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Sweat therapy is the combination of group counseling/psychotherapy with group sweating. Group sweating is social interaction while experiencing psychophysiological responses to heat exposure. Group sweating has strong cultural validity as it has existed throughout the world for thousands of years to promote well-being. Examples include the Finnish Sauna, the Russian Banya (sauna), the American Indian Sweat lodge Ceremony, the Islamic Hammam, the Japanese Mushi-Buro or Sentō, and the African Sifutu. [1]

Group sweating has been used for various physical and mental purposes for thousands of years.[2][3] It has been asserted that the potential health benefits of regular participation in Native American sweat lodges are numerous, but that there is a scarcity of research about the practice.[3] One study involving 24 college students reported that "sweat therapy participants reported more therapeutic factors having an impact on their group counseling experience, rated sessions as more beneficial, and interacted with stronger group cohesion than non-sweat therapy participants." [4]

See alsoEdit


  1. PsychSymposium
  2. "Calculating the Cultural Validity of Group Sweating." Retrieved June 10, 2006.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Berger LR, Rounds JE. "Sweat Lodges: A medical view." The IHS Primary Care Provider. Volume 23, Number 6, June 1998, pp. 69-75.
  4. Colmant S, Eason, E, Winterowd C, Jacobs Sue, Cashel Chris. "Investigating the Effects of Sweat Therapy on Group Dynamics and Affect." Journal for Specialists in Group Work, Volume 30, Number 4, December 2005, pp. 329-341(13).
  • Colmant, S. A. (2006). The effects of sweat therapy on group therapeutic factors and feeling states. Dissertation Abstracts International Section A: Humanities and Social Sciences.
  • Smith, D. P. (2005). The Sweat Lodge as Psychotherapy: Congruence Between Traditional and Modern Healing. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications Ltd.

External linksEdit

See alsoEdit

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