Sauna: Heated room Therapy

Introduction to Sauna


Popularly used for thousands of years to date, Sauna is considered by many as the perfect way to unwind and relax. It is essentially a heated, humid room that has varying effects on an individual such as an increase in blood circulation. There are many other health benefits obtained through a good Sauna which you will learn about through this article. 


A sauna is a room heated to a temperature of 700 to 1000 Celsius or 1580 to 2120 Fahrenheit. The conditions vary based on the type of sauna you opt for. A Finnish sauna uses dry heat with 10-20% humidity, while a Turkish-style sauna uses a greater level of humidity. While using a sauna, your skin temperature can rise to roughly 400 C or 1040 F. Rising skin temperature leads to heavy sweating, and a rise in heart rate to cool the body. 


Principle of Sauna

As the skin temperature shoots up in a sauna, an average person pours out about a pint of sweat. This causes the pulse rate to jump by 30% or more and the heart to nearly double the amount of blood being pumped per minute. Blood circulation is shunted away from the internal organs and instead, extra blood flows to the skin, resulting in a rise or fall of blood pressure. 


Benefits of Sauna

When a person sits in a sauna, their blood vessels widen, and the rate of blood circulation increases, thereby increasing heart rate to 100-150 beats per minute (as seen in a low to moderate intensity workout). This may result in the following health benefits:

  • Easing pain.
  • Reducing stress levels.
  • Improving cardiovascular health.
  • Improving skin problems.
  • Reducing asthma symptoms.

Types of Sauna

Based on how heated the room is, there are different types of sauna which include:

  1. Wood burning – Low humidity and high temperatures sauna. Here wood is used to heat the sauna rooms and rocks.
  2. Electrically heated – Low humidity and high temperature saunas where electrical heaters attached to the floor are used to heat the room. 
  3. Infrared roomFar-infrared saunas (FIRS) make use of special lamps emitting light waves to heat a person’s body instead of the entire room. Temperature is usually lower, about 600 C. 
  4. Steam room – A different heating room as compared to saunas, steam rooms make use of high humidity and moist heat, instead of dry heat for a similar experience. 

Risks & Precautions 

Sauna is not advisable for people with uncontrollable high blood pressure and heart diseases. Some general precautions one must take care of while using the sauna are:

  • Avoid consuming alcohol and medications before and after the sauna to prevent overheating or impairing sweat production. 
  • Use the sauna for no more than 15-20 minutes. 
  • Cool down gradually afterward.
  • Drink 2-4 glasses of water before & after each sauna session to replenish the lost fluids.
  • Avoid the sauna if you are ill or get out of the sauna if you feel unwell at any point. 

Sauna is used worldwide as a way to unwind and relax. Although considered a harmless form of therapy, it is advisable to consult your doctor before booking an appointment for a sauna session. 


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