Sauna therapy refers to a confined room of about 160-180 degrees Fahrenheit. Generally the room is made of a dried, wood planks and heated with hot granite rocks. The sauna is a place for people to sit, relax and sweat for both social and health purposes. With benefits ranging from alleviating arthritis pain, lowering blood pressure, helping with respiratory disease and clearing up your complexion, sauna therapy is a relaxing way to ease the body and mind.
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 a healthy, glowing complexion.
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.