The soul of Finland: what you should know about the Finnish sauna

Finnish sauna is considered the soul of Finland and has a long tradition. In this article you will learn everything you need to know about the Finnish sauna - from its history and health benefits to the different types of saunas and application tips.
The history of the Finnish sauna: an ancient ritual
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The history of the Finnish sauna: an ancient ritual

The sauna has a long and proud tradition in Finland, dating back to the 5th century. Originally, it served as a place of purification and relaxation for the Finns, but over time it became a significant part of Finnish culture and social life. Today, there are more than 3 million saunas in Finland, which means that there is about one sauna for every two inhabitants – this shows how deeply sauna culture is rooted in the everyday life of Finns.

Finnish sauna culture is unique and highly valued by Finns. It is more than just a place to wash or sweat, but a place of relaxation community, and well-being. In the sauna you can rest, recharge your batteries and unwind. It is a place where families friends, and communities meet to spend time together and strengthen social bonds.

The sauna is also a place where Finns cultivate their connection with nature. It is an integral part of Finnish culture and is often associated with traditional celebrations such as birthdays or festive occasions. Finnish sauna culture is an important cultural heritage that Finns are proud of and happy to pass on to future generations.

Health benefits of Finnish sauna: why sweating is good for you

The Finnish sauna offers a wide range of health benefits. Regular sauna use can strengthen the immune system, boost circulation, relax muscles and reduce stress. In addition, studies show that saunas can also help relieve chronic pain, such as arthritis or fibromyalgia.

The different types of saunas: from smoke saunas to electric saunas

The traditional Finnish smoke sauna, also known as the savusauna, is a unique type of sauna widely used in Finland. It is characterized by its special construction and unique heating system. Unlike other types of saunas, there is no chimney in the smoke sauna, and the smoke is emitted directly into the room.

The smoke sauna is heated with wood, and the glowing logs are placed on stones. When the wood burns, smoke is produced, which fills the room and creates a unique atmosphere. The temperature in a smoke sauna is often higher than in other types of saunas, and the smoke gives the sauna an intense, pleasant aroma.

Another type of Finnish sauna is the kiua sauna, which is also heated with wood, but unlike the smoke sauna, it has a chimney. As a result, the smoke is discharged from the room and the atmosphere in the sauna is less smoky. The kiua sauna is often considered a more modern version of the traditional smoke sauna and is more popular in urban areas.

In addition to traditional wood-heated saunas, there are also modern electric saunas, which are becoming increasingly popular in Finland and other countries. Electric saunas use electric heating systems that provide even temperature distribution and allow precise control of the sauna temperature. Electric saunas are often found in public buildings such as gyms, hotels, and apartment complexes, providing a convenient and efficient way to take a sauna.

So, in Finland, there are a variety of sauna types that differ in their construction, heating system and atmosphere. From traditional smoke saunas with their unique smoking experience to modern electric saunas with precise temperature control, there is something for every sauna lover. No matter what type of sauna you choose, the sauna is an important part of Finnish culture and a popular social event that promotes socializing and relaxation.

How to use the Finnish sauna properly: tips for beginners and advanced sauna users

To enjoy your sauna visit to the fullest, it is important to follow some basic rules that will help you get the most out of your sauna session. Here are some detailed tips for beginners and advanced sauna users:

  • Start with a refreshing shower: before entering the sauna, take a moment to thoroughly shower off your body. This will remove sweat and dirt from your skin and prepare your body for the sauna session in the best possible way.
  • Dry yourself well: After showering, it is important that you dry yourself thoroughly. A dry skin sweats faster and more intensively, which allows you to have a pleasant sauna experience.
  • Get used to the heat slowly: If you are a beginner or going to the sauna for the first time, start with lower temperatures. Sit in the sauna and gradually acclimate your body to the heat before selecting higher temperature levels. This allows your body to adjust, and you can enjoy the sauna experience to the fullest.
  • Don’t forget to cool down regularly: After each sauna session, it is important to cool down your body to stimulate circulation and refresh your body. You can take a cold shower or take a bath in cold water. This will help to invigorate your body and optimize your sauna experience.
  • Be sure to drink plenty of fluids: While in the sauna, your body loses a lot of fluid through sweating. Therefore, it is important that you drink enough water or other hydrating beverages to make up for the fluid loss.

If you follow these tips, you can use the Finnish sauna properly and enjoy a pleasant and relaxing sauna experience. Remember that everybody is different. Therefore, pay attention to your body’s signals and adjust the sauna session to your needs.

Conclusion: Finnish sauna as a source of relaxation and health

The Finnish sauna is much more than just a way to warm up or kill time. It is a place for relaxation, health and socializing. If you haven’t tried the Finnish sauna yet, it’s high time to enter the world of heat and relaxation.

FAQ: The most important questions about the Finnish sauna

  • Is the Finnish sauna suitable for everyone? Basically, the Finnish sauna is suitable for most people. However, if you have certain health restrictions, such as cardiovascular disease, you should talk to your doctor beforehand.
  • How often should you go to the sauna? That depends on your personal preferences and health condition. In general, however, one to two sauna sessions per week is considered ideal.
  • How long should you stay in the sauna? A sauna session should last between 8 and 15 minutes. Afterward, a sufficient cooling down period is important.
  • Is it allowed to use infusions in the Finnish sauna? In the Finnish sauna, infusions with essential oils or herbs are quite common. However, make sure to use only natural and high-quality products.
  • Is the Finnish sauna also suitable for children? Children from about 6 years of age can generally go to the sauna. However, make sure that the temperatures are not too high and the length of stay is correspondingly shorter.


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