Beyond Detox: How to Get Added Health Benefits from Saunas
People have used saunas and sweat lodges for thousands of years all around the world, and sweating out toxins is only part of the reason. Deeper health benefits from saunas don’t just lie in detoxification. You can actually boost your immune system, too, by using a few added techniques.
When you’re in a sauna, blood floods to the surface of your body, pores open, and eventually sweat gets pushed out. For added health benefits from saunas, the idea is to bolster the ability of your pores to not just open, but close effectively as well. This will boost your circulation and enhance your immune system so it can practice its defenses. Unfortunately most people who visit saunas neglect some of the key steps that help make this happen.
How To Get Added Health Benefits From Saunas
When you sit in the sauna, brush, lightly scratch, or tap the skin on your arms, legs, belly, and back. This will stimulate your pores to open more while you’re in the sauna and boost the circulation at the surface of your body. Pretty soon you’ll start sweating, and with all the blood at the surface of your body toxins will come flowing out. Once you’ve started sweating, you can stay in the sauna as long as you feel comfortable.
And here’s the most important step: Immediately after you leave the sauna you have to immerse yourself in cold water!
This will close your pores back up, pull the blood back to your core organs, and reinforce your natural defenses. This means that you will actually lose less heat when you are out of the sauna, boost your circulation, stay warmer longer, and keep your vital organs happy and functioning at the same time. I know, it sounds totally crazy. Think of it as boot-camp for your immune-system. It may not sound pleasant, but after a few times you’ll get used to it and you’ll feel great afterward, I promise!
Contraindications: If you ever feel light-headed, dizzy, or have heart palpitations, please leave the sauna immediately! People who are frail, prone to dizziness, pregnant, have hypertension or low blood pressure should avoid using the sauna. Growing children would also benefit from avoiding high temperatures. If you are feeling sick it would be best for you to stay home, rest, and use other natural techniques to kick your immune system into action.
Article Credit: Katerina Pozzi Baratta, MSOM