Susanne* had really been feeling the stress lately.
She had been going to work in her role as a massage therapist, healing others’ aches and pains, and making them feel more relaxed, when, in fact, she was the one who needed the massage. Her husband, Steve* had been working late most nights, so she was the one who was picking up their three kids from school, feeding them and getting them to bed at a decent hour. Every. Single. Night.
Susanne had no time for herself, and there had been scant gratitude coming from her family members.
Her frustration level was growing.
Little did she know, her husband noticed the strain. Steve had been working all of those overtime hours to buy his hardworking bride a special gift. Just for her.
One night, after coming home from her son’s basketball game and with the other two kids in tow, she walked into the house, and Steve immediately asked her to come to the basement. She suspected it was to show her something amiss.
There, tucked away in the corner, was an infrared sauna from Beachcomber Home Leisure. Susanne started crying, as she immediately saw a sanctuary. Her sanctuary. She gave Steve a big hug, because she suddenly realized he was that big, gentle, sweet man she married. Not a big, lumbering oaf.
The top 10 health benefits that come from using an infrared sauna:
1. Relieves stress — The heat of the sauna relaxes the body, improves circulation and stimulates the release of endorphins—the body’s natural feel good chemical—providing a wonderful “after sauna glow.”
2. Relaxes muscles and soothes aches and pains in muscles and joints — Body temperature rises from the heat of the sauna, causing blood vessels to dilate and circulation to increase. The increased blood flow accelerates the body’s natural healing process—soothing aches and pains and speeding up of the healing of cuts and bruises.
3. Flushes toxins — In the heat of a sauna, the core body temperature begins to rise. The blood vessels dilate, causing increased blood flow. As heat from the blood moves toward the skin surfaces and the core body temperature rises, the body’s nervous system sends signals to the millions of sweat glands covering the body. As the sweat glands are stimulated they produce sweat. Sweat production is primarily for cooling the body and is composed of 99% water—but deep sweating in a sauna can help reduce levels of lead, copper, zinc, nickel, mercury and chemicals—all toxins commonly picked up from our environment.
4. Cleanses skin — When deep sweating occurs, the skin is cleansed and dead skin cells are replaced, keeping your skin in good working condition. Sweat rinses bacteria out of the epidermal layer and sweat ducts. Cleansing of the pores improves the capillary circulation and gives the skin a soft, beautiful appearance.
5. Induces a deeper sleep — Research shows a deeper sleep can result from sauna use. In addition to the release of endorphins, when body temperature is raises in the late evening, it will fall at bedtime, facilitating sleep. Numerous sauna bathers around the world tout the deep sleep they experience after sauna use.
6. Recreational and social benefits — While the social benefit is rarely touted, it should not be trivialized. The sauna can be a private personal retreat or a relaxing environment for socializing with family and friends. The sauna environment is ideal for openness, quiet conversation and intimacy.
7. Improves cardiovascular performance — In the heat of a sauna, skin heats up and core body temperature rises. In response to the heat, the blood vessels near the skin dilate and cardiac output increases. Medical research shows the heart rate can rise from 60-70/min. to 110-120/min. in the sauna (140-150 with more intensive bathing), and can often sink to below normal after the cooling off stage. With regular sauna use, we not only train our heart muscles and improve the heart rate/cardiac output, but we also positively influence the regulatory system.
8. Burns calories — While some individuals may experience high amounts of calories burned initially—particularly those individuals in poor shape—over the long term saunas are simply treated as another tool in our arsenal to burn additional calories. The sweating process itself takes a lot of energy. That energy is derived from the conversion of fat and carbohydrates in a process that burns up calories.
9. Fights illness — German sauna medical research shows saunas significantly reduced the incidence of colds and influenza. As the body is exposed to a sauna’s heat and steam (traditional), it produces white blood cells more rapidly, which, in turn, help fight illness and help kill viruses. Saunas can relieve sinus congestion from colds or allergies.
10. Feels Good — A sauna not only feels good; it’s good for you. Whether it’s the physiological changes that occur in the warmth of a sauna, or if it’s simply the time spent in the calm, still retreat of the sauna, all who sauna agree it feels wonderful. As we go through our daily stressful lives, the sauna provides a pampering retreat—where we can relax and restore body and soul. A sauna truly makes you “feel better,” “look better” and “sleep better.”
More information about infrared saunas can be found in store at Beachcomber Home Leisure in Kelowna and Vernon or at bhleisure.com.
* the names have been changed to protect the innocent—and big lumbering oafs.
This article is written by or on behalf of the sponsoring client and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.