What are the benefits of a portable steam sauna?

What are the benefits of a portable steam sauna?

Portable steam saunas are an economical and easy way to enjoy the benefits of steam therapy in private. Like full-size saunas, a home steam sauna aims to improve circulation and increase cardiovascular activity by dilating the blood vessels through heat therapy and sweating.

A daily or bi-weekly steam sauna session can help you better manage stress, improve your health and feel better all around. That works for sauna rooms and cabins, but what about the portable personal-sized units?

They're certainly very popular and also very affordable, so they're worth looking into if you want to have the sauna experience without the big cabinet.

Health Benefits of Portable Steam Saunas

Lower Risk of Heart Disease

Research has shown that sauna usage may help lower one's risk of heart disease. Heat exposure, like what one might experience in a portable steam sauna, can be thought of as a sort of workout for the heart.

When exposed to heat in a sauna, several cardiovascular changes take place. Blood flow through the skin increases significantly to keep the body cool, while blood flow to internal organs decreases. With an overall increase in blood flow volume, the heart starts beating faster to maintain blood pressure. The extra work placed on the heart is usually similar to that of an intense walk.

These cardiovascular changes and the resultant "workout" for the heart may be part of the reason sauna usage can help lower the risk of heart disease. Using a portable steam room can be an effective way to simulate the same kind of heat exposure at home.

One meta-analysis of 9 studies on sauna usage concluded that there is evidence that saunas may be beneficial for heart health. At the time, they found some evidence that sauna usage can help with normalizing blood pressure and treating congestive heart failure, a chronic condition characterized by weakening heart muscle tissue.

However, this meta-analysis was conducted in 2009. Since then, there has been plenty more research on the relationship between sauna use and heart health.

Only a year later, another study examined the effects of Waon therapy on chronic heart failure peripheral arterial disease. Waon therapy involves being exposed to 140-degree Fahrenheit temperatures for a period of time. The study found that this heat exposure was effective in treating both chronic heart failure and peripheral arterial disease.

Another study in 2017 further demonstrated that sauna use could reduce blood pressure. They found that among 1,621 subjects aged 42 to 60, those who used saunas more frequently demonstrated far fewer cases of high blood pressure. Those who used a sauna 4 to 7 times per week were 46% less likely to be diagnosed with high blood pressure compared to those who used a sauna only once per week.

Further research has shown that sauna use may reduce total cholesterol and LDL "bad" cholesterol. In a 3-week trial, 16 subjects underwent ten sauna bathing sessions every day or two. They sat in a 195-degree Fahrenheit sauna (standard heat in Finnish saunas) for two 15-minute sessions separated by a 2-minute break. At the end of the trial, they demonstrated reduced total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol.

Reduced Risk of Diabetes

Heat exposure, like what one can experience in a portable steam sauna, can help with reducing the risk of developing diabetes.

For example, research has shown that heat exposure can help improve obesity-induced insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is when cells in the body don't properly utilize blood glucose, leading to high levels of blood sugar. High blood sugar, or hyperglycemia, closely correlates with prediabetes. People with prediabetes are at risk of developing diabetes.

This appears to be applicable for those who aren't obese as well. One report noted that for the general population, heat exposure has the potential to improve impaired insulin sensitivity. Based on these findings, higher temperatures in portable steam saunas may have the potential to reduce these impairments.

woman sitting on bed holding sore lower back

Reduced Inflammation

Sauna usage may help reduce inflammation. There is promising evidence thus far to support this inverse relationship between inflammation and sauna use. 

For example, one study examined 2,084 men with chronic or acute inflammation. The study found that the more frequently the men used a sauna (up to 7 times per week), the lower their level of inflammation. This was true even when accounting for a whole slew of other factors, including age, weight, smoking habits, physical activity, and more.

Weight Loss And Cellulite Loss Benefits

A moderately conditioned person can easily sweat off 500 grams of sweat in a sauna-the equivalent of running three to four miles or 475 to 600 calories. While the weight of the water loss is regained by re-hydration, the calories burned are not.

According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, regular use of a sauna imparts a similar boost on the cardiovascular system as running. As you relax in the gentle infrared heat, your body is hard at work producing sweat, pumping blood and burning calories.

As your body increases sweat production to cool itself, your heart works harder to pump blood at a greater rate to boost circulation. This increase in your metabolism may burn calories.

