Heat and steam.
We can characterize a bath with the words ‘heat’ and ‘steam’:
Due to such unusual microclimate, bath makes a specific impact on human health.
Benefits for body
Skin: due to heat the skin pores open and are cleaned, dead cells, slags are withdrawn with sweat. With the improvement of blood circulation nutrient materials, water and oxygen are absorbed quicker, metabolism is boosted. Breathing through the skin and its regeneration are activated. After a bath the skin is red, soft, viable but more sensitive.
Any cosmetic procedures are 2-3 times more effective if they are done in bath. They should be done after the last sitting in the steam-room, so that cosmetics would not sweat down.
Heart and blood circulation: with the increase of heat the heart activity also increases and the pulse quickens (up to 100-130 beats per minute) – it is a good way to train the heart, that is why, those who like a good bath do not suffer from heart diseases so often. The higher the temperature in sauna, the more intense action of the heart.
However, people suffering from heart diseases should enjoy lower heat, spend more time lying and put a towel moistened with cool water on the area of their heart.
Nervous system: new environment, contrasting temperatures refresh the balance between excitation and inhibition of the central nervous system. This improves attention, memory and mental capacities. Proper bathing procedures relieve insomnia, irritability and stress.
Muscles: after too heavy load during your sport activities you can feel some pain in your muscles – this is because of lactic acid, which accumulates in muscles and causes this unpleasant feeling. A bath heat quickens the process of its decomposition, so you will feel yourself much better after bath.
Heat has an especially good effect on joints and muscles. The body relaxes and blood surges from the internal organs to the muscles. Active blood circulation and high temperature kills the pain, activates the healing processes.
Kidneys: when you are in bath, they have a rest – your body cleanses itself through the skin and already after 15 minutes of staying in bath the kidneys begin working on their minimal intensity (unless alcohol is consumed).
Lungs: the pulmonary alveoli expand and breathing improves by 1.5 times (it is especially felt after coming out to the dressing room). Breathing becomes easier, the amount of fluid (and mucus) in the lungs decreases. Those who regularly go to bath seldom suffer from pulmonary diseases.
Upper air passages: people suffering from a runny nose are recommended to breathe deeply through the nose and to keep the air for a while before breathing-out. We sweat in hot bath, our body eliminates fluids and this cures a runny nose and is a kind of prevention against cold. It is obvious that regular bath visitors can easily adapt to weather changes.
Metabolism: bathing procedures increase the metabolic rate by 30 %.
Bath and weight loss.
People usually believe that bath helps to slim down – if you step on the scale after a good bath your weight will be 450-500 g (sometimes even 1 kg) less than before. However, whatever effect would a bath have upon the whole tonus of our body, bath is not the best decision if you want to lose some weight – almost all body weight lost in bath is made of body water, which is very quickly normalized by drinking liquids.
Bath does not have any long-term effect upon the weight except for the temporary boosted metabolism.
How much time to spend in bath?
The whole procedure lasts for up to 3 hours; however, you should not spend more than 40 minutes (all put together) in a steam room.
The process of bathing consists of ‘rounds’ spent in a steam room. Staying there must not last more than 7 minutes (if you stay there longer, you can overload your heart and the risk of overheating appears), after that, you should stay for 10-20 minutes in a cool dressing room or refresh yourself with water (contrast shower or affusion, ice-hole).
The first round – just a warm-up when you sweat slightly
The second round – you need steam and can start using a bath besom, do rubbing, massaging and other procedures.
The number of rounds is not limited (usually from 2 to 7); the only indicator is your well-being. You can refresh yourself with cold water only when your body is warmed-up in depth (not earlier than after the second round).
The last round – relax, don’t use any besoms.