How Steam May Contribute to Better Breathing
Steam is about more than luxury and relaxation. As nature’s oldest therapy, steam may just help us with better breathing. When we inhale the hot, humid air, steam fills our lungs, our sinuses and throat, which can have surprising effects on our overall respiratory system. Let’s explore how.
If You Can’t Avoid It, Steam It
Allergies, mold, dust mites, air pollution, pet dander — none of these are going away anytime soon. So, what can you do, naturally? For more than a hundred years, heat therapy has been used to help relieve respiratory discomfort by ventilating and clearing the lungs and sinuses, which can be significant for people with sinus and breathing issues. And what’s better than hot humid air? Hot, humid air acts as a natural expectorant, and a steam room enhances this benefit because it’s a controlled environment.
Recovery and Restoration
Steam inhalation has long been used to offer relief from respiratory discomfort. Because it helps clear passages in the sinuses and lungs, steam has been shown to help relieve asthma-like symptoms. For example, according to one study found in the National Library of Medicine, some people with inflammation of the lining of the airways showed a decrease in respiratory distress within the first 24 hours of steam therapy treatment.
Let’s say, though, you're one of many who get heavily winded during exercise. These potential benefits might be very helpful for recovering after a workout. Your body works double time to maintain a strong lung capacity during exercise. The warm air of a steam room creates an ideal atmosphere to clear out mucus from the nasal passages and Eustachian tubes, which further helps extend lung power for longer periods of time.
What’s Better With Steam?
Breathe in…breathe out. Sounds easy enough, right? But with so much keeping us busy, it can be tricky to find time to simply unwind, pause and take a deep breath. This can leave us feeling stressed or even burned out as we muddle through our day-to-day lives. That’s why it’s so important to dedicate time for our wellness and breathing can play a big role.
Regular breathwork, a form of consciously controlled breathing can help bolster our physical, emotional or mental state. In terms of healthy breathing, these techniques may have you well on your way to achieving optimum peace of mind.
Now imagine the practice of deep, controlled breathing combined with inhaling warm, soothing steam in your personal home steam oasis.
Need more convincing? Steam may also help:
- Enhance muscle recovery. Any amount of physical activity requires breathing. And common workout outs like cardio or High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) can leave your muscles begging for quality restoration. Think of a steam shower as head-to-toe heat relief for your body.
- Improve circulation. Just when you thought you were done working up a sweat, if you use a steam room after a workout, it may help build endurance by improving blood flow.
- Improve mood. For some people, steam therapy has been shown to increase serotonin and endorphins, natural chemicals that can help elevate our moods after a big game or an intense workout. After all, doesn’t everyone need a good pick-me-up?
Can’t sleep? We’ve all been there before. In fact, according to the National Sleep Foundation, as many as 30% to 40% of adults suffer from insomnia, the inability to fall asleep. Luckily, a steam shower may set the tone for a productive day or a restful night’s sleep. By providing a clear pathway through our sinuses, steam can help offer relief to bothersome stuffy noses and throat irritation that may otherwise keep us up during the wee hours of the night and make it difficult for us to breathe easily.
Experience the ultimate wellness combination when you combine steam therapy with your journey to achieve a lifestyle of better, healthy breathing.