I’ve heard totally varied opinions on the benefits/hazards of saunas and steam baths. Recently the question was put to some top health authorities.
Dr. Andrew Weil Responds – “To me, the benefits far outweigh any hazards. If you’re in reasonable health, the benefits of sauna or steam are great. If you have high blood pressure or heart disease, saunas may be good for you, but you’ll want to be cautious; check with your physician, and go easy. And with either of these conditions, it’s not a good idea to jump right into cold water afterward, as Finns do.”
When you take a sauna, the heat pumps up blood circulation near the skin and stimulates sweating. The Finns say a proper sauna elicits about a quart of sweat per hour. I generally encourage sweating. It helps the body rid itself of unwanted materials and improves general circulation. In medieval times, healers relied on saunas to cure illnesses, and priests used their heat to chase away evil spirits.
From Pure Inside Out: “There is a valid reason why human beings have used sweat baths for hygienic and health purposes since the Stone Age. It’s because sweating has proven its effectiveness in flushing out toxins and disease and maintaining optimal physical as well as mental health.”
Most cultures around the world have their own versions of the sweat bath, whether it’s the ancient Romans and their “Thermae” or the traditional Japanese “Onsen”. The Russians call it the “Banya” and the for native North American Indians it’s “Inipi”, without omitting the notorious Turkish bath or “Hamam”. However, the most prominent and popular one of all is the Finnish Sauna.
For the sake of clarity, we refer to all sweat-inducing baths as sauna in these pages. Those include actual saunas, steam baths and sweat lodges, which all work on the principle of generating abundant sweat to detoxify the body and relax the mind.
The skin is the largest organ in the body and through the pores it plays a major role in the detoxifying process alongside the lungs, kidneys, bowels, liver and the lymphatic and immune systems. The skin produces cool sweat to regulate the body’s elevated temperature. It also has the ability to transform toxins from lipid-soluble or oil-based, into -easier to eliminate- water-soluble forms. Sweat carries toxins out of the body and flushes them through the pores.
Sweating is the body’s safe and natural way to heal. Scientists and doctors are finally acknowledging what our ancestors instinctively knew, that regular sweating restores good health through the elimination of toxins.
Therefore don’t take the sauna for a mere luxury if you aim to achieve and maintain good health. It is a necessity, and a very reliable way to help your body stay healthy by eliminating toxin surcharge.
And remember our state-of-art infrared sauna is available for our spa and fitness clients – to your health!