These days most of us are looking for ways to do more with less – less time, less money and less space. Technology can often be a big help here. Over recent years, we’ve seen many common items get both smaller and smarter as well as more efficient, all of which can make our lives a whole lot easier.
At the same time, there has also been a substantial movement towards a much simpler way of living with an emphasis on harnessing the power of nature whenever possible, rather than going straight to technology for answers. This is particularly true in the world of health where people are increasingly looking for natural ways to take care of their physical and mental health, saving prescription medication and new medical technology for when they are really necessary. Steam showers are perfectly in line with all of these movements, hence their growing popularity.
Steam showers – doing more with less
Time may be the most precious commodity we have, but nowadays space can’t be too far behind. Baths are probably the most space-hogging items in our homes. The reason for this isn’t the fact that they are long and low. That’s true of a lot of furniture such as sideboards and console tables. The reason is that it’s effectively impossible to have any meaningful storage in the vertical space on the wall beside a bath, partly because it would be hard to access, but mostly because it would be unsafe. Anything which extended into the area above the bath could potentially be knocked by the bather, and if it knocked them unconscious, even for a few minutes, they could drown. That basically rules out all but the narrowest of wall shelves and towel rails along with decorative items such as artwork. Of course, anything placed in the near vicinity of a bath has to be waterproof enough to withstand regular splashing.
It’s little wonder then that baths are being pushed out by showers in all but the largest of bathrooms. The good news is that showers no longer have to be the poor relations of baths when it comes to personal care.
Steam shower cabins – bringing showering into the 21st century
If your image of a shower is something requiring a whole lot of effort to install in return for an indifferent experience when you actually use it, then you need to think again. Steam shower cabins are fully self-contained, so you can save yourself the hassle and expense of installing tiles in the first place, let alone cleaning and maintaining them.
So much for the outside of a shower cabin, but as we all know, it’s what’s inside that really counts. Inside a steam shower, you’ll usually find not one but two shower heads. The auxiliary shower head will be what you’d usually expect from a standard shower. It’s intended for spraying away the foam from shower products, but it’s actually a handy all-around cleaner, especially in homes where there is no space for a proper laundry sink. It’s a great way to deal with muddy boots and paws and can also be used for those times when you’re running really late and just want to get moving as quickly as possible or for showering children who still need adult help.
The main shower has a monsoon head which basically gives a similar feeling to taking a bath but standing up (or you could sit down on a shower stool). Steam showers also come with massage jets to ease away physical pain and mental stress.
Then, of course, there is the steam, which is often partnered with an aromatherapy module, although even when it isn’t, you can add your choice of aromatherapy products.
Basically, steam shower cabins give you at least as much luxury as soaking in a bath, but they are a much more efficient use of space (and water). Switching out a bath for a steam shower can open up all kinds of new options for your bathroom and help to make a crowded, functional space feel more like a personal spa.
They are also safer for people with limited mobility, including older people, pregnant women and people dealing with an injury. Babies and very young children can still be bathed in tubs in the shower tray (the growing popularity of showers is demonstrating that this is actually quite straightforward) and older children can play with toys in the shower just like they would in a bath. Adults don’t have to get wet supervising them, just take the auxiliary showerhead out of its bracket and point the water at your child while you stay dry.
The benefits of steam
Steam has long been recognized as beneficial to health and wellness. In fact, in many countries, regular steam treatments are considered a vital part of personal care. For example, in northern Europe, visits to saunas are an integral part of daily life and have been for hundreds of years. There are many reasons for this.
Teenagers, in particular, will love steam showers as they are hugely beneficial for the skin. Even most adults will, literally, see a difference once they step out of the steam shower cabin for the first time, (unless you’re exceptionally diligent about your skincare regime and maybe even then).
Care of the respiratory system
If you have someone in your household with a respiratory condition such as asthma, then a steam shower could be a great investment. Even if you don’t, they can still help people with healthy lungs. The reason for this is that steam literally cleans the inside of the body as well as the outside. Its molecules are small enough to get right into the tiniest crevices in the lungs and get all the pollution out. If you think you don’t have any pollution in your lungs, you may get quite a surprise when you take your first steam shower. It’s quite likely that you’ll find yourself wanting to cough, which is your body’s way of ridding itself of the pollutants which have been picked up by the steam molecules. You may then feel the dirt on your tongue and have an urge to rinse your mouth or just spit. Depending on where you live, you may even see the dirt you bring up. This may not look pleasant, but this is definitely a case of “better out than in.” Steam showers are also a great treatment for bunged-up noses in winter. You may already be familiar with the age-old treatment of covering your head with a towel and holding it over a basin of hot water. Steam showers are a much more effective (and comfortable) way of inhaling steam to clear the mucus.
Steam itself has a very positive benefit on our mental health, even if it is an indirect one. Basically, steam is hugely beneficial to our physical wellbeing; we’ve only started to touch on what it can do. As our bodies start to feel better and to function better (for example, steam boosts the immune system and also helps to remove toxins from the body), so our minds start to feel better. This is particularly true for anyone suffering from physical pain, for which steam is often a very effective treatment.
What’s more, there are steam shower cabins with extra functionality to make them even more relaxing places to be. For example, most steam shower cabins will have at least a radio, and some will have Bluetooth connectivity so you can stream music from your own device. Many have chromotherapy (colored) lighting, which can be used to influence your mood. Last, but by no means least, there is often an inbuilt aromatherapy module to fragrance your steam with aromatherapy products and even if there isn’t you can use essential oils in other ways.