T H E  C H A N G I N G  M A R K E T

Everything around us is changing: the climate, the seasons, the economy, safety in our society and people too. It seems as if everything is possible, and there is nothing left to shock us. New morals and values apply, and sensations of excitement and sensation rule.

Besides this, the Netherlands has the highest pressure of work in all of Europe. This is translated into stress and symptoms of fatigue. These problems affect more than 95% of Dutch businesses. According to the Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis this is costing us six million euros every year, and this is not even including the costs of absenteeism which are estimated at around 1.5 billion euros. Sooner or later around 10% of all employees will experience stress or chronic fatigue. Occupational stress occurs particularly between the ages of 35 to 55 years, and far more often among well-educated employees and managers than was previously supposed

Besides stress and fatigue, we are confronted with the consequences of old age. The average age in the Netherlands is rising and in the coming years the number of old people in the Netherlands will continue to increase. At present there are 2.4 million people in the Netherlands aged 65 and older, but this number will have grown to 4 million by 2030.

So older people are forming a market which will become more and more interesting. A market in which health and leisure time are important factors. A market packed with opportunities.

image008Supplementary facts and figures:

The number of people aged 65+ will double in the next 15 years.
The number of people with skin complaints is growing strongly; around 2,000,000 are currently registered.
6 out of every 10 people have vascular complaints, with tired and swollen legs and feet.
Doctors have nothing left to offer chronically fatigued patients.
More than 3 million people in the Netherlands suffer from chronic fatigue!
80% of all sickness absenteeism is related to stress and muscle and joint complaints.
RSI is the new illness of this century.
Source: F. Janssen, (05-08-08), "De veranderende markt", ProMerk

I N F R A R E D - S A U N A  R E L I E V E S  R E U M A T I C P A I N

By Kitty van Gerven
An infrared sauna has a beneficial effect on people with rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis. The pain and stiffness often suffered by rheumatism patients is demonstrably less following a sauna session. These were the findings of a study which was presented during an international congress of rheumatologists in America last Saturday.

Many people in the Netherlands will be familiar with the 'red lamp' which can be found in households across the country and is used to give quick relief to people who have a stiff neck or who have put their back out. It has been known since the 1950s that localised treatment with an infrared lamp has a beneficial effect on painful joints and muscles. The radiant heat penetrates deep into the body, stimulating the blood flow in the tissues and increasing suppleness. So it is hardly surprising that when infrared saunas came on the market a few years ago they were primarily praised for their effect on joint pain and stiffness. Manufacturers were keen to convince the public that their saunas would be of especial benefit to rheumatism sufferers. The only question was whether this sales patter was nothing more than empty promises, or was it really true? After all, at that point no-one had actually supplied any scientific evidence to prove that heating the entire body with infrared light would have the same effect on chronic complaints as localised treatment for a specific part of the body.

R H E U M A T I C  P A T I E N T S  F E E L  R E B O R N  A F T E R  U S I N G  I N F R A R E D  S A U N A

knowledge1By Raymond Vermij
Margriet S. from Harderwijk was tormented for 25 years by debilitating rheumatic pain and the side effects of countless medicines.
The condition affected her body so badly that she ended up living as an invalid. However, the 53-year-old rheumatism sufferer finally found the miracle she was looking for in the INFRARED SAUNA, which has also been shown to have a beneficial effect on conditions such as PSORIASIS, as discovered by Maria R from the Achterhoek [region in the eastern Netherlands] who was completely freed (!) from this disfiguring skin condition. Both women tell their story to PRIVE (De Telegraaf).

If anyone had told Margriet S. from Harderwijk a year ago that she would be able to cycle again, she would not have believed them.
For the last 25 years her life had been dominated by rheumatism, and in recent years her condition had worsened to such an extent that she was barely able to function. In addition to the unbearable pain she was suffering, she was plagued by side effects from the powerful medication she had to take. These side effects included severe stomach and intestinal problems, sleep disorders, headaches and infections in her bladder and stomach lining. So wasn't very hopeful when she tried out the INFRARED SAUNA, but after just one month of regular sauna sessions, the 53-year old housewife feels reborn. She is once again able to run her household and go bicycling, she is sleeping well, and has returned to her voluntary work for the Dutch Reumastichting and the Algemene Hulpdienst [provides practical help in the home]. "I can't begin to tell you how happy I am", she tells PRIVE: "I haven't been this supple in 25 years. I am suffering far less pain and I can do everything I want. It's absolutely wonderful. When you suffer from rheumatism, every day you ask yourself questions like: 'What will the future bring?' 'What will happen to me?' 'Will I end up in a wheelchair, or will they discover some miracle cure?'"

