Steam bath: benefits, types and inspiration
What is a steam bath and how does it work?
Rest, relaxation and cleansing, these are the main benefits of a steam bath. Originally from ancient Rome and derived from the Roman bath, the first steam baths served as public baths and were supplied by natural hot springs from beneath the ground. Today, steam baths are private rooms run by steam generators that emit warm heat which makes you sweat to remove toxins from your body and cleanse you in the process. The benefits of a steam bath range from relaxing muscles, improving circulation, alleviating congestion, increasing metabolism, opening pores, aiding in weight loss, easing joint pains and lowering your pulse rate and blood pressure. With so many health benefits, it's not hard to see why steam baths have become a staple in American health centers, spas, gyms and homes.
What are the different types of steam baths?
Steam baths come in three styles that work differently but achieve the same purpose. First on the list is the Turkish bath, which starts with you relaxing in a "warm room" that is heated by a continuous flow of hot, dry air that allows you to sweat freely. You then move to the "hot room" before washing in cold water. After a full body wash and massage, you end the session off by relaxing in the cooling room for a period of relaxation. The steam room is next on the list, and is an enclosed space with high temperature steam and humidity. Steam rooms are mostly found in gyms and health resorts, and are used for rest and relaxation after a workout to relax muscles and help with pain relief. Last but not least is the steam shower, which is powered by a humidifying steam generator that produces water vapor that is dispersed around your body. Steam showers are available in a variety of materials, including tile, acrylic, fiberglass, glass, stone, and wood.
What is the difference between a steam bath and a sauna?
Most people confuse a steam bath with a sauna and vice versa, and although steam baths are similar to saunas, they differ in a lot of ways. Here's how.
Steam baths generate moist heat while saunas provide dry heat. Steam baths are run by steam generators that boil water into steam and release it into the air. They are airtight, so the humidity builds to 100% and the air is so damp that water condenses on the walls. Saunas have a vent that continually brings in fresh air and limits the humidity buildup, while infrared saunas use light instead of radiant heat. Saunas are hotter than steam baths. A typical sauna is set between 160 and 200 degrees Fahrenheit, with a humidity level of 5 to 30%, while the humidity level in steam baths is 100% and is set at 40 degrees. A steam bath hydrates your skin more than a sauna. Construction wise, steam baths are usually made from glass and saunas with wood and natural materials.
What do I need for a home steam bath?
Thanks to technological advances, if you can't construct a steam bath in your house, you can turn your bathroom into a steam bath with a steam bath system, and operate it from your mobile phone. The steam bath systems fill your bathroom with relaxing steam within seconds. Steam bath systems allow you to personalize your steam bath experience by choosing custom settings that include desired temperature, aroma, lighting, and music. There are many steam bath features to choose from, and they include primary controls inside the steam bath, programmable timer
temperature readout, auxiliary controls, multiple user profiles and mobile control from your mobile phone. To avoid any setbacks, get the help of a professional before choosing or purchasing a steam bath system.
How much will a steam bath cost me?
Steam bath kits are readily available on the market and are also relatively easy to install. You don't need deep pockets to own your own steam bath either, as a DIY steam bath kit will cost you anywhere between $800 and $1,200. A steam bath kit requires plumbing and electrical connections as well, and these will increase the overall cost of your home steam bath.
How do I maintain my steam bath?
As relaxing as a steam bath is, it needs a lot of maintenance and regular cleaning to work at its optimum. Here are some tips to keep yours in top condition.
Where there's steam, there's mould, so you'll need to give the mechanisms that produce steam a routine check and maintenance.
Clean your entire steam bath with antibacterial cleansers. Depending on the materials of your steam room, the cleaners may vary. Check with the manufacturer to find out which cleanser to use.
Drain the steam generator regularly as grime and bacteria can build up there and make the steam room unhealthy.
Keep an eye on any cracks in the joints of your steam bath. Seal any cracks with silicone sealant to prevent exterior moisture.
Keeping your steam room fully enclosed and sealed allows optimal usage and cuts down on deterioration. If you care properly for your steam bath, you'll be able to use it as often as you wish.