Background: We conducted a prospective multicenter case-control study to confirm the clinical efficacy and safety of Waon therapy on chronic heart failure (CHF).

Methods: Patients (n=188) with CHF were treated with standard therapy for at least 1 week, and then were randomized to Waon therapy (n=112) or a control group (n=76). All patients continued conventional treatment for an additional 2 weeks. The Waon therapy group was treated daily with a far infrared-ray dry sauna at 60 degrees C for 15 min and then kept on bed rest with a blanket for 30 min for 2 weeks. Chest radiography, echocardiography, and plasma levels of brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) were measured before and 2 weeks after treatment.

Results: NYHA functional class significantly decreased after 2 weeks of treatment in both groups. Chest radiography also showed a significant decrease of the cardiothoracic ratio in both groups (Waon therapy: 57.2+/-8.0% to 55.2+/-8.0%, p<0.0001; control: 57.0+/-7.7% to 56.0+/-7.1%, p<0.05). Echocardiography demonstrated that left ventricular diastolic dimension (LVDd), left atrial dimension (LAD), and ejection fraction (EF) significantly improved in the Waon therapy group (LVDd: 60.6+/-7.6 to 59.1+/-8.4 mm, p<0.0001; LAD: 45.4+/-9.3 mm to 44.1+/-9.4 mm, p<0.05; EF: 31.6+/-10.4% to 34.6+/-10.6%, p<0.0001), but not in the control group (LVDd: 58.4+/-10.3 mm to 57.9+/-10.4 mm; LAD: 46.3+/-9.7 mm to 46.2+/-10.1 mm; EF: 36.6+/-14.1% to 37.3+/-14.0%). The plasma concentration of BNP significantly decreased with Waon therapy, but not in the control group (Waon: 542+/-508 pg/ml to 394+/-410 pg/ml, p<0.001; control: 440+/-377 pg/ml to 358+/-382 pg/ml).

Conclusion: Waon therapy is safe, improves clinical symptoms and cardiac function, and decreases cardiac size in CHF patients. Waon therapy is an innovative and promising therapy for patients with CHF.

Miyata M, Kihara T, Kubozono T, Ikeda Y, Shinsato T, Izumi T, Matsuzaki M, Yamaguchi T, Kasanuki H, Daida H, Nagayama M, Nishigami K, Hirata K, Kihara K, Tei C. Beneficial effects of Waon therapy on patients with chronic heart failure: results of a prospective multicenter study. J Cardiol. 2008 Oct;52(2):79-85. doi: 10.1016/j.jjcc.2008.07.009. Epub 2008 Aug 27. PMID: 18922381.