As early as 3,000 years ago, the sweating has long been used as a form of therapy. Truthfully, who wouldn’t be enticed with a deep, invigorating sweating session that only saunas can offer? If you’re planning to purchase your very own sauna in the future, here’s a quick buyer’s guide to help you:
What is a sauna?
A sauna is a small room whose temperature ranges between 150°F to 195°F (65°C to 90°C). Its signature interiors often features an unpainted wall, wooden elements, and temperature controls like rocks – which are used to naturally emit and absorb heat. The same rocks can be used to create steam, another trademark of saunas, by simply pouring water over them.
Types of saunas
Depending on the heating medium used, saunas can be classified into four types. These are the following:
Since its first launching during the 1950s, people have been leaning more towards electrically-heated saunas. This can be mainly due to their efficiency, safety, ease-of-use, and eye-catching designs. You can even control these saunas using a remote control, while their electric heaters can be floor- or wall-mounted.
Infrared room sauna
Also known as “heat therapy room,” infrared room saunas rely on an individual’s body heat rather than air heating. Since infrared room saunas don’t utilize water, experiencing the signature sauna steam would be completely impossible. While most conventional saunas depend on air heating, infrared room saunas rely on an individual’s body heat.
Also known as the traditional Finnish sauna, the wood-burning sauna uses wood to burn in the stove – which eventually heats up the sauna. Ideally, the temperature of a wood-burning sauna must be no less than 65.5°C when a person is sitting. To control its humidity, splashing some water on the heated stones can help.
Rather than a conventional sauna, a steam room mainly resembles a Turkish-style spa. This is because its humidity levels are at a staggering 100% while keeping its temperature lower than a traditional Finnish sauna – which typically reaches 49°C
Should you own one?
Did you know that there’s more to sauna than just sweating? Below are the top 8 benefits of sauna treatments and why you should own one:
Improves cardiovascular health
The heat-induced by saunas improves the body’s blood circulation while stimulating the release of endorphins – also known as the “happy hormones.” Apart from the release of endorphins, the produced heat from saunas causes the body’s blood vessels to dilate, hence promoting increased blood circulation. In return, increased blood circulation promotes a faster healing process both from physical wounds and bodily pains.
Aids in recovery after strenuous physical activity
Still related to their endorphin-stimulating effects, saunas can alleviate muscle soreness and rheumatic pain after an intense physical exercise.
Especially for people who rarely sweat, saunas can help promote sweating as a way to flush the body’s toxins. This is because it can reduce the body’s levels of copper, lead, mercury, nickel, and zinc – which are chemicals commonly acquired from interacting with the day-to-day pollution. This is why many doctors and practitioners recommend saunas as a way to detoxify the body.
Reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s Disease by 65%
This has been proven by a 20-year study conducted by a Finnish university – which proved that regular sauna treatments (about 4 – 7 times a week) lowered the participants’ risks in acquiring both Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Due to the tranquilizing effects brought about by sauna treatments (which are triggered by the release of endorphins), these result in improved mental health. This can range from lowered stress levels to reduced risks of depression.
Promotes better sleep
Remember the endorphins produced during a sauna session? These are then lowered as people fall asleep – along with their body temperatures. This gradual, relaxing decline in heat production is the key for a good night’s sleep.
Helps fight illnesses
Especially with colds and influenza, sauna treatments can increase the body’s immunity to the many illnesses and viruses we have today. Since saunas are all about heat production, it can alleviate sinus congestion while increasing the body’s production of white blood cells.
Cleanses the skin
There’s a reason why steam face treatments are popular today – and it’s all for a good cause. Since sauna treatments can make the body sweat, it can cleanse your pores while removing any existing facial bacteria. This results in an “after-sauna glow.”
Whatever the reason you’re looking for a sauna, knowing the basics of how it works will give you a long way in choosing the right one for you and your family.
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