What Are the Benefits of a Steam Bath?

Madeleine A.

Using a steam bath can help open pores, improve blood flow and encourage the release of toxins from the skin. In addition, other benefits of a steam bath include improving the symptoms of certain respiratory infections, such as nasal congestion and coughing, and even relieving the symptoms of asthma and airway constriction. A steam bath can also help promote wound healing by promoting circulation and enlarging blood vessels.

A steam room.
A steam room.

The steam bath is considered a natural and holistic method of detoxifying the body. In addition to its cleansing abilities, the steam bath can also provide significant pain relief to those with arthritis and other muscle and joint problems. Moist heat is very soothing to the joints and also very relaxing. Tense muscles can cause neck and back pain, shoulder pain, and even pain in the legs. By taking a steam bath, muscles loosen up and pain and tension are reduced.

A steam bath can help with sleep.
A steam bath can help with sleep.

People who have trouble sleeping can benefit from a steam bath as well. Although initially, the body temperature will rise once in the steam bath, it will drop minutes after getting out. This drop in core body temperature significantly helps the body to fall into a deep, recuperative sleep. These effects are similar to those provided by a hot shower or bath before bedtime. The rapid eye movement (REM) phase of sleep may be greatly enhanced by taking a steambath, allowing people to wake up more refreshed and alert.

Since stress is a risk factor in cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and certain gastrointestinal disorders, relieving it can greatly improve the quality of a person's life. Calming the mind lowers levels of stress and reduces the body's ability to produce stress chemicals. Relaxing in a steambath is a great way to end an exercise session. Not only does a person benefit from exercising, he also benefits from spending time in the steambath.

People suffering from acne may also notice a marked improvement in their symptoms. Acne may be caused by genetics, stress, and predisposing medical conditions. It can also be worsened by bacteria. Sitting in a steambath can significantly help draw out bacteria from the facial pores and help speed the healing process. Steam baths can be an effective component in the treatment plan of an acne sufferer. If combined with good hygiene practices, a healthy diet and regular visits to the dermatologist.

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Discussion Comments


The gym I go to has a steam bath and I do use it after workouts for the detox benefits. I can't stay in there for too long though because the heat can be overwhelming. And I have to keep adding water to the hot stone to create more steam. A steam bath is probably much better for detox.


When I'm anxious or stressed, my muscles tighten and I have trouble sleeping. When I told my doctor about this, he suggested a steam bath before going to bed, along with a warm glass of milk. I wasn't sure that the steam bath would help but it really does. Not only does it make me sleepy, but the heat also relaxes my muscles. I think part of the reason why I can't sleep is because my body is so tense.


A steam bath is wonderful after a cold or flu with coughing. The lungs love moisture and warmth and are relieved in this environment. As the article said, steam also helps break up congestion and helps the body get rid of excess mucus.

When I don't have the opportunity for a steam bath when I'm sick, I try to mimic it by adding hot water and a few drops of eucalyptus oil in a basin. I put my head over it, I cover with a towel to prevent the steam from escaping and breathe in. It makes me cough for a while but I feel so much better afterward. I can breathe again and my cough goes away.

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