Health

Countries such as Finland, Rome, Japan, Turkey and of course Russia, have made steaming an important part of their culture, and for good reason! Aside from being one of the best ways to relax, steaming also has numerous health benefits.

 

NEW STUDY finds that frequent steaming may reduce risk of Dementia and Alzheimer's by up to 65%

Immune System

The Russian Banya tradition involves the bather cooling off after a steaming session. This is done by jumping into a cold tub, taking a cold shower or rolling in snow. This temperature change braces the body and strengthens the immune system. Remember that overdoing it is never healthy. Begin training your body with cool water and slowly work your way up to icier temperatures.

 

Sickness

Steaming significantly raises core body temperature; this induces an artificial fever. Because of this trickery, the body begins to produce more white blood cells thus creating a hostile environment for bacteria and viruses. Steaming is a fantastic preventative measure against illness by warding it off in its early stages.

 

Soreness

It is no coincidence that most exercise facilities have Saunas. Steaming significantly reduces muscle and stress tension by enabling one to sweat out excess lactic acid. It also stimulates blood vessels, which then deliver more oxygen to muscles. This reduces swelling and speeds up the healing of tears and pulls.

 

Skin

Steaming opens up the pores and enables one to sweat out any unwanted oils, cosmetics, imperfections, dead skin, and acne inducing bacteria. High temperatures stimulate vessels, increasing blood flow throughout the entire body. This brings a larger supply of blood to the skin, which naturally stimulate faster healing, making skin look fresh and youthful. As mentioned, the Russian Banya tradition involves participating in drastic temperature changes. This practice tightens the skin, reducing the size of pores.

 

Other Health Benefits

-Regular steaming can decrease heart disease, improve cognitive heart failure, help people with mild depression, lower blood pressure and significantly decrease chronic pain

-Steaming aids in digestibility of proteins and has been known to help increase metabolism

-Improves lung function and endurance

No-No's

-Do not steam if you are at ANY stage of pregnancy. Dramatic changes in temperature may pose a risk to the health of the unborn baby.

-Do not steam if you are intoxicated as you will have trouble judging your limit, as well as be at risk for falling onto hot surfaces, etc.

References
American Heart Journal. 2003; 146(4): 728-33
Circulation Journal. 2004, 68: 1146-1151.
Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport; "Effect of post-exercise sauna bathing on the endurance performance of competitive male runners"
Journal of Cardiac Failure. 2005; 11(6): 432-6.
Journal of the American College of Cardiology. 2001
Psychosomatic Medicine. 2005 67 (4): 643-47.
Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics. 2005; 74 (5): 288-94.
The American Journal of Medicine; "Benefits and Risks of Sauna Bathing"