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A sauna is historically how Finnish people bathed. It consists of a small room or hut, which is heated to approximately 80 degrees Celsius (175 degrees fahrenheit). Sitting in this heated room causes the sauna user / bather to sweat out impurities and cleanses them, while also relaxing the body and the mind. For many people partaking in a sauna bath is as much a mental cleansing as a physical one. This time allows for contemplation and relaxation.

If you have access to a sauna, it is a very easy process, as all you need is a small towel and about 1/2 an hour of time.

How to Sauna

The ritual of a sauna bath comes from Finnish origins. A sauna bath starts with a cleansing shower. Following the shower you enter the sauna until your body tells you that you've spent enough time in the high heat. From there you will re-enter the shower (more extreme sauna bathers will jump into a cold lake, or snow) to cool off and the return to the sauna for another session. This is usually done 2 or 3 times, but length of time in the sauna as well as number of sessions will depend on the individual.

Sauna History

The sauna was invented in Finland, although it has close ties with the Russian banya, the Native American sweat lodge, the Turkish hamam, and the Japanese onsen. Since it's creation it has been a dominant part of the Finnish culture. There are currently more than 2 million saunas (public and private) in Finland, and a population of only 5.2 million people.

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