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What Health Benefits Come From Using a Steam Room?

A woman in a steam room.
In some spas, aromatherapy has been added to stream room treatments.
Relaxing in a steam room may be helpful when struggling with insomnia or other sleeping conditions.
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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 21 October 2014
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A steam room is an enclosed room which is made warm and humid by use of a heater and steam. Many saunas can be used as steam rooms, although caution must be taken with the temperature to ensure that bathers are not scalded. Most steam rooms are kept at a warm ambient temperature, and the steam is increased with the use of water thrown onto a heating element. Many spas and gyms have steam rooms for the use of their clients, who sometimes find them refreshing after a workout.

A steam room has a physiological effect on the body which is very similar to that of a sauna. The steam opens up the pores, increases the metabolism, elevates the heart rate, and the body begins to sweat. This can result in health benefits, especially when a steam room is used safely and frequently. Some spas have also introduced the use of aromatherapy in their steam rooms, to provide additional health benefits and relax clients.

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The warm, moist air increases the body's circulation and also loosens and relaxes muscles and joints. After a workout, a session in the steam room will help to keep the body relaxed and flexible, so that it will not lock up as a result of hard exercise. The steam room will also help the body eliminate toxins, forcing them out through the resulting sweat. The skin will be cleaner, softer, and healthier, especially if an exfoliating scrub is used in the steam room to remove the outer layer of dead skin.

Steam rooms are also very helpful for people who suffer from asthma and respiratory conditions. The dry heat of a sauna is sometimes too intense for the lungs to handle, and the gentler moist heat of a steam room helps to relax and open up the lungs and bronchial tubes. In addition, a steam room can help to reduce joint pain and the symptoms of arthritis. After a session in a steam room, the bather usually feels more relaxed, which can help to reduce problems related to insomnia and poor sleeping.

To steam safely, the bather should take a warm shower before entering the steam room. Stay seated in the steam room for up to 15 minutes before exiting to cool off with room temperature air and cool water in the form of a shower or plunge. Allow the body to return to a normal temperature before embarking on another round, and do not steam more than three times in one session. Lots of water should be consumed throughout the process and the bather should exit if he or she feels dizzy, nauseous, or uncomfortable at any point. As a steam room is not healthy for some medical conditions, a doctor should be consulted before using one.

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Discuss this Article

anon940871
Post 16

I suffer from hot flushes/night sweats. Can steaming help or make it worse?

anon344279
Post 15

Humidity also helps skin look younger. It helps with bronchitis and other medical issues and helps skin detox faster.

anon336435
Post 14

I'm just a 19 year old guy, but I went to the steam room for like 10 minutes after a hard workout today for the first time and it was so relaxing. I'm definitely going to keep doing it. Hopefully it'll help my skin too.

anon312265
Post 13

I'm 41 and before I knew it, I lost my youthful vigor and rosy tone. I got a bit flabby and have irritated facial skin. Developing osteoarthritis in my knees in my late 20's contributed to my decreased activity.

I've gotten the skin better a bit with a better diet of fruit, vegetables, chicken, and good oils. I also started to use the pool. I'm also going to start using my gym's steam room on top of the improved diet and pool.

I'll post back (if I remember) in a few months with my results.

I've been eating half an avocado a day. It's cheap here in Sothern California, often 10/$10.

OeKc05
Post 12

@DylanB – I felt so much relief after visiting a steam room that I decided to get a home steam room. I suffer from arthritis, particularly in the winter months and after doing yard work. One trip to the steam room loosens up my joints and makes me feel good again.

It's amazing that just a little steam and heat can take away the pain that even arthritis medication couldn't relieve. I love the fact that I don't have to take medicine for it anymore. Steam rooms offer completely natural treatment.

DylanB
Post 11

A cool shower after a steam room visit feels so nice. After sitting in the heat for fifteen minutes, I start to feel a little disoriented. It's like being out in the tropical jungle.

A cool shower brings me back to myself. I don't usually go back in the steam room after a shower, though. I'm really sensitive to the heat, so a few minutes a session is enough for me.

I feel like the toxins have left my body even after that short period in there. It's a great way of relieving stress and getting rid of soreness.

giddion
Post 10

A steam room benefits a person with bronchitis, especially the kind that can't be cured with antibiotics. With viral bronchitis, all you can do is breathe in warm vapors and hope for the best.

I visited a steam room when I was sick, and it helped me cough up a lot of phlegm that had been stubbornly trapped in there. It was my aunt's private steam room, so no other visitors were at risk of getting sick. I wouldn't have gone to a public one and coughed like that.

Kristee
Post 9

@anon108540 – I can't imagine entering my gym's commercial steam room after a workout! I'm already overheated and sweaty. I believe that the excess heat and moisture would push me over the edge into heat exhaustion!

anon147764
Post 8

Can a steam room help me with my knee joints? I have arthritis and my knees ache badly. I have heard that going to a steam room helps.

anon132927
Post 7

is it safe for the skin to use oil during steam bath?

vayg

anon110556
Post 6

I have been using a steam room for 30 years and my skin is glowing with a youthful appearance.

anon108540
Post 5

I love the steam room after a workout! I feel so energized after I get out and it really makes a difference in my overall attitude for the rest of the day!

anon102909
Post 4

I agree with lotusfeet. i use a steam room a lot sometimes I can lose up to four pounds of weight from the steam room but this is temporary. as soon as i drink it's back on, so it's only lost water, not lost weight.

However the body has only so much water to lose and this does not mean the longer i stay the more i lose. take care when using a steam room.

lotusfeet
Post 3

@klow – It’s both, actually. However, it’s mostly just a fib. What actually happens is that the body loses a lot of water weight when you go into a steam room. The water leaves your body temporarily and you appear to lose weight. However, this is just dehydration. Once you drink water again, that weight comes right back. Steam rooms don’t really help you lose weight. This is just, as you say, exaggerated advertising.

klow
Post 2

I heard that steam rooms can help people lose weight. Is this a scientifically proven fact or just exaggerated advertising?

ostrich
Post 1

As someone who suffers from asthma, I've found that steam rooms can really help the wheezing. I don't know if they're safe for children though, so maybe it's better to just fill up the bathroom with steam if your child is coughing.

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