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A Sauna Is A Great Stress Reliever

Posted In: Health & Wellness

The sauna has been around for centuries. While Finland is often given credit for its popularity, the concept of heat therapy offered by the sauna may have started in Africa. The medicine men used an open fire pit, laid poles across it to hold the patient, and laid the ill tribesman on top of the poles for the heat therapy. While many civilizations have used a sauna-type structure for medicine, many also used heat as a stress reliever. Saunas are located everywhere in Finland, including their parliament house, where stress relief is important.

Saunas provide the same stress relief as a light workout.

Exercise helps burn off stress and so does 15 to 20 minutes in a sauna. The body changes when stress occurs. It is a survival technique. The brain sends out hormones to do that. It’s called the fight or flight response. It causes blood to flow to the limbs to assist running and fighting and diverts it from other systems not necessary at that time, like the digestive system. It causes an increase in blood pressure and heart rate, The eyes dilate and the body produces high amounts of adrenaline, causing tunnel vision. Fighting or running can help burn the hormones off so the body reverts to normal. Exercise mimics that, and so does time in a sauna.

You’ll sweat out depression and get pain relief.

A research study followed people in pain for two years. They found that regular use of a sauna helped improve their treatment outcomes. Getting relief from pain can go a long way to helping anyone relax. Relaxation is key to stress relief. It’s also key to preventing depression. Stress can cause depression. Another study found that regular sauna visits can reduce anxiety and decrease depression. The same study found sauna time also helped reduce stress.

Get rid of those muscle knots spending time in a sauna.

After a hard workout that leaves muscles sore, some trainers recommend active recovery. Active recovery is a mild exercise that stimulates circulation to reduce inflammation and promote healing. Saunas do the same thing. It helps relieve the knots in your muscles and tendons while promoting relaxation and a sense of well-being. Your mood improves after spending time in a sauna.

  • After a session in a sauna, you’ll sleep better. A good night’s sleep can start your day right and help prevent stress from building. Getting adequate sleep is also heart healthy.
  • The Finnish people value saunas so much, they put them everywhere from libraries to a bus. They even have one on a ski gondola so you can relax even more on the 20-minute trip to the mountain top.
  • A sauna session shouldn’t replace a workout but complement it. However, it can be a valuable option for incapacitated people unable to exercise.
  • If you’re new to sauna use, start slowly and keep the time shorter. Always check with your healthcare professional first before using a sauna if you have any health issues.

For more information, contact us today at Thrive Sauna Studio