The Finnish Sauna
A sauna by definition is a small room or building designed as a place to enjoy heat sessions. These sessions may be either dry, or in the case of a steam sauna wet/dry. This is also in essense a finnish sauna. As Sauna's and the art of the sauna were born in Finland, any sauna could conceivably be considered a Finnish sauna. Taking a sauna is often a social affair where groups of people disrobe and relax while seated or lying in 100 degree F and higher air temperatures.
The finnish sauna's main purpose, aside from relaxation was to promote sweating and the elimination of toxins from the body. Traditionally in Finland, a sauna was followed by a dip into the snow to cool off and close the pores. The North american version of this is having a cold shower afterwards. The sudden change in temperature can be quite exhilarating.
Finnish saunas in Finland
With a population of roughly 5 million people, the number of saunas in finland is quite astounding. Over two million saunas exist in the small country, with an average of one sauna per household. A traditional finnish sauna involves heating rocks, which then heat the air in the small room to a temperature sufficient to promote excessive sweating.
Finnish saunas in North America
The finnish sauna has definitely caught on in North America, although not to the extent it has in Finland. There are still very few private saunas in the United States. They are most commonly found in health clubs, spas, gyms, or public swimming pools. A new touch has been added to the traditional sauna with the invention of the far infrared sauna. This type of sauna uses infrared light technology to heat the body without drastically increasing the air temperature in the room.
Far Infrared Sauna Information