Science Behind Potential Health Benefits of Sauna
Posted on 29 January 2018
The purported health benefits of sauna use are numerous. Although, sweat may seem like something you’d rather do without, it’s actually great for the body.
The health benefits of sauna use extend to our entire bodies
According to Dr. Julian Whitaker, a respected American physician, sitting in a sauna has the same health benefits as mild exercise. By sitting in a sauna for 15 minutes a day, you can improve your circulatory system because the heat dilates the capillaries improving the flow of blood. Besides refining our cardiovascular system, sauna use can help with rheumatoid arthritis, musculoskeletal issues, skin conditions, chronic fatigue and even mild depression. However, the most important health-related benefit of sauna use is that it makes us sweat.
Sweating your way to better health
The health benefits of sauna use are tenfold when it comes to sweat because it does more than simply regulate our body temperature. Toxins enter our body through the foods we eat, the air we breathe and the water we drink. Even if you are a strict vegan who practices clean eating, toxins will find their way into your system. Harsh chemicals like pesticides, solvents, dioxins and even drugs enter our bodies and without sweat, they would never leave.
Some believe that you can sweat out toxins. Whether or not you believe that, there is little doubt that sweating has a health promoting effect on the body.
We have two types of sweat glands; apocrine glands and eccrine glands. Apocrine glands are found in the armpits, scalp and pubic region and secrete the sweat that is full of fats and organic compounds. Body odour comes from these glands when the bacteria found on our skin interacts with these organic compounds. On the other hand, eccrine glands are found all over the body. These glands are responsible for the watery, odourless sweat that cools us down when it evaporates on our skin. On average, our eccrine glands release about a quart of sweat per day. When you sit in the sauna for only 15 minutes, your eccrine glands do the same, essentially helping your body purge itself.
The major health benefits of sauna use
Moreover, sauna use can:
- Fight harmful germs: Thomas Ganz, a researcher at the University of California says that bacteria are able to live comfortably when they encounter hot and moist conditions. But, our sweat glands excrete a natural antibiotic known as dermcidin which can protect our skin from germs and bacteria that cause infection.
- Keep your kidneys in top shape: When we sweat, the accumulation of salt and calcium in the kidneys is greatly reduced limiting the chance of developing kidney stones. Furthermore, sweating makes us thirsty and the more water we drink, the better it is for our kidneys.
- Make you happy: When we sweat, our body’s endorphin levels increase and put us in a great mood. According to exercise and sport psychologist J. Kip Matthews, Ph.D, endorphins contain the same structural components as morphine.
- Your body mimics the effects of painkillers when endorphins are activated because they activate the opioid receptors in the brain. When these receptors are kicked into high gear, discomfort is minimized and we feel wonderful.
The health benefits of sauna use are numerous. If you’re interested in having your own sauna installed in your home or backyard, please contact us today.