Sitting in a sweat bath is comparable to physical activities. The heat accelerates the functioning of organs, which can be compared to running or playing tennis while at the same time, the body cleanses itself from the inside, through the skin.
Also Ayurveda sees sweating as an important way to cleanse the body and prescribes sweat baths to trigger off sweating. It is scientifically proven that sweating at a temperature of 90 °C has a very beneficial effect on the body and contributes to better health.
Through sweating, we remove waste products from the body, regulate body temperature and maintain clean and supple skin. Because many people do not sweat enough (e.g. due to the use of antiperspirants, smog, clothes made of synthetic fibres and a lack of exercise) pores may get blocked and consequently toxins accumulate in the body. Therefore, sauna is one of the most natural ways to stimulate sweating.
In addition, sauna also has a beneficial effect on the skin as wounds heal faster, and individuals have fewer problems with eczema as well as fungal and viral infections of the skin.
During the use of sauna, processes in the body are opposite to those in the everyday life because heat enters the body from the outside. Peripheral capillaries expand and blood warms up the inside of the body. The heart starts to beat faster and the accelerated blood circulation has a cleansing effect on all internal organs. If using sauna rationally, blood pressure remains almost unchanged, however, people with high blood pressure should still be careful.
During the sauna, the oxygen demand increases by 20 % which accelerates the functioning of the lungs and enables the removal of waste matter. Such functioning of the lungs is slightly disabled in a more humid place (e.g. Turkish bath). For the optimal functioning of the lungs, rules for the use of sauna should be followed.
In the final stage of using the sauna, during gradual cooling, the heart rate slows down, sweat pores close, blood vessels narrow and the body temperature returns to normal. For this reason, warm foot baths are sometimes recommended at this stage to additionally slow down the cooling.
On the other hand, rapid cooling in snow or cold water is drastic and not advisable to people with circulatory problems. In rapid cooling, the peripheral blood vessels rapidly contract and skin metabolism is regulated more slowly, causing the accumulation of waste matter in blood. Consequently, localised vasodilatators become irritated, the heart starts to beat faster again, peripheral blood vessels expand and "goose pimples" appear.
It is proven that negative ions, which are generated in present-day saunas by pouring water on hot stones, also have a positive effect on the body.