Help You Lose Weight And Reduce Cellulite

As you relax in your portable spa, your body is actually working hard to eliminate toxins and burn fat. Weight loss becomes possible because body fat becomes water-soluble at 110 degrees, and the body can't sweat out fats, toxins, and heavy metals. During heat treatment, your heart works harder pumping blood at a greater rate to boost circulation, supplying the conditioning benefits of continuous exercise. Heart rate, cardiac output and metabolic rate increase. Because the metabolism rate increases during the spa treatment, you are burning calories, not just water!

Scientific Research: As the body works to cool itself, there is a substantial increase in heart rate, cardiac output and metabolic rate. Blood flow during whole-body hyperthermia is reported to rise from a normal 5 to 7 quarts per minute to as much as 13 quarts per minute.

This benefit was recognized in the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association as long ago as August 1981: "Many of us who run do so to place a demand on our cardiovascular system, not to build big leg muscles. Regular use of a sauna imparts a similar stress on the cardiovascular system, and its regular use may be as effective, a means of cardiovascular conditioning and burning of calories as regular exercise."

According to a study published in The American Journal of Medicine, sauna bathing is well-tolerated, safe and has therapeutic value for most healthy people, as well as for most patients with stable coronary heart disease.

Researchers examined the benefits and risks of sauna bathing for healthy adults and children, as well as for patients with coronary heart disease, hypertension, and congestive heart failure. This comprehensive review of the world's biomedical literature (1966 to the present) was carried out by investigators from the Department of Internal Medicine and University of Oulu, Finland, and the Division of Cardiology, Washington Hospital Center, Washington D.C.

reduce cellulite

Purification And Maximum Detox With A Portable Steam Sauna And Steam Therapy

Clients are increasingly aware of the wide variety of toxins that may be in their bodies, including herbicides, pesticides, food additives, air pollution, and household chemicals. When ingested, these chemicals can remain in the body for years, altering our metabolism, causing enzyme dysfunction and nutritional deficiencies, creating hormonal imbalances and lowering our threshold of resistance to chronic disease. Today, studies show that most of us have between 400 and 800 chemical residues stored in the fat cells of our bodies. When our bodies exceed the limit that we can excrete, we begin to store these toxins. The Maximum Purification and Detox Treatment along with Portable Steam Sauna, provide the ultimate detoxification.

Symptoms Of Toxicity

The following symptoms are often related to toxicity: allergies, acne, anxiety, burning skin, brain fog, chronic fatigue, chemical sensitivities, depression, eczema, frequent colds or flu, insomnia, loss of dexterity, low body temperature, memory loss, mood swings, muscle and joint pains and poor concentration.

Regular portable spa treatments can be offered as a standalone modality or combined with other healing therapies such as massage, to provide a practical and enjoyable way to help clients remove these toxins from their bodies. Benefits of detoxification include weight loss, pain relief, increased alertness and energy, lustrous skin and eyes and enhanced immunity.

How Steam Helps You Detoxify

Heat experienced during a portable spa treatment speeds up the chemical processes in the body, making it one of the most simple and comfortable ways to rid the body of accumulated toxins. As the pores open up and the millions of sweat glands start to excrete, the body rids itself of metabolic and other waste products. Sweat contains almost the same elements of urine, as, for this reason, the skin is sometimes called the third kidney.

Regular sweating can help detoxify your body as it rids itself of an accumulation of carcinogenic metals (lead, mercury, zinc, nickel and cadmium) as well as alcohol, nicotine, sodium, sulfuric acid and cholesterol.

Sweating is such an effective detoxifier that some physicians recommend home saunas to supplement kidney machines. Sweat also draws out lactic acid, which causes stiff muscles and contributes to general fatigue.

Scientific Research: A portable sauna provides the benefits of steam treatments recommended by Ayurvedic medicine. Recent scientific research indicates that ayurvedic detoxification treatments reduce levels of toxicants by 50%. 

Steam Improves The Skin

The skin is our body's largest organ and is essential in eliminating impurities. As we sweat in the portable sauna, the skin pores begin to open, and built-up sebum and impurities move out. Dead skin cells are softened and exfoliated as new softer skin can emerge.

The profuse sweating achieved after just a few minutes in your Clearlight Sauna carries off deeply embedded impurities and dead skin cells, leaving the skin glowing and immaculately clean. Increased circulation draws your skin's own natural nutrients to the surface. 

