Last time I spoke about the basics and benefits of a detox. To sum them up in just a few words: In the course of time toxins gather in our bodies – from wrong nutrition, cosmetic products, air pollution etc. – so it is recommendable to get rid of them from time to time. That’s what a detox is for. There are many different ways to detox your body: Juicing, massages, sport, meditation – and sweating, in other words going to the sauna. You may ask yourself. Why should you go to the sauna to detox? What good does it do to your body?
The many benefits of saunas and sweating techniques have actually been known for thousands of years. The so-called “tepidarium” and “laconicum” used to be part of the weekly bathing and relaxing rituals in the Ancient Roman Empire. Indian tribes also spent plenty of their spiritual and healing ceremonies in sweat lodges, which above the physical cleansing also served as a detox for the mind and the soul.
Here is what going to the sauna does:
- Strengthens the immune system
- Increases the metabolism
- The warm environment triggers self-healing procedures in the body (keyword “artificial fever”)
- Relieves the body from toxins
- Cleans, tones up and energizes the skin
- Important complementary treatment to shape the contour
- Helps to fight against cellulite
- Supports the locomotive system, eases muscle and joint paints
- Reduces stress, relaxing the body and the nervous system
Which sauna should you choose?
The table below shows you the differences of the most common sauna types:
The traditional Finnish sauna is more stressful to the body than the infrasauna. Those who do not feel strong enough for the heat or recently recovered from an illness, suffer from asthma or circulatory problems should rather opt for the Infrasauna. It is an easier and lighter way to support the immune system. Infra is often combined with chronotherapy, so it is a perfect way to reach deeper levels of the skin by the beneficial colourful rays. Steam makes us sweat heavier than a traditional sauna does, and is often blended with aroma oils or salt.
The Biosauna is the “golden mean” for those who can’t bear too much heat but still love the “hot lava stone” way.
Caldarium, Tepidarium, Laconicum are rather regenerating, relaxing sauna types with a relatively low but very comfortable temperature.
Samarium has several different versions; in most cases sauna and steam are combined.
Banja is a traditional detoxifying sweat lodge from Russia.
Hammam originates from the Ancient Turkish empire, similar to the steam sauna, where a specific massage is performed and spiced up with traditional bathing and Hammam rituals.
However, probably the best way to find out which sauna is the best for you is to just try them out. But be careful and do not push yourself. Listen to your body and leave the sauna when you start feeling uncomfortable.
And as always, you should take into consideration the possible contraindications. If there is any inflammation, contagion, fever, heart failure or tumorous mutation in the body you should avoid any kind of sauna. In case of circular diseases, blood-pressure problems or varicose veins, please make sure to always consult your doctor first.
Of course, no detox can replace a general healthy lifestyle. I do believe that we should try every day to make the continuous detox part of our daily and weekly routine, which will result in a better well-being and overall health.
Photo: © Bükfürdő Health and Adventure Centre, Hungary