The health benefits of sauna bathing are numerous, and more so when done properly.
Here is a little more on the traditional methods of sauna bathing.
The Finnish tradition of sauna bathing goes back many years, with the first Finnish saunas called savusaunas, or smoke saunas, which were a very different deisgn. The smoke saunas were usually a log building, in which large stones would be heated by burning large amounts of wood for several hours. Once the stones had heated, they would let out the smoke and enjoy the sauna heat, or löyly. This method could give heat for up to 12 hours.
Taking a sauna bath is very different to simply taking a bath or shower, as the heat causes excessive perspiration, which cleanses the skin.It also stimulates circulation and reduces muscular tension and is also a fantastic relaxational and social activity.
A Sauna is a dry heat bath. The relative humidity rarely exceeds 30% even in a wet sauna due to the porous wood which absorbs the moisture. This makes higher temperatures more tolerable.
Here is a traditional sauna regime to get the best benefits. You should try out a few different methods and see which you prefer.
Step 1 – Heat your sauna to desired temperature. Typical sauna temperatures range around 70-100°C, however would recommend somewhere around 60-70°C for your first time, and you can increase the heat as you become more comfortable.
Step 2 – Remove as much clothing as possible, and remove jewellery, glasses and contact lenses etc. Take a quick shower or dip in your hot tub.
Step 3 – Enter the sauna, trying to keep the door open for a short a time as possible to keep heat in. Stay for 5 to 20 minutes, or once you have begun to perspire freely.
Step 4 – Exit the sauna, and take a plunge in a cool pool or cool shower. After that, relax and allow yourself to cool back down for 10 to 20 minutes.
Step 5 – Re-enter the sauna, and if you wish sprinkle some water on the coals to produce steam. As before relax and enjoy the heat for 5 to 20 minutes.
Step 6 – Exit the sauna and relax for at least 20 minutes. Shower with soap and warm water, and finish your shower with cooler water to close the pores of your skin.