15 Benefits of Sauna Therapy

Sauna Therapy for Super Health and Wellness

Sauna therapy has gained a bit of momentum as a health modality in Torquay, Victoria of late courtesy of sauna at one of the local fitness centres. We have had a bunch of regulars gathering there frequently. It has become quite a social gathering at times.

This may come as a surprise to many Australians, where sauna therapy is highly undervalued.

But not so in many parts of the world – and there’s more behind it than just tradition.

Saunas have been used for thousands of years by Scandinavians, Russians, North American Indians and many others.
In Russia and Finland, there is a saying that every day you take a sauna is a day that you are not ageing.

The skin is the body’s largest organ and our interface with the physical world. Through perspiration, it acts as an important vehicle for the elimination of toxins. The skin is often referred to as the ‘third kidney’.

Saunas assist greatly in the elimination of toxins. In the process the skin is cleaned of surface bacteria and dead skin cells – something that cannot be done by just taking a shower or bath. The sauna also cleans the capillaries, resulting in vastly improved skin condition.

The skin is the body’s largest organ and our interface with the physical world. Through perspiration, it acts as an important vehicle for the elimination of toxins. The skin is often referred to as the ‘third kidney’.

“Give me the power to create a fever, and I shall cure any disease”.

These are the words of Hippocrates, the founder of Western medicine more than two thousand years ago.

Although misunderstood as a symptom of disease, fever is actually a part of the body’s natural healing response. During a fever, the functioning of the immune system is stimulated, whilst growth of bacteria and viruses are inhibited. All of us would be aware of the great feeling of cleanliness and well being experienced after a fever has passed through us. Saunas elicit similar responses and are often called ‘artificial fevers’.

Extensive research has been carried out on the benefits of sauna therapy, particularly in Russia, Scandinavia and Japan.

In this blog, I will draw on some of these findings to outline 15 of these benefits:

1. You feel fantastic afterwards – First and foremost, and this has nothing to do with research, you feel fantastic after a sauna – especially if you have a cold shower or swim immediately afterwards. It is a feeling of cleanliness, aliveness, and relaxation.

2. Improved circulation

3. Enhances detoxification – via increased sweating.

4. Increased oxygenation of tissues and cells – leading to more energy and less chance for bacteria and viruses to thrive.

5. Stimulation of the immune system – including less colds and flus.

5. Improved skin quality – it enhances removal of toxins from sub-cutaneous fat cells below the skin’s surface, so your skin looks cleaner, fresher and softer.

6. Improved sleep quality – those who have regular saunas will tell you of sleeping like a baby afterward.

7. Improved weight loss.

8. Reduced stomach acidity.

9. Lowering of blood pressure.

10. Benefits in treatment of pain management – including arthritis, fibromyalgia and sports injuries.

11. Stress management.

12. Improved recovery time following sports training – including reduction in soreness post training or from sports injuries.

13. Increased muscle concentration and power.

14. Reduces the cold, nervous feeling that causes shivering before competition and that can make athletes prone to injury.

15. Last but not least, it is fun – especially if you sauna with friends. It is common in Scandinavia, Japan and Russia for sauna to be part of the activities of an afternoon BBQ or evening catch up with friends. Many cultures also conduct business meetings in the sauna – including me 🙂

If you haven’t embraced the wonders of sauna therapy, then find your local sauna and give it a go. It can take a little getting used to, but it’s worth persisting.

I’ve always aimed for at least 3 saunas per week and use Russian protocols that I learned of 3 sets of 10-15 minutes each in the sauna, with 5 minutes in between each set, and followed by a cold shower (no warm water at all) immediately after the 3rd set.

You will feel completely ALIVE afterwards.