Saunas are becoming more popular with homeowners as a luxury add-on every year. Nothing else is able to chase away a winter chill and provide amazing health benefits quite the same way.
Despite their popularity, many people do not know of the sauna’s health benefits, its history, or the many options available to homeowners these days.
1 – WHERE SAUNAS COME FROM
If you think the sauna originated in Finland, you would be half-right. Independently, a version of the sauna was used by pre-Colombian indigenous peoples in what is now México and Central America. There it was called the temazcal.
2 – THE USE OF THE TEMAZCAL
The temazcal was used as a sweat lodge mainly but also for easing childbirth and by healers combining the heat with herbs to effect cures.
3 – EARLY FINNISH SAUNAS
The first saunas in Finland and Scandinavia were called savusaunas, which differ from most modern-day saunas. In a savusauna a fire was built inside the sauna and burned six to eight hours to heat large stones. The fire was extinguished, the smoke cleared and only then did people gather inside.
4 – POPULARITY OF THE SAUNA IN FINLAND
The Finnish Sauna Society estimates that in Finland there are 3.2 million saunas in a country with a population of 5.4 million.
5 – TEMPERATURE AND HUMIDITY
Unlike a Turkish bath, saunas generate higher temperatures at low humidity. Without a low humidity, bathers would be scalded by sauna temperatures up to 100C!
6 – DEW POINT
In a properly heated sauna, the floor, walls and benches are above the ambient dew point, but the bathers are not. Thus, cleansing moisture forms on the skin of the bathers.
7 – ASPEN VS. CEDAR
Most people think cedar is the way to go in saunas, but aspen wood for benches, walls and fittings is preferable as it provides a smoother and cooler feel.
8 – HEALTH BENEFITS
Regular sauna use provides cardiovascular benefits and reduces stress hormones, which improves immune system function and provides and increased sense of well-being.
9 – PRECAUTIONS
Sauna bathers should remove contacts and anything metallic, such as watches or jewelry, before entering the sauna. Metallic objects can cause burns and contacts will dry out.
10 – COOLING DOWN
A sauna experience is not complete without the traditional cooling down in a plunge pool or even a snow-covered river for the hardiest of sauna enthusiasts. During this cooling down period is a great time to ensure that you are maintaining proper hydration. Drink lots of water (and never alcohol).
11 – FIVE TYPES OF SAUNAS
Sauna types include wet saunas, dry saunas, smoke saunas, steam saunas and far-infrared saunas, which enthusiasts claim result in deep levels of detoxification.
12 – TAKE YOUR SAUNA CAMPING
Portable saunas are sold that are perfect for cottages, camping and RV trips. You can see such saunas made by Mobiba on the popular TV show “Dragon’s Den.”
13 – PRE-FAB HOME SAUNAS
You can install a home sauna in just hours with pre-fab kits with snap-together walls. You can dismantle it and take it with you to your next home.
14 – HEAT YOUR BODY, NOT THE AIR
Deep infrared saunas work by heating your body and not the air. The infrared heat penetrates deep into tissues to draw out toxins and provide relief to aching muscles and joints.
15 – ONE STOP SAUNA SHOPPING
In Sudbury, ON, Nordic Energy Systems, Ltd. can supply homeowners with any style of sauna, including custom-built kits. We carry every heating system and accessory. Visit our showroom to view available models. Our experts will provide you the best options for your needs.