Saunas are filling up fast. And this is no longer a metropolitan-only phenomenon, as you can find sauna bath enthusiasts almost everywhere.
For instance, our own study shows that 65 percent of top gyms nationwide now have a sauna, thanks to the all-time high demand.
Now, one of the reasons why saunas have become the new synonym for wellness is the immense health benefits they offer. After all, from improved mood to better mental health to natural detoxification to stronger immunity, you name it, and saunas have it all.
However, the one question that I am frequently asked by sauna users is whether or not they can sauna for sinus infection remedy. In fact, I am sure you might well have had the same query, especially if you've dealt with a sinus infection.
A short answer to this is yes, you can use a sauna or steam room for sinus infection relief.
But it isn't that straightforward either. That's because the extent of sinus relief or cure will depend on the type of sauna and how bad your infection is, among others.
And that's exactly why I've discussed everything about saunas and sinus infections in this blog. So read on and find out if sauna bathing can actually help with permanent sinus relief.
Sauna for sinus infection: Does it really work?
Yes, it certainly does.
You see, when it comes to healing sinuses, there's a ton of online literature suggesting various natural remedies. And among these remedies, sauna bathing has got the top spot.
So it's commonplace for people to ask, 'Does sauna help with sinus infection recovery or not?'
Now, as we discussed earlier, a sauna can indeed help relieve a lot of sinus symptoms. So much so that you'll feel instantly relieved even after a regular 30-minute sauna session.
Not to mention, there's clear scientific evidence of people having experienced significant improvement in sinus infections after sauna bathing.
For instance, a PubMed study conducted on two groups of people found a major reduction in sinus symptoms after four weeks of intermittent sauna sessions.
Meaning if you're looking for a natural sinus therapy, you can definitely benefit from sauna bathing.
Note: A sauna is not an alternative sinus treatment
If you were wondering, 'Is sauna good for sinus infection relief,' I am sure you've got your answer. Nevertheless, it is essential you understand that a sauna is not a substitute for medical treatment for sinuses.
In fact, I always suggest sauna goers use their sessions only to complement their regular sinus treatment.
For instance, the CDC suggests various remedies for sinus relief, such as saline nasal spray or decongestant, warm compress, pain relievers, cough and cold medicines, etc. And I highly recommend you use these remedies as your main treatment, along with sauna sessions, after consulting with a doctor or medical practitioner.
How does a sauna for sinus infection work?
Now that you know about the efficacy of saunas for treating sinus symptoms, you might well be curious as to how does sauna help sinus infection recovery.
At its very basic, a sauna clears the congestion that is common for sinus infections. Also, it relieves the cold and flu-like conditions, thanks to the warm ambient air inside.
And it works on a simple principle wherein your airways open up after being exposed to the hot sauna air.
However, there are a lot of other factors, too, apart from the sauna air itself, that aid the overall sinus relief. For instance, your body's natural flight or fight response after being exposed to the sauna heat is an important determinant.
But before we see how the combination of high sauna heat and natural stress response enhances sinus recovery, it is essential to understand how exactly sinus affects you. So, let's have a look.
How does a sinus infection affect you?
As you might already be aware, sinuses are the air pockets behind our nasal cavities that help keep our lungs safe from unfriendly bacteria.
Now, if you've ever had a sinus infection, you'd have most likely suffered a stuffy nose, difficulty breathing, headaches, etc. And while these are the most common sinus symptoms, there can be even more serious problems like meningitis resulting from an infection.
So, what does a sinus infection do to cause these problems?
Well, at its very basic, an infection causes mucus to build up within the sinus. Also, it promotes the growth of harmful bacteria, which, in turn, causes inflammation and swelling.
And depending on the extent of symptoms, a sinus infection can last anywhere between two to eight weeks, stretching even up to twelve weeks.
In short, a sinus infection means weeks of discomfort, ailment, and miserable feeling.
Thankfully, a sauna does help with sinus infection recovery by accelerating your recovery and making you feel better.
How does sauna help with sinus infection?
For starters, the high heat conditions in a sauna raise your body's core temperature, triggering a natural stress response. And this is quite effective in eliminating sinusitis or sinus infection.
Wondering how exactly is sauna good for sinusitis elimination?
Here are four ways sauna bathing can help you get rid of sinusitis:
#1. Clears mucus build-up and decongests sinuses
Mucus build-up is the most common problem that results from a sinus infection. In fact, even if you have the most basic sinusitis symptoms, such as a partial nasal blockade, you're most likely to have a mucus build-up.
But as you sit in a sauna, your sinuses decongest naturally, and the mucus clears up.
Curious as to how this happens?
You see, as the warm sauna ambiance heats up your outer skin, your blood pressure rises, circulation improves, and the blood flows towards your skin. This is a part of the fight or flight response where your body tries to naturally cool itself.
And one of the clear benefits of improved circulation is the decongestion of sinuses and a natural cleansing of mucus, which enables better breathing.
#2. Eliminates harmful bacteria
A sinus infection promotes the growth of unfriendly bacteria. And this can be the breeding ground for multiple illnesses.
Moreover, the worsening of sinus symptoms is also directly associated with this bacterial growth.
Nevertheless, your body's core temperature rises as you sauna for sinus infection recovery, and this not only limits bacterial growth but also reduces it.
Well, an increased temperature kicks in your body's stress response and triggers natural immunity. Also called the heat shock proteins, this phenomenon kills all the harmful bacteria plus other microbial growth in the form of viruses, parasites, and fungi.
