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Article: The Health Benefits of Regular Dry Sauna Bathing: A Comprehensive Review

The Health Benefits of Regular Dry Sauna Bathing: A Comprehensive Review

The Health Benefits of Regular Dry Sauna Bathing: A Comprehensive Review

Written by Chris Lang

Dry saunas are the most popular alternative to standard steam saunas. Rather than heat the room through pressurized moisture, they have a built-in heater or infrared rays. These, in turn, warm up the air inside the sauna and rely on the thermal conductivity of the wooden construction to achieve and maintain optimal temperatures.

But what are the benefits of a dry sauna, and do they accomplish as much as their steamy counterparts? Although dry saunas might appear vastly different to traditional options at first, there are countless health benefits of dry sauna bathing you can experience with regular treatments. This article will explore those benefits and tell you how to make the most of your sessions.

The Science Behind Dry Sauna Benefits

Before you step inside a dry sauna, it’s only natural that you should wonder is a sauna good for you and what does an infrared sauna do. To give you a better understanding of the safety and operation of dry saunas, we need to delve deeper into the science behind the technology.

Most dry saunas feature integrated heaters. They heat the air directly, without the need to turn water into steam, making them more energy-efficient. Alternatively, infrared saunas, which are often considered a sub-type of dry saunas, warm up the air through radiation.

Both methods are perfectly safe. If you’re worried about infrared rays in particular, there’s no need to. They’re backed by extensive research and aren’t associated with any harmful effects.

When it comes to dry sauna health benefits, they mainly stem from the physiological changes in your body caused by high temperatures. For example, intense sweating can allow your organism to expel toxins, whereas an increased heart rate boosts circulation and helps increase your resistance to cardiovascular problems.

Heat Shock Proteins and Dry Saunas

The next time someone asks you what are the benefits of dry sauna sessions, the first thing you may say is detoxification and an increased heart rate. But what’s the underlying cause of these physiological changes?

The answer lies in heat shock proteins (HSPs). These compounds play a pivotal role in boosting your well-being and are triggered by increased temperatures. The heat puts your body under certain stress, making it release these molecules.

The positive effects of HSPs on your body are manifold. For instance, they can support your immune system, reduce the amount of free radicals, speed up injury recovery, and contribute to greater insulin production.

When released regularly (but in moderation), HSPs can truly make a world of difference for your health. And the safest way to produce them regularly is to visit a dry sauna. The elevated heat subjects you to just enough stress to produce these compounds without overloading your system, allowing them to cleanse your body.

Health Benefits of Dry Sauna Bathing

Let’s take a closer look at the different health benefits of sitting in a dry sauna.

Heart Health and Circulation

Heart disease is relatively common, especially in adults aged 45+. There are lots of ways to counteract various cardiovascular conditions, but some are safer than others. For many, a dry sauna treatment is as safe as it gets.

A dry sauna helps protect your heart on many levels. First, the heat boosts your heart rate, giving the heart muscles a proper workout. This strengthens the organ, enables it to deliver more blood to the rest of the body, and makes it more resistant to cardiac arrest and other problems.

Second, a dry sauna can help reduce blood pressure by dilating your blood vessels. As a result, arteries can transport blood more easily and are less prone to clogging.

Skin Health

A dry sauna can give your cardiovascular system a jumpstart, but you shouldn’t overlook sauna benefits for skin either. For instance, if you wish to make the skin look shinier, cleaner, and healthier, all it takes is a few sauna sessions to achieve this effect. The heightened circulation delivers more nutrients to the skin, all of which contribute to a better complexion.

Then there’s the elevated collagen production. This protein is in charge of your skin elasticity, but your body might not be generating sufficient amounts.

A dry sauna can save the day. The heated air can improve collagen production, enabling you to rejuvenate skin by shedding dead cells and laying the groundwork for new ones.


When asked what does a dry sauna do, people normally say that it makes you sweat. And they’re not wrong. Although it can be unpleasant, perspiration can work wonders for you by triggering a powerful detoxification effect.

Consider beads of sweat a vessel in this respect. They transport harmful compounds from your body, including zinc, lead, nickel, mercury, and copper. You absorb them throughout the day through inhalation and other forms of contact, but perspiration helps remove these contaminants from the body.

Some research even suggests that you can sweat out approximately 0.5 quarts (or one pint) per dry sauna session. Just imagine how many toxins you release during the process.

But why is detoxification so important, you may ask? There are many reasons:

  • It treats joint pain – The enhanced circulation helps rid your body of various toxins that cause inflammation, alleviating muscle and joint pain.

  • It boosts your energy – By removing toxins, the high heat enables your body to produce stronger mitochondria, which can boost your energy.

  • It aids digestion – Motilin is a hormone that plays a pivotal role in proper digestion. It’s released in larger amounts when you’re exposed to higher temperatures, such as those in a dry sauna.

  • It supports weight loss – As you accumulate more and more toxins, the number of fat cells also goes to another level. By reducing toxins, you shrink your fat cells, which is paramount for any weight loss program.

  • It improves sleep – Once you take care of most (if not all) the toxins in your body, you tend to feel calmer. That’s why many people report better sleep quality after visiting a dry sauna regularly.

  • It sharpens your mind – It can be hard to focus and multitask if your body is saturated with toxins. Thankfully, a dry sauna helps you eradicate the invaders, which can enhance your clarity, focus, and memory.

Comparing Dry Saunas and Other Types

After breaking down the health benefits of a dry sauna, it’s key to look into other types of sauna as well. This way, you can make an informed decision as to which type is suitable for your body.

