When You Use A Sauna, This Is What Happens To Your Body

According to the National Institutes of Health, saunas have been around for thousands of years throughout the world and remain a popular go-to for many who tout their health benefits. While experts at the NIH state that there is not enough medical evidence to support these claims, recent research that focused on consistent sauna bathing did reveal some healthy effects on the body.

According to Medical News Today, there are various types of saunas, which range from wood burning to electrically heated to infrared rooms. While these different types of saunas vary in heat and humidity levels, their health benefits are roughly the same. One notable health benefit that may result from using a sauna is an increased heart rate and widening of blood vessels, allowing for improved circulation. Experts at Medical News Today note that this improved circulation can potentially ease muscle soreness and arthritis and improve joint movement.

Saunas are also associated with relaxation. This reduction in stress is a result of improved circulation, which can ultimately lead to better cardiovascular health. This is supported in a study conducted in Finland in which participants who used a sauna two to three times a week were "22% less likely to experience sudden cardiac death than those who only used it once a week." Regular sauna visits may also help asthma sufferers by helping to open air passages and reduce phlegm.

Potential side effects when you use a sauna

While sauna bathing is largely considered a safe practice for most people who are in good health, experts at the Mayo Clinic point out that the practice can have negative effects on people with certain health conditions or when combined with other factors.

For instance, in reports that have associated saunas with sudden deaths, alcohol consumption was considered partly to blame. The combination of sauna bathing and alcohol consumption is believed to be linked to an increased risk of "hypotension, cardiac complications, and traumatic events," such as severe burns due to accidental contact with the sauna stove. The researchers at Mayo Clinic also advise those who have the medical condition orthostatic hypotension and suffer from dizziness, or have serious medical issues related to their heart valves, to be careful when using a sauna, since they could experience a sudden drop in blood pressure following their sauna session.

Although current evidence suggests that sauna bathing has positive effects on health, experts at the Mayo Clinic state that more studies need to be conducted to confirm more of a direct connection between saunas and their therapeutic potential.