The Benefits of Dry Sauna
Are you looking for a natural and effective way to improve your overall health and well-being? Something that requires very little effort, and in fact, actually promotes relaxation? If so, then you should really consider using a dry sauna.
There’s no doubt that you’ve heard of a sauna before, and in fact, you may have even used one at least once. Nevertheless, you might be wondering about dry sauna benefits. Below, you’ll find out what a dry sauna is, how to use one, and the numerous health benefits that using a dry sauna on a regular basis can provide.
What is a dry sauna, anyway?
People have been using saunas for centuries. Evidence of the first saunas were found in Finland, and are believed to be centuries old. These rudimentary saunas are a lot different than modern-day devices. They were actually pits that were dug into hillside slopes as a means of protection against cold Finnish winters. To increase the temperature within these pits, fireplaces were built that held hot stones. Water was poured on top of the hot stones to produce steam and further increase the temperature. According to historians, these pits became so warm that people had to actually remove their clothing because they got so hot.
Fast forward to today, and modern-day saunas may look different than those rudimentary hillside pits, but they function the same way. They’re rooms or spaces that are lined with wood (usually cedar), they’re outfitted with a heating element, and benches. The heaters are usually topped with a collection of volcanic rocks, and the heating element super-heats the rocks. Water can be ladled on top of the rocks, which will vaporize instantly, release steam into the space, and increases the humidity level.
The temperature within a dry sauna can reach as high as 200 degrees F, and the relative humidity level is usually no higher than 20 percent. The heat can increase the temperature of the skin to about 104 degrees F. Built-in benches inside the sauna provide comfortable seating so you can sit back, relax, and taking in the soothing heat. Dry sauna sessions vary in length and really depend on an individual’s objectives and heat tolerance; they can be as short as 5 minutes, or they can be as long as ½-hour.
Benefits of Dry Sauna
So, now that you know what a dry sauna is, you’re probably wondering why someone would want to sit inside a hot space or room for up to 30 minutes. Scientists and researchers have been studying the effects of dry saunas for years. According to the findings of these studies, there are several long-term benefits of dry sauna, some of the most notable of which include the following.
Believe it or not, sitting inside a hot, low-humidity room can actually boost your longevity. The heat encourages your body to produce heat shock proteins (HSP), which have been directly connected to longevity, as they promote damaged cell repair and recycling. It’s also been determined that HSP promotes the regulation of certain types of antioxidants, such as glutathione, an antioxidant that shields the cells from damage; particularly age-related damage.
Thanks to these mechanisms, your cells are better able to resist deterioration and disease. Furthermore, the high temperature levels within a dry sauna can activate the FOXO3 gene, which is linked to longevity and aging. This gene triggers or suppresses other types of genes that help to keep your cells healthy by managing various cellular processes, such as metabolism, stress resistance, and even cellular death. When you ae exposed to the heat that a dry sauna produces, you’re encouraging your body to activate the FOXO3 gene, as well as HSP, which combined, can increase the longevity of your cells, improve your overall health, and may even help to extend your life expectancy.
Improved cardiovascular health
Regular use of a dry sauna can also enhance your cardiovascular health. That’s because when you’re exposed to the heat that a dry sauna produces encourages better blood flow, while also minimizing blood pressure over time; two factors that are vital indicators of your overall heart health.
Exposure to the high temperatures that a dry sauna produces also encourages your body to release antioxidants that help to combat oxidative stress, a leading contributor to heart disease. A study that was conducted by Finnish doctors found that the effects sauna use has on your heart health found that just two to three weekly sessions can help to reduce the risk of developing and dying from coronary heart disease by more than 20 percent and from cardiovascular disease by more than 25 percent. This study also revealed that increasing dry sauna use to four to seven sessions per week almost doubled survival rates to 40 percent for coronary heart disease and 50 percent for cardiovascular disease.
Individuals who have existing high blood pressure may see a notable reduction on their blood pressure levels and improvement in their overall heart health when they use a dry sauna on a regular basis.
Reduced inflammation and pain
Several scientific and medical studies have also found that regular dry sauna use can help to alleviate inflammation, which can directly ease pain that is related to said inflammation. Remember those heat shock proteins (HSP) we mentioned before? Well, they have anti-inflammatory properties, which means that when your body releases them, the naturally inflammatory response that is linked to various types of pain, including headaches, backaches, and chronic pain, reduces. Furthermore, the heat therapy that a dry sauna provides can help to boost your antioxidant levels, which can promote the reduction of oxidative stress, a leading cause of inflammation.
To summarize, the HSPs that your body releases, and the increased antioxidant levels in your body that occur as a result of heat therapy means that regular use of a dry sauna can help to alleviate inflammation and pain.
Looking for Dry Sauna Places Near Me?
The above three benefits are just some of the advantages that you’ll experience as a result of regular dry sauna use. If you’d like to experience the benefits of dry sauna for yourself, give us a call today! We’d love to help you improve your health and well-being.