History & Health Facts about Saunas & Steam Rooms
The sauna has been a way of life in Finland, where the present form originated, for in excess of 2000 years. Since then it has found its way into the cultures of most nations. The evolution of the sauna has meant that most health clubs now have one, for people to ease the stresses and strains of everyday life. More and more people are installing saunas into their homes. It is said that, in Finland, there are enough saunas to house all 5.4 million citizens at the same time!
Early saunas were dug into banks in the ground, later forms were log buildings. Rocks were heated in a wood fired stove until they were extremely hot, and then used to heat the sauna room. With no chimney the cabin filled with smoke, and some think that this is where the name “sauna” originated, from the Finnish word for smoke. Later saunas had wood stoves with chimneys.
Luckily saunas have moved with the times, and modern saunas are mostly indoor cabins, made from a variety of woods, which are heated by an electric stove within the cabin. The basic principle has remained the same, though comfort has been improved greatly, with curved benches, backrests, mood lighting, and even music.
So, whether you are a home-owner wishing to invest in the benefits of a home sauna, or a business wanting to purchase a new cabin, or refurbish an old one, then Reefgrove are here to help you on your way.
In some countries the closest and most convenient access to a sauna is at a gymnasium. Some pool, major sport, and resort complexes also contain a sauna. Therapeutic sauna sessions are often carried out in conjunction with physiotherapy or hydrotherapy, gentle exercises that do not exacerbate symptoms.
Sauna use may temporarily relieve symptoms of the common cold. It increases the heat tolerance threshold and may improve performance in endurance sport. Sauna may help rheumatic pain (with cold shower) but not neuropathic pain, and has also shown usefulness for appetite loss and mild depression. It has also been recommended for reducing symptoms inchronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis and for anorexia nervosa.
It has also been proposed for treatment of other conditions including glaucoma, Sjogren syndrome, obstructive lung disease and for recuperation after childbirth. Many of the sauna therapeutic trials used a regular schedule of at least 5 days a week and often daily for one to three months, then several times a week for extended periods.
The origins of the steam bath come from the Roman bath, which began during the height of the Roman Empire. Ancient Roman baths served many community and social functions within Roman society. Everyone in Rome used Roman public baths, regardless of socioeconomic status. These Roman baths were supplied by natural hot springs from beneath the ground.
Historical parts of a spa – Roman, medieval, Georgian and Victorian have been restored in Bath, England and is available as a public bath or Thermae.
Today, natural steam baths still exist, and often still use similar systems that the Romans used, which contain pipes and pumps that bring water up and into the large pool areas, wherever the natural springs exist. Heaters are also now used to maintain warm temperatures in the baths.
There are many different types of steam baths, which are different from saunas. (Both are hot, but the steam in a sauna is created by throwing water on a stove.)
Turkish baths, steam rooms and steam showers are types of steambath.
The steam room helps to open up airways which improves your breathing and alleviates congestion. The wet heat from the steam room thins and opens the mucous membranes in the body, which helps to relieve the pressure. This is highly beneficial for those that suffer from asthma and bronchitis, as it helps with sinus relief.
The steam room also increases metabolism and can aid with weight loss. The steam room causes you to sweat, which means that your body is losing water. As water makes up a large part of your body weight, the emission of the sweat will cause you to lose a few pounds. The sweat also helps to remove toxins and cleanses the body.
The steam also helps to clear out any impurities from the skin which is especially good for those who have acne. Similarly, saunas will help to eradicate blackheads to give you clearer skin.