Feel-good warmth: sauna as a source of health and harmony

The cooler months often bring with them an increase in colds and health problems. During this time, sauna bathing proves to be a valuable means of strengthening the immune system and improving general well-being. The tradition of sauna bathing, which is deeply rooted in many cultures, offers more than just a pleasant source of warmth; it is a comprehensive health ritual.
Thermal benefits and stimulation of the immune system
© saunazeit

Thermal benefits and stimulation of the immune system

The sauna, an essential part of many wellness and spa facilities, offers far more than just relaxation. It is known for its significant health benefits, which are achieved through the high temperatures, especially in Finnish saunas. When you enter a sauna, the skin is quickly warmed by the intense heat, resulting in a slight increase in core body temperature. This process mimics the body’s natural response to a fever. During a fever, the body tries to cool down by sweating in order to regulate the increased temperature.

However, sweating in the sauna has other important effects in addition to cooling the body. It stimulates the immune system in a way that is comparable to the reaction to an infection. The increased body temperature stimulates the immune system to produce more white blood cells. These cells play a crucial role in the defense against pathogens. A regular visit to the sauna therefore helps to strengthen the immune system and can improve the body’s resistance to colds and other infectious diseases.

In addition to these immune-stimulating properties, the heat of the sauna also helps to relax the muscles and improve blood circulation. This leads to a reduction in muscle tension and, with regular use, can also contribute to improved cardiovascular health. The combination of thermal benefits and a strengthening of the immune system makes the sauna a valuable element for physical and mental well-being.

Different types of sauna for individual needs

In the world of saunas, there is an impressive variety of options to suit a wide range of preferences and health requirements. This variety allows everyone to find a sauna that best suits their needs.

First and foremost is the Finnish sauna, which is synonymous with the traditional sauna experience. It is known for its extremely high temperatures, often between 80 and 100 degrees Celsius, and its very dry air. This type of sauna is ideal for anyone looking for an intense sweating experience. The dry heat relaxes the muscles and stimulates sweat production, which helps to cleanse the skin.

For those who prefer a less intense heat, the bio sauna or sanarium is an excellent choice. These types of saunas offer a more pleasant and humid environment compared to the Finnish sauna, with temperatures between 45 and 60 degrees Celsius. The higher humidity in these saunas creates a warm and humid climate that is considered particularly gentle on the cardiovascular system. This environment is ideal for people who want the benefits of the sauna without experiencing the extreme temperatures of the Finnish sauna.

A steam bath, often referred to as a Turkish bath or hamam, offers a completely different experience. Here the temperatures are significantly lower than in traditional saunas, usually between 40 and 55 degrees Celsius, but the humidity is very high, close to 100%. This combination of heat and humidity is great for the skin and respiratory system, making the steam room a popular choice for those looking for a skin and respiratory-friendly option.

The art of the sauna infusion

The sauna infusion is at the heart of sauna culture, its true essence. It is deeply rooted in many traditions and goes far beyond a simple process – it is a ceremony of well-being. Prized for its numerous health and mental benefits, the infusion adds a unique, almost magical allure to the sauna experience. Each infusion transforms a visit to the sauna into a holistic, sensual experience that invigorates and touches the body and mind. This special ritual refines a visit to the sauna into a profound, enriching experience that you will remember for a long time to come.

The infusion usually begins with hot water – often mixed with essential oils – being poured onto the hot sauna stones. This creates steam, which quickly spreads throughout the sauna. This technique intensifies the heat in the sauna and increases the humidity, which intensifies the sweating experience. The steam also helps to purify and renew the air in the sauna, making it easier to breathe.

Adding essential oils to the water is another important aspect of the sauna infusion. These oils, such as eucalyptus, lavender or citrus, are carefully selected to achieve specific effects – be it relaxation, invigoration or respiratory support. The combination of heat, steam, and the aromas of the essential oils creates a holistic experience that appeals to the body, mind, and senses.

The infusion is often performed by experienced sauna masters who not only add the right amount of water and oils, but also distribute the air in the room using towels or fans. These experienced professionals use special techniques to distribute the steam evenly throughout the sauna, maximizing the effect of the infusion. This ceremony can consist of several rounds, with each round aiming to gradually increase the temperature and humidity so that participants can take a break between rounds.

The infusion ceremony is not only a physical experience, but also a social and cultural event. In many cases, it is accompanied by music, lighting effects or even small rituals that strengthen the sense of community and make the sauna a place to come together and relax.

Recommendations for regular sauna visits

If you want to take full advantage of the numerous health benefits of the sauna, experts recommend regular sauna sessions, preferably once or twice a week. This frequency allows the body to get used to the heat and make the most of the positive effects such as relaxation, improved circulation and strengthening of the immune system.

It is important to ensure an appropriate cool-down phase after each sauna session. This means taking time to slowly bring the body back to normal temperature. An effective cool-down can be achieved with a cold shower, a plunge pool or simply by resting in a cooler room. This phase not only helps to stabilize the circulation, but also promotes the body’s own regeneration processes.

Another important aspect is adequate hydration. During a sauna session, the body loses a considerable amount of fluid due to the intense sweating. This loss must therefore be compensated for by drinking water or other non-alcoholic drinks. Adequate fluid intake helps to minimize the risk of dehydration and promote physical recovery after a sauna session.

In addition, a balanced diet and a generally healthy lifestyle can enhance the benefits of regular sauna visits. Eating nutrient-rich foods and avoiding heavy meals before a sauna session will help to increase well-being and reduce possible discomfort during and after a sauna session.

 

Isalie Graf