Steam baths have been around for a very long time. Steam baths originate from Rome. Ancient Greeks and Romans used steam baths as ways to socialize, and they were a regular part of the culture. Over time this concept grew more popular, and spread to other countries. The ancient Greek physician, Hippocrates, discovered that steam baths were helpful in curing many diseases. This is due to the fact steam baths stimulate a rise in body temperature, which acts like a fever. A fever indicates that the body is fighting infection. Other than helping to fight off diseases, there are more health benefits of taking a steam bath.
Some respiratory ailments that can be soothed by taking a steam bath include bronchitis, allergies, asthma, and sinusitis. These respiratory ailments can be soothed by the steam, because steam helps to loosen mucus. This makes it easier to cough up phlegm or blow your nose to clear a blocked sinus passage. Steam acts as a kind of lubricant, making the passages easier for these substances to pass through. The steam travels through the nose and mouth, all the way down into the lungs, soothing dry and irritated breathing passages.
Steam baths are wonderful for the human skin. It might sound a bit nasty, but in actuality, sweating can cleanse the skin more efficiently than soap and water. Sweat opens the pours to flush out all of the dead skin cells and dirt that can get embedded throughout the day. Steam baths have that same effect. The steam opens up pours and lets all of the nasty grime and dead skin be flushed away. The heat from a steam bath also increases blood circulation. When blood circulation increases, it allows certain nutrients and oxygen to be brought to the surface of the skin. When this happens, the skin looks healthier and feels softer.
Relieves Aches and Pains
If you’ve ever experienced aching muscles after an intense workout, you know muscular pain can be uncomfortable. Taking a steam bath can be very effective at relieving this type of pain. The heat from the steam bath allows blood vessels to expand, in which case blood circulation is increased. Just like the skin, increased blood circulation will let oxygen and nutrients travel more easily to the aching muscles. This increase in nutrients and oxygen will help speed up muscle repair. Not only do you get pain relief from a steam bath, but you also get an increase in muscle healing.
Steam baths are wonderful for relieving stress and tension. After a long hard day of work, or other activities that can bring on stress, there’s nothing better than a good hot bath. Stress effects everyone at one time or another, sometimes effecting people in severe ways. Very high stress levels can lead to not only migraine headaches and muscle tension, but it can also lead to high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. As stated above, steam can expand blood vessels, which increases the circulation of the blood. Increased blood circulation will help to lower blood pressure and ease muscle tension.
When you have looser muscles and have eased the tension brought on by stress, you’ll have an easier time getting to sleep at night. There’s yet another health benefit of taking a steam bath. It will help you reach a more restful and deeper sleep. Spending just 15 minutes in a steam bath is not only good for your physical well being, it also does wonders for your mental state of mind. It is best to limit your time in a steam bath. Be on the safe side and only stay in a steam bath for 15 to 20 minutes. The heat could cause you to feel dizzy, which is a common sign of overheating. You might want to bring a glass of water, and sip occasionally as you soak.
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