Using Residential Saunas
There are not many rules when taking a sauna. It is simply a
matter of getting in and enjoying the experience.
There are a few procedures that are wise to follow, especially in a
public sauna. Respect of fellow bathers is of utmost importance, and
there are basic things that must be observed to get the most benefit
out of the experience.
The regulations of a public sauna must be followed. Some prohibit
the use of bathing suits while others require them. For those that
are uncomfortable being exposed in the presence of strangers a towel
can be used. A towel should always be brought into the sauna to sit
The temperature of a public sauna cannot be controlled by the
bathers. For those that are using a private unit and that are new to
the experience a low heat setting should be used at first. Many
seasoned bathers will heat the sauna up to 100 degrees Celsius, but
for newer bathers it should be set to around 70 or 80 degrees
It is important to shower before entering the sauna. Soap or shampoo
should not be used because the perfumes they contain will evaporate
in the sauna and could be bothersome to other bathers.
The upper benches of the sauna are hotter so if you prefer cooler
temperatures sit on the lower benches or move to the lower benches
of you become too hot. After approximately five or ten minutes water
should be poured over the rocks to create steam. This will raise the
temperature and will cause the bathers to perspire more.
Make sure the sauna is not used for an extended period of time
especially if the experience is new. Ten to fifteen minutes is long
enough for one session. After each session take a cold shower or
swim and relax for a while before returning to the sauna.
Relaxation is central to sauna taking. A sauna can clear the mind,
refresh the body, and leave the bather feeling rejuvenated. The
sauna is not a place for business or controversial subjects. It is a
place to get away from the world; conversation should be light and
In Finland people use leafy branches from birch trees to gently beat
the skin. This produces a tingly sensation and is invigorating. A
public sauna isn't likely to have a supply of birch branches in the
sauna but if a rural sauna is available this can be tried.
Another Finnish tradition is to roll in the snow after a sauna. This
can be very revitalizing after a sauna session. Whether you shower,
swim, or roll in the snow the effect is the same and will leave you
feeling refreshed and relaxed.
The cycle of using the sauna and then cooling off can be repeated as
many times as the bather prefers. Most sessions last approximately
30 minutes to 1 hour with 2 to 3 cycles of heating and cooling. If
time isn't an issue the process can be continued for hours.
Saunas are a time-proven method of bathing and are safe for nearly
all. If a bather feels uncomfortable at any time it is best that he
leaves the sauna immediately. Sauna bathing is not a contest, and
can be dangerous to those who stay in too long.
Using a Sauna
to Build a Steam Room
Steam Generator - How