Dry Sauna vs. Steam Rooms

Steam rooms (aka steam saunas) are on the opposite end of the sauna spectrum. Unlike dry saunas, they pressurize water to create steam, which, in turn, heats the room. The condensation makes them appear hotter, but they’re actually 50-60 degrees Fahrenheit cooler than dry saunas.

When it comes to their respective health benefits, both dry and steam saunas do a good job of reinvigorating your body. The only major difference is that dry saunas are much less humid, which may enable you to extend your session. Other than that, sweat rooms might be better for loosening mucus and clearing your breathing passageways.

Dry Sauna vs. Infrared Sauna

The most significant difference health-wise between dry saunas and indoor infrared saunas is that infrared saunas may be a more effective remedy for muscle and joint pain. That’s because the rays penetrate deep layers of skin, resulting in a more profound healing effect.

How to Use a Dry Sauna Safely

To make the most of your experience and reap the benefits of dry sauna sessions, you need to use your sauna carefully. Otherwise, you may exacerbate any underlying conditions or miss out on some effects.

Sauna Do’s and Don’ts

The easiest way to make sure you’re using a dry sauna responsibly is to follow this list of dry sauna do’s and don’ts.

Do #1 – Do Stay in the Sauna for About 15-20 Minutes

The last thing you want is to overdo your sauna treatment and stay for too long. Leaving after two to three minutes is ill-advised, too, because it’s not enough for the health benefits to dry sauna bathing to kick in.

The gold standard is approximately 15-20 minutes per session. However, you might not be able to hit the recommended duration the first time around. If things get too hot, consider trimming a couple of minutes off your initial session. And don’t forget to monitor the built-in timer (high-quality providers like Komowa Wellness have those to make your experience smoother).

Do #2 – Do Take a Break Between Multiple Sessions

Two sauna sessions in one day are optional but only if you’ve fallen behind your schedule. If you decide double up on your sauna time for the day, don’t remain inside for twice the usual session in one go. Instead, divide the bathing into two equal stays and cool down between sessions.

Do #3 – Do Drink a Lot of Water

In many ways, dry saunas are like any other hot environment. Prolonged exposure can lead to dehydration, so drink lots of water before and during your sessions. It’ll help keep you comfortable and reduce the need to interrupt your bathing.

Don’t #1 – Don’t Drink Alcohol

Fluids are key to staying hydrated, but not every fluid is beneficial. Alcohol is the one you should definitely avoid if you want to maximize the benefits of dry sauna treatment. Even small amounts can make you slightly dehydrated, resulting in nausea, headaches, or fatigue.

Don’t #2 – Don’t Forget to Consult Your Dermatologist if You Have Sensitive Skin

Although a dry sauna can mean a world of difference for your skin, it’s not recommended if you have sensitive skin. These skin types are characterized by sweat with high levels of salt. Since a sauna amplifies perspiration, too much salt can harm your skin.

Therefore, don’t go to a dry sauna without consulting a dermatologist if you have sensitive skin. They can tell you how to avoid exacerbating any psoriasis, eczema, and other conditions.

Don’t #3 – Don’t Go to a Dry Sauna Without Consulting a Cardiologist If You Have Heart Problems

A sauna can be beneficial to the heart, but it can also worsen heart problems if used recklessly. So, be sure to visit your cardiologist before starting this form of treatment. They’ll be able to determine whether it clashes with any ongoing therapy and if it’s safe to go to a dry sauna in the first place.

Myths and Facts About Dry Saunas

While the health benefits of a dry sauna are backed by extensive research, some still have qualms about this type of sauna. Here are the most common myths and what science actually says:

  • You can’t go to a dry sauna if you have hypertension – High blood pressure doesn’t automatically disqualify you from visiting a dry sauna. In fact, a sauna can help alleviate this condition. The key is to consult your doctor and monitor your heart rate and pressure between and during sessions carefully.

  • You can lose weight in a sauna – While the heat causes increased sweat that might make it seem like you’re exercising, most of the weight lost is water weight, which fluctuates more freely. While you lose a bit of fat in the process, it’s not an effective weight loss strategy.

  • You shouldn’t go to a dry sauna more than once per week – Dry saunas are at their most effective when used between three and four times every week. The ideal session length is 15-20 minutes. Anything lower than that, and you’ll miss out on many health perks.

The Truth About Detoxification

Besides the abovementioned myths, some are also skeptical about the ability of dry sauna bathing to remove toxins. While it’s true that saunas themselves don’t eliminate toxins, they facilitate a process that does so – sweating. Every bead flushes a large number of toxins out of the system, leaving you with a cleansed body.

The increased heat also makes your body pump blood better, which might improve liver and kidney function, which are the two organs delegated to toxin removal from the body. However, keep in mind that kidneys need adequate hydration to function. A sauna will cause you to lose fluids, so stock up on water.

Maximizing the Benefits of Dry Sauna Bathing

There’s no denying the benefits of dry sauna bathing. It can help you remedy various health problems, such as cardiovascular conditions, skin issues, and muscle pain. Plus, it can support you in your efforts to drop a few pounds. That’s especially true if you visit a state-of-the-art sauna with modern amenities, like those at Komowa Wellness.

To make the most of your experience, try to spend about 15-20 minutes inside a dry sauna three or four times a week. Additionally, consult a doctor if you have any conditions that might be exacerbated by extended sessions.

Whether you're looking for a one person infrared sauna or something good for four, you'll be sure to find something in our collection that will fit your budget and specifications. 

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