Benefits of sauna’s – improving detox pathways & what are the different types


What is a sauna?
How effective are saunas for detoxification?
The health benefits of sauna treatments
How do people accumulate toxins?
Consequences of not detoxifying your body
Signs that you need to detox
Tips for using a sauna
What to expect after a sauna detox?
Reap the health benefits of sauna sessions

The potential health benefits of sauna rooms have long been touted, but is there any truth to it?

Sauna (sow-nah) is a Finnish word meaning “bathhouse”. This steamy practice has been a way of life for Finnish people. They invented it over 2000 years ago as a method to purify and cleanse their bodies.

Nowadays, gym goers frequent saunas to get a good pump. Others simply enjoy the relaxing warmth. We’ve prepared a guide to using saunas for their main benefit: detoxification.

What is a sauna?

A sauna is a room that’s heated to temperatures around 70–100°F. Traditional Finnish ones typically use dry heat with a low humidity of 10–20%.

A sauna may increase your skin’s temperature to around 104°F. There are multiple types of sauna rooms, including:

  • Wood burning: This sauna uses burning wood to warm up the room. They create a hot and dry climate.
  • Electrically heated: These rooms typically have high temperatures and low humidity. There’s an electrical heater that’s attached to the floor. It warms the sauna room.
  • Infrared room: Far-infrared saunas use light waves from special lamps. Instead of warming up the entire room, they heat a person’s body. The temperatures tend to be lower than with other foods. The average temperature is around 60°C.

How effective are saunas for detoxification?

Our skin is the largest detoxifying organ. Through sweat, it excretes toxins, waste products, and dirt which we wash off.

How do saunas help with detoxification? They increase the thermal load on the body, which promotes sweating.

A healthy person can sweat out up to 2 liters of water in a 15-minute session. The body produces extra perspiration to cool down.

Your sweat consists of electrolytes. It’s important to stay hydrated during excess sweating.

Sweat also includes heavy metals and toxins which are excreted during sauna time.

The health benefits of sauna treatments

A sauna detox may help you flush out toxins, but it also boasts a range of other health benefits. Let’s unpack some of the other advantages this treatment has to offer.

Improved Circulation

Anything that increases your body temperature, including Ozone therapy, raises your heart rate. A higher pulse boosts circulation. Sitting in a hot, steamy sauna has a similar effect to waking on a treadmill at a moderate pace.

Walking on a treadmill offers more benefits for joint flexibility and muscle building. Saunas provide a distinct advantage; they trigger your lymphatic circulatory system.

Your lymphatic circulatory system and cardiovascular circulatory system work together to flush toxins. They balance your lymphatic fluid levels and keep blood flowing. When you have an infection, they send immune cells throughout the body to fight intruders.

The heat from your sauna time forces your heart to pump harder to get the blood circulating. This effect gives you the feeling of a moderate cardio session without having to move around.

While sitting in the sauna, your heart rate may increase to around 100–150 beats per minute. This pulse is similar to low-to-moderate exercise. It boosts circulation and releases endorphins.

Saunas stimulate a specific type of circulation. It’s known as cutaneous circulation. It causes blood pressure to drop while cardiac output increases.

Regular use of saunas can increase circulation over time. It boosts the flow of oxygen through tissues. It may improve the spread of nutrients in the body while releasing toxins and waste products.

Pain relief

Did you know saunas are one of the natural ways to treat inflammation and pain?

Saunas cause the blood vessels to dilate and relax. This effect increases blood flow and may reduce tenderness and soreness.

The heat from the steam can reduce muscle and joint stiffness. It could help with arthritis pain. It may encourage movement in older adults by reducing pain caused by inflammation.

Lower back pain is a common ailment that saunas may improve. Studies reveal it can reduce lower back discomfort significantly. It’s particularly beneficial in patients with lumbago (30%), intervertebral disc disorder (16%), and spondylosis (54%).

Heat is an excellent source of pain relief. The warm steam in saunas can reduce muscle spasms and tightness. It temporarily improves ligament elasticity and relaxes muscles.

Saunas also open blood vessels. This effect allows more nutrients and anti-inflammatory cells to reach sore muscles. It’s one of the reasons gym-goers enjoy sitting in a sauna after a hard workout.

The steam increases oxygen flow in your blood using your cardiovascular system. The increased blood flow may boost the production of white blood cells. This effect not only relieves pain, it could also reduce swelling.

The heat from the sauna relieves soreness similar to painkillers. It provides a drug-free muscle relaxant that soothes more than just your body; it calms your mind.

Hormonal balance

Regular use of saunas may help balance your hormones. The heat stress effect may influence your endocrine system. It controls hormone production and regulation.

One of the hormones a sauna detox may increase is prolactin, which is triggered by heat stress. It’s commonly known as a breast milk stimulator, but it’s more than that.

Prolactin may hold neuroprotective properties that shield the brain. It also strengthens the immune system and may have anti-cancer abilities. This hormone holds a deep calming effect that may combat the effects of stress.

Glowing skin

A good sauna sitting leaves you glowing. Regular sessions may protect the skin from acne and sebum buildup.

The excessive sweating forces gunk out of your pores. It accelerates your skin’s natural exfoliation process.

