I have been lucky enough to stay in a number of luxurious hotels over the past few months. One of my favourite things about these hotels, and something that I am now going to do regularly, is visiting the sauna. It is a thoroughly relaxing experience for me. I know that because of the relaxation it brings me that the sauna is beneficial for me but I wanted to look at other benefits of using a sauna.
A sauna can take on many forms but is basically a room in which to experience heat therapy.
There are mixed messages about the benefits of using a sauna. New research has suggested that saunas can help to alleviate the symptoms of depression, studies have focused on the benefits for heart health, while other research has stated that there are no benefits whatsoever. I have read many studies on possible benefits and I will summarise what I have found below.
Benefits of using a sauna:
- Detoxification: Saunas can help with detoxification as they increase levels of sweating which eliminates toxins from the body. This can lead to better skin condition, healthier hair and an all round good feeling.
- Strengthened immune system: As well as getting rid of the bad stuff, saunas also encourage the body to produce the good stuff . This happens because as the core body temperature rises, the body believes that it is a fever and produces white cells to ward off illness. This in turn strengthens the immune system.
- Endorphin release: Endorphins are the body’s own feel-good chemicals. The heat from a sauna stimulates the release of endorphins. The results of this include stress relief, relaxed muscles and less pain. Endorphins create a tranquilizing effect which reduces pain.
- Increased blood flow: When the body temperature rises due to the heat from a sauna, blood vessels dilate and blood circulation is increased. The increased blood flow speeds up the body’s healing process and aids recovery.
- Social benefits: Enjoying a sauna can be a very social activity. This is, for many, one of the main benefits of using a sauna. The relaxing, intimate environment is conducive to quiet, friendly chatting.
Using a sauna is beneficial for me because I enjoy sitting for ten minutes relaxing in the heat. They are not for everybody and they can actually be dangerous for people with certain conditions. If you are going to try out a sauna, consult your doctor first to make sure that it is safe for you.
Please share your views on saunas in the comments section below and let me know if you feel they are beneficial for you.