You'll see improved tone, elasticity, texture and fresh colour. Increased blood circulation has also been shown to relieve acne, eczema, psoriasis, burns, lesions and cuts. In addition, open wounds heal more quickly, reducing scarring.

The result is that many common skin conditions improve with periodic or regular sauna treatments:

Acne: Perspiration emulsifies the fat of the sebaceous glands, clearing them of sebum and bacteria which is excellent for acne.

Anti-Aging: Exfoliation treatments with the Steamy Wonder™ open the pores, allowing the superficial and deep layers of the skin to be receptive to the nutrients in natural skincare products. The deep penetration of vitamins, minerals and moisturizers help restore and maintain skin elasticity and tone. The steam creates a seal on the skin's surface, enclosing the nutrients within the layers of the skin where they may be absorbed and processed.

Dry Skin and Wrinkles: Increased blood supply rushes fluids to skin's surface, enhancing the development of collagen and filling in the spaces around cells, plumping up wrinkles. Stimulating the skin on a regular basis helps combat the collagen breakdown that generally results in aging and sagging skin. The resulting effect is deeply moisturized hydrant skin.

anti ageing

Stress Reduction - Mood - Cognitive Function

The most immediate benefit of a Portable Sauna treatment is relaxation. In just a few minutes, the gentle warmth of the portable softens hard knots of stress by loosening up all the muscles and allows the clients to deeply relax in the privacy and silence of portable sauna. With the addition of our custom, dried herbal blends placed directly into the steam generator, your client will experience deeper benefits of relaxation and rejuvenation.

Just a few minutes in the gentle warmth of an infrared sauna will help you feel relaxed, rejuvenated and renewed. 

Many Sauna customers comment on how much they look forward to their Infrared Sauna session, as it's a great time to get away and release any built-up tension and stress. It's like having a day spa in your home, open all the time for your convenience. 

Scientific Research: An artificial fever induced by portable sauna treatments can also help with mood elevation. A study conducted by H.I. Robins at the University of Wisconsin found that "mood states of cancer patients following whole-body hyperthermia show a significant improvement in depression. This was attributed to the increased B-endorphins, the same endorphins released with exercise.

Just as when you go for a run, sauna use increases endorphins (the happiness hormone) and opioids (the body's natural pain reliever), as well as a molecule called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in the brain.

BDNF stimulates neurogenesis (the growth of new neuronal cells) in the brain and protects new neurons from damage. Improving BDNF levels is therefore important for cognitive function. In addition, low or abnormal levels of BDNF may be a cause of several mental and psychiatric diseases.

Infrared saunas can also reduce stress by re-balancing the stress response axis. It can help lower cortisol, and thus helps with stress-related health problems. Saunas also improve the neurotransmitter called norepinephrine, which can help improve cognitive performance.

Steam & Cellulite Reduction

The skin is our body's largest organ and is essential in eliminating impurities. As we sweat in the portable sauna, the skin pores begin to open, and built-up sebum and impurities move out. Dead skin cells are softened and exfoliated as new softer skin can emerge.

Effective cellulite reduction can be achieved by increasing circulation, stimulating metabolism, detoxifying and eliminating excess fluids. A portable sauna is used in conjunction with detoxifying mud and essential oils and/or manual manipulation of the tissues accelerate effective cellulite reduction.

Cellulite refers to superficial pockets of trapped fat, which cause uneven dimpling or "orange peel" skin. It appears in 90% of post-adolescent women and is rarely seen in men. Common, but not exclusive areas where cellulite is found are the buttocks, thighs, and the abdomen. Contrary to popular belief, cellulite is not related to obesity, and the appearance of cellulite is not always reduced by weight loss. 

Since the far-infrared radiant heat increases thermal energy in tissue, it is effective at temporarily reducing cellulite. There is a direct link between the slowing of metabolic rates and the storage of toxins in fat cells. Sauna use and far-infrared heat can temporarily increase heart rate and promote a temporary increase in localized blood circulation. This may reverse the trends as mentioned earlier towards the accumulation of liquids in the fat cells to reduce the appearance of cellulite.

Relief From Joint Pain

Steam therapy has been used for hundreds of years by many cultures in the treatment of arthritis, rheumatism, joint stiffness and muscle spasms.

