The Sauna Benefit: What All Saunas Have in Common

Sauna benefit: A set of positive influences on your health that have been proven by sound medical research worldwide

With a sauna the benefit goes far, far beyond relaxation. We know this for sure since it played such a key role in turning our family’s health around.

Of course, the Finns knew this 2000 years ago, not to mention several North and Central American Indian tribes…and, later, the Ancient Greeks and Romans, Russians, Turks, East Indians, Thais and Japanese! You can read more about this on our history of and introduction to the sauna page .

Just as you will when you've tried an infrared sauna (how to take an infrared sauna) , we’ve walked out of the sauna feeling ten years younger (with that hard-to-come-by rosy-cheeked look!), sped up the healing of sprains and bruises, smelled long-stored chemicals come out in our sweat, and…well, there’s a lot to our story and it will unfold on the pages of this site.

(Now if we can only get dad in there…Mayo Clinic studies show that it can even improve the functional capacity of cardiac patients!)

First thing to know: the benefits vary a bit between types of sauna

The dry sauna, also known as a dry heat sauna, comes in to main types:

1) Traditional saunas, such as the Finnish sauna: This is the type of dry sauna most of us think of when we think of a sauna, where a set of rocks heated by electricity or a wood-fire produce heat inside the wooden sauna cabin.

2) Far Infrared Saunas , the newer-type sauna: This sauna produces its effects at a lower temperature that most people find more comfortable than that used in a traditional sauna. These saunas use a different type of heater, the infrared sauna heater .

The wet saunas, more commonly known as steam rooms. Steam rooms are heated solely by steam which is pumped into the room. Sauna vs steam room.

The sauna benefit in general, or, what you can expect from any home sauna

The list of known sauna benefits is growing every year as researchers investigate this powerful tool. Here’s the Big Picture…

#1: Profound Relaxation

Quiet time, space, privacy; this is a sauna benefit much-needed in our hectic, rapid-fire society.

Deep tissue relaxation.

As the body warms throughout, the heat relaxes your muscles, tendons and ligaments, and oxygen and nutrients are delivered to tissues that are not that well supplied at other times.

The stimulation of endorphin production (our own natural feel-good chemicals).

#2: Hard to Achieve Health Effects

Here’s a list of many of the medically proven sauna benefits. For the complete list and all the details, see our upcoming Sauna Health Benefits pages:

Alleviation of stubborn skin problems (psoriasis, eczema) Relief from arthritis

Accelerated recovery from muscle, ligament and tendon injuryRecovery from fibromyalgia and various types of fibromyalgia symptoms

Mercury detoxification and recovery from mercury poisoning

Improved circulation to hands, feet and skin

Alleviation of chronic and acute neck pain, back and joint pain (as well as muscles, ligaments and tendons)

Recovery from addiction (this is a little known sauna benefit that is achievable following a sauna detoxification program - come back for our upcoming pages on how to undergo sauna detox)

Relief from environmental toxicity of all types (with their own large range of symptoms), including radiation

Immune-enhancing effects

While steam room benefits include everything on this page, wet saunas also offer tremendous relief for many respiratory complaints, including sinus congestion and croupy cough. More on steam room benefits vs dry sauna If cardiac/heart benefits are what interest you (do you have someone in your family who has angina pectoris, arrhythmias, heart failure, or high blood pressure like we do?)…

…you’ll want to turn your attention right to infrared sauna benefits . IR Saunas are the only type of sauna that are safe for many cardiac patients. Better yet, though, fir saunas have been proven at the Mayo Clinic and elsewhere to help cardiac patients actually improve their condition. Come back soon for our upcoming page on cardiac health and inrared saunas -- including the relevant research).

#3: Enhanced Physical Conditioning and Athletic Performance

Causes an increased heart rate and stroke volume (amount of blood pumped with each heartbeat) in order to bring blood to the surface of the skin for sweat production and cooling……NASA and various cardiac medical journals report that this is equivalent to walking at a moderate to vigorous pace

Primes you for a great workout by warming up the muscles, tendons and ligaments and cranking up the circulatory system before you get started

Shortened recovery time from workouts

Shorter recovery time from muscle aches, strains and bruises

Quicker clearance of lactic acid from post workout muscle soreness.

#4: Weight Reduction

Yes, it’s true that you can burn up to 600 calories in 1 hr. in the infrared sauna, provided you sweat profusely. This is energy required for high-capacity sweat production and is separate from any water weight you lose from the sweat itself (which you must replace so you don’t dehydrate yourself).

Did you know…that producing sweat requires a lot of energy? So, since energy in the body is measured as calories, sweating uses up a lot of calories. Here’s how:
  • Producing 1 g of sweat requires nearly 0.6 calories.
  • A profuse sweat can produce 1 liter of sweat in an hour.
  • Since sweat weighs 1 g/ml, 1 liter (1000 ml) requires 600 calories to produce. (0.6 calories x 1000)!

    Despite the fact that many people are embarrassed by their own sweating, it serves a critical cooling and detoxification function in the body..

#5: Healthier, More Youthful Appearance/Beauty Enhancement

That’s the overview of the benefits common to all saunas, wet and dry. If you’re like us, you’ll want to understand how and why a simple sauna room can achieve so much. Move on from this general look at sauna benefits and read about the unmatched benefits and effects of infrared saunas.