3 Ways Steam Supports a Wellness Lifestyle
There are two common myths about wellness that stump many of those who seek it: 1. It can be bought at the store or pharmacy and 2. It is something to be achieved. It’s more accurate to think of wellness as a lifestyle or set of behaviors and decisions made over time to promote a generally healthy body and mind. Rather than a destination, it’s a journey with many different paths and modes of transport.
While there are many components that make up a wellness lifestyle–from diet and exercise to mediation–one of our favorite wellness-promoting habits has been carried through millennia: steam baths. Home steam rooms are meant to induce sweating, which promotes body detoxification, better blood circulation and more, all within the hygienic confines of your bathroom.
Looking for ways a home steam bath could help you meet your wellness goals? From reducing stress to maintaining a healthy weight, consider these three ways the steam bath has proven to be an asset for a wellness lifestyle.
Relieve stress to support immune function
The mind-body connection is a powerful one, and stress is not just emotionally uncomfortable but also physically risky. Under prolonged periods of emotional or mental stress, the increased levels of the stress-hormone cortisol may cause counterproductive inflammation and the body may decrease its illness-fighting lymphocytes, potentially increasing the body’s susceptibility to infections like the cold or flu. Supporting stress reduction, and the reduction of the body’s immune-depleting stress response, may help support your immune function.
Visits to the steam room have been shown to promote relaxation, which can help the body reduce harmful cortisol levels while increasing the release of positive “feel-good” neurochemicals such as endorphins, which are commonly released after exercise. Thermal therapy has also been shown to promote feelings of general well-being. Take your relaxation routine a step further with the soothing effects of aromatherapy, which may reduce pain, improve sleep and aid in digestion. Learn more about adding aromatherapy to your routine here.
Ease respiratory irritation from cold, flu or allergies
If you have environmental allergies or come down with the cold or flu, steam offers a comforting, all-natural way to relieve symptoms. Steam can act as a natural expectorant, which may help drain sinuses of disease-carrying mucus and phlegm. Research has also shown that steam therapy may help loosen bronchial secretions and provide temporary relief from symptoms.
One of the worst parts of a cold or flu can be the physical discomfort that prevents a full night of sleep. Getting adequate rest is essential for general health, but also for keeping the immune system in top operating condition. Heat from a steam room may help create conditions in the body that promote better sleep quality, helping you achieve much-needed rest on the road to recovery.
Aid weight loss efforts
Steam therapy may help with weight management. Hyperthermia at temperatures typical of a steam shower session have been shown in some to burn 150 calories in a 15-minute sitting. While you wouldn’t want to stay in a steam shower much longer than 20 minutes, this shows that passive heat could have a positive effect on the metabolism. Additionally, sweating helps to optimize body fluids, which is great for your overall health and weight management efforts.
Steam sessions may help your diet remain effective by promoting a detox effect in your body. That’s because some foods, even organic fruits and vegetables, contain heavy metals that are present in topsoil after years of pesticide and other farming methods. Also, some food containers are marred with “endocrine disruptors,” such as BPA, that can affect your body fat levels. Regular visits in a steam shower may help you remove toxins from your body. Research has found that these dangerous chemicals can leave your body through the sweating mechanism promoted by steam, which reaches deep into your pores and beyond. This cleansing process may help rid your body of harmful elements that have been known to promote weight gain, even if you eat healthy. Sweating in a steam shower may help clear excess sodium from your body as well.
Bring Wellness Home
Whether your goal is to make a big change or further support the healthy decisions you've been making for years, a home steam bath is a smart addition to a wellness-focused lifestyle. From basic steam packages to accessories such as aromatherapy, MrSteam offers a variety of options and styles to fit your bathroom.
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