Master The Cooldown - 7 Things To Do After A Steam Bath
Here’s how to maximize the wellness benefits of steam therapy after your time in the soothing heat.
If taking a steam bath is a regular part of your wellness routine, you already know how enjoyable and therapeutic steam therapy can be. Research continues to support how sessions in a steam room:
- help reduce stress;
- promote cardiovascular health;
- help improve respiratory function;
- promote skin quality and help reduce acne;
- help reduce insomnia and improve sleep quality;
- and help enhance the benefits of exercise.
Even though steam therapy has been used for centuries by diverse cultures around the world (e.g., Russian banyas, Jewish shvitz, Native American sweat lodges, ancient Roman steam baths, etc.), it’s taken a bit longer for science to find the mechanisms that explain why steam therapy is such a powerful wellness tool.
Many people get their steam fix in a commercial resort, spa, or health club, but residential steam rooms are on the rise. Many people are discovering just how affordable it is to install a steam shower in their house, condo, or apartment. (More on that below.) Wellness begins in the bathroom, and with a steam shower installed in your home, you can take your self-care regimen to the next level. It’s one of the centerpieces of a home health routine.
If you use a steam room on a regular basis—or plan on adding steam therapy to your overall wellness routine—you want to maximize its effects. What you do after a steam shower can make a difference in the mental and physical benefits you’ll gain. It’s time to master the cooldown.
Seven Things To Do After a Steam Bath
First, you should make sure you’re healthy enough to use steam therapy by checking with your healthcare provider. Those who are pregnant or minors under the age of 16 should not use a steam room. Also, refrain from alcohol or drugs before taking a steam bath.
Steam sessions should last no longer than 15 minutes (10 minutes if you’re new to steam therapy). With that in mind, here are seven things you should do after you take a steam bath.
- Drink at least 8 ounces of water. While you want to drink water before your steam session, you’ll want to rehydrate after a steam bath, as well. Also, it’s best to refrain from eating at least an hour before entering a steam room. Just make sure you’re not dehydrated before and after your steam bath by drinking plenty of liquids.
- Take a shower. Part of the cooldown should include a shower. This further cleanses your skin after the soothing steam has penetrated your epidermis and loosened impurities. A nice traditional shower will wash away any surface toxins your body has released during the sweating process.
- Use moisturizers. After you dry off from your post-steam shower, apply organic moisturizers to further rejuvenate your skin. This helps enhance the effects of steam’s natural cleansing process and ensures that toxins are removed from the top layer of your epidermis. This is especially beneficial for women who wear makeup. Steam therapy can help restore your skin’s vitality after hours of damage caused by stress and makeup. You may also want to exfoliate to remove dry skin cells after a steam bath. You’ll thank yourself in the morning when you’re met in the bathroom mirror by clear, glowing skin as you prepare for the day.
- Stretch. It may be a good idea to stretch while your muscles have been conditioned by the heat. If you use steam therapy as part of your post workout routine, then gentle stretching is a good way to help condition your body’s soft tissue during the recovery process after exercise.
- Drink herbal tea with antioxidants. Steam can help root out free radicals during your session, so you want to do all you can to make sure these impurities are neutralized. Green tea and chamomile are full of antioxidants, and can help combat any toxic residue left in your bloodstream. You may have a different favorite antioxidant drink, such as fortified water or apple cider vinegar. Functional hydration has become a growing wellness practice, and it fits perfectly with steam therapy. Sip while listening to quiet music or tranquil silence and enjoy.
- Meditate. Many people find that the de-stressing effects of steam therapy help them quiet their minds. Take advantage and practice mindfulness techniques that further promote relaxation and overall health. According to Harvard Health, meditation and mindfulness can help improve physical and mental health in multiple ways, even on a genetic level, further augmenting the benefits of steam therapy. The website Psycom and The Chopra Center have a list of resources to help you learn or refine your meditation techniques, along with suggestions for apps and music.
- Go to sleep. If you’re one of the 50-70 million Americans who suffer from sleep disorders, you should take advantage of steam therapy’s ability to help improve sleep quality and duration. This is why many people schedule their sessions in a steam room for the evening just before bedtime. Even those with insomnia have benefited from the effects of hyperthermic conditioning, according to one study on elderly subjects, a group known for sleep disorders.
Other Ways to Maximize Your Steam Bath
You can add augmented therapies to your steam bath with technology created by MrSteam. This will enhance your experience and provide ways to keep the good feeling going after you’re done with your steam session.
- AromaSteam. MrSteam’s electronic injector pump infuses essential oils into your steam shower, providing the therapeutic properties of fragrances like lavender, eucalyptus, and mint. No less than the Mayo Clinic says that “studies have shown that aromatherapy may have health benefits.” Combining this natural treatment with steam therapy is a no-brainer.
- MusicTherapy. MrSteam’s state-of-the-art sound system streams specially curated meditative music into the tranquil steam room to provide an extra level of stress-reducing calmness. Music therapy has been shown to help improve a number of health conditions, according to the American Psychological Association and other research. Again, this is a simple way to get more out of your steam shower. Take advantage.
- ChromaTherapy. Light up your life with MrSteam’s ChromaTherapy option. This utilizes a spectrum of calibrated lighting to create a harmony of colors to transform your mood and ease you into tranquility. Environmental design and color therapy have become wellness staples, and it’s a perfect fit for the steam room experience.