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.
Wellness részlegünkben 4 és 8 fős finn szaunák találhatóak.
Steam bathing is carried out in steam chambers with high water vapour content at a temperature of 35-40 °C. Due to steam bathing the pores of the skin expand, get clean, the production of the sebaceous glands increases, the blood circulation becomes more vivid, the muscles get relaxed and the catarrh of the respiratory mucosa also dissolves.
Increased sweating happens in a very short period of time in steam baths, and due to the high water vapour content the sweat is not able to evaporate, therefore heat build up happens. That’s why healthy people are allowed to spend only 10-15 minutes inside, and sick ones can only use the bath if they have a doctor’s permission. A body heated up in a steam chamber can only be cooled down gradually by warmish and chill water. Steam bathing has to be followed by at least 30 minutes of relaxation.
Hot air chambers work at a temperature of 60-80 °C, but the air is dry, contains little water vapour, therefore sweating can evaporate. They are used for training or decreasing the weight of professional sportsmen.
A steam baths for 6 people is available at our wellness unit.
In case of infrared saunas, the room is heated by infra rays instead of electric or wood heated stoves. Infra rays belong to the invisible spectrum of light with a wavelength of 2-25 micrometer. They can penetrate deeply the human body and can heat it from the inside. The veins expand which enhances the continuous blood flow, the metabolism speeds up, and the resistance of the body increases. Unnecessary material and toxins leave the body by sweating, during the metabolism produced by cell activation and blood circulation.
Due to its different operation, bathing in infrared chambers has also other effects than Finish sauna (see the section on health of the description of Finish sauna).
1. Infrared saunas work at lower temperature than the Finish ones, which feels more comfortable.
2. 30 minutes of bathing in infrared saunas results 300 Kcal loss. Compared to ordinary saunas, it relaxes the muscles more effectively and shapes better the body by the intense stimulation of the lymphatic circulation. Therefore it’s highly recommended for people on diet.
3.It has significant positive effect on the skin due to its pore cleansing and cell regenerating impact.
4.Compared to traditional saunas, infrared sauna bathing produces 3 times more sweat with a 20-60 times detoxifying potential, and 3-7 times more non-water type components can be found in sweat.
One of the most important parts of infrared sauna is the heater. The heating time of the older ceramic heaters is longer – due to its structure, as well as, its radiating surface is much smaller than that of the most modern carbon based heaters. Due to their big surface, the carbon heaters operate at a much lower surface temperature. Therefore using carbon heaters is a very safe method, they can even be touched while working. It is not the case with ceramic heaters, they really get hot. (That’s why a grid is used for protection that can be seen in pictures as well).
There are infrared saunas, which heater emits extremely narrow wavelength infra rays (9,4 microns), the same as the ones coming from the sun. These infrared saunas are called sun saunas. This way, all sun saunas are infrared saunas, but not all infrared saunas are sun saunas.
The sun sauna is more effective, as it uses less electricity, – 97% of the energy is used for producing the “sun rays”. These most modern saunas could have been made by the invention of carbon heaters.
2 infrared saunas for 2 people each are available at our wellness section.