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A Few Health Benefits of Saunas

If you’ve never tried a sauna before, you might want to consider one after Dr. Weston shares some of the benefits of saunas.

Dr Weston cranks up the heat this week with the benefits of saunas. Right now there’s tremendous concern over global warming, but it may be time to turn up the heat individually even if we shouldn’t on a global scale. There are a number of effective ways for you to “feel the heat.” Saunas of all different types, hot tubs, and steam baths, each of these has its own unique advantages, but the Doc will share some benefits that are common to all of these forms of body heating. Why would an otherwise normal person even want to cook, bake, broil, or baste themselves anyway? Here are a few good reasons.

sauna_light_relax_heat_hot_water_sweat_picIt’s relaxing. Face it. We live in a stressful world, one which can be uncomfortable and even unhealthy. In fact, locking out the world for a few minutes to decompress, sweat, and meditate provides a tranquility that is at the top of most people’s list. It can quite literally melt away the cares of the day.

Recent research has verified that major health benefits from sauna time are not just “feeling good” or a simple placebo, but real, tangible health boosting that can even be lifesaving. It appears that the more time spent in the glorified sweat box the better the result. Daily for at least 20 minutes seems to provide the maximum benefit. Middle aged men who sauna daily cut their chances of dying from a heart condition in half. Even a couple sessions a week lowered the incidence by over 25%. What’s more impressive is the finding that death from all causes is decreased by 40%. The Journal of the American Medical Association verifies these claims, though the actual mechanism is not fully understood.

Here’s an incomplete list of a number of documented health benefits that can be derived by regular sauna sessions.

  • Heat is analgesic and helpful in dealing with the pain and stiffness of arthritis as well as relaxing tight muscles.
  • Relieves stress and encourages tranquility, making for a deeper, more restful sleep.
  • Boosts metabolism and burns calories, encouraging healthy weight loss.
  • Can double the normal heart rate, adding to cardiovascular health.
  • couple_man_woman_sauna_relax_heat_hot_sweat_towels_picIncreases core body temperature, effectively giving you a short term fever, helping to fight illnesses like colds and flus.
  • Adding aromatherapy helps clear the sinuses and open the lungs.
  • Provides a great time for social interaction or meditation.
  • And finally, saunas just plain old feel good.

There are a many different ways to provide heat in a sauna: coals, hot rocks, heaters, and the newer forms of infrared that are touted to provide even more benefits. To some the sauna is a cure-all, a way of life, an addiction, almost a religion. Dr Weston simply says, “Give it a try, because heat does a body good.”

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