By Pamela Dasgupta
I hope you all are doing great this summer. Today, I am going to give you all a small handy guide to Steam Bath – its benefits and drawbacks, do’s and don’ts. Let me first tell you how I got inspired to write on this topic. I am a member of a renowned gym. So, there they provide steam bath facility to the members. As I noticed, many new comers avoid taking steam due to limited knowledge on it or even I have seen people taking steam bath in the wrong way. Therefore, I thought of writing on this topic, it might help you all too. So let’s get started!!!
Steam Bath – History (Do not fret!!! It will be interesting)
Françoise de Bonneville has written in his book The Book of the Bath that in 6th century BC Greece “Bathing was ritualized, becoming an art – of cleansing sands, hot water, hot air in dark vaulted “vapor baths,” a cooling plunge, a rubdown with aromatic oils.”
Here, we can relate it to the spa treatments and aromatherapy that we are getting these days. I believe you have noticed, he mentioned “vapor baths”, it’s the same concept what we call today as steam baths. It’s an ancient practice which was then reserved for the Leisure Class, not only for relaxation and beauty, but also for curing muscle pains and respiratory ailments.
Steam Bath – Today
Today in maximum health clubs, gyms and spa centers you get steam bath facilities. Steam bath can be taken in a steam room, where the amount of steam is carefully controlled. The temperature ranges between 40°C to 48°C with 100% relative humidity. The room is filled with wet, humid warm steam. When you sit there and relax, the steam opens up the pores of your skin and you sweat, hence, the pores are unclogged and toxins are released. Apart from this, steam bath holds many other health and beauty benefits. Let me tell you!
The heat increases the blood flow and circulation which gives your skin a flushed glow instantly. With repetitive sessions, it improves the complexion and gives a healthy pinkish glow to your skin.
Improved Hair Texture
With increased blood circulation, the hair strands get a boost. Also, the pores open up and unclog, so it improves the hair’s elasticity and texture.
The warm moist atmosphere in the steam room increases the rate of Metabolism, which further helps in weight loss.
It dissolves mucous in the nose therefore, improves breathing by opening up the airways and alleviates congestion. It is very helpful for people having health issues like Asthma and bronchitis.
The healthy warmth in steam room gives you a very relaxed and soothing feel. The accumulated stress after a long busy day seems to vanish in just 10 minutes. Steam relieves muscle stiffness and aches, as the warm moisture seeps in, the muscles gets relaxed. Hence, you can expect your pains to get lesser with passing days.
• Drink at least 2 glasses of water before and after the steam session, to keep yourself well hydrated
• Wear a towel to the steam room and cover your hair with another towel or a good quality shower cap
• Take a shower with your favorite body wash before entering the steam room.
• Take all your makeup off, so that it does not get in the open pores and cause rashes
• Either oil your hair before steam or apply a hair mask
• You can mix some pure essential oils with a carrier oil in a bowl and carry it to the steam room with you. It will mix with the steam and nourish the skin more
• Take a warm or cool shower after the steam session. If possible, use a gentle scrub to exfoliate in order to get a smooth and well cleansed skin
• Use a moisturizer on damp skin or it will feel dry
• Drink a glass of water after the session
• Don’t take steam more than twice a week
• Do not get in the steam room after consumption of alcohol, as it will dilate the blood vessels
• Do not stay in the steam room for more than 15 minutes
• People who have sensitive skin should be more cautious and limit the session to 5-10 minutes
• Do not enter the steam room with cuts or open wounds
• Always sit on a towel
• Avoid too much crowded steam rooms as it can be a breeding ground for bacteria and fungus due to moist environment
• Do not take steam bath if you have heart ailments or any chronic disease
Hope this article gives some light on this very beneficial activity that you can do in your daily life. Just name a benefit you want to accomplish and it’s there in the steam room! So, enjoy some steamy relaxing bath and get refreshed. Do not forget to leave comments!!! 🙂
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