Time spent in an infrared sauna temporarily benefits patients suffering from many forms of arthritis. Radiant heat has also been effective at offering temporary pain relief caused by sprains, neuralgia, bursitis, muscle spasms, joint stiffness and many other muscular-skeletal ailments. Much of the stiffness, aches and soreness that comes with aging may be temporarily reduced or eliminated.

pain relieve

How Does It Work?

The deep heat of the portable sauna helps to relieve pain by causing the blood vessels to dilate. This causes increased blood circulation and allows more oxygen to get too soft tissue injuries and sore muscles. This helps to reduce pain and speeds up the healing process. Increased blood circulation carries metabolic waste products and delivers oxygen-rich blood to oxygen-depleted muscles, so they recover faster. Muscles relax most readily when tissues are warm.

Scientific Research: Sauna bathing has been used as a thermal therapy to treat pain and other symptoms of rheumatic disease. In studies based on interviews of 0ver 200 patients, 40% to 70% of participants reported that sauna bathing alleviated pain and improved joint mobility.

Muscle Pain Relief

Steam therapy using a portable sauna has been found to significantly reduce muscle pain and spasms. Pain is found to be alleviated in just one session, and the benefit can last for several days after the treatment. Regular steam treatments 2 to 3 times per week have shown to have profound relief for those having muscle pain due to injury, menstruation pain, headaches, fibromyalgia and low back pain.

Increased blood circulation carries off metabolic waste products and delivers oxygen-rich blood to oxygen-depleted muscle, so they recover faster. Using your Jacuzzi infrared sauna as intended as part of a healthy lifestyle promotes the temporary increase in blood flow to muscles and may offer temporary relief of arthritic pain. 

Muscles relax best when tissues are warm for greater flexibility and range of motion. Far Infrared heat may help relieve muscle tension by increasing the thermal energy in your muscles. 

Better Sleep

Maintaining cool body temperature is important for falling asleep. It explains why you have trouble sleeping on especially hot summer nights and why it's easier to sleep when your bedroom is cool and dark. You can hack your body's thermoregulation process by warming your body in an infrared sauna then allowing it to cool down after. This quick cool-down speeds up the process for your brain to fall asleep. The result is a cool body that's primed for sleep.

By using an infrared sauna before bed, you calm your body and mind promoting restful sleep. A calmer mind sleeps better for longer than a restless one. If you make a habit out of using your infrared sauna, you'll extend these calming benefits by making an infrared sauna part of your bedtime routine. 


How Steam Works

As heat penetrates the muscles, capillaries dilate, and there is an increased flow of oxygen to sore muscles. Muscles and tissues become more pliable and relaxed, helping to increase mobility and reduce stiffness.

Scientific Research: Sauna bathing has been used as a thermal therapy to treat pain and other symptoms of rheumatic disease. In studies based on interviews of over 200 patients, 40 to 70 per cent of the participants reported that sauna bathing alleviated pain and improved joint mobility. (Source: The American Journal of Medicine, February 1, 2001, Volume 110.)

In addition, a New Jersey Medical School Researcher found that heat therapy was more effective than analgesics for low back pain. Several different types of pain, including the lower and upper back and menstrual pain, can be treated with low-level heat therapies.

The results showed that the low-level heat therapy provided significantly more pain relief beginning on the first day of treatment than the oral analgesics, and the effects lasted more than 28 hours after the treatment was completed.

Heat Endurance

Research has shown that sauna use may improve the body's ability to endure the heat. It may seem obvious, but it's necessary to have the data to back it up.

One notable study examined the effects of heat exposure on ultra-marathon runners before a competition in a hot desert. In preparation, the athletes ran on a treadmill in temperatures up to 95 degrees Fahrenheit. As you might expect, those who underwent exercise-heat training exhibited more resistance to exercise-heat stress and illness during the competition.

Athletic Performance

In addition to withstanding heat more effectively, research suggests that sauna-like heat exposure can actually improve athletic performance.

One study examined the effects of relatively modest heat exposure in highly-trained athletes. They underwent five days of 90-minute sessions in 103 degrees Fahrenheit. Comparing the performance of a rowing-based heat stress test before and after the trial, the athletes improved their time by a little more than 1%. They also demonstrated slightly lower internal body temperatures.

