Heat Steam Bath – 15+ Scientifically Proven Health Benefits of Taking a Hot Bath


The bath is used all over the world, it is especially popular in northern countries with a harsh climate: Scandinavia, Russia, Northern Europe. But bath procedures in one form or another have been present since ancient times in North and Central America, Persia, the Ottoman Empire, Ancient Rome, and Japan. Bath procedures were used for recovery, high-quality rest, they gave birth to children in the bath, communicated with each other, and concluded business deals. The bath is part of the cultural code of the Slavic countries.


15+ Scientifically Proven Health Benefits of Taking a Hot Bath | Heat Steam Bath


In the 21st century, nowhere in the world does a bathhouse occupy such a cultural significance as in Russia and the Scandinavian countries. In many nations, a whole layer of cultural characteristics and etiquette is associated with relaxing in a bathhouse. The bath brings benefits, relaxation for the body and soul.


There are contraindications, it is necessary to consult a specialist (doctor).



Types of bath

The bath in various manifestations exists in many parts of the world, it differs in the options for building the building itself, the steam room, rooms, the degree of humidity, and temperature. Even in Russia, each owner of the bath has his own secrets, ways of soaring, and around the world the differences are even wider.

The essence of all baths is very similar:


  • heating the human body with hot steam, air, heated stone floors and benches, infrared rays, stones;
  • massage with brooms from tree branches or regular massage with hands;
  • subsequent cooling with the help of a font, an ice-hole, a reservoir near the bathhouse or dousing with water from a bucket, jumping into the snow or rubbing the body with it.

Baths in the countries of the world:

  • Finnish – sauna;
  • Turkish – hamam;
  • Swedish – Bastu;
  • ancient Roman – terms;
  • ancient (in Central America and Mexico) – temazcal;
  • Japanese – sento.

There are more exotic types of baths, but they differ mainly in construction options and soaring etiquette.


For skin

During bath procedures, peripheral blood vessels dilate, causing redness, this is a mechanism for protecting the human body from the surrounding heat. Vasodilation, increased blood flow, increased sweating effectively cool the skin. The skin from steam and high temperature becomes soft, and with the help of a broom, washcloth or other means, keratinized particles are removed. This cosmetic effect is used in SPA centers.

With prolonged exposure to steam and heat, a large amount of sweat is released, pores, sebaceous and sweat glands are cleaned. The skin becomes clean and soft. You can visit the bathhouse even with stitches already on the third day after the operation, this will not affect the healing rate. But be sure to check with your doctor before visiting.


Studies show a positive effect on the physiology of the skin, especially on the pH balance of the surface and the water-retaining capacity of the stratum corneum.


For heart

The heart and circulatory system begin to work much more efficiently in stressful conditions such as bath treatments. The blood flow is greatly increased to cool the body, and this clears the stagnant parts of the cardiovascular system. Since a person is basically inactive in the modern rhythm of life, especially in cities, this further emphasizes the need to visit a bath for health.

Research confirms the benefits of the bath for people with hypertension, congestive heart failure and for recovery after a myocardial infarction. Of course, you can not go to the bath immediately after any heart surgery, first you need to fully recover.

Research results show that macro- and microvascular functions dramatically improve after bathing in elderly people with stable coronary heart disease.



For joints

Bathing relieves pain, improves joint mobility in patients with rheumatic diseases. The bath warms up the joints, stimulates the production of lubricating fluid. In fact, a bath is a stimulation of all body systems due to stressful conditions and contrasting temperatures. But with serious diseases of the joints – arthrosis, gout – do not allow too large temperature changes and do not sit in the steam room for a long time. During any acute conditions, it is recommended that you first consult with an orthopedic doctor or surgeon.


For the lungs

The mechanisms of action of steam inhalation in patients with nonspecific lung diseases were studied. This type of aerosol therapy is effective due to bronchodilator, antimicrobial, as well as stabilizing pulmonary hemodynamics actions. Patients with obstructive pulmonary disease can take a steam bath without causing bronchial constriction, bath procedures even cause a temporary improvement in lung function. Bath air is almost sterile, and in combination with a broom and the right essential oil, it is also useful, as it is saturated with antioxidants and phytoncides. The smooth inhalation of such air trains the lungs, since the air is very hot and dry or hot and humid, depending on the type of steam room.



For immunity

The incidence of colds with regular visits to the bath is reduced by half. Hardening with the help of soaring in the bath, followed by a sharp cooling, strengthens the body, if everything is done gradually and consciously. For example, walking in the snow with bare feet after a hot steam room activates the entire body with the help of acupuncture points. The metabolism in the bath is accelerated, respectively, immunity is also enhanced in a healthy state at the time of soaring.


For the nervous system

The bath calms, allows you to relax and get away from the problems in life for a while, chat with friends on pleasant topics. Bath heat gives a feeling of protection, which brings calm, fills with strength. Bath heat creates a rush of blood to the epidermis, which creates an outflow of blood from the brain, it also relieves mental stress, relaxes the body.

Almost all processes in the human body and mind depend on nervous activity. They determine 90% of our entire life, respectively, a bath can greatly help in improving the overall efficiency of life. Remember that a bath can not only relax, but also excite if it is heated and cooled unevenly.



During pregnancy

Finnish studies have proven that there is no connection between birth defects in children and visits to the sauna by pregnant women. That is, you can visit the bath during pregnancy, but you need to do it carefully, the temperature should not be extreme, you should not be zealous in the duration of soaring. Pregnancy is a delicate time, so all bath procedures should be gentle too. Of course, if there are any deviations in pregnancy or the health of the expectant mother, you need to consult a doctor whether she can go to the bathhouse or not.


