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Sauna Benefits & Precautions

Sauna Benefits, Precautions 
(& How to enjoy a Sauna)
Sauna Research


















 

Soothes and relaxes tired muscles
Athletes use Saunas to improve their range of motion and to help loosen
tight muscles after a hard workout.

Helps to relieve mental fatigue
When your body is relaxed your mind feels better and you feel better.
The Sauna promotes a wonderful sense of well being.

Relieves tension and stress
You will feel rejuvenated and have increased energy levels.
The Sauna helps many get a more restful sleep.

Provides a cardiovascular workout--helps condition the heart
Finnish researchers have reported that the regular use of Saunas helps maintain the blood vessels. Vessels become elastic and pliable longer due to regular dilation and contraction from the process of heating and cooling the body repeatedly. The heart rate increases in the Sauna creating a demand for more oxygen, which in turn burns calories and provides a mild workout for the heart.

Increases metabolic rate
Regular Sauna usage helps speed up the metabolism
in a way similar to exercise.

Improves circulation
Blood vessel dilation brings blood closer to the surface of the skin and, as blood vessels expand to accommodate increased blood flow, circulation in the extremities improves.

Provides temporary relief for arthritic pain
Heat therapy benefits joint and muscle pain and helps with range of motion.

Promotes healing and releases natural pain killers
Beta Endorphins and Norepinephrines are released as the body's natural pain killers temporarily raise the body's pain threshold.

Increases resistance to illness
The Finnish Medical Society, Duodecim, has conducted tests that show a 30% less chance of getting a cold when Saunas are taken regularly. Saunas have even been shown to help in
preventing a cold from getting worse.
Sauna heat puts the body into an artificial fever state (hyperthermia). Fever is part of the body's natural healing process. This "fake fever" stimulates the immune system resulting in an increased production
of disease fighting white blood cells.

Burn as many as 300 calories during a Sauna session
The Sauna should not, of course, be used as a weight loss aid by itself, but when used with a good diet and exercise program, a Sauna can help burn more calories. Weight is lost in a Sauna,
but most of it is water loss from sweating.

Helps maintain clear, healthy skin
Increased blood flow promotes cellular growth and development by bringing important nutrients to subcutaneous and surface tissue. While taking a Sauna, blood flow to the skin increases to as high as 50-70% of cardiac output (normal is 5-10%). Sauna heat relaxes facial tension, skin pores are opened, and heat stimulates the epidermis, thus increasing circulation. Vasodilation (expansion of blood vessels) brings essential fluids to the surface, enhancing collagen production, to maintain skin elasticity and a wrinkle-free complexion.

Sweat out toxins and impurities from the body
Sauna is the deepest cleaning bath in the world. Perspiration induced by a Sauna opens the body's pores and naturally expels impurities and toxins from the body. There are many detoxification programs that use the Sauna daily to rid the body of chemicals. The Sauna has been used to sweat out nicotine, pesticides, and other toxins. Skin is the largest organ of the body and 30% of body wastes exit through the skin. The Sauna elevates the body's ability to rid itself of this waste.

Relieves allergies and sinus congestion
Steam inhalation is excellent for relieving throat irritations and helping the inflammation of upper respiratory mucous membranes. Sauna steam loosens secretions and can stimulate discharge of mucous
from the lungs and throat.

Reduces pain from sunburn
Heat from the Sauna soothes sunburned skin as blood rushes to the surface to aid in healing.

Helps with kidney function
Sauna bathing can augment proper kidney function. Perspiration through the skin's pores excretes a good amount of the body's wastes and reduces the load put on the kidneys. Sweating is such an effective detoxifier that some doctors recommend Sauna usage
‚Äčto supplement persons on kidney dialysis.

The Sauna Experience

SAUNA is the only bath in the world in which both dry and damp air is present at the same time. It is the body's natural way to cleanse itself through perspiration. The high heat (average of 180° F) and the low humidity (about 25%) create an environment which promotes over-all perspiration and the deep cleansing of pores. The body's impurities are flushed away (even nicotine from a smoker's body). This total perspiration helps maintain clear, healthy skin and provides a rosy afterglow.
Saunas are first and foremost a place of relaxation. The soft heat and humidity soothes and relaxes tired muscles, relieves stress, and promotes a wonderful after Sauna feeling of satisfaction and well being. The body's natural painkillers, beta-endorphins and norepinephrines, are released to provide a feeling much like the runner's high.
During a Sauna, the rate of blood circulation increases, the rate of breathing increases, and the pulse rate quickens. Saunas are like mild exercise, or a cardiovascular workout for your heart. Calories are also burned in a Sauna session. A Sauna should be used in conjunction with a proper diet and exercise program.

How do I enjoy a Sauna?
Shed your worries and let the relaxing Sauna aura surround you. Allow your body time to adjust to the high heat. Sit or lie on a towel on the top bench for the best heat. You may sit on the lower bench for cooler temperatures. As desired, pour 1 to 2 ladles full of water over the hot Sauna stones to produce steam, which will aid in perspiration. Optional aromatherapy is available upon request.

After 10-20 minutes, or when you feel ready, exit the Sauna and cool down by taking a shower.

Rest for a while in the cooling area.  You should spend about as much time cooling down as you have spent in the Sauna. Re-enter the Sauna and repeat the process as desired. Finish with a final shower. Then, relax with your favorite beverage and enjoy that wonderful after-Sauna feeling.

 Sauna Precautions

In Finland the Sauna is an elementary part of everyday life. Most anyone can use a Sauna, however the effects of a Sauna differ from person to person. If you are in doubt, you should always check with your physician before taking one. People who are new to the Sauna should take shorter Saunas at lower temperatures to accustom your body to the high heat.
Here are some typical warnings to be aware of:

  • Anyone under the influence of drugs or alcohol should stay clear from the Sauna.  Alcohol use dehydrates the body and using the Sauna would dehydrate even more. Also you are not using your best judgment when under the influence.
  • Persons with low blood pressure or heart disease should exercise caution. The heat of the Sauna causes the capillaries in the skin to dilate, which in effect lowers blood pressure. Heartbeat increases to keep blood pressure normal. Use caution and pay attention to how you feel before and after a Sauna.
  • Persons with high blood pressure should exercise caution. The same warnings are valid as with low blood pressure. In Finland, however, high blood pressure is fairly common (because of high alcohol consumption) and the Sauna is enjoyed by everyone without incident.
  • Pregnant women should ask the advice of their physician. Most pregnant women who are used to taking Saunas should not have a problem enjoying them, but take them at lower temperatures and do not stay in as long. Women in Finland take Saunas throughout their pregnancy. In the old days children were even born in the Sauna because it was the cleanest, bacteria-free environment.
  • Children should be supervised in the Sauna. Children in Finland start enjoying the Sauna at a very young age. It is best to start a child at a lower temperature or have them sit on the lower bench where it is cooler.

Sauna is a wonderful and relaxing experience of cleansing the body and can be enjoyed by most people. Again, it is best to check with a physician if you have any medical conditions or feel any adverse effects. Most of all, the Sauna is a matter of common sense. Your body will let you know when it is time to exit the Sauna if you get too hot. Remember to drink plenty of water or other fluids after the Sauna to replace what you have lost.

 

 

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