There’s nothing like a good sweat session – it clears your mind, relaxes sore muscles and gives you a quick energy boost. While these benefits are reason enough to lounge in a sauna after your workout or spa day, new evidence is showing that continuous sauna therapy has a much deeper effect on our bodies.
Sauna, a Scandinavian word, is an ancient form of dry heat therapy that has been used around the world by many cultures throughout Europe, Asia, Africa, Central and North America. For hundreds of years people used saunas as not only a form heath maintenance, but also as social interaction.
How Do Saunas Work?
The basic idea of sauna therapy is to heat your internal body temperature several degrees. The effects of a sauna session occur in two phases. The first phase, which occurs within the first ten minutes, induces a light sweat as your body temperature remains around 98.6 degrees. The body dissipates the extra heat by increasing circulation, pushing blood to the skin’s surface, and sweating.
The benefits of phase one of a sauna session include:
- muscle relaxation, which leads to increased overall body relaxation
- enhanced flexibility of tendons and ligaments
- minor pain relief
- improved oxygenation and dilating the peripheral blood vessels
- relieving internal organ congestion
After about 10–30 minutes in the sauna, the body enters phase two. During this phase, your body can no longer dissipate the heat of the sauna. This causes your body temperature to rise, resulting in your heart rate and sweating to increase. Some of the greatest benefits occur during this phase, which include:
- improved circulation due to the heart rate increase
- increased “vascular compliance”, which is a huge factor in heart health and how effectively blood travels through your body
- increased body temperature which hastens the death of weaker cells
Other Benefits of Sauna Use
- Relaxation and Meditation ─ the warmth of the sauna heat relaxes the muscles and nervous system.
- Health Maintenance ─ weekly sauna sessions enhance circulation which nourish the glands, detoxifies the
- system, cleanses the skin, and offers many of the same benefits received while exercising but with much less exertion.
- Healing – spending 30 minutes, several days a week, in a sauna is believed to be a very powerful and safe healing modality. It decongests the internal organs, assists circulation, heals infections, and has even been found to help musculoskeletal disorders such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia.
After a sauna session your body temperature may remain elevated for up to 15 minutes. We recommend taking a cool shower and to rest for ten to fifteen minutes to give your body the opportunity to restore to normal temperature.
Interested in learning more? Check out this great article on sauna therapy.
A Word From Denise
At Complexions we have a separate women’s and men’s locker room offering steam and sauna therapy. Our Spa Membership offers unlimited use of these amenities in addition to our Relaxation Lounge, rain showers, organic tea bar, and more. You are welcome to relax and enjoy all our amenities before and after your services at no additional cost. Your spa experience is more than just the appointment – your time before and after is just as important!
If you think sauna therapy may be right for you, discuss this treatment option with your health practitioner then contact us about a Spa Membership.
Yours in Health,