It is the norm for some to wind up the week with a visit to the health club. However, it is not always for a dip in the cool waters or for a game of squash. It is to burn the steam off after a long week as well as prepare themselves for the one that lies ahead in a steam bath.
However, with a partial lockdown in force, there is no telling when these trips will be possible again. But rather than reminisce about what was, why not create a steam bath in the comfort of your home?
Benjamin Talemwa, a plumber, shares how this can be possible. “It takes some little preparation and will offer you privacy and comfort,” he starts off.
Talemwa says the best place to work with is the bathroom as it has all that is needed to make a steam bath. “There is water and we also believe that there is a water heater connected to your bathroom.”
Using a thick cotton cloth you do not use any more, cover the window, if any. This cloth must be big enough to comfortably fill every inch of the window while also taking in the window frame. “That ensures that the bathroom becomes airtight. Otherwise, if there is air going in and out, steam will easily escape which will compromise the steam bath,” Talemwa says.
Get another thick cloth to cover the space between the door and the door frame. “Line the cloth along the space from top to bottom as well as at the top and close the door. The same applies for the space between the door and the floor.” He adds that rather than tucking in the cloth, closing it between the space is better as some spaces are too small to tuck a cloth in.
Take a warm shower. “Apart from cleaning up the body, the bath prepares it for the change in temperature that comes with the steam bath,” Maureen Kyomuhendo of Positive Emotions Spa, shares.
For an even more enjoyable experience, make sure you have some scented candles in the bathroom. “These will create a serene ambience as you have your steam bath,” Talemwa shares.
Turn on the sink with the faucet giving you only hot water.
Turn on the shower as well for more hot water. “However, aim the head down so that as it hits the floor, more steam is built. But ensure that it is also facing inwards to avoid getting scalded,” he advises.
With these two sources of hot water, you can be certain that in no time, you will have lots of steam in the bathroom. “When you feel that you have enough steam, turn off the sink and shower, otherwise, too much steam will be harmful,” Talemwa cautions.
For even more serenity, dim the bathroom lights, if possible. Or just do away with them as you will be getting enough light from the candles.
With yet another thick cotton cloth for comfort, sit on your bathroom floor. “Steaming for 8-10 minutes is great. “After this, get out and rest. You can always go back as many times as you wish depending on your ability to withstand the steam,” Kyomuhendo advises.
At this time, the steam must have totally filled your bathroom. “In case you feel faint owing to the heat, get a towel and run cold water on it. Then put it on your forehead or back to cool off,” she adds.
Kyomuhendo advises people to take a cold bath after the steam bath. “When you get into steam bath, your pores open up. Therefore, it is advisable that you take a cold bath to close them up. This actually works like toning which gives the skin a glow,” she shares.
In case you do not have a water heater, Jeff Obonyo, a plumber, says you can still enjoy your steam bath. “Boil 20 litres of water and then from a height of 1-1.5 m, start pouring the hot water from one container to another so that you build the steam. “I suggest small measures to prevent you from getting exhausted. However, if you can pour that much water in one go, so much the better as you build the steam faster,” he shares. Nonetheless, the size of the bathroom determines the amount of water you need. “The bigger the bathroom, the more water you will need,” That said, have all air inlets sealed.
People who should not go for steam baths
Not everyone is meant to have a steam bath. Kyomuhendo shares about the exclusions:
Children below 18: These ought not to go but in case a child desires to, adult supervision is a must. More to that, they cannot be there for more than two minutes.
Pregnant mothers: With the body changing in many ways, it will be risky for these women to go into this hot temperature.
People with diabetes: People with diabetes are not always in a danger zone, it will be advisable to check with your doctor to ensure that it is safe for you to have a steam bath.
High blood pressure: It is important to ensure that your blood pressure is stable before going for a steam bath.