Before your Steam Session
Steam baths use heat to help people lose weight, cleanse the body of toxins, lower cholesterol, relieve arthritis discomfort and improve respiratory problems. Steam rooms are generally safe for a healthy person to enjoy but some precautions should be taken before and after the heated experience.
Food and Drink
Other than water, eating and drinking can put a strain on the circulatory system and is not advised before entering a steam bath. We recommend waiting at least an hour after a large meal. Alcohol and medications that impair sweating should also be avoided to prevent overheating.
All accessories should be removed prior to entering a steam room or sauna. The metal of jewelry will heat up faster and hotter than your skin and can cause irritation or burns. The heat of the bath may make skin swell which can also make tight jewelry uncomfortable.
Steam baths do not require a large amount of time to reap the benefits. A healthy person should spend about 15 to 20 minutes inside. Start with short relaxing steam baths and build yourself up to a 20-minute time frame. That time should be shortened if you experience shortness of breath, nausea, dizziness or any other discomfort.
Heavy sweating can lead to dehydration so its important to drink water before and after the steam bath. Harvard Health Publications recommends drinking two to four cool glasses of water after exiting the steam bath.
Talk to Your Doctor
People with high blood pressure, heart problems or circulation problems could experience complications using a sauna or steam room. It is recommend that these people, or anyone with questions about the effects of steam baths, talk to their doctor before their first session. According to Dr. Simon of Harvard Men’s Health Watch, “patients with poorly controlled blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythms, unstable angina, and advanced heart failure or heart valve disease will probably be advised to stay cool.”
People that are currently receiving cancer treatments are strongly advised to consult with their doctor first.
Pregnant women should consult their physician prior to use of the steam bed. Excessive body temperatures have a potential for causing fetal damage during the early days of pregnancy.
Allow for Cool Down
After leaving the steam room, cool off with cool fresh air and cool water without shocking the system and to avoid shivering. Additionally, you want your body temperature to cool down and return to normal before entering a pool, hot tub or sauna; dramatic changes in body temperature can be harmful and can overtax your circulation.