What is a steam bath?

A steam room with wooden benches and sauna stones.

A steam bath opens up pores, soothes sore muscles, increases circulation, and provides an overall healthy, relaxing experience. People have feasted on steam baths for centuries, as the practice spread across continents. Now, modern technology has allowed efficient and carefully controlled baths to be installed in spas, fitness centers, meditation rooms and in personal homes.

Eating a salty snack is recommended after a steam bath.

For a very humid and hot health treatment, people often turn to a quiet steam bath. This usually takes place in a room sealed with wooden benches, similar to a sauna, which is kept at an even temperature and filled with mist. There is a narrow ideal temperature range for humans, around 44°C (112°F), which raises body temperature without causing overheating. Circulating steam must be replenished so that humidity remains close to saturation for maximum benefit. You can find a steam room at your yoga studio, local spa, health clinic, or independent establishment that may also have hot tubs, saunas, or wading pools.

Excessive sweating works to cleanse pores and flush out toxins.

There are many things to consider if you plan on trying out a steam bath. First, be careful not to stay in the steam bath for more than 15-20 minutes at a time to avoid overheating. Symptoms of too much heat include dizziness, vertigo, tachycardia, or excessive thirst. You can try multiple sessions at once after a cool-down period. Make sure you drink plenty of water and then eat a salty snack so your body can recover from the exertion. Also, make sure you don’t eat large meals in advance and drink plenty of water to ensure you don’t get dehydrated. Finally, be prepared to undress or, if necessary, use a loose cotton wrap. Wearing tight clothing, such as a bathing suit, interferes with temperature regulation and perspiration.

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You can find a steam bath at your yoga studio, local spa, health clinic, or independent establishment that may also have hot tubs, saunas, or wading pools.

The potential benefits of visits to the steam bath are numerous and valuable. The steam will relieve sinus irritation due to allergies or colds and chest congestion from asthma or bronchial infection. Excessive sweat cleans the pores and eliminates toxins. The elevated temperature increases your circulation for healthier skin and more energy. Much like a warm bath, this treatment relaxes stiff muscles from exercise and relieves swelling or joint tension associated with arthritis.

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