Oct 132009

If you could sit down after a long hard day, and have one place that you could go to relax, knowing that after just 10 or 20 minutes you will come out refreshed, and having shed away your stresses and worries, what type of place would you imagine?

Most people would conjure up thoughts of being inside of an expensive spa studio, with the world’s top massage technicians and therapeutic aromas in the air. But you can have all this by installing a steam shower enclosure in your own home.

What can a steam shower do for you?

1.  Provide you a spa experience. Your favorite spa can provide you with a steam bath, massage, and shower room – all at a cost. Now imagine having all that available right in your bathroom – without having to make an appointment. A steam shower, with its hot steam, pressure water jets, and shower heads makes it all possible.

2.  Add an unsurpassed sense of luxury to your bathroom. The special shower enclosure used to house the steam shower appears elegant and gives your bathroom a look of opulence. What’s more, you can add all kinds of extras (depending on your budget) such as a built-in shower bench, timers, aromatherapy, music, extra shower heads, and more – all options that can add that touch of elegance to your bathroom.

What benefits can a steam shower provide?

Unlike a regular shower whose purpose is to provide you water, the purpose of a steam shower is to provide you with steam. Sitting in a shower enclosure surrounded by steam has been providing people with physical and mental benefits for thousands of years.

Here are just a few of the advantages of the steam.

Stress reduction. In simple terms, the heat produced by the steam tells your body it needs to cool down. So the blood vessels in your body dilate, or widen. Wider blood vessels means the heart doesn’t work as hard to pump blood – thus lowering your blood pressure and pulse. Reducing the pressure in your body reduces stress, relieves anxiety, and gives you a feeling of relaxation.

Muscle relaxation and joint pain reduction. The warm, moist air produced by the steam helps reduce the tension in your muscles and joints. You see, the enlarged blood vessels help boost your circulation which brings needed oxygen and nutrients to your muscles, tissues, and joints. This helps reduce muscle and joint pain. It also contributes to the healing process. Although not a cure for arthritis, time spent in a steam shower can help alleviate the pain associated with it.

The increased blood circulation also helps your muscles from tightening up, by removing any lactic acid that has built up during exercising.

Relieving bronchitis and asthma. Steam raises the moisture level in your bronchial tubes, nose, and throat. It also allows more air to pass in and out of your lungs. Both of these make breathing easier. This is not a cure for respiratory disease, but can certainly provide some temporary relief.

Relieving sinusitis. “Steamy showers” have been recommended as a “comfort measure” for sinusitis sufferers by The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI) and the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. You can read the article here.

Improved skin. As we said earlier, the steam heat tells your body to cool down. Your body moves the heat from your blood toward your sweat glands. Your sweat glands naturally open up to release the heat – thus, you sweat. At a minimum, this removes bacteria from the sweat ducts. With deep sweating in a steam shower, the increased blood flow helps remove other toxins from your body. What’s more, the increased circulation brings oxygen and nutrients to your skin.

This continual flushing of your pores, gives you soft, glistening skin that has a healthy glow. A steam shower is not a cure for acne, but cleaning your pores from the inside out does contribute to healthy skin.

A feeling of well-being. People who use steam showers will tell you that being bathed in the warmth of the steam produces a serene state of mind. You feel calm, relaxed, and restored.

Improved sleep. A good night’s sleep is important for both bodily and mental health. Imagine stepping out of your steam shower before bedtime. You have relaxed muscles, reduced stress, glowing skin, and are feeling unwound. This calm state will allow you to get into bed with the tensions of the day gone. You can lie back and achieve a restful, deep sleep that will help prepare your body and mind for the next day.

Additional options:

Additional steam shower options can add more benefits. For example, suppose you add aromatherapy to your steam shower. Mixing scents and oils to the steam can help add to your relaxation by improving your mood. What’s more, the additional oils can help soothe your skin.

Some steam showers allow you to add music to your experience. By listening to your favorite music while in the steam shower you can help relax your mind as well as your body.

So when evaluating your need for a steam shower, keep in mind all the ways it can contribute to your overall mental and physical health.

NOTE: Pregnant women and individuals with health problems (e.g. heart disease, epilepsy, chronic low blood pressure) should always talk to their health care provider before using a steam shower.

For more details about steam showers, read What You Need to Know About Steam Showers.