Steam vs. Sauna:
This comparison comes up often while discussing options with my clients and I always say the best scenario is to have both if possible. The two rooms are very different and they both provide different health benefits. I would say one of the main benefits of a steam room is that it provides respiratory therapy. Studies done by PubMed Central have shown that kids with respiratory infections recovered more quickly after steam therapy than those who did not use steam therapy. The warm and humid environment aids in warming the mucous membrane, thus breaking up congestion in the sinuses and lungs. Steam rooms also offer other health benefits such as improved circulation, lowering blood pressure, reducing stress, promoting skin health, prompt workout recovery, loosening joints and boosting the immune system. Sauna rooms on the other hand, do not offer the same type of respiratory therapy as steam rooms, but they do help relax and loosen stiff muscles, improve circulation, reduce stress, promote skin health and boost the immune system.
Why do I say you should have both?
Putting the numerous health benefits aside, steam and sauna rooms will provide very different feelings and experiences. Steam rooms will make you feel like you are in a stress melting cloud of a very humid ambiance, allowing you to put your whole day into perspective and giving you a clear mind for new great ideas. Saunas, along with the aromatic cedar, will make you feel like you are somewhere deep in the forest, while you see all the toxins leaving your body. The humidity will not condense body sweat and the dry heat will soothe achy muscles and joints. The next best thing is to have at least one! Either way it will make your life better :)