Also known as heat bathing, exposing the body to high heat and humidity for skin cleansing and healing purposes has been a long used ancient tradition. The health benefits of sweating are vast including major effects on the tone and clarity of your skin.
The first recorded use of heat bathing dates back to the ancient Mayans in 200 AD, who utilized dome shaped huts made from clay for their beauty, health and spiritual practices. A traditional ceremony, the Temazcal, is a series of pouring herbal water over hot volcanic stones (volcanic stones/stones with good thermal mass are necessary to prevent possible explosions due to temperature changes) enveloping the hut with steam in which the inhabitants will relax in for up to two hours.
Brain & Heart
The calming effects of heat are beneficial to overall brain health. Traditionally used for mind, body, and spiritual rejuvenation, studies have shown that consistent use of sauna bathing can be a treatment for anxiety, depression and Alzheimer's disease. Due to the body's blood pressure changes during exposure to extreme heat, it is suggested that the extended decrease in blood pressure have positive effects on cardiovascular and memory health.
Prolonged deep sweating has many proven health benefits. As your body's core temperature begins to rise, your blood vessels will dilate, blood flow increases and rises to the surface. Your body will begin to sweat from the upwards of five million sweat glands in your skin in an effort to cool itself.
Sweat naturally contains water with trace amounts of urea, ammonia, salt & sugar. And though research has shown that extended periods of deep sweating results in lowered levels of lead, copper, zinc, nickel and mercury, it is not solely excreted through the sweat as you would expect, studies have supported higher rates of heavy metal deposits are found in urine after extended sweating. That's some rockin' pee...
deep sweating benefits
dead skin cell replacement
bacterial removal from sweat ducts
endorphin "the feel good chemical" release
skin cleansing - sweating is incredibly cleansing for the skin as long as you rinse the skin to remove the bacteria. Sweat physically carries impurities out of the body and can help prevent bacteria from remaining on the skin.
dead skin cell replacement - similar to carrying bacteria from the glands, sweat will also aid in removing dead skin cells as a physical exfoliant. Rinsing is a necessary step.
capillary improvement - capillaries are responsible for delivering nutrients and removing toxins before your blood has access to your heart, the number of capillaries in the body and their ability to regulate efficiently decrease with age. Intense exercise and prolonged deep sweating from sauna use will increase your number of capillaries which directly effect your bodies energy and healing abilities.
softer skin - because water has a pH level of 8, everyday bathing can alter the pH of your skin effecting the ability to protect against bacteria and maintain moisture balance. Your skin's natural pH level is 4.7, the average level of sweat ranges between 4 and 7, assisting in the skins natural ability to maintain moisture.
stress relief - promotes endorphin "the feel good" chemical release.
If you do not have access to a sauna regularly or prefer to sweat in the comfort of your own privacy..
Hot baths have similar health benefits relating to prolonged deep sweating, however, the moisturizing skin benefits are negated by the hot water.
**your liver and kidneys are great filters for toxins. the use of sauna is an additional benefit but not necessary. please contact your healthcare professional if you have any questions!