A sauna can either be a bath that uses dry heat to produce perspiration or a bath where water is poured over heated stones to produce steam. There are several possible health benefits of saunas. These include relaxation and a feeling of well being, relaxation of sore, tight, and overworked muscles, relief of daily stress and tension and of tension headaches, removal of body toxins, strengthening of the immune system, improvement of circulation, burns calories to help control weight, refreshes, deep cleans and moisturizes the skin, and may also improve a person's quality of sleep.
The heat of the wet or dry sauna helps to relax the body and relieve stress and tension. This also helps sore, tight, and overworked muscles.
A sauna can possibly help with weight loss, not just through the loss of water through sweating. Being in a sauna also causes your heart rate to increase up to 50 percent above normal. Since this increase in heart rate is similar to what happens when you're walking or lightly exercising, it can cause your metabolism to react just to how it does when you are exercising.
Acne and other skin irritations can be improved by spending time in a sauna. The increased heart rate that the sauna causes increases the blood flow to the skin. The skin usually only receives about 10 percent of the total blood flow, but with the increased temperature of the skin while in a sauna, the blood flow to the skin can be increased to 40 to 50 percent of the body's total blood flow. Increased blood flow to the skin provides more oxygen and nutrients which helps to rejuvenate the skin. Perspiration also helps flush out impurities and release dead skin cells.
Sauna usage helps to strengthen the body's immune system. When the body's temperature increases during an illness, the body will begin to produce more white blood cells and antibodies to battle the illness. The rise of body temperature due to sauna usage will also cause the body to produce more antibodies and white blood cells. This will not be to the same extent as an actual illness, but it does help to strengthen our immune system.
Anyone who has a heart or blood pressure condition should check with their doctor before using a sauna in order to make sure they do not run the risk of complications.