Finnish people and Finnish sauna
Scandinavian and Baltic cold winters create the need to escape to a warm place and a wish to relax in the heat. Word ‘sauna’ means ‘wooden room’. In Finnish life style, sauna has a special place, it has a special part in social life, rituals, and tradition. It’s not unbelievable that there is two millions of saunas in a nation of five million people. In Finland, there are more saunas than cars. Health is the most important factor of a sauna. According to research, using sauna is good for mental, psychic and physical health. Finnish UN peacekeepers brought sauna to different parts of the world. At 2006 first sauna came to Lebanon, one is on Sinai, and there are 20 saunas on Kosovo for 300 Finnish peacekeepers. For sure, saunas go with Finnish people everywhere.
A traditional dry Finnish sauna is the most popular. It is the wooden room with 15% of steam and temperature between 70 and 100° C. First notes about sauna belong to the 12th century, but the history of sauna is much older. Today, contemporary saunas in towns are electrically heated and very simple. Out of the towns, traditional wood-burning saunas inside wooden hut are still popular. In Helsinki, during the WW2, there were more than thousand public saunas. Today, most Finnish people have their own sauna in their home. Usually, during the summer they visit sauna every day, while in the winter once a week.
Time spent in sauna and recovery
Sweating is weakness leaving the body. When sweating, stress in muscles and toxic substances leave the body. Dry air is hot and provides faster sweating thus the organism becomes dry. Moreover, skin is deep cleansing and sauna is helpful during the physical recovery.
Every sauna protocol ends under the cold shower or with swimming in the cold water. Blood vessels expand under the influence of high temperature and cold temperature could be good for the vasculature because it trains blood vessels in the skin to be responsive. The cycle of warming and cooling repeat once to twice a week.
Importance of sauna in Finland
Sauna in Finland is like church, religious place, with beliefs and strict rules of behaving. Be quiet in the sauna, this is a very clean place, and until the middle of 20th-century many babies were born inside. Spending time in the sauna with people include food and drinks, discussing and relaxing. Finnish people prefer to cool themselves in snow or iced lake after sauna. Whipping with the twigs stimulate sweating. Getting invited to a sauna is an honor. If you have a reason for declining, fair enough, but it better be a good one!