Summer vacations are not complete without a trip and this was the reason I planned to take a trip to a private Island known as Risholmen located near Porkkalanniemi, Finland. It was an experience of a lifetime because of many reasons and one of them was the traditional sauna.
It all started when I was telling my friends that sauna is very popular in Kuala Lumpur and it can be found everywhere. While giving them details about the temperature of the sauna, my friends laughed at me and told me it is not the real sauna. They told me that the traditional sauna is 80 degrees and not 40-45 degrees. This made me a bit nervous and curious at the same time. Finally, I tried the 1964 Traditional Sauna with a beautiful view of Baltic Sea.
The best thing was that I tried sauna in the place where it actually originated. Finland is the best place in the world to get a sauna session and I realized it when we experienced it. Even with the advancements in the sauna, traditional saunas are available easily in Finland.
We started the Sauna’s session with air temperature 65 degrees for 3 minutes, jumped into the sea of 13 degrees for 30 seconds. The next 2 rounds we increased the temperature to 80 degrees and 100 degrees for 5 minutes. The “electric feel” when we jumped into the sea made my body felt so refreshing. I had a deliciously relaxing Traditional Sauna experience, this is the best so far.
Some of you might be thinking what a traditional sauna is. Here I will discuss some important details of traditional sauna with you.
A traditional sauna has a natural or a wood-burning heater. It can reach decidedly high-temperatures. For example, the traditional saunas of Finland with a temperature of between 80 degrees and 110 degrees. The traditional sauna can be enjoyed as either wet or dry. Dry traditional sauna means that you enjoy the sauna as it is while turning on the heater. However, with wet sauna when the stones are heated enough, you sprinkle water on them to generate steam. You can keep adding water gradually to keep the steam going.
Modern sauna is not the same as a traditional sauna. There are different types of sauna available today and one of them is an infrared sauna. An infrared sauna uses radiator elements to generate heat. This type of sauna just heats the body without heating the sauna room. As compared to a traditional sauna, the temperature is very mild. Moreover, it is only used as a dry sauna. You can think of an infrared sauna as sun bathing on a beach where your body gets radiations directly from the sun. Other modern saunas include the one I was mentioning earlier having a temperature of 40-45 degrees.
Cultural and Health Benefits of Traditional Sauna
Saunas have been around for centuries now and there are many benefits attached to them. Some of the benefits of traditional saunas are:
1. Pain Relief
Traditional saunas generate heat which relieves pain by expanding the blood vessels. As a result, blood circulation increases in the body including the affected areas. Blood also carries oxygen to the injured areas and helps reduce pain and speed up the healing process.
2. Weight Loss
Saunas, especially wet saunas, initiate the sweating process. This results in the reduction of the fats in the body as well as the harmful toxins. You lose weight more quickly than you expect if you prefer traditional saunas in place of modern saunas because they offer more temperature.
3. Eliminates the Need for Exercise
A sauna session of around 20 minutes increases your heart rate up to 75%. This provides the same metabolic result as the physical exercise. When the heart rate increases, the blood sugar, and cholesterol levels are regulated and you achieve favorable results. The blood pressure remains in control and chances of heart attacks are also nullified.
4. Body is relaxed
Traditional sauna infuses heat in your body and mind that loosens the muscles and relaxes the body. Most of the massage therapists use saunas to provide more comprehensive and effective treatment. It is also believed that heat reduces stress and calms the mind.
5. Detoxifies the Body
When the body comes in contact with heat, harmful toxins such as sodium, alcohol, cholesterol, and carcinogenic heavy metals accumulated in the body during the normal course of life are eliminated. This occurs naturally as well with the sweating process. However, traditional sauna speeds up this process.
6. Skin Benefits
Traditional sauna improves blood circulation to the skin. All the dirt, chemicals, and dead cells are removed from the surface of the skin and you get a glowing and shiny skin along with a clear complexion.
In Finland, sauna was invented over 2000 years ago. Since then, it has helped many people live a healthy and improved life. Unlike modern sauna, traditional sauna provides better results. People get many different options for sauna including the choice for wet or dry, and temperature control. If you want to get more health benefits, you should try traditional sauna. It may feel hotter in the beginning but as you will spend time in the session, you will realize that it is more relaxing than a modern sauna.
There is no intention to mention that modern sauna does not provide any health benefits. There are some advantages of the modern sauna as well but traditional sauna provides enhanced results and plays a vital role in keeping you healthy and active. It is strongly advisable to experience traditional sauna once in your life. One thing is for sure, you would never get such experience again.