How does a sauna visit work?

A visit to the sauna is a fascinating journey of relaxation and well-being that has been appreciated for centuries by people all over the world. In different cultures, the sauna has a long tradition and is a place of relaxation and social exchange. But how does a visit to the sauna actually work? Join us on this virtual journey into the world of the sauna and discover how body and mind can recover in the comforting warmth of the sauna.
Visit to the sauna: a relaxing and therapeutic experience
Photo by HUUM on Unsplash

Visit to the sauna: a relaxing and therapeutic experience

A visit to the sauna offers a variety of benefits for both body and mind. As soon as you enter the sauna room, the comforting warmth envelops you and you immediately feel the tension and stress of everyday life slowly fall away.

The high temperature in the sauna leads to increased blood circulation as the blood vessels dilate and the body tries to remove the heat. This deep relaxation causes muscle tension to ease and pain to be relieved.

In addition, sauna use also has positive effects on the immune system. Sweating kills bacteria and viruses, which strengthens the immune system. Regular sauna sessions can thus help prevent colds and other illnesses.

In addition to the physical benefits, the sauna also provides a valuable time of relaxation and regeneration for the mind. In the pleasant atmosphere of the sauna you can come to rest, let your thoughts run free and switch off. The contrast between the heat in the sauna and the subsequent cooling down, for example through cold plunge pools or cold showers, provides an invigorating feeling and increases the sense of well-being.

Another aspect that makes a sauna visit a therapeutic experience is the social interaction. Visiting the sauna is often a shared activity where you can interact with other people. It creates a pleasant community where people support and inspire each other.

In Germany, people go to the sauna naked

Sauna culture in Germany is characterized by openness and acceptance towards nudity. It is common for both men and women to go to the sauna naked. This has historical and cultural reasons and is considered normal by most sauna visitors.

Being naked in the sauna has several advantages. For one, the heat can be evenly distributed over the entire body. Since no clothing is worn, the heat can better penetrate the body and have the desired therapeutic effect. In addition, being naked prevents sweat from dripping onto clothing, which can be very uncomfortable.

Another aspect of sauna culture in Germany is to bring a towel. This serves as a seat pad to ensure hygiene and cleanliness. The towel also serves to catch sweat and reduce contact between one’s body and the sauna benches.

Nudity in the sauna has no sexual significance. Rather, it is about well-being, health and relaxation. In German saunas, visitors are expected to be respectful and discreet about nudity and to respect the privacy of others.

However, there are different types of saunas in Germany as well, and different rules may apply. For example, some saunas have mixed areas, while others offer separate areas for men and women. You should find out about the specific rules and etiquette of each sauna before visiting.

So how does a sauna visit work?

If you’ve never been to a sauna before or just want to get an overview of the typical process of a sauna visit, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s now take a look at the facts and the process of a sauna visit.

  • Preparation: before entering the sauna, you should take a thorough shower to cleanse your body and rid it of dirt and oil. This is important to ensure the best sauna experience. Bring a large towel to lie on or sit on the benches in the sauna room. Don’t forget to bring bathing shoes as well to protect your feet and maintain hygiene.
  • Entering the sauna cabin: after you have prepared yourself, you can enter the sauna cabin. Most saunas have different sauna cabins with different temperatures and humidity levels. Start with a lower temperature and gradually increase it to get your body used to the heat. Sit or lie down on a towel and relax.
  • Sauna sessions: a typical sauna session usually lasts between 8 and 15 minutes. During this time, you can enjoy the heat, sweat and relax your body. Be careful not to talk or disturb other sauna guests during your sauna session to ensure a quiet and relaxing atmosphere for everyone.
  • Cooling down: After each sauna session, it is appropriate to cool down the body. This can be done in a variety of ways, such as a cold shower, cold water pool or plunge pool. Cooling down helps to cool the body and promote circulation. After cooling down, rest briefly to give your body time to recover.
  • Rest periods: Between sauna sessions and cool-downs, take rest periods to relax and rejuvenate. Use the restrooms or lounging areas to lie down, read a book or simply close your eyes. While doing so, be mindful of the quietness of other sauna guests.
  • Other sauna facilities: In addition to sauna cabins, some saunas offer additional facilities such as steam rooms, whirlpools, or outdoor relaxation rooms. These may vary depending on the sauna, and offer further opportunities for relaxation and recreation.
  • Hygiene and Respect: Throughout your sauna visit, hygiene and mutual respect are essential. Always place a towel on the benches to avoid direct skin contact and to catch sweat. Keep sauna cabins and common areas clean by using towels and taking care of furnishings. Respect the privacy and quiet of other sauna guests and avoid loud conversations or phone calls.

Infusion with essential oils

Adding essential oils to a sauna infusion with water has many benefits and is appreciated by many sauna-goers. Adding a few drops of sauna essential oil to the infusion water creates a pleasant scent that makes the sauna session an even more relaxing experience.

Essential oils are extracted from plants and contain the natural aromatic substances of the respective plant. Depending on the oil chosen, different aromas can be released, such as eucalyptus, lavender, mint, citrus or pine. Each essential oil has its own unique properties and can have different effects.

Aromatherapy, aided by the inhalation of essential oils during sauna sessions, has a positive effect on the body and mind. Different scents have a calming, relaxing or invigorating effect and help relieve stress. Eucalyptus oil, for example, has a refreshing effect and clears the airways, while lavender oil has a calming and relaxing effect.

In addition, a sauna infusion with essential oils helps maintain the skin’s moisture content throughout the sauna session. In the sauna, the dry heat can cause the skin to dry out and lose moisture. Adding essential oil to the infusion water increases the humidity, and the skin is better hydrated. This helps the skin feel more supple and less dry after a sauna session.

However, one must pay attention to the correct dosage of essential oils, as they are very concentrated. Usually, a few drops are enough to achieve the desired fragrance and effect. In addition, only high-quality essential oils that are suitable for use in the sauna should be used to avoid possible irritation or allergic reactions.

Meditating in the sauna

Combining meditation with a visit to the sauna offers a unique experience where both body and mind can relax. In the warm and soothing environment of the sauna, you have the opportunity to consciously enter the present moment and focus on the here and now.

Meditating in the sauna can be practiced in a variety of ways. Some people use the time to focus on their breath and achieve deep relaxation. By breathing in and out consciously and deeply, one achieves that the mind calms down, and the body enters a state of serenity. The heat of the sauna helps to relax the muscles and release tension in the body.

Others use the sensations in the sauna to focus on their surroundings. One feels the heat, perceives the scent of essential oils. All of these sensory stimuli can help calm the mind and create a deeper connection to one’s inner peace.

The sauna also provides a kind of privacy and retreat where you can focus entirely on yourself. It’s a place where you can free yourself from outside distractions and stress. By closing your eyes and looking inward, you detach yourself from the thoughts and worries of everyday life and quiet your mind.

Meditating in the sauna, then, can be an effective way to relieve stress, promote mental clarity and enhance overall well-being. It allows for a space of inner stillness and serenity, where you can get to know yourself better and be at peace with yourself. This practice is suitable for both experienced meditators and beginners, and helps everyone find a deeper connection to themselves.


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