Hot on pursuing all those New Year's resolutions? Add one more to your list: resolve to get more steamy. You may have no idea all the different ways that steam therapy makes you feel good.Unstuff with Steam
According to Dr. Oz, if allergy and cold medicine does not improve your symptoms, the next option is steam therapy. Add two sprigs of eucalyptus and rosemary to boiling water and, with a towel over your head, lean over and breathe in the steam. He says to do this "two or three times a day for at least 5 minutes to immediately relieve that stuffy feeling."
The science behind it? Well, there's not much. The steam loosens the mucus and relieves inflammation allowing you to, ah, breathe.
Other Steamy Health Benefits:
Sweat it out. Our bodies are home to toxins from the air, from our food, and from our water. There's no way to avoid them, but there is a way to get rid of them. Celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow often "detox" to rid the body of harmful toxins that could weaken the immune system and lead to infection.
If you consider yourself a gym rat, or if you constantly strain your muscles in daily activities, look into steam therapy to relax your muscles, allowing your body to recuperate. The folks at bodybuilding.com recommend steam to "alleviate pain due to sports injury." Whether you're extremely active or usually sedentary, steam therapy can improve your overall condition.
Steam and Zzzzzs
A common cause of sleepless nights is anxiety. Dr. Oz recommends a Lavender Steam Facial, as "lavender is proven to reduce anxiety." Here's what you do:
Fill a bowl with 2 cups of boiling water
Add 10 drops of lavender essential oil
With a towel over your head, breathe deeply over the bowl for 1 minute
You can also add lavender to a hot bath.
Dr. Oz, an apparent steam advocate, suggests a hot steam bath before bed. If you have a partner who snores, this is a great way to reduce snoring without having to kick him or her awake. Not only does steam relax you before bed, allowing you to rest deeply, but it also clears breathing passages for quieter sleep.
He has also recommends aromatheropeutic showers before bed. Rosemary oil and lime, the two ingredients for this aromatherapy shower, are known to reduce tension and calm nerves. Simply place a mug containing both ingredients in your shower and let the steam do the rest.
Steamy Skin Benefits
Steam opens up your pores, allowing your skin to breathe, and releases toxins that may cause acne or any skin imperfections. A crucial part in skin hydration is the stratum corneum. We'll break it down for you:
The stratum corneum protects lower layers of skin, where most of the repair takes place. When the stratum corneum is hydrated, the functions of the skin operate more smoothly. Gil Yosipovitch, M.D., and Judy Hu, M.D., in The Importance of Skin pH, have stated that when the stratum corneum is dehydrated "skin surface pH has been shown to increase, creating susceptibility to bacterial skin infections or skin damage and disease."
So, we want to keep our stratum whatever hydrated. Sauna use has proven to do so.
According to Harvard Health Publications, saunas also boost pulse rate once a certain temperature is reached. The heart at that point pumps double the amount of blood per minute, which flows to your cheeks, giving you a rosy glow.
Is Steam a part of your day?
Many celebrities find a way to incorporate steam therapy into their day.
Nicole Scherzinger comments on exercising and using a steam room, "You just look and feel so much better after a sweat".
Scott Avett of the Avett brothers talks about how steam helps his colds, "The warmth of the steam will really help. I use nasal rinse but this is better."
Oliver Reed and Georgia Jagger are celebs who use steam for emitting bodily toxins, relaxing, or facials. Phil Collins has even said, "If there's one available, I go to the steam room every day for my voice."
Let's rid this holiday season of stresses, anxiety, and the common cold and make it one of comfort and joy. You can do so by getting steamy.