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Efficacy of Far Infrared Sauna Therapy for Fibromyalgia

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Objective Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is a chronic syndrome characterized by widespread pain with tenderness in specific areas. We examined the applicability of Waon therapy (soothing warmth therapy) as a new
method of pain treatment in patients with FMS.
Methods Thirteen female FMS patients (mean age, 45.2±15.5 years old; range, 25-75) who fulfilled the criteria of the American College of Rheumatology participated in this study. Patients received Waon therapy
once per day for 2 or 5 days/week. The patients were placed in the supine or sitting position in a far
infrared-ray dry sauna maintained at an even temperature of 60℃ for 15 minutes, and then transferred to a
room maintained at 26-27℃ where they were covered with a blanket from the neck down to keep them
warm for 30 minutes. Reductions in subjective pain and symptoms were determined using the pain visual
analog scale (VAS) and fibromyalgia impact questionnaire (FIQ).
Results All patients experienced a significant reduction in pain by about half after the first session of Waon
therapy (11-70%), and the effect of Waon therapy became stable (20-78%) after 10 treatments. Pain VAS and
FIQ symptom scores were significantly (p<0.01) decreased after Waon therapy and remained low throughout
the observation period.
Conclusion Waon therapy is effective for the treatment of fibromyalgia syndrome.

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