Steam Therapy And Respiratory Conditions

Steam inhalation is an effective treatment in respiratory conditions and is highly recommended for treatment of sinusitis, bronchitis, allergies and asthma.

How Does It Work?

  • Steam relieves inflammation and congestion of upper respiratory mucous membranes.
  • Relieves throat irritation by moistening the air
  • Relieves spasmodic breathing (asthma, croup)
  • Loosens secretions and stimulates the discharge of mucous from the throat and lungs (natural expectorant)
  • Relaxes muscles and relieves coughing
  • Keeps the mucous membranes from excessive drying

Scientific Research: Patients with asthma or chronic bronchitis reported that sauna bathing improved their breathing.

Steam Therapy For Circulation And Inflammation

Steam therapy assists in alleviating inflammation and edema. The increased peripheral circulation provides the transport needed to help eliminate the edema, which helps to end inflammation, decrease pain and help speed the healing process.

As mentioned above, sauna use may increase the presence of heat shock proteins, which are anti-inflammatory. For this reason, saunas may help lower chronic inflammation. Since inflammation is connected to almost every major disease, this is a big deal!

Study participants who used saunas regularly shower lower levels of oxidative stress, even within two weeks! Another study found that men who used the sauna 4-7 times a week had 32% lower levels of c-reactive protein (CRP).

How Steam Works

Heating of one area of the body produces reflex modulated vasodilation in distant-body areas even in the absence of a change in core body temperatures. If, for example, you heat a forearm, then both lower extremities dilate, or if the front of the trunk is heated, then the hands dilate. Heating of muscles produces an increased blood flow similar to that seen during exercise.

Temperature elevation produces an increase in blood flow and dilation directly in capillaries, arterioles and veins, thus widening the blood vessels.

The new Sore Joint & Muscle Pain Relief Treatment is the best way to enhance the benefits of the Portable Steam Sauna for all kinds of chronic pain.

Boosting The Immune System With Steam Therapy

Traditionally, the benefits of steaming include increased energy, decreased incidence of infections, and fewer colds and flu's. Many regular steam or sauna bathers have experienced that a good long sweat bath at the early onset of a cold or flu can help ward off the disease before it manifests as actual symptoms.

How Does Steam Work?

The heat from a portable sauna treatment raises your core body temperature, inducing an artificial fever. During a fever, the production of white blood cells is increased, as is the rate of their release into the bloodstream. White blood cells are the primary agents of the immune system. As the generation of antibodies speeds up, so does the production of interferon, an antiviral protein. In this manner, your body's immune system is strengthened as it works to combat the fever.

At the same time, sweating helps eliminate toxins and waste products from the body and overall health and resistance to diseases is increased. After detoxification, your immune system has less "housecleaning" to do and can focus on protecting your body from more serious health threats. Produced by sweating, overall health and resistance to diseases are increased.

Scientific Research: Mayo Clinic researcher, Dr Wakim, cites findings that the number of white blood cells increased by an average of 58% during an artificially induced fever.

It's very hard to duplicate the feeling of a traditional steam sauna, and the portable kind doesn't really come close. However, if you're looking for quick steam without having to go to the gym or a spa, the personal saunas will do the trick.

Risks & Cautions for Sauna Use

Though sauna use is generally considered safe, anyone considering sauna use should absolutely check with a doctor or medical professional first, as some people (including Tim Ferriss) have genetic conditions that can lead to overheating and health problems from sauna use.

Common sense cautions also include avoiding direct contact with heating elements to avoid burns, not using a sauna for more than the recommended amount of time, or using a sauna after alcohol use or exercise.

Anyone new to sauna use should start off gently at a lower temperature and shorter periods, and gradually increase the temperature and duration of sauna use. Take breaks or finish if you don't feel well. Remember to hydrate and replace electrolytes accordingly during and after your sauna session.

Portable steam saunas are a great way to take advantage of all the research-backed health benefits of saunas in the comfort of your own home. They're also much more inexpensive compared to full-size home saunas.

Equipped with the information from this buyers guide, you should be able to pick the best portable steam sauna for your needs. If you aren't sure you want a steam sauna, a portable infrared sauna might be for you.

As these personal saunas are not of the highest quality, you'll want to be sure you are dealing with a manufacturer who you can contact if any issues arise. But again, for around $100 or so you can't expect too much out of these products.

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