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.
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