Effects on the Body
The total area of the human body surface is 1.5-2 square meters. Skin protects us from harmful microorganisms, while the amount of bacteria on skin of a healthy person varies significantly from 115,000 to 32,000,000 per square centimeter. Banya sessions clean the body from old dry skin as well as the microorganisms it contains. If not removed, dry skin particles can block pores and oil gland vessels, which can hinder the process of detoxing. Hot air, steam and massage restore bactericidal qualities of skin that are often significantly weakened by overexposure to pollution, cold weather as well as insufficient activity of sex gland hormones.
Banya benefits to skin:
- Helps intensify the work of sweat and oil glands. In fact, it’s the secrets of these glands that support the so-called protective layer of skin that limits the proliferation of bacteria.
- Increase in peripheral blood circulation and temperature as well as perspiration and hydrating the outer layer of skin tissue helps improve the ability of the skin to absorb healing & rejuvenating body products used in spa treatments.
- Has an effect on the immune system, water-salt exchange, vitamin and tissue hormones, enzymes, which in a lot of ways is due to the contrasting temperature conditions.
- Intensified blood flow improves the processes of “skin respiration” or absorption of oxygen through skin. High skin temperature leads to a 2-3 times faster metabolism. Blood circulation also helps to dissolve infiltrates a lot faster.
- Positive effect on vegetative nervous system tonus, metabolism of skin sugar, fats, nitrogenous compounds, water-electrolyte exchange.
- Also has a distinctive cosmetic effect. For centuries skin was thought to reflect the overall health condition of a person. Banya has a beneficial effect on skin trophism, improves its functioning and the look of skin in general. Stimulation of oil and sweat glands facilitates regeneration of dry hair.
- Great practice for thermoregulation mechanisms; it improves body’s adaptivity to seasonal changes in weather, resistance to viral and bacterial infectious diseases etc.
- Also known to help people with allergies. By influencing metabolic processes, endo-crine and nervous systems, banya improves the overall functioning of human body, which manifests in physical well-being as well as a normalized appetite.
Skin, peripheral and central nervous systems are closely connected to each other: the stimulation of skin receptors has a profound effect on nervous system.
Benefits to nervous system:
- Increased blood flow in peripheral organs when in sauna reduces the amount of blood held in the brain, which leads to the therapeutically beneficial feeling of decreased nervous tension and deep emotional relaxation.
- Helps people to overcome worries and cope with neurotic symptoms.
- Promotes sense of emotional stability, which in its turn can lead to the decrease in headache episodes and a feeling of being more energetic and even euphoric for several days after a visit to banya.
The great therapeutic effect of banya is mostly due to the dramatic increase in blood flow that provides all of the body’s systems with essential nutrients. Many capillaries dilate to accept up to 700 times larger volumes of blood than they normally do. This is why banya may be thought of as a therapy for small blood vessels, which provides more blood to areas of a body with insufficient blood perfusion while simultaneously washing away the products of metabolism.
1/3 – 1/4 of an hour in Russian sauna increases the pulse to approximately 100-150 beats per minute. Skin becomes red due to the enrichment with blood that has a higher content of red blood cells and a relative content of hemoglobin.
The heart beats 2-3 times faster in a steam room, which helps to maintain a constant blood pressure. Its ejection volume increases in 1.5 − 1.7 times. Blood flow at skin surface increase to almost 50-70% (while the regular blood flow in these areas of the body is 5-10%). High temperature contrast leads to changes in blood pressure: a sauna’s heat lowers it, while cold plunge increases it. Still, these changes are not significant and can be compared to those that occur while jogging.
Overall, it has been proven that Russian banya procedures have a significantly beneficial effect on cardiovascular system, which is especially evident for first time visitors.
According to medical studies, sauna intensifies the production of noradrenaline, prolactin, and the growth hormone as well as cardioactive elements. These hormonal changes are similar to those observed in other situations of physiological stress. Banya procedures intensify the production of red and white blood cells, as well as oxygen saturation of tissues and protein construction.
The high temperature of banya stimulates receptors of upper airways. Water steam influences respiratory system and improves the exchange of alveolar air, improves functions of mucous membrane, increases oxygen consumption and CO2 emission as well as the lungs vital capacity (in certain cases by up to 20%).
Inhaled hot air intensifies perfusion reactions, which in its turn leads to heat transfer to the mucous membrane of respiratory tract. This is the source of therapeutic benefits of banya for the respiratory system.
Heat also relaxes muscles and ligaments that participate in the process of breathing, which helps to achieve both a deep and fast breathing rhythm.
Hot air helps to alleviate nasal swelling and other symptoms of respiratory diseases. Banya works great as a preventive measure for cold-related diseases.
Banya procedures intensify the protective potential of a body. Growth hormone production is increased to up to 163%, production cortisone – to 149%. Banya has an overall significant beneficial effect on musculoskeletal system due to the increase of blood circulation in all body tissues and subsequent oxygen enrichment.