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Sauna is a popular form of heat therapy that involves sitting in a room or enclosed space that is heated to a high temperature, typically between 160°F and 200°F, for a period of time.

During a sauna session, the body temperature rises, causing the blood vessels to dilate and the heart rate to increase. This increase in blood flow and heart rate helps to improve circulation and oxygenation of tissues throughout the body.

The heat also causes the body to sweat, which helps to eliminate toxins and other waste products from the body. This can provide a number of health benefits, including improved skin health, reduced muscle tension and soreness, and improved respiratory function.

Why do people use saunas?

Like many health trends, sauna bathing seems to be growing in popularity. Saunas are popping up in homes and gyms. Even stand-alone places offer memberships for heat and sauna therapy. 

Regular sauna bathers have reported:

  • Better quality of life

  • Recovery for sore muscles

  • Detoxification

  • Increased metabolism and weight loss

  • Less muscle and joint pain

  • Skin health and antiaging benefits

  • Improved sleep

  • Reduced stress

  • Overall relaxation

What are the proven benefits of sauna use?

Sauna bathing may be more than just a relaxing experience. It has some well-studied (and quite profound) benefits:

  1. Improved cardiovascular health (more on this below)

  2. Lower risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease

  3. Improvements in pain and range of motion in people with rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis

  4. Decreased chronic pain for people with conditions like fibromyalgia and low back pain

  5. Improvement in depression symptoms

  6. Reduced risk of developing psychosis (in a study of the general male population)

  7. Possible mild improvements in breathing for people with asthma and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)

  8. Reduced skin scales in psoriasis

  9. Reduced inflammation and decreased cortisol (stress hormone) levels

  10. Excretion of toxins and heavy metals via sweat

  11. Reduced risk of stroke

  12. Decreased headache intensity in those who get frequent headaches

  13. Fewer colds and viral illnesses

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