Sauna Sessions – Heat Your Way to Health

March 20, 2024

They say don’t sweat the small stuff. As someone who has recently bought an at-home infrared sauna, I’m here to tell you – you should sweat the small stuff, the big stuff and all the stuff in between.

My friend recently made a well-meaning crack in my direction, “How can you tell Bernadette recently bought a sauna? You don’t have to. Give her a minute and she’ll tell you all about it.” I can’t help it. I’ll tell everyone. It has changed my life.

This was not a whim. Prior to getting the sauna, I had to do a lot of convincing to myself and the other members of my family that this large purchase was not going to sit, gather dust, and be a constant reminder of my impulsivity. So, I did a lot of research. And many sessions at City Cave to see if I, indeed, loved it as much as I loved the idea of it.

It’s a Hot Topic

The health benefits of sauna have been well documented. The history of sauna bathing dates back as far as 7,000BC in Finland, and it is reported 90% of modern-day Finns still take a sauna as part of their routine. Is there a correlation between this practice and the fact that Finland has topped the World Happiness Report for 6 years running? Perhaps.

In a nutshell, regular sauna sessions are said to:

  • Improve circulation
  • Burn calories
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Support cardiovascular health
  • Ease muscle tension and joint pain
  • Encourage relaxation and decrease stress
  • Detoxify and improve skin
  • Promote better sleep

Gonna Make You Sweat

At-home infrared saunas have become a thing recently, perhaps because they have become affordable and accessible. You can get sauna blankets and pop up saunas and outdoor saunas. I remember, back in the day, we had friends with a sauna room in their home and it was a really big deal. So was their house, but, the 80s was a time of excess. It didn’t get used a lot, it was a traditional steam sauna with the hot rocks and kids were not allowed anywhere near it, for safety reasons. It was, apparently, much safer to sit in a room where everyone was puffing on Marlborough Reds indoors. These days, infrared technology has changed the sauna game.

Unlike the traditional sauna, which heats the air around you, causing you to break a sweat, infrared saunas use infrared lamps and these warm your body directly. So, sitting in one doesn’t feel stifling or overwhelming.

Because the air remains relatively cool, you can take a device in there and listen to music, a podcast, stream your favourite series or catch up on emails and administration. Or you could just use the time to relax, breathe and let the stress melt away.

I have had my infrared sauna for over 6 months. It sits in a quiet corner and is away from the noise of the household. I use it 3-4 times a week. It has become a part of my morning ritual to wake up, sit with my thoughts and get ready for the day. My family knows that when I am in there, even though they can see me through the glass door, that is my time. They mostly adhere to that rule. Hopping straight into a cold shower afterwards is optimal, but we can delve into cold therapy another time.

Since using the sauna, I can attest that my skin seems clearer, my sleep feels better and they say that I am going to live longer. I’m not sure about all that, but I do know that I feel better. I just feel good after beginning my regular sauna use and that’s what wellbeing is all about, isn’t it? Being well.

Bernadette Liparota

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