RELAXATION / STRESS RELIEF / INSOMNIA
So, there are a few reasons you will relax in the sauna and number one may just be that it’s the first time you've had to yourself in quite a while. Enjoy it—it doesn't happen often enough!
Heat releases endorphins which help you relax. It also decreases the production of cortisol and lowers your blood pressure. And when you remove yourself from the heat source and begin to cool down, the level of melatonin being produced in your body is increased, boosting relaxation, stress relief and inducing sleep.
While in the sauna, your skin heats up and core body temperature rises. Blood vessels near the skin dilate and cardiac output increases (i.e. circulation is improved). And since most people, when exposed to the steam, release hormones that change heart rate, one of them being Aldosterone—the sauna may also help lower blood pressure.
DETOXIFICATION / WEIGHT LOSS / FIGHTING INFECTION
Increased circulation also means an increase in the lymphatic system which helps to clear out toxins and infection by keeping the lymph flowing to the nodes.
The herbs used in the sauna for detoxification are there to open the pores and encourage the release of pathogens on the exterior level of the body (often helping people who suffer with acne). Increasing the heart rate and circulation also helps to burn off extra calories. There are also herbs used for the stimulation of your organs, helping them to work at their optimum level. And the sweating that occurs while in the sauna removes toxins from all throughout your body.
Also, in the fight against illness and infection are our white blood cells, whose production is greatly increased when exposed to the heat of the sauna.
Heat soothes nerve endings which warms and relaxes muscles, relieving tension and minimizing joint pain.
CONGESTION / MIGRAINES / HEADACHES
The warm steam thins and opens mucous membranes relieving pressure, enhancing mucosal secretion which opens airways. The relaxation benefits of the sauna also aid in the ease of tension headaches and migraines and opening the airways via steam and herbs ease sinus pressure headaches.