Christopher Minson Lecture
27 November 2019
Heat Therapy: An ancient practice to target modern diseases
A public lecture by Christopher T. Minson, PhD, Kenneth and Kenda Singer Professor, and UWA Institute of Advanced Studies Visiting Fellow.
Chronic heat exposure, in the form of saunas, hot water baths, and sweat lodges have been utilized in many cultures for thousands of years. While repetitive bouts of heat exposure is generally believed to be healthy, it is only recently that we are beginning to understand the full benefits of ‘heat therapy’ across the spectrum of human health. Passive heating results in a rise in body temperature and changes in cardiovascular hemodynamics, including altered shear patterns of blood flow. There is growing evidence that these responses to acute heat stress combine over repetitive sessions to provide a stress-resistant profile to counter inflammation and oxidative stress, as occurs with aging and chronic disease, as well as from acute damaging events such as ischemia-reperfusion injury. There is also growing evidence heat therapy can be used to target metabolic dysfunction in obesity and diabetes through improvements in insulin signaling in fat and muscle cells. This ancient therapy needs broader application to treat modern diseases, particularly in those not able to obtain the full benefits of exercise.
Dr Christopher Minson is the Kenneth and Kenda Singer Professor of Human Physiology. His research focuses on topics related to integrative cardiovascular physiology in humans. His lab investigates how we can use exposures to extreme environments to gain a healthy and resilient physiology. He is also involved in projects related to endocrine function in women, biomarkers of aging and the risk of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, and finding novel ways to improve thermal comfort and safely in work environments. He also works with elite athletes in the use of environmental stressors to improve performance.
Dr Minson is a 2019 Institute of Advanced Studies Visiting Fellow.This public lecture is presented by the UWA School of Human Sciences (Exercise and Sport Science).