Spending time in a steam bath has been touted to provide a range of health benefits, from healthier skin and increased metabolism to stress and pain relief. If you’re going steam bathing for the first time or thinking of setting up a private steam room at home, it’s important to know the proper way of doing the activity so you can reap its full benefits.

Preparations

Because steam bathing will open your pores and cause you to sweat a lot, you need to make sure that you’re sufficiently hydrated before entering the steam bath. If necessary, take a water bottle with you in case you feel thirsty inside the steam room.

The warm, moist heat will also increase your circulation and improve blood flow. However, if you’ve only had a meal, increased circulation can affect your digestion and cause cramping. To avoid discomfort, it’s best to wait at least an hour or two until you’ve properly digested your food.

Finally, take a quick shower to get rid of any dirt, grime, or lotion on your skin. Doing so will help improve perspiration for more efficient detoxification.

During Steam Bath

Steam bathing should be a relaxing experience, so take a seat, close your eyes, and breathe deeply to get the most out of the session. Limit your time to about 5 to 20 minutes. If you start feeling uncomfortable, step out for a while to cool down or just end the session. Steam bathing may need some getting used to, but if you do it regularly enough, you may be able to stay longer up to 20 minutes.

Recovery

After the steam, be sure to rest and take a cool shower to bring your body temperature back to normal levels. Showering also helps close the pores of your skin. Don’t forget to drink lots of water to replace the moisture you lost during the steam bath. Getting out of the steam may also cause your skin to feel dry. If this happens, just apply some moisturizer to rehydrate your skin.