Sauna Enjoyment and Safety
In Finland, learning how to take a sweat bath is as natural as learning how to dress. Yet, as with dressing, there is no single right way to enjoy a sauna bath. Each person has his or her own way of approaching the matter, and no one should ever claim that his or her way is superior to all others. There are many techniques and rituals associated with sweat baths, and all of them are acceptable.
The key to having a pleasurable sauna experience is to listen to your body and follow your own rhythm in moving in and out of the sauna and alternating between the top and bottom benches. Some competitive individuals mostly men approach the sauna bath like an endurance sport that’s won by proving that they can withstand the scalding sauna temperatures longer than anyone else. But wiser sauna enthusiasts will quietly slip out of the sauna when they feel the need for a break and have a drink of water while cooling down on a comfortable bench or chaise lounge.
It’s important to set aside enough time to become fully engaged in the sauna experience. The sauna is no place for anyone in a hurry. It’s not like taking a quick hot shower in the morning before throwing on some clothes and dashing out the door so that you’re not late for work. Rather, the sauna is best enjoyed in the evening or when you have a couple of hours to fully relax. The Finns, for example, pride themselves on making the sauna a part of their evening entertainment, complete with conversation, drinks, and maybe a light dinner.
Research has shown that sauna use is an effective way to improve mental well-being.
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