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Steam and Sauna

Sauna Benefits

Sauna BenefitsFor centuries, people have used sauna bathing to be cleansed and purified. The ancient medical text, the Ayurveda, written in Sanskrit in 568 BC, prescribed the sweat bath as a health measure, and sauna has been an uninterrupted tradition ever since. People came to the sauna for religious purposes and for purification, but just as importantly, they also wanted to relax from the stress of daily life, in a congenial and social atmosphere.

Because so few modern-day people perform hard, physical labor for a living, most of us simply do not perspire enough. In addition, we clog our pores with the use of cosmetics, antiperspirants, smog, and other modern "conveniences." But repeated sauna use can help.

In a sauna, you expose yourself to a high enough temperature for a long enough time to cause perspiration. This perspiration cleanses the skin of impurities. It has been noted that the Finns, who use their saunas extensively, have far more supple, elastic skin than their American counterparts. Properly cared for skin can better prevent skin ailments such as eczema, athlete's foot, pimples, and blackheads.

The heat from the sauna also relaxes the muscles, relieving muscular aches and pains. It is a refreshing, revitalizing experience that helps both body and mind. Stress melts away, and the sauna helps many people sleep more soundly.

Beginning users should use the sauna judiciously to start. As long as you feel comfortable, you may stay in the sauna, or repeat a hot-cold cycle as often as you wish. Avoid using a sauna if you have a fever or an inflammatory disease or injury, if you are pregnant, or if you have been drinking. You may want to consult your physician if you have a disease, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, asthma or skin disease.