Steam showers have long been popular in gyms, health clubs and spas, but up until very recently, only the wealthy could have them in their own homes. Now, however, they have become affordable enough for everyone to enjoy their many benefits.
Heat makes us relax physically and mentally. That’s why warm, sunny beaches are so popular as holiday locations. Sadly, we can’t take you to a tropical beach all year round, but a steam shower provides that luscious combination of warmth and moisture whenever you like. You can enhance the effect by adding aromatherapy oils, your choice of music and perhaps some coloured lights. What’s more the various corollary benefits of steam also add to your overall feeling of wellness and hence relaxation.
Better Blood Circulation
This may be the single biggest health and wellness benefit of steam given the lifestyles many of us lead these days. While we probably all know the health (and safety) issues related to sitting still over long periods, putting the recommended counter-measures into practice is often a case of “easier said than done” in crowded work spaces, especially when so many of us always have too much to do. Exercise can help our health in a lot of ways, but depending on your lifestyle, exercise alone may not be enough to counterbalance the long-term effects of poor posture leading to poor circulation.
Steam relaxes your blood vessels, this widens them and this increases the flow of blood. As a result, your vital organs get more oxygen and other nutrients, which is obviously beneficial to them. In particular, steam showers are very good for heart health. The more frequently you can take steam showers, the more benefit you can get from them. Ideally, you would have a steam shower every day or at least every other day, which is why it is so advantageous to have a steam shower in your own bathroom.
After the improvements to blood circulation, this may be the next biggest benefit of steam showers in our modern world. Many of us live in very polluted environments, London, in particular is notorious for its poor air quality and anyone who lives in an urban area is likely to be breathing in all kinds of pollutants every time they step out of doors. For the sake of your health and, in particular, your lungs, you want to get those pollutants out of your body as quickly as possible.
Steam is one of the most efficient cleaners there is, which is why it’s used in so many industrial cleaning systems. It’s also one of the gentlest, which is why it’s so popular with environmentalists, not only can you clean without harsh chemicals, but you can actually clean away harsh chemicals with pure water.
When it comes to the human body, steam is the ultimate cleaner in that it can literally get into all the tiny crevices in the body, including the ones in the lungs. It then picks up all the minute pieces of debris which can easily pass through our airways and gets them out again. You will only have a chance to appreciate just how good this can feel when you try your first steam shower. Even those with generally healthy lungs can benefit from the power of steam and anyone who suffers from a chronic respiratory condition, such as bronchitis, can really get a lot of relief thanks to steam.
As you may have guessed by now, steam is possibly the best cure in the world for bunged up sinuses and hence can go a long way to making colds less of a misery, what’s more it helps to boost your immune system, lowering the likelihood of you catching one in the first place!
Much Clearer Skin
The condition of your skin reflects the state of your inner body. Steam showers can’t compensate for a diet of junk food and regular lack of sleep, but steam can do a lot to help relieve the effects of the moderately unhealthy food and drink many of us consume regularly (such as caffeine and alcohol) and to counterbalance occasional excesses.
Steam increases the blood flow around the body, which not only speeds up the delivery of nutrients but also speeds up the removal of toxins from the body. The less time toxins spend in the body, the less damage they can do, which is another reason to have steam showers on a regular basis, ideally every day.
Most of the toxins are removed through sweat, which means the body’s pores need to be opened. Because of this, the end of a steam treatment is the perfect time to apply skin treatments, such as face masks or deep-moisturizing treatments since the open pores allow the treatment to get straight to work. This is one reason why steam masks are so highly regarded in the beauty industry.
Even if you don’t want to give yourself a full treatment every day, you may benefit from giving your face a quick wipe with a washcloth or cleansing tissue to remove any dirt which has been pushed to the surface of your skin. Exposed skin can quickly become clogged with tiny pollutants such as fine dust and pollen, leading to blocked pores and troublesome spots. This is particularly evident on the face since it is generally exposed to the elements and hence is most likely to come into contact with nasty pollutants. Steam will push them back out again.
Better Recovery from Exercise
There’s all sorts of great things about exercise and diets and both certainly do you a whole lot of good over the long term. Over the short term, however, a good exercise session can leave you feeling really stiff and sore. Instead of just gritting your teeth and saying “no pain no gain”, make use of steam, as the pros have been doing for years. That stiffness in your body is a combination of tense muscle and the lactic acid which builds up during exercise. The heat from the steam will relax your muscles, easing the stiffness of exercise, at the same time as it boosts your circulation, getting that lactic acid moving onwards and outwards.