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Health Benefits of Sauna

The unique benefits of sauna use have become increasingly popular in modern society. The physiology of perspiration includes how sweating helps rid the body of wastes, regulates body temperature, and invigorates our largest organ, the skin.

The metabolic effects of sauna and sweat baths, the positive influence of negative ions released by steam and the more subtle spiritual and social benefits of the sauna experience all contribute to a heightened sense of well-being. Medical studies show that frequent sauna bathing helps reduce stress and keeps your circulatory system running smooth.

Many people claim that the sauna relieves the symptoms of minor illnesses such as colds, revives the muscles after tough physical exertion, and clears the complexion. The sauna experience will often leave you feeling very much alive. Your senses will be sharpened, and your tactile sensitivity heightened.

Another aspect of the sauna that needs to be considered is your mental state prior to taking one. Many people attest to the healing powers of the sauna concerning mental depression and anxiety. They say that after leaving the sauna, the mind is in a relaxed, lucid state, free of the worries of the everyday world. Also, when the body feels soothed and energized, the mind and emotions often follow suit.

Some basic sauna tips:

  • Don't drink alcohol, as it works as a depressant, where the blood is moving slowly and the nerve endings are literally shutting down and this will counteract the benefits of the sauna.
  • Older people need to avoid or limit their time in the sauna.
  • People with heart ailments or respiratory diseases need to avoid the sauna and anyone with chronic ailments needs to check first with his or her doctor.
  • Don't eat prior to the sauna.
  • Avoid drug use and the sauna — tranquilizers, stimulants and other prescribed drugs alter the body's metabolism and could produce dour effects in the heat.
  • If you experience dizziness, problems with breathing, or a general feeling of ill health, leave the sauna immediately.

When you start to use the sauna, do it gradually - Stay in only as long as you are comfortable, increasing the time with each visit. The Finns respect the sauna to such a degree that their ministers of government often conduct business in and around the sauna. They also believe that a person, upon leaving a fulfilling sauna, will be clear of mind and untroubled.

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