Feeling Hot, Hot, Hot… (part 1)

Feeling Hot, Hot, Hot… (part 1)

In our opinion the heart of each Spa is by far the SAUNA!!

In Holland people say ¨We go a day to the sauna¨, where they actually mean we go a day to the Spa. This example makes it clear how much the sauna is integrated in the Spa. It is hard to think of a Spa where they do NOT have a sauna.

We love the sauna! It is so relaxing to kick back and relax while you heat yourself up for 10-20 minutes, then take a good cool down where after you can lay down, relax and take a nap. That is how we find peace of mind, relaxation and contentment and for us, that´s the basis of a good Spa day!

Which types of saunas exist and what are the benefits of a sauna? That is what we would like to explain here. In this part 1 we will explain the different types available. In part 2 we will tell you about the health benefits of a sauna visit. And in part 3 we will reveal the secrets of another kind of (Spanish) sauna….

A sauna is a heated room or small house intended to induce sweating and allow relaxation. Saunas have existed for hundreds of years! Saunas originated in Finland, where they still are an important part of local culture to this day.

The most traditional form of sauna is the traditional Finnish smoke sauna. A smoke sauna contains a pile of rocks and no chimney. A fire is lit under the rocks, and when it dies out, the rocks retain some heat. Water is poured over the rocks to create steam. Though the smoke sauna is not as hot as the modern sauna, it features high humidity, which helps induce sweating. Smoke saunas lost their popularity in the advent of newer technologies. The modern version of the smoke sauna has a chimney, which reduces smoke, and a covered stone compartment, which stores heat.

Modern Finnish sauna have a high heat and low humidity environment. Temperatures range between 80-90°C (185-195°F) and water is splashed over the heater rocks to create a blast of hyper steam and intensify the feeling of heat. For those who enjoy this experience, there is nothing in the world quite like it.

Bio-Sauna. Those who find the classical Finnish sauna too “dry” should try the “bio-sauna”, a variant of the sauna which takes account of the blood circulation. The temperature varies between 45 and 60° C, with air humidity between 40 and 55%. The body is therefore stimulated more delicately, being heated over a longer time, so avoiding particular stress to the circulatory apparatus.

Infrared saunas provide a much more mild environment. Infrared saunas exist of infrared rays.  Infrared heat primarily warms only objects in its direct path and has a lesser effect on temperature of the surrounding air. An infrared sauna penetrates the body’s tissue, and causes a deep heating. For those who enjoy the “heat bath” experience, but cannot take or do not enjoy traditional saunas, infrared is an excellent alternative.

Not a real sauna but the two go hand in hand . A steam bath, also called Steam Showers, are your own personal oasis, where you can revitalize your body and your spirit. A steam bath is an enclosure which is kept at about 45ºC. It is fed with a steam generator which produces thick clouds of mist. It is operating most effectively at temperatures of between 43ºC(110F) and 46ºC(116F) and a relative humidity above 100%.

To optimize your sauna experience, more and more Spas start introducing variations on the traditional sauna and steam bath. For example a colour therapy sauna, where the colour of the light changes, which they say contributes to relaxation. Or the Herbal sauna or steam bath, where the steam and heat (around 50° C) cause the hay and herbs placed on a special grill to release their beneficial substances. It causes a nice smell, but the aroma can also be beneficial, for example a pleasant purification of the respiratory tracts, the cutis and the hair.

Or ever heard of the Music Sauna, where they play a specific kind of music to create a certain atmosphere. We even came across a Video sauna where the temperature was rather low and where they had a video of a concert playing…

In  part 2 more about what the sauna can do for you apart from feeling HOT 🙂

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We are Spa In Spain, a booking agency for inspirational Spa & Wellness breaks in Spain. We love Spa, we love Wellness and everything which has to do with the theme and we love to write about it!

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