People living in Finland and Sweden already know it – sauna therapy is a wonderful way to reduce anxiety and stress, while promoting relaxation, contentment and peace of mind. However, saunas and steam-baths are much more than just leisure products. Other health benefits of using sauna include muscle relaxation, detoxification and glowing healthy skin.
The tradition of sauna stems from the centuries old ritual of cleansing the body and the soul. Routines vary, but the basic idea is simple: sitting in the hot room, which is typically warmed to 180+ degrees Fahrenheit. After 10-20 minutes – just when the heat becomes uncomfortable – it is customary to jump into a lake or swimming pool or to take a shower. After a short rest one goes back to the hot room and begins the cycle again, according to their personal preference.
Sauna and its health benefits
Sauna works on the principle of generating abundant sweat to detoxify the body and relax the mind. Regular sauna use can bring a number of health advantages – some of them are listed below:
- Glowing healthy skin – blood flow to the skin increases during a sauna session. With more essential nutrients being available to subcutaneous and surface tissue, the quality of the skin gradually improves.
- Detoxification – the heat releases poisons and heavy metals beneath the skin so that they can be purged through respiration. In this day and age most people are exposed to toxins every day. Toxic chemicals are abundantly present in our food and environment, so it seems reasonable to aid the detoxification process with the regular use of sauna.
- Hyperthermia – exposure to the high heat creates an artificial fever state. Fever stimulates the body’s natural healing process. As a result, your immune system will produce greater numbers of disease fighting white blood cells and antibodies to eliminate viruses and other pathogens.
Furthermore, sauna therapy relaxes muscles and inhibits sympathetic nervous activity. Regular sauna users say that a “good sweat” provides and opportunity to indulge in positive thoughts and escape from everyday troubles.
With that said, there are several safety precautions that you should always follow:
- Do not stay in the hot room for more than 30 minutes
- Allow adequate time for rest after leaving the sauna
- Drink sufficient amount of water to replenish lost fluids and minerals
- Be sure to remove contact lenses before entering sauna
- Drinking alcohol in the sauna is not recommended
- Pregnant women should avoid sauna and steam-baths altogether
If you are in reasonable health, the benefits of sauna and steam-baths far outweigh any hazards. Follow the aforementioned guidelines and include sauna as part of your lifestyle. You’ll experience a level of renewal that is hard to surpass.