Saunas have been used throughout the world for health benefits for thousands of years. Sweating has been proven to effectively flush toxins and disease out of the system while maintaining optimum health of the body. According to Net Physician, the benefits of sauna therapy include detoxification of the body, anti-viral activity, weight loss, pain relief, sinus relief, improved circulation, relaxation and skin conditioning. Sweating naturally or through the use of a sauna is a way to help the body keep and restore good health, but there are some contraindications for their use.
Improved Blood Circulation
The sauna increases and enhances circulation while oxygenating the cells, organs and tissues throughout the body. Using a sauna helps increase the body's ability to produce energy, and in turn, start the healing processes within the body. On his website, Dr. John Maher states that the thermal effects of infared sauna within the deeper layers of tissue cause the blood vessels and capillaries to dilate, promoting increased circulation and removing metabolic waste and toxins through sweating. Sauna use makes the blood vessels more flexible increasing circulation and overall health.
A sauna's affect on the body is similar to doing mild exercise. During a sauna session, the heartbeat increases by 50 to 75 percent, which is the same effect caused by a physical workout, states Organic Facts.
Sauna usage might help reduce the appearance of cellulite under the skin, which is thought to be due to toxins trapped inside fat cells. Saunas help release the toxins from the fat cells and flush them out through the pores to help maintain a diminished cellulite appearance. Far-infrared saunas produce heat that travels deeper into the body tissues than conventional saunas and is used more often for those who have weight concerns because of the increased level of sweat production and metabolism.
According to Evolution Health, due to at least twice the depth of heat penetration into cellulite, combined with up to 10 times the level of heating in these tissues, an Infra Therapist System can be significantly more effective on cellulite than any conventional sauna.
Saunas help allow the body and mind to relax and rejuvenate. Stress builds up and creates tension in the body, which can manifest into aches and pains. Use of the sauna in the evening can help relieve tense muscles and dull pains from the day. Sauna also temporarily eases pain associated with arthritis.
According to the National Institutes of Health's Pub Med, contraindications to sauna bathing include unstable angina pectoris, recent myocardial infarction and severe aortic stenosis. For people with coronary heart disease, most of the time sauna bathing is safe. Check with your physician if you have any concerns. Alcohol comsumption during sauna therapy increases the risk for hypertension and arrhythmia. Pregnant women should consult a physician before using any sauna therapy.
Christina Dambra is a licensed esthetician with several years of experience in dermatology and cosmetology and holds advanced certification in microdermabrasion, lasers and chemical peels. She specializes in holistic health counseling, with expertise in organic skin care and whole food supplementation. Dambra holds a degree in business administration and is a writer for eHow and LIVESTRONG.