Saunas have been used in various cultures all over the world for over two millennia. The practice is gaining more recognition as an important wellness tool in our modern society where everyone is exposed to more toxins than ever before.
In this article we will discuss some benefits of using a sauna, in particular enjoying a public sauna experience such as what one experiences at Art of Sauna.
BENEFITS OF USING A SAUNA
1. Detoxification Through Sweating
The ways for toxins to be cleansed out of the body are called detox pathways. These pathways are through the kidneys, liver, lungs, colon and skin. There are numerous ways to cleanse all of these organs of the body. Regular sauna sessions benefit the skin and the other detox pathways too. At Art of Sauna the Eucalpytus Steam Room and Aroma Steam Room use essential oils combined with heat to assist the lungs in cleansing and healing. So when in a steam room, both the lungs and the skin are actively expelling toxins.
Sweating rids the body of excess sodium and toxins, and can help eliminate drugs and other substances. As Dr. Andrew Weil says, “Saunas and steam rooms take some of the workload off of the liver and kidneys.”
According to Dr. Mercola, while in a sauna we sweat out heavy metals and urea, as well as toxic chemicals such as bisphenol-A and pthalates.
2. Relaxation and Stress Reduction
Using a sauna is both rejuvenating and meditative at the same time. Its important to drink plenty of fluids and electrolytes during and after using the sauna, this will keep the body’s energy levels up and keep the Zen feeling going. Using a sauna without keeping up the fluids and electrolytes may cause a depletion of minerals and lack of energy. Staying hydrated gives one an uplifted mood and a meditative state of mind.
3. Beautifying for the Skin
One of the most common benefits people observe after sauna use is how bright and alive their skin looks!
Regular sauna use is best. Going once will make the skin look great for a few days or a week, but going regularly can do wonders! Many people notice that regular sauna sessions tighten the skin and create lasting positive changes in the skin.
4. Weight Loss and Cellulite Reduction
Sweating out toxins means getting rid of unwanted chemicals and heavy metals that accumulate in fat tissues. The innate knowledge of the body is amazing, the body knows to store toxins in the safest place and fat cells are the safest place. As a person lowers their toxic load, the amount of fat cells are reduced.
Drinking lots of filtered water is so important. When water moves through the body to hydrate the skin, muscles, soft tissues etc, the healthier the body is, and when having a sauna a person needs to drink water. This movement of fluids through the body flushes out what we don’t want. In the body is a gel-like medium that suspends and surrounds the cells called Interstitial Fluid. It transports substances through the body such as nutrients and oxygen. It is made of collagen fiber bundles, very small proteoglycan filaments, and water. As this fluid crosses thin membranes it changes form, becoming blood, lymph, cerebrospinal fluid, cellular fluid, or synovial fluid.
Ponder this when you are in the sauna sweating and sipping water, that you are staying youthful and keeping your body well-oiled at the cellular and microscopic levels. The intentional movement of the fluids through the body increases mobility and contributes to youthfulness throughout life.
5. Improved Circulation and Cardiovascular Health
Using a sauna increases blood flow which in turn has numerous health benefits. More oxygen and nutrients in the blood moving through the tissues of the body creates a healthier body that can heal quicker and has a stronger metabolism. Regular sauna use can reduce the risk of numerous health issues in our society, as well as prevent many others.
6. Creating Heat Stress Can Be Good for the Body
Hot and cold stress can strengthen the body. The renowned superhuman Wim Hof, also known as “The Iceman” teaches about hot and cold stressers being good for the body in a sense that they make it stronger. Wim Hof is capable of being immersed in an ice bath and actually melting the ice around him with the mental control he has of his body. There’s the usual bad stress that comes from rushing around, over-doing and not spending enough time “just being”. Then there’s heat stress which activates heat shock proteins (HSP’s). This process is called Hormesis and these proteins are activated when the temperature in the room is raised several degrees above normal body temperature.
Human body temperature is 37 Degrees Celcius and when the temperature of a room is increased even to 41-42 degrees Celcius, heat shock proteins are activated. These assist with the growth of new brain cells, along with improvement in learning, focus, and memory. Endurance is increased, inflammation is decreased, and the body’s tolerance to stressers gets higher.
Stand under the cold water buckets at Art of Sauna after using the saunas and steam rooms to bring down the body’s core temperature quicker, and strengthen the body’s tolerance to stressers even more
7. A Place for Social Interaction
Art of Sauna is an excellent place to spend time with loved ones or meet like-minded people. A public sauna is a perfect place to extend one’s circle of friends. For those having difficult challenges in life, a sauna is a sanctuary for mediation.
In many areas of the globe using a sauna is common and a strong part of the culture going back hundreds even thousands of years. North Americans are now learning that a public sauna is a great place to connect with people who have similar interests, and to create inner Zen, meditative states of being, and enjoy living in a body that feels good!
Art of Sauna admission includes access to eight saunas: three dry saunas, two wet saunas, and three steam room, each sauna has in incredible beauty all its own.
There are many spas all over this beautiful province. The unique and gorgeous Art of Sauna in Burnaby, British Columbia is a space for healing. Patrons are introduced to sauna cultures both modern and ancient.
Art of Sauna asks that everyone who has a medical condition please speak to a Doctor before using the saunas and steam rooms in the facility. This article is for interests sake, we are not making medical claims.
Written by Shannon Matter, Aromatherapist
Sources of Information:
Dr. Joseph Mercola at mercola.com
Dr. Andrew Weil at drweil.com
Katherine Snook, B.Sc., B.A., CPT at customnutritionguelph.com
Randy Gomm, B.Sc. at radianthealthsaunas.com
Wim Hof at wimhofmethod.com
Yoga- Mind, Body and Spirit by Donna Farhi