Daily Express Article February 12th 2001.

Question: Why is it deemed healthy to have a steam bath or sauna after a swim? What are the benefits of this routine?

Answer: Further to the reply of February 5, this routine originated in Finland more than 2,000 years ago. The Finns discovered the healing power of immersion in opposite extremes of water temperature almost by accident. Geography and Geology played a vital role in this: Finland is a land of freezing rivers and hot springs, often existing side by side.

Modern research bears out the notion that sudden, extreme changes in water temperature have a restorative, purgative effect on the mind and body. The process appears to be two-fold. First the exercise of swimming engages the vital organs, thus stimulating the detoxification process. this, in turn is advanced by an acceleration of blood circulation.

The second stage of the sauna or steam bath enables a relaxed body and mind to complete the "detox" process most effectively. Skin pores open, discharging microscopic bodily waste materials and the entire nervous system benefits from a general toning effect. Add the generally relaxing mental effects associated with both types of bathing and the result seems to be a habit which modern society may not have invented, but which has certainly wasted no time in taking to new levels of accessibilty and availabilty.
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