Steam therapy has been proven to aid falling asleep and increase the length of REM cycles. Steam is often prescribed as a natural sleep aid by doctors looking to avoid giving their patients sleeping pills.
Over the centuries, steam therapy has been used to encourage relaxation and foster a sense of well being. Though feelings of serenity and peace are subjective-and therefore hard to measure in a clinical setting-it is well accepted throughout the disciplines that most individuals enjoying a steam bath for 10-15 minutes find themselves in a pleasant state of relaxation. With significant evidence linking stress and anxiety to hundreds of ailments and disorders, any method to reduce everyday stress should be welcomed with open arms. It is, perhaps, this anxiety-reducing effect of steam that is its greatest benefit.
A study published in the American Journal of Otolaryngology (1987 May-Jun;8(3):149-53.). Found that "Steam inhalation resulted in alleviation of cold symptoms and increased nasal patency in a significantly higher percentage of patients in the actively treated group than in the placebo-treated group." Other studies have shown mixed results or no results. However, anecdotally, steam therapy has been used to alleviate cold symptoms successfully for generations.
The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology(AAAAI) and the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology recommend "steamy showers" as a comfort measure for sufferers of sinusitis. Click here to view the entire document in PDF format.
Wasauna believes strongly in the health benefits of steam bathing. However, we believe there if insufficient evidence to support what many in the industry hail as the "detoxifying effects of steam." Vincent F. Cordaro, M.D., an FDA medical officer, sums it up best: "A person who retained wastes and toxins would be very ill and could die if not treated. The whole concept [of detoxification] is irrational and unscientific." Wasauna prides itself in facts and truthfulness; we will not tout an unproven health benefit. In the spirit of fairness, many alternative and complementary health groups believe strongly in the idea of detoxification and we encourage our customers to consider their arguments and form their own, educated opinions.