Saunas are small rooms where people go to relax and luxuriate in an extremely hot environment. While intentional exposure to extreme heat may sound unpleasant to some, those who regularly use indoor dry saunas know that the practice can actually have beneficial effects on both physical health and mental wellbeing.
Though almost everyone can safely use saunas, some people benefit from regular dry sauna use than others and may want to consider installing units in their homes. Read on to find out about the types of health conditions and other factors that might increase the benefits of having and using a home sauna.
People With Chronic Pain
Spending time in a dry sauna can improve circulation, which helps with issues like muscle soreness, joint immobility, and pain. Experts recommend that patients who suffer from rheumatic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, and ankylosing spondylitis engage in regular dry sauna bathing. However, the same benefits apply to anyone suffering from a chronic pain condition.
Athletes and Fitness Enthusiasts
There’s a reason most of the top gyms have dry saunas, and it’s not just to help patrons relax. Athletes and serious fitness enthusiasts can benefit just as much from improved circulation, reduced muscle soreness, and increased joint mobility as those suffering from chronic pain. After workouts, athletes can spend 20 minutes or so in the sauna to relieve exercise-related pain and speed muscle recovery.
People With Stressful Jobs or Lives
Spending time in a dry sauna releases endorphins, which can reduce stress and enhance mood. Daily sessions in the sauna can reduce cortisol levels, as well, helping people with stressful jobs or other responsibilities relax and unwind, reducing stress and anxiety, and even improving sleep quality. Even the simple act of sitting peacefully in a sauna and focusing on the moment can be beneficial to users’ mental health.
Asthma and Allergy Sufferers
The dry heat from saunas can help to loosen phlegm, open airways, and reduce congestion, all of which can help to alleviate the symptoms of chronic respiratory problems. Time in the sauna can even help to alleviate the symptoms of colds and flu, including congestion, muscle aches, and fatigue. Just don’t use a public sauna when suffering from any kind of infectious disease.
People With Certain Skin Conditions
People who suffer from psoriasis, eczema, and acne may find that regular sauna sessions improve their skin conditions. There are two factors that contribute to this phenomenon: the cleansing effects of sweating and the heat’s stimulation of the skin’s sebaceous glands. To be clear, though, not all people with these and other skin conditions find that regular sauna use helps.
Who Shouldn’t Use a Dry Sauna?
Though dry sauna bathing is considered safe for almost everyone, at least when it’s done in moderation, there are some people who should ask a doctor before adding regular sauna use to their routines. They include people who have:
- Heart disease
- Low blood pressure
- A recent heart attack
- Kidney disease
- Recent illnesses
Most of these groups of patients can still use dry saunas. They just may need to spend less time in the heat, drink more water, or take other precautions.
Install a Sauna at Home
The best way to incorporate regular sauna use into a daily routine is to have one installed at home. Consider devoting a bit of space and investing in a home sauna kit to help with managing any of the above conditions.