For more than two-thousand years, human civilizations have built steam baths in cities from Rome to Istanbul to provide citizens with the relaxation and health benefits of steam. While most people associate saunas and steam baths with the same conditions and atmospheres, there are in fact slightly different benefits to the two heat therapy systems. In this post, you'll learn some of the most important physical and mental health benefits of steam baths.
Difference between Saunas and Steam Baths
Both a sauna and a steam bath make your body sweat through immersion in a high-heat environment. However, a sauna achieves this with much higher temperatures and low humidity levels. The average sauna has a temperature anywhere between 176 degrees F and 212 degrees F, with humidity levels around 10%. A steam bath, by contrast, features a temperature range between 104 degrees F and 116 degrees F. The relative humidity inside of a steam bath is around 100%.
Due to the higher humidity levels inside of a steam bath, temperatures near those of a sauna would feel far too warm to comfortably enjoy, and could even result in minor scalding of your skin. The dry heat in a sauna makes it safe to spend time in, as well as pleasurable.
Physical Health Benefits
The greatest physical health benefit you'll enjoy in a steam bath is the easing of respiratory issues. Those who suffer from asthma, bronchitis, persistent coughing, hoarseness, and allergies will find time in a steam bath very relieving. The heat and humidity of a steam bath clears mucus from the lungs, and the humidity in the air (in particular) helps to soothe your airways.
In addition, steam baths help detoxify your body by improving circulation. This is particularly helpful for those suffering from liver and circulatory issues. Other benefits include easing the symptoms of arthritis, rheumatism, and other joint pains.
Mental Health Benefits
A good steam bath will not only loosen up your body and ease physical pain, but can also loosen your mind and relieve mental stress in your life. Those who suffer from intense stress, anxiety disorders and attacks, sleeping disorders, and negative energies are likely to find a great deal of relief from just a few hours each month in a steam bath. Spending time in the warm, humid environment of a steam bath calms your body, soothes your muscles to aid in relaxation, and helps heat up your body to boost your immune system, offering an additional boost that keeps you healthier, longer.
Steam baths and saunas both have immense physical and mental health benefits for those who use them on a regular basis. However, the difference in environments might appeal differently to various people. Hopefully this post has helped you realize that steam baths offer their own benefits, and if you prefer the warm kiss of a humid environment, time spent enjoying a nice steam bath can help you heal your body and mind!