Home Saunas

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Featured Home Sauna Resource: East Coast Saunas

Saunas In Finland

When someone who is not European hears the words sauna Finlandese, they usually don’t know exactly what that means. Yet it simply refers to saunas in Finland, the birthplace of the steam bath as we know it today.

Sauna Finlandese is not pronounced the way you may think. It is correctly pronounced like sow-nah in its native land. It is the only Finnish word that is the same in nearly every language in which it is spoken, including English. The practice began over 2,000 years ago and the units were originally built underground or in ditches. Once they came to the surface, they quickly took on a look very similar to modern-day units.

The biggest difference is in the way they were heated. Modern-day saunas generally use rock heaters or infrared heat. But two thousand years ago, saunas in Finland took half a day to heat. They would use a log heater and place stones on it until they were scorching hot. Then they would pour water over the heated stones to produce steam. There was generally one tiny vent, whereas today you would get anywhere from 2-4 bigger vents to ensure proper breathing.

So as you see, the term sauna Finlandese has been used in the past for many variations of saunas throughout history, although the only really significant change has been the source of heat, and occasionally how hot. Saunas in Finland today generally average between 180 degrees and 190 degrees Fahrenheit. At this temperature with 20% humidity, one can get all the benefits of sauna including toxin elimination, skin rejuvenation, muscle and tissue relaxation and more. Today, the Finns have nearly two million saunas in a country of only five million - meaning that saunas outnumber cars.

One thing that many Finns can’t agree on is if the new infrared saunas can be considered a part of the all-encompassing sauna Findlandese term. Though the general layout and premise of an infrared sauna is the same as a traditional sauna in Finland, it is still not the same. An infrared sauna does not use steam or humidity. This makes for easier breathing while inside the sauna and more direct contact with skin to promote the healing properties that a traditional sauna Finlandese would. But since water and therefore humidity is not used, many don’t consider it the same. It really is a matter of opinion and comfort as to which you prefer though.

Sauna Findlandese has been around since the early 1100s and though it is age-old is very beneficial for health. Whether you prefer a traditional sauna like the saunas in Finland or the newer, hi-tech infrared cabins you can always count on a sauna to give you bright glowing skin, help you lose weight and promote general health and well-being.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Featured Home Sauna Resource: East Coast Saunas

How to Use Sauna Suits

At spas and health clubs across the nation, sauna suits are becoming all the rage. The increase in popularity has a lot to due with their ruggedness and their ability to help you shed a few pounds. But beware - if you choose to use a sauna sweat suit, you must know exactly what they do and how long you should use them for. There could be negative consequences if you misuse them.

First, let’s talk about the benefits of sauna suits. As mentioned, they can help you lose some excess weight, and in a relatively short amount of time. There are also the benefits of sweating. Much like a steam room, a sauna exercise suit will make you sweat out toxins and free radicals that can attack things like your immune system. Of course, anything that can boost your immune system and get bad toxins out of your body is a good thing. The problem is that you should do this in moderation, and most people who use a sauna suit do not practice moderation.

When using a sauna suit is important to avoid dehydration. While sweating toxins is good, it also makes for a lot of water loss. You must also remember that this changes your body temperature. This is especially true if you are using a sauna exercise suit. When your body temperature goes up during exercise, the suit will not only prevent your body from cooling off, but it also increases the overall temperature. This can lead to heat stroke or other serious problems.

If you wish to use sauna suits for weight loss, you can lose a few pounds easily. However, be aware that most of the weight loss while using a sauna sweat suit is water. Water can easily be regained. It is safe to say that most of the weight lost will return to you unless you use them in addition to a healthy diet and exercise program.

To recap, sauna suits are a great way to increase body temperature, sweat off some water weight gain and to rid your body of toxins. All of these are highly beneficial and great ways to utilize the increasingly popular sauna exercise suits that are on the market. However, misuses or overuse can also lead to dehydration, heat stroke or other serious conditions that could require medical attention. But when used in moderation with a healthy lifestyle, they can be a wonderful addition to anyone’s lifestyle- or maybe just your gym routine.

Featured Home Sauna Resource: East Coast Saunas

The Benefits of Infrared Sauna

More and more people are learning that the benefits of infrared sauna far outweigh those of traditional units. Research shows that they not only offer therapeutic advantages, but also conserve energy and save you money, which is why they are quickly becoming the saunas of choice for gyms and residences alike.

The reason that saved money is one of the benefits of infrared sauna is because of the amount of energy it takes to heat one of these units. The heater is simply a small ceramic tube with a tiny wire inside of it. The amount of electricity needed to heat the ceramic tube is very little. And since ceramic conducts heat so well, it stays warm for quite awhile, further reducing its electricity needs. But it doesn’t stop there- an infrared sauna only has to be kept at 110-130 degrees Fahrenheit to be effective, and takes a short amount of time to heat up, conserving energy and reducing costs.

Beyond this, the health benefits of infrared saunas are quite impressive, extending beyond those of a traditional unit as the user is able to bathe for a longer period of time. The infrared sauna gives off something called radiant heat- which simply means that the heat source is penetrating your skin directly, instead of warming the air around you. This direct penetration delivers the sauna benefits more effectively, and can lead to increased circulation, metabolism and toxin removal through sweating.

The radiant energy from an infrared heater can go from ½ an inch to 4 inches deep into your muscles and tissue. This leads to health benefits of infrared sauna such as tissue and muscle repair from minor injuries like sprains or strains. Many have reported coming out of a sauna feeling like they have had a deep tissue massage or better.

But the benefits of infrared sauna can be seen even after you leave. Some evidence suggests that regular use can increase how often you urinate (and eliminate toxins), how healthy your skin is (even causing acne to go away) and how healthy or shiny your hair is (even helping to reduce the thinning of hair in some cases).

Of course, the health benefits of infrared saunas will vary depending on how often you use it and what ailments or issues you already have. But even perfectly healthy people find over time that the benefits of infrared sauna can’t be beat, even when compared to traditional steam saunas. When you consider that, plus the amount of money you save over time on electricity, it is easy to see why infrared saunas are all the rage right now.