The boost in blood circulation may improve cuts, eczema, and scars. It helps send more nutrients to the skin cells and promotes elasticity.

The increase in blood flow also creates a rosy, flushed glow.

The combination of heat and sweating stimulates the sebaceous glands. This effect keeps your skin supple and moisturized naturally.

Regular sauna sessions may promote the production of collagen. It has powerful anti-aging effects, leaving your skin plump and youthful.

After sweating it out in the sauna, treat yourself to a peeling treatment. The steam creates the perfect preparation for skincare.


The heat from the sauna helps your body to relax. The quiet, tranquil environment provides a place to calm your mind and relieve stress.

Regular sauna sessions may improve adrenal health by lowering cortisol levels. It can have a ripple effect, improve your mood, and help you lose or gain weight.

Cortisol is an inflammatory hormone that raises blood sugar levels. It also triggers other health problems like cardiovascular disease.

Aside from stress relief, saunas have a surprising mental health benefit. A study in Finland showed that frequent sauna time led to a decreased risk for dementia.

How do people accumulate toxins?

Modern human beings are exposed to chemicals throughout their lifespan. Personal care products are one of the main contributors.

Lotions, creams, and makeup contain endocrine disruptors, carcinogens, and other toxic compounds. Our homes are also full of toxins from fragrances, appliances, and black mold.

You can detoxify your home easily with a few green renovations. Releasing accumulated toxins in your body is a bit more challenging.

Here are three common toxins that wreak havoc on our physical health:

  • Formaldehyde: Typically found in household cleaning products and personal care items.
  • Chlorine: Commonly used to clean pools but can be absorbed via the skin.
  • PCBs: Industrial application chemicals.

Consequences of not detoxifying your body

What if you just skipped the sauna and let toxins stay rent free? Over time, these perpetrators build up, causing a bioaccumulation.

It overloads your body with toxicity and causes several health conditions. Toxins affect cognitive ability, immune function, and metabolic health.

When they build up, toxins cause oxidative stress, which may cause inflammation. Chronic oxidative stress can trigger cardiovascular disease and neurodegenerative illnesses.

Toxins also disrupt biological processes by mimicking nutrients. It causes cellular damage and related diseases.

Certain pollutants even interfere with our hormones, triggering metabolic disorders and certain cancers.

Signs that you need to detox

The symptoms that you have when you need to detox are similar to what you experience during a sauna. It’s because your body releases toxins that are stored in fat cells. Saunas invoke these toxins, causing similar effects.

Here are the typical signs you need a detox:

  • Fatigue
  • Digestive problems, including bloating and constipation
  • Headaches
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Mood swings
  • Skin issues such as acne or rashes
  • Depression

Tips for using a sauna

Are you ready to reap the health benefits of sauna sessions? Here are some tips to get you through:

  • Stay hydrated: Sip an electrolyte drink to avoid dehydration.
  • Shower before and after: Clean your skin before you get in to help the steam penetrate your pores. Shower with soap afterward to wash off toxins.
  • Wear breathable clothing: Slip into something loose and comfortable. Choose a clothing item that keeps you cool and allows you to breathe easily.
  • Avoid alcohol: Saunas have a dehydrating effect and alcohol can worsen things.
  • Limit your time: How often should you use a sauna? Beginners should spend around 5–10 minutes. Advanced sauna fans should be there for no more than 30 minutes.
  • Don’t go if you’re sick: While saunas may flush toxins, they won’t remove colds and flu. You’ll likely end up feeling more sick. It’s best to wait until you’re feeling better.

What to expect after a sauna detox?

When you use a sauna, your body undergoes an intense detoxification. The boost in circulation puts your liver and kidneys to work to release toxins. Here are some of the side effects and their explanations:

  • Nausea: The body is releasing toxins and detoxifying. It may cause nausea depending on how severe the toxicity is.
  • Chills: Chills may occur as the body cools down after the intense heat of the infrared sauna session. The chills are a common side effect. It’s your body’s way of cooling down after the high temperatures in the sauna room.
  • Headaches: Increase in blood circulation and heat cause headaches. Usually, the cure is a simple glass of water.
  • Diarrhea: Diarrhea is a common side effect of infrared sauna sessions. Typically, diarrhea is caused by the intestines attempting to detoxify. Rarely, it’s caused by an electrolyte imbalance.
  • Muscle cramps: Sweating profusely commonly causes muscle cramps. We lose salt and other minerals via sweat. Sip an electrolyte drink to prevent this.
  • Fatigue: After an infrared sauna session, it is common to feel fatigued as the body works hard to rid itself of toxins. When you’re sitting in a hot and humid room, it’s understandable to feel tired. Rest your body to allow it to rid itself of toxins.

Reap the health benefits of sauna sessions

Sitting in a sauna for frequent sessions can greatly improve your health. It may boost circulation and balance your hormones. It can also help relieve stress and make your skin beautiful.

Saunas help your body use its biggest detoxifying organ; your skin. Sweating it out for a few minutes may help flush toxins and heavy metals.

It’s important to detoxify your body and saunas are one of many ways to do that. Book an appointment with us. We’ll help you find the best treatment to get you back on track with your health.

Author: Dr. Jason Phan NMD – Founder of LIVV Natural – Anti-aging – regenerative medicine – peptide therapy