Wellness dictionary

Little ABC for your spa-break questions ...

In their treatment discriptions, wellness hotels often use technical terms, which are hard to understand for potential guests. We have therefore collected and defined the most relevant terms in our small wellness ABC. A tip: Our wellness dictionary also supports word requests. You don't need to know the exact wording.

Steam bath – aromatherapy steam bath

What is a steam bath?

A steam bath is part of the standard equipment in most saunas and thermal baths today. There are various forms of steam baths, but they all have one thing in common: The temperature is between 40 and 50 degrees Celsius and the air humidity is almost one hundred percent. Due to the moderate temperatures compared to the classic sauna, even people with circulation problems can visit a steam bath. Excavations have shown that the Romans already appreciated the relaxing and regenerative power of steam baths (caldarium).

Nowadays, a steam bath is a standard facility in most saunas and thermal spring baths and come in various forms. However, what they all have in common is that the temperature is between 40 and 50 degrees Celsius and the humidity is around 100 per cent. This is why a steam bath is more suitable for people with circulation problems than a classic sauna.

How long should one stay in a steam bath?

However, it is not recommended to stay in a steam bath longer than fifteen minutes. This is followed by a relaxation time of thirty minutes. If herbal additives or essential oils are added to the steam bath, it can have a soothing and relaxing effect for those suffering from respiratory problems.

Effect of the steam bath

If herbal additives or essential oils are added to the steam bath, a steam bath can have a soothing effect on respiratory diseases or contribute to relaxation, depending on the additive. In addition, muscle tensions are released.  The immune system is also strengthened by the gentle stimulation of the metabolism and thus, colds and infections are prevented.

Caldarium, the Roman steam bath

The most widespread form of steam bath is the Roman steam bath, the so-called caldarium. This is a special form of sauna with a room temperature between forty-five and fifty degrees Celsius. The heat inside the ceramic-tiled steam and inhalation room is radiated from the ceilings, benches and walls. In most cases, the room air is enriched with essential oils or herbal essences.

Hamam, the Turkish steam bath

Another widespread form of steam bath is the hamam or Turkish steam bath. Traditionally, a hamam takes place in three rooms with different temperatures. After undressing in the changing room, a shower is taken before entering the steam bath. Here the visitor is made to sweat on a heated marble stone at forty to fifty degrees Celsius. This opens the pores of the skin and relaxes the muscles. Afterwards, a bath attendant rubs the body with a washing and peeling glove. Warm water is poured over and over again.  This is followed by a relaxing lather massage. The hamam master lathers and massages the entire body of the visitor with soap. Finally, the guest experiences some warm and cold showers again, which stabilise the circulation. Afterwards the visitor rests in the cold room and enjoys a tea.

What is the difference between steam bath and sauna?

The big difference between a sauna and a steam bath lies in the temperature and humidity. The sauna is usually heated up to 70-80 degrees, while the steam bath has temperatures of up to 50 degrees. Here the humidity is almost 100% and is therefore much higher than in the sauna.

Procedure for a visit to the steam bath

Before visiting the steam bath, the guest takes a shower for hygienic reasons and dries himself afterwards. When visiting the steam bath, the seating area must be rinsed with water before and after use. In addition, silence prevails here, so silence is the order of the day.

If an indisposition occurs during a visit to the steam bath, this should be left immediately.

After visiting the steam bath, which should not last longer than 15 minutes, it is important to cool down. Cool water such as in the plunge pool or watering hoses are suitable for this. If you wish, you can visit the steam bath again after a rest period of about 30 minutes. 

It is advisable to drink plenty of fluids during the rest period.

Related topics: Banja sauna - The Russian sauna Caldarium Hamam King's bath Cleopatra bath Laconium Sauna Private Spa Rasul Bath Sanarium Sauna Serail Bath Tecaldarium Tepidarium Valo Bath