The sauna is a hydrotherapeutic practice that essentially consists of a heat bath in dry air and high temperatures which helps to eliminate the toxins that have accumulated in the body through perspiration. However, the sauna is being used much more often for its regenerative and anti-stress effects.
The origins of the sauna
The term “sauna” is a Finnish word: Finland is where the practice of sauna originated as we know it today, even if hot stone treatment was imported from Asia about 2,000 years ago. In the beginning, the heat bath ritual took place in a small hole dug in the ground which eventually developed into the creation of the modern sauna. Today the sauna takes place in wooden rooms or cabins where the room is heated by means of wood or electric heaters or, more recently, by infrared technology.
The benefits of the sauna
There are multiple benefits gained from a session in the sauna. The main advantage for the body is the expulsion of toxins through perspiration, stimulated by high temperatures between 60° and 90° C in traditional saunas and between 40° and 60° C in infrared saunas. A session in the sauna also helps to relax tense and contracted muscles, speeds up the metabolism, stimulates blood flow, and cleanses the skin of all impurities. But the benefits are not just physical: the sauna also has a positive effect on the psyche because it relieves stress and gives a feeling of general regeneration that promotes relaxation and also positively affects the problems of insomnia.
Tips for the sauna
Before entering the sauna, it is important to have an empty stomach and to be well hydrated, because just like toxins, liquid and minerals are lost through perspiration. For that reason, it is necessary to drink water or fruit juice after a sauna and to avoid an excessive increase in heart rate the consumption of alcohol or stimulants such as coffee is highly discouraged.
Before a sauna it is advisable to take a hot shower to get used to the temperatures. The minimum time spent in the sauna for an effective treatment is 8 minutes in traditional saunas, while in an infrared you can stay longer. Laying on the back is the best position because it allows you to relax more easily and concentrate on breathing. Before leaving the sauna, it is advisable not to get up immediately, but change to a sitting position and move slowly to avoid a quick drop in pressure.
At the end of the session in the sauna it is advisable to put on a bathrobe to dry the sweat and lay down for 10-15 minutes to help restore your normal heart rate and allow the blood pressure to return to normal.