Saunas-the sweat therapy or the layman’s pharmacy
|Far infra red sauna
The word sauna is an ancient Finnish word referring to the traditional Finnish bath as well as to the bathhouse itself.
The proto-Finnic reconstruction is *savńa. There are etymological equivalents in the Baltic-Finnic languages such as
the Ingrian and Votic word sauna, Estonian saun and Livonian sōna. The word suovdnji in Sámi means a pit dug out
of the snow, such as a hole for a willow grouse. In Baltic-Finnish, sauna does not necessarily mean a building or space built
for bathing. It can also mean a small cabin or cottage, such as a cabin for a fisherman.
The oldest known saunas
were pits dug in a slope in the ground and primarily used as dwellings in winter. The sauna featured a fireplace where stones
were heated to a high temperature. Water was thrown over the hot stones to produce steam and to give a sensation of increased
heat. This would raise the apparent temperature so high that people could take off their clothes. The first Finnish saunas
are what nowadays are called savusaunas, or smoke saunas. These differed from present day saunas in that they were heated
by heating a pile of rocks called kiuas by burning large amounts of wood about 6 to 8 hours, and then letting the smoke out
before enjoying the löyly, or sauna heat. Rightly heated "savusauna" gives heat up to 12 hours. These are still
used in present-day Finland by some enthusiasts, but usually just on special occasions such as Christmas, New Years, Easter,
and juhannus (Midsummer).
As a result of the industrial revolution, the sauna evolved to use a metal woodstove,
or kiuas [ˈkiu.ɑs], with a chimney. Air temperatures averaged around 70–80 degrees Celsius (160–180
degrees Fahrenheit) but sometimes exceeded 90 °C (200 °F) in a traditional Finnish sauna. Steam vapor, also called
löyly [ˈløyly], was created by splashing water on the heated rocks.
The steam and high heat caused bathers
to perspire. The Finns also used a vihta [ˈvihtɑ] (Western dialect, or vasta [ˈvɑstɑ] in Eastern
dialect), which is a bundle of birch twigs with fresh leaves, to gently slap the skin and create further stimulation of the
pores and cells.
The Finns also used the sauna as a place to cleanse the mind, rejuvenate and refresh the spirit,
and prepare the dead for burial. The sauna was (and still is) an important part of daily life, and families bathed together
in the home sauna. Indeed, the sauna was originally meant to be a place of mystical nature where gender/sex differences did
not exist. Because the sauna was often the cleanest structure and had water readily available, Finnish women also gave birth
in the sauna.
Although the culture of sauna nowadays is more or less related to Finnish culture, it's important to note
that the evolution of sauna has happened around the same time both in Finland and the Baltic countries sharing the same meaning
and importance of sauna in daily life. The same sauna culture is shared in both places still to this day.
When the Finns
migrated to other areas of the globe they brought their sauna designs and traditions with them, introducing other cultures
to the enjoyment and health benefits of sauna. This led to further evolution of the sauna, including the electric sauna stove,
which was introduced in the 1950s and far infrared saunas, which have become popular in the last several decades
This book is a godsent to the population at large, most of whom would be at least moderately interested in maintaining and
improving their health. The "old" Finnish Sauna has been around for so long and its healing properties are somewhat
understood by many but actual use of the Sauna is limited to a small section of the population in the Western world. Women
do not feel comfortable in the Finnish Sauna as temperatures run at about 100º C (212 Fahrenheit) and the extra padding
of subcutaneous fat in the female means that a woman cannot deal with the external thermal stress as well as a man, making
the Sauna a less than enjoyable experience. Enter the Infrared Sauna. Lower temperature, much more detoxification through
sweating and excretion of fat-soluble toxins and a feeling of comfort, like a nice warm summer day, plus the reduced technical
requirements make this the Sauna of choice. The author does an excellent job of explaining all there is to know, including
simple, inexpensive ways to create your own Sauna from readily available materials, the book is a real treasury of factual,
relevant information and I highly recommend it. Moore
Fog, high rise buildings, cell phone towers and green house effects caused by environmental pollution have blocked
the healing essence of infra-red rays from reaching mankind. Infra -red rays are one of the invisible beneficial rays that
emanates from sunlight. When it penetrates the skin, it transforms light energy into heat energy. It heats the body without
increasing the temperature of the enclosure. These results in much more lower power bill when compared to traditional steam
saunas. Infra red saunas are forms of sweating therapy that help eliminate large amounts of toxins and uric acid from the
blood which ultimately reduces the livers work load. Infra –red saunas detoxify the body at cellular levels rather than
just detoxifying the sweat glands. It runs about 3 inch deep in the skin. The penetration of healing rays into the tissues
subsequently facilitates circulation of blood and lymphatic flow. Naturally this leads to the release of toxins from their
stores through the fat cells, the sweat glands, the skin, the liver and the kidney. It enhances the function of the largest
organ of detoxification in the body-the skin by bypassing the kidney, the liver and the lungs. High temperatures dilate the
blood vessels and the circulation in the skin surface to increase taking deeply buried toxins to the skin surface. Saunas
help the body to perspire and help move toxins from inside out .The heat makes toxins to be released from the cells and tissues
into the lymphatic system. Since sweat is manufactured from the lymphatic fluid, toxins from the lymph are released when sweating
There are two types of saunas- infra red (Convection) and conventional saunas. Infra red saunas are more superior
to conventional saunas. It uses only about 20% of the infra- red energy to heat the air and the remaining 80% is converted
to heat within the body. The net result is more and quicker perspiration and more penetration at lower temperatures of about
110-130 degrees Fahrenheit. It also produces more sweat volume. It usually last for about 30 to 45 minutes per session . The
conventional saunas use external sources of heat to raise the body temperature to between 180 to 235 degrees Fahrenheit. This
is either wood or an electrical source to elicit perspiration which ultimately helps increase the cardiac load as in aerobic
exercise. Thirty minutes in an infra red sauna will burn equivalent calories as a whole day of aerobic exercise. Regardless,
saunas do not take the place of physical exercise.
A medical hypothesis
infra-red saunas generate molecular vibrations that accelerate metabolic exchanges between cells, decreases pain by facilitating
lymphatic and vascular circulation. Like using solvents to cut grease and facilitate their removal with detergents,
Infra red saunas help break protective rings around molecules in the body decreasing their abilities to become carcinogenic.
It makes bonds between toxins weak thus facilitating their easy eliminating through the eliminative channels.
do not take the place of sunlight. We still need sunlight to supply us with UV and convert vitamins to usable forms in the
body. Infra red saunas are contraindicated in pregnant women. If you do decide to use the sauna, start gradually. Stay in
only as long as you are comfortable, increasing the time with each visit. The Finns respect the sauna to such a degree that
their ministers of government often conduct business in and around the sauna. They also believe that a person, upon leaving
a fulfilling sauna, will be clear of mind and untroubled.Don't drink alcohol, as it works as a depressant, where the blood
is moving slowly and the nerve endings are literally shutting down, and counteracts the benefits of the sauna.
people need to avoid or limit their time in the sauna.
People with heart ailments or respiratory diseases need to avoid
the sauna, and anyone with chronic ailments needs to check first with his or her doctor.
Avoid drug use and the sauna
— tranquilizers, stimulants, and other prescribed drugs alter the body's metabolism and could produce dour effects in
If you experience dizziness, problems with breathing, or a general feeling of ill health, leave the sauna
Doctors Health Advisory: Saunas do not take the place of sunlight. We still
need sunlight to supply us with UV and convert vitamins to usable forms in the body. Infra red saunas are contraindicated
in pregnant women