Did you know that the Finnish sauna was invented to help cope with the severe Nordic weather conditions?
With an abundance of wood in the Scandinavia region, the Finns would build saunas to get warm, wash up and take care of their hygiene.
With time, those structures evolved into places for gatherings and socialising, and now are well known as an essential part of the Finns culture and tradition.
Finnish saunas are an ancient tradition that dates back thousands of years. Nowadays, they are used all over the world as a wellness tool for their health and cleansing benefits.
The Finnish sauna benefits
A Finnish sauna is characterised by high temperatures of 80º to 100º and relatively low humidity of 10% to 20%. There are alternate periods of increase in the humidity, due to the water being poured over the heated rocks of the stove.
The sauna session usually lasts from 5 to 20 minutes and can provide many benefits when regularly used. Researches have been showing that the dry heat of the sauna strengthens our cardiovascular, nervous and respiratory systems. It provides multiple benefits for body and mind:
- it causes our bodies to hyperventilate and get ready to fight infections;
- protects our immune cells by boosting their activity;
- accelerates the blood flow, improving circulation;
- increases sweat production, eliminating amounts of water containing toxins;
- enhances skin oxygenation;
- helps with muscle stretching;
- balances the sleep/wake cycle, improving sleep.
The sauna experience. Are you doing it right?
Now you know what the benefits of a Finnish sauna are. But do you know how to properly use it?
A few details can make a big difference in your sauna journey. Therefore, we have gathered here our top expert recommendations on “sauna etiquette” – the dos and don’ts, tips and mistakes to avoid in a Finnish sauna.
How to make the most of this pleasant wellness experience (and want to repeat it!):
What to wear (and not to wear) in the sauna
The answer is Peshtemal – a kind of towel made from natural breathable fabrics like cotton, linen or bamboo that are very soft, light and highly absorbent.
Used in Turkish baths for the same purpose, they are perfect to be used in warm facilities like the sauna.
Another great option is a Flax body wrap.
What you can – and should – wear is a hat. A tip already known by the Nordics, wearing a hat will protect your head from the heat. It lowers the overheating sensation, as the head is where you will perceive the heat increase the most.
Another advantage of wearing a hat is protecting the hair from the intense heat, making it soft.
Avoid wearing swimsuits. Do not wear a swimsuit to a sauna, especially after using a swimming pool. It is not ideal to be sweating in a garment containing chlorine.
Moreover, the high temperature and low humidity of the Finnish sauna can make the synthetic fabrics from the swimsuit release unhealthy substances and also make it scorched.
Most of all, you want to be relaxed in the sauna, not uncomfortable!
For the sauna owners: keep in mind that anything wet in the sauna can damage the wood and create stains. So, next time your guests come around, give them a flax wrap or a simple cotton towel.
What to do before entering the sauna
When you’re getting ready to enter the sauna, there are a few things you can do improve the conditions for your cleanse:
- Remove all your necklaces, rings, bracelets, glasses and any other sort of adornment. They can overheat and cause an unpleasant irritation on your skin;
- Wash your face and entire body with warm water and some neutral soap. That will help your skin pores open to release impurities and draining toxins during the sauna session;
- Leave your slippers outside. You must not enter a sauna with your slippers, and remember to bring a towel to place on the bench so you can sit down or lie on it. Keeping your skin from touching the sauna wood is more hygienic and helps maintain the wood durability.
What to do after the sauna
Once your Finnish sauna session is done, you can immediately have a cold shower to remove all the sweat. If there is a cold reaction available in the spa, even better.
As the body temperature starts to rise back to the 37ºC, you are ready to go relax.
Then, take the relaxation time to rehydrate. Reintegrate liquids by drinking water, lemonade, tea and eating fresh fruit and vegetables. Relax and soak up the pleasant sensations!
Now you know how to enjoy a traditional Finnish sauna experience at its best!
Starpool has over 40 years of experience in creating bespoke solutions that provide a healthy living.
We have a wide range of saunas, including bespoke Finnish saunas, that can be tailored to your space and requirements, private or commercial.
Discover Starpool’s saunas and how we can help you create your Finnish sauna!
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