Steam bath: Pure relaxation for the wellness lover
As a gentle relaxation for connoisseurs, the various types of steam baths enveloped in warm clouds of mist promise holistic relaxation and well-being. Skin pores and bronchial tubes open up, and the muscles can relax completely. The water vapor covers the skin like a film and prevents sweating. By adding brine or herbs, the health-promoting aspect of the steam bath can be increased many times over. Compared to the traditional Finnish dry sauna, temperatures in the various types of steam baths range from about 40 °C (104 °F) to a maximum of 60 °C (140 °F).
Gentle introduction for sauna beginners
Steam baths are particularly well suited for beginners, because they introduce the body slowly and gradually to the higher temperatures of the dry sauna. The Roman steam bath, also called caldarium, is found to be particularly beneficial by people with respiratory diseases. The humidity in this type of steam bath is almost 100%, which also allows the skin pores to open very well.
The combination of steam bath and colored light sauna
Equally popular is the so-called tepidarium, in this warming room the temperature is slightly above body temperature, i.e. around 38°C (100,4 °F) to a maximum of 40°C (104 °F). So if you can’t stand the sultry heat of the Roman steam bath, you’re better off in the tepidarium. A combination of mild steam bath and traditional Finnish sauna is the Tylarium.
In the brine steam bath, the evaporation of salt water creates a moist, hot sea air with very typical and pleasant properties for the respiratory tract and skin. Depending on the herbs used, a stay in the so-called herbal steam bath achieves a variety of effects. The light steam bath is not infrequently combined with the herbal steam bath, this increases the effect due to the special light irradiation.
Steam bath traditions in Turkey and Russia
Traditionally, steam baths in their unique way are also used in quite different countries. For example, the original Turkish hammam is known worldwide. This Turkish steam bath is practiced as a ritual in several rooms at different temperatures. After a preheating phase, a foam massage takes place and afterward a cooling down with well-tempered water by the bath master.
The tradition of the Turkish steam bath is increasingly practiced in European countries and enjoys great popularity. The wellness effect is often described by hammam visitors as very regenerative and long-lasting.
Russian sauna for more vital energy
The Russian version of the steam bath is the so-called banya. Visitors to the Russian steam bath beat each other with birch twigs, which visibly stimulates blood circulation. The gentle strokes with the birch twigs can be practiced on the entire back area as well as on the extremities, i.e. arms and legs.
The gentle beating of the branches on the skin, but also the temperature in the steam bath, releases beneficial essential oils of the birch leaves, which additionally support the holistic effect. In Russia, moreover, it is often observed during the banya ritual that participants treat themselves to a special beer infusion in between.
Only in the traditional Irish steam bath there are no clouds of mist
A special form of the steam bath is the Irish variant. Due to the permanent supply of fresh air, there is no fog formation in the Irish steam bath, as otherwise seen in all other types of steam baths.
Sento: The Japanese bathhouse
Steam baths also have a long tradition in the Far East. The typical Japanese form of steam bath, known as a sento, is very popular not only with locals but also with tourists. However, the Japanese term sento does not describe a single steam bath, but rather a bathhouse complex, typically with pools of varying temperatures, from very cold with ice to a pool of very hot water.
A place of convalescence and relaxation
Also included among steam baths are the Mexican temazcal or the so-called inipi, a North American sweat lodge, both of which are very rarely found in replica in Europe.
The most important types of steam baths at a glance:
- Caldarium: The caldarium is a ceramic-tiled warming room with a temperature of 40-50°C (104 to 122 °F). The gentle radiant heat of the heated walls, benches, and floor warms the entire room.
- Tepidarium: Those who do not tolerate the warm and humid air in the caladarium are better off with the tepidarium. A warm room whose temperature is just above body temperature at about 38-40 °C(100,4 to 104 °F) .
- Tylarium: A tylarium is a mixture of a classic sauna and a gentle steam bath. Temperature and humidity can be adjusted independently in a tylarium with a sauna heater and a steam generator if desired.
- Brine steam bath: In this process, salt water is vaporized and thus practically hot, moist air flows through the steam bath, which is especially good for the skin and respiratory tract.
- Herbal steam bath: A herbal steam bath is particularly mild and has an incredibly relaxing effect. The moist air is enriched with herbal scents. This is good for the respiratory tract and the nasal mucous membranes are moistened.
- Light steam bath: Different colors can be used to create different moods of well-being. Depending on which setting is chosen, a sauna light can produce a warming, vitalizing, soothing, stimulating and stimulating light, thus improving the user’s mood.
- Hammam: In the Turkish steam bath, a scrub is used to remove impurities from the skin. This is followed by a massage with wonderfully scented oils.
- Banya: The word “banya” is used to describe a Russian steam bath, similar to a Finnish sauna. You gently beat yourself with birch twigs to further stimulate circulation.
- Irish steam bath: An Irish steam bath is a heat bath consisting of various warm and humid rooms. The Irish steam bath does not require the formation of steam in the rooms, as it has a special fresh air supply.
- Sento: Sentos are public bathhouses in Japan located in urban residential areas. They are a type of bathhouse with water pools of different temperatures.
- Temazcal: The temazcal is a spiritual place for healing and relaxation. This steam bath is part of traditional Mexican medicine and is primarily used to cure illness.
- Inipi: Among the American Indians, the sweat lodge was widespread and served as a cleansing and health maintenance measure.
Steam baths are like a heavenly oasis of relaxation for all wellness lovers. Imagine immersing yourself in a delightfully warm cloud of steam that gently caresses your skin and pampers your senses. The pores of your skin open up, breathing becomes easier, and your muscles relax completely. It is like a mini vacation for your body and soul.
There are several types of steam baths, all of which offer unique experiences. The caldarium envelops you in a pleasant radiant heat, while the tepidarium scores with a body-warming atmosphere. In the Tylarium, you can combine the benefits of a classic sauna with those of a gentle steam bath. And in the brine steam bath, you can feel the healing effect of salt on your skin and respiratory tract.
Imagine sitting in a fragrant herbal steam bath while the moist air gently caresses your skin and the aromas pamper your senses. Or how you are immersed in different colors in the light steam bath, which influence your mood and well-being. In a hammam, you can pamper yourself with a scrub and fragrant oils, while in the Russian banya, gentle birch twigs pamper your skin.
The world of steam baths is diverse, ranging from traditional Turkish hammams to Japanese sentos and Mexican temazcals. These places of relaxation and healing can be found all over the world, offering a rejuvenating experience for body and mind. Whether you’re looking for a gentle introduction for sauna novices or are in search of deep relaxation, steam rooms have something for everyone.