Finnish sauna Back

Finnish sauna

The effects of sauna bathing can be very different depending on its type. You can choose between the different possibilities by taking into consideration the desired impact, whether wishing to relax, regenerate, refresh or warm the muscles before training. It’s worth deciding the way of using the sauna depending on the activity you wish to do after it. It’s not advisable using sauna for relaxation before a strong physical or mental stress. The same way, taking advantage of the refreshing effects of sauna (using the sauna only once and then shower with cool water) is not recommended before resting.

The advantages of using sauna in general:

Although primarily sauna was developed for people to clean themselves, later it has become the part of healthy life and leisure.Healthy benefits sauna bathing are as follows:

  1. Trains the heart muscles and improves cardiovascular performance. However, people suffering from cardiovascular and heart diseases should use it with caution.
  2. Strengthens the immune system by stimulating its intensified operation. You have to be careful that during sauna bathing the risk of getting sick is higher, since the immune system works under higher pressure.
  3. Sweating detoxifies the body in a natural way, sauna bathing boosts this process. Due to this, and its cosy atmosphere it can help reduce stress.
  4. Sauna cleanses the skin and can induce a deeper sleep. It also helps to cure sore muscles. Moreover, it can also be very useful for sportsmen when warming up the muscles.

“Slightly medicine, largely remedy” – they say about sauna bathing up in the North. Sauna bathing is often prescribed by doctors in Finland. The sudden increase of humidity and ion content of the air stimulates the operation of the brain. If a Finish patient suffering from heart diseases consults the doctor, sauna bathing is never prohibited for him, but it has to be done carefully. The sudden change of temperature – the continuous shift of hot and cold – is not recommended to people suffering from hypertension even if they are from Finland.

The effect of the different sauna bathing types on health is a bit different.

Did you know?

Saunas in the cottages in the countryside are mostly heated by birch, whereas in the urban flats and baths by electricity. In the urban flats sauna is a separate place within the bathroom with wood paneling walls.

The cottages or mökki” also have saunas, but they are separate houses at the shore of a lake. After sauna bathing the water of the lake is used for cooling the body, of course in winter cutting a leak is necessary. However, using the snow or just simply standing outside in the temperature of minus 20-30 C° can also be very effective. After sauna bathing the cold water or air does not feel unpleasant, but comfortable.

Nowadays, there are approximately 2 million saunas in Finland, of which 1,2 million in private flats, the rest in cottages (mökki”), hotels and pools. This is quite an amount compared to the number of 5 million inhabitants of the country. In the last 50 years the increase in the number of saunas is really significant: There were only 1,5 million saunas in 1938.

Legends exist about the importance of saunas for the Finish. According to one of the stories, one of the most important tasks of the Finish peacekeeping troops in Afghanistan was of course, the creation of a sauna.

Not any foreign or domestic politician dared to refuse the former prime minister’s Urho Kekkonen’s invitation for sauna bathing. The former political leader of Finland usually made the most important decisions sitting and relaxing in the heat. After a short official discussion in the meeting room, the disputation continued in the sauna next door. Suits, ties, shoes, socks and underpants off, let’s the debate begin. Curiosity is that Urho Kekkonen himself was born in a sauna in 1900.

What is the 5 o’clock tea for the English that is the sauna for the Finish: holy and untouchable. They always spare time for it at least once a week, generally at the weekend. If a family invites another for sauna bathing, it usually means a several-day long visit. This relaxing family program generally begins around 5-6 pm, the sauna is heated by this time, and traditionally beer and frankfurters are served. Lenkkimakkara is the Finish word for having fun in and after sauna bathing with meals and drinks.

Finish children were used to be taught how to behave in the sauna the same way they were educated about what is permitted and prohibited in the church. Sauna played an important “holy” role in the life of Finish people; they were also born and laid out there.

Saunas for 4 and 8 people are available at our wellness unit.