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FREE COLD PLUNGE WITH EVERY SAUNA
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FREE COLD PLUNGE WITH EVERY SAUNA
4.7/5 ON TRUSTPILOT

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Article: 5 Amazing Health Benefits of Sauna Therapy

5 Amazing Health Benefits of Sauna Therapy

5 Amazing Health Benefits of Sauna Therapy

Written by Chris Lang

 

Heat and humidity. What good can possibly come out of those two? Quite a lot, in fact, and you need only consider sauna therapy to see why that’s the case. More and more people are interested in this form of treatment because it’s safe and can help alleviate many conditions, such as high blood pressure and muscle pain.

Coming up is a detailed overview of how sauna therapy works. We’ll also tell you what regular sauna bathing can do for your body by listing the most important benefits of sauna therapy.

Understanding Sauna Therapy

Sauna therapy is all about heating your body to a certain degree and maintaining the temperature to give health benefits enough time to kick in. Most types of sauna therapy have two stages.

The first one lasts ten minutes and usually involves light sweating. In most cases, your temperature during this phase is around 98-99 degrees Fahrenheit. You react by expelling the heat, which often increases your circulation.

The effects of phase one vary. For instance, some may experience relaxed muscles, which is associated with stress reduction. Others notice a decrease in pain in ligaments, tendons, bones, and joints. Additionally, this heat therapy can dilate your blood vessels and relieve any congestion in your respiratory system.

If you stay in the sauna longer, you may enter phase two. It’s unclear when exactly this stage begins. Some experience it immediately after the 10-minute park, whereas others need to wait up to 30 minutes for this phase to begin.

Regardless of the timing, the effects of phase two of sauna bathing sessions are pretty much the same. Your body stops removing the excess heat, causing your temperature to rise further. This also makes your heart pound faster, but don’t be alarmed because this is perfectly normal.

In fact, the higher body temperature and heart rate are prerequisites for particular beneficial effects of sauna bathing. They make dead cells exit the system faster, laying the groundwork for new ones and helping rejuvenate your organism. On top of that, phase two can further enhance circulation and allow blood cells to navigate your body more easily, supplying every part with much-needed nutrients.

People didn’t recognize the potential of sauna therapy yesterday. The first use of sauna bathing was recorded approximately two millennia ago. These rudimentary saunas were unlike all those modern facilities you see at high-end establishments or home sauna provided by Komowa Wellness.

Original saunas were subterranean structures lined with sturdy materials, such as stone. The owners heated up stones in fire before soaking them to create heat and steam.

Although the effects are similar, modern saunas are much more advanced and safer. There are different types, like electricity, ember, wood stove, and hot-stone-based saunas, all of which are easier to operate and more comfortable than their ancient counterparts.

Types of Saunas

TYPES OF SAUNAS

All saunas use heat to provide sauna therapy, but not every sauna utilizes the same principle to achieve this effect. In other words, you can find many different types of sauna:

  • Traditional Saunas: These saunas use high temperatures and steam to create a hot, humid environment. The ideal temperature range for traditional saunas is typically between 150°F to 190°F (65°C to 88°C). The Finnish Sauna Society recommends temperatures between 176°F to 194°F (80°C to 90°C) for an authentic experience.
  • Electric Sauna: As the name suggests, electric saunas feature electric sauna stoves. These devices heat up rocks, which transfer the heat to your room. What’s great about this type is that it’s easy to use, and the operator can splash the stones with water to generate steam. The average temperature of electric saunas is 120-130 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Wood-Burning Sauna: Wood-burning saunas use a wood furnace to generate heat. Once the wood starts burning, the stones heat up and raise the temperature of the room. Like with electric saunas, professionals can sprinkle water over rocks to create steam. However, wood burning is a bit less predictable and difficult to control. As a result, wood-burning saunas are slightly hotter, with the average temperatures being 170-190 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Steam Sauna: Steam saunas generate heat by boiling water. There’s a special device that does this and enables steam to enter the room. Most gyms feature steam saunas, but they can also be found in Turkish Hammam spas. The average temperature is 90-120 degrees Fahrenheit, and the humidity level is usually maximum (100%).
  • Infrared Sauna: A relatively recent addition to the sauna lineup is the infrared sauna. Rather than burn wood or boil water, these saunas achieve high temperatures through infrared lamps. The infrared rays don’t heat up the room much (but the lamps do emit some heat). Instead, they penetrate your skin and directly warm up your body. The lack of steam typically allows for longer sessions, and the temperatures range from 85 to 135 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Medical Infrared Sauna: This advanced type of sauna provide deeper heat penetration and enhanced therapeutic benefits. Medical infrared saunas are particularly effective for pain relief, detoxification, and improving overall well-being. They typically operate at temperatures between 100-140 degrees Fahrenheit, making them a comfortable and health-promoting option.
  • Smoke Sauna: Smoke saunas are the rarest type of sauna. Still, you can find them in many countries, including Russia, Finland, Estonia, and Lithuania. They’re similar to wood-burning saunas, but they don’t have a chimney pipe. The smoke that enters the area stays there until the temperature rises to 150-180 degrees Fahrenheit. From there, the operator ventilates the room.

Health Benefits of Sauna Therapy

Now that you understand how sauna therapy works, let's explore all the advantages of sauna bathing that you may enjoy on a regular basis:

1 – Stress Reduction

Any activity that lets you stay calm and not worry about your troubles is a stress buster. Sauna therapy fits this criterion perfectly.

