The high temperature in a sauna stimulates blood flow and circulation, causing blood vessels in the skin to expand and become more flexible. This better blood flow helps lower blood pressure. Sauna therapy also helps with respiratory problems by alleviating chest congestion, which can relieve complications from bronchitis, laryngitis and other respiratory disease.
The dry heat of sauna therapy helps the body sweat out toxins and flush excess water and waste. The heat causes the body to react much as it would if you had a fever, activating your immune system, white blood cells and antibodies. This helps ward off or fight a cold or flu.
Sauna therapy is also used as a weight loss aid; although your body might feel relaxed, your heart rate is actually increasing due to the dry heat. A 20-minute session at approximately 165 to 175 degrees F) will burn over 500 calories. In fact, the body’s metabolism speeds up similarly to the way it would from physical exercise.
Sauna therapy is an excellent complement to physical therapy. The dry heat of the sauna enhances the oxygen and nutrient supply to muscles and deep tissue, relieving tired, achy muscles. It is often used to treat the pain and stiffness of arthritis but is beneficial for everyone to revive stiff, pulled or achy muscles.
The steam and heat help muscles relax, soothe the mind and rejuvenate the body. Increased blood flow and an enhanced oxygen supply relaxes your body and your mental state. Use the sauna as a place to unwind and find relief from stress.
Your skin is the largest organ in your body, and one of its jobs is to flush toxins via perspiration. The heat of sauna therapy increases sweating to release impurities and body wastes through the skin. You are not only cleaning your pores but increasing circulation., leaving you with with a soft, glowing complexion.
Your body must expend energy (calories) to produce sweat, so a single sauna session can burn as many calories as you would jogging for 30 minutes.
As your body produces sweat to cool itself, your heart works harder pumping blood at a great rate to boost circulation, supplying the conditioning effects of exercise.
Heat exposure to the skin stimulates production of white blood cells and strengthens the immune system.
The profuse sweating achieved after just a few minutes in a sauna carries off deeply imbedded impurities and dead skin cells, not only leaving your skin glowing and immaculately clean, but also giving you improved skin tone, elasticity, texture and color. Sweat rinses bacteria out of the epidermal layer and sweat ducts. Cleansing of the pores improves the capillary circulation and gives the skin a soft, beautiful appearance.
Increased blood circulation stimulates the sweat glands, releasing the built-up toxins and waste that your body trapped in the fatty layers just beneath your skin.
The heat of a sauna helps peripheral blood vessels dilate, bringing relief and healing to muscles, soft tissue injuries and eliminate lactic acid and other toxins from muscles after a workout.
In Europe, saunas are widely used to treat patients suffering from many forms of arthritis, and has proven effective in the treatment of sprains, neuralgia, bursitis, muscle spasms, and many other muscular-skeletal ailments. Under high heat, the body releases endorphins- the body’s naturally produced pain relieving chemical. Endorphins can have a mild and enjoyable tranquilizing effect and the ability to quell the pain of arthritis and muscle soreness from an intense physical workout.
When gases, metals and pollutants, such as dioxins, lead, mercury or chlorine get into the water molecules of cells, they tend to “capture” large molecules of water. The accumulation of toxins in the body blocks cell energy and reduces blood flow. In the heat of a sauna, the core body temperature begins to rise, the blood vessels dilate and cause the cells to release the toxins from the captivity of the water molecules for excretion via perspiration and urine. As the heat from the blood moves toward the skin surfaces and the core body temperature rises, the body’s nervous system sends signals to the millions of sweat glands covering the body. As the sweat glands are stimulated they produce sweat. Sweat production is primarily for cooling of the body, and is composed mostly of water but deep sweating in a sauna can help reduce levels of lead, copper, sodium, zinc, nickel and mercury- all toxins commonly picked up from our environment.
According to published studies saunas help with:
If you have serious heart or respiratory problems, check with your doctor before using a sauna. Avoid drugs, alcohol and food before using the sauna.