The sauna has a long history that most likely began in Finland a thousand years ago. In addition to its Nordic origins, other cultures have created their own versions – such as the banya in Russia, the Native American’s sweat lodge, the hamam in Turkey and the onsen in Japan.
With its long, dark and cold winters it seems no wonder that the sauna was invented in Finland.
The origin of the word “sauna” lies in the Finish word “savvia” which means “a pit dug into snow for temporary shelter”.
In order to use a sauna properly you need to have a place where you can cool off. In Finland, the closest snowbank is an obvious place.
To use a sauna in the recommended way you have to get undressed, showered and dried off. Step into the sauna with only a towel and spend 5-10 minutes inside. Then go outside for a cold dip in the snow or water and return inside for a longer stay. Then you exit again for on more roll in the snow, rest and get dressed again.
The effects of a sauna on the body are the cleansing and strengthening the skin, renewing cells and strengthening the immune system – as well as the heart. And last but not least: a visit to the sauna improves your general mood. All in all, the perfect way to survive Finland’s endless winter.