How the sauna can relieve tension

How the heat of the sauna can relieve tension, which factors play a role in this process and which relaxation techniques can additionally be used to achieve optimal results will be examined in more detail in this article.
The beneficial effect of sauna sessions
© stocking/

The beneficial effects of sauna sessions

Sauna sessions have a long tradition and are common in different cultures all over the world. The relaxing effect of sauna sessions is universally known and appreciated by many people. Saunas can not only relieve tension, but also relieve pain, strengthen the immune system, improve blood circulation and cleanse the skin.

However, sauna visits are not suitable for everyone, especially for people with certain health problems such as cardiovascular disease or low blood pressure. It is therefore advisable to consult a doctor before visiting the sauna.

The positive effects of heat and warmth

The heat and warmth of a sauna are the main factors that contribute to the relaxation of tension. The high temperature in the sauna (usually between 80 and 100 degrees Celsius) stimulates blood circulation and relaxes the muscles. A 2016 study shows that regular sauna sessions can lead to a significant reduction in muscle tension (1).

The principle of interaction: hot and cold

Another important aspect of relaxation in the sauna is the interplay between “hot and cold”. The sauna session is usually followed by a cooling phase, which constricts the blood vessels again and stabilizes the circulation. This interplay improves blood circulation and can thus relieve tension (2).

The right technique and duration for optimal relaxation

To achieve the best possible relaxation, it is advisable to follow some basic rules. Here are some tips that can help you effectively relieve tension:

  • The right sauna duration: the optimal duration of a sauna session is 8 to 15 minutes. Longer stays can lead to circulatory problems and are therefore not recommended. The number of sauna sessions per visit should also be limited to two to three, as more sessions may not provide additional relaxation and may even be counterproductive (3).
  • Choosing the right type of sauna: There are different types of saunas, such as the Finnish sauna, the bio-sauna or the steam bath. Each type of sauna has its own benefits and can relieve different tensions. To find out which type of sauna is best for you, try different saunas and pay attention to your own needs.

Additional relaxation techniques for optimal results

In addition to the sauna session itself, you can also use additional relaxation techniques to release tension more effectively:

  • Aromatherapy: Many saunas use essential oils, which can provide additional relaxation. Scents such as eucalyptus, lavender, or peppermint can enhance the effects of sauna use and further relieve tension (4).
  • Massage: A massage after a sauna session can relieve tension even more effectively. The combination of heat and targeted massage techniques can loosen tense muscles and deepen relaxation (5).
  • Relaxation exercises: Relaxation exercises, such as yoga, progressive muscle relaxation or meditation, can also help to further relieve tension and enhance the relaxation effect after a sauna session.


Sauna sessions can be effective in relieving tension. With the right technique, duration, and combination with other relaxation techniques, you can realize the full potential of the sauna and effectively combat your tensions.



¹: Laukkanen, T., Khan, H., Zaccardi, F., & Laukkanen, J. A. (2016). Association between sauna bathing and fatal cardiovascular and all-cause mortality events. JAMA internal medicine, 176(4), 548-550.

²: Hannuksela, M. L., & Ellahham, S. (2001). Benefits and risks of sauna bathing. The American journal of medicine, 110(2), 118-126.

³: Kauppinen, K. (1997). Sauna, shower, and ice water immersion. Physiological responses to brief exposures to heat, cool, and cold. Part III: Body temperatures. Arctic medical research, 56(3), 131-139.

⁴: Göbel, H., Schmidt, G., & Soyka, D. (1994). Effect of peppermint and eucalyptus oil preparations on neurophysiological and experimental algesimetry in healthy volunteers. Journal of headache and pain, 15(1), 1-4.

⁵: Moyer, C. A., Rounds, J., & Hannum, J. W. (2004). A meta-analysis of massage therapy research. Psychological Bulletin, 130(1), 3-18.

Did you like the article? We would be delighted if you shared it and helped us to make our sauna magazine accessible to a wider audience, to inspire even more people with the beneficial properties of the sauna.