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111 Saunas

“The sauna… Is an apotheosis of all experience: Purgatory and paradise; earth and fire; fire and water; sin and forgiveness.” (Constance Malleson)
Saunas have a millenary history. The first ones were built in Finland around 1100 AC and they were just holes in the ground with stones arranged so to form a chimney. They were called ground saunas. The positive effects of vapor bathes were already known to Egyptians, Romans and Middle Eastern populations. The smoke sauna, called “savusaune” was an evolution of the ground sauna and it was used up to the first decade of the XX century. There was a rudimentary oven that produced antibacterial fumes. During the XIX century, the heating system evolved thanks to a metal cone to evacuate smoke while starting from the 30ies the first electric saunas were patented. Saunas are known for their depurative properties and their effects on psycho-physical wellbeing and facilitating sleep.

Saunas are dry vapor baths. Compared to the hammam, the saunas are very dry and hot thus enabling transpiration. You have an allowance of 10-15 minutes per session. Saunas are really useful to reduce stress and anxiety, to recover from muscular traumas and to boost the immune system. More, the sauna has a detoxification effect and it deeply cleanses the skin. Saunas do not help losing weight as commonly thought. It helps you lose liquids, though, and it improves anti-cellulite effects. Considering its harsh temperature and humidity rate saunas have to be used carefully and under medical surveillance. A consistent and rapid loss of liquids and mineral salts caused by intense transpiration can make circulating blood lose its volume causing a hypovolemic shock. So, people affected by hypo or hyper tension or people with cardiac issues, fever, menstrual period or pregnant women shouldn’t use saunas.

Nowadays you can benefit from saunas’ positive effects at home at a reasonable cost. The traditional model is the Finnish sauna, a wooden cabin with hot dry air jet with temperatures ranging between 75°C and 100°C. The air is heated with electric radiators or wood stoves where big, dark, heavy stones are placed to gather as much heat as possible. The sauna has wooden benches and a water bucket inside. You pour the water on the hot stones with a ladle to make vapor. To take full advantage of a sauna you need two or three sessions of 5, 10 and 15 minutes respectively. Once out you have a room temperature shower to bring your body temperature back to normal. Meanwhile your body will feel the benefit of the treatment: relax and endorphins. There are also infrared saunas which are actually called infrared cabins. They work differently compared to saunas since dry heat is obtained by infrared rays similar to sunlight ones. Invisible infrared rays produce heat up to a depth of 4 cm in human tissues thus increasing body temperature and facilitating perspiration. To limit the rise of temperature your body increases heart beat and blood pressure. Consequently, the passive effect of infrared rays reinforces the cardiovascular system in disabled people and in people with arthrosis, sciatica and rheumatisms. Compared to a traditional sauna, an infrared cabin has its maximum temperature at 50°-60°C so it’s safe for people with cardiovascular conditions. Since it doesn’t produce humidity and you only need an electric socket to switch it on, an infrared sauna can be put in whichever room.

Are you looking for a trendy sauna? You want to make your sauna experience richer with holistic medicine principles? Try a lower temperature (50°C) aromatherapy herbs’ sauna treatment. Water is poured on a bunch of herbs that you put on an infrared ray stove. The herbs release scented vapor and essential oils that help you breathe better. A sauna for aromatherapy is quite like the herb sauna. It has a dripper over the stones of the stove to make the oils evaporate with the vapor. Balsamic essences are important in saunas because they can stimulate or relax through the sense of smell. Essences like pine or eucalyptus are very useful to improve breathing while peppermint or rosemary have antiseptic effects. As an alternative you can choose a chromotherapy sauna that comes with LED lamps in different colors that are combined depending on the need. According to color therapy each color has a different wavelength and frequency that both influence our psyche.
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