Photograph, Zhenya Posternak

Photograph, Zhenya Posternak

Saunas have become one of our favourite & non negotiable weekly self-practices. Our bodies are built to detox to a certain extent on their own. However, because we are exposed to more toxins today than ever before, it’s important for us to practice simple detox measures regularly. There are many health benefits to spending time in a saunas, both steam and infrared - below we thought we'd list a few.. 

1. FLUSH TOXINS - this one is fairly straight forward and simple. Sweat = toxin release. Saunas are a great way to get rid of any nasties circulating in our system. Just make sure you keep hydrated both during and after your session, to aid the body with its detoxification process & to avoid dehydration. 

2, CLEANSE & CLEARS THE SKIN - getting rid of toxins will inevitably improve the look and appearance of skin. Remember that as the body rids itself of toxins, things can get ‘worse’ before they get better. A few small breakouts after a session in the sauna may arise - this means the body is doing its job. Again - ensure you keep hydrated.

3. SOOTHES ACHES & PAINS - saunas, and heat in general, are great for reducing pain. They can help our muscles relax, mobilise our joints a little more and place our bodies into a state of relaxation. Saunas can really help with conditions such as arthritis, as well as general fatigue. 

4. INDUCES A DEEPER & MORE RELAXING SLEEP - a sauna, later in the day/evening, is a great way to aid a more restful sleep. By helping to alleviate any physical aches and pains such as headaches, muscle soreness or joint pain, saunas can alleviate many symptoms that are typical to disturbing our sleep patterns.

5. RELIEVES STRESS - aaunas are huge stress fighters. Thanks to sugar, coffee, lack of sleep, stressed adrenals, and toxic chemical exposure, many of us are stuck in the sympathetic or “fight or flight” state. Saunas encourage our bodies to go into the parasympathetic state, which allows us to de-stress, digest, rest, and heal.

6. HELPS FIGHT ILLNESS & BALANCE HORMONES - stress reduction helps to lower our stress hormones (cortisol). When cortisol is kept in balance, thyroid, insulin, DHEA, testosterone, and estrogen are also kept in balance. In fact, progesterone levels can increase if we keep our cortisol in healthy range. Saunas help the adrenals secrete aldosterone, which helps keep electrolytes in balance too.

7. PROMOTES SOCIAL INTERACTION - It's rare that many of us have saunas in our homes. Visiting your local sauna, onsen or health club can be a great way to get social, and meet others who too share similar values in prioritising self-practices.