Although there are different types of saunas, steam (traditional) saunas are what most people think of when saunas are mentioned. Traditional steam saunas have been used for hundreds of years by many different societies for many different reasons and are relatively new to the United States. Today traditional saunas fall in the same luxury category as hot-tubs and are becoming somewhat more affordable starting roughly at US $2500.
Steam Saunas also present many health benefits that raise their popularity immensely. In fact, saunas are so popular in Finland, that there is said to be more saunas than cars there. Many people believe that not only do they boost mental health and persona, but they help the body cleanse itself and eliminate toxins. Other health benefits include aiding the body in eliminating nicotine, cigarette toxins, detoxifying the skin and burning calories. They are also believed to help lower back pain and even arthritis. Many sports medicine professionals advocate using saunas as they are believed to aid in the stretching and warming-up process. They are also great for easing post-exercise aches and pains.
Although saunas are an effective method of health maintenance, they must be used properly and as always in moderation. And their luxury status does not come without compromise. Most steam saunas are very large and must accommodate large rooms devoted to them if inside placement is desired. They also require a very large amount of energy to power the inefficient heaters, some requiring up to 10kilowatts of power. Traditional Saunas are also a breeding ground for bacteria and mold given their warm and humid environment. Caution should be taken to continually maintain them to prevent bacterial growth.
If youre drawn back at the cons traditional steam saunas have, be rest assured there are other options that provide all the benefits of steam saunas without the drawbacks. FAR infrared saunas are gaining popularity, especially in the US. They are far more portable, require less power, and do not contain the bacterial breeding ground that traditional saunas. In fact, most infrared saunas are also more affordable and easier to assemble and install.