Vicious circle
Margriet S. never lost hope in the miracle cure, even following the loss of her husband 12 years ago, which left her dependent on help from her children. In this period she suffered the most severe attacks of pain that she had ever had. She tells: "I could hardly do anything for myself, not even get a pack of butter out of the fridge. My oldest son put up grab rails all through the house: I moved like a real invalid. Another problem you encounter is the loss of social contacts.Some people thought that I was putting it one. You tell people that you are in permanent pain, but they can't see anything wrong on the outside. You end up in a vicious circle of pain and stress." This circle was broken when she came in contact with a Dutch supplier of infrared saunas and she was offered the chance to try out a sauna at home. Describing her first sauna session she says: "Afterwards I had a hot shower (rigorous cooling off after an infrared sauna is an absolute no-no) and then went to lie down for a bit. I could hardly believe it, but I felt my metabolism starting up again. I had suffered for ages from intestinal trouble, but I could feel everything beginning to work.To start with Margriet didn't experience any pain relief, on the contrary: after the first sauna sessions the pain even increased in severity. She tells: "Your body goes through a sort of detoxification process. It gets rid of all kinds of poisons and gets reactivated. Your muscles and joints resist this." After a week of intense pain, it suddenly stopped and Margriet began to feel better and better. She knows that there is still no cure for rheumatism, but she suffers far less pain.
"My life is totally changed. I can do everything again. And because I get a good night's sleep, I don't wake up dead tired in the mornings. The inflammation in my joints is no longer active and now I hope that the deformities will not grow any worse. Margriet's sauna is put to optimum use: she has two sauna sessions a day herself, and has twelve other people who come to her house to benefit from the sauna treatment. People who visit daily include a woman with a muscle disease, and an uticaria patient. Another friend of hers who uses the sauna suffers a great deal from psoriasis, a chronic skin disease which in the case of Marie R. completely cleared up when she started using the infrared sauna.

How does the infrared sauna work?
This 33-year-old suntan parlour owner in the Achterhoek has suffered from a very serious form of psoriasis since birth: "My life was hell. I had to completely smother myself in ointment every day. My whole body except my face was covered in fiery red patches. Sometimes it was painful, but the constant itching was really awful. I was truly desperate and always ashamed to let other people see me. I never dared to wear short sleeves in the summer, let alone a swimsuit." She found out about the infrared sauna via her work. "I started with two or three sauna sessions a week. After just three visits the bright red patches began to fade to pale pink. After five visits the patches had disappeared completely, and now I have just a couple of patches on my elbow, even though it's been four months since my last sauna visit." How is the infrared different to the traditional Finnish sauna which we are so familiar with? Conventional saunas primarily work using convection or air movement in which the air must first be heated. The body absorbs this heat, but many people experience the temperatures at which this occurs (between 80 and 110 degrees centigrade) as unpleasant. The designers of the infrared sauna believed that it must be possible to build a sauna that could work at lower, more bearable, temperatures by using radiant heat. This resulted in a sauna that works optimally at temperatures as low as 40 to 60 degrees centigrade, and in which sauna visits of 30 minutes are possible without the need for a break. The very compact infrared sauna is also suitable for installation in the home and only requires 5 to 10 minutes to reach operating temperature, so that users can take advantage of any spare half hour. The infrared radiation is precisely adjusted to the human body, so that the body absorbs 93% of the heat produced. The radiant heat penetrates centimetres deep into the body's tissues. Margriet S., who experienced no benefit from normal saunas, says: "The traditional sauna is very damp and damp is very bad for rheumatism sufferers. The strength of the infrared sauna lies in the dry heat which can also be tolerated for longer periods."
It turns out that the infrared sauna is not only beneficial for painful muscles and joints. In some people the sauna also has a positive effect on scar tissue caused by burns, for example, and certain fungal infections. However, the most remarkable effect is that on skin complaints such as acne and cellulitis, so it can only be a matter of time before we come across the infrared sauna at all the psoriasis societies in the Netherlands.

PRIVE Magazine (De Telegraaf), infrared saunas

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