The health benefits of steam bathing

Steam bathing, a practice that has existed for generations, involves the use of steam to promote relaxation and enhance overall health. From steam showers to Turkish baths (hammam), this therapeutic practice has been embraced by people all over the world for its numerous physical and emotional benefits. Steam bathing boosts cardiovascular health, promotes relaxation and improves skin health, among other things. In this article, we’ll explore some of the key benefits of steam bathing and how it can positively impact your health.

Steam shower

Boosts cardiovascular health

Studies have demonstrated that exposure to heat such as in in a steam sauna or shower, can significantly improve cardiovascular health by enhancing blood flow and reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. The warmth generated by steam causes blood vessels to dilate, increasing blood flow throughout the body. This increased circulation promotes the delivery of oxygen and vital nutrients to cells, tissues, and organs, improving overall health.

In addition, heat exposure has been shown to reduce blood pressure levels, a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. The gentle heat and humidity of steam can help to relax blood vessels, easing the workload on the heart and lowering blood pressure.

Furthermore, the heat from steam therapy promotes the release of nitric oxide, a molecule that plays a crucial role in regulating blood pressure and cardiovascular health. Nitric oxide is known to dilate blood vessels, improve blood flow, and prevent the formation of blood clots, reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Sources: Coşkun et al., 2014; Kunutsor et al., 2018; Laukkanen et al., 2015; Laukkanen et al., 2018; Pandiaraja et al., 2018

Improves breathing

Research has shown that steam therapy can be an effective natural remedy for a wide range of respiratory issues. For centuries, people have used steam to alleviate congestion, bronchitis, and sinusitis and other respiratory problems. One of the ways in which inhaling steam can help with respiratory issues is by loosening mucus. This can help relieve congestion and promote easier breathing.

The moist heat also helps to soothe inflamed nasal passages, which can help to alleviate symptoms of allergies and other respiratory conditions.

Sources: Chowdhury et al., 2022; Lenglet et al., 2012; Tungsukruthai et al., 2018; Vathanophas, 2021

sauna sweat woman

Improves skin health

Steam bathing is a natural and effective way to improve skin health and alleviate various skin issues. Steam saunas are moist, warm environments that promote sweating.

Sweating helps to bring moisture to the skin surface, which is particularly beneficial for people with dry skin. Sweating also helps to remove dirt and oil build-up on the skin. This can help clean the skin and prevent acne and other skin issues.

The warm, humid environment of a steam shower or sauna helps to increase blood flow to the skin, which can help to promote collagen production, a protein that gives skin its elasticity. By promoting collagen production, steam therapy can help to improve overall skin condition.

Sources: Baker, 2019; Laukkanen et al., 2018

Nova steam cabin

Aids pain relief

Steam bathing provides a warm environment for the whole body. The soothing warmth and moist heat of this environment have been found to be effective in relieving pain.

Poor blood flow around the body causes muscle stiffness, cramping and pain. Heat improves the circulation of blood around the body. This improved circulation reduces muscle tightness and pain associated with poor blood flow.

The relaxation benefits of steam therapy can also contribute to pain relief. The calming and stress-reducing effects of steam therapy can help to alleviate tension and anxiety, which can contribute to pain and discomfort.

Sources: Elvin et al., 2006; Groeneweg, 2009; Hussain et al., 2019; Khamwong et al., 2015; Matsumoto et al., 2011

Harvia nova steam shower cabin in dark bathroom

Promotes relaxation

Steam showers, rooms, and saunas offer a serene and tranquil atmosphere, free from the typical distractions of technology, creating a sanctuary for reflection and introspection.

The soothing warmth of the steam eases tense muscles, helping to release tension and discomfort. By alleviating physical stressors, steam therapy promotes deep relaxation, allowing the mind to unwind and de-stress.

Moreover, research has shown that the gentle heat generated by steam can trigger an antidepressant signal in the brain, reducing symptoms of depression and enhancing emotional well-being.

Source: Janssen et al., 2016

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