion in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome? Pt. I

Sorenson, M., et al. Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor is Decreased in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Multiple Sclerosis 2014

Leppaluoto, J. et. al. 1986 Endocrine effects of repeated sauna bathing