Bath and children

Studies in infants between 3 and 14 months of age have shown that healthy children at this age can successfully cope with adequate temperature changes without any negative side effects. Children adapt very well to hardening and other moderate exercise, as a child’s body is much stronger and healthier than an adult. Also, children are less slagged and have not yet had time to “get hooked” on various intoxicants.





Bath contraindications:

  • unstable angina;
  • high body temperature;
  • acute stage of viral infection;
  • unhealed open serious wounds;
  • recent myocardial infarction;
  • severe aortic stenosis;
  • drinking alcohol in the bath increases the risk of arterial hypotension, arrhythmia and sudden death.

Bathing is safe for most people with coronary heart disease, stable angina, or a previous myocardial infarction.


Energy Effects

Our ancestors knew that a bath can be used to purify not only the gross body, but also subtle bodies and shells. With proper soaring, possession of steam, a broom, the atmosphere, the attendant could straighten out the distorted aura of a person. In Slavic terminology, the body was called the aura. A hot body is a person’s protection from external factors, something like the Earth’s magnetic field, which protects us from deadly cosmic radiation.

With the help of contrasting temperatures, you can enter a state of abstraction from your body and reality for a while. This reboots our mind, tunes it to fresh thoughts, new images, makes it possible to find a new approach to solving problems in life.


Of course, all these effects are available with absolute sobriety of a person, preferably for many years. Because any intoxicants: alcohol, drugs, chemical food – greatly clog the subtle energy channels, in which case it is almost impossible to plunge into this state.


Banya broom

There are a variety of different types of brooms used for soaring, but the main two types of wood for their manufacture are oak and birch. Brooms are useful in themselves, antioxidants and phytoncides are released from the leaves after steaming. But in combination with the right techniques of steaming, patting with brooms, pumping heat by scooping up steam, waving, the benefits of brooms become greater: blood circulation improves, the body relaxes and recovers.

The massage effect of patting with brooms enhances the benefits of the bath, the skin is better cleansed of the stratum corneum, plus the surface layers of the skin are more cleansed of toxins, and this gives an additional positive effect.

Types of brooms:


  • birch (harvesting in early-mid June, but, most importantly, you need to focus on the strength of the sheet);
  • oak;
  • willow;
  • eucalyptus;
  • nettle;
  • alder;
  • coniferous;
  • lime;
  • ashen;
  • juniper;
  • mountain ash;
  • combinations of different trees and herbs.


Essential oils for the bath

Essential oils can both benefit and harm. It all depends on their quality, combination, individual tolerance of those steaming in the bath. From the heat of the steam room, all the pores of the skin open, which makes us more susceptible to essential oils, although the main way of exposure is through the lungs.

The essential oil must be completely natural, it should not contain synthetics, otherwise it may result in a headache or even anaphylactic shock. Usually the price of natural oils is higher than that of synthetic ones. Read the composition, choose the oil for yourself using your sense of smell, it should be pleasant and refreshing for you, then it will be useful.

Oils are hot, cooling and neutral. You need to find out what dosha you have according to Ayurveda before applying this or that oil. Most likely, it will happen that there will be representatives of different doshas in the bath, then you will have to use neutral oils.

To understand which oil is right for you, it is advisable to contact an Ayurvedic specialist.


Essential oils suitable for the bath:

  • tea tree;
  • spruce;
  • incense;
  • eucalyptus;
  • curly mint;
  • Melissa;
  • Pine;
  • myrtle;
  • peppermint;
  • patchouli;
  • fir;
  • cedar;
  • hyssop;
  • cypress;
  • kayaput and many others.


bath spirit

In Slavic mythology, the sauna spirit Bannik lives in the bathhouse. He is described as a small man with gray hair, a long, disheveled beard, long fingernails, and hairy arms. Bannoy, like other spirits of nature, is usually given a treat, usually a piece of rye bread with salt, preferably consecrated by prayer. The main thing for a bath is that the intentions of the people entering the bath should be good, then it will give out a healing, pleasant heat, will not be angry and mischievous.

The bathhouse should be greeted before entering the bathhouse and asked for a good heat, then he will treat those bathing well.





The benefits of a bath for human health are very high and proven by research. All the effects of the bath have yet to be studied by science. Both lovers of a healthy lifestyle and those who often neglect their health go to the bathhouse.

The picture of drinking alcohol in the bath, which has already become a classic, is in the head of almost everyone who watched TV. This pernicious practice of poisoning one’s body even during cleansing bath procedures is absurd. People do not think at all that a bathhouse is a clean place in itself, in which not so long ago children were born, various rituals were performed. It is not appropriate to turn a bathhouse into a haunted place or into a brothel.

Human health is a combination of factors. If a healthy bath is added to the rest, this will become a strong argument against weak immunity, heart disease, nervous disorders, and other diseases associated with a sedentary and disconnected from nature lifestyle.

The bath has an almost magical beneficial effect, but always remember to be aware of your health and life in general. Health and a healthy lifestyle consist of a number of components:


  • motion;
  • sobriety;
  • healthy eating;
  • proper sleep;
  • communication with nature;
  • cleansing procedures;
  • a good goal in life;
  • fulfillment of one’s duty.

The bath will only be one of the tools to adequately and fully fulfill your duty – dharma.

Health and health to you!

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