Europeans have been using saunas for many generations. In fact, the sauna was invented in Europe – in Finland. They have been using them a lot longer than North Americans have, and they are much more familiar with the many uses of the sauna and what it can do for the body. Many North Americans think that a sauna is just good for losing a few calories or sweating out a few of the body’s toxins, but the sauna has many more useful benefits for the body than just those two things.
Saunas have been known to cure arthritis pain, back pain, and basically any kind of chronic pain. They also can take away headaches and migraines and sinus pains. Perhaps the cure that saunas are most famous for is the cure for cold and flu symptoms.
It may be hard to believe that sitting in a small, hot room, sweating until you think you can no longer handle the heat will cure you of sneezing and coughing, but saunas have been proven to do it. Think about it: people almost never get sick from colds or flu in the summer, but almost everyone (in North America at least) comes down with at least one cold in the winter time. The reason for this is not because of the cold weather. In spite of what your mother has always told you, walking around in your bare feet on a cold floor will not make you “catch your death of cold”! There are only two reasons why we catch more colds in the winter. One is that we are in closer contact with each other in the cold weather, and germs just don’t have as far to travel, and the number two reason is that we do not sweat very much in the winter.
Cold and flu germs are still circulating in the summer, but with the hotter weather, our skin sweats out the germs (most of the time, anyway!) before we even realize that we had any germs inside of our bodies. Naturally then, when we go to the sauna and sweat, this has the same effect as it does when we sweat in the summer time. Also, when you are sitting inside of a hot sauna for twenty or thirty minutes, your body is sweating a lot more in a shorter period of time and this can and will maximize your results. Not everyone will have the same reaction to the heat of the sauna, and not every person will have success getting rid of their cold and flu symptoms by using a sauna, but the majority of the population will be able to relieve their bodies of these sicknesses.
One important thing to remember when visiting a public sauna when you are suffering from a cold or the flu, is to bring some sanitary items along with you. I’m sure that you do not want to pass on your sickness to someone else, so it is important to remember to disinfect the area of the sauna that you sat on before you leave.