During a 10-20 minute sauna session, your heart rate increases by 50-75%. This provides the same metabolic result as physical exercise. The increased cardiac load is the equivalent to a brisk walk. There is a nominal effect on blood pressure because the heat also causes blood vessels in skin to expand to accommodate increased blood flow.
Blood vessels become more flexible and there is increased circulation to the extremities. During a sauna, blood flow to the skin increases to as high as 50-70% of cardiac output (compared to the standard 5-10%). This brings nutrients to subcutaneous and surface tissue resulting in glowing healthy skin.
Steam baths and saunas induce sweating to provide a comprehensive cleansing of the skin and sweat glands. Skin is the largest organ in the body. 30% of body wastes are passed through the skin. Profuse sweating enhances the detoxifying capacity of the skin by opening pores and flushing impurities from the body.
When taking a sauna, skin temperature rises to 40°C (104°F) and internal body temperature rises to about 38°C (100.4°F). Exposure to the high heat creates an artificial fever state. Fever is part of the body’s natural healing process. Fever stimulates the immune system resulting in increased production of disease fighting white blood cells, antibodies and interferon (an anti viral protein with cancer fighting capability).
In Physiotherapy we use the saunas to increase the temperature in the muscles thus achieving relaxation, elongation and better flexibilty.
Some of the other benefits associated with saunas and steam baths include:
- Relief from the pain and stiffness of arthritis, tight muscles and other musculo-skeletal conditions
- Steam is an excellent treatment for respiratory problems, such as; chest congestion, bronchitis, laryngitis and sinusitis.
- Revives tired and strained muscles after physical exertion.
- The cleansing effect of profuse perspiration helps provide healthy skin and a clear complexion.
Steam Room Benefits – effects on skin, muscle and joint pain, stress, and more…
Most people associate steam baths with relaxation or skin look-and-feel improvements, but steam room benefits may also include:
- relief from muscle tension and stiff joints
- boosting the immune system
- lymph detoxification
- blood circulation improvement
Heat has been known to be effective against joint and muscular pain.
It causes your blood vessels to expand, which increases blood circulation.
As a result, more oxygen and nutrients can reach damaged parts of your body.
This has the double effect of temporarily reducing or stopping pain and increasing your body’s healing rate.
Spend 10 or 15 minutes in a steam room after you exercise for example, and you’ll help speed up healing of damaged muscle tissue.
Many peoples lives are filled with stress, and we all know what stress can lead to…
- high blood pressure,
- cardiovascular disease,
- migraine headaches,
- muscle tension,
- …and the list goes on.
Relaxing in a steam room is a great way to unwind and relieve stress.
The heat tells your muscles to relax, and the cloud of steam provides the perfect soothing atmosphere for calming your mind.