Facts & Fables About Traditional (Steam) Saunas

There are a lot of “old wives” tales about saunas mostly involving their safety for all ages.  A Canadian study examined the facts & fables about saunas , examined all of the literature which is considerable and came to the following conclusions.  The heat from a sauna bath is well tolerated and that they pose no risk to healthy people from infancy to old age, including healthy women in an uncomplicated pregnancy.

The normal steam (traditional Finnish) sauna bath, with moderate cool-off phases, increases the cardiac work load about as much as a brisk walk. It has been well established that the sauna bath, no matter what the cool-off method, does not pose any circulatory risk to healthy people the researchers concluded.

A note on cooling off methods: these include getting into a warm shower between sessions in the sauna; to taking a hot shower; to jumping in a cold lake; to jumping into a snow bank! What ever method you use, cooling off is a good idea between sauna sessions.

Cardiovascular patients with essential hypertension, coronary heart disease or past myocardial infarction, who are stable and are relatively symptom free in their everyday life may also use a sauna without undue risk said the researchers. As a rule of thumb, if you can walk into a sauna, you can walk out of it.

Misuse and abuse of the sauna are another matter. Alcohol consumption during  sauna bathing increases the risk of hypotension, arrhythmia, and sudden death, and should be avoided. Not done period. Don’t drink alcohol in a sauna. Save it for relaxing with after you sauna.

THE GOOD SWEAT begins with a Finnleo Sauna from Olympic Hot Tub Company.

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