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A Look at Finnish Saunas

Posted by Dave McIntosh on August 19th, 2010

When people talk about Finnish saunas, they are usually referring to the type of saunas that have been popular in Finland for thousands of years. Over there, saunas are like cars or televisions, everybody has one. There they are considered a way of life.

 Give Your Bathroom a Facelift Using saunas is one of the most popular leisure activities in Finland. A visit to Finland would not be complete without enjoying at least one leisurely evening enjoying one of their saunas. The Finnish admire saunas for their healing properties. Millions of people in Finland use saunas and on average, each household has one sauna.

Saunas can be used to gather socially and relax with family and friends. In private settings, men and women often share saunas, while single sex saunas are norm in public places.

But just because a room is built to look like a Finnish sauna, it doesn’t automatically make it so. Finnish saunas try to limit all forms of radiation, especially direct, including electromagnetic, light and infra-red. There are hundreds of products using the Finnish word “sauna”, all of them misuse and dilute the true meaning. Finnish saunas use the old system that has kept the Finnish people going in the frozen north for thousands of years.

 Give Your Bathroom a Facelift A typical Finnish sauna is a room or small hut with temperature kept over 80 degrees C. When water is poured over hot stones arranged in rows heated by a wood burning furnace, a steam cloud fills the sauna taking the temperatures to an even higher level. Sauna bathing in Finland often lasts between half an hour and two hours. The sauna is then often followed by a shower or swim in a lake. In winter, the Fins will rub snow on their skin after their sauna.

Getting invited to have a sauna bath is common in Finland. But you should know the proper Finnish sauna etiquette if you don’t want to insult your host. The saying, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do” also applies to the Finns. Because the Finnish people have been enjoying the benefits of saunas for thousands of years some of the reservations you might have about sauna bathing do not exist in their culture

 Give Your Bathroom a Facelift We look at bathing as a personal thing. While the North American culture makes it taboo to take off all your clothes in a sauna when in the presence of strangers, therefore most people wear their bathing suits when in mixed company. But as part of Finnish culture, the sauna etiquette requires that you do remove all your clothing. You shouldn’t be shy about this because the Fins look at it as a normal part of fully enjoying their sauna.

The Finnish people have long understood the benefits that saunas provide. That’s probably because they have been enjoying the therapeutic benefits practically since the beginning of recorded history.

Now all you have to do is take advantage of one, yourself. You don’t have to go to Finland to do it either. Just be sure that when you buy or use a sauna this side of the ocean don’t be satisfied with anything less than a genuine Finnish sauna. And now you know how to know tell the difference.