4 Reasons Why Your Next Massage Needs to Begin or End With a Sauna

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When it comes to relaxing spa treatments, massage often comes out on top as the gold standard. But have you ever considered pairing a relaxing massage with a pore-cleansing sauna? Here at V Hotel Spa, we think a sauna is an excellent way to kick or cap off your massage session. But before we break down the benefits of a pre- or post-massage sauna, let’s get to know the facts and ask, ‘are saunas good for you?’.

Are Saunas Good for You?

Saunas bring about a host of benefits for the body and mind. However, like many body treatments, they can carry risks. The largest concern regarding saunas is dehydration—and this is a natural concern, considering the nature of the beast. That said, sauna recipients can manage this concern by hydrating before and after their treatment, and not outstaying the recommended duration. How long should you stay in a sauna? Beginners should not exceed 15 minutes, while more seasoned sauna-ers can stay for 30 minutes max.

If you have a condition incompatible with this spa treatment, you may prefer to avoid saunas altogether—or at least receive clearance from your doctor before stepping into that hot room. Here are a list of conditions that may not mix well with a sauna:

  • Asthma or respiratory conditions
  • Heart disease
  • Epilepsy
  • Pregnancy
  • Remarkably high or low blood pressure
  • Alcoholic influence
  • Intake of stimulants, tranquilisers or mind-altering drugs.

Now we’ve got the disclaimers out of the way, let’s get into the good stuff. Here are our four reasons why your next massage needs to begin or end with a sauna.

1. Saunas Keep the Relaxing Vibes Rolling

Perhaps the top benefit of saunas is how relaxed they make you feel. But what is it about sitting in a 50- to 90-degree room that gets us so at ease? As your heart rate elevates and your blood vessels dilate in response to the heat, the sympathetic nervous system kicks in to keep a balanced body temperature. This means that your cortisol levels will drop and your serotonin levels will rise.

We all know how relaxing a good massage can be. A good sauna before or afterward can be great for either preparing your body for deeper relaxation or continuing to ride those chill vibes before finally re-entering reality.

2. Saunas Detox & Prepare Muscles for Deeper Work

Arriving at this point prompts us to address the following question: is it better to sauna before or after a massage? There’s no right or wrong answer here, but the recommendation is often to sauna before mounting the massage table. As discussed, a sauna’s heat will speed your heartbeat, and a natural consequence of this is improved blood circulation, which also relaxes the muscles. After a heated muscle-relaxing quarter of an hour, your muscles will be more malleable and susceptible to stretching. They will become putty in the masseuse’s hands and more open to deeper massage work and tension relief.

As discussed, a sauna post-massage can also help to maintain that relaxing feeling you’ve just experienced. You could think of it as the savasana to follow all that muscle work. As well as a mindful moment, you could also think of your post-massage sauna as a final opportunity to flush any toxins from your system.

3. Saunas Cleanse the Skin

Is a sauna good for your skin? The answer is yes! When you sweat, you rinse bacteria from the sweat ducts and epidermal layer, expelling the seeds of pimples and acne, and encouraging new skin cells to replace the old. Sweating also stimulates your facial sebaceous glands, which can relieve dry skin and promote a more moist complexion. Overall, cleansing your pores keeps skin in peak working condition, improves capillary permeability and has the aesthetic advantage of softening your skin all-round. If you’re already booked for a couple massage or a solo massage to iron out the muscles, why wouldn’t you take 15 to treat your skin to a similar transformation?

4. Saunas Aid Muscular Recovery

By this stage, you’re likely seeing the connection between heat and healing. Ergo, when you enter a 50- to 90-degree room, the temperature triggers the release of pain-minimising endorphins, and activates blood circulation and blood vessel dilation. The latter two actions speed up the body’s natural healing process, which can be excellent for post-exercise recovery. Furthermore, because heat loosens the muscles, a sauna can ease muscular tension and release lactic acid, amid other nasty toxins.

Word of mouth suggests that saunas can also help beyond exercise recovery by easing joint pain, body aches and even—as a natural consequence of muscle relaxation—tension headaches. So, if you’re receiving a remedial massage, which specifically addresses physical pain, you may just find that a sauna is the perfect way to enhance the experience.

What to Wear in a Sauna

At this stage, you’re likely sold on saunas and champing at the bit to try the best spa treatments Melbourne has to offer. However, before you head on over to your favourite day spa, let’s briefly cover what should briefly cover you in a sauna. As a general rule of thumb, you should always bring bathers, but in some cases it’s okay to wear a towel or nothing at all. If you’re feeling more inclined towards either of the latter two options, you should check with the establishment before you rock up with no backup to your birthday suit.

Turn Up the Heat at V Hotel Spa

Ready to ramp up the relaxation? Rated as the #1 day spa on Tripadvisor, V Hotel Spa is home to the best sauna Melbourne has to offer. Come on down, bring your bathers, and put up your feet as we turn up the heat and you melt into a more mellow way of being. Or, if you’re not feeling a sauna, you can always take advantage of any of our other spa packages or treatments, such as our couple massage. Book your appointment with V Hotel Spa to start claiming your long-overdue ‘me’ time. We can’t wait to help you sweat out the old skin cells and arise again anew.

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