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Benefits Of Sauna Therapy
25 February 2015
Benefits Of Sauna Therapy

Sauna therapy has been around for centuries and was often thought of as a cleansing ritual for the body, mind and soul. In days gone by the Sauna ritual was very simplistic; you sat in the heated room (which could reach temperatures of 180+ degrees Fahrenheit) for around 10 – 20 minutes, then it was tradition to jump into a lake (modern day plunge pool) to cool off. This cycle would be repeated as often as was comfortable.

Today things are a little more structured and you tend to find Saunas available at most health clubs and leisure centers. So what is all the fuss about? And what are the real benefits of using a Sauna?

Well, Saunas are a great way of reducing anxiety and stress, while promoting a feeling of deep relaxation. Saunas work by increasing your core body temperature which causes you to sweat, detoxifying the body and relaxing the mind. Regular sauna use can:

  • Improve the appearance and condition of your skin.
    The extreme temperature of a sauna session, stimulates blood flow to the upper layer of the skin. This increased blood flow pushes all the healthy nutrients to the skins surface ready for absorption, thus feeding the skin. The increased blood flow to the skin also causes your body to sweat and your pores to open. While you are sweating, you are ‘washing’ all the impurities out of your open pores, not giving them a chance to develop into anything nasty.  Due to this if you suffer from a skin condition, using a sauna may help to improve it.
  • Detoxification
    The high temperature inside the sauna also helps the body to release poisons that have been absorbed from our environment or diet (nicotine, alcohol). These toxins are released by the body via sweat. Therefore a regular sauna session will help to detoxify the body and promote the removal of toxic substances such as lead, mercury, zinc, nickel and cadmium.
  • Improved immunity
    During a sauna your body is forced into a state of ‘artificial fever’, although this sounds scary it is actually good news for your body. When your body has a fever your natural healing process is stimulated and when this happens your Immune System will naturally increase the volume of white blood cells and antibodies it produces, it is these white blood cells and antibodies that fight off any bacteria or illness that may be lurking in your body ready to pounce. The high temperature also helps to dislodge any bacteria that may be hiding in hard to reach places (bones, teeth etc) and gives the cells and antibodies a perfect opportunity to fight them off.
  • Improves Respiratory Problems
    If you suffer from a respiratory condition (chest congestion, bronchitis, laryngitis or sinusitis) regular use of the sauna can ease the symptoms.
  • Revive your muscles
    A sauna session can actually bring some ‘life’ back into tired and sore muscles. Your muscles will benefit from more oxygen, resulting in increased blood flow which helps to loosen off tight, stiff and sore muscles. Relaxing in the sauna after an intense workout could actually decrease your recovery time and prevent muscle pain.
  • Improve the appearance of cellulite
    The high temperatures in the sauna can help to loosen the build-up of hard fatty tissue and toxins that adds to the ‘orange peel’ appearance on the thighs and buttocks. Give your body a scrub with a loofah or a good body scrub post sauna to remove the dead skin and you will be on your way to winning the war against cellulite.
  • Promotes a feeling of well-being
    The warm, dry, quiet and dark space that the sauna has to offer provides you with a comfortable and safe escape from the hassles of daily life for a short period of time. This quiet ‘me time’, free from outside distractions will give you a much needed chance to relax, allowing your body to produce ‘feel good’ hormones, which will keep you calm and serene even after your sauna session has finished.
  • Reduced pain from Arthritis
    The high temperature penetrates the body and eases the daily aches and pains of arthritis and other painful joint conditions. The type of dry heat found in saunas penetrates deeply into the muscles helping to relieve any pain and stiffness.

Tips for using the Sauna

  • Drink water before and after your sauna session, to replace lost fluid and keep you hydrated.
  • Wear little or nothing while in the sauna. A towel wrapped around your body is adequate as this lets your body sweat freely.
  • Shower after the sauna to wash away any toxins that your body has eliminated through sweat.
  • Wash any make up off your face before entering the sauna to give your skin a chance to breath and prevent the pores from clogging.