Saunas are great for our health: the benefits of regular sauna bathing include boosted immune function, heart health, skin health, pain relief, detoxification and relaxation (to name a few!) . Unwinding in a sauna is one of the healthiest habits we can develop for ourselves. But is there a way to make it even healthier and more beneficial?
The answer is yes! There are quite a few ways to make your time spent in the sauna even more therapeutic. To achieve maximal benefit, start with these two questions:
- What will make it more enjoyable and draw me into the sauna every day? You can realize full benefits with just 20 minutes of daily sauna bathing, but building consistency is key.
- What are my specific health goals? Is my goal heart health, relaxation, better sleep, more flexibility, muscle recovery or something else?
Based on your answers to the two questions, select the sauna session boosters that are best for you:
Brushing your skin is a great way to stimulate lymphatic drainage and boost detoxification. Dry brush as your sauna heats up, before you start to sweat.
Listening to Music
Many saunas have built-in speakers and can connect to your devices via Bluetooth for added enjoyment and relaxation. If your sauna doesn't have a speaker, set up your own!
Colored lights are used to calm the nervous system, treat insomnia and help with other issues. Different colors carry different healing properties.
Red light stands alone as the most soothing, healing wavelength of light. It offers many benefits including relaxation, increased energy, muscle recovery, and speeding healing.
Micronized salt particles are released into the air and then absorbed through the skin and breathed into the lungs. Salt is known to have cleansing and healing effects and helps with lung issues and skin issues. Invest in a salt lamp or let the sauna's heat volatilize particles from salt crystals.
Rub hard tools on the skin to loosen the fascia or connective tissue under the skin. Fascia blasting can improve cellulite and reduce pain from tight fascia as well as boosting blood flow and collagen formation in the skin. This will be most effective after the sauna has warmed you up a bit. Find a tool designed specifically for fascia blasting, and experiment to make it work for you--and while your tool is on the way, try out an old-fashioned self-massage!
Yoga + Stretching
Boost your flexibility and strength by stretching and practicing yoga poses. The heat on your muscles will boost your practice to new heights. You will also push lymph to improve detoxification and open energy pathways for increased overall energy.
If you are a convert to the practice of facial yoga for anti-aging, the sauna is the perfect place to get your daily exercises and massage accomplished. Emerge from each sauna session with a younger face!
Aromatherapy with essential oils can be an amazing addition to the atmosphere and experience of your sauna session. As you breathe in the essential oils your system will achieve more relaxation, heightened stimulation, or mood boosts depending on the oils used.
Meditating calms the mind and provides many benefits to the nervous system, blood pressure, heart, mental clarity and overall aging.
The sauna can be a great escape to get caught up on your reading. If you love to read it will be an extra incentive to sauna bathe daily.
Remember that at the end of the day the best wellness practices are the ones you practice regularly. Make your sauna your happy place, visit it every day and reap the health and lifestyle rewards for a lifetime!
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