Sunday, August 05, 2007

What is Sauna

In a Sauna Bath


For anyone not afraid to strip naked and in overall good health, i.e. no history of stroke or hypertension, there is nothing quite as beneficial to body and mind as taking a sauna bath. If you have never experienced it, it is a treat, and treatment, not to be missed. (Sauna is not recommended for children.)


A modern Sauna is a small to medium sized room, made entirely from wood, accommodating from four to eight people. It generally has two levels of benches, a lower one that would correspond to the height of an average chair and one that is double that height and therefore closer to the ceiling where the heat is strongest.


The heat elevates your body temperature, akin to having a fever, which destroys toxins in your system and eliminates them through intense perspiration. Sauna temperatures around 180 degrees Fahrenheit ("dry heat")or slightly higher are achieved by a specialized electric stove with a top layer of hot stones through which the heat escapes into the room. When water is poured on the stones to raise the level of humidity, the temperature is greatly increased and could reach a danger-point for the body, causing heat stroke. If high humidity levels are desired ("wet heat"), the temperature setting must be lowered proportionately, i.e., for 100% humidity, temperature should be around 100 degrees.


Sauna baths are generally taken in the nude, sitting or laying on a towel to absorb sweat.


The concept of sauna as a purification of the body has been practiced in various cultures, since the ancient times of Roman baths, for ceremonial as well as therapeutic purposes.


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