Welness Area

Finnish Sauna

Dry, regenerating heat characterises this oasis of health where you can rest comforted by the penetrating, reassuring warmth. Moments made to devote oneself entirely to listening to one’s own body and to encourage the awakening of limbs and spirit

The practice of curing and relaxing with heat, hot water and steam has ancient origins and various peoples have used it in the most diverse forms. As far back as ancient Egypt, the benefits of the steam bath were known to invigorate and regenerate both body and spirit.

In Greece, the gymnasium included a gymnasium and a bath where disciples took hot-water ablutions to relax after physical exercises and before attending philosophy classes. For the Romans, the baths became not only a place of healing, but also of socialisation. At the time, the facilities did not only have baths, but also gyms, libraries, theatres and parks. They thus became the ideal place to socialise but also to talk business.

In Arab culture, the hammam was the place to perform hot water ablutions before prayer, but at the same time it was a place of culture and social interaction.

Among the American Indian tribes, the sauna, on the other hand, had spread as a sweat lodge for the rite of purification of spirit and body.

The sauna, on the other hand, originated in 1100 in Finland. The first models were nothing more than holes dug in the earth and then covered. Later they were set in wooden huts, near rivers and lakes. In fact, from the very beginning the sauna was practised following a very precise ritual: the cycle involved alternating the sauna session with dips in icy water and massages (even gentle whipping with birch twigs) to reactivate and stimulate circulation.

In the immediate post-war period, the fashion for the Finnish sauna spread to Europe and the United States, as it was considered an excellent way to relax and promote healthy sleep.

As time went on, people increasingly realised that the sauna was not a luxury, but an effective cure for their mental and physical well-being.

The positive effects

If practised correctly and consistently throughout the year, the sauna is a good habit, which is beneficial for people of all ages.

Through sweating, toxins, dead skin cells and fat residues are eliminated; by increasing perspiration, the skin becomes more elastic and radiant. In practice, the sauna is equivalent to a deep cleansing of the entire body and makes the skin more resistant to atmospheric agents, from cold to heat, from wind to smog.

The heat bath also promotes relaxation and has a sedative effect on the nervous system, favouring the balance between waking and sleeping and decreasing anxiety and stress.

The benefits of the sauna also affect the heart by improving blood and lymphatic circulation.

The entire organism is therefore positively affected by these effects, making it more energetic and active. It is particularly suitable for those who practise sport, even at a competitive level, because it improves peripheral circulation and enables faster muscle recovery (speeding up the disposal of toxins and lactic acid).

In the case of muscular and osteoarticular traumas, it can be indicated by virtue of its decontracting effect on the muscles and for the increase in metabolism, which accelerates the disposal of catabolites formed in the structures affected by the trauma.

The sauna strengthens the immune system by preventing inflammation, flu and colds. The heat also helps those suffering from respiratory conditions (bronchitis, sinusitis and chronic rhinitis).

The use of the sauna is not recommended:

– During too high or too low blood pressure and cardiovascular disorders in general: the vasodilating effect of the sauna could overload the heart.

– During feverish states and colds: the temperature change could cause additional stress on the body. The use of the sauna helps to strengthen the immune system, but does not cure an already existing cold or flu.

– In the case of skin inflammations, which can worsen at high temperatures (and also because of the risk of transmitting them to others).

– In the presence of varicose veins: weak blood vessel walls may not withstand the heat stress and cause further damage.

– In pregnancy

– During the menstrual cycle (due to the effect of vasodilation and reduced blood viscosity, there is a risk of haemorrhage).

– During developmental age (interference of any kind on a developing and modifying organism can be negative).

Tips for the correct use of the sauna

There is no more or less suitable time to take a sauna; however, to enjoy the benefits, it is essential to have time to do it well and calmly.

A hot herbal tea – drunk before starting the sauna – helps with sweating. At the end of the treatment it is a good idea to restore the fluids lost during the treatment and quench your thirst with juices, herbal teas and water, avoiding alcoholic beverages of course.

Usually, a couple of steps are needed for a sauna to be effective. The temperature sufficient for good perspiration should reach 80°.

The first passage should not exceed ten minutes; in fact, the first few times it is better to avoid steam because the air, which has suddenly become hot and humid, could be uncomfortable: in this case, just don’t pour water on the stove stones.

  • Before entering the sauna, take a lukewarm shower and dry your body well, so as not to delay sweating
  • When you enter the sauna, choose your seat carefully: normally you will take a seat on the lowest step where the air is least hot. Then gradually move to the higher steps.
  • The recommended stay in the sauna is 10 to 20 minutes at a time. It is also good to adjust according to your own feelings.
  • To avoid dizziness, you should get up from the bench very slowly before leaving.
  • Get out and take a cold or lukewarm shower to bring your body temperature back to normal.
  • From the shower to the sauna: repeat this exercise two or three times, being careful to also repeat the same steps.
  • Pour water on the stones in the stove as you wish and cause immediate evaporation. The steam stimulates beneficial perspiration of the body.
  • Pour water over the stones again.
  • Finally, take a final shower.
  • After the sauna, the body needs peace
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