Benefits of Saunas
- Aids in recovery - The heat from sauna bathing causes your body temperature to rise, dilating your blood vessels. When your blood vessels dilate, they increase the flow of blood throughout your body which in turn helps speed up recovery by removing lactic acid build up.
- Boosts your immune system - Regular sauna sessions aid in your body's ability to produce white blood cells more rapidly, thus enhancing your immune system. Sauna sessions also help your body learn to deal with stress by building up its response to acute stress signals like sweating and regulating body temperature. By giving the body with consistent "practice runs," your immune system will be fully trained and ready to help fight off any foreign invaders.
- Flushes out toxins - Even if you don't workout, sauna sessions help flush out other toxins via sweat. If you are starting a detox or looking to flush out toxic build up, adding in weekly deep-heat sauna sessions can help kick start the process on top of eating a whole foods diet. You are able to see the result of this toxin removal through better skin as well! As you sweat, the dead skin cells on the epidermal layer of the skin are removed and replaced by healthier, better functioning skin cells giving you healthier, glowing skin!
- Reduces stress - Not only is a sauna session an overall relaxing experience but it also helps stimulate the release of endorphins. Endorphins are a natural neurochemical response, that when stimulated, help the body cope with pain and stress. Reducing stress triggers a cascade of other health benefits including better mental and physical performance, quality sleep and overall wellness!
Saunas have not gained nearly as much popularity in the US as they have in European countries so finding a place to use a sauna might be a challenge. A few that we know of in the area are Raffa Wellness Center in Cranston, RI and Asana Organic Spa and Wellness Studio in Glastonbury, CT (while there, add on an amazing organic facial or body treatment!). If you decide to go the at-home sauna route, it is definitely an up-front investment but if you are committed to weekly use (or greater), an at-home sauna solution pays off in the long run.
At Home Sauna Solutions
- Higher Dose Infrared Sauna Blanket - This is the most common choice because it works in pretty much any space and is one of the most affordable options. Higher Dose has created a highly portable sauna blanket for at home use. This infrared sauna blanket has additional features like a charcoal layer, non-toxic materials and low EMF making it one of the top quality choices for its price range. The sauna blanket can be set at several different heat levels and automatically turns itself off after an hour.
- Sauna Space Luminati Infrared Sauna - If you don't want to lay down for your sauna sessions then a Sauna Space Luminati Infrared Sauna might be your next best choice. The Luminati Sauna is another infrared sauna option that is heated with red and infrared lights. The sauna is made of all natural material and the outer fabric drapes over the bamboo frame like a tent. While their sauna can be taken down and put away, it is easier to leave it set up in a designated space between use. If you don't have the floor space for the Luminati, Sauna Space also sells the Tungsen Light Panel and a bath tub conversion kit to turn your bathroom into a sauna in a pinch.
- Finlandia - If you have the money to splurge and know you are ready for a weekly sauna routine commitment then a Finlandia in-home sauna is for you. Finlandia has been one of the top names in the sauna industry for years, with their products lasting a lifetime. They work with you to build a sauna that fits perfectly within your home.
- Dundalk - Along the same lines (and price) as a Finlandia sauna, Dundalk makes gorgeous outdoor cedar barrel saunas. If you are worried about humidity or mold from an indoor sauna, this might be your best, high end option. Dundalk outdoor saunas come in several shapes and sizes. Even if you aren't ready to make the leap into the sauna world quite yet, it's worth just looking at a Dundalk sauna for their beauty. If you are interested in seeing one in person, there is actually a Finlandia and Dundalk sauna retailer in Pomfret, CT called Country Saunas by Design.
Bonus! After your sauna session when your body is still nice and warm, take a 30 second to 1 minute cold shower. While this may sound counter intuitive, hot and cold pair perfectly to improve overall health. The quick, acute stress your body feels when the cold water hits it will help you develop a robust response to stress in your life to make small stressors more manageable (including immune stressors). The cold helps your body build brown fat cells (the good kind of fat) which are loaded with mitochondria that help increase your energy production and heat. Stay tuned for more information on the benefits on adding cold into your daily routine and how hot and cold paired together is the long forgotten wellness ritual.
Sauna's heat pairs with cold in a perfect icy-hot combo. Take inspiration from this "Viking Sauna" in Embrace the Cold, Change Your Life article and learn how to ease into adding these elements into your daily routine.
Treat yourself to a full spa cleansing experience every time you sauna with Goshi! Goshi is a body polishing, skin cleaning towel that has been used in Japan for centuries. It works by helping to remove/exfoliate dead skin cells to promote healthier, newer skin cell growth. Use it in the shower after a sauna session to help scrub off the dead skin and surface toxins.