Monday, August 1, 2011
Benefits of steam bathing is that it has a stimulating effect on the cardiovascular system. The pulse rate increases from 75 beats per minute (average) to between 100 - 150 beats per minute during a 15 - 20 minute session. This increases blood circulation but not blood pressure, since the heat causes the tiny blood vessels in the skin to expand, accommodating the increased blood flow.
Steam bathing and thus steam inhalation is an effective treatment in respiratory conditions and is highly recommended for the treatment of the common cold, sinusitis, bronchitis, allergies and asthma.
1. Steam relieves inflammation and congestion of the upper respiratory membranes.
2. Steam relieves throat irritation by moistening the air.
3. Steam relieves spasmodic breathing (asthma, croup).
4. Steam loosens secretions and stimulates discharges of mucous from the throat and lungs.
5. Steam relaxes muscles and relieves coughing.
6. Steam keeps the mucous membranes from excessive drying.
Lose Weight in the Sauna!
Another one of the lesser known health benefits of saunas is that you can use this relaxing, stress-relieving time to lose weight! We all know that stress is one of the causes of overeating and studies have shown that by bathing for longer sessions (30 minutes or more), you can burn up to 500 calories, which is about what you would burn on a 3-mile run.
Saunas flush toxins.
Deep sweating in a sauna can help reduce levels of lead, copper, zinc, nickel, mercury and chemical - which are all toxins commonly absorbed just from interacting with our daily environments.
Saunas relax muscles and soothe aches/pains in both muscles and joints.
Under the high heat provided by a sauna, the body releases endorphins. Endorphins can have a mild, enjoyable "tranquilizing effect" and the ability to minimize the pain of arthritis and muscle soreness other from, say, an intense physical workout.
Saunas relieve stress.
Sauna bathers most frequently cite stress reduction as the number one benefit of sauna use
Sauna cleanses the skin.
Research has shown that a deeper, more relaxed sleep can result from sauna use.
Saunas improve cardiovascular performance
With regular sauna useage, we not only train our heart muscles and improve the heart rate/cardiac output, but we also help the body's regulatory system.
Saunas can help fight illness.
German sauna medical research shows that saunas were able to significantly reduce the incidences of colds and influenza amongst participants. As the body is exposed to the heat of a sauna and steam (in the case of traditional saunas), it produces white blood cells more rapidly, which in turn helps to fight illnesses and helps to kill viruses.In addition, saunas can relieve the uncomfortable symptoms of sinus congestion from from colds or allergies - especially when used with steam (tip: add eucalyptus to the water for added benefit and overall enjoyment). The steam vapor action helps to clear up unwanted congestion and is a wonderful aspect of the Finnish sauna experience.