Heat and steam have been used for healing and health purposes for thousands of years. The Wolfe Clinic reports that hyperthermia, in which the core temperature of your body rises above 98.6 degrees, is often misunderstood to be a symptom of disease. However, fevers are a part of your body's natural healing response. Steam rooms create the same healing response, referred to as an "artificial fever."
Steams baths have been used for healing and health in various cultures around the world for many years. The Greeks of antiquity developed the concept of the steam bath, which became a core component of the Roman bath in ancient Rome. The Turkish steam bath, also referred to as "Hamam," and the Russian steam bath, known as "Banja," have been incorporated into modern culture and are still used as a method of relaxation and natural healing.
According to the Day Spa Association, steam baths help to renew your energy, create a state of relaxation and provide numerous health benefits. The high temperature of the steam, generally between 110 and 116 F, helps to stimulate your circulation and increase your body temperature. A steam bath induces sweating, which promotes detoxification by enabling the release of toxins through your pores.
Research conducted by the Institute of Medical Balneology and Climatology at the University of Munich between 1983 and 1986 showed the benefits of steam rooms for people suffering from a variety of medical conditions, including bronchial asthma, bronchitis and joint problems. According to The Wolfe Clinic website, steam baths are also beneficial for your skin, as they help to wash away toxins from the surface of your skin and may even help to reduce cellulite more effectively than body wraps, due to the short amount of time required to raise your body temperature, helping your skin become more elastic and flexible.
In order to obtain the maximum benefit, you should follow a specific procedure for taking a steam bath, according to the Day Spa Association. Shower before entering the steam room. Stay in the steam room for no more than 20 minutes. Rinse your body with cool water afterward to remove sweat and toxins from the surface of your skin and to help decrease your body temperature.
Steam rooms are not recommended for people suffering from cardiovascular problems, according to physiotherapist and kinesiologist Reinhard Bergel, in an October 2000 article in "Dermascope" magazine. Consult your doctor before using a steam bath, especially if you have breathing difficulty or other physical ailments.