BY JESSICA COLLINS FOR HEAT HEALER
Historically many cultures have made use of heat therapy - and sauna - to relieve stress, promote creative thought and attain spiritual enlightenment (think traditional Finnish saunas and sweat lodges).
There is much talk about creativity requiring a connection between mind and body, or becoming an ‘open vessel for creative flow’ - but how exactly do we make this connection, or open the vessel?!
Today science tells us that many of the brain-boosting benefits of sauna come from its effect on our autonomic nervous system, including the release of dopamine, serotonin and the suppression of the stress hormone, cortisol.
According to researchers, this lines up with the perfect brain chemistry to enable creative work - that is, high serotonin and dopamine, low cortisol. This combination is experienced as a sense of calm, whilst also feeling energized and focused.
When we combine an ideal inner environment with other tried and tested methods to foster creativity (Daydreaming! Journaling! Observing the world around us!) then we greatly increase our chances of experiencing that flash of creative insight, the solution to a pesky problem, or a new awareness of a profound connection between two things that wasn’t previously understood. Boom!
With this in mind, here are our tips for using sauna to help get those creative juices flowing: