The health benefits of steam rooms and saunas go far beyond what one would expect. Much more than simply a relaxing recreation, steam and sauna bathing provides a variety of psychological and physiological effects. As research continues to affirm the benefits of visiting a steam shower or sauna, more people are adding it to their daily regimen.
Regular use of Steam Rooms and Saunas provides...
A Healthier Lifestyle
A 2018 Mayo Clinic Proceedings study states, “Sauna bathing may be linked to several health benefits, which include reduction in the risk of vascular diseases such as high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and neurocognitive diseases; nonvascular conditions such as pulmonary diseases; mortality; as well as amelioration of conditions such as arthritis, headache, and flu.”
This study tracked 2,315 middle-aged Finnish men for more than 20 years. The research found that those that visited a sauna 4-7 times a week had a 66% reduced risk of developing dementia, a 62% reduced risk of incident stroke, and a 47% reduced risk of developing hypertension.
According to Dr. Thomas H. Lee of Brigham and Women’s Hospital, “The cardiovascular effects of sauna have been well documented in the past. It lowers blood pressure and there is every reason to believe that its effects are good for blood vessels.”
A study conducted by the University of Munich’s Institute of Medical Balneology and Climatology concluded that steam bathing can help ease upper respiratory issues, bronchitis, and other breathing ailments by soothing the throat.
When exposed to the high temperatures of a sauna or steam room, the human body releases endorphins— the body’s naturally produced pain-relieving chemicals. Endorphins and heat help relax muscles and relieve aches and pains.
Cardiologist Dr. Joshua Liberman states, “We know that the application of heat, locally, causes blood vessels to relax and blood flow to increase." As blood circulation increases during each bathing session, a variety of benefits are observed—the body’s natural healing process speeds up, heart rate lowers, muscles soothe, and brain functions improve. The use of sauna bathing has proven to be an effective rehabilitation method for athletes recovering from injuries.
Heavy sweating during a bathing session is believed to cleanse the body of infections and harmful toxins clogging the pores. Increased circulation leaves skin looking healthier, moisturized, and rejuvenated. Dr. Lawrence Wilson states, “Heating the body several degrees causes greatly increased circulation as the body attempts to maintain its basal temperature.”
Stress & Anxiety Relief
Avid bathers often cite stress reduction as a key reason for regularly using a steam room or sauna. Like the therapeutic effects of a workout, steam and sauna bathing reduces stress and anxiety, promotes relaxation, and facilitates a deeper, more restful sleep. According to Dr. Lawrence Wilson’s book, Sauna Therapy for Detoxification and Healing, studies indicate that regular sauna use helps lower stress hormones such as cortisol.
Saunas and steam baths both provide relief from everyday tension by offering a private, quiet, and cathartic moment or can be used as a wholesome place to socialize with friends and family. It gives a chance to talk and interact with others while enjoying the multitude of health benefits.
Saunas and steam rooms can potentially aid in weight loss by shedding water weight. The use of steam rooms and saunas after a workout is often used to help burn calories. Because of the amount of water shed from heavy sweating, it is important to hydrate before and after your bathing session.
If you have high blood pressure, heart issues, or other health problems, we recommend that you consult with your physician before using a steam room or sauna. Avoid steam rooms and saunas if you are pregnant.