When most people think about relaxing in a warm environment in their home, a bathtub full of hot water or a steamy shower are the first things that come to mind. For those fortunate enough to have a home sauna, relaxing in the heat of that environment adds a great deal of joy to life. If you haven't heard of a steam bath, you are missing out on the joy of an alternative way to enjoy maximum relaxation. But what is a steam bath? How does it work? And most importantly, what are the benefits of using one regularly?
Take a Steam: What is a Steam Bath?
A steam bath provides warm, moist heat that sinks into your body. The embracing warmth of the moist air penetrates your skin to provide joint and muscle relief and relaxation. There are a number of names that a steam bath can take, including but not limited to, a steam shower, hot springs, sweat lodge, a wet sauna, or hydrotherapy.
Steam baths have existed for centuries. Roman and Greek societies popularized steam baths during ancient times, but Turkish, Russian, and Native American cultures also relied heavily upon steam baths for relaxation and improved health.
Although many people confuse a steam bath with a sauna, there are subtle differences that count in the end. Both create warm conditions that make you sweat, but the atmosphere is much different. The average traditional sauna has a temperature between 176 F and 212 F, while a steam bath has temperatures between 104 F and 116 F. However, the humidity in a sauna is extremely low at around 10%, while the relative humidity in a steam bath is 100%.
The result is an environment inside a steam bath that feels much cooler compared to a sauna as a warm mist fills the air and penetrates your skin. Conversely, a sauna is only tolerable because of its low humidity and intense heat.
How Does it Work?
The science behind a steam bath is simple. In a steam bath, the room is constantly filled with steam generated by moisture hitting the heating coils and being dispersed throughout the room along with warm air. Your skin responds to these moist conditions by opening the pores, cleaning several layers deep into your skin to remove toxins. Those toxins seep out of your open pores with ease and enter the air in the room.
Relaxation and relief are rushed to your muscles and joints at the same time as your open pores allow more oxygen into the body, and the blood flow increases. The rush brings nutrients to more areas of your body, and does so quickly.
Steam Up: What are the Benefits?
First and foremost, just like other heat therapies, a steam bath can help reduce stress and aid in recovery from muscle and joint pain. If you've suffered a recent injury through normal activity or sports, a steam bath can speed up recovery through increased blood flow and circulation. The improved circulation offered by a steam bath can also help boost cardiovascular health overall. Minor benefits include better skin complexion.
Now that you're aware of the ins and outs of a steam bath, it might be time to contemplate installing a steam bath in your own home. There are numerous residential steam generators available for purchase to help you realize the potential for a steam bath in your own home.