Physical Therapist Praises the Benefits of Steam
Allison Guttman’s goal is to empower people to find their optimal level of health using three pillars: fitness, food, and a balanced lifestyle with steam. The 28-year-old physical therapist based in suburban Chicago says she regularly treats patients suffering from diminished mobility, function and aching joints and sore muscles.
Steam: a professional and personal balanced lifestyle choice
One of the wellness lifestyle choices Allison recommends, both professionally and personally is steam. “I’ve been enjoying steam showers for years after my workouts because they offer me 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.
Relieves 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. “Just like lubricant prevents gears from grinding and creaking in a car, the moisture from steam lubricates joints.”
Soothes Muscles: Similarly, the heat from steam can effectively treat muscle 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 soothes nerve endings and warms up the muscle, which, in addition to lessening pain, has the benefit of dissipating stress-causing tension.
Clears up sinuses: If a cold or allergy is keeping you stuffed up, a steam shower can make you feel better. The heat moistens and thins the mucous membranes, which reduces congestion and helps expel mucous. Here are other respiratory benefits of steam.
Detoxes Your Body: Steam’s heat will raise your temperature and “trick” your body into thinking you’re sick. It’s called hyperthermia, and it gives you a temporary boost against invading germs that cannot survive in higher temperatures. The heat also helps open up your skin pores to expel impurities from your body. Steam can therefore act as a great sidekick to your immune system.
Weight loss: According to Allison, steam might even play a role in weight loss. “The hyperthermic element of the steam room has been proven successful in removing fat stored toxins from the body,” she says. Additional water weight can be lost as the steam makes you sweat.
Other physical health benefits of steam include:
- Skin hydration
- Dry/irritated throat relief
- Increased metabolism
- Enhanced collagen development
- Cough relief
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 health benefits of steam, while staying in too long could have adverse effects,” she explains. “20 minutes is just right.”
Steam: a fantastic 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. It’s a wonderful way to help anyone in living well.”
Since 2013, Allison has shared her healthy lifestyle tips through her blog, Allison in Wellnessland, many of which she learned as a means to better manage her Crohn’s disease symptoms.
For more healthy lifestyle tips from personal trainers, check out the following SteamTherapy articles:
- Healthy Lifestyle Tips From Martha Orellana's Personal Trainer
- Try Movement, Moderation and Steam Per 96 Year-Old Trainer Moe Carson
- Wellness Tips For Staying Healthy During the Holidays
Curious how steam might help you relieve body tension and live a more healthy life? Let us know what questions you have.