There are many ways to support your health, especially during the cold seasons and disease periods. Sadly, only a handful of them can be shared with friends in a relaxing, casual way. One of the more interesting options is a Russian bathhouse, or a banya. It is a place that supports both physical and mental well-being of visitors. Russian people have used it since ancient times.
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It is no secret that there are many benefits of the banya for the body. In fact, this Russian Spa Sauna complex is able to treat our whole body, strengthening our overall health.
One of the main experiences of the Russian banya is sweating. It helps open skin’s pores and releases excessive water, salt and harmful substances in the process. Sweating also normalizes the functioning of sweat glands, which, in turn, keeps our skin smoother. The skin detoxifies itself naturally and removes all toxins that prevent it from renewing dead cells. It also hydrates significantly, which helps in receiving a positive effect from the follow-up spa treatments. A banya session followed by a cool shower or a plunge into a pool cleans skin more efficiently than regular shower or bath. Sweating plays a significant role during weight loss as well, removing excessive water from body fat deposits.
Another important aspect of visiting a banya is inhaling steam. It frees our sinuses, making breathing easier. Water steam enhances lungs vital capacity, which is important especially for people with active lifestyles or athletes. Also, Russian banya helps in developing deeper, smoother breathing rhythm. The lung mucus, dust and microorganisms inside are cleansed, which prevents various cold-related diseases from developing.
Banya visits positively affect the overall psychological state of people. The heat increases peripheral blood flow. The lowered blood amount in the brain causes the soothing feeling of an emotional relaxation. This, in turn, helps to cope with excessive stress, neurosis and eases the aftermath of a mental disturbance. A feeling of rejuvenation can relieve headaches and lift one’s spirits. Relaxation also helps enhance the quality of sleep. Heat and steam help loosen up the muscles, helping falling asleep faster.
Our cardiovascular system is greatly affected by the banya’s therapeutic effect. The blood flow intensifies and necessary nutrients are distributed to our body. Our capillary grid is affected significantly since capillaries dilate and accept up to several hundred times more blood than normal. This helps remove all metabolism products and provide necessary nutrients for our remote parts of the body. Also, our heart rate intensifies while we remain within the steam room. It provides stable blood pressure that greatly affects blood flow in the skin. A possible contrast of high and low temperatures imitates the changes of pressure similar to the ones experienced during physical exercises.
Regular banya visits also aid in easing up tense muscles and recovering sore limbs. Steam and high temperature diffuse pain and remove the stiffness, making muscles more flexible, strengthening joints and ligaments. Athletes use cold and hot baths during their recovery after injuries of intensive periods of physical activities, for instance, preparing for a performance or a fight.
Banya also gives an opportunity to enhance one’s immune system by applying various oils and herbs. Citrus fruit, oak leaves and coniferous are only a handful of options to choose from. It is important to point out that there is no clear medical evidence of banya’s positive impact on our immune system in some cases, for instance, if we talk about sweating. Despite that, other activities, for example, hardening, are known to have a good influence on it. However, it is important to approach this process with moderation. A temperature of cool water used for hardening should be carefully chosen in order not to freeze a person.
Bath Broom Benefits
A bath broom (venik) is an essential item of any Russian banya. This item enhances many benefits and adds up its own to them. A bath broom is traditionally made of birch, oak, linden, rowan or fir branches. Its leaves release its own oils in the air, strengthening the positive effect on our respiratory system due to the phytoncides in them.
A bath broom is used as a tool to massage a person’s back. A slight whipping intensifies overall bloodflow and sweating, further helping in removing all toxins and wastes from the cells. It is important to point out that every bath broom has its own different effect based on a plant used.
The most widespread type is the one made of a birch. This tree carries a significant role in Russian culture. It is mentioned in set expressions and poetry. A massage with a birch bath broom positively affects the skin, removing the rash and abscesses. Its oils are useful for people who give up smoking or suffer from respiratory diseases.
The second most popular bath broom type is the one made of oak. The tanning substances of this broom will cleanse the skin, make it softer and smoother. Oak bath brooms are sturdy and can be used multiple times. The oils and tannins also lower blood pressure and help in treating eczema.
A linden oak is the most suitable option during cold-related diseases season. It is not as widespread as the two aforementioned types since linden is a rare tree. Its oils have medical properties when it comes to treating various lung diseases.
Other Benefits of the Russian Banya
Though the direct health benefits of a banya are evident, there are other aspects that make an indirect impact on our overall condition.
For example, banya visits can be used as a means to receive a massage. It doesn’t necessarily involve the use of bath brooms, though they strengthen the effect. A massage in banya is another component in enhancing the respiratory system immunity and protecting oneself from cold-related diseases. Essential oils are also popular, though they should be mixed with an olive or almond oil in order to protect the skin from allergy or burns.
Modern Russian banyas are also a way to socialize with your peers, friends or family members. The facilities include steam saunas, stone rooms, plunge pools with cool waters, recovery areas, where traditional food and drinks are served. The overall atmosphere helps escape mental disturbance.
While remembering numerous health advantages provided by the Russian banya, it is important to remember that everything is useful in moderation. As any other means that affects our health, it should be used rationally.