As a result, you can get rid of the worst of sinus symptoms rather quickly.
#3. Soothes your nervous system
Mental relaxation is one of the most sought-after benefits of a sauna. So much so that a majority of people I queried said they sauna to feel relaxed.
But what if I told you that relaxing in a sauna can also help with your sinus recovery?
Strange as it might sound, studies prove that a relaxed mind and body can help you with a speedy recovery. And the same concept applies to sauna and sinus infection recovery, where a relaxed nervous system promotes better and faster healing.
#4. Gets rid of toxins
According to a PubMed study on risk factors for chronic rhinosinusitis, environmental exposure is one of the reasons that causes an acute sinus to become chronic rhinosinusitis or CRS. Also, it is responsible for making the symptoms of CRS severe.
In simple words, exposure to toxins in the air can make the sinus symptoms worse.
Thankfully, frequent or even intermittent sauna bathing can help you here, thanks to the basic sauna benefit of detoxification by profuse sweating.
You might also want to read - The Benefits Of Sauna And Cold Plunge Therapy.
How should you use a sauna for sinus infection recovery?
Whether or not is a sauna good for sinus infection has a foregone conclusion. But have you ever wondered how you should be using a sauna for quick and maximum sinus recovery?
After all, the way you use a sauna has a clear impact on the benefits you get.
Here are some of my pro tips to make the most out of a sauna or steam room for sinus infection recovery:
#1. Limit your stay in the sauna
If you're a frequent sauna bather, a 30 to 40-minute sauna session would be a normal routine for you.
However, I suggest you limit your session duration to 15 minutes for sinus infection relief. And this is for a simple reason: You're already unwell, and you don't want to risk other health problems arising from exposure to high heat conditions.
For instance, a sinus infection may already have made you feel feverish, and added heat exposure can worsen this symptom.
A 15-minute sauna session ensures that you reap all the benefits of a sauna without the added risks.
#2. Go to the sauna before bed
Most people with a sinus infection complain of worsening symptoms during nighttime as they try to sleep. For instance, my own clients have recounted how a nasal blockage during the night woke them mid-sleep and forced them into mouth breathing.
You surely don't want to be in such a situation.
Now, as we discussed earlier, a sauna session decongests your sinuses and helps you breathe normally. So, by having a sauna session before bed, you can avoid the discomfort that a sinus infection causes while sleeping.
Also, there are a ton of different benefits of a sauna session before bedtime.
I've detailed these benefits in my blog - Sauna Before Bed: A Relaxing Way to Improve Your Sleep.
#3. Sauna at least thrice every week
When it comes to using a sauna for sinus infection recovery, daily sauna sessions work best.
But it might not be possible for you to sauna every day. And in that case, I suggest you have a sauna bath at least three days a week.
Also, you should continue this sauna session regimen for at least the next four weeks.
You see, while saunas are a helpful way to quicken your sinus recovery, regular sauna bathing is essential.
#4. Focus on complete relaxation
Keeping yourself calm and relaxed is important as it aids with faster recovery.
Maintaining calm at all times can be tough, especially with all the irritation caused by a sinus infection. But I suggest you do so, at least during the sauna session.
One good way to improve relaxation during a sauna bath is by taking long and slow breaths. Also, meditation goes a long way to relax you from the inside out as you sit in the sauna.
#5. Add essential oils
Aromatherapy using essential oils is a great way to enhance your sauna session. More so if you're sauna bathing for sinus relief.
By pouring just a few drops of essential oils on the sauna rocks, you can create a relaxing aroma within the sauna. And more importantly, the essential oil vapor can help clear sinus congestion.
Sauna for sinus infection recovery: Frequently asked questions
Is steam sauna good for sinus infection?
Yes, it is.
In fact, steam saunas can be the best way to treat your sinus infection, thanks to their high humidity and heat conditions. That's because moist heat helps open sinuses quickly by loosening the mucus build-up and releasing them through your nose.
As a result, you can breathe freely and comfortably just after one or two sauna sessions.
Is dry sauna good for sinus infection?
Although steam saunas are considered the best remedy for sinus infection recovery, dry saunas can also provide you immense relief from most of the symptoms.
An excellent way to use a dry sauna for sinus congestion and recovery is by combining it with halotherapy. And this involves using Himalayan salt in your dry sauna.
You see, from improved breathing to relief in asthmatic conditions to allergen removal, halotherapy using Himalayan salt has a lot of benefits. And when used with a dry sauna, this can offer quick sinus infection recovery, among others.
How do you stay safe in a sauna?
When sauna bathing for sinus infection, safety should be your top-most priority. That's because you don't want another problem while already dealing with health issues.
So, here are my tips for a safe sauna session:
As you can see, sauna bathing can aid your sinus infection recovery significantly. Not to mention, it can also provide instant relief from sinus symptoms like nasal blockage, headaches, etc., making you feel better.
But, like always, the key is to exercise caution and follow the sauna bathing best practices. For instance, you shouldn't overstay in the sauna or take a cold plunge right after the sauna.
Rest assured, with regular sauna bathing, your sinus recovery should become a matter of a few weeks, if not days.
Wondering how you can go sauna bathing right in your home?
You can get in touch with us!
At Steam and Sauna Experts, we're a seasoned sauna installation team with a decade plus experience under our belt. Also, our online storefront consists of the most extensive sauna inventory from industry leaders like Steamist and Amerec.
In short, we've got all your home sauna requirements covered.