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Physical Therapist Praises the Benefits of Steam

Physical therapist Allison Guttman’s goal is to empower people to find their optimal level of health using three pillars: fitness, food and a balanced lifestyle. She regularly treats patients suffering from diminished mobility, limited function, aching joints and sore muscles. 

One of the wellness lifestyle choices Allison recommends in her treatment plans, both professionally and personally, is regular steam bathing.

“I’ve been enjoying steam showers for years after my workouts because they offer me so many health and wellness benefits,” she says. “I will often recommend a steam bath to my patients.”


Allison has been taking steam sessions twice a week and discovered many physical benefits they provide her, including the following:

Relieve Joint Pain

As a physical therapist, Allison will most often recommend steam as one means of treating aches and pains. “At my clinic, we use heat packs to relieve joint pain, and taking a steam shower is like putting yourself into one giant heat pack,” she explains. 

Soothe Muscles

Similarly, the heat from steam may effectively loosen tightness or knots. “I recommend to my patients that they sit in a steam shower and gently give themselves a massage in the part of their body that hurts,” comments Allison. The heat seems to soothe nerve endings and warms up the muscle, which has the benefit of dissipating stress-causing tension.

Clear up sinuses

If a cold or allergy is keeping you stuffed up, a steam shower could make you feel better. The wet heat moistens and thins the mucous, which may reduce congestion and help expel mucous. Here are other potential respiratory benefits of steam.

Detox the Body

Steam’s heat will raise your temperature and “trick” your body into thinking you’re sick. It’s called hyperthermia. The heat helps open up your skin pores to expel impurities. 

As a physical therapist, Allison will most often recommend steam as one means of treating aches and pains.

Steam: a Natural way to relieve body tension

Allison notes that she will continue recommending steam to her patients.

“I truly believe steam is a fantastic way to relieve body tension, no matter how that tension presents itself," Allison said. "It’s a wonderful way to help anyone in living well.” 

Allison takes her own advice about steam as well, using regular steam baths as part of her wellness routine to reduce her stress and health concerns. 

How to Steam 

To attain maximum steam bath benefits, Allison recommends staying in a steam shower for roughly 20 minutes.

“Taking a steam shower that is too short won’t allow you to truly relax and reap the full benefits of steam, while staying in too long may have adverse effects,” she explains. “20 minutes is just right.”

Curious how steam might help you relieve body tension and live a more healthy life? Let us know what questions you have in the comments.

Topics: Benefits of Steam, Health & Wellness, Sports, Performance, & Fitness