The Finnish Sauna - Deep Healing Wooden Perfection
The "sweat bath" idea, therefore, might go back as far as 7,000 years. The health benefits were quickly recognized by many cultures and it became a staple of daily life. In fact, saunas were often prescribed by doctors for cures of ailments and illnesses. During a strenuous work day, people looked forward to the deep muscle relaxation of a sauna. Many believed that the sauna is what gave them the strength to work again the next day. Even after emergencies or especially long days, time was often made for the sauna.
It is generally believed that the first wooden saunas were built in Finland over 2,000 years ago. Saunas were sacred and you were likely to be born and die in a sauna. As it was most often the cleanest and most comfortable place on a farm, women would be taken into the sauna to give birth. Because saunas were the place to go when you were ill, many died in them. Then the women would use the saunas to wash the bodies of the dead. This is how the sauna became so important throughout every stage of life in Finnish society.
Although people were naked, it was never a sexual or forbidden place. It was a sacred place of bodily and mental healing. Men and women generally took their saunas separately. On farms, the man of the house and workmen would take their saunas first. The woman of the house and female workers would follow. Later, in urban areas with public saunas, there were separate areas for men and women. Many public saunas had a private area for families to bathe together.
The wooden Finnish saunas were a place where people went to bathe, recuperate, and become "re-created." Early in the 20th century, the popularity of the sauna in Finland waned a bit. Then the technology to build saunas with electric heaters came. Saunas were now safer and less likely to burn down. The Finns brought back the sauna traditions in record numbers.
Now that personal saunas with electric heaters (complete with thermostat) are widely available, there are record numbers of saunas in Finland. The number continues to grow every day. New construction projects are routinely adding sauna rooms to even apartments and hotel rooms.
The cleansing of a Finnish sauna is amazing. A good sweat leading up to a shower lets you achieve a deep clean you didn't know existed. The power of the deep and complete sauna relaxation is immense. You will have better mental clarity, find yourself more focused at work, and stress and tension vanish.
Now that you can have a Finnish sauna available daily to you in your own home, there's no reason not to invest in one.
The sauna is not a Finnish invention, but they have certainly perfected it. Finns are sauna enthusiasts and have kept the tradition of saunas alive. Sauna is the most borrowed Finnish word, adopted by a large number of languages. The most important Finnish word related to saunas is Löyly. Löyly is the heat and the steam. It's a 7,000 year-old word that refers to the healing, soothing spirit of the sauna.