Once you walk through the door and sit on a high-quality sauna bench, all your worries are left behind. It’s just you and high temperatures. After the session ends, you feel less anxious and more relaxed.

There might also be a scientific explanation for the stress-relieving effects of sauna. Namely, some claim that saunas directly lower cortisol levels, which is the primary stress-inducing hormone in your body. Not only that, but frequent sauna treatments promote the production of serotonin, which is your happiness hormone.

Then there’s the ability of saunas to relax your muscles. If your muscles are tense, it makes you nervous, and you can’t wait to get rid of the discomfort. That’s exactly what saunas do. By increasing blood flow, they boost the amount of blood that reaches your muscles, loosening them up and giving you immediate relief.

2 – Detoxification

Another reason you should consider sauna heat therapy is to experience the potential detoxification of this experience. The research is still inconclusive, but the principle behind it makes a lot of sense.

Think about it – when you sweat, it’s not just water that exits your body. Many also believe bacteria and other toxins leave the organism this way.

But although you may start sweating as soon as you start your therapy, it takes a while for the supposed detox effect to kick in. More specifically, you should stay at least 10-20 minutes at 120-130 degrees in a sauna to expel toxins.

3 – Boosting Your Cardiovascular Health

The potential to combat cardiovascular disease is also a big part of the sauna experience. A number of factors are at play here.

First, the high temperature and humidity of a sauna dilate your blood vessels. This helps reduce blood pressure, which can make you less susceptible to cardiac arrest and similar conditions.

Second, regular sauna therapy tends to decrease bad cholesterol levels. The result is less fat that accumulates in your blood vessels, enabling blood to circulate back and forth between your heart and the rest of the body more easily.

And third, a sauna gives the heart a much-needed workout. It increases your heart rate in the same way a standard workout does. Over time, this can strengthen the muscle and make it more resilient to disease.

4 – Strengthening the Immune System

When you start any type of sauna therapy, your body undergoes heat shock. This may sound menacing, but it’s perfectly safe. In fact, the heat stress causes your body to produce white blood cells, which can reinforce the immune system and make you more resistant to various illnesses.

5 – Clearing Up Passageways

Is steam sauna good for you? Well, one of the most important steam sauna benefits is the ability to unblock your respiratory system. The steam has a therapeutic effect on your airways because it helps break up any mucus buildup. This enables you to expel the substance out of your body to alleviate any breathing difficulties.

Scientific Findings and Studies

The ability of sauna bathing to provide therapeutic is backed by extensive research that indicates that sauna therapy may alleviate and prevent certain conditions:

  • This study by Jari A. Laukkanen found a link between sauna use and improved heart health.

  • This study by Tanjaniina Laukkanen discovered a correlation between sauna therapy and a lower risk of death caused by heart disease.

  • This medically reviewed article indicated that saunas can be an effective remedy for congestion.

Sauna Therapy Sessions

If you’re ready to start sauna therapy of your own in a modernized sauna room, like ones from Komowa Wellness, you should first prepare yourself for the experience. So, what should you expect from an infrared or traditional sauna session?

The first thing you do is put on a robe. From there, you leave all your electronics in a locker room and receive instructions from your provider on how to proceed safely. Finally, you enter the room and stay there 45 minutes tops at 120-130 degrees Fahrenheit.

After your sauna session, you should let your body temperature drop gradually rather than take a freezing shower and risk shocking your heart.

Benefits of Infrared Sauna Therapy

We could go on and on about various sauna health benefits you can experience with traditional saunas. That said, medical sauna therapy might be even more conducive to good health. Here’s how:

  • Deep infrared penetration relaxes muscles to a greater extent.
  • You can stay inside a medical infrared sauna longer because there’s no steam, which can maximize the health gains.
  • Infrared rays can dilate your blood vessels more than steam saunas to further boost circulation.

Sauna Safety

Even though saunas, recognized as good for health, can work wonders for some health conditions, it’s essential to start your sauna session carefully. To maximize safety, you should always consult your doctor before sauna bathing, especially if you have a medical condition. They’ll tell you how long your therapy should last and if you need to fine-tune the temperature or humidity level. A physician will also determine if it’s safe to go to a sauna in the first place.

Besides consulting a doctor, here are a few other ways to ensure safety during your sauna visit:

  • Stay hydrated throughout the treatment – Drink plenty of water before and after each session to avoid dehydration. You can also drink water during the therapy, but most saunas allow you to bring plastic bottles only. And be sure to avoid alcohol.

  • Recognize signs of dehydration – If you neglect the above tip, you may run dangerously close to dehydration in the middle of your therapy. In that case, it’s key to recognize signs of dehydration on time. These include headaches, nausea, dizziness, and a dry mouth. Leave the sauna as soon as any of these symptoms emerge.

  • Take a break – If you don’t tolerate high heat very well, feel free to take breaks every couple of minutes. This will help you recover from the heat stress and allow you to experience the beneficial effects of sauna bathing by spending enough time inside. Just keep the breaks brief (around 30 seconds).

Sauna Therapy Is a Trusted Wellness Companion

If you’re ready to dip your toes into a premium sauna, now you know what to expect. Regular therapy can strengthen your immune system, improve heart health, and reduce stress. This makes saunas a perfect complement to other wellness-boosting habits, such as eating healthy and working out.

 

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