The Health Benefits of Saunas
Spending 15-20 minutes in a home sauna every day can do wonders for your skin’s clarity, weight management, and overall well being.
And that’s just the start. Saunas provide other health benefits for more serious conditions too.
While saunas are proven to be great for our health, we recommend anyone with a health concern speak with a doctor before entering a sauna.
A number of respiratory illnesses are effectively treated with a little time in the sauna. Those with chest congestion, bronchitis, laryngitis, and sinusitis may find that 15 minutes in a sauna looses mucus and makes breathing easier. Two things happen inside a sauna: heat and steam. With a higher body temperature and by inhaling steam, the respiratory pathways open and blood flow increases. Together, this boosts oxygen intake ultimately making you breathe better and feel better too.
‘Curing’ the Cold: There’s still no cure for the common cold, but saunas do aid in fighting a cold and flu. As mentioned above, the sauna clears respiratory passageways, but saunas also improve circulation allowing the body to better flush toxins and bring nutrients to areas of the body that need it most. Sweating also flushes impurities adding another layer. The increased heat also simulates a fever helping your body to fight the virus. Lastly, the heat strengthens your immune system by promoting the growth of white blood cells.
Saunas are commonly used for improving overall cardiovascular health and even preventing heart disease. All people with a doctor’s permission – no matter their age or gender – can benefit from the regular use of a sauna and the strengthened cardiac health that follows. After just 10 minutes in a sauna, your heart rate increases by as much as 75%. This is similar to some forms of exercise such as a brisk walk, for example. While a sauna will never replace proper diet and exercise, it can be a welcomed addition to your health care regiment.
Some doctors suggest sauna use for the effects it has on your circulatory system. The heat from the sauna and the ensuing rise in your body’s temperature causes your blood vessels to dilate and your blood pressure to decrease. Blood flows more freely and as your heart rate increases your body naturally cools itself.
In addition to the general benefits of improved circulation and an extra cardiovascular workout, some sauna users with specific cardiovascular health issues have seen improvements too.
- Increased cardiac output
- Those with arteriolosclerosis (condition where arteries become hard) see improvement from regular blood vessel dilation.
- Temporary reduction in blood pressure
Saunas can do wonders to improve the look and feel of our skin. Regular time in a home sauna has similar benefits as cleansing, moisturizing, and exfoliating. Saunas are considered a mild skin care treatment that rarely bothers even sensitive skin. When you step into a sauna, it doesn’t take long to start sweating. That perspiration is one way the body rids itself of toxins and a method for removing dirt and dead skin cells. Almost all sweat is made up of water, however, trace amounts of mercury, lead, nickel, and copper can be found in perspiration as well. All of the items we’ve mentioned here (dead skin, dirt, metals, toxins, etc) can lead to a variety of skin conditions including acne and dry skin. In addition to perspiration, the sauna also works to improve the body’s circulation. Improved circulation also flushes out those pesky toxins and brings the needed nutrients to the skin cells promoting healing and a healthy glow.
After leaving the sauna, a shower will wash away the perspiration and prevent your body from reabsorbing the toxins you just perspired. Remember that the warm sauna lowers your blood pressure while cold water increases your blood pressure. Be careful not to create too much of a jump in either direction. Take a cool shower not a cold shower.
Athletes commonly use saunas to promote healing and for pain relief, and doctors have long recommended saunas to patients suffering from painful bone, joint, and muscle diseases.
Full List of Sauna Health Benefits
There are dozens of health benefits of using a sauna. We identify 25 ailments that can be treated with regular sauna use. This is only a partial list.
- Cardiovascular health
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Cold and flu
- Cuts and bruises
- Headaches and sinus pain
- Heart disease
- Immune system
- Weight loss
HotSpring Spas of Music City does not recommend saunas to anyone with a health issue unless they’ve received specific instructions from their doctor. Before you enter a sauna, confirm that it is good for your health.