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Saunas, steam rooms, and other therapeutic spa facilities have been regularly studied by scientists to identify their health benefits, often surprising people with extremely positive results. As well as providing a comfortable and serene environment for users to relax in, saunas and spas are known to have fantastic health benefits for the body and mind. The heat used in these spa products is beneficial for the body in several ways, including improved circulation, improved immunity, reduced muscle tightness, and stress relief to name a few. Here, we will explain some of the many benefits of visiting a spa or having one installed in your private home.
1. The strong heat of a dry sauna aids recovery after a workout and is a great way to help muscles to relax.
2. The powerful heat increases the heart rate, much like a cardiovascular workout, and is great for your heart.
3. Sweating helps remove dead skin cells and is a gentler way to exfoliate than many abrasive exfoliating skin care products. Just make sure that you take a shower and your skin is clean before you enter the sauna – bacteria and sweat combined aren’t good for your skin.
4. Sweating improves blood flow to the skin, also known as cutaneous circulation.
5. Sweat from the heat will reduce water retention and increase metabolism– just be sure to keep drinking water to prevent dehydration.
1. For some, the steam and the gentle heat might feel like a more relaxing and therapeutic experience. Not everyone wants to turn a sauna into a competition to see who can outlast others in the 100 degrees Celsius!
2. Some might find the softer “löyly” more relaxing and therapeutic. The Wall Combi, for example, has a stone cup in which you can add fragrances and essential oils to enhance the experience.
3. The steam opens pores, which makes it easier to cleanse and helps skin care products penetrate more deeply into the skin.
4. Steam and humid air cause mucosal secretions and opens up airways, thus relieving asthma and congestion.
5. Steam and lower heat are a better option for people suffering from rosacea, a skin condition in which blood vessels dilate, causing redness. Rosacea is triggered by sudden heat changes, so for those true fans of sauna we recommend lower heat when sauna bathing.
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for more on the benefits of sauna and steam room use
When exposed to the heat of a sauna, steam room, or spa bath, the capillaries in the body dilate. This allows blood to flow easier throughout the body, improving circulation and increasing oxygen levels throughout the entire body. Not only does this allow for better blood flow and capillary flexibility, but heat also improves cardiovascular health by reducing blood pressure and stress levels. Incredibly, regular users of saunas and steam rooms can reduce their risk of certain cardiovascular diseases by up to a whopping 65%.
If you suffer from sinus problems such as a nasal drip, sinusitis, sinus headaches, or sinus-related chest infections, you will know how uncomfortable it can be to have a flare-up. Interestingly, the damp heat from steam rooms can be of great benefit to those with these problems, clearing the sinuses and allowing greater drainage and comfort while breathing. This can also help to treat sinus infections in the long run.
Whether you suffer regularly from chronic muscle pain or just need to loosen up after a tough workout, the sauna or steam room could be your best friend. When using a sauna or steam room, the heat relaxes the muscles, draining painful build-ups of lactic acid and loosening out any tight or spasming muscles. While many people use saunas or steam rooms post-workout, recent studies show that they could be beneficial to use before exercise too, as loosening your muscles beforehand could prevent soreness and stiffness post-workout.
The modern world can be a stressful place sometimes, so it’s important to have a safe haven of relaxation to escape to when things feel a little overwhelming. Interestingly, the heat from saunas and steam rooms encourage the body to release endorphins, leading to reduced stress levels and increased happiness levels. When the body and mind are relaxed, you can expect better sleep, more energy, and improved mood, also.
If you’ve been feeling bloated, run-down, and unhealthy, it may be time for a detox. Saunas and steam rooms provide a natural detox for users, stimulating the removal of toxins and waste from the body through sweat. Amazingly, after just 20 minutes of relaxing in a sauna or steam room, the day’s sweat and toxins should be released. Not only will you feel healthier and more energised after this, but it’s also a great way of detoxifying the skin to give you a youthful glow.
Is sauna use always good for you? When should I avoid it?
Many experts say that if you are able to walk into a sauna by yourself, it is safe for you to use the sauna. However, always keep moderation and good sauna habits in mind. If you do not feel normal or if you have been diagnosed with heart problems, you should first consult your doctor about using the sauna. In general, it can be said that if going to the sauna feels good, then it is good for you. This rule does not apply to joint pains related to rheumatism, as they are often alleviated in the sauna but may come back stronger the next day. You can try to avoid this by cooling yourself properly after the sauna.
I have been diagnosed with high blood pressure. Is it safe for me to use the sauna?
The heat in the sauna accelerates the heart rate and increases the amount of blood pumped through the surface blood vessels in particular. Similarly, the blood vessels expand, which causes blood pressure to decrease. This decrease in blood pressure is temporary and only lasts for a few hours. However, the warming of the tissues apparently releases substances which boost the normal functioning of the arteries and blood vessels. In other words, moderate sauna use can usually be considered to be safe, but as with all matters related to the circulatory system, you should always consult with your own doctor whether sauna use is recommended.
Does the sauna alleviate asthma?
Some people suffering from asthma feel that it is easier for them to breathe in the moist steam, while others do not. It has no effect on the disease itself.
Does the sauna dry out the skin?
Going to the sauna is good for your skin. The increase in surface blood flow caused by the heat transports building materials to the skin’s cells, helping them regenerate and remove metabolic wastes more effectively. Healthy and clean skin retains moisture better and stays elastic.
Does going to the sauna help with sleep?
In the sauna, the heart rate may increase to up to 150 beats per minute, so sauna goers may not necessarily feel sleepy immediately afterwards. But when the body begins to cool down, hormones are released that make it easier to fall asleep. Studies have also found that sleep may be deeper than normal after sauna use. You can only find the manner of sauna use suitable for you by trying.
What is the recommended time in a sauna?
All sauna use that does not feel good or causes unwanted effects afterwards is excessive. But those who are used to going to the sauna frequently can easily do so as often as every day. In the study published by the University of Eastern Finland, the greatest health effects were observed when the sauna was used 4 to 7 times per week for approximately 20 minutes at a time.