People have used saunas and sweat lodges for thousands of years all around the world, and sweating out toxins is only part of the reason.
The heat from the sauna increases your heart rate and causes your blood vessels to relax and dilate, allowing more blood to reach your arms, legs, hands and feet. The metabolic effect of a sauna is similar to that of strenuous exercise, although it does not have the same muscular or cardiovascular benefits as exercise.
Relaxation and Pain Relief
The heat from the sauna causes your muscles to relax, which helps relieve stress. Stress reduction can also result from resting in a quiet place and letting your mind wander as your body starts to relax. Increased muscular relaxation can also help reduce pain. According to “The American Journal of Medicine,” regular sauna baths may help alleviate the pain and stiffness associated with arthritis and rheumatism as well as discomfort from pulled or strained muscles.
If you suffer from asthma and chronic bronchitis, you can benefit from taking regular sauna baths. The heat dilates bronchial and nasal passages, allowing air to travel more freely. The heat and steam from the sauna also help to clear mucus from nasal and bronchial passages, which offer some relief to people with chronic sinusitis. A sauna bath might also make you feel better when you’re stuffed up from a cold.