Wellness lexicon


Finnish sauna - a classic high temperature sauna

In East Asia, sweat baths already existed during the Stone Age, in which heated air was generated through a hot stone. The stone sweat bath found its way through Anatolia to Scandinavia and the area around the Mediterranean. Over time the long-established form of the sweat bath changed. For example, the traditional Scandinavian sauna, the Turkish hammam and Russian banja developed.

The term sauna originates from Finnish, meaning room made of wood. This is mainly because saunas are often found in log cabins in Finland. The Finnish sauna is a traditional part of Finnish culture and they are frequently found in private households.

The temperature in a Finnish sauna is between 80 and 90 degrees Celsius and has a fairly low humidity range of between 10 – 30%. Before entering the sauna, it is important to wash and thoroughly dry the body.  This is because any moisture on the skin can affect sweating during the sauna. A sauna session normally lasts between eight and a maximum of fifteen minutes. However, the time spent in the sauna will depend on the wellbeing of the individual. Pouring water over the stones will quickly increase the temperature. The water can also be enriched with different aromas. After the first sauna session, it is advisable to go out in the fresh air to increase the oxygen supply and to cool the skin and airway down. A cold shower is then taken, directing the water from the feet towards the heart. There is also an option of plunging into a cold diving basin. After cooling down, a period of rest follows, which should last at least as long as the sauna session. Normally two or three sauna sessions are done. The body loses a lot of fluid through sweating and it is important to drink a lot of mineral rich drinks.

A sauna stimulates the metabolism, strengthens the immune system and relaxes muscles.

Saunas should be avoided when suffering from infections, varicose veins or cardiovascular problems.


Related topics: The Russian banja sauna , Hamam , Steam bath – aromatherapy steam bath , Infrared sauna , Bio sauna , Rasul Bath
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