Did you know that Lady Gaga built her own sauna in her home? It was her way of dealing with her chronic pain. She instagrams, “Maybe I should just share some of my personal remedies I've acquired over the past five years. Everyone's body and condition is different U should consult w ure Dr. but what the heck here we go! When my body goes into a spasm one thing I find really helps is infrared sauna. I've invested in one.”
Sauna, in fact, could help with chronic pain, other physical and mental health issues. In traditional Chinese medicine, it is said that sauna, by sweating, helps expel negative Ki that causes illnesses out of the body.
One thing that Koreans and Russians have in common is we love going to saunas and know how to build luxury saunas that can make you feel so good. Koreans have Kings Sauna, NJ and Spa Castle in Queens. Russians have banyas in Brooklyn and NYC. It is a lifestyle. We go to relax, detox and even eat there. When I feel tired, sluggish or stressed, I take time out and go to one. It is like mini- vacation for half a day without the high cost of air-travel. And when I go to Kings Sauna, NJ, I order a bowl of seaweed soup with rice, which is also excellent for health, a double-detox for my system.
Significant health benefits of sauna are:
It promotes muscle recovery since infrared saunas may penetrate the neuromuscular system. And staying in the sauna for 30 minutes increases women’s levels of human growth hormone (HGH), which helps our bodies break down fats and build muscle (Journal of Human Kinetics). Heck, it must also be good for weight loss then. HGH number gets drastically reduced over 30, which is one of the causes for aging. Sauna is helpful maintaining HGH number.
Sauna can also help lower your blood pressure. Heat dilates blood vessels, which stimulates blood circulation. However, consult your doctor before going. It is not recommended for people with high blood pressure or heart-related illnesses.
Research from the University of Finland shows that saunas help reduce the risk of early death from heart attack, stroke, and cardiovascular disease. It is because the heat increases the heart rate and gives it a moderate exercise like jogging or hiking. Also, it helps lower cholesterol in the same fashion.
Another benefit is that it strengthens your immune system. A study shows that athletes who spent 15 minutes in the sauna experienced an immediate increase in their white blood cell count, a marker for immune strength (Journal of Human Kinetics).
Taking a time out for yourself and from stress and relaxing is good for mental health. It relieves anxiety and depression. It is also supposed to lower the risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia.
For me, it is ‘Me Time’ where I go into my cave, away from the hectic demands of daily life, de-stress, detox and take care of my own self, essential for my own physical and mental well-being. I just love the feeling of lightness of my body and energized afterward.
Caution: (1) hydrate plenty before, during and after. (2) Cover your face with cold towel to protect your skin and use a sheet mask during rest time to close your pores. (3) Don’t overstay in sauna. No more than 30 minutes.
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