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Being Hot Is Good For Your Health: The Health Benefits of Steam Bathing

May 17, 2008
The health benefits of steam bathing have been known for thousands of years. Hippocrates believed fever could cure almost any disease, and steam baths and saunas have been used for creating 'artificial' fevers since at least the time of Hippocrates.

While both saunas and steam baths are therapeutic, the high moisture content of the steam bath is especially useful for respiratory problems like bronchitis, asthma, and allergies. Both types clean and tone the skin. The heavy perspiration that results from both steam baths and saunas makes the skin soft and supple. The bather leaves feeling invigorated and refreshed.

Special Benefits of Steam Baths

We noted that the steam bath is useful for respiratory problems. Allergens and mucus are cleared from the lungs by the steam. Breathing steam has long been recommended by doctors for all kinds of respiratory ailments. It soothes breathing passages by increasing the moisture content in the lungs, throat and nose. Anyone suffering from the discomfort of asthma or the common cold can find relief by spending time in a steam bath. It provides a higher concentration of steam than a vaporizer.

It should be noted, however, that steam baths and saunas are not cures for respiratory illnesses. It simply provides relief from the symptoms, enough for most sufferers to return to the steam bath repeatedly.

Skin

Dermatologists recognize the value of steam in creating a beautiful, healthy glow. Nothing is better for the skin than a heavy sweat. Heavy sweating cleanses the skin more thoroughly than soap and water because it opens the pores and allows deep-seated grime and dead cells to be flushed out. In addition, a steam bath improves blood circulation to the skin, adding a healthy shine.

Pain Relief

Heat is an effective treatment for muscular pain. A steam bath after a hard workout effectively speeds up the healing process of injured tissues and muscles. Blood vessels expand when exposed to heat, increasing the circulation and allowing more oxygen to reach damaged areas and speeds the healing rate.
Relaxation

Deep rest is one of the most therapeutic ways to heal the body. Our modern life is filled with daily stress, which can build up and cause stress-related illnesses such as hypertension. Spending time in a sauna is a great way to unwind and relieve stress. The heat causes the muscles to relax, and the steam provides a soothing atmosphere to calm the mind.

A steam bath before bed is a great way to promote deep, restful sleep. After a steam bath you feel relaxed and calm. As part of your daily routine, the steam bath has tremendous benefits for both your physical and mental health.
About the Author
Mike Hirn is a longtime steam enthusiast. His website supplies a wealth of information about the construction, use and health benefits of home saunas and steam showers.
www.the-home-sauna-center.com
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