Sweating it out in a sauna may seem like a strange activity, but there’s scientific evidence to back up its use for therapeutic benefits. From relaxing tense muscles to improving respiratory health, saunas are well known for their therapeutic benefits. But what exactly is the science behind sauna therapy? In this article, we’ll dive into the details of how saunas work, including the different types, their primary functions, and the various health benefits associated with them.
Types of Sauna
Infrared saunas are the most popular type of sauna. This type of sauna produces infrared radiation waves that warm the body directly instead of heating up the surrounding air. Compared to traditional saunas, they produce heat at a much lower temperature, which can be more comfortable for some users. Additionally, infrared saunas require less set up time and can fit in smaller, more accessible spaces.
Traditional saunas use heat to create steam in a closed room, making the space warm and humid. This type of sauna produces extreme temperatures, with some reaching up to 95° Celsius or even more. Traditional saunas typically take longer to set up and require a larger dedicated space, however, they can provide a more intense therapeutic experience.
Function of Sauna
Sauna and Sweat
The primary function of the sauna is to cause sweating. The extreme temperatures inside the sauna cause the body to sweat and release toxins through the sweat glands. Sweating is beneficial for both physical and mental wellbeing and can help improve complexion and skin health, as well as reducing stress and promoting relaxation.
Heat and Blood Circulation
The heat of a sauna also increases blood circulation, which can help reduce inflammation in the body. By increasing circulation, the heat of the sauna helps bring oxygen and nutrients to cells and tissues, promoting overall health. Additionally, it can increase flexibility, reduce pain caused by conditions such as arthritis, and improve recovery time from exercise.
Improving Respiratory Health
Regular sauna use can provide relief for respiratory issues such as asthma, sinusitis and even the common cold. The hot, humid air helps to break up congested mucus, allowing it to be more easily cleared from the lungs. Additionally, hot, dry air can help sooth sore throats and help reduce coughing fits.
Relieving Pain and Tension
The hot, humid air of the sauna can be very effective at relieving muscle aches and tension, as well as improving flexibility. The warmth of the sauna helps relax tense muscles, which can be very helpful for those who suffer from chronic pain and headaches. Additionally, the humidity can help moisturize the skin and reduce redness and irritation.
Improving Mental Health
Regular use of a sauna has been linked to improved mental health, as well as providing relaxation and stress relief. Studies have shown that regular sauna use can reduce depression and anxiety, and help people get to a state of relaxation. Additionally, the physical benefits of a sauna can help increase overall wellbeing and quality of life.
People Also Ask Questions
What are the Benefits of Sauna?
The benefits of sauna use include reducing stress and tension, increasing circulation, improving respiratory health, and helping to relieve pain and soreness. Additionally, regular sauna use can boost mood and mental wellbeing.
How Often Should I Use a Sauna?
How often you use a sauna is highly individual and can vary based on health history and needs. It’s generally recommended to start with a few short sessions a week, and gradually increase your sauna frequency over time.
What Should I Wear in the Sauna?
It’s generally recommended to wear as little as possible in the sauna. Wearing shorts or lightweight clothing can help keep you cool and comfortable. It’s also important to note that swimming suits and exercise clothing should not be worn in the sauna, as they can be made from materials that can burn or melt at high temperatures.
Are Saunas Safe?
When used responsibly, saunas can be safe and provide numerous health benefits. It’s important to avoid staying in the sauna for too long, especially if you’re new to sauna use, as extreme temperatures can be dangerous. Additionally, it’s important to stay well-hydrated before, during and after sauna use.
From enhancing skin health and better sleep to relieving respiratory and mental health issues, there are numerous benefits to using saunas. For those looking to take advantage of the therapeutic benefits saunas have to offer, understanding the basics of how saunas work and the different types of saunas available can be the first step in creating a natural and accessible healing experience.