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What is a Steam Bath?

By S. Mithra
Updated May 21, 2024
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A steam bath opens pores, soothes sore muscles, increases circulation, and provides a generally relaxing and healthy experience. People have indulged in steam baths for centuries, as the has practice spread across and among contintents. Now, modern technology has enabled the installation of efficient, carefully controlled baths at spas, fitness centers, meditation rooms, and in personal residences.

For a very wet and hot health treatment, people often seek out a peaceful steam bath. This usually takes place in a sealed room with wooden benches, similar to a sauna, which is kept at an even temperature and filled with mist. There is a narrow range of optimum temperature for humans, around 112° F (44° C), that raises our body temperature without causing overheating. The circulating vapor must be replenished so the humidity remains near saturation for maximum benefits.You may find a steam bath at your yoga studio, local spa, health clinic, or stand-alone establishment that may also have hot tubs, saunas, or wading pools.

There are many things to consider if you plan on trying a steam bath. First, be careful to stay in the steam bath for no more than 15-20 minutes at a time to avoid overheating. Symptoms of too much heat include dizziness, vertigo, rapid heartbeat, or excessive thirst. You can experience several sessions at a time after a cool-down period. Be sure to drink lots of water and eat a salty snack afterwards so your body can recover from the exertion. Also, make sure not to eat any large meals beforehand, and drink plenty of water to ensure that you don't get dehydrated. Finally, be prepared to disrobe, or if necessary, wear a loose, cotton wrap. Wearing tight clothing, like a swimsuit, will interfere with temperature regulation and sweating.

The possible benefits of steam bath visits are numerous and valuable. The steam will soothe sinus irritation due to allergies or colds and chest congestion from asthma or bronchial infection. Excessive sweating clears your pores and purges toxins. The elevated temperature increases your circulation for healthier skin and more energy. Just like a hot bath, this treatment will relax stiff muscles from exercise and ease swelling or tension in joints associated with arthritis.

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Discussion Comments
By anon278022 — On Jul 03, 2012

I am a 50 year old woman. I want to know how many times a steam bath is good for the health in a week and is it better to take steam bath after the gym. Which oil is better: cashew nut oil, coconut oil or olive oil.

By anon229630 — On Nov 14, 2011

How many times in a week should we use steam?

By anon224974 — On Oct 25, 2011

Can I take a steam bath after gym?

By anon197752 — On Jul 18, 2011

does a steam bath tan the body? does a steam bath with olive oil massage help in weight loss? what should we apply to the face during the steam bath?

By anon190822 — On Jun 27, 2011

Will a steam bath increase hair loss? and help for weight loss?

By anon170129 — On Apr 25, 2011

What does the sauna do to the body or what are disadvantages and advantages of getting to the sauna every day or staying longer?

By anon161276 — On Mar 19, 2011

Does a steam bath stimulate hair loss? Does it help in removing the tan from the face?

Just after taking a steam bath, can we take a cold water bath or can we swim? I have a massage with olive oil then take a steam bath. Is this the right method? if so what are its advantages?

By anon151324 — On Feb 10, 2011

When i use a steam bath, I feel I have lost hair, so what to do? And after a steam bath, can I take normal bath or not? Please let me know. Thank you.

By anon135604 — On Dec 19, 2010

Bath with steam - a classic Russian banya! Very useful for health treatment. Also used dried meadow grass and special plants to improve the therapeutic properties of the Russian bath, as well as tea leaves, strawberries wood, white honey.

By anon128637 — On Nov 20, 2010

i am 25 year old male. my height is 184 cm. my recent weight is 95 kg. is a steam bath beneficial for me for weight loss?

By anon114963 — On Sep 30, 2010

i am 26 year old female and i am diabetic. my height is 154 cm. my recent weight is 78 kg. is a steam bath beneficial for me for weight loss?

By anon103276 — On Aug 11, 2010

Does a steam bath stimulate hair loss?

Does it help in removing the tan from the face?

Just after taking a steam bath, can we take a cold water bath or can we swim? I have massage with olive oil then take a steam bath. Is this the right method? if so what are its advantages?

By anon98815 — On Jul 24, 2010

Answer to all questions: Shower before the first session-time the stay in the steam bath in accordance with your personal sensitivity, but do not exceed 15-20 minutes. Cool off with cool fresh air and cool water without shocking the system and avoid shivering. Take a warm foot bath if you have cold feet. Do not take more than 2-3 sessions in the steam bath.

In the case of combined facilities like sauna and steam bath, which provide for different types of bath, you may also switch from one type to another. What is essential though, is that you cool off thoroughly after each session.

Never start a fresh session if your body is warm (or worse still, hot) and never change from one type of bath to another until you have cooled down properly. To do so could overtax your circulation. Unless the body has cooled down properly after a steam bath, even a swim in a heated pool could be physically harmful as it can be after a sauna.

Enjoyed correctly, a steam bath will help to overcome the stresses of everyday life, to relax and recover and to gain new strength and improve general physical and mental well being. And what’s more, a steam bath can also be fun. Steam ahead.

By anon81699 — On May 03, 2010

Questions earlier asked by various people but still needs to be answered:

1. How often should steam bath be taken -can it be taken every day? Does it help in taken more frequently? Any benefits or harms?

2. After using gym should shower be taken before going to steam room or do i take steam first and then shower? Which order to follow?

3. Should I use olive oil or any other before taking steam?

4. Should I use any cream on face before steam?

By anon74985 — On Apr 05, 2010

after taking a steam bath, can i take sauna bath also?

By anon61461 — On Jan 20, 2010

After I work out I literally have steam coming out of my body especially my back. Why? What does that mean?

By veenu71 — On Jan 08, 2010

after using the gym, do i shower first, then use the steam bath, or do i do it the other way round? which order is better?

By anon59439 — On Jan 08, 2010

I would be interesting in hearing how often people use the steam room and for how long? Does it help anything to do it once in a while or does it need to be regular? What are the benefits?

By anon59362 — On Jan 07, 2010

How long a steam bath will recover my muscle weakness problem? I had lumber compression so my muscles are weak and due to this with little work i feel so much pain in my neck, shoulder and back. will a steam bath help this problem?

By cayenne — On Sep 23, 2009

I would be interesting in hearing how often people use the steam room and for how long? Does it help anything to do it once in a while or does it need to be regular? What are the benefits?

By anon39193 — On Jul 30, 2009

thanks for information

By anon27924 — On Mar 08, 2009

What do I do to prevent widening of pores after using a steam bath?

What are the advantages of a steam bath?

By anon26274 — On Feb 10, 2009

What should be used on the face during a steam bath that won't open pores too much?

By anon18140 — On Sep 16, 2008

after using the gym, do i shower first then use the steam bath, or do i do it the other way round. which order is better?

By anon12682 — On May 12, 2008

What does the sauna do to the body or what are disadvantages & advantages of getting to the sauna everyday or staying longer?

By anon11922 — On Apr 26, 2008

What is the right way to have steam bath ? My gym Instructor, asks us to have massage with oilve oil then asks us to take steam bath. Is this right method if so what are its Advantages?

By anon8518 — On Feb 15, 2008

after using the gym, do i shower first then use the steam bath, or do i do it the other way round. which order is better?

By praveen031 — On Dec 20, 2007

Does steam bath stimulate hair loss?

Does it help in removing the tan from the face?

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